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21st December 2012
Barry Wheeler Munny

There's no better way than relaxing on the Friday afternoon before Christmas; at home in peaceful quiet, with a hot cup of hot chocolate, writing an article with The West Wing playing in the background. It's quite relaxing! On a related note, Toby Zieglar can do a fantastic Max Payne impression! Today's article revolves around everyone's favourite literary agent and "fluffy little butter ball"; Barry Wheeler. Those who have been with The Sudden Stop for the past couple of months may remember the Alan Wake and Mr Scratch munny. It was my first craft! And as Christmas is rolling in with frightening speed, I thought it would be nice to do another figure of another well loved character.

I was going to use different shades on the clothes, hence the presence of the orange paint (for the jacket), but it works a lot better just being one colour. With the original character being so complex to recreate already, sometimes simplicity is quite refreshing.

What I Used:
- Kidrobot Munny Model
- Das Modelling Clay
- Gold Tissue Paper (or glitter and PVA glue)
- Red Acrylic Paint
- Almond Acrylic Paint
- Black Acrylic Paint
- Blue Acrylic Paint
- Paintbrush
- Cocktail Sticks
- Paint Palette.
- Thick String
- Golden Thread
- And a music player, as it will take quite a while!

This was perhaps the most complex Munny that I had created. With Scratch, it was relatively easy as he had three basic colours; black, white and red. With Alan, it was slightly more complex as his hair is more fluffy in comparison to Scratch and so it was modelled out of Das Clay. But with Barry there's a lot of stuff you had to consider; the character's "flaming eye of Mordor", the puffy jacket, the fairy lights and strangely enough trying to make the 3/4 length trousers not look like hot-pants. So getting the design down on paper was essential especially as it helped me come up with a solid design.


After getting down the design, I used a pencil to mark in where I wanted the clay to go on the model; essentially changing the 2D design and applying it on the 3D model. Again this was incredibly useful as it showed me what kind of things would and wouldn't work. In retrospect, I don't think the headlamp would have turned out that well if I had just immediately started working with the clay.

When everything was planned, I washed the figure in warm soapy water to remove any oils left on from the factory. Doing this allows the clay to stick much better, however things never go that smoothly, especially on the Monday that I had begun this...It's always Mondays.

I began applying the Das Clay,  I had found it slightly more tricky to work with despite washing the model before hand. Although there was a reason why I had more difficulty this time; for the other two models, I was applying clay over a large section like the model's hair or clothes, however this figure required smaller and more delicate modifications. Little did I know at the time that the biggest drawback would later being one of the best things that could have happened.


I had left the model to dry on a shelf overnight, confident that the clay would dry in an environment which wouldn't be interrupted during the 10 hours I would leave it before returning to the project...Yet something did go wrong.

I returned the following day to find that the clay had dried and I picked it up expecting to hold a solid model. What I got instead was a handful of clay pieces and a completely clear Munny body and head. So it was back to the drawing board. I washed the Munny again, moulded the clay to the head and body. At this point I was under the belief that the clay had dried too quickly, but it would work the second time.

The following day I returned to it and the same thing happened, as though the body was shedding its skin. Impressively, the headlamp managed to stay on, which was probably due to it being constructed from one piece of clay (instead of it being in four parts like the first version) and it covering more of the head. Yet I still had the problem with the body.


At this point, I refused to be beaten by a ceramic model and a series of clay parts so I thought about various solutions. These solutions ranged from drawing it on the model instead of using clay, using a glue gun or buying a new clay in the hope that it might stick better. In the end I opted for the glue gun. While making the body twice was quite annoying, it did provide me with more chances to improve the clay additions. As I made the puffy jacket twice, I got to choose the pieces with the best shape or best fit. I also managed to smooth the clay using a small file without fear of it breaking off the model. All of which made the model turn out much better than expectations!

Using the glue gun was strange as the last time I had used one I was ten, and I was pretty pants...OK, considering my age it wasn't too bad but the entire thing was reminiscent of the spider invested levels from Legend of Grimrock. Hopefully I wasn't too bad this time, I did find that the glue set faster than I had remembered it doing in the past; probably due to the chilly temperature of the room. Yet I'm quite pleased with the result!


I left it to dry for a few minutes until the glue had set, then it was down to the painting! I quite like the painting stage of any model; I'm not good at it but it means that I didn't completely failed in obtaining a somewhat recognisable character with the clay. Also it allows the character to slowly come to life! The first thing I was eager about painting was the jacket, especially as I loved the deep vibrant red. While I was trying to keep the lines neat, I didn't beat myself up too much about going a little over (you can see it in  the top left side of the jacket) as it would later be covered up by more paint.


During the gluing and painting process, I had disassembled the character; this made it much easier, especially to paint!

It took a few hours for the entire model to get the first layer of paint, but it was finally coming together...


After the model has been assembled again, it began to look a lot more like the character. Of course there were a few final details to add...Like a face.  I wanted to make sure that the paint was completely covered so going over some sections was a necessity, I also needed to add the shirt underneath, add the light for the headlamp, and make sure some of the paint lines were neater.


With the final adjustments and additions made to the model (after the photo above), I turned my attention to the fairy lights; these were surprisingly difficult. I was originally going to use real LED lights, but these were too big. I then planned to have fuse wire with various bright acrylic colours, but I didn't have any fuse wire. I did have some thick string. As the Christmas lights in the game had dark wires, I had to paint the white string, black with the acrylic paint. While it dried, I found some gold thread and after twenty minutes, I tied equal spaced knots representing the lights...


With that final addition, the model was complete!





See you on Monday for the final piece in this advent calendar!

Time Taken: Approximately 9 hours

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