An email this week from Charles Malinowski reminded me of a project I did several years ago, and have always meant to repeat.
At the time, I was helping my friend Chris Abbott work on his module for the S Scale Workshop and – while planting a farm field – I realized that making a scarecrow for the scene would be a nice detail (and a nice present for a friend who had helped me on so many things, and still does). So, I got in touch with Jim Martin, another buddy who works in 1:64, and asked if he had a poorly rendered plastic figure of a standing person that I could take off his hands. From there, I built this neat scarecrow.
The figure gave me the correct dimensions – I didn’t have any of my own, and I didn’t have enough experience in S to have a sense of the scale.
I wanted a plastic figure so I could do surgery – cutting and rearranging the arms, for example.
And I wanted something poorly rendered, if possible, because I was going to cover it anyway: Basically, I’d be saving an awful figure from the scrap box, or from being sawn in half to create a “car driver” (top half) and “mechanic working under the car” (legs).
The fellow at the top of this post is the result. He’s a classic scarecrow – I remember being inspired by the ones in the Family of Blood episodes from Season 3 of the rebooted Doctor Who.
To make him, I wrapped the re-arranged figure in scraps of facial tissue, spot-glued in place and painted brown (the paint would stick everything together nicely without overdoing the gluing). The straw was cut from rope. The face was done with a fine marker, and some thread provided ropes to tie the scarecrow in place on a rod.
I wrote a feature about creating this figure for Railroad Model Craftsman. It was was published in the September 2009 issue. (I know many of my fellow enthusiasts working in 1:64 will have a copy, because it featured an S scale layout on the cover.)
Since I have farm fields on my current layout, I’ll have to build another scarecrow. I’ll add it to the “projects” list…
(Thanks for the reminder, Charles!)