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Dearth/Alex's Customs and Dioramas v2

Discussion in 'Action Figures' started by Dearth, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. Dearth

    Dearth Well-Known Member

    So, some more memories of our trip... we took the guided tour of the three Henson exhibits at 2pm, since it was only $2 extra per person. We were in the "Jim Henson: Puppeteer" room when the fire alarm went off and they had to evacuate the building.

    I was about to say, "Um, if this building is on fire, can I go in and photograph the stuff NOW?"

    But just as we hit the lobby, the alarm stopped and they motioned everyone back in, saying someone had accidentally nudged an emergency exit bar. I mostly forgot about it, although I did have one tense moment when we were in the "Wonders from his Workshop" area, thinking I could smell something burning.

    The docent's speech was pretty familiar stuff... how Jim didn't set out to be a puppeteer, etc. I also thought at first that maybe she was nervous about public speaking, but she did relax as things went on, and of course she handled the fire alarm thing totally professionally.

    When we first entered the smallest room, she made a joke about everyone needing to crowd in, and segued very smoothly into an explanation of live-hands puppeteering on characters such as Rowlf, which requires the puppeteers to be close.

    I also think she's had some real experience puppeteering, because when she talked about the different performance requirements between lightweight puppets and weighted marionettes, it sounded like first-hand knowledge.

    She engaged the group often, asking us to point out differences between the Kermit photo poser and the Sam and Friends Kermit seen in a photo. Or she would ask us if we had seen certain films, like Labyrinth, and seemed pleasantly surprised that most of the 20 or so hands went up. "Oh, that will make this easier then."

    She told a funny anecdote about the Shaft of Hands gloves from Labyrinth, saying that the ad for additional puppeteers simply said "extras casting for David Bowie movie" and all these teen girls showed up. They had to lay on boards for hours up in the scaffolding of the set, with hot smelly latex gloves on. I blurted out, "And for a scene that David Bowie's not even in!" and the docent laughed, agreeing "Nowhere near that scene!"

    I thought it was odd that the tour seemed to be going counter-clockwise through the Wonders section. Labyrinth first, then Fraggle Rock, then Big Bird. It seemed like we were going backward chronologically.

    But I think she was saving Big Bird for last, because there was a parallel she wanted to draw between him and a previous Henson full-body costume, the La Choy Dragon, which we'd seen earlier. She said that in an interview, the character of Big Bird was asked about his ancestry, like had birds really evolved from dinosaurs, and BB replied as an inside joke, "I'm descended from a dragon."

    It was a nice story that brought us full circle, but I was preoccupied because the docent called Carroll Spinney a "she". I almost corrected her, but a glance at the rest of the tourists showed me that none of them knew the difference, or cared about it.

    I waited until the tour was over and quietly told her Carroll Spinney is a man, pointing out that he also performs Oscar the Grouch. She said, "That makes so much more sense now."

    Frogster likes this.
  2. JJandJanice

    JJandJanice Well-Known Member

    I godda say Dearth, you're making me want to do some Muppet customs, sadly their a little too costly nowadays. Though I've been thinking about doing customs about all kinds of toys for some time now.

    Awesome stuff Alex.
  3. LamangoNumber2

    LamangoNumber2 Well-Known Member

    I'm still shocked no one made a Sam and Friend's Yorick out of sculpty yet.
  4. Dearth

    Dearth Well-Known Member

    Yorick would be simple, true... but he'd open the floodgates to my completist drive to make all of the other Sam & Friends characters.

    Plus, I never saw any S&F footage until I was an adult, so it lacks the emotional impact on me that The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and Fraggle Rock all have.


    By the way, I spent $6 on two posters at the gift shop at the Center for Puppetry Arts. Then I spent almost $20 on poster frames once I got back home, LOL.

    These are pics I found online of the posters, but they're already uploaded and they're better than what I could take anyway:


    If I actually get my framed ones hung up, I'll take a picture of them in situ.

  5. LamangoNumber2

    LamangoNumber2 Well-Known Member

    ....That Beaker torch is the highlight of my day...Lmfao.
  6. Dearth

    Dearth Well-Known Member

    Back to customizing!

    Swinosaurus done!

  7. Muppetaz

    Muppetaz Well-Known Member

  8. LamangoNumber2

    LamangoNumber2 Well-Known Member

    Hm... No one's made a Droop yet? Shocking.
  9. Dearth

    Dearth Well-Known Member

  10. MissPiggyFan98

    MissPiggyFan98 Active Member

    I have a set of wooden blank nesting dolls bought from Hobby Lobby...they were on sale, but I don't quite remember how much...
  11. Muppetaz

    Muppetaz Well-Known Member

    Good news, Disneys really going all out for the Muppets. On Disney channel for the past couple of days, the muppets have been introducing just about every other show. You know the part where one of the stars draws a mickey in the corrner. So far I've seen Kermit, Piggy, Gonzo, and Fozzie.
  12. Muppetaz

    Muppetaz Well-Known Member

    More good news, I just got the Green Album.
  13. Dearth

    Dearth Well-Known Member

    That's nice, I have listened to it but haven't purchased it yet. I do love the video that the Muppets did with OK Go, it's like a match made in heaven.


    But I feel a need to address something... don't you think these sort of off-topic posts belong in a different section of these forums? There's a thread dedicated to the Green Album, for example. After I saw the OK Go/Muppets video, that's where I went to comment about it. There's probably one discussing the Disney channel promos, up in the news section.

    I mean, it's kind of a compliment that this is where you feel the most comfortable. But on most of the other forums I've frequented, "thread hijacking" is considered impolite, and in extreme cases, I've even seen moderators warn people to stay on topic.

    Perhaps you could start your very own thread, with your own screen name and/or real name in the title? And then you could post whatever you wanted to say at any time, and it would always be on topic for that thread.

    I'd appreciate it.


    So having gotten that off my chest, I also feel compelled to actually talk about my customs and dioramas. No new pics to post, but I'm currently reorganizing my mostly-boxed Muppet collection.


    (Remember this older pic of all the boxes stacked up? I went through about a third of those yesterday. )

    I will say that I am in pre-production mode on "Jurasick Pork" as a photonovel. It's basically just a remake of Jurassic Park if the Muppets had done it, but in a couple of places it will slide slightly more into parody than straight remake.

    I recently watched the original Jurassic Park movie again, and then a few days later it came on TV while I was at work, which I considered a nice bit of synchronicity.

    I've got pages of ideas jotted down, and I realized I would have to customize a few more action figures... including movie-specific costumes for Link Hogthrob, Dr. Strangepork, and possibly someone for whom there is no existing Palisades figure. It's something I've always been afraid to try... turning a Miss Piggy into an Annie Sue.

    But if Piggy is the T-Rex and Janice is Ellie Sattler, I need a young female for Lex. Camilla won't exactly work, and I even thought about a tweenage Skeeter since I have some leftover Scooter parts already on hand. But since Lex is the computer nerd, something Skeeter always eschewed, it seemed anathema.

    Plus, I've seen other custom Skeeters made from Scooter parts, and somehow it always 'reads' on camera as just... Scooter-in-drag.

  14. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Hmm... Sadly, I lost my contact/local customizer who was working on turning a Scooter into Skeeter as discussed between both of us, which was of course before the release of the Muppet Show Comics arc Family Reunion.
    If you're considering making an Annie Sue, I'd recommend you try contacting the one guy who's actually done it... None other than the originator of Muppet custom figure awesomeness, Quinn Rollins. He might be on FB, dunno if you've already got him on your friends list Dearth. But you should seriously search him out, he made Skeeter and Annie Sue and even Spamela, a whole Batman Muppet cast, JLU Muppets, Indiana Jones Muppets, the list just goes on and on.

    Hope this helps.
  15. Dearth

    Dearth Well-Known Member

    Oh, many's the time I've thought up a 'new' custom idea, only to realize it's something Quinn made many years ago and has been buried in my subconscious ever since.

    I've tried to track down Quinn for a chat, but I never got a response. Didn't try Facebook, though, as I don't have a real active account.

  16. Dearth

    Dearth Well-Known Member

    I was sitting here dremelling off the hair of a Miss Piggy to customize my Annie Sue when I had a knock at the door; it was the mailman with a heavy box full of Muppet custom fodder from The Count! Yay!

    In addition to Annie Sue, I have several custom Muppets in progress, most begun just last night. A Rizzo, a Link, a Strangepork... Expect pics soon!

  17. Muppetaz

    Muppetaz Well-Known Member

    can't wait.
  18. LamangoNumber2

    LamangoNumber2 Well-Known Member

    So... I just got the MST3K box set that comes with a Gypsy figure... Man, she's huge. Bigger than Beauregard. All I need now is a Crow and then it's the Bots on the Swinetrek vs the Hecklers in the Box!
    Not my picture, but here's a size comparison of all three bots.
    Crow's sadly, missing his legs...But hey...they're only figures, I should really just relax... Here's hoping for a Cambot, heck, even a Joel or Mike figure...
    Crow and Tom are apparently, as small as Gonzo, not counting Crow's stand, and Gypsy towers over them, as tall if not taller, than Beauregard.
  19. Dearth

    Dearth Well-Known Member

    I recently watched an auction for just the three bots go for way more than I wanted to pay, but they're very cool. Especially Gypsy and Tom Servo. But that Crow... well, the missing legs don't bother me as much as the fact he looks really out of scale compared to the other two. I used to subscribe to the newsletter of 'this little cowtown puppet show', so I've been hoping to see more merchandise of these guys for a long time.

    When my oldest son was just a baby, I appeared on the local TV channel as one half of a pair called The Movie Hunters. The other guy was a lowbrow redneck woodsman type, and I was the highbrow big-game safari character. We only did something like six skits before we got the axe, but they were a lot of fun. In the final and longest segment, the director had us do the de rigeur MST3K ripoff, superimposed onto the trailer for Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow while making lame riffs.

    We were seated in front of the weatherman's bluescreen and watched the floor camera's TelePrompTer as our monitor to see the clip. This meant we were actually facing TOWARD camera to create the silhouettes, with the contrast set to make us solid black... but if you look closely you can see the buttons on my shirt front were reflecting the lights, so those were keyed out as well. Which gives away the fact we have our backs to the 'movie screen'.

    But it was my own little chance to riff on something. Fun times.


    Going through my fodder boxes to make these Jurasick Pork characters, I came across parts I'd set aside to make Dr. Bunsen HoneyPIG, who is mentioned but never seen in the Cloris Leachman episode.

    Which got me thinking... do you think he would have been green like the real Bunsen? Or fleshtone like the other pigs? I'm leaning more towards green. After all, Kermit the Pig was green like the real Kermit.

  20. Muppetaz

    Muppetaz Well-Known Member

    I think he would be green and featureless, just his glasses.

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