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A beginning...

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by robinthecrow, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. robinthecrow

    robinthecrow Well-Known Member


    Since I joined this group I planned to start making some pro-looking puppets and despite being here awhile now I am finally putting together ideas in my head to start with.

    Here are two puppets in their final designs (as drawn in PSP8) they will be used for some video productions that are currently being scripted.

    The Doctor: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/maxwood/puppets/doctorsmall.gif
    who is going to be a live hand puppet, the right arm/hand will be interchangable with one that can be used by a second performer and one which will sit there (for example when Nicky "Avenue Q" is being operated with just Rick) - ya know what I mean!


    Astra: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/maxwood/puppets/astrasmall.gif
    who will be a regular hand and rod puppet.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? comments on the designs? colours?

  2. robinthecrow

    robinthecrow Well-Known Member

    Right I will be starting off with the girl and a penguin (not shown). I have ordered some foam sheet to get me started and some alpine fleece in pink and black to cover the things with. I'm getting all excited now! :D
  3. gfarkwort

    gfarkwort Well-Known Member

    Thats great!!!... Glad you are excited, Have fun building your penguin.........How much foam did you order?
  4. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Penguins are good. We like Penguins here ... Good Luck !
  5. robinthecrow

    robinthecrow Well-Known Member

    I think I have ordered enough foam to manage some prototypes or duplicates (which I think will be necessary considering the author of the production the puppets will star in would like one!) Let's hope they turn out good!
  6. robinthecrow

    robinthecrow Well-Known Member

    Right! The foam and the fleece turned up... Now I'm having problems glueing the foam together!

    My hot glue doesn't seem to want to glue it! I also bought some adhesive from the people who sent me the foam, a spray bottle of mutli-purpose adhesive - will give this a try with a short sample.

    Is there any recommended glue to use with the foam? Or techniques?
  7. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    The best thing to use to glue foam is an all purpose contact cement gel. It's usually sold in paint cans at Home Depot and hardware stores. You have to be careful because there are many different kinds of contact cement. It's probably a good idea to ask a clerk which one is best for gluing foam rubber.

    The drawback of contact cement is that the fumes are very, very harmful. Be sure to work either outside or in a very well ventilated area like a garage. Be sure to wear a respirator with an organic vapour cartridge to prevent yourself from inhaling the fumes.
  8. gfarkwort

    gfarkwort Well-Known Member

    Actually.believe it or not I've found something better than contact cement for glueing foam....I stumbled upon it by accident trying to find contact cement...It is called Super RC Z 56.....I buy it at a hobby store in my neighborhood and the glue drys CLEAR....the only drawback is it takes 24 hours to dy fully....and there are NO fumes so its safe to use indoors :) I think its wonderful and have made several Puppets with it....and it doesnt work only with foam it also works with fabric, and vinyls as well as othr stuff. ;)
  9. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Another "slow dry" adhesive is Weld-Bond, which I've used. It works great and is non-toxic (unlike contact cement) BUT the lengthy drying time means that a puppet that takes hours or days to make could take weeks instead. :smirk:
  10. scarylarrywolf

    scarylarrywolf Well-Known Member

    Wow. How much did the Super RC stuff cost?
  11. gfarkwort

    gfarkwort Well-Known Member

    It only cosys 3.75 bucks......usually I buy two bottles at a time.
  12. robinthecrow

    robinthecrow Well-Known Member

    I'll look into getting some cement for it. Though now I've sat here and waiting for the hot glue to dry... it seems to be holding up.
  13. robinthecrow

    robinthecrow Well-Known Member

    Afternoon! well... it is here anyway

    I've just spent the past three hours making a head... three hours you hear me! Three hours! Wasn't expecting that... got in two runs of the "Avenue Q" cd though...

    I wasn't sure if the code could be switched on and off by me, so you'll have to make do with the links for these pictures.

    [url]http://homepage.ntlworld.com/maxwood/puppets/davidpuppet01.jpg[/url] The head template and my glue gun
    [url]http://homepage.ntlworld.com/maxwood/puppets/davidpuppet02.jpg[/url] The head in progress, the hot glue being clamped together with a clamp thingy I found in the garage!
    [url]http://homepage.ntlworld.com/maxwood/puppets/davidpuppet03.jpg[/url] got my sister to pose with the puppet on her hand (she's cut out of shot) so I could snap the thing.

    Since these pictures were taken, the thing as acquired some biro eyes and a nose. Though the head is quite pointy sidewards I'm not quite sure how the head will take a nose stuck on the front. The mouthpiece is cut a bit of cardboard - its holding well, despite the points of the mouthpiece/foam head don't meet, but once its covered in fleece - you won't notice!
  14. robinthecrow

    robinthecrow Well-Known Member

    Here we go again and this time he has skin!

    Not exactly the antron fleece with invisible seams people are going for, but look! he has skin! He's starting to looking positively alien like with his large forehead, so I may make him have alien attributes, one eye for example (not that all aliens have one eye of course - well the Daleks do!)

    I kind of cheated with the lower jaw's fleece around it, I hot glued that, but the well done sewing on the rest of the head was done on a sewing machine by good ole Mother (I still haven't managed to work out how to use the sewing machine, well, sort of, but I managed to get an un-even puppet hand out of it). So maybe I'll look into doing the sewing by hand instead - I'm frightened of that machine!

    Pictures I hear you ask? Well here's two shots (Front and side):

    And here's... well... its worthy for the photo album:
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/maxwood/puppets/davidpuppet.jpg (Warning: BIG picture at 111kb)
  15. scarylarrywolf

    scarylarrywolf Well-Known Member

    Looks like a clean job :)

    One thing I'd suggest for the future is to NOT get the "anti-pill" fleece that it looks like you had in the picture. Seams tend to cover up petter the thicker the fleece is, and the anti-pill stuff is really pretty thin.

    But it looks a lot better than my first puppet! Good job.
  16. robinthecrow

    robinthecrow Well-Known Member

    I've been finding it hard to find suppliers for thicker fleece in the UK! So if anyone knows a supplier it would be much obligied gov'nor.

    Cheers for the feedback mate. Its just a demo puppet at the moment... I hope to get some more humany-skin colour fleece (or even a dye) and get that on a foam head.
  17. robinthecrow

    robinthecrow Well-Known Member

    My latest puppet attempts can be found here:


    The first one, a disturbing Ernie/Nicky look-alike, was influenced by Buck's wedge construction mentioned on his website. Using a permanent marker and some synthetic hair samples some people sent me, I added the eyes and nose, and the hair. And gee did it look like Ernie - was very scary!

    And on the right is the Penguin... looking pretty much how I imagined him to be perfectly honest. Not what you would expect, especially coming after the Henson penguins, which had pointy beaks. "More dodo-like" someone said to me about my go.

    Which looking at it again, I'd agree with, I may try giving the beak another go but more pointy. The beak is actually completely seperate from the head, so I will build a seperate pointy beak which can be chanageable... probably with the final puppet as well.

    You'll notice that nothing is *finished* because I am merely experimenting so expect more polished and better looking *final* versions soon.

    I'm getting the hang of this puppet thing... I think...

  18. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Looks good so far, keep going and be sure to share pics of your work! :)
  19. robinthecrow

    robinthecrow Well-Known Member

  20. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    David, these look great!

    Ready for some more help? You know those signs that people put alongside the road that are old and dirty and made out of plastic but look like it was molded from cardboard? Use that rather than cardboard box and it'll last longer in the mouth. Cloroplast I think it's actually called. Anyways, I find those when they get older and dirty, take them home and clean them up and they're great to use inside a mouth!!

    The puppets look great, though. Love Pinky's hair and fleshtones! Looks great together!

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