Thursday, November 24, 2005

Project Experiment

Yes, the puppet you see is of Darth Maul from the Star Wars Trilogy. No I will not be selling him (or any other character that I do not own copyrights for). He is a part of an experiment that I have undertaken for fun. A while back and new company called popped up on my radar.

The company offers professional quality puppet patterns with easy to follow instructions. I liked the look of the puppets and I thought it would be a good idea to buy a pattern or two and try them out.

But how should I use them? I enjoy building my own puppets and creating my own paterns, so I knew that I wouldn't be using the patterns to make puppets to sell. I was struck with an idea. Make Star Wars characters for my own enjoyment.

I have recently received a few Star Wars gifts (video games and DVDs) and I became preoccupied with the Star Wars universe. It seemed only natural for me to try to use these patterns to make some of my favourtie Star Wars characters.

Since Project only has three puppet patterns currently, it offered me enough of a challenge to change these basic patterns in to identifiable characters.

Here is my first attemt. Darth Maul. I used the Rotondo pattern and made a few interior design changes. I lined the inside with foam and fabric to create a nicely fitted glove for the hand. The puppet has amazing control and comfort.

I also decided to not use reticulated foam (which is propably one of the best materials you can use for these puppets) and I used basic poly foam. Why you ask? Well two reasons. First, I find working with poly foam more difficult to hide errors and thus more challenging. And second, I know most people starting out may not have access to the reticulated foam (although Project does sell it here) and I wanted to show people what can be done with basic materials like poly foam.

I simply added plastic dome eyes, used electrical tape for the pupils. I used acrylic paint for the painted details and ployester fleece for the costume. Other than that, I just followed the instructions.

I am very pleased with these puppet patterns. I would recommend them to anyone. Needless to say there will be more Star Wars puppet characters coming (as soon as I have more time to build).

"May the Force Be With You".


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