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Professor puppet and new Kermit replica

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by ashkent, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. ashkent

    ashkent Active Member

    So i don't like doing one thing at a time, so as well as videos for my own YouTube channels and clients, I have no puppet orders which means i get to do a couple for myself. I started working on a professor type puppet about a week back. His head is based on a Project Puppet pattern, but i always find that the spread of the mouth is never as wide or as loose as i would like, so I built the skull then detached and rebuilt the lower jaw. So far he is just a basic skull, and he needs some soft padding adding to the hinge of the jaw, but here are a couple of photos. I'm going to try and document as much of his building as i can, including the henson stitch video that i have been threatening to record for about a year.

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    And then we also have a rebuild of Kermit. I built a Kermit over a year ago and wanted to rebuild him ever since. The original I did was based more on the earlier versions so was darker in colour and had a smaller tighter head. I wanted to bring him up to date and having had the body, complete with arms and legs, lying around for a while i decided it was time to bite the bullet and make the head. So i found a few video references and gauged the size of the mouthplate, which i have built from polyurethane foam for both strength and flexibility, and then i began to piece together a head onto the mouth plate from scraps of antron i keep. I patchworked the left side of the head together, then used that to make a template to create the second half. I think the template is a fraction too big but that can be sorted in the sewing.

    So here are some pictures of the head's development. I'm going to build this head fully then build the real head once I'm happy with the shape and size.

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    KermieBaby47 likes this.
  2. wulster

    wulster Member

    nice work, this is the way I plan to do my next Kermit head working from the mouth out. looks great m8, cant wait to see him done.
     
  3. Dodo

    Dodo Member

    Seems like the pictures don't exist anymore... Are you going to upload them again?
     
  4. KermieBaby47

    KermieBaby47 Well-Known Member

    I would like to see the pictures also please!! :D
     
  5. ashkent

    ashkent Active Member

    That's strange. I can still see them, and they are still on the photobucket site when I look on there. I will have some more soon anyway so I will try and re add them then.
     
  6. wulster

    wulster Member

    I wouldn't worry the pictures are there fine m8. pb was down at the time they posted ;)
     
  7. ashkent

    ashkent Active Member

    Here's the latest updates on both the professor - who has deliberately taken on the image of Albert Einstein - and Kermit.

    This is now the professor's head with all the parts loosely pinned in place. They eyes need to be focused later but this is him all ready to sew up.

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    And after making some final adjustments to the template to reduce the fleece around his chin, I have put together his head and the body was just waiting for it to be attached. All he needs adding are a few trademarks. There are also a few shots of the elusive inside of Kermit's head. As well as foam behind the eyes to hold the fleece in place better than just the cap, I also add a small block of foam (which was pumped full of hot glue and covered in felt) to create a grip/finger rest for when the middle finger is raised to lift Kermit's brow. The only thing that can't be seen here is a small thumb loop on the lower jaw, put in at an angle so the thumb goes across the mouth rather than just straight from back to front. I put it in like after watching a few interview with Kermit where the thumb was clearly bent and only occupying the back part of the mouth. I'll add more once he is finished and once i have some free time i am going to put together a tutorial series on building him from scratch.

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  8. They look wonderful! What do you use for the inner mouth plates and for the eyes?
     
  9. ashkent

    ashkent Active Member

    The eyes on both of these puppets are half dome eyes. They come with a stopper so can be attached to the foam like you would attach say a teddy bear's arm joint. They are really just like half a ping pong ball but are glossy and have the attachment on the back so you don't have to glue them.

    The mouthplates really can vary, as I've used everything from wood to soft drink bottle plastic. On these ones, the professor's is felt covered foam core board which is quite rigid anyway but moreso with the felt glued on. For Kermit, because I needed more freedom to move the expression, I am trying a foam mouthplate. I know that there are a number of materials you can try, and a lot of people use gasket rubber, but I have some 5mm polyurethane foam that I use for rigid bodies, It isn't indestructible but it doesn't suffer from wear and tear very easily and being thin it gives a very easy movement. Again it is covered with felt.
     
    Diego Fiorucci likes this.

  10. Thanks a lot! Sadly, I can't find those dome eyes here, in Argentina. All you find here are very flat little eyes, painted with iris and pupils for teddy bears and small dolls.
    I need to test different eyes with some bases of plastic bottles and other plastic containers. Even I can't find variety of goodies with plastic parts such eggs. Kinder eggs have a useless boll for this. I need bigger eyes than plasic spoons sometimes. And I must try with other matherials for mouthplates. The cardboard feels always rigid. I also must stick less it, with the few ones I made I taped both sides with the classic silver duct tape.
     
  11. ashkent

    ashkent Active Member

    The dome eyes are actually hard to find here in the UK to. There is only one seller who really stocks them, or I have to order from the US.

    I think the great thing about puppets is that you can use anything. I often see bits of packaging that i keep because it might look good as part of a future puppet.

    I have used a reinforced cardboard mouth before. Again, a lot of things can work if you need to work on a budget or simply cannot get hold of some materials. Old covers from hardback books, lids from plastic containers...things like that
     
    Diego Fiorucci likes this.
  12. Muppetlab

    Muppetlab Well-Known Member

    Just following on from what you said about UK eye suppliers.. These guys are really great.
    https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/FurriFingersPuppets

    They are based in devon and are really nice to do business with. They have 40mm domes as standard but They can custom make eyes to your specs.

    Hope that helps you out :)
     
    Diego Fiorucci likes this.
  13. ashkent

    ashkent Active Member

    Yes, after I posted that I remembered about a couple of others who have them in stock more often now. I tend to add a bulk order of them to any antron orders I put in with Out of The Box in the US. it doesn't make much difference postage wise, so at the minute I do have a fair few pairs dotted around. there is another one I saw mentioned on a forum the other day as well but I forget who they were offhand.
     

  14. Thanks!
     

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