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First Puppet Project Ever - Ragnarok. Need input!  (Read 32899 times)
Lady Vincira
« on: November 14, 2008, 02:32:51 pm »

Hello. **Shy wave**

I'm brand-spanking new both to this forum and to puppet-making. ^^' I DO have experience with prop-building, as well as doll-making and plushies. I'm also a fair seamstress, with a boyfriend who does engineering.

Here's the scoop. I'm a cosplayer - one of them crazy convention-hopping folks. I'm doing a costume from a series called Soul Eater...a character by the name of Crona. Now, everyone who does Crona only does the sword, but I would like to do a step further and stand out - I want to do Ragnarok, a character who literally emerges from Crona's bloodstream, as a puppet on my back.

He's gonna be a little smaller than this, but it gives you an idea. XD' Since I'm new to this, I want something relatively simple - his arms will be on rods so I can move them, but I want some kind of mechanism for his head or jaw.

What I need to work out is:

-I bought a plastic skeleton I've dismembered to build on, and a backpack to butcher. The joints, of course, are AWFUL. What should I use? Rubber for flexibility? I need to be able to punch myself in the head. XD'''''

-How to rig him up to my back exactly.

-A way to either make the head move or the jaw open that could be built relatively cheaply and the control for which would be concealed in my sleeve.

-Any other advice that can be given on his construction.

Thank you so much - I've always wanted to do a puppet for a costume, so I can't wait to try this out!
Billy D. Fuller
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2008, 02:51:34 pm »

 Lady Vincira

First I would like to Welcome you to Puppets and stuff. Your project sounds exciting......................... I'll have to let some more of our advanced builders help you with this one. I can't wait to see how it turns out. Don't forget to take step by step pictures as you build it. We love pictures and it is always good to look back at where you started.

Billy D.
Lady Vincira
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2008, 03:10:32 pm »

Thanks for the kind words - not to worry, I've been ordered to take progress shots, anyhow. XD'
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2008, 03:19:26 pm »

Welcome to P&S

That would it be a nice great (well, difficult to make) puppet. But, you will find greats teachers, adviser and artists as well, that will help you in this exotic, weird project.

And like Mr. Fuller said, please put pics as you doing this work.

Lady Vincira
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2008, 03:28:55 pm »

Thank you very much, Miguel! Y'all are making me feel so welcome. <3

I will!
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2008, 03:34:39 pm »

You very welcome.


« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2008, 03:34:54 pm »

welcome, manga/anime lady :D
I'm a beginner, but if I'll be able to help you somehow, I do Smiley

Lady Vincira
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2008, 09:09:55 pm »

Thanks, Tsu! I can use all the advice I can get. XD I found out today that there's a puppet theatre/museum a short ways away from where I live, so I'll go there sometime soon to ask, too.
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2008, 11:54:45 pm »

hello and welcome
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2008, 04:03:23 am »

Hi, your project seems quite difficult, but very nice.

Regarding the joints, if the puppet is to be dressed, as in the picture, I think you don't need to make real joints. Make each arm with two tubes of foam, one from shoulder to elbow, one from elbow to wrist.
Set the foam tubes with oblique ends at the elbow end (something like this ___\ /____) and you glue them them with a strip of leather or a hard fabric (jeans could be fine), just in the bottom part of the diagram, which would be the back part of elbow. ___\ /___, the fabric will work as a hinge. A second strip of fabric in the front part of elbow, which woul be glued to arm, then to nothing (in the non-foam grove) then to forearm,will prevent the elbow to fold backwards.

For the jaw, perhaps a bicycle brake, would work well. The wire could run along your sleeve and  be attached to one of the rods

I hope this ideas help.
Looking forward to see your progress
Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2008, 08:51:14 am »

Since you have a boyfriend that is an engineer you can draw from his experience. See if he can design a "spin" for your puppet that attaches to the backpack.  The second image shows a dramatic arch to the spine and this would work well for you so the head and shoulders are above your own head. This would be the base to start with.  Construct a shoulder of sorts that attach to this spin that you hang the arms from. The hips and legs of your puppet could hang off the lower half of the backpack.

Instead of a cable control in the hand for the head you might want to tie the movement of the head into your own. I don't know if you have ever seen the Lion King but some of the puppets in it are built that way.  There are "strings" going from the puppeteers head to the head of the puppet so that when the puppeteer moves their head the puppets head moves.  If you think that would be to restrictive you may want to simply make the head static.  Believe me folks well still be impressed with your puppet even if the head does not move. Smiley
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2008, 10:28:06 am »

Ok first of all I would build his body from l200 foam so it will be super light. Rig a cable control for the mouth attached to an arm rod on one of the arms. my guess the whol rig should barely be 5 pounds or so. Of course rod control like Shawn mentioned would be quite nice to.
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2008, 07:25:23 pm »

Welcome to P&S.  I think the first thing you should focus on is body build and getting the arms and hands to work the way you want them to.  Over all weight and the arm function is going to be the most dramatic part of your puppet as you interact at the convention.  Then you can work on the head.  there I would start with getting it to possibly turn, I like shawn's suggestion of having the puppets head follow your head movement.  After this work on mouth movement.

Keep in mind if the puppet is too much work to opperate you won't have as much fun interacting at the convention.  So keep it as simple as possible.
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« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2008, 10:06:16 pm »

I don't know if you have ever seen the Lion King but some of the puppets in it are built that way.  There are "strings" going from the puppeteers head to the head of the puppet so that when the puppeteer moves their head the puppets head moves. 

I'm just adding for clarity: an example of this mechanism is on the Cheetah in the Lion King.
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