I wonder, Nick, if you are familiar with these products?

http://www.scarva.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=3052

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Wow, the price seems unbeatable! That might be a really good find, Dennis, and they also have thixatropic additives...

Scarva is not available in Australia as far as I can tell.  But they look like good mouldmaking rubbers.  Shore A 20 hardness is fairly soft for a moulding rubber, but firmer than you usually want for a silicone puppet, though it would be fine for hands or very skinny limbs.  It appears to be bright pink, very similar to one I use for making moulds called Pinky-Sil.   You might be able to tint it a bit, but apart from being a strong colour it is opaque, not translucent like you usually want for casting silicone prosthetics or puppets.  I would use that pink silicone as a mould for casting hard copies in polyester or epoxy resin.

If they are a pottery supply company, they would also have water based clay, good for making the clay wall to separate the mould halves.  And I see they stock liquid latex as well.  And Chavant NSP plasticine.  And what they call Soft Aluminium Rod appears to be armature wire, in 3.2mm and 2.0mm diameters that would be ok for puppet armatures. (But they don't have 1.6mm, for arms, which you would have to find elsewhere.)  So they could be a useful supplier for you.

***

Hey, I just bought a steel modelling tool from them, because the serrations have worn smooth on the one I've been using for the last 30 years!   It's a tool with a rounded hook on each end, smooth on one edge, toothed on the other.  You drag it over your sculpt to take out bumps and hollows.  So big thanks for posting that link!  It does cost nearly as much in shipping as the object itself, but I've been looking for one for ages.

Thanks for the timely reply, Nick.  I've only had a cursory look at the Scarva site but based on what you've told me, I'm going to have another look at the silicone on the Animation Toolkit Kit site.  The silicone they sell has a shore hardness of 10 which I gather is what I want for casting puppet heads, etc. It is also translucent and can be tinted with oil paints, of which I have a large box of from the days when I used to do a little painting.

When we started this project I had the mindset, influenced by the Wallace and Grommet films, that the puppets and apparel would be done all in clay.  Now, however, after seeing what you, and others, have done with silicone I'm having a rethink about using clay.  The Lenore puppet(s) can be done in clay but silicone might be better for the narrator.  We'll see.

I've just ordered aluminium wire in 0.71 and 1.6mm sizes so I'm pretty well fixed for wire.  

Again, thanks for the reply.

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