-By Dan dos Santos

Many of you asked about the figurine I used for reference in my ‘Rose Red’ post.

The figurine in question is a 12″ action figure, called TrueType. These figurines (also known as 1/6 scale figures) are very popular amongst model/diorama makers, because they are highly posable, and make a great base for any number of applications. There are also a ton of accessories available for these size models, including clothing, guns, posable hands, and a wide variety of heads.

Because of it’s versatility, and the immense amount of accessories available, I actually use these figurines quite often as models.

I often paint unusual lighting scenarios and poses, and these models allow me to explore a lot of possibilities that would otherwise be difficult (or impossible) to do with a real model. For instance, a jumping pose lit dramatically from beneath would be quite difficult to photograph with a real model. But with a 12″ figurine, it’s not only easy, but actually fun.

In fact, I actually own several of theses figurines, so I can orchestrate fighting poses and group shots.

Though, my favorite thing about these figures is the number of different heads available. These heads are often sculpted in the likeness of celebrities and are EXTREMELY detailed despite their size. This means I can have a whole arsenal of model heads, male or female, available to me any time of the day.

If I’m having trouble sketching, I can just grab one of the heads I keep near my computer, and draw it from life. There is no need to hire a model or even take photos.

When photographing these models, the reference is of course never perfect. The anatomy is always a bit off. But lighting and drapery are always really helpful, and provide me with enough information that I can usually just make up the rest.

The dolls aren’t cheap, but if you use them more than once, instead of a model, they essentially pay for themselves. Plus they are ALWAYS on time, and never complain about the weird poses you have them hold!