8 Comments

*Sophronia and Harold – Part 1

Hello, friends!
I started a new Humanly Posable project:
Meet Sophronia Prigsey, occupation – “blackmailer”.
Meet Harold, occupation – “adorable chocolate lab”.

“Sophronia” is an old-fashioned Victorian name, it means “discreet, prudent, sensible, having control over sensual desires, moderate and chaste”.

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I used the HPA-2 Kit for Sophronia, slightly modified by adding an additional joint in the spine. The scale is roughly 1:6.
Harold’s armature is experimental.
HPA-2 Step-by-Step Armature Building Instructions

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Aluminum foil and thin steel wire 28 Ga for the bulk of the body (to save on clay).

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Sculpey UltraLight polymer clay for the “muscles”.

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Baked 30 minutes at 275 F (130 C).
Important: After baking please allow the armature to cool completely before handling it. The Cold Weld epoxy liquefies at high temperature and needs time to solidify again. If you touch it, you will ruin your armature.

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With an X-acto knife cleaned the joints by cutting out the clay where it interfered with the movement.
Cut just enough to get the desired range.
Ultralight clay texture – out of the package – is soft, spongy and stretchy. It feel like sculpting with marshmallows.
After baking it resembles hard rubber, can be cut with the knife. Stays semi-flexible in thin layers, still provides strong support in thicker layers. Not brittle as other polymer clay, will flex a little and not crumble. Also, it is very light.

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Here is the step by step cleaning of dog’s neck:

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Feet: cardboard,  thin steel wire 28 Ga, Living doll clay

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Head: a ball of Living doll clay on my mini head sculpting stand, baked.

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Fitting the neck:
– Unscrew the head off the head sculpting stand, just like a drawer knob.
– Cut some clay off to free the wooden ball.

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– Pop the ball out with long nose pliers.
– Slightly widen the hole in the head with the drill – 4 mm drill bit.

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– Insert the head module tube (a pre-cut tube 30 mm)

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– Put the clay on the chest and neck and sculpt to fit the semi-sphere in the bottom part of the head.
– Move the head forward and backward to create the range of movement.

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I put some clay on the metal tubes and baked – so that I can sculpt forearms and legs without the clay sliding on the metal.
I put Sophronia together, just to see how it all looks together so far. Looks nice, I think. Her personality is starting to shine through.
The aluminum foil ball in the mid-section got loose, started to rotate around the spine, getting on my nerves, so I removed it, will redo later.

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Harold’s head is baked and the jaw joint is functional now.
The eyes are brown 4 mm human glass eyes, with just the pupil showing. Looks good, I think.
His ears will be out of the same material as his future “fur coat”.

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Wrapping.
I am using Mueller pre-wrap foam, cotton balls, Fabritac glue, pure acetone (to dillute the Fabritac, if needed), toothpicks, thin spatula to tuck the fabric and traces of glue.
– cut a piece of Mueller pre-wrap foam, about 30 cm (1 foot) long and cut it in half, then in half again. The narrow ribbons of the foam are for legs and neck and tail, the wider ribbons – for the body.

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– A bit of glue to hold the end.

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– Start wrapping, gently pulling the foam.

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– First layer is done. I usually make 2-3 layers.
– Pieces of cotton balls are for the places where you need a bit more “fat”, or for bumps, such as elbows, knees, etc.

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Locate the joint access point (hex nut or tension regulator) – with your fingers, put a dot of glue over the foam at that place, cut to free the joint access point and tuck the foam around it (the glue was for that purpose).

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Legs done.

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More foam and cotton balls – to complete the mummy.

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I am going to use chocolate brown stretch velvet for the coat.
Glued with Fabritac glue on the head and I will hand-sew the velvet on rest of the body.
Trying to figure out the pattern.

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First attempt.

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Actually, this will work. At this point I noticed that I can just fold the fabric down and it will make perfect ears.
But not enough material for the ears, so I tore it off and started again.
Second attempt:

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The ears are folded down and sewn on the bottom. I cut the eye holes and tucked the fabric around the eyes with a bit of glue.
The nose is made out of a small piece of soft leather. At this point I got so engrossed, I forgot about the step-by-step photos.

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Legs.
Measured the circumference and the length.

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Cut out something like “stockings”.

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Tried one on – yes, this will work.

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Tail.

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And here is what I have so far. Body – tomorrow.

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How to make the pattern for the body.
Take some general measurements, cut it out of a paper towel roughly.
Pin to the body and cut off everything that is not needed.

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Neatly hand-sew the body piece to the rest. No glue.

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Harold is done. The teeth and the tongue are made out of stiff felt, and the felt is painted with Decoart acrylic paints
– mixture of Decoart flesh and red for the tongue and the gums,
– antique white for the teeth.
The mouth turned out not bad, but I think I can do better next time, I just need to plan the mouth a little better, not make it at the last minute, like this time.
Overall, I am rather pleased with this first canine puppet that I made.

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Continues on Part 2.

8 comments on “*Sophronia and Harold – Part 1

  1. I love your work and the chocolate lab you have made is wonderful! I appreciate all the “how-to” photos and the humor you instill in them. Thanks for sharing your talents.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for posting these, I am just about to make an armature of an old woman so will try and make it like this one if I can.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your tutorials, I started getting into stop motion and always finding ways to construct my characters. Will you be posting a tutorial on creating an animal armature. I know you mention Harold armature is experimental, but I would not mind seeing you how assemble it. With my animals I usually use heavy gauge wire for their armature and use a variety of wool to build up the body and details.

    Liked by 1 person

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