The prototype is used to create the molds that will shape the plastic components for the mass-produced figure once all design elements have been completed. The complete sculpting process might take up to two weeks, depending on the sculptor's ability and pace. A single mold can produce several thousand pieces of castings, so many sculptors specialize in making multiple parts that can be assembled later.
In addition to designing figures that capture the essence of characters, artists must also consider how they will be displayed. Does your character wear clothes? If so, where should they be stored? What type of home should he or she live in? All of these factors go into creating a successful action figure.
Figures range in price from about $5,000 for a simple repaint to over $100,000 for highly detailed sculptures. Although they are made from plastic, figures require specialized tools to complete them and are not something that most people can do at home. Therefore, professionals who work in this field are needed by manufacturers to help bring their ideas to life.
Figure makers often start with a rough sketch or template and then work from there. They may use computer software to help with design concepts or they may just use their imagination. Either way, they need to understand what they are trying to achieve with their figure before starting work.
Sculpting the toy can take one week to three weeks or more, depending on iterative modifications, customer response time, technical issues, or even license holder permission (if it's based on a licensed character or property). Manufacture and assembly of the toy typically takes one week. Shipping varies by model but is usually about two weeks.
Here are some of the factors that may affect how long it takes to design a toy:
Licensing- If the toy is based on a licensed character or property then it must be approved by its owner or licensee before you start sculpting. This may delay things if they aren't responsive enough or sensitive to your ideas.
Iterations- As you modify and improve upon the original concept, you may need to make further modifications or changes. This could add time to the process because you need to stop what you're doing and start over.
Size- Large toys can take longer to design than smaller ones. The more details there are to work with, the more time it will take.
Complexity- More complex toys will take longer to design than simpler ones. There's more room for mistakes as you get into more detailed areas.
Money- If you use money instead of free materials then that will also add time to the process.
The high expense of a bronze sculpture is due to the many hours of hands-on effort necessary, as you shall discover. Once the artist has produced the clay sculpture, the full procedure in the foundry can take anything from six weeks to four months to produce a single bronze. The artist may work on several versions of the piece, which will increase the time required.
All sculptures start out as balls of wet clay. The artist then uses various tools to shape the clay into different forms. In order to preserve the original form of the sculpture, only the most rudimentary tools are used; no knives are allowed into the clay until it is completely dry.
The next step is to fire or cast the sculpture in a furnace. The heat from the fire changes the state of the clay from a liquid to a solid. This process takes place very quickly, so the artist must work fast to avoid losing his or her creation. The metal tool used by the foundry worker is called a "scraper", and it is this that actually removes some of the metal to create the impression of age and use on ancient statues.
After casting, the piece is finished off with a fine polish to give it a nice glow and almost mirror finish. Sculptors often add details to their works after they have been cast, particularly if there is going to be text written on the piece.
How much time does it take? On average, I spend between 10 and 20 hours creating a comprehensive digital artwork. Occasionally I take a longer route, and sometimes I take a quicker route. I spend between 1 and 3 hours on faster speed sketching. Sometimes I use a few shortcuts to get my ideas out quickly.
Because I don't want anyone else to do my work. I love doing things myself instead of buying them. Also, I find it difficult to estimate how long something will take. So I just go ahead and do it all at once.
Do artists ever get paid more than others for the same job? Yes, but only if they are famous artists. The value of their work is what determines its price. If you ask me to draw a picture of you, that's not going to pay my rent or feed my family.
So yes, artists can get paid more than others for the same job. But only if they're famous artists with high-quality work. Otherwise, they won't see any money at all.