Although I know I'm in the minority, for me the best Swords & Sorcery movie ever made, barely beating out Beastmaster, was the first Conan movie with Arnold. Truthfully, I thought the second one with Arnold was pretty good too. I know, I know, most people hated that one. In preparation for my fantasy game next weekend at Barrage, I wanted to make a female barbarian to go with my male barbarian I already have. Hopefully, there will be some girls there who would like to play a female barbarian and I want to be ready!
I thought about doing Red Sonja, but I decided to do something different, and more consistent with my favorite S&S movie. For my female barbarian figure, I decided to do the signature look that Valeria had when the trio (see picture below) broke into the Serpent Cult and stole back the King's daughter.
At first I was going to go with a much larger figure. The actress that plays her in the movie is quite the Amazon, but to provide contrast with my huge male barbarian, and because they will both have the same game characteristics, I thought it would be cool to have a female barbarian who was much smaller than the hulking male.
I thought it might be instructional to take you step by step through my construction process because a) you can see how I do it, but also because b) I've never done a figure like this before, so there will be a learning curve ... translation = I'll screw it up several times before I get it to look like I want it to.
The core figure itself is quite simple, as I've opted to use the shaker peg as the main body and head all in one. This saves time, I like the look of the shaker pegs in general, and also given that she really wears little in the way of armor, the smaller shaker peg is perfect. Also, she wears nothing on her head so the usual mushroom cap that I like to use for heads just wouldn't look right. Great for helmeted heads, but not so good for bare heads. Below is all that will be needed for construction, specifically a shaker peg with a rounded top (can be hard to find, most have mushroom tops), a 1" precut thin wooden circle that comes in a bag of a bunch of different sized precut circles (all useful by the way), three 1/8" tile spacers, and one thin pointed flat stick that also comes in a large bag of probably 100 of them in the bag (from any craft store).
Easy thing first, though, and that would be the sword. Cut the pointed stick to the length you want and then take one of the tile spaces and us the middle part where all 4 arms come together as the hilt. You will end up cutting off two arms that are opposite each other right up to the center of the tile spacer. The other two will also be cut, but don't cut them flush up with the middle section. If you do this, you'll create a rectangle. Then cut that rectangle in half (it will be too thick for a figure this size's sword). See picture below.
Now you are ready to glue the sword together. Glue the blade into the notched part first and then glue the thin straight piece on the other side of the blade opposite the notched part of the hilt, thereby sealing the blade inside the hilt. Hard to see in the picture below, but it should look something like this.
Now the other tricky arm, the right one. Cut another tile spacer down to where you have the one arm still attached to the middle square piece. Then take another of the arms you just snipped off and lay them at a 45 degree angle to one another. This arm is flat up against the body and the arm bend is actually a little more than 45 degrees. See picture below for starting point.
Now you'll need to cut the piece for the upper arm. Tricky thing is, you want to use the rounded part of the arm because it looks like a shoulder, so you won't be throwing that part away. But you have to judge the angle. So take another arm that you trimmed off a minute ago and lay it so that it is at the right angle. You will then be better able to make the cut on the upper arm piece at the angle you want. After you have done that, you can glue it to the lower arm (all of this is in the next two pictures).
Now we have all of our pieces done, the glue has dried, and we are now ready to assemble the figure. Below are all the parts ready for assembly.
Next I trimmed the handle of the sword (made it more narrow) because the hands of the figure will be closer together than the normal width of the sword's handle. Not too tough once the glue is dried, just be careful not to cut your fingers. Then I glued on the right arm so that the hand pieces of each arm come together to make a 45 degree angle but do not touch. Use the sword's handle width as a guide for how closely to make the arms. As before, a little to wide is a lot better than a little too narrow as glue will fill in the gaps.
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