ShadoKat's Samus Aran (Metroid Prime 3) helmet sculpt - WIP


ShadoKat

Member
First off, HELLO, and THANK YOU for the amazing site!!! Like most everyone here, I came across the 405th while researching Spartan armor. I finished my first full pepakura suit in about three months, just in time for Halloween 2008 (low-def MK VI, more on that later), but it was terrible, and I've been wanting to improve upon it since. I will, eventually, but in about April of last year, I came across Blue Realm's helmet sculpt and Pete Mander's full suit sculpt. Even though I've never done anything like this before, I was so inspired that I felt an almost physical burning, nagging need to do a sculpt of my own.

I considered posting a WIP thread at the time, but I tend to start things with which I have no experience in the most complicated manner possible, and end up getting in WAY over my head, so I decided to hold off. Didn't want to post something that would never be finished, after all. Glad I waited... I have neither time nor talent, only being able to work a few hours a week, and doing so very slowly, at that. I ran into some problems that I couldn't reconcile and pretty much stopped work completely from like June '09 until March of this year. Then I got inspired again by Sevv's Spartan sculpt, and my hands started itching to get into the clay again, so I got back to work with a vengeance. Well, a mild grudge, anyway. At any rate, here it is, my first sculpt...

front.jpg


left-ort.jpg


left.jpg


back.jpg


right.jpg


right-ort.jpg



So, here's where I am now. Yes, I realize it's not the most complicated subject so it probably shouldn't have taken so long. However, as bad as I am with this, I'm surprised it's come out NEARLY as well as it has. I think I'm just about ready to start molding, which I've been dreaming about for over a year. I've got all the materials, and I'm itching to start, I just have to do some more finishing work, smoothing and detailing and such. I just wanted to offer it up for critique before I get to a point where I can't fix it. PLEASE, if you have ANY criticism or suggestions for improvement, I'd REALLY be interested in hearing them... Like, really soon, as I plan to start the finishing work today.

Thanks in advance, I really appreciate it.
 
Wow, that looks amazing! Very Smooth, but the only problem I can see are the Lines near the ear part on the second to last picture
the need to be deeper..or something. almost looks like its spilling over (its obviously not) but thats what It looks like to me.
 

Rosh

Active Member
Your sculpting looks really good, I had the problem of posting and never bringing my mark iv to completion- the mistake I made there was improper sizing, and it killed the project dead in the water. I think your detailing looks great, I look forward to seeing this one completed.
 

ShadoKat

Member
Thank you everyone for the kind words and comments!

Wow, that looks amazing! Very Smooth, but the only problem I can see are the Lines near the ear part on the second to last picture
the need to be deeper..or something. almost looks like its spilling over (its obviously not) but thats what It looks like to me.

Heh :) no, not quite smooth yet! I'm working on that this week, and hope to start molding this weekend. It's kind of... I don't know... "lumpy," I guess, especially close up. I'm really nervous about starting those flanges in the back ;) This is another question... Just how smooth is "smooth enough" for molding? Samus' helmet is like shiny-smooth... Any experienced sculptors out there have some suggestions? Perhaps I'm putting too much work into this step? Should I cross my fingers and try to fix it in post?

As for the lines, yeah, thanks for seeing that, I'm a bit concerned about them, they don't appear as well defined from certain angles. I'm hoping it will look different with a coat of primer, but I'm trying to deepen them in the sculpt, as well. While I'm smoothing, I inserted some rubber cord into them to help keep them defined. Having used it now, I don't recommend it... it has some memory to it and stretches a bit, making it not terribly well suited for this purpose. Suggestions for what I should have used would be appreciated.

blue-lines.jpg
blue-lines.jpg



@ka5p3r: Yeah, smoothing the larger sections has been hard, but the real hard part was the symmetry!
@Rosh: I am definitely afraid of that happening... I made part of the lifecast for the rest of the suit this weekend, too... if the sizing of the helmet ends up being off... but starting over on the helmet might just end my marriage :) Well, I can always keep it as a trophy!
@killinghorne: It took over a year... that's perhaps too long ;)
@SunlightData: Okay, that's just TOO nice!! ;) But that does make me remember something I've noticed, though... The proportions of the sculpt are much different than the in-game model, and that's intentional... The problem with Samus (as well as Master Chief, or virtually any character that wears a helmet) is that the characters are proportioned in such a way that the helmet is modeled as the size of a head, rather than the size of a head with a helmet on it. If you were to take off the helmet, the head would be very, very small. Also, Samus' helmet is much wider than it is tall, so I'm trying to compensate for that a bit by making it a bit more "squashed" horizontally.

Anyway, thanks again, everyone! Last question for now... (and this is uber-n00b, I know, and I'm sorry...) my pics are too big, and I can't figure out how to insert size tags in BB code because the picture just shows up. Is there a way to do this, or do I just have to post smaller size pics?
 

zockhu

New Member
Looks really good so far. I recommend that once you are "finished" with it going back and just resmoothing everything and redetailing it. Might take you a while but it will be worth it in the end.
 
Wow, that's really nice. The only criticism I have is that the lines appear to have a little excess clay on the edges. Other than that, absolutely fantastic work
 

ShadoKat

Member
Okay, I am in desperate need of some advice here…

I recommend that once you are "finished" with it going back and just resmoothing everything and redetailing it.

Yup, that's about where I am with it right now. I smoothed and detailed once, now I'm in the process of re-smoothing and re-detailing. Unless you mean after I cast? At that point I hope to be able to sand it, as I seem to be having a problem getting the unevenness out of it with the tools I'm using... Exhibit A:



lumpy.jpg



This lumpiness is really driving me bonkers at this point. I've used metal scrapers, rakes, rubber kidneys, and even a wire brush to really rough it up and try to even it out from there, but nothing is working well so far. If anyone has tips (other than "keep working it," as I'll be doing that, anyway) I could REALLY use them

The only criticism I have is that the lines appear to have a little excess clay on the edges.

Yup, I anticipated that would happen... that's the intended purpose of the blue rubber cord you see in that pic. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that the lines will be nice and hold their definition when I'm finally done smoothing and pull the cord out. I'm sure there will still be work to do after that, but I'm hoping that will make things easier.

Thanks very much for the compliments, you guys! Looking forward to molding and pulling my first cast this weekend!
 

Metalfr3q

Jr Member
Sculptor detected!! I always enjoy looking at sculpted work, impresses me no end that stuff pull from the ground can be made into such awesome things. That and also anyone who does sculpt their work always has the talent and creativity to pull off said awesome work. Keep it up!
 

Nintendude

Well-Known Member
Oh my god I love it and this looks like the best made Samus Helmet I've seen yet, I even like this over my pep helmet and that's saying something.
 

Neoproks

Member
Absolutely beautiful. That is a fantastic job for your first sculpt, heck, for any sculpt. I REALLY want to see where this goes. Good luck.
 

SpartanM93

New Member
Are you burnishing your clay? I would recommend that, I do a lot with clay, I have the amount needed to start something but not the drive, ya dig? So yeah. find yourself a nice smooth rock and get a rubbin'
 

ShadoKat

Member
Hello again, small update... I've been working on this the last several days (a bit unusual, I usually only get to do this a few hours on the weekend), and I don't seem to be having any luck. No matter what I do, it's still ending up pretty lumpy. I've added, subtracted, pressed, pulled, cursed, scraped, rubbed, screamed, and even tried mineral spirits, all to no avail. Fortunately it's not getting any worse, but it's not getting any better, either. The surface of the lumps are smooth, but the lumps themselves won't seem to go away.

Are you burnishing your clay? I would recommend that, I do a lot with clay, I have the amount needed to start something but not the drive, ya dig? So yeah. find yourself a nice smooth rock and get a rubbin'

Burnishing? I am unfamiliar with this, which is odd, because I've been doing a LOT of reading about sculpting and such. Can you describe the process for me a bit, please? Videos would be a plus. Will that help with the lumpiness I'm experiencing? I did a quick search for that term and it looks like just taking a smooth object and rubbing it on the clay. Is that correct? One example I saw involved the use of a spoon, which is actually kind of funny... I read in another thread about someone using lotion and a spoon to smooth their clay, but I thought he was joking.

@ Anonymous ONI Agent: Perhaps... I was only going to make a few, but if there's enough interest I might consider doing a short run. Then again, I don't have access to the "Classifieds" section yet, so we'll see how it goes.

@ warmachineelite, Metalfr3q, and Neoproks: Thank you very much, the kind words REALLY do a lot for my motivation! Then again, it also makes me want to put more time into the sculpt before I start molding. I'm actually considering putting it off yet another week to keep working the clay, but I'm conflicted... I want to get to the molding and pull a cast soooo bad!!!

@ Nintendude: Yes, that does indeed mean a lot coming from a 405th MVP such as yourself! Your Samus was actually one of the things that inspired me to start this project.

Not to be a broken record or spam-post or anything, but I really could use more smoothing tips, please! Thanks, all!!
 
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