Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bases, Everyone! Bases!

Yep, I'm a bit behind. I actually finished the base and have half my armature done. The man's armature is almost completed...

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. The base is finished--11 layers! The wires go through three layers and then the rest of the base is just built up for the man to sit on. I worked off the picture with the black background because I like that base and the man's seated position best.

The hardest part was using the two-part epoxy. Not mixing it or anything like that, just spreading it. I finally gave up on the ruined paintbrush and the paint spatula and pulled out a bag of cheapie sponge brushes. Figured that at least they were cheap enough to be considered disposable when they got stiff with epoxy. Of course, I think it took me 9 layers to figure that out.

I wasn't too concerned about everything being lined up or anything. My current plant for the final base is to be a crumbling stone wall of some sort, so there will be some pretty rough areas. Plus, I figure I can cut away and shape whatever I need to when I get to that point.

So, pics...these first two show the beginnings of how I built up the layers. I basically added a few, and then some more until I found a height I thought would work based on where the man's butt is going to be resting. I didn't glue them (except the first two when I initially started the base) until I had all the layers in place the way I wanted.

And I realized as I was going that I would have to bend the lower leg armatures into the proper positions to be able to set the layers properly.  So I took a little time to do that. This was a bit new to me--I'm used to making my armatures and sculpting the figure, leaving some wire extending out of the legs or backside (depending on what's attaching to the base) instead of working from the base up. I found it a little hard to visualize the feet at first and how the ankles would bend, etc., because of this. It definitely helped to have a printed template to work from--really helped me visualize how the feet and ankle parts would come together.

The final picture just shows the base with the armature. A slightly better view of the wires since they're harder to see with the black template behind them.

And on to the body armatures next. I do have the man's mostly done and haven't even started on the woman's yet, so I'm partway there. I have to do a little tucking, pressing, sharpening some bends, etc. to make the man's armature follow the template a little more closely. But, that's for later...

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