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HPA-2R SIMPLE Ball Screws Wire Hands Step-by-Step Instructions

Links to purchase:
M00272 MOREZMORE HPA-2R SIMPLE Humanly Posable Armature STARTER Kit Stop Motion Puppet – includes hardware, enough for ONE puppet and all the necessary tools.
M00273 MOREZMORE HPA-2R SIMPLE Humanly Posable Armature HARDWARE Kit Stop Motion – includes hardware, enough for ONE puppet, no tools are included.

Additional Parts Catalog

HPA-2R replaces HPA-2 kit. In HPA-2R there is no cutting, all parts are ready for assembly, also it has aluminum wire for fingers (instead of wrist magnets) – for future silicone or latex hands. HPA-2 is discontinued.

The difference between HPA-2R and HPA-M2R is that HPA-2R uses ball screws and HPA-M2R used threaded balls and threaded rods.
Threaded balls have a precision polished surface – for smooth joint operation.
But the threaded balls need to be epoxied to the threaded balls – therefore more parts and more work, more expensive too.

This post contains step-by-step instructions for the HPA-2R Kits which can be used to make ball and socket armatures, such as these:

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which can be used to make articulated puppets and dolls, such as these:

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M00272 MOREZMORE HPA-2R SIMPLE Humanly Posable Armature STARTER Kit Stop Motion Puppet – includes hardware, enough for ONE puppet and all the necessary tools.
M00273 MOREZMORE HPA-2R SIMPLE Humanly Posable Armature HARDWARE Kit Stop Motion – includes hardware, enough for ONE puppet, no tools are included.

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M00272 MOREZMORE HPA-2R SIMPLE Humanly Posable Armature STARTER Kit Stop Motion Puppet

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Click on the photo to zoom,
click again for extra zoom

Includes Hardware: (enough for 1 puppet)

26 pieces joint compression plates (plates for joints)
2 pieces chest/hip connectors (for chest and hip connections)
14 pieces M2x10mm button hex screws (joint middle screws)
2 piece of M2x20mm brass connector (tension regulator)
13 pieces M2x5mm brass connectors(tension regulators)
2 pieces 16mm M2 threaded rods (for spine barbell)
3 pieces M2 threaded 6 mm steel balls (full thread)
23 pieces ball screws (for joints)
3 pieces M2 hex nuts(1 for neck joint, 2 for ankle joints)
24″ piece of 1mm annealed aluminum wire (to make finger armature)
3 pieces of 30 mm cut tubes 5/32″ (1 for head removable module, 2 for arms removable modules)
2 pieces of 40 mm cut tubes 5/32″ (for leg removable modules)
15 pieces of M2x10mm brass connectors (for limb connecting, for joint regulators)
1 piece of allen hex key (for assembly)
1 piece of perforated steel slice(for sitting bone)
2 pieces of clear plastic 10-compartment boxes to hold the small parts

Includes Must Have Tools: (things you buy once).
2 pieces long nose pliers (to tighten screws)
1 pack of JB Cold Weld Steel Reinforced Epoxy (thread lock)

Additional Parts Catalog

M00273 MOREZMORE HPA-2R SIMPLE Humanly Posable Armature HARDWARE Kit Stop Motion

2015-06-29 09.27.27

Click on the photo to zoom,
click again for extra zoom

Includes Hardware: (enough for 1 puppet), minus the tools

Additional Parts Catalog

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Step by step instructions (Also see HPA-2 Instructions, especially if changing proportions).

Part 1 – PUTTING TOGETHER AND MAKING HARDWARE PARTS

Spread a towel on your table. A towel will prevent the parts from rolling off the desk and getting lost.
Open the kit boxes and carefully arrange all parts like on the photo below (click to zoom, double-click for extra zoom).

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JB Cold Weld Steel Reinforced Epoxy.
Squeeze out equal amounts of both ingredients (about pea size each). The epoxy hardens within about 40 minutes and completely cures overnight. Mix well (very well).

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Starting from the head (or feet), put some epoxy on the first screw.
Screw the appropriate connector in place as tight as you can without breaking.
Working with 2 sets of long nose pliers is helpful, your hands are not strong enough.
Work with one part at a time, so that you do not get lost which part you are working with.
In other words, do NOT put epoxy on all parts and then start assembling.
Things can get confusing, so work methodically.
Here is a chart of where epoxy goes, marked in red (click to zoom, double-click for extra zoom):

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Set each thread-locked part on the towel to cure. Keep the general armature outline, so that you don’t get lost.
After everything is thread-locked, you should get this:

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The head module (forgotten on the photo above), arm modules and leg modules are removable.
The purpose of making removable head, leg and arm modules is to help you to build your puppet.
You will be able remove the modules from the armature and make the head, hair, hands, feet and shoes in peace, without dragging the whole puppet around while you are working on the particular part.

To add the modules:

Find the 30 mm cut tubes 5/32″ (removable head and arm modules).
Slightly pinch the brass tubes (to make it stay on the connector better).
The fit should be somewhat tight, but not too tight, so you can remove it when you need it.
Put the tubes (arm modules) on both arms.

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Head module:

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Leg modules.

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Leg modules can be made removable either from the knee down or from the ankle down.
I prefer from the knee down, so I usually epoxy the ankle side of the module.
Decide on the point where the leg modules will be removable – at the knee or at the ankle.
Put epoxy on the ankle connector, slide the tube, pinch a few times with wire cutters so it will get stuck there forever. The leg modules will be removable from the knee in this case.

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The siting bone. My first puppets kept toppling and tumbling when seated, so I added parts to make this optional “sitting bone”.
This construction will provide a sturdy bottom for the puppet/doll so that he/she could sit without toppling.

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Hand armature, brass tubes 30mm and 1mm annealed aluminum wire.
Cut 5 fingers, tie together with cotton thread, bend the ends to prevent the wires from being pulled out from the tube.

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Press flat with pliers, pinch lightly with wire cutters for extra measure.

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Please see my step-by-step description on how to make silicone hands.

WAIT UNTIL NEXT DAY TO ASSEMBLE. Seriously, walk away and do not touch for at least 12 hours, better 24 hours.

NOTE: While assembling, go easy with tightening the joints. Different joints need different degrees of tension. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN. The limbs work as levers and generate a surprisingly strong torque in the joint – enough to break the metal.

This is how the joint is put together – 2 plates, connected by the M2x10mm joint screw and secured by a brass connector or a hex nut.
M2x20mm brass connectors – for spine, M2x10mm – for shoulders and hips, M2x5mm – for elbows and knees, hex nuts – for feet and and neck. Brass connectors
are helpful for instant tightening of the joint and will be mostly hidden by the “flesh” on the puppet.
You can use other sizes of brass connectors in all these places – depending on how “fat” your puppet is. Or you can use hex nuts.

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After all the parts are assembled, it will look like this:

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One more step – to “freeze” the unneeded ends of the joints (marked green on the photo below).
Mix J-B Weld epoxy, tighten the joints and paint the ends of the joints you don’t need with epoxy.
After the epoxy is cured, don’t forget to loosen up the joint slightly before moving the joint.

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All done:

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The armature is ready. You can now pose the armature and check the functionality of each joint.

As you can see, without extensions the armature is short and stocky.
It will work for funny cartoon-like puppets, but if you want a beautiful puppet in realistic human proportions, please read how to change the proportions on HPA-2 Instructions.
It will describe how to cut threaded rods to make extensions, but now we also offer pre-cut threaded rods in different sizes.

Additional Parts Catalog

If you have questions, write to me or come to Humanly Posable Armature Sandbox group on Facebook.
I will be very interested to see your puppets – both work in progress photos and glamour shots.

Thank you!

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