Friday, March 28, 2008

"Sheldon" wants to be someone's buddy

Soon Sheldon will be advertising for a friend. No, he won't be placing ads in the "Personals". He'll be on Ebay.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Threading tip

It only took 50,000 years of evolution for my personal pool of genetic composition to think up this trick. I'm sure many of my experienced dummy-makin' readers thought this up generations ago. But for those of you that are as challenged as I am, here's the tip:

When trying to thread nylon string (the kind made of three strands that tend to unravel) through a small hole, apply a little Elmers Glue from the end of the string to about half an inch up. Let it dry. Now the string has a firm end similar to the little plastic doohicky at the end of a shoestring. The nylon string can be easily threaded through a small hole without unraveling.

Now that I have discovered this little trick, far fewer bad words will fly from my lips as I attempt to thread string on my dummies.

Friday, March 21, 2008

High brow

This fellow is getting a pair of eyebrows. The brows are made of Magic-Sculpt atop curved brass rods. I use a sharp carving tool to make little indentations in the Magic-Sculpt to give the eyebrows a hair-like texture. After they dry and harden, I'll paint them dark brown.

The brass rods underneath the Magic-Sculpt are protruding from brass tubes on the side of the head. The brass rods rotate inside the brass tubes and the eyebrows raise.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

No stamp collecting today

As you can see, my jaw molds came out perfectly. I'm always amazed. The mothermolds pried apart rather easily. The slit I cut with an Exacto-Knife in the silicone rubber mold to free the model was easier than I expected. And the silicone mold slipped back into the mothermold perfectly. Of course, I haven't done a casting yet. Another adventure awaits. Now I have to buck up the courage to attempt the molds and mothermolds of the two heads. That may take a couple of weeks, but my confidence is increasing.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

It's a plastic world

Here's a blow-by-blow of my moldmaking work today. As mentioned before, I'm making two molds, both jaw pieces of the heads I've sculpted. I already showed you the application of silicone rubber over the models. Today, it's mothermold time.

First I trimmed the excess silicone rubber around the perimeter. Then I built a clay wall and covered it with tin foil. I applied Sonic-Wax, a toxic smelly wax, to the areas surrounding the trimmed silicone rubber. The Sonic-Wax will keep the Plasti-Paste from sticking to the wood platform. Then I mixed the 3-to-1 Plasti-Paste and applied it to one side of the silicone rubber.

After the first side dries in about 90 minutes, I'll peel away the clay wall and foil, then apply the Plasti-Paste to the other side. When that dries, I'll pull the whole thing apart, slice a seam along the ridge of the silicone mold and release the model. If I've done everything right, it should slip out easily and leave me with a hard-backed silicone mold in which I can cast more jaw pieces. If I've managed to commit any of the multitude of mistakes that can be made doing this, then I'll toss it all in the trash and find another hobby.

Maybe stamp collecting... or model trains. (Oh, wait a minute. I've already done model trains).

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I'll get back to work this weekend

I'm pleased "Calvin" has found a home. He ships out to Arkansas tomorrow. He's actually one of the few figures I've sold to a U.S. buyer. Some others are entertaining audiences in the United Arab Emirates, the Phillipines, Belguim, France and Germany to name a few.

I'm getting close to finishing another conversion figure, but I haven't made progress on my mold projects. This weekend I'll move it along. Thought I'd better check in with you, though, before you kick me off your blog-check list.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Say howdy to "CALVIN"

"CALVIN" is searching for a home on Ebay!

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Once again, reality is interloping on my figure-building efforts. (Job, community involvement, visitors, family, you name it). Not complaining, just explaining.

I completed the silicone rubber layers on the jaw pieces of my two original character heads. The silicone rubber hardened into a solid mold. Next step is to build a clay wall atop and around each rubber mold to begin the process of building the mothermold. I will use Smooth-On Plasti-Paste for that. You may remember that I didn't like plaster bandages as a mothermold because the dry plaster in the bandages tends to flake off. Plenty solid, but they make a mess.

I'm still spending some time building my conversion figures. Every figure is a little better than the last. But the most satisfying aspect is that I have projects that can be finished in a few weeks time. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I really missed finishing figures during the initial processes of creating my own original character molds. Being able to complete figures, even conversion figures, helps to maintain my forward momentum toward the completion of my first two original character molds. And as I mentioned before, I learn and perfect stuff.

I like that.