I'm preparing to do some figure modeling (people) for a cake I'm making for my husband. I've never really done it before, so I have some questions.
First, it better to paint your figures, or knead the color into the fondant (excluding the small details like facial features)?
Secondly, is it better to mold the people out of one piece of fondant, or to make the parts (head, torso, limbs) separately and somehow connect them?
Thirdly, if you mold the pieces separately, how do you connect them? Toothpicks? Royal icing?
And lastly, how on earth do you prevent cracks and craters in your fondant figures?? For example, the wolf in this picture (one of two figures I've ever attempted) is all cracky. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to make it smooth!! http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1549005&sub=1549013
(By the way, I know it's terrible. I was just kind of winging it.)
Thanks for any help!!
To prevent cracks you have to make sure the ball of gumpaste you are working with is crack free before you start. Also work fast and keep some crisco on your hands to help keep it coated so it doesn't dry out as fast.
I'm not sure there is a right or wrong way to do them, be it one piece or different pieces. I kneeded in the colors for my people (see the skate boarders in my photos). I'm not an expert as you can see, but I did them in parts and attached them. I don't like using tooth picks in them, instead I use spagettie noodles. If you attach the pieces while they are still fresh (soft) then gum glue should work. If they are dried then I'd go with royal icing.
I agree with texassugar on this one. (im no expert either lol) but i kneed my colours into my gumpaste. I would not use fondant for figures as it does not dry hard enough and that may be the reason for the cracks. Gumpaste dries much harder and will work better for modelling.
When i make figures i too use dried spaghetti to support my figures. HTH
I'm preparing to model figures too. From what I have read, you might want to consider purchasing a tutorial from Aine2. If you google "extra icing", here blog/website come up first. I Pmed here and she suggests trying to female figure tutorial first. It's not free, but I hear the amount of time and effort you can save is worth it
Ditto on the spaghetti, though I love Antonia74's RI, and if your gumpaste is firm enough, it really might be all you need. Don't go by my latest cake with the Indiana Jones lego figurine, since I stupidly attached the base of the figurine to the cake before finishing the top half (I NEVER do that, I don't know what possessed me!), and so I had to do all my detail work with restricted space and positioning, and the work turned out more sloppy than usual ... but I truly do love modelling figurines, and that's how I generally do'em (minus the part where I mount my figurines onto the cake before they're done!). Good luck!