Tuesday, May 14, 2019

How Do I Make a Posable Maquette?

Robert Post asks: "James, I need to build a maquette that is flexible to pose as a model for paintings. What material do you recommend? "

Robert, it depends how much flexibility you want. If you just need your maquette to flex a little, there's a kind of flexible Sculpey that bends a bit after curing.

If you really need a model that you can pose, you can use the build-up technique, using soft foam and latex, as shown in the video above.

The easiest way to make a skeleton is to use an aluminum armature, and you can bulk out the forms with foam, as with the simple robot maquette above.

That's more or less how I made the poseable skybax maquette (right).

Or if you want an exact shape with a smooth outer surface, you can sculpt, mold, and cast latex or silicon, but those processes are a lot more involved. Stop Mo Nick has some pretty good videos on this.

Bill Wiist asks: I am planning to build posable human maquettes. Have you done a blog on articulation, best materials to use, etc.

Bill, I haven't done a blog post about articulated joints yet. The simplest solution is to build your person or creature over an existing action figure by grinding away material and then adding what you want to add with Magic Sculpt.

If you want to build a posable figure from scratch, you can get a metal stop-motion armature or use the cheaper one made of plastic called a Modibot. (above, right)

Finally, the small artist manikins have gotten a lot better since the old "jointed wooden doll" era. For example, the Color LILIJ male and female manikins shown at right are quite realistic, and not as expensive as they used to be.

1 comment:

A Colonel of Truth said...

James, your inventive ways reminds me reading about Edison and his laboratory. He, as you, solved problems; cleverly. Great post!