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  1. HI all, it's been pretty slow on the modelling front for me this Christmas. My Airfix QF 17-pounder is patiently waiting for a suitable diorama base to be sourced - it also awaits the gun crew from the kit to be assembled and painted. However, one additional figure I need for the diorama is a civilian - specifically, a Dutch teenager as portrayed in the reference photo shown in the WIP thread (here). I can't find any suitable figures to fit the bill. So, I have decided to make my own using a technique I have used before for garden railway figures, albeit in a larger scale (1:22.5). It involves the formation of a wire armature for the basic 'skeleton', which is then plied with a suitable putty (you may already know I have a preference for Milliput, but of course there are others) and then shaped to form the finished figure. Before I launch into my progress on this, I thought I would share the details of a book I have found very useful when considering customising figures: Published by Osprey Publishing: ISBN-10 : 1-90257-923-2, ISBN-13 : 978-1-90257-923-8 Usual disclaimers apply, I am not an agent or employee of Osprey, etc etc - just a happy customer in respect of this book! One of the concepts it attempts to clarify is that of the 'rule of eighths'. In simple terms, this is the notion that an adult human will typically be proportioned such that the overall height of the figure is 8x the height of the head. Of course, this is not a hard and fast rule, but it serves as a rough guide. Using this idea of 8ths, it follows that the bottom of : The first 8th is at the bottom of the chin The second 8th is in line with the nipples The third 8th is at the waist line The fourth 8th is at the pelvis and groin The fifth 8th is half way down the thighs The sixth 8th is at the bottom of the kneecaps The seventh 8th is half way down the shins The last 8th is at the soles of the feet In the past I have made templates for a given height of figure at a desired scale by marking out these 8ths, and the positions of the principal joints (shoulders, hips, knees, ankles), on an ice-lolly stick, annotated with the intended figure height and scale. In this case, I am looking to produce an individual 5 feet tall in 1:32 scale: Given that my 1:32 scale teenager is not quite a fully grown adult, I intend using my left-over 1:35 scale Hornet head that didn't make the cut for the M3 Grant crew. When offered up to my template, the head height coincides almost perfectly So, the armature... The best material to use for this is soft wire. In the larger scales of my past experience, aluminium florists' wire is ideal, but it's a bit on the thick side for this smaller scale. However, I found that the kind of coated wire that one finds in the packaging in kids' toys these days is great. So, blessed with an abundance of that from Christmas, that's what I used - in any event, a length of wire about 2 and a half times the length of the lolly stick should be plenty: To make the armature, I wrapped the wire loosely around my fourth finger and twisted the two ends together for a length from just below the first 8th, down to the fourth 8th. The key word here is 'loosely' - you need to be able to get the loop of wire off your finger at the end! This twisted length obviously represents the spine: I then bent the legs at the hips to better form the legs in their correct alignment, and with a marker pen I marked the positions of the knees: I then made a start on fleshing out the skeleton, but only roughly, using blobs of Milliput to represent the thorax, the abdomen, the thighs and the lower legs. This gives a measure of stability to the twisted wire, but at the same time allows me to arrange the pose (standing straight, sitting etc) as the occasion requires: Once the Milliput had set, it was safe to cut the loop (about half way round) to form the arms: That's as far as I have got with it. Next up I need to decide on the pose, and make it permanent by coating the rest of the wire in Milliput. Thanks for watching Oh, and Happy New Year!
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