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How to Create RC Pilot Figures

    • 1). Carve the basic human outline with the foam cutter from a foam block sized to fit your airplane's scale. Carve the head and shoulders in front-to-back outline first. Turn your foam block one quarter turn and carve the profile. Include a helmet, goggles, breathing mask or any other equipment needed by your pilot.

    • 2). Round off the corners of your pilot bust. You can still use the foam cutter for this if you are careful, but the closer to a fully rounded human outline you get, the more you will want to switch over to the more precision sculpting tools.

    • 3). Begin shaping the large details using your sculpting tools, which can be found in crafts stores or online. Clay or wood sculpting kits usually come with a variety of scrapers, carvers and other pointed instruments. Start with the larger tools and work your way down in scale as you add details.

    • 4). Mark the large surfaces of jackets, helmets, goggles and faces. Once you can see the figure's personality begin to emerge, switch over to your detail tools. All artists have their own techniques, but a good one is to begin detailing by working on the pilot's eyes. They will set the tone for the rest of the face.

    • 5). Give your pilot an expression. He could be smiling, scowling or sticking his tongue out with effort. To establish your pilot's emotion, focus on the corners of his mouth, the wrinkles under the eyes and the shape of the eyebrows. Experiment with different looks.

    • 6). Add final touches to your pilot's clothing once you've got his expression set. Carve cloth wrinkles, buttons, pockets, safety straps, buckles, snaps and zippers. If the scale you're working with is large, use a fine tool to add stitch marks and seams in clothing.

    • 7). Seal your sculpture with water-based spray art sealant, available at craft stores. Let dry for an hour, then begin painting the major colors of your pilot figure. Let dry for an hour again.

    • 8). Use fine-tipped brushes to add details. Work from the inner details to the outer. For the eyes, paint the whites first and let dry, then paint the irises. For large scale, add just a touch of gold to the irises, let dry and paint the pupil glossy black. Let dry again and add two "eye shines" to each eye with miniscule drops of glossy white paint on the iris and pupil areas.

    • 9). Create a wash with one part paint to three parts water. Use an ochre or medium-dark brown color. Brush on the wash and let it run down the surface of the figure. It will pool in the deeper areas, bringing out details in your sculpture. With the tip of a paper towel, carefully absorb excess wash. Let dry.



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