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Topics - FichtenFoo

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In-Progress Creations / 1/6 Humanoid Tortoise Creature BJD
« on: September 13, 2020, 06:36:32 PM »
I decided to hold off on taking the final Proxie Frame BJD pics and start on my next project. When I first started understanding Ball-Jointed Dolls aka Elastic Tension Figures, I thought that perhaps I could utilize that method to make a lot of the creatures and aliens I'd been wanting to make as well as perhaps some robots. The joint system is really interesting and is easier/more reliable than making the usual plastic joints for scratchbuilds, especially if you want poseable resin kits. This joint system can be adapted to robots with more rounded joints. During this in-prog thread, I'll detail my build as well as the process for making these types of joints. Now onto the project!

I've purchased and started painting several original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle garage kits over the years. For some reason though I've always stalled on them. I've also wanted to see if I could make a creature body BJD style and hide as much of the joint seams in the creature details as possible. Combining these two seemed like fun. But I don't just want to make a standard TMNT... I want to make a humanoid tortoise that *could* be a TMNT if geared as such, or an alien, or just a stand-alone. Hell... give it a baseball cap and kerchief and it could be some sort of Franklin the Turtle from the PBS kids cartoon. hahah! I want to make this look more like an actual turtle than any of the fan-art and sculpts I've seen.

For this figure I want to sculpt the whole thing, break it apart, then modify as needed to do the joints. So I started off by making an armature from aluminum armature wire from Michael's. I used a 1/6 figure body to proportion this frame properly.

I'll need to cut the sculpture into parts, and Sculpey can be a bit brittle and heavy rotary tooling to cut the aluminum wire can mean a lot of resculpting. To avoid a lot of aluminum cuts, as well as to bulk up the shape to help avoid cracking due to thick Sculpey, I applied aluminum foil all over the armature.

The armature is decent enough, but frankly the aluminum wire isn't very strong so I applied a very thin layer of Sculpey over the aluminum. This creates a durable shell that I can now sculpt over. I poked holes to avoid potential bubbles trapped between the aluminum and Sculpey. I also make a foil ball wad and made a Sculpey shell to form the larger shell over.

A trick I figured out is that if you rub/brush some Sculpey solvent/thinner onto the baked clay. the new unbaked clay will stick to it better.

The following rest of the images are basically adding more and more Sculpey to first get a somewhat muscular/bulky human form, then adding more layers and detail over that. So far I'm still in the process of blocking out the basic muscles and shapes of the shell. Once I'm happy with that, I can move onto more detail. I want the torso to be articulated for dynamic action poses, so I'm using the segments of the shell to differentiate between the three torso segments. I'll be attaching the shell to just the top segment and don't plan to have it reach all the way down past its butt cheeks. I will have wrap-around shell detail on the other segments though so it's not just tortoise-skin. More soon!

I started this Proxie Frame BJD project back in mid-July 2020 so it'll take me a few posts to get up to date with progress. I'll start at the beginning and post more as I can.

What is a BJD?
I couple years ago I had no idea what a BJD was and had to ask someone what they meant by that acronym. BJD means "Ball Jointed Doll" and are also referred to as tension dolls, tension figures, etc... A lot of my toys growing up had tension components such as 1980s GI Joe figures. Essentially you're using elastic tension to hold the parts together with enough force and added friction if needed via "sueding" to make the figure poseable and able to hold said pose. It's a ridiculously simple concept that I wish I'd known about 15 years ago because IMO it's not just for dolls! This type of joint can be used with a lot of the scratch-built mecha we create and doesn't even have to be a ball. Slotted discs will work as well for example as well as twisting surfaces. Ideally you use as few elastic loops as possible to hold it all together. Some makers use only one that connects the WHOLE DOLL. I tend to use at least 1 per limb so that I can adjust the tension if needed. If you Google or Pinterest search for BJDs you'll see a LOT of weird shit, but a lot of awesome stuff as well! The techniques is mostly used on dolls and small animals, but I think we can expand on that a LOT.  :evil:

Proxie Frame Sculpting:
Having been an anime/manga fan since the late 70s (although not realizing that's what I was loving until the late 80s) I have an affinity for cyborgs. Masamune Shirow's Black Magic and Appleseed was one of the first manga I collected and I saw the OAV for Battle Angel Alita in July 1994, the day I graduated from art school. A friend of mine earlier in school introduced me to Gundam and Guyver, but I only had interest in one of those obviously. So I've always wanted to make a cool figure like those M-66, Appleseed, and Gunnm/Gally cyborgs. It took a while and a bit of genre hopping to learn the skills, but I'm finally at a point where I can feel confident in my ability to make whatever I want... so why not go big?

Many BJD dolls are 1/3 or 1/4 scale. I had a large 20" tall Obitsu doll figure here so used it to gauge how large I was going to make my figure. I've gotten rather good at sculpting with polymer clay so decided to make as much of her from that as I could. The nice thing about polymer clay is that unlike Aves or Magic Sculp, you can let it sit around, work leisurely, and bake/add/bake it in stages, sanding inbetween as needed.

The Proxie started out with an aluminum wire armature attached to a 123 block. I covered the wire with a densely packed core of aluminum foil so that I could later slide it off the wire and pull the foil out to have a hollow body. Plus if you try to do Sculpey that thick it's going to crack. I like to use Super Sculpey Medium Blend. (SSMB) You can get a 3-brick pack of it for under $40 USD so it's not too pricey. Plus it's grey which is great to work with visually. I covered the aluminum with a very thin layer of SSMB and baked it. This gave me a solid core to work on.

Bonding raw SSMB to baked SSMB can be tricky unless you have some of the Sculpey thinner/softener liquid. I brush just a little onto the baked SSMB and it helps the raw stuff adhere. So I brushed on the softener and started off by sculpting an undetailed female body. I did this to get the proportions and shape perfectly. Jumping immediately into cyborg mode would had probably stalled my project. Once I had the form down, I started carving into it and detailing it to take on a more robotic appearance. I also decided where I was going to make the cuts to have individually segmented parts for articulating the torso.

Before baking, I used a thin blade and cut as deep to the foil core as I could. This helped me "snap" and twist the four torso parts apart after that first bake.

Once that was baked, I added/subtracted more SSMB as needed to make the rounded cups/ball joints so that the torso parts could move and retain friction. I used a piece of tulle mesh to press in the artificial muscle details. Those are best done after baking the surrounding clay s that you don't texture the smooth parts as well.

When making any of the parts, it's necessary to consider what will connect to them. I had to leave/make indents using metal ball-styluses and more so that I could have the cup portions of the ball joints for the arms and legs as well as the rounded "ball" at the top of the neck for the head. These can be sanded and refined further after the initial baking(s). I did a LOT of Dremmeling and sanding with her, but SSMB wet-sands pretty nicely.

Next Post: The head...

Forum Rules and Updates / Signatures, Real Names, and Social Media
« on: September 07, 2020, 02:18:15 PM »
Hey all! So one thing I've gotten used to on Facebook (and kinda forgot about with forums) is actually knowing peoples names. This is by no means mandatory, but please try to link to your social media accounts, websites, galleries, and maybe add your real name in your signature. This will help us get to know each other better! Meanwhile I will look for a mod/add-on for adding those things to your profiles. It's hysterical that the profiles have fields for AIM, IQC, and the like, but are not modernized for FB, Insta, YouTube, Twitter, etc...


Forum Rules and Updates / Forum Rules (updated 9/7/2020)
« on: September 07, 2020, 12:53:59 PM »

FichtenFooForum Rules

1: Be respectful of others.
Don't cause drama, don't bully others into your point of view, and be civil. Most of us are adults so please try to act like one.

2: Post constructively.5
Fluff isn't appreciated by the maker or those having to sift through it to get to the meat of a thread. See "constructive criticism" section below.

3: Learn, Share, and Grow.
Learn from others and do your best to post in a way that lets others learn from you. Put your best foot forward and others will be inspired to do the same.

4: Read the image posting guidelines information thread. (needs updated!!!
This thread contains guidelines for posting any image on this forum. Avatars, Sigs, posts, and more.

5: Use the tagging system
Tagging your new topics with keywords will help others find what they're looking for later. Not a bannable rule, but it would be really helpful. Thanks!

If there is something wrong with a post, sig, avatar, etc, you probably won't get a PM but will instead see a "modedit" attached to the post or avatar briefly explaining edit. Running a large forum takes time and to PM people for every oddity that comes up takes time away that's frankly better spent modeling. Modedits are generally minor things that are a quick mod fix and not worth the hassle of a PM.

Stuff that's typically considered bad forum ettiquite:
Not searching before asking4
Spamming the board with multiple help threads instead of consolidating into one.3
Bad English (This ONLY applies to native English speakers)1
Non-descriptive topic titles2
Asking for color scheme ideas (not thinking for yourself)7
Extreme thread bumping10
Super-long or non-descriptive links6
In-Progress Threads WITHOUT Images8
Vigilante Moderating9
Being annoyed about a legitimate "modedit" (see above)
Pointless/huge sig images (see image posting guidelines)

Stuff that will get you banned:
Being blatantly disrespectful/insulting to FFF admin, staff and other members.
Posting private correspondence in order to attack another person.11
Repeated rules violations.

Expansion of above points:

1: Please post in as proper English as you can.
This means use capital letters (but not all caps Smiley), no internet shorthand (U, thx, kk), correct spacing, etc... otherwise it makes your post harder to read and less likely to be answered. No one wants to waste their time translating a message.

We understand that there are members from non-English speaking countries so things may get lost in the translation and that's acceptable. However "laziness", shorthand and such will not be tolerated. Especially as it makes it more difficult for non-English speakers to translate into their language. We're here as a resource for EVERYONE.

Acronyms for common used terms are fine still, "LOL" is okay, FFA= Future Floor Acrylic, etc... The goal is to make your post as readable as possible.

2: In threads, please make your subject descriptive as to your post/question.
There is no reason to post vague, unspecific subjects/titles.  Please be as specific with your subjects as possible.  If you are posting about a specific person, place, or thing, then please try to put that specific noun in the topic subject itself.  This will save everyone time when browsing the forums, and make searching archived posts a lot easier.

3: Don't spam the help forum with 20 questions each in their own post.
This means post all of your questions in one post as to save space. There's no need to post multiple questions in multiple new threads.

4: Search BEFORE you post.
Seriously! Search the forum first, then Google it. If you don't find your answer, then post either in an existing topic on the same subject or if one does not exist, then start a new topic.

5: Constructive Criticism
Constructive criticism is an important part of contributing to the discussions here at FFF.  <b>Think of constructive criticism as a critique with the goal of improvement.</b>  So, rather than reviewing another modeler's work and commenting on aspects you like and dislike, you should support your statements.  Why don't you like it?  How can it be improved?  Simply stating negatives can be seen as mean-spirited, trolling, or flaming and sometimes it is. Let's be supportive and make cool stuff!

Constructive criticism doesn't mean sugar coating anything.  It is important to be honest.  However, supporting your statements does give a more positive and helpful perspective.  It also gives you more credibility as a fellow artist/modeler.

This also goes for posting "fluff" or "great job bud!" posts. If that's all you have to say, then it's better to just say nothing. While it's nice to get compliments, it's tiring for the modeler and thread readers to sift through 20 fluff posts with no useful substance. To make this clear: If you're just posting "looks great" or "that's awesome", you will be getting a Private Message from one of the Moderators regarding spamming.

Please take the time to make constructive replies on the Forums. If you like a link (or model), take the time to write down what impressed you about it. No one is going to criticize your writing if it is well thought out and it's obvious you took a minute or two to write it out.

Basically we are all here to improve.  With constructive criticism we can all learn from one another and in the process, those with more experience can share.

6: Posting links to other websites.
Post them up! We love to see links to cool stuff. However, if the link is long enough to make the page scroll left to right and break past the newspaper design on the right of the screen, then please use the URL tags to display your link in a shorter form.

Also please do not start a new topic and merely post "check this out" and just supply a link. Give a short description of what your link is to. No one wants to feel phished.

(this is an old one, but I'm keeping it here.) It's your kit so color it how you want. No one can decide that for you. Please check out these links to other threads where this was asked:

Stickied Thread on Color Scheme ideas in the HELP forum
Another thread where this was asked

8: No In-Progress Threads WITHOUT Images!
Honestly... why post up a bunch of text about a model you're going to do without at least a picture of the scheme or in-progress shots... something! Otherwise, in all honesty, most people aren't going to read or reply except to ask why you posted without pics.

9: Vigilante Moderating
Though there are a good number of mods here, and all of us are frequent posters, sometimes we aren't always around when we are needed.  If you notice something happening that shouldn't be happening - images in sigs, huge images being posted, spamming of threads, etc. - here's what you can do.  First, please message a mod, and let any of us know about it.  Second, you can reply to the offending poster, and in a civil manner you can point out their mistake, and help them learn the rules of the forum by pointing them to the relevant thread.  This being said, we will not tolerate vigilante moderating by people who show no respect to those who have made the mistakes.

10: Thread bumping!
We know how it is sometimes - you're intently watching the progress of a certain project, but the person working on that project hasn't updated in a while.  DO NOT bump the thread, with a 'Any updates?' post.  Personal Message the person directly, and ask him if there are updates - but check a few things first - is he still visiting this forum and posting?  If he is, then he probably doesn't have anything to update.  If he isn't, then maybe he's forgotten to update here, and a Personal Message would be more appropriate.  This also applies to question threads - DO NOT bump your own thread, because people haven't responded to it (especially if it's less than a day).  Check to see how many people have actually viewed the thread - remember, there are over 600 users that visit this forum, and not all of them will have the answer to your question, so please be patient.  If your question isn't answered within two days, you can bump your thread, but not with just a 'Bump!' response - prove to users that you've spent the time and effort to try and find the answer yourself ('I've done a google search for -blah- and all it turned up were links to porno').  This helps others understand what you've tried looking for, and can possibly help guide your search if they don't know the specific answer themselves...

11: Absolutely No Posting Private Correspondence received from others at this or ANY forum.
Posting ones PRIVATE messages is not only tacky it is in the worst of tastes. By doing so you are betraying the confidence someone has placed in you. Posting someones private emails, PM,s or IMs will not be tolerated and is a bannable offense. The only exceptions are if you have permission to do so (we'll need proof) or if for some odd reason your life is in danger.  :unsure:

12: General Bad Posting and Unwritten Rules.
There are certain unwritten rules that I would assume were common sense that others apparently would not. These will be addressed on an offense by offense basis and added to the rules. Just because it's not written here, doesn't mean it can't be. These also do not necessarily need to be here before a ban takes place. In general, use common courtesy when posting. If you think it may be annoying and or offensive, it probably is.

Model Gallery / Stuffed Kraken
« on: November 05, 2013, 11:06:57 AM »
Here's a stuffed Kraken I started about 2-3 years ago and *just* completed. All I needed to do was finish the eyes and get some ribbon for the lace, but I was slacking.

Model Gallery / The Centurion (Industria Mechanika/Fabio M Silva kit)
« on: September 16, 2013, 09:23:00 AM »

Finally finished this one up after months of sitting near-complete on my shelf. Just had to do the lighting using small surface mount LEDs behind each of the eyes. Man... those REALLY improved my soldering skills!!!!

Progress/SBS images:

Buy the kit here:

Model Gallery / The FichtenFoo Dragonfly
« on: September 07, 2013, 02:35:59 PM »

Hi all. Finished painting up my Dragonfly! I designed this kit as a follow-up to the Hornet, but I think I may like this one better. Sleeker, more detail, larger, etc... Having said that, I have a spare set of hornet resin and some spare etch I saved from the 1st edition already being cleaned and blackened so I can do another one of those.

Everything I did to achieve this finish is on the link below along with a ton of photos.

You can purchase the Dragonfly kit here:

Model News Feed / The Chrononaut!
« on: August 23, 2013, 05:13:07 AM »

Hi All,

After some delays, The Chrononaut is being printed next week and should be going into casting sometime in September. I'm estimating the costs based on the cost of the 3D print and it's looking like he'll cost about $180 + shipping for each kit. Please let me know if you're interested! Post here, send us an email, message us, whatever... I just need to figure out potential sales numbers to keep costs down. Thanks!

Model News Feed / Manchu's Steam Car and Dr. Torque
« on: August 17, 2013, 08:42:07 AM »

Hi all! The famous Sci-Fi artist known as Manchu (Philippe Bouchet) has been working with us to develop a model kit of the Steam Car illustration he did for a book cover back in 2001. La Machine à Difference. This large 1/35 scale model kit comes with the coal trailer and 2 figures with 3D work by Bruce Lee (not that one) and Pedram Karimfazli. There's a LOT of resin parts (haven't counted yet) and a fret of photoetch for the dash. I'm also working on a 12-16 page instruction booklet containing many of the concept art illustrations Manchu did while we fleshed this out. There's probably more drawings than I can fit in the book actually... he's truly an amazing guy!

The Steam Car retails for $135.00 USD and the estimated shipping date for this preorder is 9.30.2013.

Steampunk Costume Contest Winner: Dr. Torque!

Also available now is the winner of our Steampunk Costume Contest! Dr. Torque aka Chris Lee, a steampunk Ghostbuster of sorts is now available as a 1/35 scale figure 3D sculpted by Pedram Karimfazli so the perfect accompaniment to the Steam Car.

Dr. Torque retails for $20.00 USD and the estimated shipping date for this preorder is 9.30.2013.

Model News Feed / Doktor Orpheus Odonata's Dragonfly (Odonopter)
« on: August 02, 2013, 11:17:44 AM »

Don't blink and don't bother trying to keep up. Doktor Orpheus Odanata's Dragonfly is the fastest ornithopter in the skies. Designed and sculpted by FichtenFoo (Michael Fichtenmayer), creator of the Hornethopter, Fantastical Fish-Sub, and Long-Nose Fish Sub, the Dragonfly will add a great touch to any steampunk display. This kit boasts an impressive wingspan of 14 inches (35cm) and a length of 9.5 inches (25cm). Like the Hornethopter, the wings are two layers of photoetched brass with a laser-cut plastic wing-film insert. This multimedia kit comes with the following:

    40 Resin Parts
    1 Pilot Figure
    4 Photoetch Frets
    Glass Eyes
    Laser-cut wing film
    Rigging Wire
    Detailed Instructions

For a limited time, save $10 when you order a set of Aviators with your Dragonfly.

Model In-Progress / Doktor Orpheus Odonata's Dragonfly (Odonopter)
« on: July 31, 2013, 01:12:53 PM »
Hi All,

Here's my latest flying insect model kit design. This one was a lot of fun to sculpt. I started off with some rough sketches as usual, then I had a friend (Christophe Desse) do the thorax in 3D for me based on my plans as that'd be a difficult shape to sculpt otherwise. I also had to source some 1/2 sphere clear glass for the eyes. All I could find were the flatter cabochon which wouldn't work as well here as it did for my Hornet. (The original Hornethopter will be back next month as well for a 4th run.) This one's nicely sized with a 14 inch wingspan. I may do another Hornet and add these to some shadowboxes like pinned insects to hang on my wall... if my wife allows. LOL!

And here's the photoetch I designed for the wings and rigging brackets. Also the detail behind the eyes, the feet, etc... A producer friend of mine, Uschi Van Der Rosten makes a blackening agent for brass which will work wonders here. Depending on how long it's left in the solution, it'll range from brown to dark-blue/black and it acts fast! I just used it to age a brass nozzel for aspitting Moai (easter-island head) fountain I just finished.

Model In-Progress / Naboo N1 Royal Starfighter Trio [1/72 Fine Molds]
« on: June 23, 2013, 06:11:39 PM »
My Weekend Mental Health Build... so far... need to do finish a tad more weathering then do a base.  Full details at the link:


Started a couple of this 1/4 scale armored alien bust today. So far I just hollowed out behind the clear eye inserts so that I can light it up.

Prog Blog: (more pics)

Get one here:

Model In-Progress / Three of Ian McQue's Waldo Plus more...
« on: June 04, 2013, 03:23:34 PM »

Here's the detailed build-log of my 3 Waldo builds so far. More to come!

Model News Feed / The Centurion by Fabio M Silva
« on: June 04, 2013, 02:02:29 PM »

Fabio M Silva's "The Centurion" 1/4 scale bust is now available for preorder. This large piece features 19 parts with 10 clear eye inserts to help you light it up. Only $99 + shipping!

Model News Feed / Ian McQue's Waldo
« on: April 24, 2013, 08:36:51 AM »

The latest airship modelkit by Ian McQue and Industria Mechanika will be up for preorders on Friday around noon EST. This kit sports a fantastic laser-cut wood deck and plastic windows, full photoetch wheelhouse (2 large sheets of etch for this and other details), pilot figure, and hollow hull with full engine visible from the deck grating and from the bottom of the hull's thruster opening.

Pics, art, instructions, etc on the shop page here:

Price: $125 + Shipping
Shipping Estimate: Late May 2013


Freaky Gothic is now available for PREORDER! This 1/8 scale figure kit contains 24 crisp resin parts and detailed instructions with the original concept and plan art by Calum Alexander Watt. Digitally sculpted by David Richardson.

Price: $130 + Shipping
Estimated Ship Date: 5.15.2013.

Preorder here:

Model In-Progress / FichtenFoo's Implausible Long-Nose Submersible
« on: March 23, 2013, 03:57:20 PM »
First progress report of my Implausible Long-Nose fish sub build. I designed the master/etch for this submersible model kit (and the original 'Fantastical' version) and am doing a pre-release paint-up build-log as usual. Going to use many of the same techniques that I used for the copper Fantastical sub paint-work, but this time in brass!

Model News Feed / Mike Jensen's Drone Sniper 1/8 Scale, only $99!
« on: March 20, 2013, 10:02:45 AM »

The first in our line of more affordable 1/8 scale figure releases. The Drone Sniper, designed by Mike Jensen is in production and should be shipping by Mid-April 2013 and a real steal at only $99! 16+ resin parts including the base.

Thanks for looking!

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