Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"Ruffian" - 2014

 Since I've been exploring more sinister characters, I went back over my many notes and sketches, and discovered I had this idea of a man wielding a knife for some time.... 

I'm very happy with the way he turned out. He moves his knife from side to side and his head turns side to side too. The movie is posted at the bottom.

The base is an old box I found at a flea market. It's just big enough for the mechanism to fit inside.

I like this composition, (if I do say so myself).

Side view.

His head came out pretty much as I imagined - and I love it.

In progress shots.....

I started - like I always do - with the legs and the torso. Since I wanted all the mechanisms to be internal, I needed rods in each leg to run 2 lines up to his chest.

His torso hollowed out, and carved.

The hands after cutting the rough shape on the bandsaw. Next step is hours of carving. The hole on the right hand is for the knife.

As I sculpt the head from polymer clay, his personality starts to emerge.....

The finished head - scowl and all.

His body - ready for paint.

I wanted his head to rotate smoothly so I used 2 roller bearings stacked on top of each other.

Finding the perfect springs for the mechanism - it's nice to have a collection to pick from.

There are 2 springs inside his chest - one for the head and one for the arm. After this shot, I closed up his chest with 2 pieces of heavy card stock,  cut to fit.

My drawing of the mechanisms. Usually I only draw out what I need. This piece was more of a challenge because the box I chose for the base was rather small.

The mechanism is usually upside down (like this) as I work on it. I made it so it would slip into the lid once everything was figured out, and fabricated.

I glued the mechanism assembly into the "lid" and then mounted the figure. This is where I figure out the subtleties of the movement, and the shape of each cam.

Everything is done, and now I just have to add a power cord and insert this assembly into the base.

The cams and levers. Nowadays I try to use bearings for any moving part. Here you can see 3 of them.

A shot of his shoes...

His handmade knife.

The movie......... watch full screen.

Thanks for looking!