Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Most Cooperative Model Ever

-By Dan dos Santos

Many of you asked about the figurine I used for reference in my 'Rose Red' post.

The figurine in question is a 12" action figure, called TrueType. These figurines (also known as 1/6 scale figures) are very popular amongst model/diorama makers, because they are highly posable, and make a great base for any number of applications. There are also a ton of accessories available for these size models, including clothing, guns, posable hands, and a wide variety of heads.


Because of it's versatility, and the immense amount of accessories available, I actually use these figurines quite often as models.

I often paint unusual lighting scenarios and poses, and these models allow me to explore a lot of possibilities that would otherwise be difficult (or impossible) to do with a real model. For instance, a jumping pose lit dramatically from beneath would be quite difficult to photograph with a real model. But with a 12" figurine, it's not only easy, but actually fun.


In fact, I actually own several of theses figurines, so I can orchestrate fighting poses and group shots.

Though, my favorite thing about these figures is the number of different heads available. These heads are often sculpted in the likeness of celebrities and are EXTREMELY detailed despite their size. This means I can have a whole arsenal of model heads, male or female, available to me any time of the day.


If I'm having trouble sketching, I can just grab one of the heads I keep near my computer, and draw it from life. There is no need to hire a model or even take photos.


When photographing these models, the reference is of course never perfect. The anatomy is always a bit off. But lighting and drapery are always really helpful, and provide me with enough information that I can usually just make up the rest.

The dolls aren't cheap, but if you use them more than once, instead of a model, they essentially pay for themselves. Plus they are ALWAYS on time, and never complain about the weird poses you have them hold!

12 comments:

  1. Hey, I have the same ones! But I have only the stands that came along with the product. They do not allow every pose and give the figurines not a very solid foothold. You seem to use a kind of pro stand there. Could you tell us where to get this? Thanks for your tips!

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    1. You can get good model stands on just about any site that sells 1/6 models. But that one in particular was the stand that came with my Sideshow IronMan figure.

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    2. Thanks a lot! The german online shop where I bought the models offered none but after a short look on ebay I am pretty sure I will find the right thing there. Fortunately my wife is a tailor and fashion designer. Thanks to your post I realized that she could sew me a lot of clothes for my dollies as a x-mas present :).

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  3. During the years I ran my sketch club, models were almost always a problem. Late, no show, fussy, you name it. I did have one model who was consistent, a natural poser (sounds like a contradiction!) and was cheerful to boot - that one was a keeper!

    Thanks again.
    C

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    1. When you find those good ones, you gotta keep them!

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  4. I'm having trouble locating them - Amazon has a couple, but I can't find a good collection or the individual heads :(

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    1. Ebay. And be sure to search worldwide, as most will come from China.

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  5. I. Must. Acquire. These! It is interesting that Wentworth Miller was used as a model. It must have been when Prison Break aired. I can't identify the blonde female.

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    1. As mentioned above I have her at home and as seen from close up I would say it could be Uma Thurman.

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  6. I've been using these for several years and will either draw directly from a posed position or use them to experiment with poses and lighting before photographing a "human" in that position. They are especially nice for previsualizing extreme poses.

    Back when I bought mine, they were available from monkeydepot.com, (manufactured by...) hottoys.com.hk, and (in Switzerland) action-figures.ch. I sometimes use "Pose Tool" iPad app but like the speed of just using the doll.

    I highly recommend the "slim" version because they resemble real-world people not on steroids.

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