Hi everyone!

I hope this topic hasen´t been discussed already, but here I go. I am having some  trouble trying to fit my head armature into the mold to then cast it in silicone. I don´t know wy but it always goes a couple of milimiters off, and this gives me a very hard time animating the face. Also sometimes, the wire shows outside the silicone, so that is no use.... Please, I need some help!!!

Thank you!

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You should probably build removable extensions from your armatures hans, and feet that go into key holes in your mould, that should keep the armature from shifting around.

I always had problems trying to place the armature exactly right when it's only a head, especially with foam latex.  Once I filled the front half with foam I couldn't see where the armature was going.  Sometimes the mouth wire would be right on the surface, sometimes both loops ended up in the lower jaw with nothing in the upper jaw...  

But for silicone heads I came up with a removable block to locate the armature perfectly.  You can see how it works here:

With a whole body foam puppet I usually found the armature would go into the right place, except sometimes the finger wires wouldn't reach to the ends of the fingers. That's what happened with my first silicone body, so for the second one, I did exactly what Production of the Mind is suggesting. I put one longer wire (1mm diameter) in each finger.  I drilled holes in the mould, just past the finger tips, so I could put the long wires in the holes.  Once I had painted a couple of layers of skin in the mould, I placed the armature in it with the wires locsting the fingers, put the halves together, and poured the silicone in. After the cast was removed I trimmed off the extra wire.   I also had a mould piece under the feet, with holes for tiedowns, to locate the rest of the body.  The armature sits where it should in the puppet.

A pity about the other problems, caused mainly by the fact that it's a fat sumo wrestler - it's too heavy and too resistant to bending for the amount of wire in the armature.  And half of the silicone paint stuck, and half is peeling off like really bad sunburn... I think this one will be demoted to background character and I'll have to cast it again.  (I can't post a photo because it's for a client.)

So far I'm happy with my silicone heads, but I still have a few things to sort out before I dare to post a tutorial on silicone bodies.

Thank you both,very much ! Mainly I only have the problem with the head. I have tried a very similar sistem as you do, Nick in your amazing video up here, but still, the eyebrows never fall exactly where I want them.... I suppose It´s just a matter of keep trying and finding my way through it. Thank you!

Nick - I have watched this video (and your others) several times and find them SO helpful. Thanks for de-mystifying the process.

StopmoNick said:

I always had problems trying to place the armature exactly right when it's only a head, especially with foam latex.  Once I filled the front half with foam I couldn't see where the armature was going.  Sometimes the mouth wire would be right on the surface, sometimes both loops ended up in the lower jaw with nothing in the upper jaw...  

But for silicone heads I came up with a removable block to locate the armature perfectly.  You can see how it works here:

With a whole body foam puppet I usually found the armature would go into the right place, except sometimes the finger wires wouldn't reach to the ends of the fingers. That's what happened with my first silicone body, so for the second one, I did exactly what Production of the Mind is suggesting. I put one longer wire (1mm diameter) in each finger.  I drilled holes in the mould, just past the finger tips, so I could put the long wires in the holes.  Once I had painted a couple of layers of skin in the mould, I placed the armature in it with the wires locsting the fingers, put the halves together, and poured the silicone in. After the cast was removed I trimmed off the extra wire.   I also had a mould piece under the feet, with holes for tiedowns, to locate the rest of the body.  The armature sits where it should in the puppet.

A pity about the other problems, caused mainly by the fact that it's a fat sumo wrestler - it's too heavy and too resistant to bending for the amount of wire in the armature.  And half of the silicone paint stuck, and half is peeling off like really bad sunburn... I think this one will be demoted to background character and I'll have to cast it again.  (I can't post a photo because it's for a client.)

So far I'm happy with my silicone heads, but I still have a few things to sort out before I dare to post a tutorial on silicone bodies.

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