3 Comments

Mwamba Red River Hog Safari Ranger Puppet

A documentary on wild life in Africa brought this:
I am going to make a wire puppet out of him.
I have a few materials that I think will work on simpler wire puppets and this is a good chance to try them out.

2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.
So, to be clear, his name is Mwamba, he is a red river hog and his job is a safari ranger.

2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.

Armature.

Trace outline for planning on tracing paper. The outline drawing is less cluttered and I can plan my armature on it. Also protects the original concept art.

2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.

Select the size of the aluminum wire:
I am using 2mm for thick and 0.5mm for wrapping

2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.
Aluminum wire, magic sculpt and telescopic square tubes 5/32″ and 1/8″

2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.

M3 T-nuts

2015-06-29 09.27.27.
A small working stage for feet tie-downs: plywood cutout 3″ x 3″, 3mm drill bit
M3 T-Nuts, M3x16 threaded rods, M3 wing nuts, M3 nylon standoff connectors, M3 screws

2015-06-29 09.27.27.2015-06-29 09.27.27.
2015-06-29 09.27.27.2015-06-29 09.27.27.
2015-06-29 09.27.27.2015-06-29 09.27.27.
2015-06-29 09.27.27.

pipe cleaner wire for hands, ears and tail, with fuzz trimmed.

2015-06-29 09.27.27.2015-06-29 09.27.27.
2015-06-29 09.27.27.2015-06-29 09.27.27.

Head.

delrin balls 7mm
eye drilling vise
drilling vise and bits
aluminum tube 9mm
pipe cleaners wire
tube cutter
needle files
magic sculpt
mini scale for magic sculpt
stretch foam
fabritac glue
toothpicks
x-acto knife
small sharp scissors

household cotton balls

Eyeballs

1. Put a delrin ball into the vise, tighten.
2. Start a hole with a knife
2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.

3. Drill with a small 1mm drill bit (it is just easier to start with a thin one first)
4. Drill with a 2mm drill bit to make hole a bit larger

2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.

Eyeball cups:
Cut 2 small pieces of 9mm aluminum tube. Cutter pushes the tube walls in, creating this (the tube on the right).
7mm ball fits into 9mm tube precisely, that small lip created by the cutter prevents it from falling out.
I file that lip down a little bit, so that it sits snugly in the tube, but I can pop the eye out with some effort.

2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.
2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.
2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.
2015-06-29 09.27.27.
Mix some magic sculpt (8 gram total in my case), put tiny bits of stretch foam so that balls do not stick to magic sculpt – I need them to rotate.

2015-06-29 09.27.27.2015-06-29 09.27.27.
Fill up the cup from the bottom with magic sculpt, packing it tightly.

2015-06-29 09.27.27.

I was not quite sure where to put the eyes, so I just started “sculpting” the head out of cotton and stretch foam with fabritac glue, hoping to get a better idea where to put the eyes as I go along.

2015-06-29 09.27.27.2015-06-29 09.27.27.

Indeed, as I started to fill up the shape of the head, it was easier to position the eyes, with the help of magic sculpt. Should have made the skull out of UltraLight polymer clay, as magic skull is a bit heavy. Once again I see the wisdom of making a maquette before making the actual puppet, but as this is an experimental puppet, it would have to do.

2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.

2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.

I was getting lost in the head shape, so finally I stripped all padding from the head and googled for “red river hog skull” and made a hard skull out of magic sculpt.

Ears:
platsil get 10 silicone rubber
flesh pigment
pipe cleaners wire, trimmed

I just painted the wires with the silicone and left it to cure on the glass. Note to myself – next time make ears detachable.
The ears got a nice translucency and they are poseable, adding a layer of facial expressions. Love this.

2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.
2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.
2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.
2015-06-29 09.27.27.
Padding.
stretch foam
fabritac
toothpicks
mini metal spatula
cotton balls

2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.
2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.
OMG delete that. I am serious, Natasha. Do NOT put that on facebook.

2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.

Next I was supposed to do the padding. But the suspense on how to make the head was killing me.
So here it is. It is sort of close to what I had in mind.
thin felt
fabritac
toothpicks
tibetan lamb

2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.
2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.
2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.
2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.
2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.

cotton balls
stretch foam
fabritac
toothpicks

2015-06-29 09.27.27. 2015-06-29 09.27.27.
2015-06-29 09.27.27.
Decided to redo the hands – to include magnets.  Also finally bothered to look at pigs’ feet and discovered that they have 4 “fingers”. So added one more “finger”.

2015-06-29 09.27.27.2015-06-29 09.27.27.

2015-06-29 09.27.27.2015-06-29 09.27.27.

thin felt

2015-06-29 09.27.27.2015-06-29 09.27.27.

2015-06-29 09.27.27.2015-06-29 09.27.27.

2015-06-29 09.27.27.2015-06-29 09.27.27.

2015-06-29 09.27.27.2015-06-29 09.27.27.
Oil paint. I tried both acrylic and oil, oil paint works better. This is Genesis Heat set oil paint (Genesis Burnt Umber), so I set it by heating. However, keep in mind that magnets lose the magnetism if heated – live and learn, had to dig them out and replace. So either install magnets after the paint is set, or allow oil paint dry naturally.

Thin felt can be stretched  – gently and patiently – to cover the bulges. Here it is stretched over the ball.

2015-06-29 09.27.27.2015-06-29 09.27.27.

2015-06-29 09.27.27.2015-06-29 09.27.27. .

to be continued….

3 comments on “Mwamba Red River Hog Safari Ranger Puppet

  1. Inspiration comes from some strange places. This is fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is awesome! Thank you for such great pics, details, and all the extra time it took to show your work!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s