SWAT team – early sculpts

SWAT team sculpts

SWAT team sculpts

These are some of my earliest scratch-built models, which I have finally got round to painting and basing. From what I can remember they were the 4th, 5th, 6th & 7th that I ever sculpted – going from left to right. I’ve now sculpted about thirty models in total. This set were started around 1996 when I did the first two. The third and fourth were mostly done around 2002, but only completed last year. I started them when I was collecting near future and difficult though it may be to believe now, the only futuristic police available back in the mid-90s were Mark Copplestone’s  police in conventional police uniforms and caps (now available from em4). I thought I’d do some more heavyweight police to complement these.

These were all done in green putty on a thin wire armature (the plastic coated phone wire). They look OK on the tabletop, but looking at them with a critical eye there are quite a few bits out of proportion. Going through them in turn:

Model A
His legs are too short compared to the upper body – this overall proportion is something I still struggle with. Even when working on an armature, there’s enough leeway as you bulk this out to get it wrong, and it’s difficult to notice until you’ve done all the detail and it’s too late. His shoulders are also a bit narrow and hunched. Handcuffs came out quite well, but generally detail could be crisper.

Model B

Right arm holding the radio is a bit long. His gun was made by printing on to thin card and then cutting it out with a scalpel (the barrel is wire). This was very laborious, but I didn’t have anything else suitable.

Model C

This one is getting a bit big compared to the others – I tend to creep bigger if I’m not careful. His bottom looks curiously narrow. Obviously given his pose, you couldn’t mould this because the arms form a circle, but I was never intending to cast them.

Model D

Here I tried for a more dynamic pose, which has been partially successful, but… he has ended up with particularly large long arms, and there is something a bit wrong about how he is leaning forward which I can’t put my finger on. Also, if he stood up straight he would be even bigger than model C. This one is carrying a Wargames Foundry weapon because I had plenty and I didn’t fancy laboriously scratch building another one.

SWAT team sculpts

SWAT team sculpts

I’d be interesting to see what you think – you can be brutal, these are an early effort and I know there’s plenty wrong with them. What are other people’s early sculpting experiences? What did you do wrong at first, and how did you improve?

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