Scale: 1/6, Size: 10.6″ (27 cm)
Part 1: Armature.
Tools and materials
– proportions image
– armature wire (thick wire steel 14 GA and thin 24 GA)
– long nose pliers
– wire cutter
– ruler and needle compass divider (to measure things)
– wooden plaque for the base
– ice pick
– cotton-covered wire
– 1 lb of polymer clay (about 0.75 lb will be used if no mistakes)
In addition to the old one, I found a new proportions image. It is less realistic, more doll-like. Pick the one you prefer.
Print your proportions image in such a way that the image is actually the size of your future doll.
Here are mine – perhaps you can use them. Double-click on the images below to open full size. Save on your computer, print. This is for the doll of 10.6″ (27 cm). The images are taking up the entire page (regular US Letter size page of 8.5″ x 11″ (215.9 mm x 279.4 mm). The printer might say that the image does not fit – it is ok, the cut-off part will be minor, you will be able to finish it with a pencil.
Cover the proportions image with transparent scotch tape, for example packing tape, you will use it a lot, maybe even for many dolls. Otherwise paper gets dirty and torn.
The shorter wire (spinal cord wire) gets this pig tail on one end. Two longer wires are bent into brackets like this. Leave enough wire on the arm to reach the wrist. Measure it off from the wrist (1) to the shoulder (2) to the chest (3).
Same picture – closer look. Spinal cord + first bracket
Spinal cord + first bracket + second bracket.
All three pieces tied together with armature wire thin 24 Ga. Spiral wrap to the knee and back.
Same thing on the other leg – to the knee and back.
Spiral wrap of all three pieces together to the chest.
Tie this chest intersection of wires really well, trying to diminish the movement as much as possible. Pieces of wire in the armature that move, rotate or rock will most likely create cracks in the clay later. The armature should be one single solid piece of steel.
Spiral wrap down the arm to the elbow and back. Same thing on another arm.
Find elbows and knees and mark them with something, for example nail polish.
Clip the leg wires at the bottom. Clip the arm wires at the wrists.
Snip the wire off the top of the head. Bend the spine to make the small of the back.
All right, here is my armature, with the thin wire wrap coming down to the knees, to the elbows, and up the neck.
The tubes are:
1/8″ brass tube (fits over thick wire 14 Ga) and
3/32″ brass tube” (fits telescopically into 1/8″).
And this is a tube cutter (to cut the tubes).
Mark on the 1/8″ tube the length of 2 leg modules (from the bottom to the knee), then mark the length of 2 arm/hand modules (from the wrist to the elbow).
Then the length of the head module (from the neck to the top of the head).
When I say “mark”, I mean this little grove made with wire cutter (see the picture on the right just below).
Insert the tube into the tube cutter – you will hear the mark “click” when it reaches the cutting wheel inside the cutter.
Tighten the knob slightly, grab the tube with pliers for better hold and rotate several times. Tighten the knob again a little, rotate more.
If necessary, widen the opening of the module with something sharp, like ice pick. Put the module on the leg.
All 5 modules are cut. Now find a wooden plaque – to make a working (or final) base.
Measure of a piece of smaller 3/32″ tube, it should be long enough to go through the wood and come to about 1/2″ below the knee. Cut it with tube cutter and insert into the hole. It will be glued securely later.
Here is what I have – armature and base. Now it is time to make the armature stand on its base. Take off one of the leg modules and cut the leg wire about 1/2″ under the knee.
Like this (see the photo below left). Now put back the module on that poor leg. If it is a bit loose, tighten it with a couple of slight pinches by wire cutter.
Like this (see the photo on the left just below). Slide that empty leg module on the base tube – you doll is standing now.
First layer of clay – something to hold on to (for me and for the next layers of clay) while sculpting. I am leaving the joints open this time – I want to try posing on a later stage than usual. The clay is Cernit polymer clay, color – Flesh.
Forceps clipped to the neck wire suspend the armature in the air for baking. The 5 modules are on the holders, covered with Translucent Liquid Sculpey (liquid clay) and go to the oven at the same time. This layer of Translucent Liquid Sculpey over brass tubing will help the clay to adhere to metal.
Here it is baked. Very strong, as promised with Cernit. High translucency – also as promised. I think I like Cernit, I will wait with the final judgement until the end.
Preparing the modules.
The leg modules got a simple thin layer of clay.
The arm modules got finger armature, made with cotton-covered wire (for details please see Cotton-Wire Hand Armature for OOAK Doll).
The head module got a small knob on the back of the head.
These things are to make my future sculpting easier.
The end of Part 1.