Working With Worbla: Groot Sprout Sculpture

My family and I saw Guardians of the Galaxy opening day! We all agreed Groot and Rocket stole the show. (They had a great Han and Chewy vibe going.) By the time sprout Groot (baby, sappling?) showed up dancing at the end, I was hooked! I knew I had to build one.

Here’s my work in progress (WIP). Sorry I didn’t take a lot of photos. I get involved in a project and forget to stop and take them.

For reference I used a recorded screen shot from the film. I wanted to make him in the pose where he is “frozen” during the dancing. For this post, I couldn’t find the actual one I used. This photo is a bit clearer in quailty than the best I could find only a day after the film was released.

I’ve been working with Worbla lately (King Loki armor build from Worbla). I decided Worbla’s semi-rough texture would make great tree bark.

I started with the face and made a backing out of EVA foam and covered that with Worbla. I wasn’t totally satisfied with the shape (or lack there of) but thought it was good enough to press forward. The main body “stick” is also made from scrap Worbla.

His overall shape is tapered so I added various thickness craft-foam then “smoothed” the transitions with hot glue. The upper parts of the arm are wooden dowels. I wanted them to have a little more strength.

This is where I neglected to take photos. I first added many pieces of scrap Worbla strips and covered the full body, to simulate bark. Then I made several Worbla “vines” and attached those for the added dimensions. I situated them to wind up around his arms and create his fingers.

 
 

The Worbla face was really bugging me and seemed more creepy than cute when compared to the source photo. So I did a little surgery.

 
 

I reworked the face with Apoxie-Sculpt and felt it captured the character much better. I haven’t done much sculpting so I enjoyed the practice. The Apoxie-Sculpt allowed me to add more detail which made me much happier.

 
 

I primed the Worbla with a couple coats of Shellac then painted with 3 shades of brown acrylic.

 
 

The leaves are made from 1mm craft-foam. I scored lines in each leaf with an x-acto knife then applied heat which opened the lines and curled the leaves perfectly. (I learned about the heating EVA lines trick from Will @ WM Armory only a few days ago.)

The matching pot is a cut down yogurt container panted white.

Thank you for reading if you got this far. Not a super technical build but it was fun and I’m quite happy with the results.

You can find me on FacebookTwitter and Tumblr where I often post WIP’s of props and cosplay I’m working on. If you have any comments or questions you can contact me on one of the media accounts above or in the comments below.