Forums » Figures

List of newest posts

    • December 15, 2017 4:09 PM EST
    • hmmm...

      after re-reading and braining a bit, i noticed, that i should be able to do that too.

      in the end the only real difference between our methods are the materials used.

      considering the time of the year, i dare to put a link:

    • December 15, 2017 4:00 PM EST
    • thanks for the good explanations.


      but this:

      "Remember only God and Ray Dunakin can make a man out of clay..."

      made me spill my coffee.

    • December 15, 2017 3:08 PM EST
    • it is sure fun to watch your work.

      I have several LGB figures that are modern and I want to take them back in time. What putty would you recommend for this bash?

    • December 15, 2017 2:22 PM EST
    • When I am making figures I do a little work each day because I have to wait for stuff to dry (cure). This is why I say have multiple figures going at once. I spend about ten minutes on each at a time and then set it aside. About an hour of putty work is all I really want to do in one sitting. This is great because I can switch to installing electronics, assembling a structure or smoking BBQ (come knew BBQ was coming into this sooner or later).


      I am using the techniques described above so no need to repeat them here. Instead I will just discuss the why.


      When last we saw our heroes they had were about to get their first round of putty. I started with the gaps in the arms and then filled in the sleeves. I also decided that sweetie-pie needed a coat since Aaron is wearing one. (Note here: it is way easier to add clothing rather than to remove it from a figure.) When I first started adding clothes especially coats I went from the torso out. This often lead to a lumpy misshapen garment and bulky sleeves. I have since realized that doing the cuffs and waist line first, gives me a more definitive starting point. I wrap a snake of putty around the wrist and work it up the arm letting it thin out. Sometimes this is enough and I can use the existing body, other times I come back later and fill in over the torso working my way up to the neck. The lapels or collar are added in the next putty session.


      You can see in the first pic there is only the sleeves and waist are done. The lapels and closure came next.



      First round of sanding and second round of putty work done.



      Here is your next cheat for kit-bashing figures. I get those nice sharp edges on the sleeve cuffs, lapels and waist by carefully cutting the putty with a knife after it is dry. When I am working the wet putty I let it mash out over the wrist and hand. Once dry it has the consistency of hard soap and cuts easily.


      This should finish the putty unless I find a problem in the final sanding. Then all that is left is Aaron's glasses and hair. I have an idea so I am going to try something new with both.

    • December 15, 2017 1:48 PM EST
    • A fair question Korm. Best estimate is 1 hour 28 minutes.

      I spent about 20 minutes at the band-saw. It should have taken five minutes but I was not sure which parts would work best so I had to cut up multiple figures. I also lost a few parts to being thrown around the shop at the end of the cut by the saw. This necessitated multiple trips back to the house to get more victims...I mean figures. I should have brought the entire box out the first time but as I have gotten older I have turned into my grandfather. He never brought what he needed with him, instead he sent one of us kids after it. I guess I need to bring the grandson out here and get his lessons as a Jedi Knight started. "Use the force Alan,,get the materials you can." (The force of your feet walking up to the house  )


      Five more minutes doing a little cutting and trimming with the exacto-knife to get everything lined up. Finally three minutes applying glue.


      The next step took about an hour. Once the glue was dry I used the knife to scrape the molding flash off as well as some trimming to smooth off parts I did not need like the rolled up sleeves. The last part was sanding the joints down and generally cleaning the figure up. Remember these figures are low dollar. You get what you pay for and these came in at $ .25 each. The Tamiya figures I use in 1/20.3 are about $4 each and on the rare occasion I chop up a Scale Humans or Model Humans figure I am at $10 to $20 each.


      Now the astute reader will notice that so far there is no skill involved. It is all just rough work that requires a little patience and attention to detail. I do this while watching TV at what I consider to be a hobby pace. I think if I really tired I could get this far in about thirty minutes.... give or take a finger.


      Now I am starting the part where I am working putty. This does not require any talent just a little practice and a few cheating techniques. The biggest one is the fact that I am using plastic figures as the basic shape. I am not a sculptor. If I tried to make everything from a block of clay it would embarrass most first graders. We have all seen these kinds of projects from our school days.



      Of course there is always that one smart-ass in the class that screws up the grading curve for everyone.....



      Little Brian rat fink, kiss up...its your fault I was stuck in the first grade all those years...ewww one of these days pal you are going to wear that flower pot for a hat.... but I digress


      I recommend Milliput two part epoxy modeling putty. It stays soft for about three hours and can be softened to the point of being sticky using plain old isopropyl alcohol. No need to rush to finish or break out the MEK or lacquer thinner. I put it on by getting a little alcohol on the figure and then mashing a small ball of the putty against it  To much alcohol and it will slide off but just wait a minute and the excess will evaporate and then the putty will stick. Mash it around an arm to make long sleeves or a coat. Then dip your finger in the alcohol and smooth the putty to shape. This is the part where practice helps but not in great sculpting but speed. I probably did a couple dozen figures before I got faster at it.

      I do one arm, leg or part of the torso at a time. If you have to much wet putty on the figure you end up sticking your fingers in it and messing it up. Better to work on five or six figures at once just doing a section on each at a time. It also gives you a place to use up extra putty since once it is mixed it cannot be stored. Once you get to this point there is nothing to do but set it aside and let it cure. I like to wait about twenty four hours. It is common to have to do multiple rounds of applying putty as you can see in this build.


      Once it is hard I can cut it with an exacto knife or sand it with a variety of abrasives to get the shape and details I want. I use folded sand paper in both 180, 220 and 300 grits, I also have finger nail boards in regular and coarse. Just some patience and willingness to do another round of putty if needed is all that is required. Still no sculpting talent involved which means if I can do it anybody can. Try something simple like giving a short sleeved figure long sleeves or adding a bulky winter coat. Change an arm or leg positions and fill in the gaps. Once you get a feel for these two tricks you can do anything.


      Don't get discouraged. Remember only God and Ray Dunakin can make a man out of mortals have to start with whatever figures we can find.

    • December 15, 2017 8:06 AM EST
    • Booomer,

      what you write sounds easy - but how much time did you spend on that pair up til now?

    • December 14, 2017 4:18 PM EST
    • Looking great boomer, excited to see the end results!

    • December 14, 2017 3:53 PM EST
    • The Reassembly.


      Sweetie-pie should be a little shorter but the best fit of the two figures was right here. This is most evident looking at the arms from behind.



      Here is a comparison with the original standing woman. You can see there is dramatic difference in the legs and waist.


      Next I have cleaned up the figures mold lines and joint misalignment. I also sanded that "Johhny Bravo" hairdo off of Aaron's head since he has short curly locks. The figures both have arms wearing a mix of short and long sleeves. In preparation for new duds I took off the rolled up sleeve portion of the shirts. Both figures got pins in their feet to hold them to the train platform. These will also give sweatie-pie's new feet some strength and prevent them breaking off later. For the rest of the work on the legs I shaved the kneecaps off and moved her left hand down so it rests on her hip. I had hoped it could be on the handrail of the observation deck but it was to low.


      A note on these figures for kit-bashing. They cut and sand very easily. I am also pleased with how well the plastic takes glue. I am using Testor's model cement in the orange and white tube. You can get this at Hobby Lobby or on line from Omni Models for about $1 a tube. If you have been wanting to learn to do figure bashing and painting I recommend a bag of these for practice.

      Off to work the filler. I am using Milliput for the large gaps and to make the clothing. Squadron Green Putty and White Putty are being used for small holes and joint filling.

    • December 14, 2017 3:39 PM EST
    • Boomer, you are always so creative!

    • December 14, 2017 3:14 PM EST
    • And now back to our regularly scheduled thread...


      I am going to do the people and Aaron will do the observation car. He can post his progress as he gets it done. So here we go with the peeps.


      I like Pete Thornton's idea of the fat controller except Aaron is 6'8" tall. I think that makes "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" a more appropriate theme song. I quote the late great Jim Croce:

      All the downtown ladies call him "Treetop Lover"
      All the men just call him "Sir"



      For the purposes of this build I will call him Aaron (I am not afraid of him since big guys are easy to outrun) and his girlfriend sweetie-pie since that is how he refers to her in chat. For the record sweetie pie is only 4' 10" tall.

      A picture of the prototype.


      The concept: Two peeps standing on what will be the observation deck of a Aristocraft Sierra coach.



      I am using the same cheapie figures from this thread: " Low $$$ Figures: Scale and Painting"


      To start with I selected a handful of figures to be body part donors so I could get the right pose. I then went to the band-saw and cut them up. When I cut his arms off Aaron screamed like a little school girl but it got down right embarrassing with all the begging and pleading and groveling for mercy. He did not stop until I cut off his head.



      Here is a rough arrangement. I am using the torso from one figure with the legs of another to make sweetie-pie. Unfortunately they do not have the same size waist. I have had this problem before with figure bashes and found that by cutting straight through the crotch I can take 1/8 of an inch or more out without messing up the look of the legs. You can see the kerf from the blade in this pic. Several years ago I tried to sand the waist line down from the outside but it made the thighs look huge. This is a much faster and more effective method.


      I also removed the feet from the standing woman. Her high-water pants will make the legs about the right length for the final figure.

      Next up reassembly!


    • November 18, 2017 3:56 PM EST
    • Bruce: " and points of her own sitting way up high, way up firm and high"  only my case was the back seat of a 1969 Dodge not a Chevy.  Yep, Bob Segar and the Silver Bullet band, remember it well

    • November 30, 2017 9:54 PM EST
    • Just sent Jim an order for one of his figures, Thanks again Tom, Mick


    • November 27, 2017 3:39 PM EST
    • The "Gents" is down the hall, on the left.

    • November 26, 2017 10:45 PM EST
    • Thanks Gents!

    • November 25, 2017 10:18 PM EST

    • November 25, 2017 8:56 PM EST
    • I don't do Facebook, and I don't know what Etsy is, and when I did a search for Etsy, it brought me to a shopping site.

    • November 25, 2017 8:14 PM EST
    • Contact James Barnett, "Little Plastic People" on Etsy and Facebook.  He'll fix you up with a stock or custom figure for your Sammie.

    • November 25, 2017 5:35 PM EST
    • As the title suggests, I'm looking for an engineer for my Roundhouse Sammie, something that won't melt with the heat in the cab.


      Can it be made from ceramic or clay, or does it have to be metal?


      Know of anywhere I can purchase one that is made, because my Sculpey skills suck, to put it mildly.

    • November 13, 2017 10:03 AM EST
    • The figures have now been given a wash of dark grey. This really mutes the colors and can make them look dirty and drab. To brighten them back up I give each block a semi-dry brush of their original color. This is different from normal dry brushing as it is a single heavier layer rather than gradual highlighting. The technique is to brighten the high points while leaving the dark wash in the recesses and crevices. This is what creates the shading effect. Since i only want fresh paint on the high point I find that I have to thin the paint a little to get a smooth coat in one swipe.

      You can also tell in the picture above I have not yet painted in the eyes. If your figures are at the back of the layout or being used as passengers inside a car there is no need to do this. Just leave them as a shaded area. Since these folks will be right up front I did the eyes by carefully painting them in with antique white and then dotting in the iris with basic black. A couple of touch-ups with the flesh tones and they were done. With the entire figure coated in dark grey the eyes seemed to bug out so I went back and gave them a little wash. Once dry the eyes looked much better.

      A simpler eye technique is to skip painting the whites and just dot in the iris with black. If you want to save some time or are looking for a middle ground for coach passengers try that.

      So that is the method: prime, block paint, wash, touch-up the high points and paint in the eyes. Pretty simple and you only need a basic pallet of colors. I think they look pretty good for .25 cent figures.

      Now I can get this off my workbench and back to the club. And that is my $2.50 opinion on these low budget figures.