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Bruce Lee as "LEE" in ENTER THE DRAGON, 1973

Bruce Lee lived and breathed martial arts.  He was devoted to the
practice, teaching, and innovation of his fighting style, or fighting
philosophy, which he called Jeet Kune Do.  His unparalleled dedication is
obvious in the fight scenes of this martial arts classic.  Bruce is rightfully a
natural subject for action figures, particularly those in articulated 1:6
scale, but almost all of the figures manufactured of him feature very poor
to mediocre likenesses.  The bad likenesses and cheap clothing on many
of the figures make them at best playthings, toys.  It was my goal to
create a 1:6 scale figure of Bruce Lee worthy of the serious adult
collectors and die-hard fans of the late, great Bruce Lee.
The primary proportional problems, as
seen in the photos on the far right,
include the width of the lower half of the
face.  This is probably due to
manufacturing processes that can create
narrower casts, especially in vinyl.  Also, it
features a rather poor paint job,
especially of the eyebrows.

The level of detail in the hair, however,
was quite good, and I maintain that in my
sculpt as well.
The nunchuks were crafted from wooden 3/16" dowels, and
I had a difficult time finding the right kind of chain in the
right scale.  Most chains at that scale are not constructed
in the right way, and I wanted to go for total accuracy, with
the traditional alternating link structure..

I eventually found the properly scaled chain at a jewelry
store, so those are genuine silver chains connecting the
dowels!
I also resculpted the face into a
version with the mouth open, which I
used for my
Game of Death figure.

The black bodysuit is made out of a
stretchy Lycra-blend, as are his
socks.  The shoes were first sculpted
in SuperSculpey, textured, detailed,
then molded so copies could be cast
in a durable and flexible material.  
Flexibility is essential, to utilize the
meta-tarsal joint on each foot of the
Dragon bodies for truly realistic
posing schemes!  They were then
air-brush painted (bristle brushes
leave brush strokes of course) and
clear-coat sealed.
The head is not cast in resin, but in
Durham's water putty for a rougher,
more skin-like texture.  The head is
then hand-painted (by airbrush and
also with tiny little brushes for
detailing) then clear-coated by
air-brush to protect the paint-job as
well as to give the illusion of a
sheen of sweat.

I then went back and with a clear
gloss, wetting the corneas of each
eye to give it added realism and a
life-like effect.  The eyes are the
gateway to the soul, after all.
I had wanted to include the
cobra, but I'm still trying to
find a way to make an
accurate cobra at that scale.  
It seems like I've found every
species of snake at that scale
besides the cobra.

So, for now, no cobra...
In case there's any of you who don't
already know this, but that's Jackie Chan
in the above photo getting his neck
snapped!

Cool, huh?
If you've seen
Medicom's 12"
Bruce (photos
below), then you'll
probably notice  
the resemblance
my sculpt bears to
it.  The reason for
that is simple:  I
used Medicom's
as inspiration, a
base and a frame
of reference..

The Medicom
head-sculpt is a
well detailed
sculpt, but there
are a few
problems with
proportion that I
wanted to make
sure I avoided on
my sculpt.
For most of the underground fight
scene in Enter the Dragon (the best
fight scene in the film), Bruce has tied
the sleeves of this outfit around his
waist (as in the photos above and
below).

Unfortunately, there is no available
action figure body that looks realistic
nude as the joints are too apparent
and the "reality" of the figure is
spoiled.  So that rules out much of the
poses from that fight scene.

Still, since Dragon's bodies are the
best (according to most 1:6 scale
enthusiasts) for it's level of articulation
(30+ points) I used them, but had to
make the whole costume cover it.  So
this is what Bruce wore on his way to
the underground fight, in which he
encounters a few guards, a cobra, and
the underground radio room.
All in all, I'm waiting for the day some company
makes a fully articulated, REALISTIC torso and
hidden shoulder joints.  There's a lot of characters
I want to do (including this one) with the chest
exposed:  Bruce Willis in Die Hard (in his
wife-beater), Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan,

I think the new DEVGRU figures by BBI have
hidden joints (like Dragon's Russell's arms), but I
think it's only a matter of time before the rubber
splits and the wires start to stick out.  Plus, the
proportions are a little too idealized for my tastes.

Still, this is all being very picky when there's
already a fairly decent selection of male bodies to
use out there.  The real problem of course is the
absence of realistic female bodies.  "Perfect
bodies" may be perfect, but they're sure as heck
not realistic.  I'm waiting for a good base to build a
Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor from Terminator
2, a Sigourney Weaver as Ripley from Aliens, and
Michelle Yeoh as Yu Shu Lien in Crouching Tiger
Hidden Dragon.

Oh well, until then, there's still plenty to keep me
busy...!
BELOW & RIGHT:  The
Medicom Bruce Lee head
sculpts
To accessorize this figure, I
decided to include the shoulder
bag he has in the film (in which he
had the rope and later put the
cobra).

I've included a length of knotted
white rope, in the proper scale,
inside the bag.

I've also given him a pair of
escrima fighting sticks.