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Arms length puppets

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by fishbone, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. trooper_trent New Member

    Well, Even though I have been taking my time to make sure I did a good job, Im almost DONE building my Armslength puppet already. It's really quite simple and the process doesnt really take all that long. I made the mouth plate, and put the foam head (ten pieces for the foam head) and body together 2 days ago, then yesterday I did most of the sewing (all except for the neck and spandex sleeve) and today I stuffed the arms, covered the body with fleece, attached the mouth plate, and built the eyes. Saturday I should be able to finish the neck so I can cover the head, then Im ready to start adding features. So far it has turned out almost perfect! I say almost because I had a little trouble constructing the mouth plate. The kit I ordered (version C) has a considerably smaller mouth than the others. David supplied the same size materials as for the other kits so the hand strap for the mouth plate was much too big and I was afraid it wouldnt fit inside the foam head properly. I did a little tweaking and it turned out wonderful. Nice clean lines, no rough spots, very comfortable too. I must say that I am completely satisfied with the way it is turning out. Thanks for all your help in teaching me a few things before I started. I know that you have all helped me avoid several mistakes.
    edited for typos
  2. Show and Tell Member

    Do you have an email address you can post Trent?
    I just ordered both the armslength video and kit C as well as the foam book video series and book. Its alot of money forked out but the end result will be some great puppets (I hope)
  3. DPuppets Member

  4. trooper_trent New Member

    Yeah, It ended up working out okay. The problem was that when you rivet the hand strap to the top portion of the mouth plate, the part that you put your hand in is too tight for your fingers and the edge of the plastic hand strap is too thick so it interferes with the shape of the foam head. I trimmed the plastic hand strap to make it thinner and adjusted the width of the gap that the fingers go through. I only place 2 fingers through the hand strap(middle finger and ring finger) and the other two fingers go on the outside of the strap. It seems a little unorthodox but it actually gives me a surprising amount of control and since my fingers are slightly spread in a more natural position, my hand does not get tired nearly as fast. pic of mouth plate here
    So, what once seemed like a flaw actually turned into a blessing.

    BTW, I just bought foam for the ears and a great Feather Boa for the hair. I'm almost done except for the neck and facial features. I'll finish him up tomorrow. Here are a few pics of what he looks like so far. I havent glued the fabric down around the mouth yet so the line isnt as clean as it will be. I named him "Ardy" :smirk:
    Ardy 1
    Ardy 2
    Body 1
    Body 2
  5. trooper_trent New Member

    Yeah, I'll add it to my profile. I keep forgeting.
    Its trooper_trent@yahoo.com
  6. DPuppets Member

    On the C puppet it is hard for pretty much anybody to use all their fingers in there. My wife can but I do the same as you do and just use my middle fingers. But, one reason I do use my middle fingers is that I use my 1st and 4th fingers to move eye lids and special effects. Doing a good job on it!
  7. Jinx Member

    Looks Great!

    Hey, Trent!

    He really looks great so far! I haven't had any time to work on mine yet, as I have had rehearsals and performances this week (symphony, my vocal quartet, and opera chorus!) and have only been able to study the pieces a bit. But I'm really looking forward to (hopefully) getting started this coming week!

    Can't wait to see how you finish him!
  8. trooper_trent New Member

    Well, He's finished!!! just about anyway. I was having some trouble sewing the feathers on for his hair. I dropped him off at my mother's house because she is an excellent seamstress. She said she could finish it tonight.
    Im taking my wife to go see David Copperfield tonight for V-Day but I'll post pics of the finished "Ardy" Tomorrow after church.
  9. Show and Tell Member

    That is one incredibly cool looking puppet Trent!:excited: I can't wait to see the rest of him. a few questions: Why do so many people use ostrich feathers for puppet hair? (not that its a problem just wondered) and secondly, what kind of material is Ardy's skin made of? it doesn't look like fleese which is what I would have expected. I'm still not quite sure what you mean by what you had to do there to make the fingers fit into the C kit. (thats what I ordered too) How do so many of you hide or remove the visible seams? do you have to pick out the material that gets sewn down or something? seems complex! :smirk:
  10. Show and Tell Member

    oh I found that the Pick-me place Iron fan was talking about does have Dave's Kits and videos. http://www.pick-me.com/puppets/pup5.htm they mentioned something about there being a series of videos. Is there more than one video when you order or what did they mean by that I wonder?
  11. Buck-Beaver Active Member

    Ostrich feathers are usually used because, well, they just look cool. They can also be dyed to any colour and are much lighter and thinner than most other types of feathers. You don't have to use them - I've used Emu feathers a lot - but they're pretty neat.

    The real trick is using antron fleece, which is what Ardy's skin appears to be made of. When it's stitched properly, seams on antron fleece are nearly invisible. There are a few old threads here in the forum devoted to this subject.
  12. Show and Tell Member

    Thanks Buck!
  13. Iron-Fan New Member

    now I'm not being stupid here am I, but what is the point of showing 5 glorious pages of wonderful puppets that you cant order anymore! I'ts like "WOW! thats cool ...I'm gonna buy tha...oh, you cant" update your website pick-me!!!
    I hadnt seen the black guy character in the custom section, ..wonder if he was offered as a custom kit before?
    Also Puppet builder, how did you get to that link? I cant seem to get to those pages from the pick-me menu, and it looks like they are part of a different site or older part of the site?
    You get 2 vids with the custom orders though perhaps you guys who already have them can tell us what exactly is on each tape?? Can you tell that I am still waiting for mine to arrive...... :grouchy:
  14. Show and Tell Member

    I put Dave's name in MSN search engine and it was on the first page of results. Not sure but I think you can order the black guy now through them at least.
  15. Iron-Fan New Member

    Through who? Arms Length or Pick-me? Pick-me dont seem to be selling much of anything at the moment and the black guy is not on the Armslength site...
    Just out of interest, anyone ever been able to attend one of David Pannabeckers workshops? What was it like?
  16. Show and Tell Member

    I typed in David Pannabecker's name in MSN and got a serch page with "pick-me.com on it. It sparked my interest because of following this thread and so I checked it out and found 5 puppet kits instead of the four you have seen in the past on his site. http://www.pick-me.com/puppets/pup5.htm
  17. Iron-Fan New Member

    Yeah, I checked the site , but for a second I thought you had found some untapped armslength puppet source or something...such a pity that he/they dont offer these puppets for sale anymore...they look so much better than 90% of the pre-made stuff out there on the net...
  18. video567 New Member

    hi all . i just found out arms length is no longuer doing the puppets .. so whats next who is as good as them? I had a chance to see a video of their puppet making and i want a kit. since they are not available.. where do I go now? the patterns are not available so i dont know what to do. if anyone can offer advice i would appreciate it
  19. Iron-Fan New Member

    Hi Vid567, A a lot of folks on here just got their orders from Armslength arrive so as far as we all know Armslength custom kits are still available but none of their pre-made puppet range is available to buy anymore...A Few guys on here know David so I'm sure they would have said if he hed decided to shut up shop entirely....There are lots of great sites out there to make you custom puppets or are you after a kit specificaly or stuff to learn with?
  20. Show and Tell Member

    *shakily laughs* I just ordered my kit and videos so I don't think he's stopped production altogether. The premade puppets haven't been for sale for a while now.

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