Puppet-in-Progress: From the foam up

Slackbot

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I think I've figured out a way to use the styroEPSfoam under the eyelids without touching the glue to it. I'm going to try that. If my next post is not full of blanked-out swearwords, I'll have met with some success.

Buck-Beaver, thanks for the advice. I'll look into those adhesives you mention. I've searched online for fishing floats and never found any that were even slightly eyelike. If you can point to any, I would welcome a link!

I have a very small living area and no workshop-type space, so I have no special equipment and no room for any. And, well, this is just a hobby, so I really don't plan to get all hardcore or break my budget.
 

Buck-Beaver

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You're looking for what I believe they call a round plastic bobber:



To use these for eyes, the red plastic bottom can be covered with foam or fabric. The red post you see sticking out at the top is mounted on a spring and has to be removed, which is fairly easy to do. The only downside is that the eye's pupil has to be big enough to cover the hole where the post is/was. It's also a good idea to sand and paint the white plastic so it has a matte finish, but that isn't always necessary.

If you look at pictures of a lot of the Fraggle puppets it's pretty easy to see how they could have made the eyes out of these.

They often pop up on Ebay and any decent sporting goods store that sells fishing equipment should carry them. Here in Canada Wal-Mart was selling a bag of six of these for about $5 or $6 the last time I checked. I have seen them in pairs and sets of four in Dollar Stores too. I would be shocked if you couldn't find them in Atlanta.
 

Slackbot

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Those do look very useful. The size and position of the post would limit pupil placement, but I can still see these being good eyes.

Try finding any fishing supplies in Atlanta, especially if you're like me and travel by MARTA, Atlanta,s pitiful excuse for a public transportation system. Just going across town to a store and back can easily be a half-day expedition, so I prefer to shop online. Can you tell me what these are called or who makes them so I'll have something to base a search on? Heyyy, Amazon has 'em, and in a variety of sizes! Thanks for the tip!
 

Slackbot

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I just checked the packaging, and the balls I have been using are indeed Styrofoam (TM). No off-brand junk for me!

I tried hot glue, and I guess my gun runs pretty cool, because it didn't melt the foam. So, it looks like I'm back on track. I've glued the lids on, and I'm wiring together another pair of eyeballs. (Well, waiting for the Gorilla Glue(TM) to dry.) I need to get some brown felt to edge the eyes with, as I'm not really happy with the thin strips of fleece I used before. Hopefully I'll be able to get that on the way home from work tomorrow.

I also had another idea for hiding the wires more effectively and making the tilt of the eyes adjustable. Wish me luck with those.
 

crazy chris

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LOVE HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do i see mokeys head sculpt in that group shot??

cc
 

Slackbot

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No, the first three skulls are just failed Gobo heads.
 

Slackbot

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Okay, I'm back in the game! I hot-glued these eyes together, with the wires coming out the bottoms. I started to hot-glue the "mascara" but then I remembered how awful visible hot glue looks, so I got out a Q-tip and very carefully applied contact cement around the rims and to the thin strip of felt. (I tried to buy brown self-adhesive felt today, but they only had it in red and green. What??)



Yeah, I've definitely gotta trim that tongue. It's too wide.

The tilt of his eyes is important, as it defines his expression, so I attached a wire brace to the back of his eyeballs to provide stability and allow me to adjust it later on without grief. This will be hidden beneath his hair.


 

Slackbot

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It's also a good idea to sand and paint the white plastic so it has a matte finish, but that isn't always necessary.
I got my floats, and I figured out how to remove the post: straighten the end of the wire holding it in with needlenose pliers. They do look like they will be useful. As for sanding and painting, is there a way to do that without special equipment? Sandpaper and spray paint?
 

Slackbot

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Hair! It is a thing!



The beginning: A ping-pong ball wired to the skull the same way the eyes were, a hot glue gun, and a few million bundles of fuchsia feather barbs. It took about a week to make all of those. Argh. Off-camera is a single white feather for the accents. I glued the feathers to go right behind the eyes before attaching the "hairball", because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to get 'em all the way down there, and the white ball might have been visible behind the eyes.



Half done. When I glue the bundles to the ball I hold them for a few seconds while I blow on the glue. That way the hair stands out all lively-like rather than laying down. I pull off a few barbs from the white feather and glue them down at random.



"Boy, isn't it time you got a haircut?" It needs a bit of trimming. I'll do that later. I always get a little squeamish cutting ostrich feathers, but Gobo always looks to me as if he just had a very clumsy haircut.

Tongue is also trimmed. It fits a little more comfortably in his mouth now.
 
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