An update on Sculpting the Sabre-toothed Tiger for REBOR

Hello Kirsty Armstrong Sculpture followers! I’m currently sculpting a Smilodon Populator (Sabre-toothed Tiger) for the figurine producing company, REBOR.

The cast resin kit with wax paw detail

REBOR approached me some months ago after they began following me on Instagram and asked if I could use my ‘amazing fur sculpting skills’ to create a new piece for them.

REBOR sculptors went fully digital a few years ago and so they asked me, as a traditional ‘hand-on’ sculptor, to produce a hand built wax Smilodon.

I began thinking about the process I’d use; something I’m used to as I worked for various figurine manufacturing companies for 15 years before setting up my own business; sculpting their originals from scratch to the finished piece ready for moulding and reproduction.

British Blue Bull in wax by Kirsty Armstrong for Border Fine Arts

I suddenly had the idea of possibly joining forces with the digital sculptors at REBOR by combining digital and traditional sculpting techniques. And so I tentatively asked whether a 3D version of the musculature of a Smilodon could be printed and then cast, onto which I’d then sculpt the detail in wax … As I know nothing about 3D printing I wasn’t at all sure if this would be workable or not!

REBOR came back almost immediately saying that it was a ‘brilliant idea’ which would save time and money, and so it began!

The resin kit showing the musculature and choice of head

Once the resin casts were delivered I began sculpting on top of the resin paws. As this will be a free standing model the detail on the underneath of the paws has to be sculpted too. The little ‘stilts’ which I’ve attached to the pads will allow the rubber mould to flow underneath them and so capture the detail there as well.

A back paw sculpted as if it has weight on it and with a ‘stilt’ attached.

When are four paws have been individually sculpted on my rotating vice, the finished paws will be attached to the resin legs and body. I can then start working up the legs in wax and under the torso before the headless piece is then attached to the base board. The ‘heads’ (there will be a choice of two!) will be the last to get their fur, and will be moulded separately from the body.

More soon!

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Kirsty Armstrong Sculpture