Polymer Clay Ideas Part 2: 5 Polymer Clay Monsters
Monsters are a popular and great subject for polymer clay sculpture. This is because there are no rules when creating them. In most cases, the laws of human and/or animal anatomy don’t apply to monsters. One is free to allow their imagination to go anywhere. Here are five polymer clay monster ideas.
Creating monsters from polymer clay
There’s nothing I like more than creating monsters. There is one problem though. We live in a time where so many ideas have already been taken. From Greek mythology to Tolkien to Dungeons and Dragons and everything beyond and in between, coming up with something completely original can often be difficult. No one knows this better than myself when I tried my hand at creating an original line of sword and sorcery based action figures. Every time I had a new idea for a figure or name, I ran a Google search to see if someone had already come up with it. It was back to the old drawing board on many occasions.
Still, I really wanted to create a line of completely new monster characters. I focused my mindset on the following scenario – if I were (lucky enough) to contribute my very own monsters and submit them to the Monster Manual, by Dungeons and Dragons what would I come up with? That’s how I approached creating my polymer clay monsters. I really wish I had the wonderful opportunity to do something like that for a production such as Dungeons and Dragons or He-Man and The Masters of the Universe. I’m not at a complete loss here. Yes, those days are long past but the good thing is we live in an age where the internet is a powerful tool.
While I’ll never have a platform such as Dungeons and Dragons, I do have a website that anyone can see all over the entire world. In some ways, I have the potential to reach even more people. Of course, I’m not under the impression that this website will become as we’ll know as the writings of Tolkien, but there’s still some potential. Right now I have no boss so I can go whatever direction I want. I have no one to answer to yet my website is available to the entire world, not just a channel at a set time and day. Who knows what will become of it, perhaps nothing but I did buy the domain name for a minimum of ten years.
1. Vulture inspired polymer clay monster
I had the idea to create something like a humanoid vulture. This figure is Bone Stealer the Buzzardwere. This figure came together perfectly in a matter of hours. He has a tail of feathers which assists him in standing. While Bone Stealer probably isn’t the first bird-like humanoid, I couldn’t find anything quite like him.
He also carries a pouch for his arrows. I chose to make both the bow and arrow out of clay. If I had it to do over again I would have gone with just the craft wire. Still, such a minor detail isn’t anything to fret over. I was able to write a part for Bone Stealer right away since I had a poem I needed three polymer clay monsters for. Detailing the feathers was the most time-consuming part of the entire project. This was somewhat painfully accomplished with a toothpick. One of my favorite creations.
2. Swamp inspired polymer clay monster
My first polymer clay creation is the goblin-like Gulik Horridus of the Troglodytaum. As soon as I finished with him, I had the idea for a polymer clay swamp monster. In my mind, I pictured a creature that was entirely built of stones, rocks, and boulders which are held together by vines, branches, and roots. The final result came out as the Creeping Darkstone. Creating this figure was easy, at least, in the beginning.
I started out with the craft wire skeleton and meticulously wrapped it in tinfoil. I then started rolling up balls of all sizes to resemble the rocks and stones. He came together beautifully and I thought I was in the clear.
I had a very odd experience baking him that I hadn’t had before or since. For some reason, the colors in the clay ran into each other leaving him in need of a complete paint job and glazing. Since I was still totally new to polymer clay sculpture then, I must have made a mistake in the baking process although I’d be hard pressed to know what I did wrong. As I mentioned, such an issue never happened again. All in all, the Creeping Darkstone remains a favorite of mine. My wife doesn’t like him and says he looks sloppy. I think it’s because I had her paint him and she became very frustrated with all the intricate details that needed painting. I’m the sculptor she’s the painter.
3. Serpent-inspired polymer clay monster
I knew exactly what I needed when I began designing this demon-like serpent monster. My story called for a leader of the bad guys and I wanted to make something completely sinister and evil-looking. In the later 1990s, I was a venomous snake handler specializing in vipers. I actually had a pet rhinoceros viper who was incredible to look at.
When I began creating a serpent-like demon monster out of polymer clay, I thought how great the pattering of the rhinoceros viper would look on this figure. I was right, this is one evil-looking bad guy. From there I just tried to make his hands and face as alien and demonic as possible. Eventually, I came up with the name of the Black Wizard Witalis Atrox. I think he’s even viler looking than Skeletor.
4. Giant inspired polymer clay monster
By the end of my first run with polymer clay sculpture, I still had some ideas of crossing a hill giant with a cyclops only instead of having one eye, I gave him three. I also wanted a skin color that really made the figure pop. Up until this point, I had created many figures but never focused on skin color to such an extent. I couldn’t recreate this color if I tried. Orange mixed with some red?
I’m not really sure but I kept mixing the colors of the clay until I felt it was truly vibrant.
The idea of him standing on a boulder didn’t work out as I originally planned since he can’t stand on his own. Yes, out of all the figures I created, only this guy and one or two others can’t stand on their own feet. The idea of having a boulder came from his need for a weapon. Since he primarily throws boulders at a would-be attacker in either offense or defense, I figured having a boulder nearby was a good idea. Unfortunately, that part of the idea didn’t work out so well. Otherwise, I think he’s pretty good.
5. Troll-inspired polymer clay monster
There’s an interesting story behind this troll-like polymer clay monster. Like Bone Stealer the Buzzardwere, I needed the third and final polymer clay monster for a poem I had written. In fact, it was the most important of the three monsters in the poem and I already knocked it out of the park with Bone Stealer and the Weregoat came out okay too. I now needed a winter ghoul.
The problem was I didn’t have any kind of vision or direction with this idea before I sat down to create it. I knew I needed a winter ghoul, that’s it and I paid for it. So, I sat down without a clear idea of where I was going and I started creating the figure. As the figure began taking shape, it reminded more of a troll and not a ghoul. Even the skin color didn’t represent what a winter ghoul needed to be convincing.
Ultimately, I just went with the troll and decided to go back to the drawing board with the winter ghoul. I just made sure I had a cleaner plan on the second attempt. Anyway, Gorblur the Haglid Troll was born. Not an undead specter of the night but a big, clumsy, smelly, hideous greenish troll with a pot belly. At least I was able to get something out of that particular polymer clay session. If you ever find yourself in a situation like this I suggest you just go with where the clay takes you. Complete what you’re doing and don’t throw it out. Go back to your original plan the following day and just finish what you started with today.
Here’s what the winter ghoul eventually turned out like. This is much more of what I had in mind for such a character.
While I shared with you some of my favorite polymer clay fantasy figures do note that there are also plenty of creations that I’m not as pleased with. If you create enough of them, some won’t come out as well as you hoped for. This is just part of the game, it’s nothing to get frustrated with. I’m sure those who’ve created monster prototypes for movies, games, action figures, etc, all had to go back to the drawing board at some point. The important thing is that you’re having fun doing it. When it stops being fun, your creative juices have dried up and your work won’t be as good as when you’re inspired. Hopefully, you’ll find a way around any creative blockage. You can start by taking a break, resting up and getting recharged. Do something you enjoy. Listen to a certain kind of music or watch a movie which invigorates you. It’ll come around.