A number of old books (such as The Complete Book of Marionettes by Mabel and Les Beaton) and some old Popular Mechanics articles by Tony Sarge recommend making puppet heads with plastic wood and molds. I was wondering if anyone here had ever used plastic wood for this purpose and if there is a specific kind or brand of plastic wood one ought to use. (I realize plastic wood might have been superseded by a superior material in the hobby industry and, if so, am interested in learning about these and their pros and cons, too.)
By Shawn on Jul 5, 2020, 6:44 AM
I never used plastic wood for molding heads, but have used it in other applications and the issue with it is it can be brittle. Don't believe that brand really makes a difference in this case.
Most builders now use silicone or latex. Others use papermache' type products like form fast that have plastic that is embedded into them. I actually used to use papermache' layered into mods, but not for heads just for different body sections that where not very detailed.
By Tioh on Jul 13, 2020, 3:46 PM
Wood-plastic composites are sold for 3d-printing nowadays. I've tried it once - works fine, looks more natural than plastic 3d-prints - but the filaments abrasive nature damaged brass nozzles (I had no stainless steel nozzles when I tried it). It's easy to saw, drill, and sand down.
By Gordius on Jul 19, 2020, 8:48 AM
Does the wood-plastic composite take paint well as wood does?
By Tioh on Jul 19, 2020, 5:23 PM
Acrylic paints stick to it without primer.
By Chris on Oct 21, 2020, 1:43 PM
The 3d printer model looks terrific.
An issue I would have with using plastic wood would be expense. It isn't all that cheap.
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