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How to Make a Custom Action Figure Head

Hey guys, it’s Greg here with another short tutorial for you.

Today I want to show you how to sculpt a head from scratch, using Sculpey, which is an oven-baked clay, over a wire armature. Now I usually don’t do heads from scratch but I thought this would be good for a tutorial or a walkthrough.

 

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The first thing I do is add the clay to the wire armature, shaping it with my tools as I go so there is a rough head shape. T

his way I just lay down some structure to the skull and a little bit of the musculature and facial features to keep everything as symmetrical as I can. I don’t really go into the detail too much, I also use some of my wax detailing tools and some ball stylus tools for this.

 

In the past I’ve found that any facial features or finer details you put before baking on are taken off in the baking process so this one was baked with just the eye sockets and some of the bone structure.

This also means I can come back to it once it’s all solidified and just keep adding on to get the finer details and facial features.

The best way to do this is to add more Sculpey and work on one detail or layer, then bake it and that layer is good to go, then you can keep adding on and baking as you go, adding more details, which is really helpful when you are sculpting like this.

 

Next thing I do is put in the eyeballs to get the shape of the eye sockets and a look at the browline, trying to find the shape of the lips. Again, just really sketching and trying to get the face as symmetrical as I can. I usually use Aves Epoxy or Fixit Sculpt which will dry in about two or three hours.

This means I don’t have to commit to anything right away. I can just put it down and come back to it, which helps for refining and trying new things, like maybe I don’t like the shape of the lips, so I can take them off and try again and look at different reference material.

 

After the head’s been baked and I fill in one of the eye sockets, just to do a little test and see what works, again using the Sculpey. If I don’t like it, I can just scoop it back out. But if I do like it then I can match the other side as close as possible.

Then I roll out two little balls of maybe clay or Fixit, which dries rock hard, and I glue those on the eye sockets and then sculpt all the flesh around it.

 

After the head’s been baked and I fill in one of the eye sockets, just to do a little test and see what works, again using the Sculpey. If I don’t like it, I can just scoop it back out. But if I do like it then I can match the other side as close as possible.

Then I roll out two little balls of maybe clay or Fixit, which dries rock hard, and I glue those on the eye sockets and then sculpt all the flesh around it.

 

I think that gives you a really good eye. Now for me, the eyes are probably the most crucial part of the head sculpt and the most difficult to get, especially at this scale. It’s very hard to measure them.

 I just have to use what I know about proportions and try to make them look like a human being and if I’m referencing something, try to make it look like that person’s eyes.

Just so they’re not crooked because that could throw the whole thing off. I like to work off like a 3D reference. That way, I can see it from all angles and say like okay, here’s how the eyes work and I try and replicate that.

Usually for a custom head, I’ll pick a head with really well defined eye detail around the eyelids or something, and I’ll trim all the head down except for that little part with the eyes and I’d sculpt around that just so I don’t have to deal with eyes. But for this tutorial, I just wanted to show from scratch and just go about it this way.

Ok, next time, I’ll be back with a painting tutorial, painting the head sculpt.

 

DISCLAIMER

Pleas note that all prices are for informational purposes only and are NOT a solicitation or offer to buy any of the items quoted.

When researching for these articles I use many different online and offline retailers and auctions to get an average value AT THE TIME of writing the article.

As such they will almost definitely be incorrect as the prices and values are in constant flux and change.

Please check my articles and videos on how to grade and value your action figures for up to date prices.

How to Grade Your Action Figures

How to Value Your Action Figures

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