KENSHIN IS THE SUCCESSOR TO THE BLACK STALLION MODEL [link]
Front view - [link]
Detail from the side - [link]
View from behind - [link]
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: [link]
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 & 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.