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Messages - FichtenFoo

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In-Progress Creations / Re: 1/6 Humanoid Tortoise Creature BJD
« on: September 14, 2020, 11:48:35 AM »
Next up is pretty much just more detail added. I defined the leg muscles better, but am not sure whether to keep them so "cut" or not. The forearms and lower legs will have the spikey "scutes" detail added and won't really have a humanoid shape... which I forgot about until AFTER I started forming them as such. It gives me an idea of proportion anyway. The trick will be the rest of the turtle/tortoise "skin". Check out the reference images to see the saggy skin. I want to utilize this look to hide some of the joints like where the butt-cheeks separate from the upper legs.

And here's the sculpting progress. So far just using various styluses and my fingers. Soon I'll start using brushes and alcohol or odorless turpenoid to smooth and texture it.

In-Progress Creations / Re: 1/6 Humanoid Tortoise Creature BJD
« on: September 14, 2020, 11:37:25 AM »
It's really interesting seeing you build up the shape!
Regarding the joints, are you making them or using existing parts?
I'll be making them and detailing the process. It's really simple actually. Looking at this persons flickr will give you an idea of how they work if you look at some of her progs:

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!

In-Progress Creations / Re: 1/150 Evangelion diorama [Musasiya kits]
« on: September 13, 2020, 01:14:45 PM »
I love the "rocket-hammer" approach to the axe!

I'll be honest, I'm a bit creeped out by dolls or doll-like model, but the sculpting here is just top notch. I totally get the Shirow/Gunnm vibe, which I love.
Thanks! Yeah... it has an "uncanny valley" sort of bridge to cross, but I've learned a LOT from the BJD community and by making this and my insect fairy that I can utilize in other more robotic builds. It's a really neat way of making joints. They're simple enough in theory, yet still has enough of a learning curve and challenge to make it frustrating. haha! I just restrung the first of my finished dolls because I totally messed up the sueding portion where you add "suede" or the like to increase friction in the joints so they don't slip. I'm probably going to make a shin armor that adds more friction to the ankle joint for example as that particular joint doesn't have enough surface area because I decided to stylize it with that cut-out. Live and learn!

In-Progress Creations / Re: Vertical cityscape (h0 scale)
« on: September 10, 2020, 03:29:55 PM »
Oh this is great! I'm a huge Nihei fan and just started reading Knights of Sidonia today. Kinda bummed that the Netflix series seems done. Will you be weathering it at all?

In-Progress Creations / Re: Ako Hobby Refined Barzam
« on: September 10, 2020, 03:27:58 PM »
Welcome back! Coming along quite nicely. Shame about the foot, but these things happen. :lol:

Completed Creations Gallery / Re: Futuristic Robots 1/35 Ameise
« on: September 10, 2020, 03:25:08 PM »
Looks very nice. It has an almost watercolor quality to the finish which is quite nice.

Completed Creations Gallery / Re: TMA-1
« on: September 10, 2020, 04:51:20 AM »

What black did you use for the monolith? I imagine Culture Hustle's Black 3.0 would work well.

It's just Tamiya Flat Black then treated with black pastel powder (black-smoke pigment from MIG). I'm aware of Culture Hustle. But I've never seen their products sold to the public.
I always order from

In-Progress Creations / Re: 1/5 Bisley Terminator (Mikey B) The Enemy Within
« on: September 09, 2020, 11:51:40 AM »
That turned out really nice so far. The painting on the skulls is superb and the leather looks like leather.

In-Progress Creations / Re: 1/150 Evangelion diorama [Musasiya kits]
« on: September 08, 2020, 02:22:56 PM »
I hate you.  :meh:
You made me do the math and apparently they'd be about 70-75m tall, so I'm way off scale wise...
Makes sense if you consider the scenes with the NERV staff close by its' feet / phone booth shattering scene in the first ep or so.
Anyho, I believe it'll make do for quite the display.
Kanon sucks either way! I've already strayed off the path with detailing and decals, so there you go.
I'll perhaps make another more scale accurate display with the Tsukuda vinyl kit with the same accessories.
I meant the size of the kits though. Just trying to imagine how large those are compared to the old Bandai ones for example. Eva tends to fluctuate in scale anyway so I try not to think about it. Best not to! I just figure most producers just consider them "box scale" because of that.

Completed Creations Gallery / Re: Lumber Wasps
« on: September 08, 2020, 01:59:39 PM »
This one looks great as well. Please add some descriptions to your posts so everyone knows what you did.  The chainsaw holding up the orange Wasp is a clever trick!

Completed Creations Gallery / Re: The Gamekeeper
« on: September 08, 2020, 01:58:20 PM »
Love the paint work on this as well as the base. That camo had to be a pain.

Completed Creations Gallery / Re: TMA-1
« on: September 08, 2020, 01:56:32 PM »
I forgot about this one! Used the Industria Mechanika 1/35 space pawns and Gorilla mech kits. Now I'm wondering about weathering and how that would work on the moon...

What black did you use for the monolith? I imagine Culture Hustle's Black 3.0 would work well. 

Completed Creations Gallery / Re: HG Leo
« on: September 08, 2020, 01:51:37 PM »
Congrats! Is this an older kit or did they make a modern Leo release? I have been out of the Gundam scene for a decade now. The green looks nicely applied. The metal in the middle of the gun looks a bit thick though. Was that part hand-painted? What kid of paints did you use?

In-Progress Creations / Re: 1/150 Evangelion diorama [Musasiya kits]
« on: September 08, 2020, 01:44:30 PM »
That looks great so far. First I've seen the finished 00 pics. The gloss turned out really nice and I love how the head looks. You said they're 1/150ish but if they were standing upright how tall are they actually? Having a hard time gauging their size. Looking at all those electrical towers, I can here the wires flexing and the cicadas screaming. haha!

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...

In-Progress Creations / Re: 1/144 The O II — Space Type
« on: September 08, 2020, 04:17:05 AM »
It's coming along well! I like that you're trying to not kit-bash any other parts into it except option parts. I consider those to be fair game as that's what they're intended to be used for. Same as raw styrene. I used to struggle with modifying existing kits and kitbashing before I realized that it can be WAY easier to just scratch-build the parts sometimes.

Completed Creations Gallery / Re: The Freight dock - Not quite Ian McQue
« on: September 08, 2020, 04:11:10 AM »
As to the red wall. It does have a little bit of a dark wash. But it has this metallic red sheen which looked pretty good without weathering effects. If I was to go back and revisit the red wall I think I would add small tufts of grass or weeds trapped in a few of the most prominent features and then do a bit of mud staining below the vegetation patches. (When I lived overseas, that was one way to know if a building had a plumbing leak. There would be a small tree or bush growing right out of the side of a concrete building.)

That sounds pretty cool. I think what stood out was mostly the lack of heavy streaking prevalent in the other components.

Completed Creations Gallery / Re: The Freight dock - Not quite Ian McQue
« on: September 07, 2020, 02:40:51 PM »
First off: Yay! I was hoping someone would post! It helps with debugging the new features. Did you have any issues with attaching images to your post? I see one, but the rest appear to be hosted offsite? I just want to make sure that's working as it's important for a reboot of the forum. Thanks!

Now onto the build! I rather like how this turned out. The containers turned out wonderfully as did all of the foliage and accessories. With the base if I had one comment it would be that I wish there was the same level of weathering/streaking added to the large red wall as the rest of it all. It looks great, but it stands out due to that I think. Red is a pain though...

The ship looks wonderful as well. It's too bad we weren't able to kit it. I think others would have enjoyed building it as well.

Nice work!

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