Also if anyone wants to add any suggestions to the tutorial please do comment with any tips, suggestions, criticisms etc, all would be most welcome.
There has been a lot of interest following the new Guard Codex in how you could create your own Praetorian styled Guardsmen, part of this I've covered previously with adding Epaulettes to a model, in this tutorial I'll cover how I sculpt the most distinctive feature of Praetorian Guardsmen, the Pith Helmet.
To start with you'll need your subject, in this case I'm using the Cadian Sergeant head, slightly modified in advance removing the Mic on one side and giving him an ear instead.
You'll then need a blob of greenstuff, the closer you can get to the amount of putty you'll need the easier the work will be in this case, you don't want to be removing too much, but you don't want to be adding any during the sculpt either ideally, for a Cadian sized head such as this I've found a ball slightly smaller then 4mm in diameter to be about right. Taking this and applying it to the head you can form a rough shape.
This you can gradually work on getting the desired shape (it helps to have a model with a Pith Helmet - or if your like me a real Pith Helmet to use as a reference!), I find it easier to work front to back, moving any excess putty to the neck from where it can be removed.
It will take some practice, but eventually you'll get the basic shape finished, though I would add at this stage I don't try to finish the front brim leaving this until later. Using something like a flat headed clayshaper to get a smooth finish if you've not been using such a tool already. It's also worth noting that its very easy to end up with the putty starting to cure before you've finished this stage early on so dont be dishearted if your first few attempts don't work out, put it down to experience and try again later.
Your next stage is too put in the seams I find the easiest way to do this is by taking it in three stages. Firstly I use the length of a scalpel blade to lightly mark where the seams will go, then using the thin edge of a sculpting tool I gently press these seams in deeper correcting any mistakes in the scalpel line. Finally I use the flat headed clay shaper again to smooth the edges and push them inward to ensure the lines are straight and where they cross that there is a smooth transition.
Using this method I do the seam around the edge of the base first, then the lower horizontal band which merge with the base seam at their highest point, this acts as a guide to the upper horizontal band which I put in 1-2mm higher, the vertical bands follow last of all.
Hopefully you'll then have a piece looking something like this.
Once this has cured in the final stage I add the button to the top and work on the front brim, as this is at a slight angle I personally find it easier to add it now rather then too try an do the whole sculpt in one go and risk undoing work done on the rest of the helmet, though it certainly is possible to do it all in one go.
And so we have one finished Pith Helmet.