I decided to make a tutorial since people have asked about the posing process for my models in my project log.
A lot of the earlier models were "Let's see if this works". There have been quite a few failures too. I'm going to have to pull apart a lot of the old models when I upscale the legs. The inability to ever consider the modeling process "finished" is why they aren't painted. I'm too concerned I'll want to make changes to them, or create some fundamental new process for the construction. Plus eventually I want to correct some of the minor flaws. When I pull apart some of the models, I can show a bit more of the process.
Here's a picture of the "before" on one of my most recent figures, so you can see what the model is reduced to. Though I hadn't done the second cut on those legs when I took the picture, and you can't see the torso modification. This was for a conversion challenge on another site, where they just wanted to see the "before" picture of it.
Every model I make, from Librarian to Tactical Marine, needs to tell a story, just looking at him. It doesn't have to be a long story. But you need to know something about
: Who he is, what he's doing, and where he might be doing it. Now, there's a lot of work that goes into making your Space Marines stand out from the crowd, I won't lie. It takes me a minimum of an hour to create each one of these guys, which is a lot for a model which is basically a nameless grunt. If you do the disassembly and arm cuts in waves, you can save time though. But in the end, you'll have more than just a cookie cutter trooper. Because, honestly, no matter how well you paint it, a cookie cutter pose Space Marine is pretty boring.
Part 1: Arms
But any good posing tutorial will start with arms. The arms create nearly all of the action in any given model. When you consider your arms, the key points are: natural range of movement, practicality, and comfort. I find it is helpful to try to mimic the pose. It may be fairly obviously from the start what you're thinking about doing isn't something anyone would do in real life.
Now, in part, I cheat. I was a Marine, and not only that I taught weapons and infantry tactics. So I know how I would stand, or hold weapons, and how my buddies did. But there is a wealth of great military images out there for anyone to access. Militaryphotos.net is a great place to start. They even have daily picture threads of military members from all over the world and different countries. Look up pictures from the invasion of Iraq, or the Battle of Fallujah, or even modern actions in Afghanistan. There are a ton of photographers out there with more balls than sense, heh.
Anyway, here is one of the more popular models I get a lot of comments on. Games Workshop even stole him for their LE Imperial Fists cover. And he's a really simple conversion. I added red lines to show where the cuts were made to achieve that pose.
The soft armor on the right wrist was cut free at the wrist ring, and behind the hand. Once free, it was rotated, and then reattached to the arm to create a downward angle instead of the upward one. Thus the original soft armor sculpt is retained, and there's no need for green stuff. The right arm itself is cut just under the "under shoulder". This way the arm can achieve a different angle. This one was rotated about 70 degrees so that it sits parallel to the ground across the chest. This angle is great for creating better looking "aimed" poses too, which I shall go into in a later post. The left arm is cut at the wrist (behind the wrist ring is easier, but either way works), and then rotated so that it matches the new angle of the weapon.
Examples of "aimed" poses using this same technique.
I'll follow this up with some more tutorials on popular models I've made.