Copyright 2002 T. Sheil & A. Sheil  All Rights Reserved

All Gauge Model Railroading Page

Working with Figures

Stances, Walking, Speed and Character

Individual figures have their uses.  The gait of a walking or running figure can be used to set the tone for a scene.  Little things like this manipulate the viewer's gaze.  So so things that stand out, either by nature of their activity or their attire.  Character figures - the notable ones - spice a bland scene into an interesting one.  Likewise, unusual pieces keep the viewer interested.  Here are some examples:

People walk at different speeds.  The pace of a figure can help in setting the tempo of a scene.  From the left, we see the steady pace of a girl walking her dog, and a man in blue. Next, the man with suitcases depicts a slow, shuffling pace. The book reader has a quick gait, while the boy's pace is slightly faster than average.

The same walking figures seen from the front.  A side view is generally better for setting a speed for a scene.

Character figures are those identified by a specific title or conspicuous, unusual feature.  We have a bearded man who stands out for his unusual appearance, a sailor, a fisherman with a very notable fish, lobsterman with apron and trap, mailman with packages and a railroad conductor.  Character figures add life to a scene when used judiciously.

These figures do not look as lively.  Their poses, except for the leaning engineer, look rather stiff. Figures like this are best placed inconspicuously in the background or the far sides of a scene, as their poses are not evocative of life.

These pieces illustrate speed.  The man on the left is halted momentarily, and exemplifies the idea of imminent movement.  He would cause a viewer to pause for an instant before moving on.  The man on the right is moving strenuously, and his speed is fast.  Such a figure is good for setting speed and moving the viewer's eye along.

Unusual stances.  Is the postman trudging or stopped?  It all depends on other figures in a scene or the things around him.  The man on the right has an indecisive stance, moving forward without a specific destination.

Interesting figures add life.  The woman decorating the anchor is unusual, adding interest.  The sledders always catch the eye.  They denote a very fast speed.

Nautical Figures add a unique feel to scenes.  Figures to the left are more modern - 1920s to present.  Figures on the right would fit between 1855 to 1910.

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