Making scale pilots and replicating them. - Page 6 - RC Groups
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Nov 11, 2009, 03:46 AM
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Trevorh's Avatar
Just to say:

1. I am enjoying this thread immensely.

2. There is no hope of me ever moulding, sculpting, carving anything recognisably human. (My art homework efforts used to earn me only punishments at school because the teacher didn't believe that I was even trying!)

3. If anybody in the UK fancies having a go at an airline captain (approx 1/8 scale), please PM me. I need someone to replace the rather military looking gent who is test flying my Rapide at the moment. (See below)

Keep up the good work folks.

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Nov 12, 2009, 01:49 AM
Always Ready!
warhead_71's Avatar
After cracking my first pilot, I made another. Slightly smaller... exact 1/9 scale. I made the head separate so it can be rotated and glued in various positions. I might make an alternate head so I have two different pilots in my 2-seaters.

A little trick I'm trying... I first made a "skeleton" from clay and half-baked it so I'd have something firm to press against as I added details. There's about 3/16" of fresh clay over the skeleton.

This is the between-the-wars style helmet with the ear-tube headphones. I'll add the tubes and a few other details after I make my cast.

P.S. --- a good link to WW2 pilot helmet details:
Last edited by warhead_71; Nov 12, 2009 at 01:56 AM.
Nov 12, 2009, 10:26 AM
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bmutlugil's Avatar
Impressive pilots, way beyond Sculpturing 101 work, as much as I can see

Last edited by bmutlugil; Nov 12, 2009 at 01:14 PM.
Nov 12, 2009, 11:49 AM
Gravity is a harsh mistress.
Tim Wolff's Avatar
I've got a small...about Peanut Scale or so pilot bust that is made from white foam. I've removed the paint that was on it and cleaned up the org. parting lines. I'd like to duplicate it before I finish it and put it in an airplane. How would you experienced guys go about making a mold from a bare foam bust?
Nov 12, 2009, 07:47 PM
Registered User
Probably a 2 part silicone mold would be best...
Nov 12, 2009, 09:43 PM
Always Ready!
warhead_71's Avatar
Just sharing my technique...

I had great results by making a "skeleton" of clay first and half-baking it before adding details --- this gives me some structure to start from so the head isn't squished out of shape as I add features. I simply wad up a ball of clay and pull out the neck, use a retracted click-pen to shove eye-holes in where they belong, pinch out a small Michael Jackson nose, and use my thumbs to push in the hollows of the cheeks under the cheek bones. Doesn't have to be perfect, but at least aim for symmetrical. Once I get it close enough, I stipple the surface with a toothbrush to give it a rough texture so the forthcoming layers can really latch on. About 8-10 minutes at 275F should suffice. The clay will be hard enough to hold its shape... but soft enough you can easily whittle away at it with an X-acto or even your thumbnail if you need to.

I made the neck slightly smaller in diameter than the neck-hole so it can be easily turned in whichever direction I want.
Nov 12, 2009, 10:17 PM
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fuelsguy's Avatar
Nice idea to make an armature out of Sculpey. I'm using a very simple balsa one right now, but the idea of a skeleton out of clay is something I've toyed with, but never tried, thanks a lot. Can I take it that you didn't get any cracking when baking the final figure?

On the subject of pilot information, there is a great book called "Luftwaffe vs RAF, flying clothing of the Air war 1939 to 1945" which I got from the local library and which has lots of details and pictures of the clothes and equipment of both sides.
Nothing on parachutes and seat straps, just clothing,masks, radio gear life jackets etc.

One thing I have to watch with is the size of the face relative to the head. the head is a egg shape tilted so one side is vertical if the face is looking forward. The eyes are only half way up the egg, the rest is brain box. Look at the picture Glenn posted in Post#37, on a head. I had it drilled into me in art classes a long time ago. It's always tempting to make the face big, which is how cartoonists emphasize facial feature of famous people. If that's what you want, go for it, if you want scale, you have to watch the face size.

I'll post some photos of my FW190 pilot tomorrow if I get a chance.

Nov 13, 2009, 07:50 AM
Oh no, not again!
jhspring's Avatar
That is remarkable. Even watching your photo series, I couldn't picture the final result. Apparently I am going to have to come up with a plan B.

Nice work.
Nov 13, 2009, 08:25 AM
Veni, Vidi, Napi
catrancher's Avatar
Excellent work! Something I've been meaning to try. No excuses now.

FWIW... here's a tutorial from a guy who makes figures for his large scale railroad. One thing he mentions is to use alcohol to gently brush out the figures to help take off any rough edges.

Thanks for a great motivator!

Nov 13, 2009, 08:45 AM
Always Ready!
warhead_71's Avatar
Originally Posted by catrancher
Excellent work! Something I've been meaning to try. No excuses now.

FWIW... here's a tutorial from a guy who makes figures for his large scale railroad. One thing he mentions is to use alcohol to gently brush out the figures to help take off any rough edges.

Thanks for a great motivator!

Great tutorial... I'll use aluminum foil for my armature next time!
Nov 13, 2009, 11:27 AM
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fuelsguy's Avatar
YES, great tutorial, this is a must watch for anyone interested in making figures of any kind.
I was thinking about converting my notes and comments to a pdf for people to read, but the tutorial does it all.
The only piece that we need to add is the making of the silicone mold and getting a foam figure that's light enough for our planes.

Thanks for a great find.

Nov 14, 2009, 11:10 PM
Registered User
Awesome Warhead and Ivor some great tips and Ideas too.

Nov 15, 2009, 02:04 AM
My hangar is,... "almost" full
No Step's Avatar
Hello Fuelsguy, No Step from Everett here,.... The silicon mold in post #8, do you ever have problems "popping " out the cured foam pilot,... being a one piece mold? Is it that flexible? I'm having problems imagining that part. I need to make several 1/4 and 1/5 scale pilots. I might tackle the job this winter. Nice thread!


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