Saturday, October 1, 2011

Experimenting with Shapes

I started experimenting with new shapes and I thought I would talk a little bit about them.

One of the areas where I have not been too happy is with the shape of the arms of some of my figures. Using a flat craft stick, although it gives it a whimsical appearance, it creates a problem with some figures poses in that there is not a lot of surface area for adhesion and that the arms disappear when viewed from certain angles, must like flats or paper figures. In order to put some "meat on the bones", I started experimenting with what was essentially a scrap piece of wood that I threw into my bits box.

The figure to the right is from my Stock of the Trade - Clothespins blog entry and shows the two types of clothespins I was using for various projects. Specifically, the areas in pink were being used for figure bodies, while the uncolored portions were essentially being cast into the woods bits box. I had also used those pieces for the legs in my Steampunk Clockwork Soldier. In this experiment I show how to use those bits for arms on my 42mm soldiers.

Below is a sample figure using the clips from the larger clothespin (MCP-400 in the American Woodcrafter's Supply catalog) as the arms.

If you are wondering what the figure is, it is a Bokharan infantryman, circa 1866. (I bought the book 19th Century Central Asia and the Himalayan Kingdoms and thought the figure looked cool, so I decided to try and make one. I will be building other figures from this book in the future.) The figure itself is the standard Boy game piece with a Heart shape for the feet, and the clothespin clips for the arms. A standard flat toothpick acts as the rifle. The fur hat was made by cutting the top off of the Boy, gluing a larger diameter dowel on top, then gluing the piece cut off of the top of the figure to the dowel.

Overall I like the look of the new arms, even if it does increase the expense of the figure (now I have to buy clothespins in addition to all of the other pieces). At least I can use what was previously good scrap wood, however.

One last experiment was carving the legs. All I did was remove some additional material between the legs at the ankles to give more of a trouser look. Although it takes more effort I like the look.

I did a little more work on the Clockwork Steampunk Soldier, finishing off the arms and priming it black.

Although the raised left arm looks a little 'unnatural' in how it is raised to crush an opponent, I am not too worried about it as I envision it swings with a spinning motion more mechanical and less 'organic'.

Another figure using a new part – a flower pot – represents a Central Asian figure in a tall cap much like a floppy fez, but with a fur edge.

I think it will look pretty convincing once it is painted and the 'fur' is roughed out.

Finally, I am always looking at shapes and how to make new figures that can add some variety to those of the game pieces above.

In this figure three wooden pieces are used: the doll head for the head, a 'barrel' bead for the body, and a spool for the legs and shoes. The only thing I don't like so far is the lack of a neck, so I would probably through a small piece of dowel between the doll head and the barrel bead.

Well, that is all for now.


  1. Thanks. I just have to stop spending so much time on Flames of War over on my other blog.




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