My Dumb Projects
Monday, November 12, 2007
  Boba Fett Kachina Doll
For those not living in the Southwest United States, Kachina dolls are a native Hopi craft where figures are carved out of Cottonwood Root depicting spiritual beings, historical events and things in nature.

Wikipedia Kachina info

I saw a bunch of these at a local museum, and thought how much some of them looked like action figures. Perhaps "a long time ago" a Hopi fella happened to spot a certain intergalactic bounty hunter apprehending his prey, and decided to carve a Kachina of this obviously supernatural vision.

I had no source for Cottonwood Root so I decided to carve mine out of 4" x 4" x 8" Basswood. In order to maximize the size of the figure, I planned to carve the arms and rocketpack separately.

The first step was to cut of any excess wood (saved for arms and pack) and draw the rough figure for front and side profiles.

I used razor and hack saws to carve the rough silouhettes for both profiles.

I used scalpel tip X-Acto blades to start carving away the excess wood. The curved blades cut easily through the wood without crushing the grain as a straight blade would.

The head is better defined. I want to carve enough away to make sure of my proportion but not so much that I weaken the figure or prematurely remove a piece I need.

Helmet detail, probably too soon but I couldn't help it!

Belt defined and starting to remove wood between legs. I drilled through to make it easier to blade out.

More detail on the legs and it was this point that I decided to leave the base looking like rock. it just started to look that way all by itself.

More leg detail and still carving away the base.

Starting to define leg details like pouches and knees. STILL working on the base!

The base is pretty much done and I'm happy with the basic proportions. Now to add details without getting TOO detailed.

My first mistake. I cut off too much of the right toe so I decided to angle the foot down on a slope of the base.

All details filled in and sanded.

You can see the new foot position here. I think it actually makes the figure a bit more dynamic.

The left arm carved from one of the scraps. It was difficult to find a piece with the grain running in the right direction. If it ran perpendicular to the arm, it would be weak.

Right arm with pistol grip. I wanted to make the gun part of this piece but I had trouble with the geometry so I had to settle on adding it later.

The gun added to the arm

The shoulder stock was the part that gave me fits on the first attempt. It was much easier to do in sections.

The rocket pack was carved from Basswood but I used dowels for the cylindrical parts. the nozzles were attached with aluminum rods.

The belt pouches were carved separately so they could show motion.

I coated the entire figure in shellac which seals the wood and brings out the grain. Since the wood looked so good, I decided to only paint parts that were NOT representing fabric (or the ground).

I sanded a flat spot on the back to allow easy attaching of the rocketpack.

Kachina figures traditionally use cloth, feathers and natural materials to complete the figure. For Boba's cape, I cut a piece of bandana and distressed it on the belt sander.

All assembled!I used plastic coated wire for the hoses going to the gauntlets and the helmet "antenna" is a small piece of wood attached with a steel rod.

I wanted to make the Kachina using traditional methods (i.e. no power tools) and stylize the details through Hopi eyes. Unfortunately, Boba was also filtered through the eyes of a 21st Century geek so he's probably not stylized enough....oh well.
This is phenomenal! Awesome work - I've been checking in on your blog every month or so since the Right Hand of Doom project. Nice job!
this is truly some amazing work man, NICE work on this!
You know also how to sculpt wood...
Damn, I'm start hating you!


Please, post more "dumb projects" I can't stop reading your posts again and again (and this is not good when I have to finish a work and the deadline is so near...)
You make the hobby look fun again.
Keep up the good work.
Hey Blindsquirrel,

Where'd you go love your blog and I always check in. Missing your work!!!!
It's Lina!! HOMG. This is amazing.
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These are all the dumb things I find myself obsessed with building when I SHOULD be doing something more productive.

As a kid I built lots of plastic model kits, never knowing that one day those skills would actually be of use.

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Location: Phoenix, Arizona, United States
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