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How to make your own mannequin?


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#1 Skipper

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 04:53 PM

Several of you have asked me where I got my mannequins, upon which I answered I made them all myself. This saves an average 200€ per mannequin, so that's "extra" money you can invest in your collection.
Basically you need :

- a model head (usually the ones used by hairdresser apprentices will do, I ge these at garage sales for a few euros a piece. If they are female models take them too, clean the make up with acetone, shave their heads and use the extra hair for eye browes and or a moustache which you will glue on the model.

-5 planks (2 vertical ones for the legs , two horizontal ones for the hips and one vertical one for the spine) about 4 meters of wood would do , even second hand wood floor ones will do . take them quite wide (about 10cm ) for more stability.

-a wooden coat hanger (wood will allow you to nail it on the spine).

-two washing up gloves. fill these up with foam and paint them will model paint in skin color.

-bubble air plastic and or newspapers will fill up perfectly the void sand make bigger shoulders and muscles in arms, and legs. Ther eis no need to put wood in arms , unles syou want to lift them in a certain position. In this case electricity pipes will be perfect too.



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Edited by Skipper, 09 January 2010 - 05:44 PM.

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#2 Skipper

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 05:04 PM

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here is a drawing of the wooden skeleton, if you watch carefully at the picture you can see that that I drilled a hole inside the neck and that I put the model head on the iron hook of the coat hanger after I cut away the curve. Make sur ethe head sinks deep enough on the coat hanger iron.

-the A parts should be ajusted in length according to the length of your soldiers pants (you can ajust thos eat the end by sawing off the ankle parts . This will avoid messing up the hips.

-the B parts should be ajusted in length (about 30 cm only for a average WWII size mannequin) and about 15cm wide. If it's too large , you can always resize it. Both "b" parts should b eidentical to get more stability, ajust the between the legs at a distance of about 20cm at the hip area. Before you fix the upper part of the "b" part make a 10cm x 1cm hole in the middle so that you can slide the spine "c" through it. It should rest on the second "b" part and the spine shouldn't move. If your skeleton can stand up alone it's stable enough. Then nail the coat hanger on the top of the spine (after you adjusted the spine acocrding to the lengths of your jacket. Make sure your neck is not too high to avoid an unatural postion for your mannequin.

-put he head on the coat hanger. Dress up your mannequin , if it's done correctly you should be able to carry it around without it collapsing. It should be able to stan alone. If the legs are not thick enough you can nail two wooden cubes on them (providing they stil lgetin the boots. )
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#3 Skipper

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 05:15 PM

here are two more pictures with details showing how the head is fixed on the coat hanger and how the spine is fixed on the hips and hips on the legs.

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#4 colletorww2

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 11:33 PM

After about 4-5 hours of "Hard" work, my mannequin is finally ready, it didn't really turn out the way i wanted, but it will have to do for now. I'll try to post pictures tomorrow.
Best Regards

Vegar

#5 107thcav

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 05:46 AM

Very nice job on the mannequins skipper will give it a try sometime when I get to a hardware store. Thanks for posting the directions.
:)

#6 Skipper

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 06:49 AM

Thanks guys. Don't worry about your first mannequin collector, my first one was too wide and the legs too short etc... (my first one was terrible, but I learnt fast) you need to practise , but once you know at which height you put the coat hanger and where you put the legs etc.. the following ones will be very easy to make. When y uae ready make sure to post us a few pictures.

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#7 colletorww2

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 11:23 AM

I started at about 8 o'clock PM(I think, it is 2000 hours(Military time)). Finished at about 12.30 AM, and went to bed at about half 3 AM, so i will have to wake up properly first :D
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Vegar

#8 Skipper

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 12:18 PM

No problem I can wait. it's common sense, but if your soldier has gloves you can directly wair those with foam or paper inside and you'l lavoid making hands.

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#9 sniper1946

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:03 PM

worth knowing if you really get stuck into it...

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#10 Skipper

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 06:19 PM

Thanks Ray , but this is precisely what I'm trying to avoid. If I start buying all the ingredients seperately it would probably cost me more than a a complete mannequin. My mannequins usually cost me 10 euros (basically the price of the head at a garage sale new ones cost 42 € ) , all the rest is recycled wood , paper and plastic paint and and old pair of gloves.

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#11 sniper1946

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 06:23 PM

I understand skipper,you dont have a blue peter badge do you! ha! ha! seriously though! I was looking to buy head only! and thought at some time to see how it displayed one of my german helmets,but not that cheap! I'm still considering it..ray..

Edited by sniper1946, 10 January 2010 - 06:39 PM.


#12 coloradocowboy

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 07:19 PM

very interesting. im going to give it a try. thanks!
www.buyandsellwwii.com

#13 colletorww2

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 08:50 PM

Sry for not posting pics, i have had alot of stuff to do today, will try to post tonight.
Best Regards

Vegar

#14 AndyPants

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 10:09 PM

interesting stuff guys.....bit of DIY going on!
All the Best,

Andy

"people who are not themselves are nobody" - General George S. Patton


#15 colletorww2

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 11:29 PM

Here are you are:

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Best Regards

Vegar

#16 107thcav

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 12:05 AM

Very nice collector. Hope to have mine finished next weekend. A job well done.
:)

#17 AndyPants

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 12:05 AM

nice one collector
All the Best,

Andy

"people who are not themselves are nobody" - General George S. Patton


#18 colletorww2

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 06:56 AM

Thanks, i still need some more equipment for my uniform and the mannequin is too small and a bit too wide.
Best Regards

Vegar

#19 Skipper

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:28 AM

Nice collector you are the first one who used my method. May I suggest you put the hanger a little lower and cut some of the spine. This wil allow a more comfortable position for the head and avoid a long neck that would be difficult to hide .

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#20 colletorww2

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 10:13 AM

Ya, i'll try that, i might make a new one very soon
Best Regards

Vegar

#21 Skipper

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:14 PM

too small is not a problem, just add to little planks at the bottom like a splint with a cople of nails. It's only your first one, after one or two more you"ll be an expert. I just found a guy who was selling five heads for 50 euros, quite a bargain, if it works out I'll have five more mannequins to show you soon

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#22 colletorww2

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:34 PM

Good luck with that, i might make a new one soon :D
Best Regards

Vegar

#23 Skipper

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:43 PM

still waiting for an answer, damn I want those heads!

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#24 will382

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 05:03 PM

I think you may have all of the thunderbirds there skipper :P

#25 Skipper

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 05:52 PM

Good one Will, I could really use thoe heads, it's harder to find men models and these look great and could be used for Gemrans for instance.

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