“Californication” a step by step by Stavros Zouliatis


Hi, my name is Stavros Zouliatis and I’m a freelance sculptor. I started back in 2013 sculpting figures at all scales and run my own company “Miniature Tale” and I also collaborate with commissions for other companies too. I have known Jason pretty much since the beginning and I am happy he asked me to share with you one of my latest projects.

Here is a step by step tutorial about my project “Californication”.


A few words about the concept: The story is about two brothers, in the deserts of California, living in their cage, waiting to give you their services! I suspect they are not very nice men!

  • For the terrain I’ve used several materials, such as polymer clay, clay, wood glue, plastic parts and balsa woods. First I’ve put the clay for the ground and then build the walls with polymer clay. The bricks are scratch build and when I m finished with that, I’ve used liquid clay for the walls, to make it more realistic. The door was made by using balsa woods, as long as the columns and roof.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Secondly, I’ve made the tree using wires and just marked the place where it shall be located on the vignette, before I proceed to make the ground.
  • Then, I’ve used wood glue, to make and give shape for the ground. While the glue is still wet and adhesive, I have placed some rocks and sand of different grades, to make it more realistic, along with some plants/vegetation. At the walls I have added a window and gutter, these were made with green stuff mixed with milliput. To achieve the final shape and texturing for the tree I used polymer clay.
  • For the terrain I’ve also used a commercial kit bike and for various details in the terrain, I built some tools, wheel, ropes etc. using again green stuff mixed with milliput.

The final result  about terrain is ready! As you see all parts with green colour is the green stuff (scratchbuilt items), the barrels are made with polymer clay and using some metallic parts and real chains.


  • There are two figures, a fat and a thin guy. For both figures I’ve used Beesputty (it’s the only putty I’m using for making figures) and made at 54mm scale (to the top of the head).
  • For the fat guy, I’ve made an armature by using bronze wire and begin to add bulk with green stuff and using some cork as a stable base. The reason of green stuff, is that after putting in it the clay (Beesputty) it sticks perfectly and is really helpful to start scratching the first steps.
  • After putting some clay, I’m starting to give the shape of the head and the whole body. To do that I’m using medium hard shaper brushes and this is the result.

Before I’m going to bake it (Beesputty and polymer clays need to be baked to 130c and for 15 minutes) I make sure that everything on it is just perfect (from anatomy to clothes and the tools about our guy). Then I’m baking it and here is the result of our guy.

In case you might need to add something on it, you can fill in it , even if its baked and then baking in it again (the clay can be used again, more details can be added to a baked clay without destroying any previous sculpting).

  • For the second figure, I’m following the previous process. Make the armature with wire and green stuff, using some cork as a stable base, fill in it with putty and start giving the shapes to it.

Firstly I am giving the figure correct anatomical shape, then I begin developing the clothing and details, this helps to ensure the best possible result. Remember that even if you are going to dress him, a good looking anatomical shape, gives you better result on clothing the figure.

So our final process have done and we are ready to put our figures into the terrain.

Final act: Painting.

So this was the process of making the “Californication” project.

Hope you like it and enjoy it , as much as I did, please enjoy the full gallery below!

Stavros Zouliatis