I'm grieving! Oh man... the last week has been such a nightmare. As I was making the mold of Moe (which I still have) I realized my brilliant plan of keeping it simple but slightly rough was actually slightly naive and stupid. The bulges of his shoes / head / nose / bowtie etc, protrude into the mold and create a deeper pocket for the foam to rip as you take the puppet out. The arms were too skinny to get a nice surround of foam around the wires, the eyes / buttons did come out very nicely though. The solution would be to just slice off the head and use a body, stick a sculpey baked head on it and start painting... but the arms are giving me an immense amount of trouble.
It's sad to say but I think I have to scrap Moe.
I worked 4 days straight from the mold making to taking the final baking of foam and I gotta say it's rough to come out of all of this without something to animate. However, I didn't come out of it empty handed. I learned everything I needed to fix for the next design and one of the most important things I've gotten a hang of is MIXING THE FOAM.
My goodness. That foam just hates me. My sister and I made half-batches (half the recommended 150 grams) and the mixture was just SO SENSITIVE to everything. I ended up using 1/3rd of the gelling agent and cutting down the refining time... it was just a mess. It took 4 batches until we got something at least USEABLE. But you know, it's been said and done - foaming takes time to get used to. So I can't be angry at it.
To top it off, in the middle of all this I've gotten so sick that I've been in bed for the last 3 days doing absolutely nothing, until last night. Quite a rollercoaster and I don't think I could have even gotten through it the first time if my sister hadn't been there helping me. So to pay a tribute to her I designed a very dorky version (not much difference to the real thing) of her as a kid. I call her Vanni. I made a head out of sculpey and cheated the eyes to where she's forever wearing these big nerdy glasses. It's nothing fancy, just a replacement mouth head without other expression changes... I may regret not giving room for eyebrows but we'll see. Can always make another :)
I'll post pictures next time around, my illness is finally fading away and come tomorrow I'll be making another, much smaller, much simpler mold. Same set, same equipment, just different character for the first film test. Can't let anything bog ya down! Till next time!