After a few test runs with different modelling clays, and a small Blood Angels sculpture using a mix of "Sculpey" I finally felt confident enough to try a larger sculpt using an armature made from brass wire using a couple of new tools, which will strengthen the final sculpt while making it light enough to mount as part of a diorama. After the positive response from my previous Horus Heresy "Know No Fear" diorama I have decided to try creating another, this time based on the amazing artwork on the cover of James Swallow's "Fear To Tread".
As the wallpaper for this particular novel is for sale at the Black Library you can head on over there for a more detailed preview. I would say at this stage my aim is to sculpt 100% of the details and remain as close to the original artwork as possible, but I may be temped to make us of some generic modelling supplies for smaller items like the chains. As it is, I started this project on a whim by following the instructions of the back of the Super Sculpey pack, and used some aluminium foil to bulk out the basic shape, so as to keep the layer of modelling clay as thin and even as possible.
As mentioned previously I added a little 'basic' Sculpey to the Super Sculpey to lessen the transparancy and make it easier to create a 'smooth' finish, not that I was too concerned given the extra details yet to be added, most likely in Green Stuff and other two part sculpting materials. Once most of the armature was covered it was into the oven for a quick bake, just in case I decide to add any more bulk using a second baked layer. As it stands currently I have a nice mock up to work with, and with everything baked I can put it to one side as I peer closely at the cover art to work out all the little details! This is going to be a journey of a thousand steps, so to speak.
On a final note, I would like to mention the brilliant diorama of this artwork which has already been created by a contributor of Bell of Lost Souls, who kindly have me on their blogroll. You can check out the finished diorama over on their website, and marvel at the "object source lighting" used. I don't think I will be that adventurous but it's going to be a long while before I can put brush to this model, with a few distractions between now and then in the form of a few Necrons and Blood Angels.