The framework of my modeling this time will be wire! My good break from the world lately has been sculpting. With plans of pushing my understanding of 3D form in Zbrush, I definitely see my improvements after pursuing other forms of modeling. Anywho let’s talk armature! A strong armature is important but that does not mean it has to be the thickest aluminum you can find. Choose based on the size of your sculpture. The armature I am building will be 8 to 12 inches high. I find that 20 feet of a 1/8th wire provides enough stability for my structure.
Alright, we need to choose your proportions. A good way to start is with the legs. This way when building up the torso we can wrap the wire around the pelvis and build up. Choosing the length is a personal perference but make sure you leave some so we can hook some feet like in the image below. This will help the armature stand and we can use that space inside our loop to drill a nail if you choose to have a platform.
Now bending the wires should not be too tough but try to use a object to help bend the wire over to create nice hard edges for the hips, shoulders and such. It won’t feel as labor intensive just yet, we’ll save that for the clay.
Create some room for your hips and plan to wrap your torso wire around the pelvis point. This will bind and be secured with plumbers putty that will harden like a rock. So we’ll have bendable wires but a stable pelvis as the source of stability.
I choose to use the same wire for my arms as my spine and then some extra to bend a hand. Some may do it separately as we did with the legs. After a good wrap, be sure to twist the wires around each other not to just hold the wires together but to create a grip for the clay so that there will be no sliding.
Now it is important to have a second wire to wrap around what you have built for the support and grip with clay. If you have a fairly thin character simply choose a thinner wire and start wrapping!
Now I have some more wires to go but after that we’re ready to bind, pose and skin!