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Circus Seat wagon with Vinyl Figures - Children Revisited

12345 Views 28 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  cesomers
Last August I posted the original about my find of inexpensive vinyl figures that I thought would work as children.  I have a need for a large number of seated figures to use as the circus grandstand crowd.

I was in the process of building a circus seat wagon which is finally finished. Below it is in the process of unfolding from the shipping position on the railroad flat car.

Here it is all set up and ready for the crowd.

After the holidays I finally got a start on modifying the figures.

As a demonstration I lined up the 5 figures above to illustrate some of the modifications.  The original is on the left.  The second figure shows how I started by cutting  the leg to convert to a seated position.
By only bending one leg I got a figure that is walking up the steps.  The last 2 have been converted to a seated position and the one on the right has the arm bent to change the look.

Here are the girls trying out the stands.

Next I worked on some vendors.

Above are two original figures and sculpy modifications next to them.  The containers hide the jointed legs.

After cutting and gluing many legs to convert the figures to sitting positions I started seating them to get an idea of the effect.

The next picture shows where I stand on completing the crowd.  /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blush.gif

I have done a bunch of experimenting along the way to improve the process of converting the figures to a seated position.  I have stopped cutting with a saw and started using a dremmel tool with a pointed grinder to notch the back of the knees about 80% of the way through from the back.  That leaves a section which helps hold the legs in position as they are glued.  It also produces a rounded knee rather than a pointed knee which has to be rounded off later.  I started using 5 minute epoxy to reattach the legs.  Now I use thick CA and an accelerant.

Last night while holding a figure to glue the legs, I forced the figure into a back bend position. This started me thinking about circus performers /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif and -  presto - a new circus act came into being.  Auditions are now under way.  Here they are practicing.   Sculpy modifications and painting are scheduled for later.

There appears to be room for approximately 120 seated people in the stands.  Thus far I have converted only 50 to a seated position.  I have some other ideas for micro scenes within the stands.  So many ideas and so little time!

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Thanks for the nice comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the project.

Robert, the seat wagon is a 1/2" scale kit from Circus Crafts of San Diego, CA. It is one of several kits that I purchased from a vendor at the national meeting of the Circus Model Builders several years ago. I have heard that the man that built these kits passed away but I have not had any information if anyone else may have picked up the line. This is the second one of these seat wagons that I have built. The first one was in HO scale about 30 years ago when my eyes were a little better.
The figures range from 2-3/4 inches to 3 inches in height.

I'm progressing on the other figures, but I had to add a few of my own.  I decided to create a family scene.

Here is Dad.

The son is a litle concerned about one of the circus acts and needs the comfort of Dad's lap.

The daughter is a little older so she is OK with the act but Dad wants to be sure.

The daughter is one of my purchaased figures reworked to be in the seated position.

Dad and son were both sculpted in the Chris Walas method.  Dad has a 1:24 scale armiture and son started with an armiture slightly smaller than 1:29.
This one tought me a lot about degree of dificulty as you get smaller.  I also need to study childrens faces.  I know that children's heads are a little larger relative to the body size but there is obviously more to it than that.  My boy looks like a little old man.
My hat's off to Torby and his 1:29 figures. They are tough to do.

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Thanks for the tips. I'll put those in my how to file and give it a try.

Here is an update on Dad and son.
They moved to the front row, Mom is fussing over the boy because he looks distraught, and the vendor is trying to appease him with some cotton candy.  The older sister is sitting a row back resting her broken leg on the stands and trying to figure out how she could get some of that sympathy and the cottn candy.

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The last two weeks I have spent most of my time in the basement working on the circus crowd.  Fortunately, there were enough snow storms to justify my absence.
This is the final scene of the completed circus crowd.  There are 129 people in the scene.  Three are my sculpy creations and the rest started out as the purchased adjustable vinyl figures that I have altered using Sculpy or Magic Sculpt.

As reported earlier, this project seems to have a life of its own and has drawn me into details that very few people will notice, but i had a good time and my Granddaughters love it.

I'll attempt to share a few of the details with close ups.

This is the left side of the stands.

 Now the right side.

The scout troup sort of jumped out at me when I saw backpacks on a number of figures.  The younger looking once became Cub Scouts in yellow - the traditional blue shirts are way to dark for this scene.  The taller figures became Boy Scouts and the women are Den Leaders. 

Want to share my ice cream?
More details that just grew on me.  The ice cream is Firm Supersculpy formed on a wire, then painted.  The ones with a bite out of them were accomplished by pinching out a piece of the end of the ice cream bar with a pliars after baking .

The Scoutmaster has had a number of icecreams and they are starting to go to his midsection.  The tie is also a sculpy add on.

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What would a circus be without balloons and cotton candy.  Again details were created with Firm Supersculpy on a wire.

You cannot have circus goodies without vendors in the stands hawking them.  Once again the camera finds the critical areas to exploit.  Most all of the figures in the picture have been reworked to conceel the movable legs and where the legs were cut to convert them to seated figures. However, the girl going up the steps toward the vendor has escaped the Sculpy treatment and the jointed leg is quite obvious. 

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The late arrivals are being directed to their seats by ushers and the maintenance crew is busy replacing the trash can in the background.

The tumbling act is in mid performance.

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The ankles of the man supporting the young lady had to be cut to reposition the feet for the intended flip.  At the same time the reverse of liposuction had to be accomplished.  Firm Sculpy was used on both figures to produce hips and a butt.  No pun intended Butt that is the end.   

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