Thursday, September 10, 2009


Sculpting tool tip made from a hobby knife blade

In this tutorial I want to show you how to make a very nice sculpting tool from a hobby knife blade.

Maybe some of you already know this or even use this kind of tool because it is quite common.

Even Tom Meier who is known to use only quite a few different tools to do his ingenious miniature sculptures uses this tool. If you want to know, how exactly Tom Meier’s tool looks like, have a look on his blog. He has posted a photo of his tools there.

It is quite simple to make this tool. All you need is a blade for a hobby knife (x-acto-style), some sheets of abrasive paper and a little patience. A rotary tool with a grinding tool would be helpful.

All you have to do is to blunt the edge of the blade over the whole length.

The blade’s tip is too pointy for sculpting. So you have to grind it down and to give it a slightly rounded shape. Instead of doing the whole process with the abrasive paper, you can try to carefully break off the tip of the blade with fine flat nose pliers and then to round up the line of breakage with the abrasive paper.

Finally you also have to grind down the sharp edges on the flat sides of the blade and to round them up, so they won’t leave ugly marks in the putty while sculpting.

On the following pic. 1) you can see how to do this.

Just refine the edges and the surface of the grinded blade with very fine abrasive paper or abrasive pads. You can finally polish it, if you like.

This blade has to be placed into a holder for those hobby knife blades (obviously).
You can also use a SCHELLERT-tool as a holder for this sculpting tool tip.

That’s all. This is a nice tool for basic sculpting, like blocking out the rough proportions of a miniature and for blending layers of green stuff or procreate together.

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