Tangled Synthesis
home-made Gir figurine - click for larger version


2 1/2" Sculpey figurine (May 2002)

Invader Zim is an odd show. Mostly I like it, though sometimes it's just a little too gross and bizarre for my taste (plentiful organs, anyone? no? how about some hypnotic zits? ick! and shudder!). Gir however never fails to amuse. If you haven't seen the show, no listing out of dialogue will convey to you why this little robot is so cool. You have to hear/ watch him say "I saw a squirrel. It went like this [squirrely sounds]" or "I love the little tacos. I love them good" or "What's this do? What's this do?" or "Yay! We're doomed!". And the "doomed" song from the series premier is priceless. But I digress. Anyway, I stumbled across this project, showing a Gir in dog-outfit figure made out of Sculpey, and I thought to myself, hey I could do that! I prefer robot-Gir to dog-Gir, though, so I decided that I'd finally use that left-over Sculpey from a doomed earlier project and make a little Gir of my very own. Thankfully, I don't have to feed him. I like the little tacos too, I don't want to share!

beading wire diagramFirst I made a stick-figure skeleton of beading wire, with a ball of tin foil at the top to fill the head (appropriate, no?) and little glass beads at the wrists. I used a pair of tweezers to crimp the hands into shape. The black line on the diagram represents the wire, which runs continuously from the head, around one arm, down the body, down and back up one leg, down and back up the other leg, back up the body, around the other arm and ends up back in the head. Whenever 2 wires are parallel, I twisted them together into a single strand. Then I just molded Sculpy around the lot, being careful to leave gaps between the legs and the body and between the shoulder spheres and body so that he would still be able to move a bit when the Sculpey hardened. Then I stuck one of those pins with a round head into his head for the antenna, and cut out and attached little disks for his eyes.

Let me just add that he's very small (those are quarters in the picture), and I had a tough time smoothing out and shaping the pieces with just my fingers and that pair of tweezers. If I do this again, I think I'll see about picking up some actual sculpting tools, I'm sure the results would be better. This was just a spur-of-the-moment, let's-just-dig-in kinda thing, so I had to make do with what I had around. I ended up making his body and legs much larger in proportion to his head than it is in the cartoon in the hopes that I'd be able to get him to stand up by himself. He did when he was wet, but after he dried, he stopped balancing on his own (though if you put him up against something, he'll stay put). Ah well, he can still sit, I suppose that's the important thing. Now I just need to make him a little T.V. to gaze vacantly at...

Anyway, I popped him in the oven for 10 minutes at 250 to dry him out, and then painted him with acrylic paint, finishing off with a little clear nail-polish top coat (I told you, whatever I had around!). And there you have it, a very amateur, but hopefully still recognizable Gir figure! I probably should have sanded him down a bit before painting, but didn't have any appropriate grained paper and he's so small I'm afraid I would have knocked pieces off if I tried to do it with the emery board I *did* have handy...


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