Thursday, 5 March 2009

Puppet construction

With clothes

Foam body

Hip view

Sholder ,chest

Thigh and knee close-up

1:6 scale Brass and aluminium puppet with foam build up body.

This construction used the brass pieces from large electric block connectors. The plastic coating is removed from the brass by simply unscrewing the grip screws and pushing out the brass connector.

The picture above shows the original block connectors with a single brass connector removed, the picture also shows the beginnings of a hip section with a wire spine.

The brass connectors are soldered together using standard high temp solder; this creates the bones of the puppet to which the aluminium is passed through to create the joints.

The picture above shows a shoulder section connected to the puppet spine. The arm bones are soldered to flat brass plate at a 60 degree angle to create a shoulder for the wire arm, three further brass connectors are used as bones for the main arm and two connectors are used for the fore arm bones. It is important not to screw these connectors too tight. This will weaken and cause the aluminium wire joints to break.

The puppet skeleton is covered with standard foam used for upholstery.
The basic body shapes are glued together using spray upholstery glue, this drys quickly but can easily be prised apart if access to joints is required.In later builds I have sprayed WD40 oil on the brass connectors and screws so the foam only stick to itself and not the armature.

The picture above shows the foam torso which has been roughly sculpted or melted with an old soldering iron to create chest and stomach muscles which show through the clothing.
The puppet head is a static 1:6 scale sculpt, the eyes and mouth do not move, a post production method using Photoshop CS3 or above is used to create blinking and mouth sync movements.

This method should result in creating a strong but movable puppet for stop motion, joints can fail but the construction allows for replacing wires.
Below shows the finished puppet.

The cost of making this type of human form puppet is approximately £20.00.


jriggity said...

cool man!

good progress.


emmyymme said...

Those connectors look really cool - thanks for the extra info about them!

Jeff Lafferty said...

Looks pretty cool!