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Unsolicited Review: Pop Sculpture

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Hello all! I just got this book [url=http://www.amazon.com/Pop-Sculpture-Figures-Collectible-Statues/dp/0823095223/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377789605&sr=1-1]Pop Sculpture; how to create action figures and collectible statues[/url] the other day and thought I'd share it with you and my thoughts on it. I had read about in in Amazing Figure Modeller and when I had to go on Amazon to get some of my textbooks, I thought it was a good excuse to throw this in there too.
First off, when I looked on the cover's spine I was a bit hesitant- [url=http://crownpublishing.com/imprint/watson-guptill/]Watson-Guptill[/url] books that I've bought in the past have been hit or miss, with emphasis on the miss most of the time for me. What I mean by this is that most of the time I feel their "how to" sections have been done backwards- an artist makes a beautiful piece of work and rather than in progress shots, it shows a neatly rendered mock-up. In "Pop sculpture", the how-to (which comprises much of the book, which I'm glad for) is done right. The Athena sculpture on the front cover was done specifically for this book, as well as a Thor (traditional Norse, not Marvel) action figure. The book also shows the actual tools of these sculptors and how they've made modifications that work great for them. In other books, you may have pictures of tools but they're pristine and look like no one's even picked them up to use once which is unrealistic. I know this is for presentation purposes, but seeing a bunch of ramshackle sculpting tools held together with tape is much more exciting to me because it gives me a better insight to another artist's work process.

The book also has a long list of people in the commercial sculpting field who put in their two cents, and the book is filled with brilliant examples of the work they've done over the years. I got this book because I was not satisfied with online articles on making resin kits and sculpting, also I was very curious as how the preparation for mass casting went. This book goes in depth into all those questions and then some. Anyone interested in making larger scale resin kits, or even making an action figure would find this book extremely helpful, but for the average miniaturist here on CMON I can see this being beneficial too. It gives a great overview of sculpting materials and tools that I've never thought about before, and there is a small section on painting.

However, I must say there are some drawbacks to the book's methods. The main sculptor,[url=http://timbruckner.com/]Tim Bruckner[/url], works almost exclusively in wax. Though his results are amazing, it seems daunting to put down the 2 part epoxy putties and pick up a totally new material which I see as very ephemeral. Maybe it's just my mini-painting mindset, but to me it feels as though if I go to all this trouble to make an original sculpt it should stand the test of time. I don't look forward to storing a sculpt here in this heat and having it turn to sludge, or melting it down for base material for another. All this may happen, but I feel if it's an avenue worth taking I can at least try.

The painting section was interesting to me for two reasons- the painter Kat Sapene introduces [url=http://www.cartooncolour.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=1]cel vinyl colors[/url] and it also made me think that I could actually have a career in model painting. Though she states that the cel vinyl colors are cheap- I've yet to see any mini paints go for $5 for one ounce! Must be an industry thing, although she did have some vallejo bottles at her workspace.

So- overall, I think if anyone wants to turn professional in the sculpting or garage kit casting industry, this would be the book for them. And for the price of a single GW character mini, I feel you get a lot more out of it than just one resin mini.
(Yes, I've blogged this to more people can get a chance to become familiar with this amazing book)

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