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Repositioning arms, legs, hands and heads

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I am reaching out for help to take stock figures from a kit and make them into other poses that look natural using proven techniques. I am willing to put in the time but I need some resources on the how too. Moving supplied arms, heads, hands and legs without ending up with a figure that looks like something out of the movie "Thing" is my challenge. I have seen some bad attempts and I am trying not to stuggle through a self taught hack job. Thanks for any assistance you can send me.

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No 1. Think of yourself as the prototype.

If I may, I'll assume you are a normal person with all limbs intact. 

Study the way your own limbs turn and fold. 

eg, stretch out your arm and hand with the palm upwards. Then rotate your hand. It will go about 270* around, but not at the wrist, it needs the elbow and a bit of the upper arm to rotate as well. Take your leg & foot. You can rotate your foot about 80* inwards but only about 45* outwards - again this needs the knee and thigh to rotate as well. Notice how skin will stretch around an elbow as it bends, but on the inside of the bend, as you get to 90* the skin and muscle has to bulge outwards as it has nowhere else to go.


Modern clothes - post 1950s, stretch and crumple in the manner of skin.

Before WW2 material did not have much stretch so as an arm was bent the sleeve retreated up the arm, same with trousers, retreating up past the ankle.

Pre-1850-ish clothes had no stretch at all and were worn much looser to accommodate the stretching and bending of the body, without them tearing. ( look at the renaissance fashion of 'slashed' over garments. The slashes were so that the top garment could be tight fitting and not rip open, it also showed off the expensive silk garment underneath)


2. as to modelling. Cut the limb to be altered through its joints. Drill a small hole in the end of each part and glue in a short piece of copper wire. Bend the joint to the desired position and fill in around the wire and in the gap with your chosen fillers. Milliput is the favourite but Plastic Soup has it uses as well. When the fillers has hardened file away to shape, adding more fillers as necessary


3. Build up a spares box of body parts. Buy broken kits, badly built kits, missing parts kits and reduce them to the spares box. You can end up with arms and legs already moulded to close to what you require.


I cross kitted two Airfix 54mm Collector Series figures for this one. The top half is mostly the 1815  Coldstream Guard, the bottom half and arms came from the 1776  British Grenadier. The arms & hands and legs needed altered for this pose, done as per no.2 above. Fillers were also need around his bum & lower belly to match the Grenadier legs to the Coldstreamer torso



hth a bit

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