Monday, September 14, 2009

Tonic finished!!!

Tonic finished

Another puppet dressed and DONE!!!!

Don't dip it, drip it!

I've found there's no need to fill a tall jar with latex and dip hands/arms or whatever.... I bought this Latex Paint Base from with handy dandy applicator tip... turns out Latex Paint Base is actually just very thin liquid latex with no added filler... same as Balloon Rubber. Just the stuff for putting 6 or 7 coats on for puppetskin. Also, doing it this way you don't get as much of the webbing between the fingers that needs to be constantly poked away. Just gotta watch those fingertip drips and shake them off or touch them with something to make the drips fall away before they dry.


Sorry this is a bit out of focus. But you can see I've added drops of latex for knuckles. I only have very thin runny latex (Latex Paint Base from Monstermakers) and really thick latex (Foam Latex base), and neither was suitable for this - so I mixed them together. The mellow blend worked beautifully!!

More knuckles

I've added more detailing.... tiny knuckles on the fingers, plus tendons drawn over the backs of the handses.

Tonic Hands Painted

PAX painted using Monstermaker's No-Tac acrylic adhesive (hey Monstermakers, when does my check get here?) mixed with acrylic paint. An undercoat of raw umber followed by a mix of raw umber and white stippled on with a bit of paper towel, finally followed by a thin glaze of more raw umber. Then powdered with some corn starch to kill the (supposedly non-existant) tack and shine. It comes pretty close to matching the paint job on the head I think.

Looking at it now, most of the knuckles are too subtle... only the pinky knuckle on his right hand is big enough (and I thought that one was too big!). Those nasty gnarly arms will luckily be hidden under the sleeves.


Just wanted to add a note here for future reference.... after a day or so the No-Tac adhesive dried with NO TAC!!! My other puppets' arms have a tendency to stick to anything they touch... ESPECIALLY each other!!! With the result that, when I detach them, sometimes big chunks of painted skin come off... not good!!! Plus dirt likes to stick to them. But the hands I made for Tonic (first time I've used the no-tac adhesive) don't feel AT ALL sticky! I wonder if that means I don't even need to powder the anymore? Need to do a test....


Jessica Koppe said...

Well done, Mike, very well done!

I find the hands suiting well to his head, it all looks homogeneously to me. I'm looking forward to see him becoming alive!

Did you have any experiences with the latex aging? I once used dripping latex and it became darker and darker because it's an organic material.
When I saw your knuckels getting smaller by drying, I remembered this and was wondering if they'd shrink some more? Or is there a point when it doesn't do it any more?

Puppetry Animation Enthusiast said...

Ack! Looking so perfect, Mike! I've been following the progress on your Flickr page but seeing it documented here is so exciting. Fine Art.

Thanks for Paint base tip!

Yaz said...

Tonic is looking amazing Mike!! A real Catatonic Drunk. I like the head Scott Radke sculpted for you and how you perfectly made the body matching it. Thanks for posting details about covering the hands with liquid latex. I made couple hands before but have not done my main puppet's hands yet. So, this post will be helpful making tiny knuckles and such.

Darkstrider said...

Thank you all very much!!! Shelley... Puppetry Animation Enthusiast? There must be a story behind this....

Jessica... the knuckles didn't actually shrink, I just didn't make them big enough. The white latex going on over the yellower dry latex made it hard to see what I was doing. Well, that and I wasn't sure if I wanted the knuckles to be subtle or bold. After it was all painted I could finally see it clearly, and I like the big knobby knuckle best, at least for this type of puppet. Heh... about the time I finish the last puppet for this film I'll have figured out how to make them!

Yes, latex does tend to keep aging and get darker, and it hardens as well, gradually becoming less flexible. After a few years (or even less) it will actually get brittle and crumbly. Apparently you can 'vulcanize' it to stop this, by heating it. I've heard the way is to immerse a finished puppet in boiling water.. but Im not going to do THAT!!! I think that would do far more damage than gradual darkening and loss of flexibility! These guys only need to make it through the shoot, then they get retired anyway.

I think latex does slightly shrink as it dries though, and I KNOW it does if you dry it with heat.

StopmoNick said...

Hooray, a finished puppet!
(I can't believe it - an update at Darkmatters, and nothing happening over at Halfland!)
I find my knuckle-drops do shrink and flatten out as they dry, and often need a second drop.

Great job on the jacket - those collars and lapels are hard to sew so they don't get thick and stick out, so maybe your method of building the costume on the puppet is the best way.
On this puppet the gnarly arms look fine. I've been trying to do a girl-puppet somewhat in the Coraline style for someone and mine came out just as gnarly, which on her was a disaster. But Tonic is just perfect!

Who's up next to graduate from the Finishing School?

Darkstrider said...

My costumes work best when I don't sew at all... everything is just done with Fabri-Tac glue. It can get messy though... I had a couple of overspills right on his jacket... right where they're clearly visible.

From here on in I'm not doing them one after the other... I'm going to go assembly-line style. No telling who will get done next, but Tonic has the most complicated wardrobe (shirt, tie AND jacket!), so they should go faster now.

Dan Metalmadcat said...

m)_ dude you are killing me, these awesomely awesasemely!! awesome

m_) i cant even write damn..

jriggity said...

Great pic of a finished puppet!

arms look like a fine match to me as well.


emmyymme said...

He looks amazing! Adorable but suited to the bar at the same time. Congrats!

Pram said...

"I've found there's no need to fill a tall jar with latex and dip hands/arms or whatever.... I bought this Latex Paint Base from with handy dandy applicator tip"


I always hoped liquid latex would arrive in nozzle form. Would it be possible to put some of that in a spray bottle (maybe thinned down a little first)? I'm sticking with clay, but it's great to see all the new developments in other styles of stop motion.