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A Few Questions

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by Iokitek, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. Iokitek New Member

    I have a couple of questions:

    The first one is for Andrew. When looking at your Tumbles Project I noticed that the foam seems to be covered with something. It looks to me like you covered the foam with latex. If so... how do you do that? and why?

    My second question is about hands. I'm trying to figure out how to make a hand grasp something. If only the index finger and the thumb can do this that would already be great. I've studied those 'robot'arms before and I think I get it. But it would be alot of work making all the fingers myself etc. Does anyone have a good link for me with an example of grasping fingers?

    I just bought a PVC pipe and some pipe isolation material wich fits perfectly. This should work well to make arms out of and having the PVC pipe in there will leave me with enough room to run cables to the hands without having it damage the foam from the inside. I don't know. Maybe it's a usefull tip. It seemed to make sense to me. And it only cost me a dollar or so.

    My third and last question is about mouthplate material. I hear people talking about 'foamies' but I don't have a clue what kind of material that is. Can anyone explain to me what it is or maybe reccomend a substitute? My first try was done with cardboard but the mouth already won't close properly anymore because the cardboard got bent.

    Oh and on another unrelated note: TMNT, The Secret Of The Ooze, is now officially my new favorite puppetry movie. I saw it for the first time last Saturday and all I can say is... Wow! :)
  2. ElijahTheSane New Member

    if you're talking about those toy robot hands, that would probably be the easiest way to make a hand that can grasp, it's not really a whole lot of work, only three pieces for each finger one piece for the palm and thumb, one flexible plastic piece to move the hands, and one cable... little diagram of what goes into it here
    www.elijahatkins.com/temp/hand.swf


    when you put it into the puppet just make sure your cable has enough slack, so it doesn't force the arm to close when you bend in the arm

    as for foamies, it's the brand name for a dense flexable foam rubbery material, it can be found at pretty much any craft store, even wallmart carries the stuff. the generic name is sheet foam so you might have better luck looking for that, i like to use it for the outside of the mouth
  3. Buck-Beaver Active Member

    The foam I used for Tumbles was - I think - stuff intended for upholstry use in cars and comes with this weird fibre backing on one side. I have no idea what it is or why it's there but I don't recommend using that kind of foam if you can help it. For one thing, if it is pulled off or comes off on it's own it leaves a gummy residue on the foam.

    As for grasping hands, Google MST3K bot building and look for information on the Crow T. Robot hands. They might work for you. I think have some links to bot building info here.
  4. Iokitek New Member

    Nice diagram :) Exactly what I was thinking of aswell. My friend told me this wouldn't work so I didn't even try it. But I had the same idea. Apparently I was right. Well it's time to try out different materials then. Thanks a whole bunch for the tip! :) I really appreciate it.

    As for foamies. I still don't really know what it is but although I live in a small town we still have an arts and crafts store and a fabrics store here so I'll probably be able to find it if I look harder. I live in the Netherlands so we don't have a Wallmart here. But so far I've aklways been able to find what I needed.
  5. Iokitek New Member


    Oh I see. So that's why the foam looks so weird. I thought you just added a layer of latex so air wouldn't be able to get to it or something. I just use regular foam used in furniture etc. (It's blue) The company that makes it is in the next town and I can order it directly from them for much cheaper than in the store. I don't even have to pick it up there because they deliver it to a 2nd hand store near me. I can place an order in any size (width, length and thickness) and just walk over the next day and pick it up. So I guess I'm settled when it comes to foam.

    I noticed your recently added puppet building page before. But I forgot about it. Thanks for reminding me. It still had a few links that I wanted to check up on. Elijah drew a nice diagram but I would still like to see what other methods are available. Thanks Andrew. :)
  6. Buck-Beaver Active Member

    Oooh, that's a nice little animated diagram. Have you got any more of those?
  7. ElijahTheSane New Member

    no not really, that was just a quickie animation/diagram It's kinda hard to explain how that works, so it was just easier to animate it. I've done diagrams for the same reason before, but i usually don't hold on to them.
  8. Iokitek New Member

    Thanks again Elijah. I just built one test finger with some foam tubing, a couple of rubber bands and a string. And it works great! :)

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