Introduction: Legend of Zelda: Age of Calamity - Sooga Polymer Clay Figurine
Hello and welcome!
In this Instructable, I will be taking you through the 4 month-long process of how I made this clay figurine of the Legend of Zelda character, Sooga!
Sooga made his first appearance in the most recent Legend of Zelda game, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, and myself already being a huge fan of the Yiga Clan in Breath of the Wild, I was super excited to see them return!
I thought Sooga was so cool and I immediately fell in love with his character- so I decided to make my own figure of him!
I originally wanted to make him into an action figure with detachable swords and all, but I couldn't figure out how to make functional joints using polymer clay. I then decided to change the idea and make him into my first polymer clay figurine.
- Reference images
- Aluminum foil
- Jewelry tools
- Polymer clay
- Sculpting & carving tools
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Rolling tool
- Acrylic paint
- Homemade wet paint palette
- Super glue
- Tacky Glue
- Sewing thread
- Clear plastic
- X-acto knife
- Red paper
- Paper Mache paste
- Paper (for paper mache)
- Lots and lots of patience
Step 1: Creating the Armature
I decided that I wanted my figurine to be around 5 inches tall, so I followed reference pictures and made a quick drawing of Sooga to guide me as I make the armature, and later on the details of the figure itself.
To create the armature for this figurine, I used thick jewelry wire and shaped it around my drawing. I initially made the armature without arms as I was planning to make interchangeable ones so that he could have different poses, but I later scrapped that idea.
I then wrapped the armature with a thinner wire to make it more sturdy, and then covered it with aluminum foil.
Step 2: Applying Clay and Bulking
After I constructed the armature, I started to add the first layer of clay. Once I had shaped it around the armature (carving away excess clay), I started work on sculpting his muscles.
For his chest I flattened two small balls of polymer clay and smoothed it onto the figure. For his six-pack I also rolled six smaller balls of clay and smoothed them onto his stomach area.
While working on his back, I figured that adding more muscle made him look bulkier than his character really was, so I decided to just make his spine and surrounding muscles defined (which I did by carving out a thin line and shaping the clay around).
Step 3: Creating the Collar
To make the collar I cut out an upside down U shape from a sheet of clay, making a small cut for the back of his neck. I then cut the edges of the collar at an angle and finally attached the collar onto the figure. I then used two tiny strips of clay as the collar's front trim.
Step 4: Chest Straps and Buckle
To make the straps and buckles on his torso, I cut thin strips of clay and applied them to the figure. I then also rolled and flattened tiny balls of clay to be the studs on the straps.
To make the eye detail on his back, I cut out the shape from a sheet of clay and added a thin tube of clay around the border. Then I added a small ball of clay (slightly flattened) to the center of the eye.
Step 5: Leg Details (Straps, Knees, Elongation)
It was at this point that I realized that the figure's legs were looking kind of stubby, so I decided to elongate them! To do this, I just cut off the clay on his legs and extended them by un-coiling the wire that was looped to create his feet.
After fixing his leg armature and reapplying the clay, I wrapped a thin tube of clay around both of his legs and smoothed out the bottom half of both to create the illusion of the top of his leg wrappings.
To create his bent knees, I used a sculpting tool to make indents. Then to create the straps covering his knees, I rolled out another sheet of clay and cut out the shape according to reference pictures.
Step 6: Adding and Sculpting Arms
Since the original armature didn't include arms, I had to make separate ones to attach into the holes I marked beneath his shoulder!
To create the arms, I used the same wire as the armature and wrapped it in aluminum foil. I then applied a layer of clay like usual, but made three sections of indents, marking his shoulders, upper arm, and elbows + forearm.
After sculpting and bending his arms into position, I attached a thin strip of clay to be the straps which separate his shoulder from upper arm as well as the straps circling his shoulders.
Step 7: Creating Hands
Even though every part of making this figurine was difficult in some way, nothing will ever compare to making HANDS
I purposefully made the hands separately since I knew it would be hard to make them while attached to the arm.
To make them, I flattened a ball of polymer clay and made four cuts to make each finger, as well as a lower one for the thumb. I then smoothed out the tops to make them more round and finger-like.
I added and flattened tiny lumps of clay on the back of the hand as well as on the palm to add thickness so that it wasn't entirely flat. I then made indents on each of the fingers so they were easier to bend.
Lastly, I stuck another small piece of wire inside the hand, which I then attached into a hole on the figure's arm. After attaching the hand to the arm, I smoothed out the clay to seamlessly join them.
Step 8: Arm Details (Shoulder Armor + Arm Wraps)
To make his shoulder guards, I flattened a ball of clay and pinched two ends of it. I then used my clay knife to add some scratches to seem like battle damage.
After creating the shoulder guards I moved onto making his arm wraps. I made some small cuts around his arm to seem like the folds of the fabric, then placing and flattening a thin tube of clay near where his arm bends. Lastly, I also flattened a small ball of clay on the backsides of his hands to be the backside of his glove, finishing the details of his arm wraps.
Step 9: Progress: Bake + Overview
I decided to finally bake the figure so that I could continue adding details without smushing my progress.
Before baking him, I used rubbing alcohol and a paintbrush to remove dust and fingerprints that had accumulated while I was sculpting him.
Since my figure couldn't stand on his own at this stage, I had to place him on his back for the baking process. To prevent his backside from flattening, I put a pile of baking soda to cushion him.
Step 10: Creating the Head: Head Details 1 (Straps + Mask)
Now that Sooga's body was mostly finished being sculpted, I started work on his head and his Yiga Clan mask!
To make his head, I used another ball of clay as the base, which I flattened in his face area to better fit this mask.
To make the straps holding his mask, I again used thin strips of clay and a tiny, flattened ball of clay to be the stud in the center.
To make his mask, (I used white clay because I ran out of red) I shaped another flattened ball of clay and slightly pinched one end for the chin of his mask, and rounded the other two ends for the top of his mask.
Lastly, I made a small hole in the top of his head so I can later insert his headpiece.
Step 11: Creating the Head: Head Details 2 (Horns + Earrings)
After making his mask, I moved onto making his horns and horn earrings.
To create the horns on the top of his mask, I cut two thin strips of clay and used the rounded blade of my clay sculpting tool to create the rounded shape.
To create his horn earrings, I rolled out a tiny ball of clay into a very thin cone and very gently rolled my clay knife onto it to create indents around it. To attach it to his mask, I used the same method as when I attached his hands to his arms.
In this step, I also finally added the crack in his mask which I forgot earlier!
Step 12: Creating the Belt
To create his belt, I cut four thin strips of clay and placed it around his hips to create the shape of his belt.
Since his belt has an alternating pattern of light grey and dark grey sections, I used my clay knife to make small cuts marking those sections
After finishing sculpting his belt straps, I cut out the shape of the eye-shaped details on his belt from a sheet of clay and applied it onto his belt. I then smoothed on a small ball of clay on top of them so that they'd be round instead of flat.
Step 13: Building the Hair/Headpiece
To build his hair, I constructed another armature from much thinner wire and wrapped it in foil. I then stuck the armature into the hole in his head, and made a small hair tie from a tiny ball of clay.
Following reference pictures, I shaped clay around the headpiece armatrure. Since his hair has kind of a rectangular and blocky shape, I had to do a lot of flattening and sculpting to get the right shape.
After this step, I baked the figure again!
Step 14: Arm and Leg Spikes
To make the spikes on his arms and legs, I cut small strips of clay into very thin triangles ans shaped them with my fingers to five them a slight curve.
Each arm and leg has three spikes, arranged from largest (closest to his elbow/top of his leg) to smallest (closest to his hand/bottom of his leg)
I put them to bake and then used Super Glue to attach each spike to the figure.
Step 15: Miniature Dual Windcleavers (Creating Hilts + Wrapping)
Since the main figure was finished being sculpted, it was time to move onto accessories!
In the game, Sooga uses a type of sword that closely resembles a Windcleaver (a weapon used by Yiga Blademasters in Breath of the Wild). While the sword hilt is the same, his swords have a different blade.
To create his dual swords, I started by making the hilts. I shaped and cut rectangles out of clay (slightly curving them) and then using liquid glue, I joined a small and flattened ball of clay to the end of each rectangle to be the sword's pommel. Then I added a very tiny and thin strip of clay around the top of the pommel.
After baking the hilts, it was time to wrap them. I wanted to attempt tsukamaki, but it was nearly impossible to do on such a tiny scale and with the materials I had, so I made up my own wrapping technique using red sewing thread.
Using a dab of Super Glue to attach the end of the string, I wrapped the very bottom of the hilt about three times, then I started to wrap at an angle. I repeated this step on the other side to create a rhombus-shaped gap in the wrapping. I used Super Glue along the way to keep the thread from moving around.
Step 16: Miniature Dual Windcleavers (Sword Blades + Hand Guards)
After creating the hilts, it was time to make the blades and hand guards! Instead of using clay, I decided to use clear plastic from packaging.
I first drew and cut out a tracing template of both the sword blade and the hand guard and traced it onto the plastic. I traced and cut out about three layers for the blade and only one layer for the hand guards.
For the sword blades, I stacked the layers and used Tacky Glue to glue them together. Once they were dry, I then sanded the blades and hand guards so that the paint would adhere better and so the edges were smooth and uniform.
Step 17: Miniature Dual Windcleavers (Creating Sword Scabbards)
Next step was making the scabbards for the swords!
For this step, I decided to use clay again. I cut out two thicker rectangles of clay and cut off the top of one end and rounded out the other. Since I didn't want to risk ruining the shape of the scabbards, I only hollowed out the top rather than the entire inside (it didn't matter that they weren't useable since the swords themselves weren't detachable from the figurine). Afterwards, I sanded the inside with a tiny piece of sandpaper and added small handles.
Since the inside was still rough, I put a thick drop of Mod Podge to coat the inside so that once I painted them, the inside would look smooth.
Step 18: Painting (Base Coat + Main Colors)
It's finally time to paint!
I struggled to achieve the exact colors of Sooga's costume since it seemed to vary with the lighting in every scene he's in.
Since I knew this step would take a while, I made my own homemade wet paint palette to prevent my paint mixtures from drying since they would be difficult to replicate.
I first gave the figurine a white base coat and then moved onto painting applicable areas (torso, collar, head, legs, arms) with my reddish-orange paint. Once that dried, I then painted the applicable areas (arm, leg, and finger wraps, leg and head straps, and sides) with wine colored paint.
Step 19: Painting (Black + Grey Details)
After painting the red and purple details, I moved onto painting the black and grey details.
I first painted his straps black and then moved onto his belt details. I painted the belt's eye-shaped details with a base coat of black and then painted the belt itself and any outline details with light and dark grey.
Step 20: Painting (Belt + Shoulder Details)
In this step, I painted his legs grey, added silver dots of paint as the silver studs lining his belt, and painted the eye-like white details on his belt and shoulder guards.
Step 21: Painting (Hair, Collar, Horns, + Arm & Leg Spikes)
After painting the details on the rest of his body, I moved up to painting his head.
I first used black paint on his hair and then moved onto his collar, painting a thin white line along the collar's border as well as the yellow details on the inner part.
I then moved onto painting the horns, using the same wine color from the rest of the figure for the ones on his mask. After, I painted his horn earrings yellow and used red paint on the very tip.
Finally, I painted his arm and leg spikes using a metallic black paint!
Step 22: Painting Progress Overview
Overview of the painted figure!
Step 23: Painting (Sheikah/Yiga Eye + Katanas)
Now it was time to finally work on the mask!
I first drew out his mask's upside-down Sheikah eye using a very sharpened pencil and carefully went over it using the same wine colored paint (also using white paint to fix any mistakes).
After painting his mask, I made a wash with black paint and water to darken the thread on his katanas.
After, I painted the gaps black and painted an eye detail on the center gap with gold paint.
Step 24: Painting (Scabbards, Sword Blade, Hand Guards)
Back to his swords!
I painted the scabbards using dark red paint and then used dark grey paint on the ends and handles.
Then I used black paint for the hand guards and a mixture of metallic white and silver paint for the sword blades.
Step 25: Painting (Hand Guard Details)
In this step, I had to paint every detail on both sides of the hand guards. I painted a silver outline around the hand guards, followed by the details in the center!
Step 26: Painting (Sword Scabbard Details)
After painting the hand guards, I moved onto the scabbards!
Similar to the hand guards, I also painted the exact same details on both sides of the scabbards. I used silver paint to make the mini Sheikah eyes at the bottom as well as the eye detail and Sheikah lettering on the top part.
Once dried, I used Super Glue to attach it to Sooga's belt!
And now the figurine itself is finished!
Step 27: Creating a Figure Stand (Paper Mache + Painting the Base Coat)
With the figure itself being complete, I decided to make him a figure stand!
For the base, I used a circle of clear plastic packaging which I thought already seemed like it was shaped like a stand. I burned a hole through it using my hot glue gun nozzle, and used hot glue to insert and secure a wooden dowel.
To make it easier for paint to attach (and because I thought the texture would be cool) I decided to cover the stand in paper mache using paper mache paste and pages from an old workbook from school.
After letting the paper mache dry, I then painted on a black base coat followed by a coat of brown paint.
Step 28: Creating a Figure Stand - Painting (Sheikah Eye + Swirls)
For Sooga's base, I thought it would be cool to recreate the Astral Observatory floor from Breath of the Wild during the final boss battle with Calamity Ganon (since it has the Malice infested Sheikah design and the Yiga Clan are technically evil Sheikah!)
Following reference images, I drew out the Sheikah eye and patterns using a pencil and the went over it with a light brown paint. On the inner part of the stand's rim, I painted some Sheikah swirls.
Step 29: Creating a Figure Stand - Painting (Sheikah Lettering + Malice)
Next, it was time to work on the juicy part- the pink Malice details!
I first painted the center of the Sheikah eye and surrounding patterns with pink paint, followed by a coat of purple paint around the outer rim of the circle. Once dried, I drew and painted Sheikah lettering in magenta. If you look closely (and can translate the game's Sheikah alphabet), I spelled out Sooga's name and some words which are related to him and the Yiga Clan!
I included names and phrases such as "Sooga", "Kohga", "Yiga Clan", "Mighty Banana", "Karusa Valley", and "Windcleaver".
Step 30: Creating a Figure Stand - Painting (Final Details)
After painting the base color of pink, my next attempt was to make the pink Malice details appear as if they were glowing (just like in the game!)
To create a glowing effect, I lightly dabbed on white, light pink, and even red-pink paint and lightly brushed it away with my finger. I outlined the pink details with the red-pink paint to make the color pop out more.
After working on the pink details, I decided to add some shading to the Sheikah swirls by applying brown paint and again brushing it away with my finger so that it would appear faded.
And now the stand is finished!
Step 31: Creating Sheikah/Yiga Ofuda
For my very last step, I decided to make some Sheikah (or Yiga?) cards/ofuda which appear in a puff of smoke whenever the Yiga Clan appears or flees! This was mainly for photographic detail, but I thought it was still a fun thing to include.
To make them I cut out thin and small rectangles from red paper and used a light yellow paint for the details!
And now we're done!
Step 32: The Finished Product!
Here is the finished polymer clay figurine of Sooga! 👁️
Even though it took FOREVER I had a lot of fun making this project! He isn't perfect, but I'm really proud of how he turned out especially for being my first full clay figurine.
If you have any tips, questions, or comments, please feel free to reach out in the comments below! :D
If you enjoyed this Instructable, please consider voting for it in this year's "Fandom" challenge and/or checking out my art Instagram and YouTube channel! (I'll be uploading a full timelapse video soon!)
Thank you! :)
(And happy late 35th anniversary to the Legend of Zelda series! Hyah!)
First Prize in the