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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Alright man. Good luck dude. We can't wait to see this scary creation of yours.

Hee Hee Hee.

Unfortunately, my DIY attempts are just not ready for prime time. I am going to have this film pro transferred. Will keep you posted.



David Tomasiewicz said:


The 2 disc Warner Bros one. In it they make an exact replica of the armature (the long nose one), used cotton rolls and dental dam to make the body, and latex and rabbit fur from a 1932 coat.

Hey David,

Don't believe everything you hear on that Kong documentary. 

I have seen Bob Burns' Kong armature in person, and that puppet really doesn't look as big as the real one is, besides how did they know it was the long face one, did it come with a notation on the armature design?  More than likely both armatures used were long face Kongs and then as production went on they made some changes to the face and they both became round faced Kongs, like both Son of Kongs were.  Besides they are claiming that the armature they are reconstructing based on Bob Burns armature fought the T Rex, which is highly unlikely given today's evidence.

Another thing they got wrong, that is not how Marcel built up his bodies for the Kong puppets, he did not coat the cotton with latex, and cotton was not the outside skin of the puppets, foam was.

There are other mistakes on that doc, too many or me to remember or to list here.

Wallace,

That is much tougher than it sounds to transfer films to digital, Looking forward to it when you have it done.

Wallace Jones said:

Unfortunately, my DIY attempts are just not ready for prime time. I am going to have this film pro transferred. Will keep you posted.

I recently saw the Kong documentary and while very interesting, I got the impression that Jackson and Co. made a lot of assumptions. I paid close attention to the model building scene. I agree that Marcel probably did not coat the cotton with latex, at least not on the body. I may be wrong, but I don't think they had foam in 33. From what I have read, foam as we know it was not invented until 1937 in Germany. Most likely, Marcel covered the cotton with dental dam before glueing or stitching on the rabbit pelt. The dental dam skin may have been eliminated due to the additional friction, so maybe the pelt was put on directly over the cotton. Wish there was better documentation on Marcel's process. I have always admired his work. 

Tim Smyth said:



David Tomasiewicz said:


The 2 disc Warner Bros one. In it they make an exact replica of the armature (the long nose one), used cotton rolls and dental dam to make the body, and latex and rabbit fur from a 1932 coat.

Hey David,

Don't believe everything you hear on that Kong documentary. 

I have seen Bob Burns' Kong armature in person, and that puppet really doesn't look as big as the real one is, besides how did they know it was the long face one, did it come with a notation on the armature design?  More than likely both armatures used were long face Kongs and then as production went on they made some changes to the face and they both became round faced Kongs, like both Son of Kongs were.  Besides they are claiming that the armature they are reconstructing based on Bob Burns armature fought the T Rex, which is highly unlikely given today's evidence.

Another thing they got wrong, that is not how Marcel built up his bodies for the Kong puppets, he did not coat the cotton with latex, and cotton was not the outside skin of the puppets, foam was.

There are other mistakes on that doc, too many or me to remember or to list here.



Wallace Jones said:

I don't think they had foam in 33. From what I have read, foam as we know it was not invented until 1937 in Germany.

Wallace, you got me interested because I was always pretty sure Marcel and company used foam rubber in their buildup technique. Did a little digging and according to this page foam rubber was invented in 1929 - so too late for The Lost World, but in time for King Kong. 

*edit

Found another article - it looks like 1937 Germany was the invention of polyurethane foam, which is what we mostly use today - in fact it might be the only type of flexible foam in use today - I think they stopped making foamed latex rubber long ago. But originally they didn't use polymers - it was done with organic latex from the sap of rubber trees. 

Weird, because I would have thought they used foam latex for The Lost World too? Anybody got any inside dope on this? 

Hey Wallace,

I have seen the Kong puppets, and the cotton batting is wrapped around the armature on the inside, and then there is a thick, say 1'' slab of sponge foam on the outside, basically making a smooth skin, which was then detailed with latex, or however Marcel was doing that part.  These model were huge, the big Stegosaur was 24" from toe to tip of Back Plate, and must have been at least 36" long, they are quite amazing, I have never seen anything like them.

The Kong doc made other errors, like how the shot of Kong putting Fay in the tree was accomplished, how the cave sequence was done, and stuff like that. Still it is the best doc we have on the subject, just needed a bit of tweaking to get rid of the obvious mistakes.

Yeah, I've always love Marcel's work as well, but they never really kept records of how everything was done back then cause they assumed they would never be sharing the info. Maybe it's as simple as nobody asked, at least until Willis O'Brien had died, and still it's a little late then.

Tim, thanks for the correction and additional information. Come to think of it, I have heard of something called "Sorbo" or "Sponge" rubber that they used back in day. Very interesting.

Tim Smyth said:

Hey Wallace,

I have seen the Kong puppets, and the cotton batting is wrapped around the armature on the inside, and then there is a thick, say 1'' slab of sponge foam on the outside, basically making a smooth skin, which was then detailed with latex, or however Marcel was doing that part.  These model were huge, the big Stegosaur was 24" from toe to tip of Back Plate, and must have been at least 36" long, they are quite amazing, I have never seen anything like them.

The Kong doc made other errors, like how the shot of Kong putting Fay in the tree was accomplished, how the cave sequence was done, and stuff like that. Still it is the best doc we have on the subject, just needed a bit of tweaking to get rid of the obvious mistakes.

Yeah, I've always love Marcel's work as well, but they never really kept records of how everything was done back then cause they assumed they would never be sharing the info. Maybe it's as simple as nobody asked, at least until Willis O'Brien had died, and still it's a little late then.



Wallace Jones said:

Tim, thanks for the correction and additional information.

You're welcome. Name's not Tim though.  

Come to think of it, I have heard of something called "Sorbo" or "Sponge" rubber that they used back in day. Very interesting.

Hmmm - yeah, could it be you heard of it in my overlooked post up there just above Tim's? 

Well I just bought the Warner DVD, especially for the documentaries.

Thanks Strider, sorry about the mix-up.

Strider said:



Wallace Jones said:

Tim, thanks for the correction and additional information.

You're welcome. Name's not Tim though.  

Come to think of it, I have heard of something called "Sorbo" or "Sponge" rubber that they used back in day. Very interesting.

Hmmm - yeah, could it be you heard of it in my overlooked post up there just above Tim's? 

I wasn't sure if it was a mixup or if you just missed my post - anyway, no big deal at all - I just wanted a bit of acknowledgement! Thanks for supplying it - now I can go on with my life.. 

I am curious now though - did they not use foam of any kind on The Lost World? 

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