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Winchester...a puppet 12 years in the making.

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by ashkent, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. ashkent

    ashkent Active Member

    Ok...that title is true but i should point out that i haven't been building him for the last 12 years lol.

    When I was 16 I drew a character on a scrap of paper while I was bored at work in my first job. Something about it made me want to draw him again. I still have the original sketch somewhere. Over the next four years he was pretty much only known to me...then one day, someone in my next job saw a sketch of him tacked on the bottom of my computer screen. They asked what he was called. At the same time, i was on the phone to postcode enquiries and they asked which town i wanted. I told them Winchester. Next to me I heard someone say, "That's a different name."
    The rest is history.

    After making my Animal Replica last year i decided it was maybe time to make Winchester earn his keep. I have been told repeatedly that i should put him in a kids book or something, so i thought if i make him a puppet then perhaps i can used him that way. So I set to work in February with a new, slightly revamped sketch which looked like this:


    I found someone who knew a bit about 3D rendering and worked with them to come up with a "real" version of the drawing, and they turned out like this.


    Up until that point I had nothing thought about what the back of him might look like as i always saw him from the front so these were invaluable.

    So, working on him in between finishing and editing a novel for release in October, over six months I've gone though a relatively painless creation to come out with this at the end of it.



    I was told I should sell him and make more to sell, but between the jobs that keep the money rolling in, the writing which is just gaining momentum to become the job that keeps the money rolling in and having a one year old in the house...time is not on my side. Perhaps in the future, once he becomes the phenomenon people who know about him seem to have the impression he could be, then someone will be offering to make versions of him and I can just take a cut...we'll add that one to the "i Wish" board.

    Having said that, i could well make some simpler puppets to sell over the next few months as I have amassed quite a bit of material and it would be good to take stock and clear some of the larger remnants with a few simpler designs.

    Anyway, that is the rather extended story of Winchester...well, it was never going to be short from someone who writes novels was it. Ha. Hope you like him and expect to see him around in some form soon.
  2. MagicFractal

    MagicFractal Member

    Magnificent. Great photos of his creation as well. A future version could have some fine cables (fish-line and teflon spaghetti) to animate his eyes and possibly enable him to smile. If you don't already have a website for him, note that awardspace.com is offering $6/year for unlimited space and bandwidth (German company - I don't work for them).
  3. ashkent

    ashkent Active Member

    Thanks. I have no doubt that at sometime i will be making a rebuild and the fish-line idea may well form part of that. And thanks for the web information, but i already have a place for him in my own website when the time comes.
  4. FrackleFan2012

    FrackleFan2012 Well-Known Member

    Awesome job on Winchester! I love how the feathers turned out. :)
    Are you going to make videos of him?
  5. ashkent

    ashkent Active Member

    Well after making my Animal replica and stitching every feather individually i did not want to do the same thing so the feathers are all from a roll of trim and layered apart from the wing tips and tail feathers which were larger feathers i attached to a piece of material and then used like trim.

    Also the head feathers are all glued onto small square pieces of 1inch foam which is then glued to the skull. I was stuck for a little while on how to make the feathers stand out and hold the shape until i worked it out. It probably worked better than i expected it to when i first started with the head feathers.

    And i will be making a video of him soon. I already have a voice in mind for him so it's just getting a little bit of time and space to put something together.
    FrackleFan2012 likes this.
  6. FrackleFan2012

    FrackleFan2012 Well-Known Member

    Oh great! I can't wait to see it.

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