Author Topic: Boki's Adventure in Sculpting:Prehistoric fish:Leedsichtys (Updated 6/10/19)  (Read 6573 times)

Bokisaurus

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Hello fellow dino-fans!
So, I finally found the courage to share my adventures in sculpting prehistoric figures. Yes, it's been a long goal of mine to ry to sculpt some prehistoric animals, but I was never good at it and very intimidated to try my hands on sculpting.
Earlier this year, while in the process of weeding my collection and cataloguing them, the urge to try to sculpt came back.
I found a box of Super Sculpey that was leftover from a project years ago. SOooooo, I figured why let it go to waste? When I first set out to try sculpting, I had a hard time figuring out what animal of group of animals I should try my hands on.
Some of you are already familiar with the Bramatherium ( a species of extinct giraffe) that I posted last month. That piece was one of my later works.

More on him/her later ;D as there is actually a first attempt that I kept and will turn into either a male or female.

Anyway, so when I started, i figured some prehistoric fishes would be a good way to start ( I considered amphibians as well). After all, they look simple enough since they don't have horns, claws, or fur ;D
Well well, I found out soon bought that my assumption was wayyyyyy off! Those fishes were actually very hard to do!
When I started, I tried to make the figures small, around 3-4 inches long. After sculpting 5 pieces, I was very unhappy and embarrassed by the results ! So much so that I threw all of them except for one. I felt defeated and discouraged. That was around March of this year.
Here is one of the first piece I made and it's the only one I kept from the original group. It was supposed to be a Hyneria ^-^


With defeat, I gave up and swore never to try again since I was so terrible at it.
My partner, sensing my discouragement, gave me some pep talk and even gave me some tips. It would be after a month before I decided to give it one more try. This time, I figured I would make the figures larger, thinking it would be easier to sculpt at a larger size.
I was not about to let the fishes win, so I decided to give them another try.
Looking back, my big error was that I didn't spend enough time ( impatient ;D) to work out my armature or even have a clear idea of where the attachment points are for the fins and stuff.
In one week, I made another 5 figure with varying degree of success . I was still unhappy with the results, but this time, at least I have learned a whole lot more on this try. Plus, I kept them all this time.
So, here they are ;D

Xiphactinus - I always love this species, and hoping more would be made by the major toy brands. Alas, only COllectA gave us one, and it was a small one.
Anyway, this was a challenge due to the distinctive teeth. I decided to do a mouth closed version to make sculpting the teeth easier ( it was not, still hard!)


Next up is another attempt on Hyneria ;D


Then we have Chinlea


I have a tiktaalik as well as the giant Leedsichthys but they are not finished, still need to paint them. All of these figures are big as you can see, they are around 12 inches long, too big really.
After these group, I felt that I have had some success with the fishes that I can move on and not feel defeated by them ^-^

So my next venture is tackling those terror birds! But that will be for the next installment.
I decided to post each figures in order of when I made them. This way, hopefully, any improvement would be easier to see. The Bramatherium was sculpted right after the fishes and the prehistoric birds, this has lead the way to my attempts on sculpting prehistoric mammals! And there are lots of them! So far I have made at least 15 prehistoric mammals.
What about dinosaurs you ask? Well, they re on the list, but I will tackle t hem next after the mammals, and hopefully would have gained more experience then. I actually just finished my very first dinosaur, a sauropod today! So far I am very happy and excited about this one and how it turned out, can't wait to share!

So what have I learned from this journey so far? Well, never give up. AS long as you have the interest and passion for it, go for it! Give yourself credit, as well as some time to improve your skills. Look at other works, but PLEASE don't compare yourself or your work with others. I found this very discouraging and not very helpful.
As long as you are happy, then it's all good!
So, hope you enjoy these figures and the post, and will stay tune a nd follow as we move forward with the birds, mammals, and dinosaurs!
Thanks for looking, cheers!

Boki  ;D


____________________________ ;DPHOTO ARCHIVE GALLERY ;) ______________

Like my collection thread, I am starting a Gallery on this first page and will post future models as I post them. This way, there is an easy way to view all of the figures without having to go to each pages.

Prehistoric fishes - the first group I attempted. Posted 6/27/18


Prehistoric Big Birds - The second group I made after the fishes. Posted 7/3/18


Bramatherium and Sivatherium - Two species of prehistoric giraffes, my very first prehistoric mammal sculpts. Posted 7/12/18


Diabloceratops -  This is the 3rd ceratopsian that I made. Posted 7/18/18
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Kosmoceratops - This is the 4th figure in the ceratopsian series that I sculpted. Posted 7/19/18
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Toxodon - This was sculpted right after the Sivatheriums. Posted 7/24/18
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Elasmotherium - Sculpted around the same time as the Toxodon. Posted 8/2/18
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Lohuecotitan - My first sauropod, unfortunately the group have proven to be more challenging that I anticipated. As you can see, this one had lots of problems. Posted 8/6/18
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Quetzalcoatlus - This guy was sculpted mid-way.  Posted 9/6/18
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Nasutoceratops and Einiosaurus - The next two ceratopsian in the series. #5 and #2 - Posted 9/17/18
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Mini Reef scene with fish diorama base for larger figures - These are small diorama that would go on the bases of large marine reptiles and mammals. Posted 9/26/18
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Shonisaurus -  This was the very first marine reptile I sculpted, right after the fish way back in early May. Posted 10/2/18
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Tylosaurus - This was the second marine reptile I sculpted. Posted 10/15/18
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Pliosaurus - The third marine reptile in the series. Posted 10/17/18
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Elasmosaurus - The fourth marine reptile that marks the end of Phase 1 of the marine reptile series. After this, there are 3 more for phase 2. Posted 10/18/18
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Paraceratherium mother and calf - Posted 10/30/18
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Arsinoitherium and Embolotherium - Finished in July. Posted 11/1/18
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Barylambda - One of my early works way back. Posted 11/1/18
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Dunkleosteus reef scene - Sculpted in Early August. Posted 11/12/18
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Trio of prehistoric elephants: Playbelodon, Stegotetrabelodon, Deinotherium. Sculpted in July, August, September respectively. Posted 11/27/18
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Placerias - Sculpted back in July, it was originally intended to be a star of my planned Diorama entry this year but it never panned out. Posted 12/10/19
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Swimming Spinosaurus and other Bahariya inhabitants - My take on Spinosaurus. I also sculpted some of the inhabitants of Bahariya to keep him company. Posted 1/8/19
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Ouranosaurus - This was the result of the converted first attempt on Spinosaurus. Posted 1/10/19
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Sauropods Part 1 - the earlier sculpts of sauropods. Posted 1/24/19
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Part one of the ceratopsian group : Medusaceratops, Pachyrhinosaurus, Xenoceratops, Wendiceratops - Sculpted around July of 2018. Posted 2/11/19
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Durodon and Odobenocetops - Two small prehistoric whales that made appearances int he WW series. Posted 3/5/19
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Xiphactinus and Hyneria - My redemption sculpt of the original species I did when I  first started. Posted 4/4/19
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Protosphyraena - One of the oddest looking fish! Sculpted in September 2018. Posted 4/8/19
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Leedsichtys - One of the largest fish that ever swam the oceans. Sculpted in July 2018. Posted 6/10/19
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« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 06:27:26 PM by Bokisaurus »


Jose S.M.

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Great fishes! I like the color schemes of them and the scale detail is very good, also... 15 mammals!, you have been working hard for sure. Can't wait to see them.

Lanthanotus

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Thanks for sharing your experiences and results, Bokisaurus.

Definetly there's an increase in skills to see and I like the surface texture on those Chinlea and Xinphactinus. Did you use a sieve for that? I also tried on a similar fish once (Eusthenopteron) but in a much smaller scale.... I agree, fish are harder than one might think :D

Halichoeres

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Wow, these are so cool! Thanks for sharing your work. Sounds like you have been very prolific.

Look at other works, but PLEASE don't compare yourself or your work with others. I found this very discouraging and not very helpful.

This is good life advice in general.
In the kingdom of the blind, better take public transit. Well, in the kingdom of the sighted, too, really--almost everyone is a terrible driver.

My collection: http://dinotoyblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=3390.0

My trade/sale/wishlist thread: http://dinotoyblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=3299.0

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PhilSauria

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Great work - love the scale textures (what did you use to achieve this?). In my experience so far with sculpting the hardest part is to keep going when or if your first attempts do not meet your expectations, or in regard to the comment about comparisons with others; if the things that you make are not quite as good as sculpts by others. We all have varying degrees of talent or years of experience so just keep going and make your own mark and not worry so much about how that measures up against what somebody else has done. (I'm saying this as much to myself as to you!) In short the more you do the better you will get, and also; armatures (to me) are a fiddly necessity but they do pay off if you have a stable and well planned base for the later stages to build over.

Digibasherx

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As others have said, the scales look great and it adds quite a bit of life in the textures.  Your paint schemes always impresses me, and inspire me to go bold with my own WIPs (sadly I haven't found the right pattern, colours yet).  Definitely don't need to compare, you develop your own style that way and let's be honest, we're our own worst critic.

Mini Minmi

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I love your fishes! They're so colorful and detailed, you clearly put a lot of efforts in making them as true to the animal as possible and it works, they look great! Plus you have a fantastic eye for color. Those contrasts are beautiful! These fish are like little jewels. We can see the improvement curve in your first attempt to your latest. The shapes are more stable and regular. You're doing fantastic I'm glad you kept at it and I'm looking forward to see more from you.

Libraraptor

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Actually, those look quite good!  Keep in working!


Newt

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You're doing great, Bokisaurus! I dig your color schemes.


I've learned the hard way how important the preparatory stages of sculpture are. If you can work out drawings at final size and from multiple angles it will help a lot; you can use calipers to compare measurements on the drawing and the sculpture. Take time with your armature; get it right and you'll make the rest of your sculpting task much easier.


Also don't be afraid to throw other stuff into the mix. Epoxy putties (Aves Apoxie, MagicSculpt, Milliput) are harder than polymer clay and so are useful for thin parts (fins, horns, antennae) that might be fragile in polymer clay. Round "pearl" beads make great eyes (I find sculpting eyes very difficult, so any shortcut is a bonus in my mind).

Bokisaurus

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Thanks guys, glad top hear some positive feedback and great encouragement  ^-^ Yeah, it's been a real adventure this sculpting!
For the scales, I have a small hand hammer that have a textured handle, i unscrew the handle and use it to make those impressions, it worked really well.
I will try and post picture of it soon.
I am out of town right now, but should be able to post next week when I am back.
Plan is to post photos of the terror birds next ;D
Thanks again for all the kind words and encouragements!

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Nice work Boki. They look good.

And it's already clear that practice is making perfect!

ceratopsian

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Just caught up with your fishes.  There is a clear improvement as you have learned as you went along.  As others have commented, your scales are excellent.

Bokisaurus

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Thanks again everyone, all of your support means a lot to me, gives me confidence to keep at it :D

Okay, so as I promised, this week I am sharing my flock of monster birds. After tackling the fishes, I figured I should try some of the giant birds. Looking at photos, as well as some of the figures in my collection, I thought it would be worth trying my hands on some of these guys. I have always love terror birds, it's a shame that not more of them are made by the major toy brands. Size wise, these figures are in much smaller scale compared with their fish predecessors.
Okay, here they are, in the order of who I made first, ready? ;D

Kelenkken - this was my first attempt . I have always loved the CollectA version, and my original goal was to make a pair for him/her. Well, my efforts was not so great, and did not go well with CollectA's figure >:( However, I do like the flamboyant way this figure turned out. For the color scheme and design, I was inspired by a porcupine! :))
The biggest fail on this figure is the shape of the beak, it's too narrow, looks more like a toucan's :o


Next is Gastornis - Here, the beak is where the figure is off. I'm still learning how to get that part right. As you can see, the color and design was inspired by puffins ;D


Last of the the group is my attempt on Diatryma. I know this figure is the most popular of the species as far as being made by toy brands, but I really wanted to try to make one.
I'm happy with this guy, he looks mean :D


As you can see, I found sculpting the beaks to their distinctive shape the most challenging part. Overall, I am very happy by how each one turned out. Here they are together for size comparison .


In addition to this trio, I also made a more recently extinct giant bird. I have been hoping for years that one of the toy companies would make a Dinornis or Moa. As far as I know, there is only that little figure from which company I don't remember now, the one that came with a little man running.
Anyway, so tired of waiting, I made my very own! :))

I'm very happy by how this one turned out, he looks much better in person that in the photos. After this Moa, I decided to move on to some of the prehistoric mammals that has fascinated me.

Oh, there is actually a fourth figure, one that I made very quickly using a small leftover sculpey. With just a small ball of clay left, I decided to make a Hesperonis. I made it so fast that looking at it now, I wish I put more effort on it. He is not painted yet, so I will have to share it later when he is finished.

With the birds, I really learned a lot, and also used some new skills and techniques I have newly learned, skills that would help me a lot on future models.
I had a great time sculpting these birds, and felt my confidence grow with each one. I may go back later and perhaps make a new version of these guys.
Hope you like them!
I hope you stay tuned as I start posting the mammals next week! Yes, there are many of them, some I'm really excited to share.
Again, thanks for looking, cheers!

Jose S.M.

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Lovely birds, I love the color schemes you used in them, they look beautiful.

Mini Minmi

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These birds are really cool, Boki! Great job! And the texture works perfectly for those long shaggy feathers. Again I am flabbergasted by your colors. Even when they are inspired by current birds you make them your own. Lovely. I'm so glad you kept sculpting and we get to see those awesome figures you made. Also I had a giggle at Owen trying to feed plants to everyone.  ^-^

ceratopsian

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You have a really good and individual feel for colour and pattern.

Bokisaurus

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Re: Boki's Adventure in Sculpting: Dino Preview (7/11/18)
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2018, 06:46:11 PM »
Thanks everyone. Been busy lately with work, so hoping to update with the first few mammals tomorrow! :))
In the meantime, I started on the dinosaurs :o, yeah, tis' been really fun learning experience. Dinosaurs are so much more challenging than the mammals.
Anyway, just to give you a preview of what is to come later ;D

Hope everyone is having a great summer, Cheers!

Libraraptor

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Interesting and charming big birds!

Bokisaurus

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Okay, so we finally reach the start of the prehistoric mammals parade!
After sculpting the fish and birds, I decided to try and make some prehistoric mammals. They are so under-represented in toy form despite having some interesting species that rival some of the dinos.
I have always wanted a Sivatherium, it was one of the species that always makes it to my yearly hopes and dreams for a company to make. But year after year, no one produced one.
So, it was on the top of my list when I started.
When I was researching the species, I cam across a close relative, the Bramatherium, another extinct species of giraffe. I was not aware of it before, and it is as unique and odd as the Sivatherium!
So, I decided to switch plan and try this species instead, after all, I had just recently acquired the beautiful figure from Joan a few months ago.

It was a challenge switching from fish to birds then to mammals. When I started, I was not using enough or good armature. As a result, the figure is solid and heavy since it is almost solid sculpey! :D
Here is the very first figure finished:

This photo actually ia after I did some modifications to save it. When I was finished, I thought it looked good, but then the more I looked at it, the more I started to notice the bad proportions and the likes.
First, before I made some adjustments, the head and snout was really narrow and pinched in, then the legs were very skinny and uneven. Frustrated, I decided to ditch this and make a new version. This is the version that I first shared a whole back.

I was happy with how the second attempt turned out that I shared it back in May before going on a trip.

I sculpted new species since these two, but I kept on going back to the very first version of the Bramatherium. There is something about it that I really like despite it's flaws. Sooooo, I went back and tried my best to salvage it and do more modifications, then finally paint it. Here it is, the finished version:

It is slightly larger and bulkier that the second version, so I decided to make it the male of the pair.
When choosing the colors, I looked at and was inspired by the Okapi. But I wanted to simplify this one and not do too much striped like I did the second version.
Here they are side-by-side:

Over all, I'm happy with it. I'm glad I kept up with trying to rescue it from the garbage ^-^


After the Bramatherium, it was time to tackle my original species choice, the Sivatherium.
I was confident that I could do a better job on this one after the Bramatheriums, after all I had some practice...
When I was finished, I was so happy, I though it looked really good. Well, I must have been really tired... went to be happy, excited to see it the next morning...

To my horror, when I looked at it the next day, I was shocked by how bad the proportions were, and how much off I was! It was really disappointing since It looked so much worst than the first two I made.
The legs are too narrow and weirdly shaped, the body too small for the neck and head, plus there is hardly any belly! The only redeeming quality to it was that I really liked how the head turned out. Other than that, it was garbage! :))
But I did not throw away the fire, I just hid it behind the shelf and took a week break from sculpting. When I went back to it, I decided to give it a second try. This time, I was sure it would be better.
With care and taking my time, I finished the second version of the =Sivatherium. This time, I was really happy with it, and even happier the next morning  ;D
Here it is in its raw form:

You can see the big difference between the two.
I painted it, took a long time to decide what color combo or patters I would like to do. In the end, I settled for a more simply ( a giraffe pattern was considered, but ultimately it was too complicated) colors and design. Instead, took inspiration from an antelope species from Africa.

Here it is with Joan's figure as well as feeding time :))


Since then, more species got made. So, what happened to the first version? Well, I couldn't make myself throw it for some reason. As the shelf got crowded, I kept on resisting the urge to just garbage it. Then one day, I took it and examined it and tried to see if there is any hope of rescuing this poor figure. The whole legs and body proportion really bugs me so much. It would be a decent figure if it wasn't for those areas.
So, I decide to "amputate" (don't worry, no photos of it  :))) the legs and try to sculpt a new one. As I worked on sculpting new legs, an idea came to me to try and make it not standing, but laying instead. There few figures of animals in a resting pose.
So, would I be able to pull it off, after all, such pose and leg position is much more complicated than a standing one.
But I was up to the challenge and switch gears. The biggest challenge;enge was trying to position the back legs. There were multiple attempts, but it all looked odd to me and very unnatural.
I found photos of giraffes resting, and decided on this pose:

I figured this pose would fit the hidden belly better, but I still added some clay to the belly area as well as the back.
I also decided to make this one as a male since it is larger than the second version. To further distinguish the male and female, I made the horns ( ossicones) much larger and wider as well as adding more points to it.
Well, I have to say I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. Sure, there are areas to work on like the legs, still too skinny, but I think overall it looks pretty good considering how it looked like originally.
Again, when I painted it, I took inspirations from antelopes ( Indian Blackbuck) that showed dimorphism. I chose the a darker color for the male.


And here he is reunited with his mate, the second version


Well, hope you enjoyed this first installment of the mammals. It sure was an interesting learning experience!
Next week will post more, thanks for checking, cheers! :))