I've been working on hands lately; specifically, hand armatures for two 1/4-scale Marine figures in the Belleau Wood sculpture I've been crafting.
I had tried earlier to make them out of wire, twisting and cutting it until it was the basic size and shape of the human hand. But it was neither rigid nor pliable enough, and so I called Mike Fay, friend and prior Marine Combat Artist and sculptor, to ask him how he did hands, as I remembered him using a unique method to form them, and I needed to get his secret.
He suggested I look up a certain book by a graphic illustrator, in which he gives a template for drawing human hands, which served as a useful sculpture template for my wire hands. Also, and just as important-- he recommended I use wax also in making the hand armature, because the wax serves the dual purpose of holding the wire and mimicking the fleshy part of the hand. This was far superior a process to simply twisting wire together for fingers as I had first tried...
Here is the basic process I used--
I printed off the drawing template I found in the book, pasted it to a piece of cardstock. I also cut out just the fleshy part of the hand, which I used to cut out the corresponding wax "flesh":