Full Scratch Figure
This weekend, I started making a full scratch figure. “Full scratch” is a term used in model making where you make something from scratch using a particular material. This is actually my 2nd attempt at making a full scratch figure. The first time, I just went off and tired to make it without having any idea about how I’d go about doing it. Which of course resulted in failure. I went off on the wrong approach and it ended up parts of the sculpture collapse under the weight when it dried. (^_^;)
This time, I regained my enthusiasm to build my own full scratch figure from a net friend that actually lives in the same city as me. Half a year ago, I remember explaining to him in a message about how to build full scratch figures. Since then, it had been a while since I went back to the forum, but while I was away, he got really good at making his full scratch figure. I’m really suprised at his progress. At the moment his figure is close to completion. He even has a “work in progress” blog detailing his every step with making the figure. After seeing all this, I’ve decided to give full scratch figure making another shot.
The materials required for full scratch is the same as for garage kit building, so it was quite easy to get started. I had already stocked up on packets of “Mr. CLAY” when I last went to Japan. I ended up buying 5 packets from the Kotobukiya store in Osaka. So I’m fairly prepared in terms of clay. When I first started, I didn’t really know how to even get started, so I ordered the books “Lets make a cute girl figure” and “Master of Figures – For beginners” books which show step by step instructions on how to make the figures using air drying clay. Besides for the instruction books, I also have a Figure making DVD called “Azusa’s Figure making course” which teaches you how to make figures using sculpey oven bake clay. Anyways, I have more than enough to prepare for this 2nd attempt. (*^_^*)
Anyways, this time I plan to make a figure of one of the many characters from the manga “Magical Teacher Negima!”. Since there are a lot of candidates that would be good to make into figures, it was difficult to decide on one. My favorite characters at the moment are “Yuuei Ayase”, “Chisame Nagatanigawa” and “Negi Springfield”. In the end, I decided to choose a character not from those 3 favorites, but instead chose a side character called “Collet”.
To prepare, I first did a google image search on the character so I could collect some reference pictures. After doing that, I referred to the images I saved and used a program called “3D Custom Girl” to make a 3d model of the character. Since the first time I made a full scratch figure, I didn’t have anything to refer to in terms of proportions, the figure I made ended up rather odd looking. This time, to overcome that problem, I decided that using a 3d model in a 3D program would be the ultimate reference tool when making the figure.
While making the figure, I can rotate the 3d model and compare my sculpt with it to see what bits are not right. The software also allows you to change the pose of the 3d model and even change the clothes, so it really is a great tool. Actually, the program actually is a popular adult game in Japan, but I find it a great fast way to prototype a 3d anime character and use it as a reference model for scratch build figures. Honest! (^o^)
When I worked on building the figure, I tried a few approaches. Using a wire skeleton seemed like a good idea, but it was rather hard to use as the wire I had was quite thick and difficult to bend without pliers. Last year, I bought some Wave branded plastic posable figure frames designed for the purpose of full scratch figure building, but i too found this to be not ideal. It seemed that the pose that I wanted was simply not possible with it. In the end, I followed the method in “Lets make a cute girl figure” and found it was the best choice for me. It involved preparing some basic shaped pieces to form the base and use them when fully dried to build up the figure by adding more clay onto it.
Currently, I have made the trunk of the body and the upper part of the legs of the figure. I did a fair share of applying and cutting off bits of clay to and from the figure to get it close to the reference model. I ended up spending a long time on it, but since today (Monday) is a holiday, it was okay. I think I ended up spending half a day working on it.