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Dioramas
Do you love dioramas & vignettes? We sure do.
Can you still turn heads at your age?
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020 - 02:46 AM UTC
After seeing a guy struggle with the thought of replacing a head on a Tamiya fig on social media I decided to offer some humble advice concerning this topic. Maybe this short how-to will clear some questions.
I picked this Tamiya fig from their Field Briefing set that is kinda long in the tooth now,but not too shabby. It is surely sold at a reasonable price anyway. The figs can be vastly improved with resin heads though,if you do nothing else.
Here is the stock fig right from the sprue.


First off,I got my dremel with a round cutting bit and ground out the neck area. I also undercut a little around the collar area to show what a bit of work with a number 11 blade can do.



Notice how the collar turn-back pops more now after about a minute of blade work?

next,the noggin. This is the kit part. An amiable enough guy but lacking a lot of human quality ?


I dug into my drawer of Hornet and Alpine heads and picked this guy. Right off-you can see the level of detail is exponentially larger.



First step here is removing the casting block. I do this by cutting either from front to back or back to front because I learned the hard way going from a side can damage the fragile ears. A very difficult repair !


Attaching the new frankenstein head.
Two major things to avoid here. I see this a lot on line. I applaud folks that want to up the detail and I appreciate when they attempt it. Here is how you can up your game.
Avoid the "Giraffe neck"

Here we see an example of that elongated neck


A good rule of thumb is making the bottom of the chin even to or slightly below the top of the shoulder line. Exception would be if the guy is looking up at something,or down. Or when you want to show fear or fatigue,by pulling th head into the shoulders more as a subconscious defense reflex.The "turtle" effect.Be aware also,like with this particular fig,that bulky clothing should be taken into account. Try to visualize where the shoulders are under the heavy coat and adjust accordingly.
The other big mistake I see is when someone gets ambitious and wants to have the fig looking to the side.
Once again,good on ya for wanting to change things up and avoid the pointing and staring straight ahead fig we all know and love.
But avoid this common mistake. When we,as humans,turn our noggins we tend to keep our head level. It helps a lot with vision. Try it yourself. Can you see better if you look like this?


I see lots of figs looking like this. AVOID that. Unless you want the guy to be thinking "WTF",or "really" that position makes no sense.

Just get the resin head and sand the bottom of the neck at a slant going high in the back and longer in the front. To facilitate the head turning,just make the slant angled off to the side. Sometimes,like here,you will have to carve a scoop out of the collar so the chin will fit. If you remove too much,no biggy,just fill later with putty and it's all good!



OK,that is it! Hope I didn't come off as too preachy. Just trying to pass on some hard learned lessons,taken from modelers WAY better than me.






jrutman
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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020 - 02:55 AM UTC
You can see the head really jazz's up a fig nicely with hardly any effort ! I decided to go another route and show a guy approaching the edge of endurance after hand to hand combat on the Ostfront. So I changed heads again to reflect that and began adding other details.

This was the kit pose. Pointing and holding a map.



And,to add interest,he became this.




Let your imagination run free !
J
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020 - 03:54 AM UTC
I do similar, but I cut the head from the block to include the "giraffe neck". I then drill a 1/4" hole (or thereabouts) into the torso, and about 1/8" deep. The deep hole allows you to position the head (with the "giraffe neck") -higher, lower, left, right, until where wanted, then a tiny drop of CA to finish the job. CA will also fill in any unwanted gaps around neck and collar.
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020 - 04:01 AM UTC
Jerry, your tutorials are always great, but I have to admit I was intrigued by the title of this post more than anything else— due to it’s double meaning. While I appreciate very much your method of “turning heads”, my first thought was that at my age it’s getting more difficult to turn my head anymore, and secondly, at my age, the girls don’t quite turn their heads to look at me the same way they used to. All is not lost though—- I can still use your excellent technique to turn a few heads.
VR, Russ
jrutman
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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020 - 04:05 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I do similar, but I cut the head from the block to include the "giraffe neck". I then drill a 1/4" hole (or thereabouts) into the torso, and about 1/8" deep. The deep hole allows you to position the head (with the "giraffe neck") -higher, lower, left, right, until where wanted, then a tiny drop of CA to finish the job. CA will also fill in any unwanted gaps around neck and collar.




Yep,that works as well. Different road to get to the same destination.
J
jrutman
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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020 - 04:07 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Jerry, your tutorials are always great, but I have to admit I was intrigued by the title of this post more than anything else— due to it’s double meaning. While I appreciate very much your method of “turning heads”, my first thought was that at my age it’s getting more difficult to turn my head anymore, and secondly, at my age, the girls don’t quite turn their heads to look at me the same way they used to. All is not lost though—- I can still use your excellent technique to turn a few heads.
VR, Russ



Yeah man I feel your pain I really do.
Glad I could help in any way. As for the other thing,maybe try some "Just for Men". Hahahahaaaa
J
dhines
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Nova Scotia, Canada
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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020 - 04:49 AM UTC
Excellent article Jerry, I too have tried some of the above ways to transplant heads. I like the dremel method as well and make the hole a little deeper to give more adjustment room and use the thin self leveling Mr surfacer after gluing it in place. Great article and insight into Rutmans frankenstein factory.Best regards...........Dale
jrutman
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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020 - 05:19 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Excellent article Jerry, I too have tried some of the above ways to transplant heads. I like the dremel method as well and make the hole a little deeper to give more adjustment room and use the thin self leveling Mr surfacer after gluing it in place. Great article and insight into Rutmans frankenstein factory.Best regards...........Dale



Thank you and yes,nice method you have as well. My post here I think is aimed more at the beginner Dr Frankensteins and I hope we see more of them !
J
chazman
Joined: October 24, 2005
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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020 - 01:16 PM UTC
Looking forward to how this turns out!
JPTRR
Staff MemberManaging Editor
RAILROAD MODELING
#051
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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020 - 02:07 PM UTC
I'll be watching.
KoSprueOne
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Myanmar
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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020 - 02:39 PM UTC

Quoted Text

CALLSIGN: jrutman

OK,that is it! Hope I didn't come off as too preachy. Just trying to pass on some hard learned lessons,taken from modelers WAY better than me.



Oh hecks yeah man. Very helpful.




Dioramartin
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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020 - 02:42 PM UTC
Thanks Jerry very handy – preach away man you’ve earned it! Maybe the lens is misleading & I get that the uniform’s bulky/baggy & he’s got thick gloves on, but even so is the head a tad under-sized? Or is it just that the head’s designed to have a helmet on so the skull’s abbreviated at the back?
GazzaS
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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020 - 02:45 PM UTC
Great thread, Jerry! Very helpful indeed.

One thing I've always been curious about is sculpting the clothing around a joint (like elbow or knee)when you reposition it. Do you have a tutorial for that?
deerstalker36
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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020 - 10:44 PM UTC
great little tutorial Jerry,
i'm guilt of the What the heck! head turn, good tip for keeping eyes level, looks much more natural

jrutman
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Posted: Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 03:15 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks Jerry very handy – preach away man you’ve earned it! Maybe the lens is misleading & I get that the uniform’s bulky/baggy & he’s got thick gloves on, but even so is the head a tad under-sized? Or is it just that the head’s designed to have a helmet on so the skull’s abbreviated at the back?



Thanks buddy !
Yes,I see what you mean about his noggin. But having served in the army for many years and viewed upteen thousand skulls with short haircuts I can say I have seen this type of shaped head more than a few times in person !
It may make more sense when you see my update pics below.
J
jrutman
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Posted: Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 03:19 AM UTC
Gary and Colin,
Thanks Gents,for your kind remarks and contributions.
As far as the putty getting added to the re-posed joints,maybe th update pics below will clear some of that up ?

I am going for a worn out and at the end of his rope type of feel here. This is the first application of putty and nothing is dry or smoothed out yet.




Next,I will smooth things out and then move around to the back and work out that issue.
Be happy to answer any queries,
J
amoz02t
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Posted: Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 05:56 AM UTC
Great stuff Jerry! Thank you for posting the tips. Always fun to see your work!
jrutman
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Posted: Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 06:08 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Great stuff Jerry! Thank you for posting the tips. Always fun to see your work!



Thanks mucho Stuart !
J
chazman
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Posted: Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 10:52 AM UTC
Love the look of this one!
b2nhvi
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Posted: Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 11:54 AM UTC
There's a Linda Blair joke in the subject line ... some where ....
jrutman
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Posted: Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 12:55 PM UTC
Chaz and Tim,thanks Gents,for looking and commenting.

I moved to the back.
The stock fig was too thin in profile so I added bulk above and below the belt. Then I made a breadbag,put PE straps on it and pushed the canteen into it. I scooped out a place for the holster and blended that in as well. Coming along.
J



I have thought up a scenario for this guy as well. More to follow,
J
AussieReg
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Posted: Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 10:07 PM UTC
As an absolute noob at figures, this thread is invaluable!

Love it Jerry, thanks so much.

Cheers, D
panamadan
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Minnesota, United States
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Posted: Sunday, March 01, 2020 - 01:19 AM UTC
Jerry,
Where is the helmet and liner from?
Thanks, Dan
vettejack
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Sunday, March 01, 2020 - 01:29 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Jerry, your tutorials are always great, but I have to admit I was intrigued by the title of this post more than anything else— due to it’s double meaning. While I appreciate very much your method of “turning heads”, my first thought was that at my age it’s getting more difficult to turn my head anymore, and secondly, at my age, the girls don’t quite turn their heads to look at me the same way they used to. All is not lost though—- I can still use your excellent technique to turn a few heads.
VR, Russ



Yea, I tuned in because of the 'head (line)', (pun intended)...thinking I was going to view some tank porn!

Clever!

:)
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Sunday, March 01, 2020 - 01:41 AM UTC

Quoted Text

As an absolute noob at figures, this thread is invaluable!

Love it Jerry, thanks so much.

Cheers, D



Thanks Damian,glad it helped in any small way, Let me know if you need to catch up on anything else concerning figs,
J