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I saw a tutorial by Justin Rasch on how he makes puppets (fantastic animator, check his stuff out by the way), and there’s just something that I’m not understanding. When he sculpts his puppets, you can clearly see that the puppet is tied down into the wooden base, but by the time he gets into mold making, it’s no longer on the base. Can you design your sculpt to be removable? Do other people do this? I secured my sculpt’s armature into the wooden base by making a loop and drilling a nail through I that loop. Please let me know if there are any other techniques. What I’m thinking about doing is removing my sculpt from its base and putting a clay base with tubes leading out off the mold, so that it allows me to stick in screws for the tie downs



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Usually I sculpt on a temporary wire armature, and make the final armature after the mould is made.  So in that case, I usually have a couple of 3mm (1/8th") holes for each foot drilled in the base board, and poke the leg wires into the holes.  It is easy to just lift the sculpt off the board.  A temp armature gives me more freedom when sculpting, there is less likely to be a block in the way when I want to carve the clay in deeper.  Also, no plasticine residue on the final armature.

When I do sculpt over an animatable armature, I have a base board that is raised off the bench with a strip of wood each side, so I can fit one of my tiedown bolts underneath.  The feet have tiedowns built in, same principle as the nut inside the wire foot loop that you use.  (I have used that method, but usually go with an aluminium foot block. I can tap a threaded hole in it, or cut a slot for my "T and Slot" tiedown method.) So, again, I can undo the tiedowns and take the sculpt off the base.

In many cases I leave the base on when making the front and back pieces of the mould.  That means the bottom of the foot has no mould, I just clamp a board onto the bottom when casting, so the feet will be flat on the bottom with no detail.  But for most characters they are usually not seen.  If I do need detailing for the soles of the feet, there is a mould piece for the bottoms of the feet, and I can fit tiedowns in through a hole just like you have.

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