Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Heads & Hands

I have been trying to decide what kind of training puppet I am going to make. So At the moment I am kind of just playing around. The first thing I did was make a solid head as I thought it would help with concentrating on body physics and not have to worry about the facial movements. So I sculpted up something that has a bit of a children's TV character look to it. Nothing moves on this apart from the blinks that I have not made yet.

He is sculpted out of Super Sculpy Firm then airbrushed and touched up with a paintbrush.

A quick concept sketch that the head sculpt is based on

The baked head

A quick digital paint over to get the right colours

Then the final head all finished

Yesterday I spent the whole day playing around with the liquid latex build up technique. I had always wanted to try this out but was swayed by the look and feel of silicone. So I thought why not have a go?
It turned out to be a lot nicer and more relaxing than I had thought it would be.

I have been studying Nick Hilligoss's Build up tutorial videos which if you haven't seen then here is the links. Very inspiring stuff ------- HEADS & BODY

I have started out with making hands as I'm going to need some for my new puppet.

I followed how Nick does armatures for hands but ended up forming my own way of doing it.
Then Got some really thin bandage foam and gave it a coat of some adhesive spray and I wrapped it around the armature. I didn't take any photos of this part of the process as its was a very sticky and messy job and didn't want to get my camera grubby.

Next came the liquid latex. I was lucky that I have flesh tinted latex but if you want to paint it or add your own tint you need to get some ammonia to stop the latex reacting with the paint and going all lumpy.
My first attempt was quite poor but at least it let me get the feel for how the technique works. Learning how fast the latex drys and if there is any really deep pools it will take a lot longer to fully cure.

My first attempt

It reminds me of an old B-movies aliens hand :D But it did pave the way for my last attempt.
I am actually really pleased with how this turned out and actually prefer them to any of the silicone hands I have made. A couple of things I'm not happy about is the thickness and length of the fingers and I also went a bit overboard with trying to put detail on the back of the hand. No matter though as its just a test.


  1. Head looks wonderful Mr.! are you making a body for him too? x

  2. Why thank you M'smoutie! I am going to be making his body soon. I just need to find some material that suits him x

  3. Oh and to anybody reading these comments go and check out BSmoutie's blog as she is amazing!

  4. Grand puppet head, Ben. He looks like a proper Yorkshire lad! In fact, not too dissimilar to me when I have my flat cap on. Haha!

    Cracking hands too. He's even got my long fingers :D You've done great getting the finger segments. I wouldn't say they look too thick, unless you're going for ultra realism. It's all looking pretty cool so far.

    Also, I'm loving the E.T. hand. I see you've made a start on the quarterly challenge ;) haha.

    Also, also, I'll be checking out BSmoutie's blog in the morning to check out her amazingness.

  5. Great design on the puppet head man!!

    I have been thinking alot about about the buildup cool to hear your thoughts.


  6. Awesome stuff Ben!!! The head looks great and the hands came out really nice to.

    Your inspiring me, I've gotta try some build up hands one of these days.

  7. Hey Guys! Justin and Jeff youshould definitely try out the build up technique. Its great for hands but I'm having a bit of trouble with doing a head as it kind of looks like a burns victim at the moment hahaha

  8. Brilliant work, man! I usually dip my stuff, but after seeing how good yours came out I'm inspired to try building it up. Thanks for keeping me inspired!

  9. Fantastic work. The head and the hands are awesome!
    Can't wait, to see more!