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The Making of Mewtwo by emilySculpts The Making of Mewtwo by emilySculpts
See the finished photos of this sculpture here!

1. Armature and Electronics - Electronic sculptures have to be very well planned out so that all the elements can come together nicely to create a strong and solid piece. Before worrying about any sculpting, I first create an armature that is both strong, and able to properly hold all the wiring. I use a brass tube to run all of the wiring into the box and, in this case, to support the sculpture. My husband works with me closely during this stage, as he does all of the work on the electronics.

Interested in learning more about LEDs and wiring? Check out MAKE Magazine and Adafruit.com.

2. Initial Shapes - Due to the wiring, I cannot bake an electronic sculpture. Therefore, I need to use Apoxie Sculpt rather than my standard Super Sculpey/Sculpey Firm mix. Apoxie Sculpt is a two-part epoxy based clay that gives you a few hours of working time once it’s mixed. It cures rock hard after 24 hours. At the point seen in this photo, I have done around 3 sessions of Apoxie Sculpt. I use water to keep everything smooth as I work and do one segment at a time. Once it is cured, I sand that part and move on to the next.

Sometimes, I will rough out a few shapes with Super Sculpey to get a feel of what I want things to look like before moving on to the final form using Apoxie Sculpt. Apoxie can be tricky to work with since you don’t have a whole lot of work time. So doing Sculpey roughs, as seen in the chest and arms here, can really help out.

When using Epoxy based clays, always wear latex, vinyl, or nitrile gloves when mixing the two parts together. Additionally, make sure to wear a quality dust mask when sanding the cured clay.

2a. Head Base - The head of this sculpture needed to be hollow to allow placement of the LED for the glowing eyes. I made the head separately using Super Sculpey/Sculpey Firm over a wire mesh sphere, keeping hollow sockets for the eyes. I made the eyes using thin sheets of translucent Premo! clay. This was then baked and assembled. I layered more Sculpey details over this and baked another few times. Final details were done in Apoxie Sculpt.

Note, this was actually the first head I made that ended up being too big.

2b. Head Mock Up - I created a mock up in Super Sculpey of what I wanted the final head to look like. I used this as a reference when creating the final head. It helped me keep the proportions accurate and helped me place the details of the face in the manner that I wanted them

3. Head Attachment - Several light tests were preformed before attaching the head permanently to the sculpture. I positioned the LED so that it gave optimum light coverage for the eyes. I attached the head in several stages using epoxy glue and Apoxie Sculpt.

4. Final Shapes - Everything is now in it’s complete form. The orb was made in a similar manner as the eyes using translucent Premo! clay. I made the two halves of the orb separately and then sealed them together using Apoxie Sculpt (which is the lightning design you see on the orb). I used some more of the Premo! to create the shattered glass on the base.

5. Finished and Painted - I used rubber cement to protect the eyes and orb during painting. I can then peel it off after the piece is painted so that they retain their translucent qualities. I water down Delta Ceramcoat Matte Varnish and brush it on the painted piece to give a nice luster; it really helps bring out the colors without making the piece to shiny.

Why do you use the brass tube? Can’t he just balance on his foot or tail? I get asked about this a lot so I thought I would address this question. In an electronic piece like this especially, the integrity of the wiring must be protected. The best way to do this is with a metal tube such as the one I used here. This can be difficult to seamlessly integrate into a sculpture. Unfortunately, it normally ends up looking awful to sculpt the character around the tube as it makes the pose look very unnatural.

Additionally, the dynamic quality of the pose suffers when attempting a floating or flying pose while having a portion of the character touching the base. I am not saying it cannot be done, but generally, so much time is spent making the piece balance, the pose quality tends to suffer. I opt to create a dynamic pose that isn’t restricted by such things. This way, I also create a piece that is stronger and properly protects the electronics. I always paint my support rods to match the colors of the base or character so that the distraction is minimal.

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Submitted on
August 7, 2013
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Apple
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iPhone 4
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Date Taken
Jul 23, 2013, 8:20:40 AM
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