Saturday, 25 August 2012


The awesome people at Laika house do a creative challenge every month and to celebrate the US release of Paranorman they announced ZOMBAGEDDON!

You have two weeks to create your piece of art to hand in and  the winner is picked by the amount of facebook "Likes"

I didn't win this time but it was a great excuse to make a stop motion zombie puppet

All of the main limbs are sculpted with Super Sculpey Firm, over armature wire. As this was a super quick challenge I had to make a very basic armature. No soldered sections just very strong plumbers putty to hold the limbs together. Then using the same plumbers putty I secured 2 rig points, one on his hip and one on his chest.

And due to this speedy process I didn't get the chance to take proper photos.

I also did the the head at the same time as the body. The whole puppet actually started with the head and the rest of the design flowed from that.

Very basic in design in terms of the armature. I used bandage foam to cover the jaw wires and created a kind of flaky skin texture.

Most of the parts that had bare wire showing were covered up with bandage foam and blended in to the sculpey. So like elbow, wrist, knee and finger joints.

Next up was the paint job. This was one thing I was really looking forward to do as I have never actually fully painted a puppet my self. I've always gotten my dad to do main parts or touch up the bits that went wrong but this time I was quite determined to do it all on my own. Most of it is done with an airbrush then finer details are brush painted.

I did a super quick digital paint over on the head to see the kind of colour scheme I wanted. Im not going to lie, it is very inspired by Paranorman's zombies.

I first had to undercoat it with white then block out the main colours

It took me a little bit of time to get used too the airbrush again as I havent used one in quite a while. Luckily it's like riding a bike :D
After the colour blocking was done I added shading and then finished off with the finer details.
As time was running out (again) I didn't get to take photos except for this one which also shows the armature before padding out.

After the paint job was finished I had to pad out the body and neck ready to be clothed. The clothes were probably the hardest part and were actually done the day before it had to be handed in.
The clothes were a mix of sewing, destroying old clothes and "No Sew Glue"

So that 2 weeks flew by super quick and as soon as I submitted it to the competition I was off on  holiday for a week with the family. 

Here are a few portfolio shots of the puppet.

Also when I got home this morning I was greeted by a super awesome gift from the super awesome Paranorman twitter crew

So very grateful for this, THANK YOU!


  1. Head's really great and seems to give some nice angles. Dig the clothing! :)

  2. TRIPPLE TOO awesome man!! I love it all....


  3. Super excellent puppet work, as always, Ben. You are sooo great!

  4. I LOVE the colours and the overall look! Super fun!

  5. He'd fit in perfectly with the ParaNorman cast. Beautiful ...err creepy looking puppet :)

  6. Thank you so much everyone!!! You are all super amazing people!

  7. I am venturing into the stop motion universe and your blog is very nice! Many images and information ! You are very talented! Congratulations! Your work is fantastic !

  8. Hi there! I find your work amazing, and for what I´ve seen you do similar armatures to some friends that work in stop-motion. I am thinking about studying that, I am interested in doing molds and armatures and I´d love to know where did you studied or if you know something about a good place to study it in the UK.