Hoping to pick peoples brains on some modelling techniques! I've been asked to make some toppers for a wedding cake. The Bride & Groom both play hockey (the UK version) and would like to have themselves in their hockey kits (shorts and t-shirts) on the cake, posed so it looks like they are playing a game over the cake, with one of them on the top and the other on the second tier.
I've got no idea on how to model 'in action' figures though! I've done standing and sitting so far, which is fine as I can sort support out easily, but with bare bent legs needed for these ones, I'm at a loss!
I've looked for tutorials with no luck, so I'm hoping one of you lovely people can possibly help?
Every bending character I've made was entirely from flowerpaste, and supported with either cocktail sticks or wire in the limbs. Have a think about which bits need to be 100% set and taking weight, and which bits you can support by leaning against/sticking to the cake. Here's my last figure, I made the body and legs out of one piece for strength, then laid on its side while it dried so the legs were bent. The loose clothing worked in my favour for this. Then I attached an arm, propped it up with kitchen roll as it dried, turned her over and added the other arm. I added the head last as her hair would've got squashed at the back otherwise.
AIf you are comfortable modeling the figures, I would use a 50/50 combo of gumpaste and modeling paste or a mexican paste or modeling paste recipe to give you time to shape your figures. If you start early and use Styrofoam to position your figures( which should be reinforced with the wire or toothpicks as the other poster said) and extend the wire or toothpicks into the Styrofoam, so when you set it on the cake you will have added support for your cake.(Just my opinion, but it is a wedding cake and I would keep the figures on the same tier since they are marrying...it's a bride thing;0)). Hope this helps. Valerie B
Thanks for the replies!
EdibleArt, its the lack of baggy clothing that's worrying me with this request, as they want to be wearing shorts, and 'running' so I have to get the legs right, or they are going to look very odd and it will ruin the whole cake! I think I might have to experiment with some figures and let them dry in shape, and see how I go!
Valerie, I agree I would much rather keep them together (in wedding clothes!) but its the Bride that's asking for them to be on different tiers :/ I might mention to her that these couldnt really be kept as keepsakes the way she wants them at the moment, which would be a shame...
I just don't want to say yes when I'm not confident that I can make them look as good as I want :/
Does the bride know they maybe won't come off in one piece? It's worth mentioning if she really wants to keep them.
For running, you're going to need one foot on the ground and one maybe only a bit lifted off (doesn't have to be flat out running), sooo... what I would do is make the body first, push supports into it, then shape the legs around the supports (so if you use wire, bend how you want the legs to bend first). You will need to prop each leg as they dry (sideways drying makes sense here, then you only prop up one leg). On each figure, place their hockey stick so that it helps support them (basically taking the weight their lifted leg would have taken, if you see what I mean) have a wire/similar in the sticks as well. Stick an elbow into the side and glue it there! (The figure's, not your elbow lol!) The more points of contact they have with the cake, the safer they will be for transporting etc. Best of luck!
AI have soo many tutorials on Pinterest under ValerieB and there are visual tutorials under gumpaste tutorials,gumpaste flowers,figures,etc that can help you. You obviously want to do a good job and starting early is the key. See if you can find a pose you want to use...you can also Google figure modeling poses for cakes or hit YouTube for videos for your subject. I think a wire frame would be best, and little by little build and adjust your shapes with your modeling paste for your body. After you have the shape done, you can dress them...you just have to be confident that you can make what you see in your head. Check out the tutorials on Pinterest under ValerieB, check out YouTube and Google and some of the cake on CakeCntral. You will rock that cake!