I am fairly new to the stop motion model making and want to be an animator as a professional career. I have wanted to make a puppet for a long time now, the past experiments used wire and foam. Now that I have liquid latex I am thinking of making a puppet of a gorilla to star in a King Kong movie. The plan is to make the armature out of strong wire with wooden blocks for the head, hands and feet. The armature will be held together with epoxy putty and then muscles created using foam rubber. Over this then I will apply many coats of liquid latex. The face will be sculpted with epoxy. Don't know about the fur though.

Sound like a plan?

The two images show the sculpts of the face and chest plate.

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Armature and head sculpt/mold looks great!

Angus Lamont said:

Yeah I am going to buy a product that works in the same way as that - Milliput.

Plus I have got some images of the armature process.

Awesome article, glad you posted this. All this gorilla talk is making

me itchy to build one myself!

Angus Lamont said:

Based on the pictures you just posted, I don't think your armature is going to be able to support the weight of your puppet.  I would suggest opting for a thicker gauge wire.  Those legs are going to take a beating. 

Yes maybe, but the model will mainly be in a gorilla stance (knuckles on the ground) so wouldn't the weight be spread out more? I do see your point though if the model was standing

Damn, no Michaels Craft stores in my area - wrong country.  I would have bought 15 cases too!  

How's your animation project coming Matt?

Update on puppet!

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Looks like you are well on your way! Head is looking good.  Did you sculpt the feet too? 

Angus Lamont said:

Update on puppet!

@ Nick...They asked me if I was a plumber.  I just smiled and said "yes."  Saying "no, I make puppets" just didn't feel right lol  I'm in the process of moving down to Florida, so I'm in pack mode right now.  I'll probably be able to get back to animating in about a month.  If everything goes smoothly, the film should be finished by November.   

@ Angus ... Kong is a bulky puppet.  Adding more resistance to the legs and arms will help you avoid issues of uncontrolled springback and wire breakage.  You never want your puppet to be too pliable.  You also never want it to be too stiff.  You have to find a balance.  Most animators will build their armatures with varying levels of thickness.  You'll usually see a lot of resistance in the legs and spine, but less resistance in the arms, neck, and wrists. It's the kind of thing you learn as you go.  Best of luck with the puppet. 


Angus Lamont said:

Yes maybe, but the model will mainly be in a gorilla stance (knuckles on the ground) so wouldn't the weight be spread out more? I do see your point though if the model was standing

Matt I get that all the time. Local hardware stores see me more than anyone else and wonder what I am doing. For all they know they think I am building some weapon. I have told a few people at places what I am doing but I think I get stranger looks than just asking for the parts and noding my head to their questions.

The Lone Animator recommends Friendly Plastic.  I have used that in the past in other projects (not armatures) and can understand how it would work extremely well.  It is great stuff, and I hope I can get some here, or order it.

Yes the feet were sculpted.

Wallace Jones said:

Looks like you are well on your way! Head is looking good.  Did you sculpt the feet too? 

Angus Lamont said:

Update on puppet!

Problem I am having is holding the foam together. I bought a fast setting glue but to be honest it is pretty rubbish.

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