This year I am once again making figures to be awarded as prizes. The three victims are:
“Mik Just Mik” in 1/22.5 scale
Ken Brunt in 1/20.3 scale
Bob McCown in 1/20.3 scale
It is my intention to help support Dave Taylor’s efforts in running the challenge by encouraging participation. I know I could do that best by participating in the build myself but I have no motivation for that.
So instead I am offering these figures to winners in three categories as described below. The winner is randomly drawn from each of three groups of people so everyone has an equal chance of winning regardless of their skill or presentation abilities.
Here is the criteria:
Mik – everyone who participates in the build contest.
Ken – everyone who votes in the contest.
Bob – everyone who runs LSC and puts up with our shit all year….so pretty much Bob. Thanks for what you do Buddy.
Now to get the figures ready.
Figures Build Log
I am starting with three different bodies and assorted parts from the bitz bin.
Bob is a Tamiya body with arms from a Brickworks figure and my man with glasses head.
Mik uses a very old Carlos Spirito body with my custom Mik head and some dollhouse details.
Ken is my standing workman body with a Railroad Avenue head
I try to make everything I build as strong as possible. Below you can see where I drilled holes in the necks and heads to insert a piece of floral wire. These are super-glued in and then trimmed to length so the head sits at the correct height. Some of the heads have no neck as in Ken’s case so I have to set it on the wire and fill in later with Milliput.
Mrs Boomer says, “there’s proof that Bob and Ken are real pin-heads”
Arms and heads attached. As soon as the glue dries I will fill in the gaps and get them sanded and cleaned up for primer.
After a little bit of gluing it is time to make the final decisions on how the figures will look. I decided that this year I would make Bob and Ken look more like typical railroad workers while Mik will retain his charming character.
Bob will be wearing coveralls and carrying a toolbox, Ken will get suspenders and will be holding a hammer (mechanic or track layer), and Mik will be holding a train engine from his layout. First I had to get some polystyrene strips glued on and cut Mik’s arm so the hand faced up at a 90 angle.
Here is how I do the coverall straps (suspenders are just a longer version). I put index marks on the chest and back. I then start by gluing the end of the styrene strip in place with superglue. After it has enough time to cure I put a drop of glue on the top of the shoulder and one at the index mark on the back. Using my thumb to keep the front from pulling loose I wrap the strip over the shoulder and across the back. Now I have to hold it still while a run a line of glue along the entire length of the strip. It take a few minutes for the glue to cure enough to keep the strip from pulling up. I usually get a set of my fingerprints in the soft plastic but that will sand out once everything is dry. To finish I cut the styrene at the appropriate angle. Once it is good and dry I start working the epoxy putty.
For most work I have switched to Milliput epoxy putty. It comes in two logs and is about the consistency of clay. I mix it by making two balls roughly the same size. It is easily worked with a sculpting tool or Exacto knife. To keep it soft and pliable I dip the blade in isopropyl alcohol as needed. This helps emulsify the top layer for fine details like hair or cloth folds.
Mik needed some cutting and gluing to reposition his right arm. It needed to be raised up and have the hand flipped over. I made the cuts using a razor saw. You can see in the picture the tiny piece of material that was removed just above the elbow. To reassemble the arm I drilled holes in all of the ends using a 1/16th” drill bit and inserting bits of floral wire. I glued the entire arm together but have to wait until the putty work is done to attach it to the body. It would be very difficult to sculpt and sand his belly otherwise.
Here is Ken ready for his base. I have found him a hammer and drilled a hole through his right fist so he can hold it.
I also made Bob’s toolbox. This is one of the Bmann items that come with their engines. The tools are from 1/20 and 1/24 mechanics models. Pretty snazzy.
Bob got his coverall’s finished and I gave him a cap as well. Mik ‘s arm was glued in place and the gaps filled and sanded. With all of the Milliput work I glued them both to their bases.
To finish construction I drilled a 1/32 hole in the open part of their left hands between the thumb and fingers. This is where a shop rag will go. I put a drop of superglue in the hole on the inside of the hand and slid a folded up piece of single ply tissue into the joint. Once dry I got it wet to make it sag like cloth. The ends were trimmed with scissors until it looked right and then I applied a 50/50 mix of PVA and water to harden the tissue. I left it to dry overnight. When I checked it the next day it was still to flexible. This time I dripped superglue on it and left it to cure. Success, it is now as hard and durable as the rest of the figure.
Finally all three figures are ready for primer.
Primer applied. I had to wait for the weather to warm up. We have had two weeks of cold temps in the single digits.
Now the painting can begin. I am going to give all three figures striped or plaid shirts of some kind. For the basic colors I went with burnt amber, brick, and sky blue. These would have been common colors in the 1930s. The stripes will be a mixture of gray, dark blue and black.
Painting complete. I need to let these dry for a few hours and then I can do the washes. I decided to have Mik holding an engine in Cibola livery.
With the block painting complete I gave everyone a wash. This time I used multiple colors. Brown on the clothing for Bob. Blue on the clothing for Ken and Mik. Faces and Mik’s shirt got rust. Looking good. Now I let this all dry and I can finish with the highlights.
All done. Here are the boys…
Mik: Holding his favorite train painted in Cibola green.
Ken: Working as the rail boss. Look sharp holding that spike or you are out of a job.
Bob McCown: Chief Mechanic and fixer of all things railroad.
Well that wraps this project up. Check in over at LSC to find out who won and see all the great projects from this years Mik’s Build Challenge.
And the winners are…..