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Topic: New puppet I am building - with progress pics
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Apr 27, 2011 02:41PM)
Hi All!
I am just starting on a brand new puppet and thought I would post pics of the progress - right from day 1 until it is finally complete. How long will that take? I don't know for sure but hopefully this post will hopefully remain active for a while as the puppet gets built. So check back often as I show how it is all coming along.
I just began basing out the sculpture last night - so not too much to look at yet.. but I wanted to show the progress right from day 1.
Any comments/feedback is welcomed/encouraged!
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Apr 27, 2011 03:18PM)
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Apr 27, 2011 05:15PM)
I know that it is pretty formless right now.. Like I said - I wanted to show the progress from day 1.
I am actually going to making this into an old man character (hopefully) - but we will see where it goes as I progress with the building.
I am going to do some more working on it today and will post day 2 tonight!
.. Hmmmm - maybe I will make him into an old man ALIEN :)
Message: Posted by: maps (Apr 27, 2011 07:33PM)
It's always so fun to see a lump of formless clay become a living talking puppet/figure when finished.
I am busily and happily making new puppets and will also put it in my blog soon.
An old man alien sounds like such a great idea.
Message: Posted by: trey (Apr 27, 2011 09:24PM)
Looks like the crypt keeper! lol

Message: Posted by: damien666 (Apr 27, 2011 09:52PM)
Hey All!
Here is the completion of the Day 2 sculpt of my old man puppet (that will soon (hopefully) become part of my ventriloquism show..
Many more days to come before that though :)
It is indeed a work in progress. I am going to try to work on it everyday a little bit (Which can be tough with work).. along the way - I would value any feedback that you may have! Thanks!
maps - I look forward to seeing the work you will be posting on your blog.. Do you mainly do 'muppet-style' fleece/foam puppets? I have done a little bit of that.. I should actually do more of it. I would love to talk shop with you sometime ala the building side of puppets!
Trey.. In regards to the crypt keeper - I LOVE that show.. I actually got some original conceptual art from 'DEMON KNIGHT'.
I wish I could do the crypt-keepers voice with vent.. that would be a sweet puppet!!
Anyways - stay posted as my old man slowly takes shape..
Message: Posted by: trey (Apr 27, 2011 11:10PM)
It is looking really good Damien!
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Apr 27, 2011 11:15PM)
Hey, he's coming along very nicely!
Message: Posted by: maps (Apr 27, 2011 11:51PM)
He reminds me of Ben Kingsly(sp?) in Ghandi Lol!
I would love to talk shop!
You can see some of my work at http://www.FrankieMalachi.com or http://www.mascotsandpuppets.com
I've done both soft and hard figures and are playing with radio control.
Message: Posted by: CaptKirk (Apr 28, 2011 06:48AM)
WOW, he is way COOL! I would be afraid he would scare kids(??) You are very talented!!
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Apr 28, 2011 09:27AM)
Looking good - doesn't look like an alien any more.
Message: Posted by: KeithS (Apr 28, 2011 09:44AM)
VERY cool looking character. Looking forward to your progress.
Message: Posted by: harris (Apr 28, 2011 09:51AM)

Love to see works in progress. Now it reminds me of a "house elf".

Can't wait to see the next one.
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Apr 28, 2011 10:31AM)
Is he a replacement for old Senior Sid?
Message: Posted by: James "Jimmy" Eisenberg (Apr 28, 2011 07:23PM)
He is looking great!
I can honestly say Ive haven't seen anything like it.
I like the heavy brow.
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Apr 28, 2011 08:45PM)
I think he looks great. I kept having this nagging feeling that I'd seen a similar face before. Then I realized that to me he looks like "Geri the Cleaner" the character brought in to clean up and restore Woody in Toy Story 2. Get out your DVD's and see--I know you have it in your collection. I hasten to add that I am certain any resemblance is purely coincidental.

Message: Posted by: damien666 (Apr 28, 2011 11:25PM)
Hey all!
I didn't have too much of a chance to work on the old guy today.. I put in about an hour or so after work.. Pic posted below.
I must admit - I have not seen Toy Story 2.. but I googled 'Geri the Cleaner' and must admit - there is a striking resemblance :(
I will definitely be making some changes to him to remove some of the similarities. Thanks for pointing that out Bob! I really am trying to go for something more original..
Capt Kirk - if he scares kids; that is only an added bonus - haha! Just kidding :)
Neale - I am trying to take my show in a different direction and I will be retiring all of my current characters.. I will keep you posted (When work slows down for me - we should hang out again!)
Thanks everyone for your feedback and kind words! Stay posted - and I love constructive criticism; so if anyone has any - shoot it on over!
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Apr 29, 2011 10:18AM)
He's shaping up nicely.
I didn't know who Geri was either, my kids were of the age to be interested when Toy Story came out, but past it by the time 2 came out, so I took a look, there is some vague similarity, but I don't think they look alike, but maybe I would if I saw the movie.
Message: Posted by: manal (Apr 29, 2011 02:01PM)
You are very talented. Great bust. Lots of character.

I have seen Toy Story 3 but didn't really pay much attention as I didn't like it and neither did my 7 year old Autistic son whom is a huge Toy Story parts 1 and 2 fan. Un fortunatly I had already bought it for him based on how much he enjoyed the first 2.

My point is that I don't remember the Geri character. Others did though so I think you were wise to change yours. So you are talented and smart.

Good Luck, hope the figure turns out great.
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Apr 29, 2011 04:14PM)
On 2011-04-29 00:25, damien666 wrote:

Neale - I am trying to take my show in a different direction and I will be retiring all of my current characters.. I will keep you posted (When work slows down for me - we should hang out again!)


I would love to hear more about the new direction, and yes, we need to hang out more! It's been ages.
Message: Posted by: Matt_24 (Apr 30, 2011 09:23AM)
Beautiful work. Loads of talent in this forum!
Message: Posted by: marshalldoll (Apr 30, 2011 10:49AM)
Great job and you certainly have some sculpting skills. He will ba a fine figure!!
Message: Posted by: damien666 (May 1, 2011 11:05PM)
Hey All!
Here is Day 4 of the progress.. I have made several changes to his brow and mouth.. Hopefully enough to make his appearance a little less Toy story-ish.
Thanks again for the feedback; keep it coming!
For those who have not done any puppet building; it is a crazy amount of work to go from start to finish with building a puppet.
Also - I am planning on incorporating several animatronic components into this particular puppet; which should be fun!
I hope to do much more work on him this week - stay tuned!
Message: Posted by: damien666 (May 1, 2011 11:07PM)
Hey Everyone!
Here is a different (front) view of the old man puppet sculpt...
As you can see - I am keeping his wrinkles and features quite caricatured and pronounced.. so it reads better from stage. He is quite a long ways away from finished though.
Any constructive criticism is greatly appreciated!
Message: Posted by: James "Jimmy" Eisenberg (May 2, 2011 05:15AM)

Like I said before, great sculpting.
Are you making a mold and if so what will you be casting him in?

He loaded with character.

Message: Posted by: maps (May 2, 2011 07:02AM)
He's looking better everyday. great job! Is there a chance to see yr other characters that you mentioned are retiring?
Message: Posted by: damien666 (May 2, 2011 10:50AM)
Thanks again for the positive comments everyone!
Jimmy - this character will be molded and then the skin will be cast with either silicone and/or foam latex. There will be a plastic under skull that the animatronics will be built into.
Stay tuned! I will be updating the whole process until he is done!
Maps - I am getting a website together that will show my portfolio. Much of my work is related to film and television special effects make-up/creatures. I love my work but I have done projects for films and TV so much that I have neglected my own projects.. which is why I am trying to work on this old man a little bit everyday (between Effects work).
Thanks and hopefully I will have something more to show soon!
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (May 2, 2011 01:59PM)

Just beautiful work. How you get so much character out of clay is amazing to me.

Message: Posted by: creativemac (May 2, 2011 11:08PM)
He's looking MAR-VE-LOUS!!!!
Message: Posted by: ljlvent (May 4, 2011 05:00PM)
WOW!! I can't imagine all the time you are spending on him!! I am sure his character is developing right before your eyes as he continues to develop!!
Message: Posted by: damien666 (May 5, 2011 12:25AM)
Hey Everybody! Thanks again for all of your kind words and encouragement!
Here is day 5 progress. I am starting to further flesh out his brow and forehead.. It is still very rough - and he will probably be changed several times yet.
ljlvent - inregards to seeing his character develop; it can be cool to see where the design goes.. It really looks nothing like it did at day 2.. which I liked, but he was too similar to Geri, the cleaner from Toy Story - which was thankfully brought to my attention by Bob Baker - thanks again Bob :)
When you work from a picture or have a design in mind; it is easier to sculpt from that; but I am sculpting as I go - without a blue print.. The only thing that I know for sure is that he is going to be an old man character - but there is lots of interpretation within that.. So until he is done, I really have no idea what he will look like.
I will definitely keep posting progress.
I have not had a lot of time to put into this character, but I am doing as much as I can around my job.
I will be making his eyes in the next few days - stay tuned!
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (May 5, 2011 09:46AM)
It's so much fun watching this project develop!
Message: Posted by: damien666 (May 5, 2011 10:51PM)
Here is day 6 of the progress of my old man puppet..
I have decided on the character of my puppet.. He will be a hobo-type; but no shotgun :)
I plan on doing a very different type of routine with this character.. Something that I have never seen done before in a vent show.. I can't wait to finish him so that I can start working on his routine. Stay tuned!
P.S. - I really appreciate this forum - it is great to have this community and I am learning so much!
Message: Posted by: rcav8r (May 7, 2011 09:35PM)
Are you expecting any problems molding him with those deep sharp wrinkles?
Message: Posted by: damien666 (May 7, 2011 11:51PM)
Hi There!
Here is Day 7 of the progress.. I focused mainly on adding to the form of his lower lip and chin today.
I will hopefully be able to devote several hours tomorrow to the sculpt!
In regards to molding him - the deep wrinkles should not pose a problem. I will be molding him out of a very strong material and he will be a 4 piece mold (including the core) so undercuts will not be an issue.
Thanks for the question!
Hopefully I will have more to show tomorrow!
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (May 8, 2011 03:42PM)

He's looking really good! You have quite a character there.

Message: Posted by: maps (May 8, 2011 08:34PM)
Hi Damien,It's looking better everyday! What kind of clay did you use for him?
Message: Posted by: damien666 (May 8, 2011 09:46PM)
Thanks for the continued kind words!
Here is day 8..
I am starting to add a bit of skin texture to him now.. So far - it has been very smooth basic forms; now it has to start looking like skin.
Each pore and wrinkle is added one at a time.. It can be pretty time consuming. He is still far from finished.. but it will be very subtle changes (just minute detail).
To avoid boring anyone, I will put up my next update when the sculpting is complete..
Otherwise it will be like - "Hey, look - there's another bunch of pores on his chin!!"
Maps - The clay that I am using is Chavant (medium - NSP).
Thanks again for the encouragement! You folks are the best! I am always up for criticism too; so if you have any pointers or ideas - send them on down!
Message: Posted by: rcav8r (May 8, 2011 09:52PM)
What are you using for adding the texture?
Message: Posted by: damien666 (May 8, 2011 11:41PM)
Hi rcav8r!
I am using basic homemade sculpting tools for the wrinkles and directional pores and a bought Ball Stylus (pic link below) for the round pore texture:


Some Artists use texture stamps that push texture into the clay, but I prefer to sculpt all of the texture into my sculpts.. It takes longer, but I have more control over the direction of the pores and wrinkles.
Message: Posted by: maps (May 9, 2011 01:19AM)
That's a lot of hardwork that only a person who is very passionate about his craft will undertake or he is just plain crazy and doesn't have a life.
I choose to think he's crazy about his passion for making masterpieces.
I know someone will eventually ask you this:
What kind of animations are you planning for him?
So I'll ask it on their behalf
Message: Posted by: damien666 (May 9, 2011 10:34PM)
Howdy all!
Thanks again for the continued compliments and encouragement! It means a lot!
In regards to being crazy and not having a life - GUILTY AS CHARGED :)
I only wish that with work and whatnot; I had more time to not have a life.. Oh well.
In regards to the animations that will be added to this character.. I am kind of still working on that. I plan on doing something with this character that I have never heard of or seen in any other vent act.. I don't want to tip my hat yet - but stay tuned.. I think it will be pretty cool.
I will say that there will be some animatronic features incorporated into the finished puppet. But yes - please do stay tuned!
Message: Posted by: Matt Thompson (May 10, 2011 11:30AM)
He's looking great so far! I'm interested in seeing how the final product turns out.
Message: Posted by: damien666 (May 11, 2011 10:47PM)
Just a little update.. continuation of texturing..
I also started on the eyes today.. will hopefully finish them Friday!
I have made the commitment to myself that I will be finished this sculpt on Day 12.. so 2 more days of work.
The thing about doing a sculpt is that a person could be working on it for years.. but I am just too eager to see this guy finished :)
Message: Posted by: maps (May 12, 2011 02:50AM)
He is looking fabulous! We are all as excited as you to see this guy finished!
Message: Posted by: manal (May 12, 2011 11:20AM)
Very, very nice!
Message: Posted by: damien666 (May 13, 2011 11:56PM)
Hey Folks!
Today I worked on the eyes for my puppet. They are all hand painted and veined; made out of acrylic.
I 'THINK' I am pretty much done the sculpt. I am going to show some of my co-workers and see if they have any ideas.. but otherwise; I will be starting the molding process next week!! YAY!
Oh yeah, if you guys have any pointers about how you think he could be improved - be brutal! Seriously.
Otherwise - Stay tuned.. and check out my old man's eyes!
P.S. - please excuse all of the grainy low-res pictures.. I am taking them with my phone :(
Message: Posted by: Servante (May 14, 2011 09:35AM)
Wow. This is gonna be one great-looking puppet. I can hardly wait!

Message: Posted by: olivertwist (May 14, 2011 06:18PM)
Will you be documenting and reporting on the mold-making and casting as well? I've enjoyed watching your work progress.

Message: Posted by: damien666 (May 14, 2011 08:32PM)
Oliver - Yes, I will be updating the entire process of building the puppet... including the molding and casting.
The whole thing still has a long way to go.. I can't wait to finish it though!
Message: Posted by: Matt_24 (May 16, 2011 06:47AM)
Fabulous sculpture.

Question - is he going to be a rubber puppet (like Axtell)? If so, sculpting his mouth open like that is the way to go. Just make sure in his neck you have room for your wrist/hand/etc.

If he is going to be a hard figure might I make a few recommendations:

You need to sculpt his mouth in a closed position. Lips touching together, or touching perhaps some big teeth that you plan on adding later?

Also, you would need to look at re-designing his jaw a little bit. Specifically the "sides" where the slots of the jaw (where it will open) and underneath the chin to ensure you have a proper "arc" so the mouth will open smoothly and there will be no noticeable gaps, etc. This is something to always keep in mind when designing a hard figure. Tim Selberg is a "master" of incorporating this into his designs. I recommend you look at pics of his figures, specifically the lower jaw portion (the part the opens/moves) and look at the "arc" on the sides of the mouths and underneath the chin, and how it meets the at the lowest point against the neck, etc.

You should have no problem maintaining all of the detail in your design. Just purchase the highest quality rubber that you can when you are ready to make the mold. The better quality of rubber that you purchase, the better quality of the mold. If you contact Mike Brose, he is very generous with his knowledge and I'm sure wouldn't mind sharing with you the best stuff on the market currently, because Mike is one of the (if not THE best) best mold makers out there when it comes to this stuff.

Keep up the great work.
Message: Posted by: damien666 (May 19, 2011 12:00AM)
Hi there!
Matt - I would like to experiment more with hard figures eventually.. Several projects down the road to be sure. Thanks for the info. I make molds almost every other day in my 'real job', but I am always interested in learning other peoples techniques. TO answer your questions - This puppet is probably going to be made out of silicone (or foam latex - or both; still trying to decide).
It is going to be a flexible hand puppet (with some animatronic components). I have alloted for my wrist and hand.. SIlicone is very stretchy, flexible and soft - so the puppet will actually 'hug' my wrist..
Before molding the final sculpt for making the actual puppet, I decided to make a master mold of the sculpt..
This is not the actual mold for the puppet - it is just a back up silicone mold so that I can have it 'on file'. You can see the first layer of silicone on the sculpt in the picture attached below.. Doing this master mold will take a few days, but it will be nice to have.
Message: Posted by: manal (May 19, 2011 09:21AM)
Looks like something from the old movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". :)
Message: Posted by: damien666 (May 19, 2011 01:23PM)
Yeah, it does look a little bit like something from body snatchers - haha.
Now it looks like if you mixed the body snatchers with 'Pinhead'.
I have attached some silicone buttons to the silicone from yesterday so that it will key into the plaster Jacket that I will be putting on it.
The next few steps are going to continuing on with the molding process.
One step closer to finished! (still quite a ways away though).
Stay tuned.
Message: Posted by: damien666 (May 20, 2011 08:45PM)
Here is the silicone master mold of the sculpt.. Next, I will be doing the actual mold for the puppet skin!
Stay tuned!
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Jun 2, 2011 01:14AM)
Well - it has a been a few days since my last post.. I have been working for the past several days on the actual mold for the puppets skin.
What you see in the attached link is what is referred to as the negative mold. The next step is to create the positive that the animatronics and jaw movements will be built onto.
As always - stay tuned!
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Jun 12, 2011 07:49PM)
Hey All!
It's been a while since my last post.. I just pulled out a test skin made out of silicone. That is the picture attached..
It will need to be cleaned up a bit (have the mold seam line removed and patched, a couple of air bubbles filled) before it can be painted, haired and finished.
I will be using this skin as the test for doing the R&D for doing the animatronics. Once all of the bugs are ironed out, I will be doing the final skins. I'm really looking forward to moving ahead with this character!
Stay tuned!
Message: Posted by: Servante (Jun 12, 2011 11:49PM)
Lookin' good, Damien!

Message: Posted by: damien666 (Jun 18, 2011 03:07PM)
First Foam Latex pull - EPIC FAIL!!
Hi folks!
I decided to try doing a foam latex skin of the hobo character.. The silicone skin from my last post was pretty heavy - especially once all of the animatronic components will be put in. Foam latex usually degrades very quickly, much faster than regular latex - but I will make sure to add some UV inhibitors to help extend it's life.
Foam latex is a fickle animal.. especially in a new mold. I will be trying a few more attempts next week to get a good foam latex skin (keep your collective fingers crossed for it to turn out)
I thought I would show the foam anyway - just so you will be able to see the bad with the good!
I guess if I want to make a zombie version of the old guy - I could use this one!
Anywhoo, I will keep you all posted!
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Jun 18, 2011 03:46PM)
I could see this version being put to interesting use.. even with the setback, this is amazing work.
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Jun 18, 2011 06:11PM)

Thanks for sharing your progress. I really enjoy seeing how it's coming along.
That will be a unique character. I think he'll be hilarious.

Message: Posted by: damien666 (Jun 22, 2011 10:48PM)
Hey all!
After three failed attempts - due to bad latex :( - I have finallly gotten a good Foam latex skin!
(pic attached)
The latex is two different colors because of two different types of latex; but once it is painted - it will look fine.
Next step is to seam, paint and work out the animatronics - stay tuned!
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Jun 22, 2011 11:05PM)
Message: Posted by: maps (Jun 23, 2011 12:42AM)
Can't wait to see the animations! Keep up the excellent work!
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Jul 23, 2011 03:17PM)
Hey All!
I have been very crazy-busy with my 'real work' lately, so I have had to put my old man puppet on the back burner.. But I am getting back to him.
Here he is after I have removed/repaired the seam line (a protrusion left on the puppets skin due to the molding process).. and now I have started painting him.. Here is the base coat of his paint job. He is just hanging up to dry. Hopefully I will get a chance to some further painting and detailing on him soon!
I will keep you posted!
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Jul 23, 2011 06:47PM)
He's looking great. I hope when he's done we get to see him working. The comedy potential with this figure is huge!
Message: Posted by: Jimeuax (Jul 23, 2011 07:58PM)
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Jul 24, 2011 12:34PM)
Here is day 2 of the painting stage.. Just beginning the 'fleshing out' stage. Lots more to do on him still - I will continue to update..
Message: Posted by: Servante (Jul 24, 2011 12:54PM)
That looks wonderful. One can just see how great it's going to be when it's finished!

Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Jul 24, 2011 02:03PM)
It's so thrilling to see him emerge. Terrific character.
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Jul 24, 2011 05:02PM)
It's always fun to watch a work in progress (unless it's your own work and it's not progressing.....).
Lookin' Good!
Message: Posted by: Budihaha (Jul 26, 2011 05:04AM)
WOW nice work, very realistic!
How about adding some nose hair?

BTW I will run away, if see this head hanging some where.
Just kidding!!
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Jul 26, 2011 11:51PM)
Thanks for the comments..
I will definitely be punching hair into him (including nose and ear hair)..
I will post updates as I am able to work on him.
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Aug 8, 2011 02:56AM)
Hey !
I have finally finished the paint job on my old man puppet..
Any criticism or ideas is greatly appreciated!
I will be sealing the paint job next - then punching the hair.. Stay tuned!
Thanks for looking!
Message: Posted by: CaptKirk (Aug 8, 2011 10:22AM)
AWESOME!!! What a figure!!!
Message: Posted by: CaptKirk (Aug 8, 2011 10:23AM)
AWESOME!!! What a figure!!!