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2010 Model: Himura Kenshin by WanderingDragon379 2010 Model: Himura Kenshin by WanderingDragon379
Kenshin is the successor to the Black Stallion model:

Front view -

Detail from the side -

View from behind -

EDIT: As of last November (2010), Kenshin/Battousai is now on permanent display in the young adults section at the library in Transylvania County, N.C. atop the manga cart (in the picture).

A contest held by the library for ages 12-18. Build a model at least covered in duct tape based on something from a book you've read. Ten entries this year. Two models got first place with Kenshin being one of them. On display for the whole month of August. Library website:…

This is my latest model as well as my last. There is one more year I can do this before I age out but for the past four years I have challenged myself to make models that top my previous ones, and I have finally reached as far as I can go with this one. For the most part, Kenshin was brought in simply to be there than he was to compete. His place ribbon is more of an honorable mention than a true first place.
With Kenshin, Black, and wolf Buck before him, I have shown to myself and up-and-coming duct tape artists what can be done with duct tape. I always discover some new trick/material every year. This year's being lining fabric (the inside of the clothing) and foam core board (sword & sheath).
And since I shelve books at the library, I'll be able to see what my works have inspired in others. And I'm sure they'll be succeeding mine.^^

Amusing moments and discoveries during production.

Stage 1: This was the year I was smart enough to know that one or two 9 gauge steel wires in each section of the skeleton wasn't going to have enough strength. I also found out that with four or five wires in each section, you need another two hands to hold one part while you bend another, but it's worth it.

Stage 2: I had had past experiences with plastic grocery bags to help keep the weight down. But in terms of how many, and how tightly you pack them, not like this. I was having to constantly crush the air out of them just before binding them in aluminum foil and taping. So that was fun.... not really.

Stage 3: Ahhh, the 'skinning' stage. Though there is nothing more encouraging than seeing your model actually look like what its supposed to be, it does make you grateful you're usually able to work alone during this stage on a currently naked person. And of course there were some things I didn't even bother to be anatomically correct about... Couldn't even dare.

Stage 4: My first, and hopefully last time making duct tape clothes. That is something you HAVE to have another person to help with. The steps to making it? First, you line up the lining fabric with the edge of the table and tape down the corners or small parts of the sides. Put down the tape on one end of the fabric and gradually set that strip in place as you work your way to the other person who's keeping a steady tension on the tape at the other end. Come to the end and cut the tape. Lining fabric being what it is, duct tape can peel off with little trouble. So you go over it with, in my case, what looks like a 6" wide rolling pin and it holds quite nicely. Then you repeat the process, keeping each strip butting right up against the one beside it without overlapping. Keep that up almost nonstop, you can do about 4 x 10 feet in one day.
We had several ideas for getting the right curve for the blade. We tried the edge of an oval plate, wire, free-hand drawing... Until we remembered that my dad had an old ceremonial (as in blunt) sabre he got for his birthday. So, we wound up using the outline of a real sword. And the sheath grew from that.^^ Yes, the sword can slide into the sheath.
And as you can see here, he is wearing socks and sandals.^^

Materials: 9 gauge steel wire, grocery bags, aluminum foil, duct tape, lining fabric, foam core board, acrylic paint (eyes and blade), and a few T-pins.
Weight: About 15-20lb
Height: Just over 5 feet standing; about 4 ft kneeling.
Height of artist (Wanderer): About 5' 5"
Time to build: About two months (twice the Black's time)


Questions and comments are more than welcome.^^X
If you want to see some of the other entries, just ask and I'll upload them.
Add a Comment:
NarnianSkunk Featured By Owner May 27, 2013
My wife and I were visiting Brevard on vacation and stopped by the library (as we often do when we travel as she is a librarian) and were astounded to see this fantastic sculpture. I watched many an episode of Rurouni Kenshin with my daughter many years ago and it brought back many good memories.

I hope school is going well and I look forward to perusing your other art.
BattousaiBlade7 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2012
thats dedication that it is!!
red-winged-angel Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Impressive! :wow:
Kenshins-Soul Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2012
The link to the library doesn't work. They changed it. Just letting you know. ^^ Also I went to the newer link (had to Google it) and checked the library out.

Is Kenshin still at the library?
WanderingDragon379 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2012  Student Digital Artist
It does now, de gozaru! Thanks for the notice. ^^x

Yep, he's still there and will remain there as long as the library wants him, which will probably be 'til he deteriorates beyond repair (it'll be a long time before that happens, thankfully :D). There's not much room for him at my house anyway. XD

Thank you very much! It stinks that they don't hold that contest during winter or something. Duct tape and summer heat don't mix well. Oh well, that's when kids are out of school so I can't complain. X3
Kenshins-Soul Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012
You're quite welcome. ^^x

Awesome. :D
Kenshins-Soul Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2012
Wow! That is alot dedication to make Kenshin come to life with duct tape and other materials.

You did a wonderul job on a very difficult project! :clap:

Your library is very beautiful. I even love the name of your county. X3

Oh! I must check Kenshin's other sides. XD
tohru-wada Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
My auntie took a picture of this at the fair.O: This is so amazing!
WanderingDragon379 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Thank you!^^ Do you mean you saw him in person or from another photo?
Come to think of it, how did you know he was here on dA as well? Just curious.^^
tohru-wada Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I didn't get to see him, but my aunt saw him in person at the fair and took a picture.
Oh, I totally just took a shot in the dark and figured someone epic enough to make something like that would have to have put it up here on dA. Or that someone would have taken a picture and put it up here.
WanderingDragon379 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Ah, I'll bet she gave away the name that was on that frame next to him, didn't she. So I take it, you don't live in NC or at least this side of it?

Haha, I'm not epic, though I appreciate the complement. Contrary to my sculptures, I tend to keep a low profile. I usually do this kind of stuff just to challenge myself. I think the challenge comes in the form of endurance for the most part.^^
tohru-wada Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Actually I just typed in Duct Tape Kenshin 'cause I recognized the character.XD
Oh, I don't. I live in UT.>w<;

You are very epic. Anyone who can make a whole sculpture like that out of duct tape is epic. That sounds pretty fun, definitely a good way to stave off boredom.
WanderingDragon379 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Student Digital Artist
I guess I should have said both names, Kenshin's and mine.^^
Oooooh, you stinker. You get all the real dinosaur bones out there! I wish I could see some of the real stuff.

If that's the case, be prepared for a shock. You just gave the title of 'epic' to a tomboy.
Yeah, but he's not all tape as I'm sure you read.^^
It's kinda hard to get bored in a house with 8 rescued dogs and cats.^^
tohru-wada Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol probably.
Hee, it is pretty cool.

Well then, you're an epic tomboy. ..why is that a shocker?
Yeah, but it's still cool.
Ooooh that's so cool! I love rescues and rescuers. You're like..double epic now.
WanderingDragon379 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Because some of the people who met me in person or heard my description after seeing my works looked like they were expecting the artist to be a popular school teenager when they couldn't have been much further from the truth.

Oh? Are you an animal rescuer, too? I hope a horse is included.^^
(1 Reply)
SilfurSouls Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
*__* that is just epic :O
congratulations too! :la:
Golphee Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
YAY! It's up!!! I was looking forward to seeing this completed and I assure you it hasn't dissapointed :D
This is amazing! The pose especially is so perfect but how you managed to make this look so good with only tape, bags and wires is beyond me in spite of the how-to you've got in the description. I'm really glad that this got first place, and you thoroughly deserve it - awsome job and you continue to impress! ^_^
WanderingDragon379 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Thanks!^^ I'm a lot happier with how he was built compared to Black and Buck. It would have been a bit more accurate to the drawing if it were possible to turn his right hand around so the blade faced forward, but you almost need Hercules to do that. He's that strong. My fault for not thinking ahead there.XP

I can type up something sometime if you or anybody else wants to know how I do it.^^ The little overview here really doesn't go into details.
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
August 2, 2010
Image Size
891 KB


15 (who?)

Camera Data

Canon PowerShot A560
Shutter Speed
1/60 second
Focal Length
8 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Aug 3, 2010, 12:53:00 AM