Following on from my last post, I jumped in to designing my full scale models so that I can begin building them. For this, as usual, I used Cinema4D so that I can model them to the exact dimensions I need and be able to see how they will look in relation to each other and at the correct scale. With some help, I gathered some measurements of myself, to use along side my reference images so that I could make sure I was designing at the right dimensions. From here I used some of my previous models for inspiration and got to work.
I started with the standing model by trying to work out how I wanted the torso and legs, then adding the arms in the final iteration. For my other two, the designs didn’t change much from my 1/8 scale models as these forms were really well received by my peers and I loved them too. The only adjustments were to the sizings and proportions as I changed them to better fit within my measurements. After coming up with my three forms I showed them to a few of my peers for feedback, made a few minor adjustments, then it was time to begin!
In regards to my last post about materials, I’ve spoken to a local supplier for MDF and they won’t be able to cut my sizes as many of them are too small for their machine. I’ve also contacted a supplier of balsa wood blocks, and they too can’t cut the pieces I need to size due to the limitations of their machine and the sheer cost of balsa wood. The MDF suppliers suggested that I could contact a local workman they knew, but implied that it wouldn’t be cheap and would take quite a while as I needed a lot of cuts so I had to some up with another plan.
Having had a long discussion with one of my tutors, Liam, we’ve come to the conclusion that foamboard might actually be the best option for my case. Given my incredibly limited access to tools, foamboard works well as it is easy to cut and can be assebled with hot glue as I’ve been doing for my smaller models. Another benefit is that if I were to make a mistake or it was to get broken, it should, in theory, be easy to repair as long as I have some spare materials at hand. To negate the concerns I had about the strength of the models if they were made of foam board, we decided that creating an internal structure to build around would add the strength needed - more about this later.
Knowing that I was going to use foamboard, I set about generating my cutting list. The three models in total use 61 boxes. Each box requires 6 sides. That’s a grand total of 366 pieces of foamboard I am going to need. Knowing that the foamboard is 5mm thick, I had to account for this when coming up with my measurements. I devised a wonderful naming scheme for this too. Each sculptures was named either A, B or C. Then each box was numbered, and then each of the three different pairs of sides was named a, b or c, meaning I could easily tell how they were to be constructed. So I made a list. I checked it twice. I didn’t find out who was naughty or nice, but I did luckily find a couple of mistakes so that made it worth the effort. The grand total was 114 unique dimensions. This is going to be a joy to cut…
Okay, so, back to the internal structures. Liam and I knocked up a quick test with some scrap materials to see how it would work. The results of this are pictured below. In short I am going to have a large base board, a few up-rights, and a few blocks to just make it sturdy. I think I will give each sculpture the same sized base board so that it creates congruence between the models and visually makes them more linked. For the standing model, the support system will be simple, just a base and an upright. The lying is even simpler, just a board which I can glue the model onto. Finally the sitting which is the one we mocked up. For this I’m going to use a weird Tetris block shape and then I will build the foamboard blocks around this structure to bury it inside. This structure will definitely give it the extra strength needed.
My dad suggested a way of strengthening the foamboard boxes too. I am going to the edges together, and when that dries I will run glue up the inside seam to make them more rigid. Also for certain, larger boxes I can add an internal support out of foamboard so that there is some more strength in the middle and not just around the edges.
After the successful test, I went away and mocked up the supported in Cinema4D so I could better visualise the dimensions I need and how they will go in the sculptures. For both the sitting and standing sculptures, I am planning on running the supports up the left legs as I can’t run them up the centre due to gaps in the design. Luckily, due to the disjointed, abstracted form, there is some leeway with how the boxes are placed, therefore I can made adjustments around the internal structure if needed.
I have ordered some foamboard which is going to be delivered next week, and I am planning on visiting B&Q to buy the wood needed for the support.