Yes, that is what you think it is: Thrall, created entirely from fuzzy-wuzzy pipe cleaners. Thrall is one of the latest creations from Toepher, who made this representation of his own druid that we showed you back in February. Since then, the Lich King has also joined the fuzzy family of figures.
Although he's only been making WoW pipe cleaner figures for about six months now, Toepher's been twisting up crafts for most of his life. "Whenever I would go grocery shopping with my mom, we would make our way over to the produce department; there, I would grab a fistful of twist ties," he recalls. "I started out with making stick figures and usually arm them. After a few years of this and the advancement of the complexity of my twist-tie figures, my mother thought it would be a good idea to introduce me to pipe cleaners. I haven't looked back since."
Toepher assures us that his creations are made of nothing but pipe cleaners -- no internal framework, no guides, just pipe cleaners. Sound incredible? "The process is simple -- well, simple to me, but to someone watching me make pipe cleaner characters, it can be kind of dumbfounding," he explains. "With pipe cleaners, there are no definitive steps." There are no patterns or designs for the work he does. "It's more of a build as you go process," he admits. "I guess you can say I just have at it."
Each pipe cleaner model can contain anywhere from 20 to 2,000 pipe cleaners. "The first step in making the figure is to make sure that you have all the required colors for a project," he notes. "I can't tell you how annoying it is to be 90% done with a piece and then realize that you cannot finish it. The second step is to start with the base, pretty much making the skeleton. Step three would be to build up the flesh; here, you are making a naked model. Build it up with the desired colors with a wrapping technique. The fourth step would be to do the tweaking. Even in a finished model, there is still a little sculpting that can be done, and it is like a very hard clay. If a body isn't the right shape that you want, you can fix it by simply squeezing or pulling on the desired part. The final step would be to give the model its details, eyes, mouth, clothing, weapons."
Toepher's pipe cleaner figures take hours to create, depending on their complexity and size. He's whipped out a six-inch blood elf death knight in as little as one hour, but the Lich King model shown here, which stands over 18 inches tall and weighs more than 2 pounds with more than 2,000 pipe cleaners, took him well over 20 hours.
Check out more pipe cleaner creations by Toepher on his deviantART page, including this completely mind-blowing Spiderman.
World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by e-mailing lisa (at) wow (dot) com with your not-for-profit, WoW-inspired creations.