Last modified: Saturday, January 6, 2001 6:20 PM


Gosh, it's like my birthday too!"

In the last couple of months I've written a lot of opinion pieces in the form of figure reviews and articles about the issue of figures and figure-making... Wondering if I'd ever actually make anything again? I admit that it's harder now because I've already made most of the stuff that I've wanted to make, and motivation is everything. This time, the motivation is partly to provide material for the website, so I'm going for that perennial favorite again, T&A.

Despite the favorable feedback that I received about the "Little Sister" figure, I've gotta go where my hormones yank me, so I'm back to Big. However, as a concession of sorts, I've deliberately chosen a real-life naturally endowed person to serve as inspiration. As you should know, in real life, balloons the size of Gretchen Gazonga's are not naturally occurring and require the patented Mark Eden technique, supplemented by a lot of Zen meditation. While it's difficult to prove the naturalness of flesh visually, you can feel confident knowing that everything you see at alt.boobflesh.natural is the real McCoy.

The research for this project required days of staking out that habitat. Well hidden behind the electronic version of the underbrush, my guide and I waited patiently and observed silently as the cavalcade of fleshly postings flowed in both dribbles and spurts. For the most part, the parade of nudified female fauna was uninspiring. Far too much chaff, and among the passable, very little of which could be considered interesting, and a far cry from awe-inspiring. The tedium was taking its toll and the fatigue of maintaining peak alertness almost proved too much by the end of day one. As luck would have it, by the middle of day two, our persistence paid off. Amidst the clutter of humdrum boobflesh, we spied the first trickle of what would prove to be a flood of magnificent proportions: Ms. Lindsey.

The intention of this research wasn't to find a likeness to create. That would be difficult and somewhat pointless since for a likeness to be meaningful, the audience should know who the person is. I doubt that visitors to this site would frequent such tawdry environs! Instead, Lindsey was to serve only as inspiration and to define reasonable, real-world limits for the sculpting endeavor.

Once again I decided to resculpt the head issued with the figure (Nursing Jane) instead of scratch sculpting and casting one. If you're only making the head for one figure and it's not a likeness of a famous person, this is much quicker.

First, the back of the figure's hollow head was sliced off and the inside of the head was bedded with epoxy putty. This makes the head rigid so that putty on the exterior won't lift off (because the plastic can't be flexed). Backfilling the head is also important since grinding the molded hair to baldheadedness usually leads to hole-in-headedness. You want something underneath besides air.

I grinded off all the facial features because I wanted to be sure that whatever I sculpted would be my own, and not the work of the original artist. It's a way of taking charge of the sculpting, and not letting the preexisting stuff take charge of you. I'm okay with the idea of using the artist's original size decision and eye socket placement though. Just having the neck-mounted head at roughly the correct size and shape is a good starting point and saves you lots of time.

Finally, a curved styrene plate was glued to cover the hole, the putty was placed on the head and sculpted... very quickly. This is a true test of your sculpting speed since you have to do almost everything-- roughing in, symmetry and detail -- all while the putty is initially barely workable and before it becomes totally unworkable. Don't attempt this with 10-minute plumbers putty! Even a slower curing putty like Milliput or Magic Sculp will cure far too quickly. That's one of the interesting things about working with putty-- it's a moving target and you have to keep adapting to it as it cures. Of course you can make corrections after the fact, but it's not as easy as when the material's still pliable. Major structural changes are a pain in the ass.

All my headsculpts tend to look the same, probably because you usually make what you usually make. As you can see, she's typical Jimbob-snarly. Trying to sculpt a likeness in a medium which cures rock hard while being forced to work so quickly is foolish, but I did use the pics as a guideline. Ms. Lindsey has a very attractive face, in an unusual kind of way-- her nose is slightly wide & bulbous tipped, and I'm a sucker for that kind of thing. I was forced to wing it anyway, since 99% of the reference pics depicted a friendly, smiling face. I try to avoid that if I can, so I gave her a slightly open mouthed look (just like Jane, only meaner looking).

As I mentioned elsewhere, there's not much to say about doing the hair. This time I used doll mohair, bleached slightly to make it less red. It's more matted than yarn which gives it more of a frizzy, unkempt look. But it makes it easier to apply since there are fewer sections. It's glued on with Fabri-Tac, starting at the bottom-- the upper sections hide the messy excess glue gunk. You just have to be careful with the glue flow and handling at the top exposed sections since glue looks really ugly when it shows. Yes, it's a nasty job and it helps if you wipe the sticky stuff off your fingers.


A new project gives the opportunity to try out new ideas and techniques, so I thought I'd try my hand at building some elbow hinges instead of using the ones from the Jane figure. I'd originally proposed something along these lines in a short article called "Articulating an Idea" a couple years ago.

You don't have to start totally from scratch, since brewing polymers is probably beyond most mortals' abilities. You may recognize the bare joint in the center from the original AAI article. It's a modified nylon hinge from the radio controlled plane section of the hobby shop. Most of the improvement in the modern superarticulated figure hinges (har har) on the use of the ganged hinge, which is two simple hinges daisy-chained or ganged together. To keep up with the times, it was necessary to convert the airplane hinge to the more fashionable ganged hinge. Easy to do with some styrene plates and tiny screw/nut combos. (BTW, always put the screw and nut on the same hinge plane, or moving the hinge will loosen the nut.) Styrene probably isn't the best choice because it's a fairly soft plastic. However, the slickness of the nylon contacting surface minimizes the wear.

Cosmetically, the hinge itself could look a lot better. Three styrene plates mate with the two nylon flanges which make the hinge sturdier, but it also creates more total exposed seam area, which are perceived as lines which make the figure look less organic, and therefore less realistic. It would have been better to use a single thicker piece of styrene sandwiched between wider-set nylon flanges, but you use what you're given.

The top pic is the same hinge in the process of being cosmetically blended to fit in with an arm. (Okay, it's an early pic. And I'd like to say that it looks a lot better now. Unfortunately, I can't.) The hinge doesn't really need the center piece cosmetics to work. But how it's designed to fit with the arm pieces determine how good the hinge looks. It's not an easy thing to design either, since it's prone to look like a lump stuck to the back of the hinge centerpiece.

Note that the bicep twist is integrated with the hinge at the top. That's why the end of the upper arm terminates with a straight cutoff instead of being scooped away at the front: if the hinge stem rotates within the piece, you don't want it to hang on an irregular cutout. Ideally, it would be better to give a convex shape to the center piece's end so that it could fit within a concave cutout in the upper arm. This would make that end of the hinge look better when it was bent. I didn't do it like that because it's iffy enough getting the damn thing to work. Besides, the arm hole is off center, and closer to the front. (Those after-the-fact design revision ideas really suck.)

The lower arm is fixed to the hinge, which is why you can build up the sides to make it blend better with the central hinge area. The stem doesn't need to rotate within the lower arm piece since the hands have their own rotation hinge.

On the bottom is the old-fashioned lowly simple hinge which doesn't have the same range of articulation. Funny thing is, it looks much better than the one on the top-- not just because that one's homemade. When it bends, the side view looks much better. So it's a question of priorities... is the extra range of articulation more important than the looks? I guess if you're just experimenting it doesn't really matter...


Must be the exposure to all the fashion doll-ish figures lately, because I think she looks kinda like a Barbie doll, LOL! She does have some extra detailing that Barbie doesn't have though, heh heh. (I decided against developing the "Custom Affection Mechanism".)

Originally I was thinking of making a huntress/female antihero type of figure for the "Primal World" thing, but her fashion show looks ruled that out. Then I thought I'd give her a tongue-in-cheek ersatz law enforcement theme; "Tender Weapons And Tactics" (and I don't need to spell that out, do I?), complete with a "Flash/Bang Breakaway Bra". I really wanted to use one of those Dragon SDU quick release connectors, but the smallest one was still too big and bulky. Then it was the 'Nam theme: I liked the idea of the camouflaged web gear bikini. I made a couple mini versions of that style's belt buckle, but ultimately didn't like the way the camo material fit-- it was too stiff. So finally, I ended up with this white thing with the buckles, which I'd intended to paint. By that time, I was thinking of loud beach colors, since she's got that beach bunny look. But it's hard to get started since I like the simple look of white too (until it gets dirty)! Makes her look like a lingerie ad. Man, this customizing stuff is tough. I guess she could use a navel ring and a tatoo or two...?



The bikini is a remarkably versatile outfit which goes with nearly everything (except nudity).


They're nobody's Angels