I got this idea of making a Star Wars themed cake topper when a client used my sculpture of Yoda for her wedding cake topper. I think it's fun to have wedding themes and for Star Wars fan couples, this is one way of showing the Force to your guests.
Step 1: Materials
- Polymer clay. ( This is an oven-baked modelling clay. I used Premo for this project. Colors: white, black, light grey, light brown, burnt umber, yellow)
- Sculpting tools: needle tool, ball stylus, paddle tool
- Acrylic roller or pasta machine
- Liquid polymer clay. ( I used Fimo Dekogel)
- Genesis heat set paints or acrylic paints
- Cookie cutters
- 4 pieces head pins and extra for the head and arms
- Paint brushes
Step 2: Millenium Falcon Base
To make the base for the figurines to stand on, I rolled out a flat piece of grey clay around 2 to 3 mm thickness or setting 2 in the pasta machine. I used a 7 cm diameter cookie cutter to cut out the main body of the craft and smaller cookie cutters to make circular indents on it. I also cut out triangular and rectangular pieces and placed that on the craft based on a reference photo. I additionally used a needle tool and ball stylus to draw lines to add more texture to the piece as shown in the 5th photo.
To secure the figurines in place, I used 4 head pins and stuck them through the base.
Step 3: Sculpting the Bodies
I started sculpting from the foot up. So for Han Solo's boots, it's an elongated piece of black clay with a tapered end. I lifted the tapered part to for the foot and stuck both boots on the 2 head pins. His legs and pelvis are rectangular shaped blue pieces that I also stuck on the wire armature. Then I used flesh color for his torso and chest which I later wrapped with yellow and black flat pieces of clay for his shirt and jacket respectively. Then I added a flesh piece for the neck and stuck a wire on it and 2 short pieces of wires on the side of the chest for the upper limbs. For the upper limbs, they are elongated flesh piece with a tapered end, covered with a flat yellow piece, just exposing the hands. (9th photo) These are then positioned on the figurine with the rounded end stuck on the wire. I also added a brown belt and a grey buckle.
For Princess Leia, I used flesh clay for the body, starting with the legs, which are elongated rods, then I added a rectangular piece for the pelvis. For the torso, an inverted triangular piece and 2 circular shapes for the breast. I then covered the body with a thin flat piece of white clay for her clothes, starting with the skirt then the shirt. I also added a neck and stuck a wire on it. I didn't add wires for the arms since they will be positioned on the side of the body. Her arms are made similarly as Han's.
At any point in making these, you can pre-bake the piece to avoid distorting what you've already sculpted. Just don't forget adding in the wire on the neck part where the head will be later on added.
Step 4: Sculpting the Heads
To sculpt the head and get a likeness of the characters, I took some reference photos to guide me and used an awl as an armature to avoid distorting the head.
I start out with an oblong shaped piece and mark horizontal lines for the eyes, nose and mouth. Then a vertical midline to help me be symmetrical with both sides of the face. I used a ball stylus to indent the sockets then add 2 tiny round white pieces of clay for the eyes and 2 even tinier brown pieces for the iris. Then with a needle tool, I drew the upper eyelids.
For the nose, I used a paddle tool to gather clay from the sides of the face towards the center or you can add a piece of thin rope and blend that piece with the rest of the face.
Then I added more clay for the chin and sculpted the mouth by subtly pushing the upper lip up and indenting the lower lip where it meets the chin.
I then rolled very thin rope pieces of brown clay for the lashes and eyebrows.
Sculpting Princess Leia has the same steps but keeping in mind the features based on the reference photos.
After sculpting the heads, I stuck them on their respective necks and pre-baked the piece for 15 minutes.
Step 5: Sculpting the Hair
Before I add hair on Han, I sculpted on his ears as shown in the 1st photo. Then I placed pieces of light brown clay on his head and using a paddle tool, shaped it according to the photo, with a parting midline, side burns and slightly wavy hair. Adding texture with a paddle or needle tool. (4th photo)
For Princess Leia, I used burnt umber for her hair. It's a thinner piece of clay with a parting midline. For her side buns, I rolled a thin rope and positioned it on the head as shown on the 7th photo.
I pre-baked the piece again before painting.
Step 6: Finishing and Painting
To add thickness to the base, I rolled a sheet of white clay on setting 2 on the pasta machine. I added liquid clay and placed the base on top and cut off the excess.
I painted the base a very dark grey color, then rubbed off the excess with a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol. Doing this helps to make the texture on the base pop out and add depth.
For the face, I used peach and pink to add blush and lip color. I also added some shadows around the eyes, sides of the nose with a very light brown color.
After painting, I baked the piece fully for 30 minutes in a 130 degress celsius oven. Bake yours according to your clay manufacturer's recommendations.
May the Force be with you.