Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Oh Well- puppet construction part 4

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Adding the finishing touches

With my cast components complete, I now had the definite colour of my character to match when painting his head and mixing Plasticine for his replacement mouths. The base of his hair was painted, with some black fur later glued in place.

I was fortunate to receive some great help from my mum in making his elastic wrist bands (which hide the join where his replaceable hands are attached) and his loincloth, which also features an elastic waistband to hold it in place. 

The pot

Walter’s water pot was created with a tin foil frame, covered in a thin layer of Super Sculpey. The shape was refined, sanded and smoothened, with a handle (reinforced with a metal strip) added afterwards. This was then coated with Sculpey and baked again, before being painted.

The pot features a loose magnet inside to attach it to the top of Walter’s head. The magnet can be removed for the scene where he falls over and the pot must be suspended via a rig just above him- otherwise, the magnetism might have pulled the two models together.

As you will no doubt have noticed, I have yet to add his mouth and eyebrows! There are 22 mouths for Walter, spread across 10(ish) scenes. I am aiming to film one scene a day over the next couple of weeks. Since I am so pressed for time at the moment, my plan is to make what mouths I need for the first few scenes, and the others I can then work on in the evenings when I return home from animating at university. Once I begin animating, I will be able to use my evenings to tackle small immediate tasks.

I hope you like what you've seen so far! Over the next couple of days, I aim to have Walter finished- check back soon for some shiny high-res photos of the completed puppet!


  1. looking great. shame about the mess with the latex. i know your past the moulding parts but have you thought about making the moulds with polyurethane? they will last a lot longer and much more durable than plaster.
    looking forward to seeing this guy animated.

  2. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the comment, I'm glad you like it! I didn't consider polyurethane actually, I used plaster in this instance as I was fairly confident it would work!

    I'll definitely look into it, though I do remember reading that something reacts with polyurethane- cannot remember whether that was the latex or silicone unfortunately. I could be wrong!

  3. Great posts! I'm enjoying seeing you bring Walter to life.

  4. Thanks very much!

    I've actually started to animate my first scene now, and hopefully will have it completed tomorrow. I had been hoping to take some proper images of the completed puppet before hand, but in the interests of getting the animation done on time I think that's a lesser priority right now.

    I'll try to get the finished puppet on my blog as soon as possible!

  5. Stunning work, Mr Price! Your awesomeness is very inspiring!

  6. Thanks Ben!

    I have four scenes filmed now, and everything is going well I'm happy to say! I'll upload some images taken whilst filming, and photos of the finished puppet (with his mouth, eyelids and eyebrows) as soon as possible!