My new drawing assistants are here !

Youhou ! After 6 months saving; After 2 weeks traveling the ocean; After 1 month held at the customs; After a rush by bike to the post-office 5 minutes before closing…

Here.They.Are ! Posable dolls to help me in my long term project !

After extensive research on internet, the two only options that seems really worth it if you want something really useful were :
Armature Nine
Sticky Bones

The later is still under preparation (Kickstarter) so I decided to go for Armature Nine which is establish since several years now and have a small but active community using them.

After a lot of hesitations (this isn’t cheap) I picked the larger models because of the different available size. Mine are a tween and an adult.
For aesthetic reason I go with the wood composite. I’m not too worried about long term aging because other reviews have good report on it. Plus larger models have a life support apparently so, if something broke, as every piece can be changed, chip-chop and it’s good !

Side note : store is in the USA, I live in Belgium, I had to paid 1/3 of the price to customs fee. Half of this fee is “administrative cost”. F***** m****** s**** of *** ***** ****. If you can order it as professional, do it, at least that will save you the VAT.

Anyway back to the subject…

Here is how they arrive packaged, wrapped inside a box full of air plastic bag. They looks like Alter Carbon people waiting to be awaken…

package arrival.png

Each one of them has a magnetic stand (super light ! but they are themselves super light, it is surprising) plus the flying stand (halas, only one for both of them)


The tween was stiffer than the ranger (adult), now after a few manipulation it’s much better.
The ranger is a pleasure to pose, no complain with it !

They keep posture quite well. The hands joints for both feel fragile but can be manipulated quite extensively. And they have opposable thumb, how amazing is that ?! There is a magnet inside so they can hold object even more easily.

I will need a bit of practice to pose them properly and avoid stiff posture. So far I managed to replicate what I wanted quite easily, that will save my previous model (husband) some trouble 😀

It’s early begin but here is a few other pose I did, they all seems quite natural and I can really use the difference in proportion between my protagonists. It’s also super helpful to try different angle, that will save me a lot of migraine when I need to create fight scene or any unusual perspective shot 🙂


Next step will be to find some accessories for them, mostly little weapons and a clothe or two (coat with hood and some stuff like that).

Now let the fun begin !


4 replies to “My new drawing assistants are here !

  1. Hi!
    a week ago I just posted my own review of Armature Nine, and now I’m reading other artists opinions 🙂
    My main problem was the shipping (I live in Poland), I waited for 5 months! But that’s the delivery service’s fault, they probably lost it, and decided to look for it after I sent them some complaints…

    I have the Ranger, and he’s awesome. I’m just a bit afraid of posing his hands, I already used a bit too much force and his thumb got loosen. I saw that there’s a possibility to get a stiffening glue on Armature’s site, so I will definitely order it in the future.

    About the Sticky Bones, they look like a serious competition to Armature Nine, but they don’t have such variety of mannequins as Armature Nine has, also there’s not much place for customization in Sticky Bones mannequins. I did a quick research about them, unfortunately, they did not have “female” od “kid” mannequins.

    Anyway, It’s been some time since you wrote this article, how are the Armature Mannequins now? Did you have any problems with them?

    1. Hello 🙂 !

      Honestly shipping is tedious this year, I also had issue with packages disapearing and nobody was able to trace where they were. And suddenly a bumped box appear in my mailbox like magic, months after I gave up all hopes… I’m glad your package made it !

      I think you can use a wood glue as a stiffening material, I remember a discussion in some comments on the ArmatureNine facebook account, worth checking it if you want to avoid another X month wait !

      My Armature mannequin are as good as the first day to be honest. After 6 months, my only complain is a little loosing join on the hands/wrist because I move them a lot and also made them “hold” little objects and weapons so they “work” a lot during each photo shot. As I said I remember the creator and another user discussing how to stiffen easily a join so I’m really not worried I can achieve it too. I had one foot magnet that distached, but again one drop of superglue and it was fixed. I also replaced the shoulders with the “broad range motion” and they hold good as well !
      So far, so good, I’m positive I will keep these little lascard with me for the next years ! 🙂

      I agree with your point on Sticky Bones, it will probably have “better” finitions because it’s industrially created over the Armature which is handmade BUT Armature offers many size and custom options that really push it far behond.
      The magnet also are incredible powerful in use, I bough a little pot of magnetic paint and created a range of wood and cardboard weapon & tool, it’s just crazy helpful. Even if the fingers aren’t totally closed or placed, I’m fine, the general placement is more than enough to get things done.

      Looking forward to see what you do with your Armature !

    2. By the way I’ve read your review on Armature, it’s very good and very complete ! You have a very interesting and informative website 🙂 hope you grow a good audience !

      1. Hi Charline! Sorry for my late reply, and thank you – I’m glad that you find my review useful 😀 .I took some photos with a better light, hopefully I will add them this week to the review.

        Thanks for the info about the glue, it will be more convenient to look for a wood glue in my city, rather than ordering one from a different continent.

        At the time I write this reply, my Ranger is still like a new one, but I understand the opinions where people comment that its joint loose up to quickly. Its joints are pretty delicate, I’m still pretty cautious when I pose it, and would never give it to a kid, even for holding. But, regarding opinions of other people about loosen joints, i suspect that the mannequins they know, and used for comparison, are just stiff and can’t achieve as many poses as Ranger.

        Anyway, I didn’t had any problems with the magnets, all are in their places. Cool idea with the weapons, I haven’t though that I can just get a magnetic paint and make some accesories myself!

        Thanks for the reply and giving me some tips and ideas 🙂

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