One of the exercises in my new George Bridgman book is to construct a little figure out of metal lath and bailing wire. My first attempt came out "OK." I'm still not sure I have the proportions perfect, but I will say that after a while this started to look (to me at least) like a little guy standing on my desk. The main reason for this exercise is to work out the proportions and placement of the three main volumes of the figure - head/chest/hips. Or, more specifically, skull/ribcage/pelvis. You've got to be careful though, because that lath will tear your fingers up while you're trying to bend it. A pair of tin snips & needle-nose pliers works best. I'll probably do some sketches from these in the days to come, but my skeleton is on it's way, so I may just wait for that MUCH larger, exact model to arrive. I'll give him a name (suggestions welcome) and post photos of "Skinny" when I get him. And it is a "him." For some reason male skeletons are much cheaper than female skeletons.
The wire running down the back of my little wire frame model represents the spine. This allows you to twist & tilt the major volumes just as your hips and shoulders twist and tilt. Pretty cool. I may do another one of these because I'm not 100% sold on these proportions.