Creator of a reduced world. Figures of Igor Ivanov


“Battle on the Ice” performed by Igor Ivanov

The creators of the diminished world. Probably, those who have read my articles on modeling, have paid attention to the excellent color photographs with dioramas of the Battle of Borodino given in two of them. There were a lot of things on them: horses, people, gunpowder smoke billowed. Although it can be seen, it seems incredible that all these figures, including the horses, were molded from plasticine. At one time, someone sent them to me, sent them along with a letter that I could use them, and I have preserved them – after all, such a beauty! But who sent it, it was recorded somewhere and over time, alas, was lost. And I had to give these photos in the hope that the author will go to “VO”, see them and respond. The first article passed by, but with the second I was lucky. The author of dioramas saw his photos, found my phone through the university and finally contacted me. And he did not just get in touch, but told me that he not only did not abandon his hobby, but develops it, and developed it to such perfection that, looking at the photographs sent to him, one can only be amazed.

Creator of a reduced world.  Figures of Igor Ivanov
“Our Warrior”, participant of the “Massacre”

It is clear that there is nothing supernatural about them. There are figurines cast from bronze, “white metal”, epoxy resin, stamped from polystyrene, much more “regular” and durable. And worth a lot of money! But the figures of Igor Ivanov captivate with their democratic character. And, most importantly, you can do them together with your children! That is, to involve children in creativity.


“Their Warrior”, a participant in the “Massacre”

Of course, I understand that the call to go to circles and teach something in them to today’s children is, to put it mildly, akin to unscientific fantasy. And yet. I was recently in one of the art schools in my city. One of the schools – there are many of them. And he was amazed at the crowd that reigned there. That is, there were many children! Each class was packed with them, as they say, to the eyeballs. I looked into one of them, and the children there sculpted who do you think from plasticine? Hussar! 1812, only without a shako, and so with all his “affairs”, including the tashka! And they molded it great, it seems …

That is, an iPhone is an iPhone, but it is obvious that many are very interested in doing something with their own hands. That is, if there are those “who can and want” next to the children, then the children will go to them. It is only necessary that the technologies used by the leader correspond to the mentality of modern children. So that even on purpose the product could not be made badly, and it would not require a lot of painstaking work. And it was Igor Ivanov who developed the technology for children’s capabilities. Simple and very effective. Here is what he wrote to me about it: “I make figures that you can play with, although they are made of plasticine. For strength and preservation of shape and proportions, I make a “skeleton” for the figure. I use nickel-chrome wire for the skeleton. It seemed to me that it is more resistant to multiple bends. I twist two wires with a cross – it turns out a “skeleton”: arms, legs, the place of twisting – the spine. From aluminum foil I form the chest, pelvic bones, thighs, shins, shoulders. Then – the highlight of the technology, I take a non-woven fabric, glue and coat it on one side with a very thin layer of plasticine and then tightly cover the skeleton with this fabric. Layer by layer onto the wire frame. I simply tear off pieces of fabric of the required size with my hands, and at the end, if required, I cut off the excess “meat” with scissors. I cover the incision with our cloth. Plastic heads, wool hair. The figurine turns out to be strong, keeps its shape perfectly, bends at the joints – it is quite “alive”. Clothes are also made of fleece and colored plasticine, but they can also be dyed. Hats are removed, swords, swords, sabers – all in a sheath and pulled out. That is, the figures are “very functional.” That’s all the secrets. “


Someone, but the children are delighted. They don’t need more! This is just their strength and intelligence!

What does it give in the end? Gives that the figure acquires, so to speak, a solid volume. After all, if you just cover the wire frame with plasticine, then when you try to bend such a figure, the wire will simply crash into the plasticine, and it will be damaged. And here, thanks to the fabric, the figure bends easily. And at the same time, it is easy to attach purely decorative, plasticine details to it: shako, pom-poms, epaulettes. That is, what children really like and allows them to make the figures bright and beautiful.


And this, as I understand it, is something like a Zeichhaus

The author sets the figures themselves on papier-mâché dioramas. Organizes exhibitions for children, which are called “Plasticine game model”. There he tells the children about them and shows how to make such figures.

That is, it is clear that these are not collectible figures, which are made by “cool companies” both here and abroad. But for children, this is just what you need. Moreover, you can work with this technology both in circles, and again, if you wish, to establish mass production and enter the market with them.


Figures in this technique can be interesting not only for boys, but also for girls. They are already tired of the barbies. “Make yourself a beauty with your own hands!” – that’s the slogan of the day

I can imagine a kit for making a figurine with a height of 54 mm. This is, first of all, a “skeleton” welded from wire, then pieces of non-woven fabric and … small blocks of multi-colored plasticine – white for pantaloons, a vest, blue for a uniform, red for epaulettes and its trim, black – a “bear hat”. This is how we get the French guardsman of the Napoleonic army. A saber and a gun, of course, a modern, crooked-handed child will not do, and he will not have enough patience for this. Because to sculpt figures, which naturally, like all people, can differ from each other. And it is quite another thing to sculpt strictly identical guns. And not every adult can stand it. Therefore, all weapons must be put into the kit ready-made, cast in vixynth from epoxy resin. Since the set should (or may be) not one such soldier, but, say, a dozen, led by an officer, it will be necessary to attribute that paints for painting weapon parts and tinting figures are not included in the set and are purchased separately.


Alladin’s Cave

Yes, in addition to the weapon, the head must also be cast separately, which is mounted on the “wire neck” of the figure’s frame. Again, a child’s head with a face on this scale does not blind, but to paint it is completely. The game effect of the assembled figurine is its mobility. That is, the pose of each of them can be changed, which, of course, is always interesting for the child. Moreover, since the poses of all the figures, in general, no one will have different two identical figures, which means that each child will have his own, completely unique collection, not similar to what the others have.


But these are travelers at the walls of a medieval castle

Further in the instructions, you can write that since the figures are mobile, they can be used to create dioramas. Take photos from them, process them using a computer and create interesting illustrations for your own descriptions of historical battles! This is a hobby, I understand, you can’t think of a more modern one! “Look at the scene I made from the Battle of Borodino and like me!” “My picture of the battle scene of the Hundred Years War got a million likes! Cool!” And so on, everyone can, if they wish, continue it.


Popular at all times “Napoleonics”

Of course, using this technology, any figurine with the same quality cannot be made. Knights in “white armor”, where color and anatomy are very important, are not suitable. But knights dressed in surcoats and gambizons can turn out to be quite successful. In any case, the experience of Igor Fedorovich shows that, yes, they turn out well, just like the soldiers of the era of the Napoleonic wars. And they have one more remarkable advantage. They are easy to position and promote by means of PR and advertising. And that means a lot today. It is a pity that when I was writing my bestselling book PR-design, PR-promotion, I did not know about this project. I would certainly include in it a description of such soldiers and those PR tools that could ensure their effective promotion in the market.


Series: “Let’s make a fairy tale!”

I actually see articles in the magazines “Model Grafix” and “Military Modeling” about the prospects that the use of sets of such soldiers promises to develop the creative skills of a modern child. In Japan, by the way, everyone is crazy about this, all that remains is to take a patent, develop technology for infantrymen and horse riders and trade not even the sets themselves, but franchises for their production with full PR support. Moreover, the best PR-technique could be the release of children’s book-magazines, telling about various historical battles, illustrated with photographs of dioramas with these figures. And at the end: “If you want to join and do something similar with your own hands, then contact …”


And here are the sample figurines from the Army Museum in Paris. They can be used to make their excellent plasticine counterparts and sell, again as teaching aids and … souvenirs for memory. The main thing is that it is not difficult to photograph them, it is not difficult to draw them with all the details!

Well, we end with what we started with: “Battle on the ice.” This is a ready-made illustration for the school notebook-album “Great Battles”. As an experiment, you can launch a project through an agreement with some local ministry of education, where people are greedy for “innovations”, and to declare themselves. And that’s what we need. Let’s say 800 schools, let them buy 100 of these sets …

Taking this opportunity, I would like to once again express my most sincere gratitude to Ivanov Igor Fedorovich for sharing his technology with the readers of the VO website and for sending us a selection of photographs of his products.

To be continued…

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