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Post Apocalyptic Pinup Patrol Girl: A work in progress.

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20190112_0109 by Gary  Menten, on Flickr

Pictured above is the first figure in my post apocalyptic collection as well as the first 1/6th scale action figure I've owned since my last GI Joe in 1973.  My, how things I've changed. The figure is a work in progress and still has some things to be added to, but I'll share here what I've learned so far, as well as a bit of background into what I'm doing in this collection.

To begin with, I'm doing two collections which may have some bit of overlap in some ways. The first collection is will be focused around various groups of post apocalyptic survivors;  some good, some bad.  The girl in the image is part of one of the good groups. The second collection will be more tied into my WWII Canadian Army / Italian Campaign (sort of) reenacting.  I'm a Canadian army veteran and associated with this group of veterans who own 3 WWII vintage 25pdr howitzers and use the to fire salutes for Canadian veterans and to promote, teach and maintain artillery tradition.  We dress up (at least in summer) as if for the Sicilian/Italian Campaigns of 1943.  So my second collection will focus on Canadian Artillery (my arm of the service) in Italy, 1943.  Both collections will likely feature some avatar of myself.


But getting back to the post apocalyptic collection, the first group of survivors in the collection will be "The Pinup Patrol,"  a group led by a photographer specializing in pin-up/glamour photography, especially featuring girls in retro uniforms carrying guns, several photo models, a female makeup artist and hair stylist, a female wardrobe stylist, a female photo assistant or two, and maybe an art director who were all out in the desert on a photo shoot when the big brown poo hit the proverbial fan.  As a matter of tradition, when doing these shoots, live ammo was brought along for the crew and talent to blow steam off at the end of the shoot.  The girls always really enjoyed it, and so the photographer, who is also a history buff, reenactor and gun collector always brought lots of cool toys to the shoot. I haven't really fleshed out all the details yet, but they figured out something was wrong well before the photo shoot was over and before using up their ammo, and so being out in the desert, far enough from the city with a bunch of guns and ammo was definitely a survival plus for this group. More details will be posted as I flesh them out along with the collection.

The figure in the photo is one of the new TB League bodies; 2018-S24A  which is the taller of the two types, mid bust and pale skin. The head is a Super Duck SDH010-B head, and while I find it's proportions were pretty good for the body, the skin tone is noticeably darker and not a good match in my opinion. It doesn't show much in these photos, which are shot under flash at 6000K but you'll rarely be viewing them with light of that colour temperature but will metamerism makes it looks darker under incandescent and other lighting. Of course I had to use some blue tacking to keep the head in place because of Phicen / TB league's absurd decision to use smaller head/neck ball joints on the new models.

By the same token, the Magic Cube top and shorts I ordered were also too big.  I managed to tighten up the top enough that it doesn't look too bad, though it was clearly made with a large busted model in mind, but the shorts had to be tailored with scissors, needle and thread to make them fit, and this being my first attempt at doing this, was to say the least, a bit of an experience. In the end, they look acceptable to me anyway, but please do feel free to give me your feedback on the issue.

The girls's main weapon is parted out British Sterling SMG from Dragon.  I have a special affinity for this weapon as I carried the Canadian version, for a number of years during my time in the Canadian military. It differed from the British in only one or two minor details and was a good, reliable and compact weapon for close in combat, though I'd rather carry a C7 (M16) or C8 (M4) today. It was also a staple of 60's and 70's action movies, from Dark of The Sun and On Her Majesty's Secret Service to The Spy who Loved Me.  It wasn't my first thought for this character to carry however.  I had wanted to arm her with an M1 carbine, which would be a much more common survivor weapon than the Sterling in my mind, but the M1 was just to chunky for this model's small hands. A WWII Thomson did fit, though as well as I would have liked, but the Sterling fit perfectly. Then looking over what I had created thus far, with had, the revealing shirt and the very 60's hot pants like shorts, I realized that the Sterling combined with a set of high shin combat boots would give this figure a very 60's movie retro look, so I I kept the Sterling and ordered a pair of high shin boots, which have yet to arrive. I will post photos when they do.

Our figure is also wearing a British Pattern 37 web belt, pattern 37 tanker's drop leg holster which has been modified for normal over the belt wear as were many of the originals and the gun in the holster is a Smith & Wesson Revolver. Her hat is a Fire Girl Tactical shooter hat parted out and bought loose and her dust goggles are WWII aviator goggles, make unknown and bought as part of a lot. They also seem to scale nicely with the figure. The binoculars are of the type used by the Canadian and British armies in WWII, though mostly made in Canada.  Looks like I'm going to have to get another pair for my WWII artillery officer!

There are a couple more things I will want to add to this figure.  One will be a nasty knife of some sort like a Ka-Bar or maybe even a boot knife. The other will be a drop-leg MP-5 magazine pouch. The MP-mags have  similar profile to the Sterling mags and despite being a bit shorter, the pouch should be a good substitute for pouch designed to hold Sterling mags.  We finally got some in the Canadian Army only a couple of years before the Sterling was withdrawn from service. Before that...our magazine pouches were our pockets!  But that's another story.

Now why doesn't this figure look like she came straight out of a Mad Max film like so many other post-apocalyptic figures?  Good question.  My answer to this is that The Pinup Patrol were not only comparatively well-armed as a survivor group from the outset, the also consider themselves agents of civilization as opposed to chaos and disorder.  As such, they have jumped on to the retro-sexy military look that they portrayed in photo for gun magazines and other publications, figuring this sets them apart, and gives them a look of authority as well. When scavenging a pharmacy for drugs, medication, bandages and hygienic products, they also raid it for hairbrushes, lipstick and makeup. Their appearance and mainly female composition has not only made it easier to gain the trust of other survivors, some of whom have been recruited, but it has tricked some of the more vicious groups out there into thinking they were dealing with bunch of harmless little girls when they were in fact dealing with well-armed and well-trained cunning she-devils.  This has worked to their advantage many times and many a rogue or bandit has paid the ultimate price for underestimating them.  

Anwyay, that's where I am for now. I hope some of you find this info useful, and I would love to get some feedback from you on the figure and where I'm going with it.

20190112_0112 by Gary  Menten, on Flickr



And under more dramatic lighting....


20190112_0115 by Gary  Menten, on Flickr


And finally this final photo, where most of the figures face is not under direct flash, the difference in tone between the body and the Super Duck head are much more evident.

20190112_0119 by Gary  Menten, on Flickr

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Nice one but she looks way too clean to be post-apocalyptic. Needs more grunge.


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Your lady looks really good, great job!


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She is looking good, and I like how your backstory for this character still reflects your own personal style. Smile

It's great to see these smaller bodies 'in use', as it is very hard (for me) to tell what they actually look like until they are paired with heads and in at least some kind of state of dress, lol.

As for the mis-matched skin tones, I know that this won't completely solve the issue, but perhaps you could try her with some kind of scarf/bandana type thing around her neck. Depending on the colour, it might distract the eye enough that it's at least slightly less immediately apparent. Also, having some kind of scarf in the desert *is* practical, to protect either from dust or sun, etc.


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shazzdan wrote:Nice one but she looks way too clean to be post-apocalyptic. Needs more grunge.

It's a work in progress, and I'll probably grunge up her clothes a bit but not too much as the back story for this character states that The Pinup Patrol are noted for their tendency maintain appearances and spend as much time scrounging cosmetics as they do more necessary items.

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skywalkersaga wrote:She is looking good, and I like how your backstory for this character still reflects your own personal style. Smile

It's great to see these smaller bodies 'in use', as it is very hard (for me) to tell what they actually look like until they are paired with heads and in at least some kind of state of dress, lol.

As for the mis-matched skin tones, I know that this won't completely solve the issue, but perhaps you could try her with some kind of scarf/bandana type thing around her neck. Depending on the colour, it might distract the eye enough that it's at least slightly less immediately apparent. Also, having some kind of scarf in the desert *is* practical, to protect either from dust or sun, etc.



Yeah, I thought about the scarf too and plan to give it a try.

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BAD WOLF-787 wrote:Your lady looks really good, great job!

Thanks,

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Stryker2011

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Pretty cool. I started reading this last night, but fell asleep when the pain meds kicked in. Wasn’t there a really cool pic of real Canadian Artillery in here?

I like your back story, thought it was funny. Reminded me of the 60s-70s exploitation films of Russ Meyer. Would be hilarious to see.


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Stryker2011 wrote:Pretty cool. I started reading this last night, but fell asleep when the pain meds kicked in. Wasn’t there a really cool pic of real Canadian Artillery in here?

I like your back story, thought it was funny. Reminded me of the 60s-70s exploitation films of Russ Meyer. Would be hilarious to see.


There was a photo of my friends in our WWII kit firing one of our three 25-pdr guns in military ceremony in a cemetery in Montreal. That sad thing is that the Canadian Army has very little money for this sort of thing, so our group, (3rd Montreal Field Battery) are often asked by the organizers to do it (for free), which we do. On the positive side, we do get free storage space in one of the local reserve armouries for our three guns, limbers and trucks, and our affiliated equipment.

You can find a bunch of photos here on Pinterest.

https://www.pinterest.ca/thephotogsblog/25pdr-gun/

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looking good so far, even if i agree with weathering her up.
thing i learned in the hobby thus far is never to be afraid to break something.
when i started with 1/6 it was basically dragon and bbi. and as much as i loved to display my figures i was to shy to apply the grime and wear to give them the final touch.
fast forward a couple years i went nuts on a kp muscular body in my quest to give blazkowicz a proper "post beheading" body for my wolfenstein dio and ended up completely destroying the neck, bummer. still it adds up to my experience and hopefully helps me improve down the road.
in the meantime my dragon figs are on display in my basement, as pristine as ever, only that i grew bored of the ww2 topic.... cant help to think i missed a fun opportunity.
anyhow, i'm a sucker for anything post apocalyptic, mainly fallout but also fist of the north star and to a degree the old mad max. so i'm very excited to see where your project takes you.
cheers

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GubernatorFan

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Despite the difficulty with color matching and head-fitting, very nicely done!


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Stryker2011

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Some cool pics on Pinterest with your group.


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GubernatorFan wrote:Despite the difficulty with color matching and head-fitting, very nicely done!

Yeah, as the head has a sort of removable plug in it, which I suppose is the adapter for Phicen dolls, it should be pretty easy for someone to make a similar adapter for the newer TB League bodies.

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Stryker2011 wrote:Some cool pics on Pinterest with your group.

Thanks. We don't own the PIAT or the Bren; those belong to other collectors, but we are the only group in Canada, perhaps all of North America to own 3 25-pdr guns.

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GubernatorFan

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ThePhotogsBlog wrote:Yeah, as the head has a sort of removable plug in it, which I suppose is the adapter for Phicen dolls, it should be pretty easy for someone to make a similar adapter for the newer TB League bodies.  

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (then again you're relatively new here), consider a very simple removable solution: a piece of thick foamie material. It works almost as well as a real internal neck connector and you don't have to worry about exact size or compatibility. Unless you plan on vigorously spinning your figure around while holding it by the head, it is also going to be a strong enough connection.


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GubernatorFan wrote:
ThePhotogsBlog wrote:Yeah, as the head has a sort of removable plug in it, which I suppose is the adapter for Phicen dolls, it should be pretty easy for someone to make a similar adapter for the newer TB League bodies.  

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (then again you're relatively new here), consider a very simple removable solution: a piece of thick foamie material. It works almost as well as a real internal neck connector and you don't have to worry about exact size or compatibility. Unless you plan on vigorously spinning your figure around while holding it by the head, it is also going to be a strong enough connection.

Foamie material? Could you elaborate a bit? Do you mean like styrofoam?

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Tjolnir wrote:looking good so far, even if i agree with weathering her up.
thing i learned in the hobby thus far is never to be afraid to break something.
when i started with 1/6 it was basically dragon and bbi. and as much as i loved to display my figures i was to shy to apply the grime and wear to give them the final touch.
fast forward a couple years i went nuts on a kp muscular body in my quest to give blazkowicz a proper "post beheading" body for my wolfenstein dio and ended up completely destroying the neck, bummer. still it adds up to my experience and hopefully helps me improve down the road.
in the meantime my dragon figs are on display in my basement, as pristine as ever, only that i grew bored of the ww2 topic.... cant help to think i missed a fun opportunity.
anyhow, i'm a sucker for anything post apocalyptic, mainly fallout but also fist of the north star and to a degree the old mad max. so i'm very excited to see where your project takes you.
cheers

I will probably weather her clothing up a bit at some point, but not too much. The Pinup Patrol tends to go to lengths to maintain a presentable appearance as much as possible. They even hold little cocktail parties inside their bunker whenever they can scrounge enough booze.

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GubernatorFan

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ThePhotogsBlog wrote:Foamie material?  Could you elaborate a bit?  Do you mean like styrofoam?

Not exactly -- it is softer and more flexible, usually sold in crafts stores (and I never knew what it is used for normally); as far as I know it is called "foamies," "foam sheets," or "craft foam." It comes in various thicknesses (thicker is preferable for our purposes). See my Head Conversion Tutorial HERE (especially "step 12" and onward).


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GubernatorFan wrote:
ThePhotogsBlog wrote:Foamie material?  Could you elaborate a bit?  Do you mean like styrofoam?

Not exactly -- it is softer and more flexible, usually sold in crafts stores (and I never knew what it is used for normally); as far as I know it is called "foamies," "foam sheets," or "craft foam." It comes in various thicknesses (thicker is preferable for our purposes). See my Head Conversion Tutorial HERE (especially "step 12" and onward).

Okay, I checked out your tutorial. I know the stuff you are talking about now. It's sold as insulation for pipes and air conditioners and such around here. I actually had some lying around, in cylindrical sections just wide enough that when you squeeze down, it fits snugly into the Super Duck head. I little slit in with an # 11 Exacto blade and the TB League ball joint fits in nice and snugly also. Better than Blue Tacking for sure. Thanks for the tip!

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GubernatorFan

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ThePhotogsBlog wrote:Okay, I checked out your tutorial.  I know the stuff you are talking about now.  It's sold as insulation for pipes and air conditioners and such around here. I actually had some lying around, in cylindrical sections just wide enough that when you squeeze down, it fits snugly into the Super Duck head. I little slit in with an # 11 Exacto blade and the TB League ball joint fits in nice and snugly also. Better than Blue Tacking for sure. Thanks for the tip!

Don't you love it when the solution was just lying around? Glad it worked for you, and welcome!


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Really fun custom! I love all whole concept and backstory, and the figure is looking great. Agree with Stryker that it had a great 6o-70's explotation vibe, or maybe Tarantino, whose career is pretty much an homage to those films anyway. I don't even see the issue with skin tone match, and think it looks well close enough. I know you said it's more noticeable in other lighting, but nothing ever matches exactly, if nothing else, based on how different the head and body materials are, and this looks well within exceptionable. If you're still not sold, the S25B might be a better match. It's just a touch darker, and statistically, the Suntan skin tones usually match more heads than the pale (on older models, the difference was more dramatic, but it's subtler for the last 3 generations or so). And dynamite job tailoring the shorts. I'd have never known you had to re-fit them. Looking forward to seeing where this goes!


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Welcome ThePhotogsBlog, the Poses looks real and You Style of Photograpie is very clean. I like the Figure and the Outfit. Great Work. You can use a Background in a Post Apocaliptic Style. To open some Pics from the Net on Your PC and place the figure in front of is a simple way. Wink

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Ephiane wrote:Welcome ThePhotogsBlog, the Poses looks real and You Style of Photograpie is very clean. I like the Figure and the Outfit. Great Work. You can use a Background in a Post Apocaliptic Style. To open some Pics from the Net on Your PC and place the figure in front of is a simple way. Wink

Hi Ephiane. Thanks for the kind words. As to my photography, though I don't actually work as one, was trained as a commercial photography in a major photography school and have lighting equipment most camera buffs simply don't. In this case, I'm not using much; lighting is being provided by one or two portable flash units, with the main light being off camera to camera right.

These were preliminary photos and I simply wanted t see what the doll looks like under flash photo. In future, there will be more detailed background, either Photoshopped, diorama, or outdoors.

Gary

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