Bride of Woodmini

Altered mini artist’s manikins, Phase 2

In my earlier post, The Birth of Woodmini, I presented the results of my first round of alterations to a commercially made mini wooden manikin. Woodmini Prototype A had good movement and posability, but it was difficult to maintain tension and the joints looked cluttered, especially the elbows, which were not satisfactory.

Back to the drawing board, the internet, and the studio surgical theater, and finally BEHOLD!  Woodmini Prototype B:


This one is much neater than the first incarnation of Prototype A.

In both figures, the ball joints were inverted and the hip sockets reshaped for better range of motion.

In A, the body and limbs were strung with cotton string and tensioned with removable tissue. Knots were left exposed. The elbows and knees were converted from straight-strung ball joints to hinges with an external “brace” of string. Poses were held by the insertion of additional tissue for tension.

In B, the body and limbs are strung with a combination of cotton string and tiny elastic bands (the kind used for hair braiding). The elastic maintains tension and the knots are hidden. Tissue increases tension at the hips and shoulders. The ball-joint beads at elbows and knees were reshaped with a channel cut to allow for range of motion while maintaining tension. Short lengths of wire are inserted into the limbs to support poses. The wires are removable.


I decided to rebuild Prototype A along the same lines. The only difference, which can be seen in the pics, is that I had constructed the hinge joints differently for A so the inserted wires are more exposed when the limbs are straight. I used chenille stems from the craft store because the fuzz prevents slippage of the wire and the limb parts, but A now has a pouf of fuzz at the crook of the elbows and knees. I haven’t decided yet how I’ll fix that. In the meantime, BEHOLD!


They make a nice couple, don’t they? B is the tall one on the left. A is on the right.

These figures are 5 and 5.5 inches tall, making them good for 1:12 scale settings. (I’m not morbid about scale.) They can stand without additional support if balanced correctly. Complicated poses will be supported with more wiring, but all the photos herein have only the arms and legs wired.


About Mura

Mura Muravyets is the screen-name of Jen Fries, surrealist artist, book artist, hope-to-be writer.
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