Flying Hellfish Abe Simpson
Being a rabid Simpsons fan and collector, I patiently waited for an action figure of Grandpa Abe Simpson in one of my favorite episodes "Raging Abe Simpson And His Grumbling Grandson In "The Curse Of The Flying Hellfish".
It features a great flashback showing a young Abe Simpson fighting the Germans in the closing days of WWII.
I bought a used "Raging Willie" as he is one of the few Simpsons characters in shape and had a cool action pose.
I also referenced the Ranier Wolfcastle as McBain for the Simpsons-style of sculpting the military uniform and equipment.
I soaked the Willie figure in boiling water for a few minutes and then popped off his head. I used white tape to mask off the seams and used Aves epoxy putty to start building the new uniform pieces.
I started sculpting the head using Sculpey, keeping the size, proportions and features of the Older Abe.
Since Aves needs 4 hours to dry, I find it easier to work in layers. Features like the collar and pockets are applied and then trimmed while still wet.
As the sculpting was nearing an end, I had to address reattaching the head. I cut a small piece of brass tubing and crimped a slot near the base to lock it into the post.
Later in the episode Abe is wearing a backpack. I cut a piece of MDF to shape for the main section and side pockets. The straps were cut from .02 styrene (after MUCH prototyping)
The flaps were made from .02 styrene. The grenade was formed from Aves with a nail stuck in it. When it was dry, I stuck the nail in a drill and lathed in the horizontal grooves. I attached small styrene blocks for the upper part of the grenade.
The grenade ring was made from round styrene bar stock. I heated the plastic and wound it around a brass tube. I snipped off one link and then glued it closed. The ""handle" of the grenade was made from a sliver of aluminum.
The belt pouches were made from thick styrene with thin plastic folded over for the flaps, I put a dot of CA glue on the flap for a subtle button.
The canteen is made from MDF with a sliver of dowel for a cap. The canteen was a bit of a visual cheat. On a real canteen, it sits in a canvas pouch with two flaps holding it in. On mine, I carved a lip to imply a pouch and attached styrene flaps.
Breaking with my policy of never showing my mistakes, here's a good one! Once I put the head on the body, I discovered that Willie and Grandpa aren't in scale with each other! CRAP!
I found that Homer's brother Herb is more in scale with Willie. So I made a rough mold of his head and cast a new head in Aves. I removed the nose to make sculpting a bit easier.
The new head is a better fit! Whew!
I made another cast of the head for making a helmet that would fit. I covered the form with Saran Wrap and used Aves putty to sculpt the helmet. Afterward I used the dremel to thin up the interior lip.
The sniper rifle from the episode was nearly identical to one that came with the figure of one of Fat Tony's mobsters. I merely repainted it. Abe also used a Thompson Submachine gun and I couldn't resist building it. I used laminated styrene for the parts and a brass tube for the barrel. The muzzle was formed by putting Aves on the end of the tube and then putting the tube in the drill and shaping it with files.
The sling was made by cutting slots in the appropriate locations and then gluing in a thin piece of styrene.
Here is Abe Simpson all assembled and painted. I also added his sergeant's bars on his helmet and the Hellfish tattoo on his right bicep using laser decals. I did my best to replicate the details of the episode, fighting my urge to make the details "accurate"