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Customising a Vinyl Cavey

I was invited to do a custom for a show celebrating the third birthday of A Little Stranger's Cavey character and the launch of the new Vinyl Cavey

The Vinyl Cavey is an appealingly simple form. While this leaves a lot of scope for adding features, it would be very easy to lose the core shape. I hoped to add just a few simple parts and apply most of the detailing with paint. However, as is often the case, I found myself enjoying the sculpting and may have got a little carried away.

Inspired by the ears, I decided to base the custom on Oliver Reed in Curse of the Werewolf. A quick sketch looked hopeful but showed that the rounded ears looked alarmingly Ewok-like and needed to be made more wolfish. I set to work with Milliput, forming the ears and suggesting other features. I made a stiff wire armature to reinforce the arms and started working on the shirt. I hoped to keep as much of the Cavey's basic shape visible as possible. Staying true to the figure's form was more challenging when it came to adding the legs. I tried to keep them as small as possible but was limited by the need to have both trouser leg and boots defined.

I sculpted the face in polymer clay to give myself more working time. Once I was satisfied with the sculpt, I cured it with a hot air gun rather than risk the whole piece in the oven.

I made simple wire armatures for the hands and then sculpted them in Milliput. Holes were drilled in the figure's wrists so that the hands could slot into place. For convenience, they were painted separately and only fixed to the figure when everything else was complete.

Imprisonment is a recurring theme in Curse of the Werewolf so I decided to give my custom a dungeon diorama. I cut the wall shapes from plywood and textured them with Milliput. The window bars were made from thin dowel rods.

With the sculpt complete, the first coat of primer served to reveal all the imperfections that needed sanding down before painting. Even with this, the finish wasn't really as clean as I'd have liked. The whole piece was then painted with acrylics.