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Outlaw Skeleton


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So what to do when you get stuck for a moment in some ongoing project and have other stalled builds on the shelf you could perhaps attend to? Well, start a new one of course. I've had the idea for a while to build Airfix old Skeleton kit once again; I built the beige coloured kit as a kid, but this time I thought I'd add a bit of interest and twist to the build.

During the summer I got hold of an unstarted box, a recent issue in white plastic, including "glow in the dark" paint that I won't be using. I won't need the display stand either.


As I opened the bag today it became clear that the kit is quite old and that the tooling probably wasn't easy to create in the first place. There are quite some flash and rather crude mould lines to clean up and some parts are warped, not only the ribs. Never mind, I can at least start and give it a try.


It took an hour to clean up and glue the first two parts, the spine to the rear rib cage. Their curvature didn't match very well and I also had to remove the mounting pegs to get them to line up. Apparently this isn't going to be a straight forward build. I began wondering how I got this together as an eight or nine year old. I even wonder how I'll get the front and rear rib cage parts to match today...


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I like your reasoning for starting this new kit. And am currently using it myself. I like your builds as they are so different and interesting. Just sitting back and waiting for the magic to occur. Carry on.

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Thanks a lot for your kind words George. I just to try to build whatever I fancy, sort of no limits, instead of continuing being stuck in the genre I was in for so many years. It has helped me a lot.

So I had a fantastic dinner and then I spent another hour on the front rib cage with knife, sand paper and a glass of Zinfandel. In the end I actually managed to glue the two halves together with CA, but the joints are horrible and will need a lot of work. I even had to glue a piece of styrene rod in one place to provide enough material to work with. There's a lot of glue there now, so it will have to be left at least over night before trying to do anything more.


I also assembled the pelvis. There's not a well fitting joint anywhere, but I suppose those bone pieces might be a little like that. A good splash of tube glue on all three joints and some wiggling later it sort of fitted OK. Another rest over night is called for.


I'm even more puzzled how I managed to build this as a kid, especially as any "resting over night" was a much rarer happening back then...

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You mean it could have such an effect? Mmm, nah, not too sure... :cheers:

I've spent another hour and half and actually managed to get the rib cage into much better shape than expected. It's not perfect but good enough for this. That was a positive surprise.


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Thanks a lot for your support guys, much appreciated.

That's a superb job on the ribs. When I made mine as a schoolboy I remember being very confused as to why some ribs crossed over others. It wasn't as I'd been taught in biology!

That was the laugh of the day :speak_cool: . Now, did you drink Zinfandel or something similar already at that age? If not, then that must have been the problem... :winkgrin:

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It's not easy to assemble this one well. The shoulders and collar bone was very fiddly to get in place. I drilled metal pins in the end of the collar bone and into the shoulders to get more rigid and defined joints, without that I don't know how it would be done. I'm using CA and resin sanding dust as filler as I go, it's quick and stable.



Then I assembled and cleaned up the upper and lower arms. It's time to start sorting pieces into "Left" and "Right" bags now.


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Just to help you out Jorgen I found the lyrics to an old song

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones,
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones,
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones,
Now shake dem skeleton bones!

The toe bone's connected to the foot bone,
The foot bone's connected to the ankle bone,
The ankle bone's connected to the leg bone,
Now shake dem skeleton bones!

The leg bone's connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone's connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone's connected to the hip bone,
Now shake dem skeleton bones!

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones,
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones,
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones,
Now shake dem skeleton bones!

The hip bone's connected to the back bone
The back bone's connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone's connected to the head bone,
Now shake dem skeleton bones!

The finger bone's connected to the hand bone,
The hand bone's connected to the arm bone,
The arm bone's connected to the shoulder bone,
Now shake dem skeleton bones!

Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk around
Dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk around
Dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk around
Now shake dem skeleton bones!

Just incase the instructions are a little unclear :thumbsup:

Edited by Knikki
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All the bones have been assembled and cleaned up, as have the hands and feet. The knee caps look a bit odd and that pin extension will have to go. Not sure how they were meant to be fitted with that still in place.


The skull was also assembled and the joints cleaned up after the somewhat crude fit. But I have always liked the look Airfix gave to it.


Two 4 mm pin heads can be used as eye balls...


With all parts prepared this far he now needs to be raised on his legs.

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Raising him was a bit tricky. I taped the feet to the base and then attached all leg joints loosely. I could then hold him up in the desired position and ad a drop of CA to each joint to just lock them in place. Then I could use ordinary glue at the hips; tape them together and some more CA to the other joints. It worked surprisingly well.



When this was dry I could clean up the ankle joints, removing the rivet heads.



I cut off those pins from the knee caps and glued them in place. The back of the knee joints needed a little bit of filler.


Then I could start putting the arms in place. The right lower arm was modified a little to allow a different angle of rotation. The left lower arm is still loose as I can't decide its position yet.


Modifying the hands and fingers require each joint to be cut and then pinned in its new position to make the joints strong enough. Takes some time but is worth the job.


Here we are now. The left hand is just taped in place for the photo; it will need work done to it later before it and the lower arm can be positioned.


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Thanks a lot mate!

I knew all along that a top hat was an absolute necessity. I thought that would be quite easy to buy somewhere, but it seems this Barbie Ken guy doesn't have any taste. Not that I'm surprised. But I found a few simple patterns on the web, so I thought I'd just scratch one from 0,25 and 0,5 mm sheet plastic. I measured, calculated, resized and printed a pattern. How hard can it be?


I cut out the template for the brim, shaped it and the fit looked fine. Then I quickly cut the other parts and soon the hat was coming together. It was about then I realised that being a hat maker in the late 19th century must have been a very demanding profession held by highly skilled and proud artists with a long training behind them... The hat I had just done suddenly fitted like crap and the shape didn't look very good either.


Obviously one size doesn't fit all. I had to start all over again. I altered the ratio of the pattern based on the first failure and some more measurement and printed that. Then it was just doing it all again, but better.


Experience seems to count, as this time it all looked better in every way. After some more sanding I was quite happy with the result.


And it fitted a lot better. As a hat maker I probably have a long way to go to become accepted, but it will do for this customer.


I finished it off by adding a thin band around the crown, which can be painted with a different shine for some added detail.


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