adventures in everything...

E4 Model Progress…

03 May 10
Well I’ve been putting this off for a little while, I didn’t really want to put photos up because of how terribly wrong things have gone and I’m not too happy with the model.
On the plus side it’s allowed me to iron out a few issues with the model making process before I do the bands models, and now that the model is dressed I don’t hate it quite as much as I did… it’s still not what I had hoped to achieve, but time is short so I’ll have to work with what I’ve got…
Firstly, as time was short and I was in a panic, I forgot to take all the paints I needed to college on the day of casting, and the flesh tint I had was very pink, but as I couldn’t afford to leave casting another day I just had to go ahead using the paint I had and hope I could maybe fix it afterwards in After Effects. Turns out that was the least of my problems as when I opened the mould there was a lot of trapped air in the mould and the hands hadn’t come out well at all.

Where the wire had been touching the side of the mould the wire was poking through and all along the side of one arm was one big air bubble. The feathering around the edge of the model was bad too as the damaged caused to the model during the first casting had ruined the edges where the mould meets…
As the arms were thin the polymorph inside was showing through too…
When making the bands models they will need to be a lot bigger, the arm and legs will need to be thicker so ensure there is a thicker layer of silicone covering the wire and polymorph, and the hands and fingers will also need to be bigger and longer.
In order to patch the model up a little I filled half of the mould with silicone, placed the model back in it and then closed it up, this meant that the arms of the mould were already filled with silicone. I also cut some runners into the arms so that the air could escape, and then once the silicone had settled I topped it up little by little.
I used the head I had already started making for Alice. To make the hair I used felt and cut strips by measuring them against the head and gluing them into place piece by piece…
I left the back pieces of felt long then trimmed them to the length I wanted…
The eyes were painted with brown acrylic, I chose brown as I felt black would look too harsh…
When I had opened the mould after patching up the arms the model was really badly stuck to the mould, particularly around the hands and so I had to cut it out :( This left a really messy edge around the arms and hands of the model which I was really disappointed with. To tidy this up I made a solution from clear bathroom silicone and oil paint with some white spirit to thin it so that I could paint it on. This unfortunately picked up on all the messy bits of silicone and raggedy edges so that it looked even worse that it originally had! I added a few layers of this solution, some of them thicker to try and fill in the gaps. The only benefit of this was that it allowed me to change the colour to match the head of the model…
I made some trousers using a navy fabric from two panels sewn around the legs. They’re pretty messy, they need to be re sewn properly but they won’t be seen in the animation anyway so I don’t want to waste time fixing them just yet…
To make the shirt I cut out four panels of white fabric, one for the front of the shirt, one for the back, and one for each sleeve. First I sewed the front and back panel together at the top, leaving a gap for the neck so it was kind of like a poncho, then I hemmed the sides (as I couldn’t sew the shirt then put it on the model it would have to be sewn onto the model, and the hemmed edges would be sewn together leaving a neater edge, you’ll see what I mean later). Next step was to sew the sleeves on so that the centre of the sleeve panel was in line with the shoulder seam, this would leave the sleeve seam on the inside of the arm (man that’s a bit of a tongue twister). Again these were hemmed on each edge…


Once all the edges of the shirt had been sewn ready to sew it onto the model I tacked it in place on the model and drew on the stripes. I then painted these on using red fabric paint…
The images below shows me stitching the shirt onto the model, sewing the hemmed edges together. This made it a lot easier to do, as for granny I sewed her sleeves by just tucking the raw edges in and sewing it together and it was very awkward. To sew this I started at the arm pit and sewed down the side of the torso, and then did the arms starting from the armpit too. This helped to make sure I kept the fabric lined up properly, I could afford to alter the cuffs and bottom of the shirt if they didn’t line up, but if the seams in the armpit hadn’t lined up it would have looked messy and needed un picked and redone…
For the trousers I had used invisible thread, which is clear, plasticy and very shiny, and so didn’t work well on the dark fabric, I plan to replace it with a navy cotton thread which will be less visible. The plastic thread does work well on lighter fabrics though and I used it for all the hems, but when sewing the shirt together on the model I used white cotton thread. This allowed me to go back and tidy up the seams by painting the stitches in the red areas of the shirt which are darker and would have shown the invisible thread. Below shows the first stripe on the left after being painted with fabric paint, and the other two before hand…
The hat for the character is pretty basic, so I just made it with some thick paper. I curled a tube of paper and pinned it, then cut it to fit the characters head. Once I got the size and shape I wanted I opened it out and used this as a template. Using a navy fineliner I added the detail, then secured the shape using a little piece of tape and tacked this loosely to the felt on the models head. As I plan to use this model again and will be removing all the hair and the hat I didn’t want to waste time making the hat from fabric. The model will only be shot from one angle too so this should do the trick…
So this is where I’m at at the moment…
The head needs a hole drilled into it, and then the silicone on the neck trimmed down and the head glued on, the feet also need painted but they won’t be visible in the animation so if they don’t get finished it’s no big deal, they’ll be getting painted a different colour for the next project I’m using it for anyway…
  1. Neil says:

    you could make awesome clothes for borrowers

  2. Lynsey Gray says:

    hahaha. thanks, but i hear they don't pay well, they don't carry much cash around.

  3. Alex Davy says:

    you sound like youre losing your tiny mind.
    Try not to implode too much if i accidently ask the wrong question when i eventually see you :S

  4. Lynsey Gray says:

    haha i'll try my bestest :)