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Successful Muppet recreations

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by The Dreamer, Dec 2, 2002.

  1. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Hey... great stuff... I wish I could do that. Must be a book on the subject somewhere...

    Anyway..Fozzie? Was that Slimer picture on your website a puppet? Did you do it? Looks cool!!!!

    MUPPETMONKEY Well-Known Member


    I checked the pictures and they work fine for me, you can try clicking them again, but anyway, here are other ways to see them:

    <img src="http://image1ex.villagephotos.com/pubimage.asp?id_=1163096" width=434 height=310>

    <img src="http://image1ex.villagephotos.com/pubimage.asp?id_=1163103" width=576 height=720>

    PS: Tom, those puppets are great! I take off my hat.
  3. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member


    Well, lesse here. Kermit is indeed foamless in his head. (but i think that's common knowledge. I never did get to mess with the real one. )

    Most of them have a rubbery mouthplate. Some larger ones have finger "grabs" on the upper.

    Size? Well, for me, they were SMALLER than i expected. That doesn't really help much tho. For a Kermit, why not halve a ping pong ball and then scale it up from there? Maybe blow up a picture of him till the size on the eyes match? (keeping in mind that your hand will be what gives his head shape, so careful not to go too big)

  4. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

    Exactly right on both counts... carved from a square block and yeah.. tough to get right! I really enjoy sculpting and molding over carving, but running foam in a home oven just isn't practicle. Start off with an electric carving knife and get your basic shapes, then use a pair of curved scissors (ones where the blades are curved to one side, not up and down.... tough to describe but these take less of a "bite" out of the foam than straight blades). Then use a belt sander to smooth it out. Flocking would be the next step, but that's another tough one to do at home so, sadly, i just painted mine.

    thanks again for all the kind words everyone :)

  5. ToasterBoy

    ToasterBoy Well-Known Member


    What kind of foam can you use in a belt sander? Wouldn't regular Poly Foam snag? Or am wrong and you didn't make them out of Poly Foam?

  6. BorkBork

    BorkBork Well-Known Member

    i am so going to try this! carving thing! I am really excited, it looks so cool. Just out of couriosity, what kind of paint did you use. And i'd also like to know what kind of foam to use for this.

    There is a really cool store in my town that only sells foam of different types. I can buy any size i want, and rather cheap too ;)

    Also...that cuved cissors...i didn't really get it. Does anyone have a pic or a better explaination?

    Did you attatch the head of the chef to the body in any way?

  7. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

    Oddly enough, it doesn't snag... tho it can so you've gotta be careful. The type of sander u want is the kind that stands on it's own with a large belt. You then hold the piece over it and lightly touch the surface. It's definately something you could hurt yourself doing, so obviously don't try it if you're not 100% comfortable with that sort of equipment.

  8. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

    I used CREATEX paints through an airbrush, sprayed wide with a lot of light coats. It's tough to paint foam cus the paint always soaks in.

    The scissors are a tough one to describe (and tougher to find.) I don't even have a good pair anymore. Think of them like large scale cuticle scissors. Where the blades curve to the left (if you're righty) Carving foam can be done with any scissors, the curved ones seem to not "dig in" excessively. The elec. turkey knife is definately key for large cuts... i was amazed how well it works (tho be careful, it works real well on fingers too!) [i feel like it's time for a "don't try this at home" disclaimer LOL]

    i did a quick search to see if i could find a pic and there's one here:


    it's a UK site, and i can't speak for the size of the scissors in the pic, but they look about right. the whole product page is here:


    I've actually never thought to look for these online... it's been a while since i've carved up a foam head, so i guess i haven't had much use for em. Gonna have to dig some more. If i find some i'll be sure to post em here.

    hope that helps a little... i'm off to work :)
  9. BorkBork

    BorkBork Well-Known Member

    thanks for the reply. When you spraypaint it, is it easy to get it even, or does it tend do get darker on some places?

    Sorry for asking so much, but i am planning to do one in a while, since seing your made me think that i want to try it myself.

    Is he designed with the mouth open wide or closed?

    Cool! Now i know what kind of cissors you are talking about. I'll get one fer sure, rully ;)

  10. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

    Yes. it can be a bit difficult to get the paint even, but if it was easy, it wouldn't be fun ;)

    I did the Chef with the mouth closed... it just seems like that's the way the original was when "at rest". (mouth seems to wrinkle oddly when open, rather than when closed, ya know?)

    Other carved foam characters would be done with the mouth open. It all just depends on the design.

    hope that helps :)
  11. rtgentry

    rtgentry Well-Known Member

  12. punkNpuppets

    punkNpuppets Well-Known Member

    sweet! i also like that Buck guy, he looks like a stoned Ninja Turtle. (haha, dont worry, i like him)

    and i like Jollie, he RULES!!!
  13. tygerbug

    tygerbug Well-Known Member

    MuppetMonkey, your puppets are absolutely amazing and must work gangbusters on TV.

    And of course ... Tom, Tom, Tom, great work. I love your wampa ... er, ice creature. And I too am amazed at how you captured Statler and Waldorf and the Chef. I think though I was most impressed by a shaggy grey dog you did, which reminded me of some of the Henson dogs from Dog City etc .... your best puppets manage to conjure up that feel while being original creations.

    We've got some puppets here that were built for TV commercials about 15 years ago, "The Tiny Dinos" ... gorgeous Muppet like puppets of my dad's characters .... dying out and falling apart now, but very interesting to see how they were constructed.
  14. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

    thanks Tygerbug!

    The big dog is Chappy... he's a fun one. Large, heavy puppet with a little cable mech to raise his brow... good ole live hands puppet. (and a good ole dog as well)

    "your best puppets manage to conjure up that feel while being original creations."

    That's about the nicest thing i've heard in a while :) thank you! To me, the "Henson style" was and is certainly a great goal but more importantly, it helped me learn what to look for in good characters. Along the way, i like to think my stuff has become more and more original... and i've actually got some much more unique stuff in the works. My sketchbooks are gettin full so it's almost time for me to start building puppets again :)

    Hopefully, once i get moved and settled into the new home, i'll have some more time to think/make/perform puppets again. I've been spending a lot of time sculpting over the last few years and am anxious to work that into my puppet creating!
  15. ChickyBoy37

    ChickyBoy37 Well-Known Member

    Here are some characters I'm Planning on recreating....

    -Snarl (The Original Gonzo)
    -Skip and Scoop
    -Afghan Hound
    -Cookie Monster

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