53 Photos - Jun 12, 2008
Photo: Full cast of "The Trouble With Death Traps"Photo: ZNAB OF AMBRET, A CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTOR AND FOREMAN. THERE IS A MAGNET IN THE PUPPET’S HAND SO HE CAN PICK THINGS UP.Photo: QUAL, FULL NAME QUALINIZBIUNETL, A SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD LAD.Photo: PATINUP, THE HIGH PRIEST.Photo: T'BALEN, THE ACCOUNTS MANAGER.Photo: KULAT, THE GRAND VIZIER.Photo: PRINCE LACHET.Photo: Clay puppet head before firing. Clay is far more workable than Model Magic, but not as workable as plasticine. Unfortunately plasticine does not dry, and clay is far too heavy for a puppet.Photo: Randy and Sheryl gave me this puppet to improve. Originally the hands were glued to the ends of the orange sleeves. I made jointed arms and black sleeves. I attached strings to the sides and back of the head and the lower back. This puppet is not for "The Trouble With Death Traps."Photo: Here is the controller I made for the wizard puppet.Photo: Photo: Photo: Framework of Grand Vizier Kulat before flesh is applied. Viewed from the ftont.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: 1) Aluminum cotter pin
2) Quarter-inch poplar dowel
3) Half-inch poplar dowel
4) Keychain ring
5) Wooden axel pin
6) Screw eye
7) Leather
8) Balsa
9) Three-eighths-inch poplar dowel
10) Waxed high-strength upholstery button thread, for spine and side-stays
11) Half-inch slotted headless steel screws, for weights
12) Wire
13) Strings held in with toothpicks for pegsPhoto: Strings will attach to the ends of the dowel, behind the ears.Photo: Chest, belly & pelvis are separate segments. Flesh on the segments will be shaped with flattened cones at the top and bottom. The spine cord will run through the tips of the cones. His torso will be able to flex naturalistically. (See diagram in this photo gallery.)
I had to string the side stay strings through wooden axle pins, because screw eyes could not get a grip inside the balsa.Photo: Leather is held in routered notches, and wrapped around the dowel, bonded by wood glue.Photo: This is the shape cut from leather, to serve as a joint.Photo: Weights for realistic movement in the pelvis and calves are held in by their threads.Photo: Photo: Model Magic compound is being applied to the framework. Where necessary, paper shims serve to keep it from sticking to itself.Photo: "Model Magic: 7X Easier to Use than Clay" is not true. You can sculpt clay or plasticine. All you can do with Model Magic is wad it up. It reminds me of shaping wadded-up aluminum foil or plastic wrap. It's springy, and wants to keep its shape. The seams won't smooth over, so it clearly looks like lumps that have been smashed together. When you try to remove some, the rest of it clings in long stretchy strands that deform the model. Uncured MM cuts with scissors, but it was difficult to avoid cutting the strings in the puppet's abdomen. Perhaps I've been spoiled by a lifetime of sculpting plasticine, and need to learn new techniques? I'll wait until it dries and try sanding or carving it. If that works well, it will probably turn out all right after all.Photo: After a day of drying, the worst cracks in the dried Model Magic were covered up by tiny bits of fresh Model Magic. I added hands. Hint: keep track of where you drilled the string holes before covering them.Photo: String through the hand. Everywhere else so far, I tied the string to a bit of toothpick which fits in a trench dug in the puppet. But in the hand, I made two holes and tied the string together at the top.Photo: Puppet hand detail. Carving works on cured Model Magic.Photo: Detail: Lower jaw made of Fimo Air Microwave. It is not Fimo polymer clay at all. It is just like Model Magic except harder to work with (if that's possible), and hardens in a minute in the microwave. Very carvable after curing. The beard is cut from a sheet of craft foam, and will be painted black.Photo: Detail of lower jaw, from below. It's not strung yet.Photo: Sculpting the face from Fimo Air Microwave, with the use of doll eyes. My plasticine reference original is in the back.Photo: The advantage of Fimo Air Microwave is that its quick cure time allows me to build off of a cured piece without waiting days. In this picture, the lower jaw is already cured. This ensures a good fit.Photo: More face sculpting. Fimo Air Microwave should have a tiny bit of water added and then kneaded for best workability. Sheets of the stuff will dry and flake off of your hands.Photo: The face has been cured and the bottoms of the jowls sanded flat, flush with the lower jaw. Next I sewed through the lower jaw and out the top of the head, then drilled this hole for the mouth-movement string.Photo: The facial hair is now painted on.Photo: The nose has been sanded to the desired sharpness and flatness.Photo: I will also paint in teeth at some point.Photo: This will hang from controller, to control just the head.Photo: Photo: Left hand detail.Photo: Photo: Photo: Costume next.Photo: Photo: My friend Nikki sewed these pants. It only took ten or fifteen minutes!Photo: Sheets of craft foam cut, rolled, and sewed with gold thread, into an ostentatious hat for Grand Vizier Kulat.Photo: I sprayed Great Stuff foam inside the hat to keep it glued together, then used a sanding drum to turn it back into a hollow cone.Photo: An ostentatious hat.Photo: How could I forget the windows from the original drawing?Photo: I thought I would need a drinking straw coming out of the top of the head to hold the hat in place, but it fits quite well as it is. The windows really sell it.Photo: For ease of putting it on over the large head, the shirt has three snaps on the back, which will be concealed by the cape.Photo: I kept having tremendous problems attaching the left sleeve, and had to re-do it twice. Finally I got correct instruction on how to do a gather stitch. The right sleeve is gathered mostly in back and not much in front, but I like how it looks.Photo: Each cuff has a snap, so the hand can go through but it is tight around the wrist.