So I’m making a satire film which involves bipedal frogs. I knew I would burn myself out making the puppets so I spent $25 on 12 5 inch rubber frogs. I figured I would just gut them and put wires into their legs. However, their legs are actually solid and I can’t get a wire through.
This completely ruins my idea, so now I have to come up with some other ways to make them walk.
1. Glue wire on outside, cover with small layer of latex and blend in with rest of body
2. Try making them actual string puppets. I highly doubt my ability to make it look good.
3. Hide wires on unexposed side
As you can see I don’t have many options. Any opinions?
Perhaps you could slice the back of the leg lengthwise (being careful to go only halfway through) then inserting the wire inside and gluing the leg back together.
The best way is not to use toys, but start with the armature. Since there are 12 of them, I presume all the same, making a mould and casting them makes sense. So I would sculpt a frog, make a mould, and cast multiple frogs with a wire armature inside.
But I know, that wasn't the question. You want to use the frogs you bought. Like Darius said, slicing down the back of the leg to insert armature wire seems like the best way to try to use what you already have. But just wire in the legs doesn't do much by itself, they need to join together at the hip and continue up the spine. And if you want to animate the arms, the wire needs to go there as well. So you would also cut down the centre of the back. What rubbery stuff are they made of - natural latex, silicone, urethane, other? You need something to glue them back together that does not make them too rigid, and it needs to be able to stick whatever they are made of.
Maybe test some contact adhesive to see if it sticks. I mostly use a spray glue that is made for upholstery to glue foam and fabric, which is a flexible contact glue. (3M No 74 or No 76, for years, but now a locally (Australian) made upholstery glue because all the 3M No 74 I could get seemed to be old stock and clogged up the nozzles right from the start. May not be an issue in the US.) But a tube of contact adhesive like a Bostik product could be easier to apply on something small like these frogs, without it going everywhere. And that should be much easier to find too.
If it doesn't stick, I don't know, try googling PVC rubber.
It's hard to visualize without pictures of the legs and the movement you want. Maybe upload a picture and this question might spurn some creative ideas. I am thinking without seeking it that Dremel tool might help channel a place for wire in leg with a grinding disc. But be cautious you need a vice the disk can take off real quick and do not hold legs in hand if you try to use Dremel. I am thinking your wire idea will work as a sort of analog "bone rigging," technique. Or you can take off legs completely and find a ball and socket from other toys you may have??? Then glue them to each side to create a bonded plastic ball and socket???
Here's something similar that I've been working on. I needed a skeleton hand that I could articulate so I bought this pair on Amazon for a couple of dollars. I only need the right hand so that saved me a little time. It's hard plastic so I cut it at the joints and then drilled holes and used epoxy to glue pieces of wire into the holes and reattached all the parts. I'm hoping it holds up for the scene I'm using it in.