I recently bought some foam for the body... I am struggling because my character (monster) is going to be plump. It seems as though the very core of the body should be a harder material than foam. I am planning on covering the exterior of the creature with felted wool. I am very interested in suggestions and or some video/photo tutorials.

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Comment by Angus Lamont on February 18, 2013 at 8:30am

I recently built a Harryhausen-inspired giant puppet for a project I am working on. I have included some pictures of the armature and how I padded it out.

Comment by Wallace Jones on February 18, 2013 at 8:58am

For a plumb or bulky puppet, you could initially wrap the core with roll cotton. Cotton rolls are available from Beauty Supply stores. After you have done the initial wrap with cotton,  wrap the outer layer with foam. This is how I plan to pad a gorilla puppet I am working on. I will post some pics when I get to that stage of the process.

Comment by Dana Sink on February 18, 2013 at 12:46pm
Thanks for the images Angus... You puppet's looking great! I can't wait to see more pics!

Hi Wallace,

Is the cotton roll that your suggesting like t-shirt cotton?
Comment by Wallace Jones on February 18, 2013 at 1:19pm

No, its more like medical cotton. Similar to cotton balls, but rolled out flat. Hair salons use these to keep hair dye off the customers neck. You could probably use rolled medical cotton but I am sure its more expensive since it is sterile.  Another option would be to get some thin foam rubber, cut it into strips, and wrap that around the torso to bulk it up before glueing the upholstery foam on.

Comment by Wallace Jones on March 2, 2013 at 6:37pm

This may help. When bulking up my gorilla puppet, I had planned to use a cotton roll for the initial build up of the torso. However, I tried wrapping a piece of 1/4 inch thick upholstery foam around the spine and it worked really well. I glued one end of the foam onto the armature with contact cement, wrapped it around the middle and glued the loose end down with contact cement as well. Here is a pic:

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