The creation of Womannequin
The paper face cast was cut into several segments to equally shorten
the entire face, both horizontally and vertically.
After taping the segments back together again, more sheets of paper
were glued down inside it and left to dry against the head.
Much of the hollow front of the face had to be filled in with paper-clay
before attaching it to the head.
With all the paper-clay inside the face, there was no room for the
original nose anymore that was completely removed.
A layer of glue mixed paper-clay was smeared all over the inside of
the face before it was secured to the head with several small nails.
As usual when paper-clay dries, it will shrink enough to make the
surface above it shrivel up into a wrinkly mess, but most of the
coarseness was removed with a rasp and sandpaper.
A couple of simple base shapes for the ears were made out of
paper-clay that was left to quickly dry in my oven.
More paper-clay was used to secure the ears to the head and fill in the
rest of the pits and creases.
After sanding off the surface of the paint, it was much easier to see
the remaining pits on the surface that had to be filled in.
With the waist coupling connected again, I could hand-sand the entire
waist area as one piece to make the seam as perfectly flush as
More surfacing paper-clay were applied over the hands as well,
though no further details were planned for them at this stage.
To make a couple of perfectly spherical eyes, a layer of paper-clay was
smeared into a couple of acrylic domes and left to dry.
After cutting the new eyes into shape, they were stuck onto the head
with more paper-clay.
Outlining the eye openings with a black marker made shaping them
Several more patches of paper-clay were applied to the face to further
refine its shape and make it completely smooth.
With all the various parts of the face completed, the entire head could
be hand-sanded completely smooth.
Though it should be said that shaping a face in that many colors just
made it a lot worse to see all the many details properly.
I also wanted to carve some simple toenail shapes into the surface of
the toes, just for the sake of extra realism.
I also learned from this the hard way to never ever Google for toenail
With all the parts of the mannequin fully detailed and sanded smooth,
it was ready to receive its final surface treatment that I didn't even
know for a long time what should be.
I did at least want it to be skin colored at this point, possibly even
painting it realistically so I could photograph costume parts on it.
I had a lot of leftover paint from when this mannequin was supposed
the surface of the torso with the paint to better see how much more it
needed to be sanded down, which ultimately made me really like the
way the mannequin looked in actual skin color.
A new box of wallpaper-glue was used to stick the tissue paper to the
surface of the mannequin, starting with the waist coupling.
Eventually the legs were covered by the tissue paper, but would need
many more layers added to look uniformed in color.
It was around this time that I realized the best option for casting a full
body for a different mannequin project would be to cast this simple
paper mannequin that was starting to get more and more detailed
along the way.
One of the details I wanted to add for casting was a more detailed
navel that I made out of a very fine grained paper-clay.
After much sanding everywhere on all the parts, the mannequin could
be put together as a complete human shape for the first time.
It was around this point that I realized I would have to make its
surface a lot smoother if I were to cast this thing in the end.
There were still so many pits in the surface that had to be filled in and
sanded down that most of the tissue paper I had glued onto it was
sanded back off again.
One of the warps caused by the paper-clay drying that really bothered
me a lot was the left foot turning too much inward, so I decided to cut
it off to reposition it again.
A big glob of glue mixed paper-clay was smeared over the cut section
of the foot before screwing it back into place with the bolts I had
screwed into the ankle earlier.
A tightened luggage strap and a random plastic container were used
to hold the foot at the right position while the paper-clay was left to
dry for a few days.
Now it was time to figure out a new surfacing material for this
mannequin to get rid of all the pits and voids once and for all.
While experimenting with mixing methods for paper-clay, I realized
that using a large milling bit on a rotary tool to mix the paper-clay left
it really silky-smooth and fluffy, working perfectly as a thin final layer
that could be easily sanded down.
Another batch of fluffy surfacing paper-clay was made for the feet,
this time colored green for no other reason than having run out of blue
After all the new surfacing paper-clay had dried, I thought it would be
best for all the many curves of the legs to be hand-sanded above a
fleece blanket to keep the surface safe from damage.
Both parts of the waist coupling were also hand-sanded smooth
before they could be put together again.
Eventually the surfacing paper-clay had been applied all the way down
to the ankles and was left to dry above a heater oven.
To make the surface of the mannequin smooth and peachy skin
colored, I bought a pack of tissue paper to glue onto the surface,
which also didn't end up as the final surface either.
Although the feet would not get cast for the other mannequin project,
I still wanted to make them as smooth and detailed as everything else,
so the toes were further refined with many small carving bits on my
The 4 smallest toes were still kept as one connected piece to make
these toes a lot stronger together.
After shaping the new navel further, I found that it was much easier to
get the overall shape right if I painted the area with the excess skin
colored paint as well.
A spatula was used to thinly smear the creamy paper-clay onto the
legs and all their pits and voids.
This new surfacing paper-clay was also deliberately colored blue to
make it much easier to see how far to sand it down or fill it up.
The arms were also of course covered by the surfacing paper-clay.
Even more filling and sanding was done to the shoulder couplings to
make them as perfect as possible to shape the other side of the
couplings on the torso against them.
The missing areas of the shoulder couplings on the torso were filled
up with paper-clay to match the shape of the arms.
After securing the arms into place, the shoulder couplings could also
be sanded flush.
Some of the material was removed underneath the shoulder couplings
to make them look at least a bit more like realistic armpits.
With the shoulder couplings in the right shape, the whole torso could
be hand-sanded completely smooth for whatever sort of final look I
didn't even know yet I would give it at that time.
The ears were probably the hardest parts of the face to make, and had
to be reshaped a few times to get them looking just right.
The hands were also given a set of carved fingernail shapes, along
with the appropriate joint creases.
Since the surface had to become water-proof in order to cast it later
on, I concluded that the most logical option to make it durable would
be to basically convert its surface into micarta by brushing layers of
polyester resin all over it.
Of course I wanted to test this theory on some scraps of dried
paper-clay first, which turned out perfectly as the polyester resin
soaked into the paper where it hardened to a durable shell.
Even though all signs showed this would work just fine, I started by
brushing the polyester resin onto the simple shape of the waist
coupling that would be fairly easy to repair if this surfacing method
As chance would still have it, this method worked flawlessly.
As with everything else in my life that I have no idea where will end
up in the end, I wanted to add some information to this creation about
exactly what it is by laminating a printed label into the polyester resin.
While the man in mannequin doesn't really mean man at all, I just
thought it would be a fun twist on the word to name this project
The hands were also coated by a few layers of polyester resin that
really brought out all the different colors of the paper-clay and
The arms became just as colorful after a few coats of polyester resin
I decided to brush the polyester resin onto the waist coupling first and
wait for it to cure so I could stand the torso upright to coat the rest of
With both the hands and the arms dried, I could start sanding the
wrist couplings perfectly flush as well.