Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mr. Farley

This old fellow is a chronic worrier. Mr. Farley might be worried he won't find a new home. Soon he'll be looking for one. Know anyone who might take him in?

Friday, June 26, 2009


Here's a first look at "Elmore". He's a country bumpkin, farm fresh and as cracked as an egg that's been sat on too long. Soon he'll be looking for a chicken coup to call his own.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I oughta join the circus

Ever notice what astonishing feats can be accomplished completely by accident? There ought to be a Circus of the Unintentional. It would be so entertaining. Problem is no one could predict or schedule the performances. An example?

If you offered $100,000,000 to an NFL field goal kicker if he could hit the upright, he'd kick the football a thousand times and not be able to do it. But how many times have you seen a guy do it unintentionally? It happens all the time!


Such is my experience when I'm making figures. Especially stringing the mechanics. "Okay, Kenny... here's your challenge for $100,000,000... you're attempting to simply slide the cord down the inside of the neck, lasso the scissor handles, catch it around both ears, wind the string around the interior circumference three times, and knock over the bottle of glue with your elbow. And for a BONUS payment of $1,000,000, get it tangled in the teeny-tiny eyeball springs.

Betcha can't do it! "

Hah! I've done it a thousand times!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

There are days...

...when I feel like tossing in the towel. I've been working on two other figures besides Mr. Winkle. They are new faces, and thus new challenges. Plus I insist on trying new things all of the time and most of them don't work. So I end up going backwards, trying something else... and something else again... and maybe going back to the old way... until I can move on to the next step in good conscience. (Am I rambling?)

One of the most fun things I've done recently is write a few jokes for Jimmy Smith of "Smith and Jones". He didn't ask me to. I just horned in on his act. He thought my jokes were funny (at least he said so). So if you'd like some new jokes for your act, send me an email with the subject matter and I'll see what I can come up with (at no charge!).

All you have to lose is your reputation, good name, future gigs and livelihood.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

In the flesh

Two coats of flesh-colored paint have been applied to Mr. Winkle's face and jaw. The mixture combines white, burnt umber and some naples yellow. He'll get at least one more and maybe two more coats. I also drilled the eyebrow holes in his head and installed a 1-3/4 inch-long brass tube in each hole. The brass eyebrow rods will be inserted in these holes and bent to the contour of his disapproving brows.

Next step: Finish the other two figures before they begin to feel neglected.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Pack yer bags

Mr. Winkle hasn't slept in decades. So he's developed bags under his eyes, thus contributing to his crotchety behavior and sullen outlook. And y'know... his color doesn't look too good either.

Next step: I'll put some pink in his complexion.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Shoulda used Rogaine

Mr. Winkle's hair has fallen out. He's now bald and his earlobes have sagged.

Next step: He needs to lose lots of sleep.


Q: You mentioned in an earlier chapter that you were experimenting with other materials under the build-ups, in an attempt to keep things lighter in weight. You abandoned at least one thing you tried. Are you still searching for a method? Will Mr. Wrinkle be "face-heavy?"

The amount of extra material makes the original head pretty much nothing more than an armature...which is good. I'm just wondering about weight.

Great looking character! - Anonymous

A: Weight is the downside to using this method of vent figure-building. But even with my most heavy-laden Magic-Sculpt characters, the weight doesn't prevent comfortable operation. After all, these guys sit atop a wooden body, so it's not like they need to be held up. The final weight of my figures (head and fully-clothed body) is typically under 4 pounds.

So far, sheets of craft foam in cut-to-fit pieces seem to work best, though I use it sparingly. In fact, I'll hot-glue a trimmed piece over Charlie's hair part to even up the two sides of the head.

After working with molds, silicone and liquid plastics, I decided to go with the sculpture-by-addition method in lieu of handling nasty chemicals. I'm not alleregic to Magic-Sculpt, I wear latex gloves while handling it, and I wash up often. I keep the Magic-Sculpt tubs closed when not in use to minimize exposure to any fumes.

If I had an outside-the-house workshop, I'd probably work with molds, too. But this method seems best-suited for my in-home workshop. (And thank you for the compliment!)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Lip service

Now Mr. Winkle has an upper lip and a pair of jowls.

Next step: He'll begin losing hair.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The aging process

Progess continues with Mr. Winkle. Now he has a few wrinkles in his forehead, a turkey neck and his jaw has been sculpted. I secure the jaw axle in the head temporarily with Klean Klay. Then I'll sculpt the upper lip to contour with the shape of the bottom lip on the jaw. I'll add the jowls at the same time.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Plain as the nose on my face

Just for fun I'm posting photos that show the transformation from old Charlie head to Mr. Winkle. Here he is with his new nose and disapproving eyes (with a slightly wider nose bridge than the previous Mr. Winkle).