Figure Scratchbuilding and Conversion 101 #1

Discussion in 'Dioramas & Displays' started by Fishcarver, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

    Hi Gang! In this thread, I 'll attempt to demonstrate the process of converting and scratchbuilding your own figures for your aircraft and armor pieces, using readily-available parts and common modelling materials.

    Our project is going to be two (maybe four, if I get ambitious!) Imperial Japanese pilots, in both Army and Navy flying kit, in 1/32 (54mm) scale. These guys will look fine with 1:33 scale planes.

    The first step is to assemble our basic materials: at rear, MOST IMPORTANT, our reference material (thanks, Mike!). From the foreground left, we have: odd leftover kit parts, brass sheet, fine wire, adhesives,a copper scouring pad (just wait, B & G!), epoxy putty, a set of Airfix Multipose Japanese Infantry figures (for the heads/facial expressions primarily), and an Alumilite mini-casting resin kit. Last but not least, common representative modeling tools. Not seen (my mistake) is a Dremel rotary tool. I have also made up a very rudimentary "cockpit tub" so that I can get the figure in a proper pose.

    What I propose to do here is this:
    1. Prepare the figure for conversion, including produce 1-off or unique parts
    2. demonstrate 1-sided mould making
    3. convert the figure
    4. cast some replicas (2-sided mold)
    5. Paint the original figure, plus one of the replicas.

    Please check your blowtorches and spare garden produce at the door. I am going to learn as much from this exercise as you will, I hope.

    The adventure will continue.......(and now, let us pray!)


    PS: Yes, Dimas, it's the same old Tractor plant! :)

    Attached Files:

  2. dimas Karabas

    dimas Karabas Member

    It is looking good! Did you get my email with reference stuff?
  3. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

    Dimas: Check your PMs.
  4. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

    Figure Scratchbuilding and Conversion #2

    We assemble some reference material first of all.

    We will be using the AIRFIX 1/32 (54 mm) Multipose Japanese Infantry figure set as a basis.

    Thanks to "Gremir Mike", we have a scale aircraft seat around which to work.

    Now the fun begins!


    Attached Files:

  5. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Hooray! Scratchbuild figures! And Japanese pilots too!! I'm looking foward to this build!!
  6. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

    Lex: Know this going in: these figs are gonna be plastic, epoxy and Brillo pads....I kid you not!!

  7. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

    A representative 1:33 cockpit tub has been noodled up.

    We are going to do this in 3 stages:

    First: Seated Pilot Figure, IJN: (1/32 scale =54 mm = close enough for Gov't work in 1:33)

    Background is 1/4" graph paper.

    First, let's select a good pose from our Airfix Multipose figure set.

    We also need a paracute pack to pad out the seat in our cockpit tub.

    The first step involves cutting the figure apart and re-assembling it into a seated pose appropriate for the 1:33 cockpit tub.

    The tan stuff is epoxy putty, which we use to fill and build up necessary areas.

    Attached Files:

  8. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

    We use bits of plastic card to build up the life jacket.

    Attached Files:

  9. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Nice, this build is pretty small... Could we have an object to compare the scale of the figure? --Or, what size are the grids in the background?
  10. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

    Lex: Sorry!! The figure is 54 mm = 1/32 scale, and the grid squares are 1/4 " = 6mm.

    Should have stated this going in. I have edited my post accordingly.

    Do not ever get old. It is a p****r.

  11. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

    Hachimaki and Goggles

    The "hachimaki" scarf is made from a piece of facial tissue,(Kleenex) that has first been impregnated with diluted white glue and allowed to dry. The "hinomaru" and characters were then done with a felt-tip pen. The hachimaki is then folded, dampened with diluted white glue, and set into place on the helmet.

    The goggles are made from two pieces of 1/8 " (3mm) card punchings, glued to some strands from a Brillo pad, glued to the helmet and carefully painted.

    Attached Files:

  12. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    Fish... focus ... FOOOOOCUUUUSSS


    Shoot it further back.
  13. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member


    I hear ya, bro.

    So, somebody is actually reading this post?


    I'll replace all pix shortly!

  14. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Of course, we had long needed to stuff somebody into our aircraft's cockpits ^^
  15. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    Yeah these planes don't fly themselves... perhaps the Kremlin can provide you with a photography team. Great now we have pictures of a bunch of guys waving big red flags instead of figures.
  16. gippolot

    gippolot Member

    Great post Fishcarver.

    Have been thinking about doing something like this for a while now. :thumb:

  17. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

    Our Flying Friend Version 1.0

    Here is, for the moment, the finished beta version of our 54 mm/ 1:32.5-1:33 IJN pilot figure.

    The parachute harness is complete, and made out of strips of masking tape, cut to 3/32inch (2.5 mm) width and cleaned of the adhesive with an alcohol swab before being painted and then cut to width.

    Colours used have been Tamiya throughout except for the face, which was Humbrol enamel matt Flesh with a touch of Leather added. The flight suit was done in Dark Earth, life vest and parachute harness in Dark Green and Olive Green respectively. Boots and helmet were matt Black.

    I did not add buckles to the para harness. Stay tuned for the 1.2 episode of this thread.......

    This, guys and gals, I'll have you know,is the first 54 mm figure that I have bashed up in nearly 20 years.

    Thanks for the support!

    More to follow!


    PS: Shoki: #1 is for you. #2 is for Mindaugas. I'm keeping the rest!! ;-)

    Attached Files:

  18. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    Camera shots are much better.

    Your paint though. Are you using a semi-gloss paint? I notice that your colors are rather one tone. Perhaps when you paint a color. Paint a darker shade first and then main areas above the base shade and then follow up the raised areas with a lighter shade of base.


    Good to see your craft will have actual people in them :thumb:
  19. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member


    Thanks for the constructive criticism .

    Most of my work in the last 20 years has been 1:1 scale.

    How'd you like to help me out with chapter 2 of this saga?


    Attached Files:

  20. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    I think the better way would be to check out tips and tricks for painting Warhammer figures from Games Workshop. I have pretty much learned my painting techniques from them. The figures are small and the effects are great.

    So I guess using their technique would be the way to go.

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