15 Comments

Morezmore – Anna 1 – Humanly Posable Doll – Part 1

Anna is the next part of the Humanly Posable Armature experiment.
If you just arrived and landed here, you can see the detailed description of the parts and tools here.

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There were 2 questions in my head which Anna had to provide answers for:

1. To test whether polymer clay can be used to sculpt the body parts, instead of the foam padding which is traditionally used with stop-motion armature.
2. To test whether polymer clay can be applied directly to the metal joints so that they still work after the clay is hardened.

The experiment gave the “yes” answer to both questions.
Polymer clay is heavier, but it gives much better body structure, compared to foam. Parts that will remain visible after clothing (neck, wrists, legs) look much better in clay. If a slender waist and graceful limbs are not important, a combination of clay/foam padding can be used.

“Clay applied directly to the joint” experiment: As it turns out, polymer clay and steel make great friends. Due to oil-based nature of polymer clay, the clay-encased joints are self-lubricating, in other words, the steel ball will still rotate inside the polymer clay enclosure.

Step by step photos for Anna.
You can see the detailed description of the parts and tools here.

Made the chest plate and hip parts out of the 1″ square wood tiles.
A better (hopefully) solution for the chest and hip connections is in the works, I will use it and describe on the next doll.
But for Anna – here is what happened:
Drilled the holes to sandwich 2 wood tiles together, – to make the cross-shaped connection for the chest. Almost the same way t-shaped connection for the hips was made.
Manual drill handle and 2 mm drill bits

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4 wood tiles – 2 for the chest, 2 for the hips.
Counted off 8 M2 x 10 mm screws and 8 M2 hex nuts to hold the wood tiles together.

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Counted off all the joint compression plates and ball joint screws.
Anna has 10 joints, so 20 compression plates and 20 ball screws.

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Counted off 9 brass connectors and 10 M2 x 10 mm screws and 10 M2 hex nuts which the compression plates together.

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Checked the chest piece against the proportions image.
Mixed a little of magic sculpt.

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After drilling the holes in the wood tiles, marked how these tiles should be connected, so that the holes are aligned.
Added Magic sculpt epoxy putty layer.

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Made the sandwich, inserted screws and hex nuts, tightened loosely.

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Trimmed the length of the ball screws as needed (hip length).

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Put the balls screws inside the sandwich of the wooden tiles and magic sculpt.
Checked the symmetry and proportions, tightened the 4 screws of the “sandwich”.

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Cleaned up the excess magic sculpt, just to be neat.

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Added neck and waist joints, to see how it works against the proportions chart.

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Connected the chest and hip pieces
Put the remaining magic sculpt on all the connections, just because I mixed too much and it would go to waste anyway.
Moved to the limbs proportions.

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Trimmed the length of the ball screws as needed (with a wire cutter).
Cleaned up the thread on the cut end with a file.

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2 of each: Humerus (upper arm bone) and femur (upper leg bone).

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Feet are made of brass strip 6 mm wide.
Cuts with scissors, punctured with an ice pick, drilled with a manual drill handle and 2 mm drill bits

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M2 screw (30mm) and M2 hex nuts. The second hole (in the toes area) – for the tie-up to the base. Sometimes it is useful.

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Added brass connectors – the feet are removable – for the ease in sculpting and costuming. Also the head and the hands will be removable. Making head, hands and feet, painting, wigging is hard enough and I don’t want the whole doll dangling upside down during the whole process.

The hands – same way as described HERE

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Made the head part.
Checked everything on the proportions chart.

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Assembled, just to see how it all fits together.
IMPORTANT – DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN THE JOINTS. Just enough to hold and rotate. You can always adjust it later.
The force that you create by moving a overtightened joint (a limb serving as a lever) is enough to warp and break steel on these miniature parts. I managed to do so. So BE GENTLE.

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Disassembled again – to make the “bones”.

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This is so to stop the “unmovable” parts from moving/unscrewing.
A layer of magic sculp make the “bones”.
Next photo starting the head. I am using this gadget – Sculping Head Stand, small one.
Put the clay on to form the core of the skull and bake. After it is baked, tighten the core against the wooden ball.
The baked core will sit on the ball and will not rotate during sculpting. When you complete sculpting and bake the head, you can unscrew the head off, just like a drawer knob. There will be a semi-sphere depression – the place for the neck.

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A brass connector will be secured inside the head with the magic sculpt.
Next photo – snipped the end of the screws on the joint, because they stick out.

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First layers of polymer clay – directly onto the joint.
Find the opening of the hex screw head – and keep that hole – it will be the access port for adjusting the tension of the joint.
Sergei, thank you for the idea!

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Ready for baking. forceps will keep the parts in the air while baking.

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Two more gadgets – feet holders. They are made out of the thick pieces of 12Ga wire which are stuck into a cork. The top part – M2 screws.
The bottom part – round magnet. The whole thing is covered with magic sculpt. They are useful for making feet, if you like your feet symmetrical. Together with a small lazy susan, they make a great little contraption to sculpt the feet.

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Baked. The oven is my old convection oven Deni 10400.
A pointer – use the thermometer and be precise with the clay recommended temperature and time because the metal heats up and cooks the clay faster than usual. My first clay layer darkened.

Made the head.
Assembled – to check how things are going.

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Realized that did not cover all the parts what needed to be covered in clay.
Covered and baked again.

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The second layer – the actual body sculpting. Put it all together. Cut, trimmed, sanded, added/removed clay, baked again – the 3rd time.

Assembled – It worked! Even if my anatomy is not quite perfect, structurally Anna works. The limbs move and she holds the pose. I see that a few things can be improved – both anatomy-wise and structure-wise. Well, that will be the project for the next doll.

The tiny holes that you see are access ports for the allen key/phillips screwdriver – to adjust the tensions of the joints. Each joint has a access port. Hex head screws are easier to tighten/loosen than the phillips head screws, therefore they will be the choice for the next doll.
They can be and should be on the back, but I figured it out too late for Anna. The access ports will be preserved, even with clothing – I will find a way to make eyelets in the clothes because they are really very useful for adjusting the tension of all joints.

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I will complete Anna on the next post – painting, wigging, clothing.

Continues on Part 2
Thank you for watching 🙂

15 comments on “Morezmore – Anna 1 – Humanly Posable Doll – Part 1

  1. This is amazing to me! I am determined to make one some day. I know that you have parts available from Poirot. Will this female doll have different ones? And will I be able to buy everything needed to make a female HPA (not the polymer of course) in a kit? Congratulations on your hard work and wonderful results so far!
    Leann

    Like

  2. Wow, this is ingenious Natasha, I will follow with great interest and would definitely be interested in a kit. Thanks so much for sharing your experiment. So generous of you.:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for going through all this trouble. You are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Absolutely, incredibly AMAZING!!!! I want to make one!!!

    Like

  5. Truly amazing – I’m awed by your talent and attention to detail! Can’t wait to see Anna finished.!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello my name is Anna. the armature is just perfect! can i order the female kit? if the answer is yes i would like to know the price. Thanks you and have awsome day

    Like

    • Thank you very much, Anna!
      All the parts necessary are available for sale (see the description), but no kits yet. I will add the kits later, working on it. Thank you!

      Like

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