THE TOLL ROAD TO HELL
Part Seven: The Pogosnout of Pokiefenokee

Last modified:
Sunday, December 22, 2002 6:03 PM

 

12/01/02- I worked hard all day on this, just to throw you off balance by providing two website updates in rapid succession. Of course, I can't keep up that pace since tomorrow's a work day and I'll need to watch some more Doctor Who videos. As you can now see, in the previous installment I didn't leave you with a picture of a plucked chicken, but in fact, hey... what the??? Wait just a kottenpikken minute... haven't we done this before? Lemme check...

Yup, sho 'nuff. This would be one of those things they call a "Tempura Continuity Boner" or "Hemorrhaging Thyme Fart", depending on which end of the kitchen you come from. Musta been that detour; I shoulda known not to follow the guy with the "Bejesus Saves" bumpersticker. But he looked like he knew where he was going, and I suppose he did.

The parking lot was Hell... A shopping cart occupied every space, and all the parking spaces were marked "Microminisubcompact Only". There was a single available space, but it was on the last row; No one took it because they wanted a space which was closer in. I parked there and headed off in the other direction, toward the swamp.

Hey, signpost up ahead! Gosh, it looks like we've entered some kinda alternate Reality where chainmail is optional, Nadine Jansen is the girl next door, and where History is constantly rewritten to spice it up and give it a better ending. Kewl!

"Those who forget the past will be entertained the next time it happens."

 

12/03/02- If you're vigilant, you can suppress outbreaks of chainmail and thus deter its spread along the surface of a figure. In principle, this is similar to using ground cover sheeting to suppress weeds and undesirable plant growth.

Some areas are proof against such outbreaks and generally do not require treatment. The presence of a prominent Germanic noggin will usually deter the encroachment of chainmail. However, it's wise to be prepared for the possibility of encroachment by constructing an adjustable visor.


12/06/02- Huh? What is this shit anyway??? Due to the been-there-done-that blues, it was either that, a song, or just pictures and no text. This is a pretty unimaginative & uninvolving outfit design and there aren't any new techniques or ideas worth mentioning. It's just simple and generic plate armour.

The execution is awfully rough at this point too, mainly due to the motivational inertia. There's stuff I don't like but it's borderline and not worth the trouble, like the frontal width of the pogosnout helm. I hadn't decided on a particular figure and in order to make it fit a variety of heads, the width was necessary: If it were electroformed, the helmet would not be as flexible. Real humans have flexible ears but many flexible doll heads aren't all that flexible. While you can usually squeeze the head to put it in a helmet, you can't do that to remove the helmet. That's actually a moot point because I've decided that this one will be painted instead of electroformed. The thought of all those parts which would need to be electroformed threw a wet blanket on that ambition. Now, if this were a babe...

The main pieces were originally created for a Dragon figure because I had a couple of nekkies lying around, and the Adam head was thin enough to fit the helmet... I wasn't sure I wanted to use it though. In order to make the fit of the cuirass more universal, I had to thicken the lower back because Dragon figures are very thin there. That gave me more options. Vintage Joe/Cotswold figures have deep, barrel chested torsos so the fit is very tight and almost do-able. Hasbro's CC/SAJOE figures have wide chests, but they're not as deep. Their fit seemed pretty good.

There were a couple reasons why I didn't want to use a Dragon figure: The standard version is awfully tall and lanky, and that's not what I wanted. (I'm trying to keep my figures' average height down so that the taller ones look taller, and you can't do that if most of 'em are tall!) More importantly though, the feet: Dragon figures can be aggravating to work with because in many cases the feet swivel sideways too easily. When you do get them pointed the right direction, the crummy ankle hinges often creep into a figurefall if the weight distribution isn't just right. In addition to that, the legs-hip joints are inclined to fold in tandem. This is important stuff for me because my figures often end up being fairly heavy. I thought about grafting on Cotswold feet & ankles, but that wouldn't solve the leg-hip problem. Why not just use a Cotswold figure? What about the CC or SAJOE figure? I ran through my inventory and quickly ruled out a few: The Sideshow guy have the same funky foot problem on both counts plus there's an additional axis of articulation to aggravate you-- and the figures are exceptionally tall and thin. The SOTW figure is just too tall and barrel-ish, besides having funky rubber feet. I've said it many times before and I'll say it again-- the currently available male figure choices aren't great, and that situation doesn't seem to be improving. I'd been hoping that BBI would remedy that, but a peek at their freakish "improved" figure killed that hope deader than a thang which was once living. Peeee-yewwwwwww!

One of my favorites is the old standby, the vintage style/Cotswold/ME/TC figure. A version has been available at Target sporting the "Real Hero" butt-brand (FDNY & NYPD, revived to take advantage of the WTC tragedy), and were formerly distributed by Ertl (for big bucks; reviewed here a long time ago). This particular incarnation of vintage Joe is great because they have the superior Captain Action clone hands, and their coloration is pretty appealing (for a couple o' white guys). This would have been my first choice except for the chest fit thing. The tight fit would have caused a problem with stuffing any kind of clothing/chainmail (arrrgh) underneath.

Hasbro's CC figure might have been a good choice since super-articulation is really wasted on armoured figures. Unfortunately, they have the same shelf-diving weak ankle problem as the Dragons, only worse because the figures are heavier. Hasbro's newer SAJOE, for some unknown reason, has very tight ankles. I'm a reluctant convert to the SAJOE figure, but believe it's one of the best modern figure choices out there. The retail price isn't that great if you just want the figure, but has a good balance between okay appearance and no-nonsense functionality. (The tough part can be figuring out whether a set comes with that figure or the older CC figure since Hasbro seems to package them interchangeably.)

Modern Hasbro's got some kind of fixation about making apelike figures, with long arms and high waists, but that's not relevant for this skirt-wearin' figure. Their headsculpts have become more reasonably-sized (and some look pretty good), even if they're still mounted on the legacy fatneck. I've got a list of things which could be tweaked to improve the appearance, but like I said, it's a balance, not perfection. Functionally, it's got the essentials of modern articulation without the superfluous stuff that can go spastic on ya and usually makes the figure look worse. The most important stuff is reasonably tight-- Some of it is almost too tight. On the other hand, my latest batch had borderline hip-torso articulation, super bobbly stuff. This was noticibly worse than the previous three I'd bought, which is not a good sign. However, for this project, the torso articulation isn't a big deal since the outfit is rigid in that area. Good thing too, because I'm not sure how you go about fixing that except maybe to stuff boogers between the sections. Hasbro has "improved" the foot design by shaving off the heel-- presumably to make it easier to fit it with footwear? Unfortunately, it makes it a little more difficult to stand the figure since it needs to have a slight forward tilt. But it's easy to fix with a blob of putty at the heel. "Fixing" (replacing) the oversized "Gung Ho Grip" is easy too, as long as you don't waste your time trying to remove them intact: Slice them off at the hinge and drill a hole through the center of what's left of the stump. Choosing the correct sized bit will let you insert a replacement Dragon hand, although you'll have to do a little bit of cleanup of the molten stuff which oozes out so that the replacement can be inset in the socket. The diameter mismatch can be fixed too, although that's not necessary if you replace the GHGs with Dragon's gloved hands.

Part 6   Part 8