Since I'm dealing with a "real" animal this time, I took extra pains to get the anatomy looking OK. You'll have to be the judge of how well I succeeded, though. I sculpted a miniature bear skull and jaw in Monster Clay, and stuck them onto a pair of screws.
The screws were then pushed down into clay blocks for the casting of the silicone moulds. I used DragonSkin FX Pro, and SmoothCast 325 (both from SmoothOn) to create the flexible mould and the cast skull parts.
Here's the finished skull with aluminum armature wire attached. The brown lower canines are built up with Aves epoxy putty, due to the plastic casting having problems with air bubbles. One of these days, funds permitting, I'll but a small vacuum chamber to get rid of any bubble casting problems.
And here's the skull and jaw attached to the aluminum wire/Friendly Plastic armature. At this point only the hind feet have tie-downs, but the front paws were similarly equipped too, eventually.
Brutus was supposed to look like a big scary bear, but will certain tell-tale signs that he's not properly OK. The biggest of those is his completely open stomach and rib cage. I sculpted the rib cage in Monster Clay, and created a DragonSkin silicone mould over the finished piece.
The cast SmoothCast 325 rib cage has been cleaned up and attached to the armature.
As you can see on this closeup of the skull, I've painted the teeth and gums, added a small piece of plastic-covered copper wire to animate the nose and upper lip, and attached an armatured silicone tongue. The tongue wasn't cast, but built up directly over a piece of aluminum wire using flesh tone Sculpt Gel.
Another Monster Clay sculpt, this time of Brutus´ head over the skull armature.
Originally I had planned to cast the head skin in silicone. Eventually I just used latex, which works well with this character. Brutus isn't looking completely healthy. He's covered with signs of decay, and his eyes have gone zombie-like.
Since Brutus´ body was going to be covered with fake fur, I just made a very simple foam padding build-up. These photos show the beginning stage. More padding was added eventually. You can also see that the rib cage has been given a build-up of cotton fibres dipped in latex to simulate tendons and skin.
Brutus´ guts are all made out of latex, some cast in plaster moulds, and some built up. The long intestine at the right is a piece of aluminum wire covered with red string and dipped in latex. When attached to the rib cage, the intestine can be animated swinging about as Brutus walks. Tasteful, I know!
Here you can see the guts in place and the fur build-up under way. I'm using a semi-flexible fur cloth, which I also used for a King Kong puppet I did a while back. Nothing fancy, just something I was lucky enough to find in a local crafts shop.
And here's the finished Brutus. The fur on his face was built up using small tufts of the fake fur, attached one bit a time with ProsAide make-up glue. His neck and pelvis are covered with painted-on "gore" (acrylic paints).
I'll do a short test animation of Brutus myself, and I might use the moulds for the bear skull to create a puppet of my own eventually. It's very hard making decent-looking puppets of real animals, and I stand in awe of every artisan who can pull it off. The stop-motion lions and horses in "Mighty Joe Young" (1949) built by Marcel Delgado are the very apex of this craft.