It takes awhile to do a drastic custom model, especially when the clay takes awhile to set up and harden. I'll definitely be switching to Aves apoxie for the wings rather than my old standby favorite gapoxio. Apoxie sculpt is more of a non-toxic clay, and the feathers will be a "sizeable" feat to accomplish in themselves....
Here is the start of the neck. The factory NSH neck was too big and bulky for what was needed, so it went into the trash can. To build a new one, a wire armature is needed. I generally use twisted picture hanging wire that is easily moveable, and I attach it with glue and clay on the inside of the head and shoulders. The down side to picture wire being light and moveable - is that it does not want to stay in place very well. So after I fiddle around with setting it up where the skeletal strucuture would be, I'll then have to fill it with material to make it more stable.
Nothing is worse than spending a half an hour getting the wire just right where you want it, and then sneezing and knocking the whole thing onto floor...ugh!To stabilize the wire neck, I carefully place wadded up pieces of tinfoil into the nooks and crannies as "filler" material. I'll then use some tape to keep the tinfoil from sticking out and moving. The reason to place fillers in stuff is so that you won't exhaust all of your clay supply trying to bulk up body parts from the inside out. You can fill up areas and then put your nice hardening clay on the top. It will eliminate spending excess amounts of money at the art store buying pounds of clay just to bury it in a sculpture.
Also, filling areas with a light weight material like tinfoil and tape cuts down on weight. This guy will be heavy enough as it is, even with him being filled with light stuff. I remember when I first started out doing models I would cram everything with clay and have a 20 pound model by the time it was done. I still use some of them as bar bells for work outs......
After the neck is attached firmly and resculpted, I'll move on to the main trunk. It always looks really bad to begin with. I've hacked the belly apart and lengthened the back out. Most of the underside is gone too, just a big gaping hole from the bottom of the heartgirth back to the inside hamstrings.
There is a whole lot of resculpting to do to the barrel and where it ties into the hindquarters. If anyone has ever watched a Teke gallop, or jump, (or any movement really...) everything shows up. They are a really animated breed. The rib cage, wither ties, lower stomach muscles, top backstraps, backbone ridge, and sarcal points are evident and can be seen through the skin. Even on a fat Akhal Teke - you can see the parts working when they are moving and being active. Fascinating stuff. It's probably the number one reason why they are so challenging yet so fun to sculpt. The moving parts are clearly visible.
Starting the rump. After sawing it in half and narrowing it up a bit, I'll have to go through and rework the entire hind end. You can see that the back lower half where the hamstrings are located are bigger than where the top hip bones are located. It looks "funk-a-delic" and incorrect from the dremel chopping work.
Almost all horses - no matter what breed or type, have a triangle appearance from the hip bones back to the hamstring points. This guy will have that too....in time.