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M3 SUPERFLEX Humanly Posable Armature Instructions

Links to purchase:
M00020 MOREZMORE HPA-M3 SUPERFLEX Humanly Posable Armature STARTER Puppet Kit – includes hardware, enough for ONE puppet and all the necessary tools.
M00862 MOREZMORE HPA-M3 SUPERFLEX Humanly Posable Armature HARDWARE Puppet Kit – includes hardware, enough for ONE puppet, no tools are included.

Additional Parts Catalog

This post contains step-by-step instructions for HPA-M3 Superflex Kit which can be used to make a ball and socket armature, such as this:

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This way of assembly is not set in stone, treat these parts as an a human “Meccano” set and experiment.

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

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The puppet on the photos is Nikolai.

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M00020 MOREZMORE HPA-M3 SUPERFLEX Humanly Posable Armature STARTER Puppet Kit – includes hardware, enough for ONE puppet and all the necessary tools.

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

Includes Hardware: (enough for 1 puppet)

38 pieces joint compression plates (M00688, M00688x4)
1 piece M3 hip connector (M00840, M00840x5)
1 pieces M3 chest bar connectors (M01161, M01161x5)
3 pieces M3 foot pads, 2 for feet, 1 for back rig port (M01560, M01560x5)
35 pieces M3x6mm threaded balls (full thread) (M00826, M00826x5)
16 pieces M3x16mm threaded rods (M00668, M00668x5)
5 pieces M3x40mm threaded rods (M00679, M00679x5)
3 pieces M3x30mm threaded rods (M00674, M00674x5)
5 pieces M2x6mm threaded balls (full thread) (M00753, M00753x5)
5 pieces M2x16mm threaded rods (M01078, M01078x5)
19 pieces M2x10mm button hex screws (M01281, M01281x5)
4 pieces M2x10mm brass connectors (M00133, M00133x5)
13 pieces M2x5mm brass connectors (M00621, M00621x5)
2 pieces M2x20mm brass connector (M00728, M00728x5)
5 pieces 5/32″x30mm square brass tubes (M01369, M01369x5, M00217)
3 pieces 1/8″x30mm square brass tubes (M01367, M01367x5, M00217)
2 pieces 1/8″x15mm square brass tubes (M00774, M00774x5)
3 pieces M3 T-nuts (M00357, M00357x5)
2 pieces M3 wing nuts (M00765, M00765x5)
36″ piece of 1mm annealed aluminum wire (M01026)
1 piece of allen hex key for assembly, (M00956, M01182)
1 oz of Instamorph moldable thermoplastic (M00028, M00411, M001230)
2 pieces of clear plastic 10-compartment boxes to hold the small parts (M01569)

Includes Must Have Tools: (things you buy once).
2 pieces long nose pliers to tighten screws (M01046)
1 pack of JB Cold Weld Steel Reinforced Epoxy thread lock (M01322)

Additional Parts Catalog

M00862 MOREZMORE HPA-M3 SUPERFLEX Humanly Posable Armature HARDWARE Puppet Kit – includes hardware, enough for ONE puppet, no tools are included.

2015-06-29 09.27.27

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

Includes hardware listed above without tools or epoxy. 

Additional Parts Catalog

*************

Step by step instructions

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 threaded rod.
Screw the appropriate ball and connector in place as tight as you can without breaking.
Working with 2 sets of long nose pliers is important, because your hands are not strong enough on such a small grip.
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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Step by step:
Chest and Hip assembly
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The t-nut on the bottom makes the “sitting 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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Barbells

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Tube modules.
Crimp the ends first with pliers, then bite the ends with wire cutters to make them stick over the epoxy.

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Feet pads

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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.
At this point you should get this:

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Hand armature
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We are done with epoxy.
Assemble the joints and set them into their places.
This is how a joint is put together – 2 plates, connected by the M2x10mm joint screw and secured by a brass connector (or a hex nut).

Two M2x20mm brass connectors – for spine, four M2x10mm – for shoulders and hips, thirteen M2x5mm – for forearms, elbows, knees, wrists, femur bones, feet and and neck.

Brass connectors work as finger knobs and 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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WAIT UNTIL NEXT DAY TO ASSEMBLE. Seriously, walk away and do not touch for at least 12 hours, better 24 hours.
Next day – assemble.
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.

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

One more step – to “freeze” the unneeded ends of the joints and limit the range of the motion of each joint with Instamorph.

Instamorph Moldable ThermoPlastic is a lightweight thermoplastic which acts like clay when warm, but when it cools, it’s a strong plastic.

1. Heat some water to approximate 150 degrees F. Water can easily be heated on a stove top or in a microwave oven. (You can also also heat InstaMorph using hot air from a heat gun or oven. The InstaMorph pellets must reach the same activation temperature. Once achieved, you can skip to step 5). Immersion heater helps maintaining the temperature if working for a longer time.

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2.Pour InstaMorph pellets into the water. Don’t worry if it isn’t enough to finish your project, you can always add more InstaMorph later.

3.Wait approximately two minutes or until white InstaMorph pellets turn clear and stick together. This is when you’ll know they are ready to mold. If they haven’t turned clear, try increasing the heat just a little bit.

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4.Remove from the water and get rid of any remaining liquid between the pellets. Be sure to use tongs or some other type of tool (not your hands) as your InstaMorph will still be quite hot.

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5.Once removed from water, InstaMorph will be cool enough to mold by hand. Cut a small piece, shape it as needed, warm it up again. Form into desired shape with your hands, tools, molds, or any other means necessary.
6.Once you’ve got your InstaMorph creation finalized, let it cool to room temperature. You can place InstaMorph in ice water to speed up the setting process. Once completely cooled, InstaMorph will then be as solid and strong as before it was heated.

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The photos below show a HPA-M3 Standard armature, not HPA-M3 Supeflex, but the principle is the same.

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To remove/change the instamorph part that you don’t like, dip it into hot water and remove or reshape.

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Screw M3x30 threaded rods into T-nuts and press them into Instamorph to make additional tie-down holes in the heels.

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The armature is ready. You can now pose the armature and check the functionality of each joint.
The size is 1/6″ scale, but you can change it if you need different proportions – just use rods of different lengths.

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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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