It's recently been pointed out to the webmistress that if these are encountered out of context, they can look, well, a bit peculiar. Off-putting, even. So I'm adding a brief disclaimer: they were enjoyable, tongue-in-cheek silliness, I had fun producing them, then each was auctioned or raffled and the proceeds donated to St. Jude Children's Hospital. They aren't permanently enshrined or anything.
It all started on another, now defunct, website when a member called LexLawGirl posted a photo of a 12" action figure she had 'customized' to represent Lucius Malfoy—and a mighty fine job she did, too.
So I responded, because there really was the most wonderful resemblance, and LLG was good enough to share that she had purchased the figure ready-made; it was a BBI (Blue Box Industries) action figure, sold as "Sean Bannon of the Australian Special Air Service", but she agreed that it was plainly modeled on Jason Isaacs' appearance in Black Hawk Down. A little patient digging yielded a nude figure for not a great deal of money, and then, boys and girls, we were off. (I purchased my 'Sean Bannon' from blackops toys--their eBay store is here: http://stores.ebay.com/Black-Ops-Toys)
So my first effort, none too ambitious, was JI's CPT Steele--I had to purchase the U.S.-issue-patterned BDUs, boots, armour etc., and I did a bit of touching up of his little face; dressed and posed, he looked mighty fine, though I say so myself.
So away he went to eBayland to be auctioned for a charity drive.
Cor, those look a bit of a muddle all together, don't they?? Well, sometimes combat is like that. The top two show pretty clearly the modification of the eyebrow and the addition of the rank and nametapes to Steele's uniform.
And that was pretty well the extent of Jason Isaacs's bald roles...at that point, I was forced to contemplate
I was a little surprised and taken aback to see how many other people there are out in cyberspace involved in customizing everything from Barbies to Simpsons figurines to G.I. Joes. I mean if I'd been speaking from a different perspective I would have found it downright weird. As it is, I suppose I have to keep my mouth shut, don't I?? Anyway, I found some cracking instructions and a little Flash video (http://www.modcolors.com/modbarbiecare/reroot3.htm ) explaining how to re-root hair, so with some slight adjustments (this head is quite rigid, and has a tiny neck opening) I embarked on
Here's a close-up of his naked (ahem!) torso and the hair, as first...um...inserted.
I used a lovely auburn-coloured mohair for his tresses. It is a good weight for this scale, being quite fine; unfortunately, like a lot of wool, it has a fearsome propensity to felting, so that no matter how often and carefully I combed, he was becoming more Rastafarian by the hour...Child kindly lent me a Garnier Fructis styling product, however, which seemed to coat the individual hairs and help separate them, making them, you should pardon the expression, much more manageable. ("Shake Effect Liquid Gel". Now you know.)
Then it was on to his clothing.
As I said, there is a significant 'after market'...well, market out there, and it turns out that apparently there are a lot of people with a bit of cash who are interested in WWII.
In 1:6 scale.
And I stumbled upon a pair of teeny-tiny leather boots, which have even teenier zippers up the back, the manufacture of which is almost certainly outlawed as torture by the UN; apparently intended for Panzer officers or something, they looked about dead right to me, so on they went.
Next was his shirt, for which I sacrificed an antique linen tea-table cloth, of wonderfully fine tight weave. I cut it according to the usual 18th century mode, with the body of a single length and the neck a T-shaped slit, though out of deference to my eyeballs I eschewed the customary underarm and neckline gussets. It has a minute rolled hem around the neck opening, and the cuffs and collar close with thread loops (I did very briefly think about attempting buttonholes, but then I stopped) and handmade faux-ivory (Sculpey) buttons.
I paused for photos, and I suddenly recalled that I had in my possession the coolest thing: an antique dollbed, an actual family heirloom, which upon receipt had been carefully secreted in the basement to avoid further damage. It is not in immaculate shape. It was also a bit big for the doll—figure? Dude?? but so absolutely fabbity fab fab that I had to use it as a prop:
Initially I included his boots and sword, just, you know, to show them off, because that was all I had yet, but the more I looked at the photo above, the more he looked like the cover of some cheesy paperback romance novel, the sort once modeled for by....Fabio.
And it came to me: Tavio. Tavio the tiny plastic heartthrob.
His breeches were next: some beautiful fine black English gabardine, 100% wool. Again, out of a desire to avoid dealing with buttonholes at that scale, I declined to fashion the common front-fall, sticking instead with a simple waistband which fastens with a hook and eye, and an authentic gusset, to accommodate Tavio's full range of movement. Here he models them over a nice cup of tea, after tying back his queue in black silk ribbon.
"Lapsang or Oolong, my dear?" His waistcoat is also wool, lined with cotton poplin and sporting an array of little brass (false) buttons. Here he examines a chart representing British territories in North America:
"Tell me about...Ohio."
And after a hard day of pillaging, he relaxes in hope of a nice mint julep. Poor thing, he can't understand why no one wants to wait on him...
"Just what has a guy gotta do to get a drink around here??"
Next was the coat, and it was a right challenge. Like the rest of his garments, it was constructed without a pattern. It is made of a rather coarse scarlet wool, hem narrowly faced with cotton hem tape, and the cuffs, collar, pocket flaps and facings are made of the same wool as his waistcoat. I saw a wonderful screencap that showed Tavington from behind on his horse, and it plainly showed two inverted pleats in the skirt of the jacket, rather than a center split following the center back seam, so I had to figure out a different cut and seaming mode.
"Everything grows here...honking enormous"
I was recycling the large buttons, the ones on his jacket facings, and it was a bitch trying to attach them. They are little hollow domes, so there's not much area for adhesive to stick to. When I pressed his collar, I inadvertently stretched out the neckline, so the collar rather gapes away from him...I love wool in part because you can overcome a number of tailoring errors with its elasticity, but in this case, it is a disadvantage...never mind, other than that it fits quite well, I think.
It has one working pocket, and I added metallic gold thread trim to the collar and cuffs. V. posh.
There he is, ready for action. His sabre is in the wrong hand, partly because his hands are molded for holding things like a rifle or a SAW—you can see his right index finger is curled for a trigger—so his left hand seemed to fit the hilt better. Maybe, like the Dread Pirate Roberts, he's ambidextrous.
Having done the wee vignettes, I began to get suggestions, and the "Why wait?" scene was an obvious candidate. I looked and looked, and finally found that there have been action figures made to represent Mel Gibson; most of them are figures from the Mad Max movies, and it didn't look easy to modify their clothing at all. Likewise, I didn't think the resemblance would be especially convincing without the obvious Mad Max outfits.
There's also been one 1:6 (that is, one foot of action figure represents six feet of human) size figure, depicting Mel as COL Moore in We Were Soldiers, but I got fed up trying to acquire one for less than $35 or so—really, who wants to pay that sort of money for a Mel Gibson figure to revile?? It's not as if I wanted his Viet Nam-era fatigues and helmet....I said oh sod it and made my own Mel head. Couldn't be arsed to build the whole body, so I scampered off to Toys-R-Us and found a perfectly scaled Samwise Gamgee figure on clearance for $4.48. Just the thing!
"Why wait? No, on second thought, I understand completely."
Difficult for an officer to maintain appropriate standards of grooming....
When I originally posted the first version of this next one, there were two complaints: first, I had omitted the ruins at Camden, and secondly, the amount of gore adorning Stumpy was completely disproportionate to the amount poor Tavington displayed after what was averred to be a lesser injury. Nice. So I made some amendments and additions, and produced the following:
Pillage and burn, pillage and burn... it all gets a bit exhausting sometimes...
Tavio is preparing for departure, to go and join his new...mistress?? So he takes his leave of the old:
"My dear Kitty, of course I'm vastly fond of you, but you must own, even when we met you knew there was no question of my remaining. I'm quite certain you'll find Lord Cornwallis a generous, if unexciting, patron. Now send for your maid, and we'll take a glass of sack to my journey, there's a dear sensible girl."
"I think I'm quite getting the hang of this. Praise the Lord and pass the accelerant!"
(Finally added the contrasting boot-tops)
Never let it be said that Tavio is a sore winner.
For anyone who needs definitive proof that some people just have waaay too much time on their hands, may I present: Cherrio's page!
And Infinite Space, Infinite Silliness: Diminutive DJ's Page!
I've just discovered I'm not alone--visit MiniEwan McGregor at The Minifaces of Ewan! (These ladies have gone to extraordinary lengths in achieving almost photographic accuracy and detail--bit intimidating, really!)