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WIP Any secret or easy way to do this? Helmet net in 1/9

Discussion in 'Sculpting' started by JasonB, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. JasonB A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Working my way through a scratch/converted 1/9 scale bust of a Japanese Army officer in the pacific, and want him to have a helmet with netting. My idea for doing it is to use fine annealed electrical wire, which is very pliable, the correct size, and twisted just like the real netting. I have tried tying individual strands, and while doable, is neither easy or very exact. I thought about making a loom such as ship builders do for making ratlines, but thought I would ask here to see if anyone has done something similar, or if there is a netting material out there that would replicate the net fairly closely. Here are 2 different styles, I prefer the larger size on the repro helmet without the cover.
    Thanks
    Jason

    Attached Files:

  2. gordy Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
  3. JasonB A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Hi Gordy,
    Thanks, I have had a 3 foot square piece of tulle that I have used on and off for the past 15 years or so, for such things. But all of it I have seen is way too fine for something like this in 1/9th scale and lacks the characteristic knots. For 1/35 and even 1/16th its pretty good,though I generally use cheesecloth in the larger scales. I was kind of wondering what sculptors that do the 1/10th scale busts used for their helmet net, especially the Young Miniatures US paratrooper that has the large opening netting.
    Cheers
    Jason
  4. gordy Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Hear ya, fabric stores have larger gaps FWTW ..

    Another option would be to roll out some green stuff into a flattened blob and dice out slivers with a single sided razor blade and roll it thin between your fingers — that's my method, unfortunately I have no photo's the knot's can be fabricated with bits and crafty painting ;)
  5. ausf Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    I think the most convincing recreation is to use the same method and material, just scaled down. If making a net, whether rope or wire, use the same. It shouldn't take too long to make a simple frame (or loom as you said) and lay out the pattern.
  6. gordy Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    You did say easy ;)

    Keep in mind what separates engineers and artists is recreating something nut-and-bolt versus recreating what you see. More often than not, recreating something nut-and-bolt is more difficult and doesn't achieve the same naturalness.
  7. JasonB A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Well, this is what I came up with using the annealed copper wire, doing it freehand. Thoughts?
    Oh, I am also doing some flattening of it to make it conform a little more to the surface, and stretching it out a bit to make it look pulled tight. Its a little bit of a combo of both patterns, which I am not sure I am happy with.

    Attached Files:

    pipetrepid and gordy like this.
  8. redhorse Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    I think it looks pretty good except the wire's too thick compared to the photos. I think it looks better freehand as the real helmet is obviously not made up of perfect squares. Maybe if you took a strand or two of the wire out it would look more to scale. Although honestly if it were me, I'd probably leave it because everything else about it looks right.
  9. JasonB A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    As I am stretching it the wire thins out a bit. It actually looks better to the naked eye. The strands spread out a bit from wrapping them, so I am taking the tweezers and squashing them back together. The wire is about the same thickness as a very heavy thread, like that used with leather or other heavy material. Everything else I have looked at is too small, and I want something that shows the individual strands like the netting on the real deal. Once I get it stretched out to my liking I will post another one. If my sanity allows, I might try to do another and get the pattern more to my liking. Removing a couple of strands from the wire really isn't possible, its about as fine as a hair, and having been annealed, will get all mangled REALLY easily. Oh, the wire is a single wire from a four wire telephone line. Thanks!
  10. Jamie Stokes Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Australia
    Hi Jason,
    I have seen (and done, as an experiment) where solder was rolled under a file, to add surface texture, then it could be knitted/ netted.

    Well, I did the texture to simulate plumbing for a motorbike engine (needed something to add busy texture to the gap)

    I do like your results so far, I would opt for two strand rather then three - visually, it will look the same, and avoid bulking out your knots with an incompressible substance like wire. (compared to semi compressible like the hemp rope./ string in real life)

    while there is a lot of energy and experimentation in this kind of effort (and yes,hair tearing, sulking, pouting, cries of frustration and mumbling while reworking another experiment) when you "get it" it is so rewarding!

    Best wishes.

    PS - have you thought about checking out fly tying wire? can be quite thin, sometimes has a texture, and is flexible similar to your copper wire?
  11. JasonB A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Yeah, I think I am gonna have to try something even finer than this copper wire, though its so fine it tests my dexterity. This is after some massaging it and stretching. The differences are negligible I think, and I managed to crack the helmet rim while doing it.

    Attached Files:

  12. gordy Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Looks promising, yet a bit bulky...

    This is a prime example of rivet-by-rivet versus artistic impression go with a single strand and with clever painting simulate the weave/braid.

    Faithfully recreating the effect "rivet-by-rivet" (or in this case strand by strand) is not always practical, set aside the engineering desire and let the artist out! :)
  13. JasonB A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    You can't make me! :p

    Hey, I did a version of the twisted chickenwire on a German Fallschrmajager helmet, for the SOL models 1/9 FJ figure (which is amazingly close to the Young Miniatures bust BTW). The SOL figure didn't have any wire on the helmet. So I used 4-5 strands of fine wire to create the hexagonal twisted pattern of the European version of chickenwire, and its real wire. That only took me 5-6 tries, and one extra dosage of Valium.Ok, maybe several extra doses, but...
    I gotta get this thing right, 'cause like Rambo said in Rambo part II, "now its personal". I will defeat this thing, even if it results in a padded room. Oh wait, these walls ARE padded!!! :eek:

    Well working with it a little more, I think I can make it work. After burning off the plastic coating, which also anneals the copper a bit, I will need to re-tighten the twist on the wire. This helps prevent it from fraying out a bit when its looped, and it reduces its thickness by about half. I also think if I make a quick jig with about 15 straight pins evenly spaced to the size of the openings in the net, I can wrap the wire around these to create loops. Then I would insert a straight piece if wire through each of those loops and tighten it up. An equal number of straight strands ran through stands with loops will give me the netting pattern, and this will give me more control of the spacing as well. I also think if I squint just a little at what I have now, it looks just fine and dandy! Damn digital cameras and their "megapixels"...
  14. pipetrepid Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    i think it works! good job. bill

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