I was so busy with other things that I didn't manage to get a single post up during October. Bad form, indeed! I hope I can make up for that this month.
I'm almost done with my Carcosa film project; "In the Court of the Yellow King." But I find myself still building the world, adding more and more details and characters to the backgrounds. It's time to give it a rest. But before that, here's yet another monster!
I'm making a scene set in a town square (of sorts) and I needed to populate it with at least a couple of living things. This puppet is supposed to represent livestock and domesticated critters in Carcosa; basically a pig body with a strange artificial head. My armature is the basic type I always build, using thermoplastic (the white stuff) and aluminum wires. But this time I decided to build up a rib cage to make the body sturdier, and to give me something solid to grab hold of while animating. It's basically aluminum wires wound around the spine, and covered with thermoplastic.
The funnel-shaped head is at the back the top of a whipped cream can, and the front is what's left of a toy plastic tuba I've had since I was very small. The tuba broke many, many years ago, but I saved the top of it.
Almost all of this puppet was covered with thin sheets of polyurethane foam. Only the rump of the monster was provided with a bigger foam piece.
Here's the finished muscle build-up. As you can hopefully see it's quite subtle, and partially based on the muscle diagram of a real pig. The green foam is slightly thicker and denser than the yellow. The back haunches have been partially shaped with cotton dipped in latex.
The body was then covered by fairly small patches of latex skin cast in a plaster skin texture mold. If I remember correctly, the skin mold was created off an old orange skin.
Using smaller latex patches creates a smoother, leaner look to the surface, but it also means more seams that need covering. I used a pipe cleaner to brush on tinted latex in very thin layers, and a pointy sculpting tool to poke pores into the latex seam coverings, making them blend better with the rest of the skin surface.
The finished puppet is painted with PAX paint (Prosaide glue + acrylic paint), and the tail has received a tuft made from crepé hair. Macramé yarn dipped in latex tinted black, and then dry brushed with metallic paint was added as cables going from the body into the funnel head. I haven't decided yet what the funnel will do, exactly. I'll probably have a nasty-looking tongue coming out of it, and maybe some sparks.