detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Monday, July 12, 2004

: . Andres Bonifacio, Action Figure

Sugod mga kapatid!

How can you transform a Nazi toy soldier into a Filipino national hero? To perform such a daring act of postcolonial appropriation, according to this site dealing quite literally with "The Making of Andres Bonifacio," you'll need the following: an X-acto knife, putty, wire, toothpicks, paint, and a print of a Carlos "Botong" Francisco mural showing Bonifacio making sugod with his kapatid. Then:
    Choosing a head sculpt of Bonifacio took me a long time since I want my work to be perfect. Finally I’ve chosen a head sculpt of a German Nazi shouting, his expression is perfect for Bonifacio motivating the Filipinos to fight for freedom. The problem is to make the face look like him. I need to sculpt the face to make it look like Bonifacio. Sculpting the face is the hardest & most crucial (make or break) part. No matter how nice the rest of the artwork & diorama, if the face does not look like the person you are replicating to, it will defeat your purpose.

    'Original health sculpt'

    Now, let’s sculpt! I removed the hair & sculpted the hair copying different photos of Bonifacio’s. Bonifacio had a thin hair line showing a stage of baldness which was very dominant.

    Sculpting the hairSculpted hair

    After sculpting the hair, still, it does not look like Bonifacio. After 3 modifications on the hair, it frustrated me since the face still do not look like him (Sorry, I missed to take photos of some stage of modification). After reviewing his photo again & again, the last corrections I’ve done were the eye bugs & cheekbones. , I added putty to the depression of the eye bug since the eye bug of the figure is too deep. I added putty to the cheekbone since Bonifacio’s cheekbone is more protruding or sharper than the figure. After re-painting, at last, I got his face.

    After sculpting the hair, still it doesn’t look like BonifacioAfter sculpting the cheeks, eyebugs & nose. Notice the difference

    For detail painting, I painted Bonifacio’s face with light complexion since he is a mestizo, his mother had a Spanish blood. I paint a little bit darker shade on the eye bugs & some deeper part of the face, ear, neck, etc... To show the highlights. Then I re-painted the teeth & tongue to make it more authentic & real.

    After detail painting the whole face

    Apparently, I have no well-rounded program in fine arts & sculpting as well as extensive knowledge, so it’s hard to me to do sculpting which is more difficult than painting portraits since sculpting is 3 dimensional & all angles should look like the same on what you are replicating.

Adjust the musculature and the pose, dress him up in what is thought to be early Katipunan attire, and voila -- a copy of a copy, with, alas, no original. A perfect hero for our times.

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