Last modified: Monday, April 2, 2001 5:12 PM

I have no name.
I have no home. I have no memory of a childhood filled with joy and loving parents.
I have only memories of endless days of steel, nights of haze, and eternal unfulfilled longing.
I am Generic Fantasy Warrior.




Hey, look... I'm really sorry about last night, y'know? I was tired!

Yeah, right Stud. I suppose the brew didn't have anything to do with it huh?

Well... uh... It's a little bit hazy. Maybe I did overdo it. Hell, I'm paying for it now, that's for sure. But I swear I'll make it up to you!

Yeah, like you're gonna get a second chance? Sorry, Bucko. You had your chance and you blew it.

Awwww, c'mon Minx... Ouch!

You got a problem, Bud? Am I being too rough with you?

Ouch, dammit! Hey, I'm sorry! And can you leave out the burrs and thumbtacks this time?

Maybe you'd like to dress yourself, Hayseed? A big strapping man like you oughta be able to get it up for that.

Dammit, stop pinching me! That hurts!

Look. I'm really sorry about last night. I know that you're pissed and you have every right to be. But didja ever stop to think that maybe it's not just me? Maybe this job is getting to you? Sheesh, this has been in production for over a year now! Endless retakes of the same scene, with that crazy director screaming shit that nobody can understand. And what's with the idiotic light sabres? Wearing that thong of yours day in and day out with the thermostat set to 60 has gotta be a drag. Hey, my nipples are rock hard too! After wearing this crazy getup all day long, I know I need some serious unwind time.

Nice try, Slick. Whaddja do? Go back and read my page? You're pathetic, and it won't work.

Well, it was worth a try. But y'know what? I'm glad the sham is over. Hell, even though I'm an extremely studly-looking guy, the cruel irony is that even if I hadn't puked all over you... well, as they say... game over.

What the hell are you talking about?

I mean... we weren't endowed by our Creator. We're frickin' dolls! Have you ever taken off your thong? I checked myself... nada. Nothing. Zippo.

Speak for yourself, Nojack. This pretend studly thing is some kind of sick game for you, isn't it? You get your ya yas from puking on boobs? What a pervert... All hard on the outside, but nothing where it counts! Not only do you not have a name, but you don't even have a gender!

Ouch... You sure don't pull no punches... and I respect you for that! Listen... Can't we still be friends???

Awwww... shaddup and pick up your damn cues.


...By your command, Imperious Leader...



Gee... wasn't that fun? Notice how the women get to play the strong-willed roles in these dramas? Try not to read too much into it; Everyone knows that women are better endowed than men (and the genderless).




04/02/01- Here are a few leftover thoughts from the project:

FASTENERS Fasteners are one of those mundane necessities that I rarely talk about. In the past, I've used etched Rio Rondo buckles and made my own cast pewter ones too. In this project, I used much simpler homemade fasteners, in bunches of places: the clamshell armor at the sides, the shoulder guards around the arms, the knee protectors, the boot lacings, the sword belt. It's sort of a turnaround as far as looks versus functionality goes... These are basic eye and hook fasteners made of wire, and similar to the sewing notions type. As a variation on this, the front breast armor has metal strips extending at the top toward the back, bent up at the ends. The rear armor has cutout slots which fits over those hooks. The side armor is similar, but uses hooks on straps. This is probably not very realistic (if we were to worry about such things in a fantasy project). It's a compromise between realism, the "look", and just practical functionality. The problem with small buckles is that they're aggravating when you've got 1:1 scale hands. Even with tweezers, it takes quite a bit of time to thread and adjust them, and because of this you can end up stressing the connection end of a strap considerably. This figure spent so much time in and out of armor that I knew I didn't want to hassle with buckles. With hooks, you just compress, guide the hook in and that's it. Unhooking is just as fast & easy.

Obviously, this is not something you want to do in all situations. There are times when eyegrabbing buckles are necessary, and adjustable belts still need some type of slip adjustment. But for secondary detail, I've found that hooks are a real sanity saver. As a customizer, you have a lot of latitude to fashion the hook for the use: lightweight fabrics like hose don't need more than a thin piece of wire twisted and bent in the end. These can be practically invisible. Heavier applications may require double bent wire and a sturdy 'D' ring. Unlike manufacturers, you aren't locked into using a particular standard size, but can create the size appropriate for the piece. In some situations, you can even hide a hook & eye behind a faux pre-fastened buckle & belt.

BOILED LEATHER I've used wet formed leather before, but I'd never actually boiled any, as per instructions for making traditional leather armor (minus the wax treatment). What a surprise! At a certain point, the leather suddenly shrunk by a dramatic amount, doubled in thickness and became damn hard. After some quick forming, the piece held it's shape, rigid, like a piece of wood thereafter. It was even engraveable. I ended up using the piece as the figure's right arm covering. This is an interesting property which deserves some more exploration.

METAL ENGRAVING This project gave me an opportunity to play around with my pneumatic engraving pen-- not one of those high dollar ones, but something a little easier to control than those noisy electric ones. It's not easy and takes quite a bit of skill and planning, unless you want crummy doodles in metal. The good thing about air power is that you can dial down pressure to get more control, or dial it up for deeper gouging. The sword's scabbard was a good testing canvas for my crummy doodlings. One thing I learned about tool usage though, especially when you're working on detail: Find a way of alleviating the weight of the tool. A puny pen may not seem like much, but when you're fighting for tight control of it and the hose is pulling the end down, after a while, your hand gets fatigued and can do bad things. Especially bad since carving in metal under magnification requires a really steady hand.

MORE METAL POUNDING One of the last things I did (not shown in any of the pics) was make metal toe caps for his boots. For this I used a fairly thin piece of metal, exact gauge unknown, but similar to hobby brass and copper sheeting. After a considerable amount of time, I was able to pound out a wrinkle-free contour for the toe-end of the boot. This contour is much more drastic than anything I attempted to do with the breastplate steel a couple of pages ago, where wrinkling was the biggest problem. Based on this, I surmise that it might be possible to pound out other armor pieces, given the right material, enough time and effort. Yah, electroforming is one workaround, but I haven't written off the real thing yet.


PART 3    PART 1