How to sculpt alien skin

How to sculpt alien skin? This question arose when I was working on the Tyranid Biodiversity Project – have you heard about it? The idea was to show other variants of tyranid organisms than presented in the Codex: Tyranids.
Whether you know about the project or not, you may find this tutorial useful.

Introduction

This small sculpting tutorial will be about how to sculpt alien skin by creating a skin texture that can be used in various projects, from chaos creatures, lizardmen to Tyranids.

Step 1 ( things I need)

  • Sculpting tool
  • Hobby knife (cutter)
  • Miniature or structure to apply textured skin
  • Toothpick
  • Modeling putty (green stuff)
  • Water
  • Flat surface
  • Patience 😉

Photo: How to sculpt alien skin - tutorial

Step 2 (handling green stuff)

Cut a bit of green stuff (GS) and mix it, more yellow better for detail but takes more time to cure and also extremely sticky, more blue have the opposite behavior.

In a flat area stretch it until you reach the desired shape and size.

Photo: How to sculpt alien skin - tutorial

Apply it directly on the miniature (I created a fimo paste interior structure).

Use the toothpick and sculpting tool to handle GS, both should be dipped in water to avoid GS sticky properties.

Photo: How to sculpt alien skin - tutorial

 

Step 3 (Texturing)

Reshape the GS to fill the interior structure or miniature and cut the excess.

Photo: How to sculpt alien skin - tutorial

With sculpting tool carve parallel lines gently on GS.

Photo: How to sculpt alien skin - tutorial

Finally push it towards previous GS module in order to create space for next one.

Photo: How to sculpt alien skin - tutorial

 

Conclusion

Now that you have done the first module of the skin you just need to repeat the same steps in order to cover all desired surface. The reason why I choose to make the skin in small modules and not all at once is due to the fact you can have more control on the texture. Hope it helps you in your ongoing sculpting projects.

Photo: How to sculpt alien skin - tutorial

Have fun,

— Pedro Navarro