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Hello everyone,

I am making anew puppet. one of the most important parts of it is to have a breathing belly. do you have any recommendations in which direction I should go? should I use a balloon or build a special mechanism? does anyone have experience with it?

thank you very much!

Gali

 

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I would go with a mechanical approach  what materials and skills do you have a can give you advice with what you can work with
 

I tried a rubber balloon, but got air leakage so it didn't hold the same level of inflation for long enough.  So I increased pressure to compensate for leakage, and turned up pressure by a smidgeon when I wanted to increase size by a step.  It was too difficult to control and do small increments in a consistent way, so not a success.  But Ray Harryhausen did it for the Ymir so it can be done.   Next, I tried a breathing chest mechanism, which worked.  Tools needed - saw to cut aluminium (I used a bandsaw).  Drill - drill press is best, but hand drill ok.  Thread tap.  File or belt sander to smooth off corners.  Didn't use lathe or milling machine.  Materials - aluminium 6 or 7mm thick, and a thin piece.  bolt, a couple of thin nuts to fit.  epoxy adhesive.  A couple of pieces of steel rod as guides to slide in holes, so the whole thing doesn't rotate.  A couple of small screws, and matching tap.  Mine looks pretty rough compared to Greyguy's precision mechanics, but it does the job.  I might struggle to do it on a smaller scale, the gorilla was 13" tall and bulky, so plenty of room in there.  It can be seen working here - I shot a 10 second video of the old puppet breathing just before stripping the latex off, and a shot of the bare mechanism working:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWCp0Y9E4xw

Wow thats great information! thank you very very much for the detailed information and for the video link!

StopmoNick said:

I tried a rubber balloon, but got air leakage so it didn't hold the same level of inflation for long enough.  So I increased pressure to compensate for leakage, and turned up pressure by a smidgeon when I wanted to increase size by a step.  It was too difficult to control and do small increments in a consistent way, so not a success.  But Ray Harryhausen did it for the Ymir so it can be done.   Next, I tried a breathing chest mechanism, which worked.  Tools needed - saw to cut aluminium (I used a bandsaw).  Drill - drill press is best, but hand drill ok.  Thread tap.  File or belt sander to smooth off corners.  Didn't use lathe or milling machine.  Materials - aluminium 6 or 7mm thick, and a thin piece.  bolt, a couple of thin nuts to fit.  epoxy adhesive.  A couple of pieces of steel rod as guides to slide in holes, so the whole thing doesn't rotate.  A couple of small screws, and matching tap.  Mine looks pretty rough compared to Greyguy's precision mechanics, but it does the job.  I might struggle to do it on a smaller scale, the gorilla was 13" tall and bulky, so plenty of room in there.  It can be seen working here - I shot a 10 second video of the old puppet breathing just before stripping the latex off, and a shot of the bare mechanism working:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWCp0Y9E4xw

Yes I also think the mechanical approach is what I would like to go with. I have skills for working with different kind of metals and experience as a model maker. I don't have any machines with me at this moment, only manual tools. It would be great to get some tips on how to proceed.. thank you very very much and all the best Gali 

Greyguy said:

I would go with a mechanical approach  what materials and skills do you have a can give you advice with what you can work with
 

I would go with Nicks approach as it is basically what I would do with limited material

There are of other geometries to do but this works good

great! thank you!

Greyguy said:

I would go with Nicks approach as it is basically what I would do with limited material

There are of other geometries to do but this works good

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