Figurine - Join Different Parts Together, Or Try To Shape From One Piece?

Decorating By emarcomd Updated 6 Mar 2014 , 9:16pm by emarcomd

emarcomd Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 10:50pm
post #1 of 15

Hi folks-


I'm new here and also a "self-taught"  (read: still sloppy) fondant user.


Well, I'm trying to make a replica of my friend's dog.  After all these grand plans of making some gorgeous muscle-for-muscle replica, I quickly realized that I should go for "more cartoonish" look.  


Well, I actually found a salt shaker in my cabinet that looks reasonable to try and duplicate.  (see photo)


I'm going to put the head on separately, but here's my question about the body...


Since it's so tough to get smooth can't-see-the-seams joints (like where the body meets the legs, tail, etc.) should I try to form the dog's body from one solid piece of fondant.  I'm using about 60% fondant 40% gumpaste mixture.


I was thinking about doing the easy thing and then just doing something like... umm... frosting it... or something to hide the joints, but I think that would be a disaster.


What are your thoughts?  I can try it both ways of course, but that just means I'll tear out twice as much of my hair.


And if anyone has any tips/tricks out there, that'd be great.   I've watched every "fondant dog figure" tutorial out there, and they all use joints..


Thank you!

14 replies
emarcomd Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 12:35am
post #2 of 15

okay, so here I am so far...  the head is done.  It's okay.  I know I shouldn't have put the eyes in until last, but he looked so funny without them.




(while the wrinkles in the dog's neck were an accident, the dog in question really does have a wrinkly neck - yay!)


The problem is, the back of the head looks like this:




Still struggling with the body, and I can't even imagine how I'm going to attach this head to the body that I'm already struggling with.   I *can* however, put a really big collar on the boy.   


How would you knowledgeable folks proceed?   And since there's a big empty space in his "skull" would you guys keep the tin-foil or something in there so that it doesn't collapse?   Again, I'm using a fondant gumpaste mix, about 60% fondant, 40% gumpaste.


Thanks so much.

FlourPots Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 1:43am
post #3 of 15

I'm not sure why you made his head hollow??


You could've made it by starting with a smooth ball shape, placing it in your palms, and rolling it to elongate...almost like a sausage, if you're trying to replicate the salt shaker, I mean.

CakersbyEggers Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 4:41am
post #4 of 15

You did a great job of getting the shape and features right on the head. If it were me though, I would have not done it hollow. It will make it very difficult to attach to the body without completely ruining the details you already added. I would have just done each part and attached it, then did my best to smooth the joints as much as possible. I generally use modeling chocolate or candy clay to build my figures now because it is much easier to smooth out any lines, etc. I hope you are able to get it working for you. Good luck!

emarcomd Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 6:07pm
post #5 of 15

Thanks!    I never thought about how it being hollow would affect joining it....  you're right, that's going to be..... a problem.    (sigh).

emarcomd Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 6:16pm
post #6 of 15

Hi FlourPots... the reason I made is head hollow is that..... I didn't mean to, actually.  I just kind of found myself digging my finger in the back of his head as I was shaping it, then when I turned it over I thought "what have I done???"    


So I guess the long and short of it is.. start over and don't make him hollow.   


Thanks, guys.

CakersbyEggers Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 6:22pm
post #7 of 15

Unfortunately, that is probably the best way to handle it. At least you had practice doing the head, so it will be even better this time :0). It is frustrating, but it will all work out. Post pictures when you are all done! Have fun.

FlourPots Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 7:34pm
post #8 of 15



I do a practice run for every single thing I model since I have zero prior experience with sculpting.

It does get easier...


I wanted to mention also...if you microwave your fondant/gumpaste slightly (less than 10 seconds), then roll it firmly into a ball shape, then model whatever shape you're doing from there, you'll eliminate the cracks.

Rosie93095 Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 8:02pm
post #9 of 15

If you follow any of the tutorials for animal figurines you should do fine. If you want to eliminate the Joint seams, I just put extra veg. shortening on my fingers and "smooth, smooth, smooth" . You can see the Winnie the Pooh cake I did in my profile.

emarcomd Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 8:04pm
post #10 of 15

Hi FlourPots!


I wanted to know how I can see some of your photos... can't figure that out.  I was reading a ton of posts last night trying to see how folks make dog figurines, and all the posts I read seemed to say the same thing:  OH MY GOD, FLOURPOT'S PHOTOS ARE AMAZING!   Where are those?


Also, I remember back from art classes in grade school that with plain old pottery clay you could join parts with something called "slip" -- basically watered down clay.  It'd help things smooth out.  Do you know if folks have tried that with fondant?


Ack - one more question... how dry does the fondant have to be if you're going to paint parts of it?   The pooch in question has black spots, and I was going to paint them on.  (since the spots are around the eyes, they'd be tough to use fondant for.)  And if it's not suuuuuuper-dry, should I just try markers instead?



(P.S.  I *just* got the "flour pots / flower pots" pun.  I'm pretty thick.)


Thanks for everything!  I microwaved the next batch of fondant I used and it definitely is cracking less.  Yay!

FlourPots Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 9:42pm
post #11 of 15

You can click the FB link below any of my posts, but people are way too kind...I promise you, I ain't nothin' special...

I see so much better stuff...daily!!


I haven't heard of anyone using a watered down fondant mixture for smoothing, only as glue.


I wouldn't use a marker unless the fondant surface was very dry...I find they don't work as well. I would go with paint, or I'd roll black fondant paper thin and cut out the spots and just place them on the dog..if it's thin enough, it'll appear painted.


I tried to change my name to FlourPot after I joined but the site wouldn't let me...

No idea why I added an S in the first place LOL!

mcaulir Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 9:52pm
post #12 of 15

Seams are OK, OP. If you're going for a cartoon-y look anyway, just go with the seams.


(Also, you're cracking me up. :smile: )

emarcomd Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 10:35pm
post #13 of 15

Thanks guys!   I'll keep y'all updated.  If nothing else, just so you can see my photos and feel better about your figurine skill..... 


There's also so much cat hair in my apartment that this figurine dog just mind up with a coat of real fur.  

emarcomd Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 10:37pm
post #14 of 15

And rosie -- I'm definitely going to pick up some vegetable shortening tonight... thanks for the tip!

emarcomd Posted 6 Mar 2014 , 9:16pm
post #15 of 15

Here's the result!



The dog actually does have black marks under his nose.  I wasn't intentionally trying to make a dog that looked like hitler.

The fondant sank a little while drying, so the pooch looks a bit fatter than in real life.

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