Saturday, 9 March 2013

Custom jumpsuit for a scale RC driver figure

Our Tamiya XR311 is getting close to being finished. One of the last remaining jobs is painting the driver figure that comes with the kit.

Since I made the steering wheel in the XR311 movable I need the arms of the driver to follow the steering wheel. I first thought of adding hinges to the plastic, but abandoned the idea. I made hinges before for our Dingo and I am not pleased with how it turned out.

Studying how others solved the issue I found that real cloth provides the flexibility to keep the hands on the steering wheel. So I needed to make a suit for my driver.

Tamiya XR311 P1270028

I found a jumpsuit pattern for a 1:6 scale G.I. Joe figure on Flickr. Since the XR311 is 1:12 scale I figured that the pattern would fit if I reduced its size by 50%.

Tamiya XR311 P1270004

After sewing together the main pieces I did a test fit:

Tamiya XR311 P1270010

The legs fit well, but the upper body was too short. So I cut new pieces of cloth, but this time I increased the upper body area by 1cm. Now it fits well:

Tamiya XR311 P1270012

After sewing the main parts of the suit together I made one arm.

Tamiya XR311 P1270014

It was a good idea to make a hem straight away on the sewing machine. I neglected to do that on the feet and had to do it manually at a later point, which doesn't look as good as the machine stitches.

Tamiya XR311 P1270019

Test fitting the arm: looks great! The second arm went smooth as well.

Tamiya XR311 P1270022

With the major parts of the suit complete up next was the tedious task of cleaning up all the hems. This had to be done with hand sewing as there is no way to get such small pieces in the machine. I've never sown before, but after watching a few YouTube videos it was a breeze.

Tamiya XR311 P1270025

Test fit: The upper body looks a bit too wide for the small figure due to the shoulders on the suit being too wide. Some adjustment needed... I narrowed the back of the suit a bit and now everything fits better.

Tamiya XR311 P1270028

I am very pleased with the outcome, it was a difficult job and my first attempt at sewing. All in all it took me 5 hours to make this jumpsuit.

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