The creation of Womannequin
Womannequin was originally designed to be a poseable fiberglass mannequin for my female Tusken Raider costume, but was later redesigned
to fit inside the much shorter female costumes I would make, since I had nothing to make them on. It was then meant to be a quickly made
simple cardboard mannequin for costume making, but ended up becoming so much more, while also deriving a few other projects, including my
It never takes long for someone to slap Lara Croft's head onto a naked
body, so finding a base-model for the mannequin was easy after I
Since the 3D-model did not have Lara's own body, many things had to
be scaled down to match her actual body type.
When it was not possible to alter the body further in XNALara, the
3D-model was imported into Blender where each of the many vertices
could be altered separately.
Lara's head was not actually attached to the body in any way, so it
was time for me to quickly learn all about 3D-model editing to merge
the parts myself.
After poking around at random program features for a while, I mostly
figured out what I needed to know to merge Lara's head onto the
body around the shoulder area.
To alter the 3D-model completely symmetrically, I used a nifty
mirroring feature that makes anything altered on one side become
altered on the other side as well, as if by magic.
I always like to sculpt my own face designs, so wanted to try
sculpting one digitally for the first time, also making a simple wig for
it to better see what the face would look like in the end.
Although this face design was not used for Womannequin, it was later
reused for another project that derived from this one.
A ball-joint was added to the neck in order to obviously be able to
move the head around.
Ball-joints were also added to the shoulders in order to obviously be
able to move the arms around.
The 3D-model was scaled up to become roughly 175 centimeters tall
female costumes I was now making.
Later I discovered most characters I wanted to make costumes of
were roughly 165 centimeters tall, so it made more sense to make
Womannequin at this height instead, and use something else for the
A small jigsaw attachment was used on my Unimat 1 machine to
neatly cut out each cardboard part.
About 7 years later, and all the parts had been cut out from the
After loosely assembling the mannequin in this state to see what it
looked like, there were many who thought it looked cool enough to
keep in this state, but it would in reality be much too flimsy to hold
itself together and make any costume on.
I tried to fill the mannequin with expanding foam since it is
lightweight and would fill all the voids quickly, but the cheap cans I
bought wouldn't even stop spewing out foam once they started,
resulting in a general mess that just looked like the worst case of
cellulite ever seen.
Having decided to fill the mannequin with paper-clay instead, I
thought it would be just as well to buy a blender for it because of the
large quantity needed to fill the entire mannequin.
With the paper-clay somewhat dry, I could stuff it into all the voids in
between the cardboard parts.
To make a more durable surface smoothing goo, the same type of
paper-clay was mixed together with wallpaper glue.
To speed up the drying time significantly, all the parts were frequently
left to dry in my sauna, because I might as well take advantage of its
high heat for drying things.
The hands were extensively reworked for a long time to make
them look good, and similar in shape to Lara's hands.
The ears were removed to simplify the mannequin, although
mannequins really do make good listeners.
The ball-jointed shoulders were reshaped into rotating keyhole
couplings instead that would allow me to quickly remove the arms
during costume making and fittings.
The shoulder couplings were separated from the arms in order to
create them in a much higher detail through Pepakura.
The wrist couplings were also separated from the arms to create them
in higher detail through Pepakura as well.
The toes would also need to be made in higher detail and were
therefore also separated from the feet.
The ball-joint for the neck was replaced with a square peg coupling so
the head can be easily detached for costume making.
The 3D-model was already given a split waist earlier, so a square peg
coupling was made for the waist as well.
All the large parts that would be made through 123Make were isolated
from the rest.
The torso was moved backwards in order to keep everything from
interlocking in the program, also making it read the full height of the
3D-model as 165 centimeters.
The other parts that would be made in higher detail were also isolated
for printing through Pepakura.
Not having access to a large laser-cutter that could cut the shapes out
of cardboard for me, I simply projected each sheet of parts onto a wall
to fit inside a 1 by 1 meter square I had drawn there earlier.
With each part brightly projected onto the wall, I could simply trace
each shape onto various pieces of cardboard, as tedious and
time-consuming as that may sound.
About 5 years later, and all the parts had been traced onto a mountain
To save at least some time and marker ink, I only traced the beginning
and end of each intersection slot.
Having decided to quickly make the mannequin out of nothing but
cardboard and paper, the parameters of the cardboard I would use
were entered into the program that would then draw each part onto a
square at 1 by 1 meter.
Now that I had decided to make Womannequin as a shorter simple
mannequin for costume making, I decided to place Lara's head back
onto the 3D-model, and use my custom face design for something
About 4 years later, and all the many voids in the legs had been filled
in with the paper-clay.
A couple of keyhole couplings were also made for the wrists to make
it much easier to fit tight sleeves and such onto the arms.
After importing the large parts into 123Make, it would slice up the
3D-model into several sheets of parts that could then be remade in
real life and assembled into the model itself.
To make cutting out the intersection slots as fast as possible, a couple
of cutting discs with a spacer in between them were attached to a
rotary tool in order to cut both sides of the intersection slots at the
About 10 years later, and all the many intersection slots had been cut
into the parts that could now neatly intersect to become the actual
mannequin model in real life.
The assembly instructions shown by 123Make were not really helpful
at all, so I had to come up with my own method of assembling this
elaborate 3D-puzzle, starting with the legs.
Many more parts were put together to form the torso.
While there is nothing there to sensor in the first place, you would be
surprised how much some Internet services overreact to such things if
they are not sensored.
Even more parts were assembled to form the head.
The last of the parts were assembled to form the arms.
A great method I found to quickly remove the water from the
paper-clay was to pour it into a sock that could then be squeezed and
wrung out to dry the paper-clay inside.
The glue mixed paper-clay was smeared onto the surface of the torso
with a spatula.
About 2 years later, the mannequin was actually starting to look like a
mannequin after a lot of paper-clay filling.
To keep the weight down on the torso, only the waist was completely
filled in with paper-clay.
Before I could fill in the rest of the torso, I would have to incorporate
the shoulder couplings that I decided to make out of various pieces of
All the dimensions for the shoulder couplings were printed out on a
piece of paper from Pepakura.
After transferring the dimensions of the parts onto the thick
cardboard, the parts were super-glued together into the keyhole
A few layers of paper were glued around the shoulder couplings to
essentially laminate them stronger, then they were left to dry in my
The freshly baked shoulder couplings were glued into the torso with
After further securing the shoulder couplings with more glue mixed
paper-clay, the rest of the voids in the torso were filled in with
lightweight pieces of polystyrene foam.