Introduction: Building a Beastie Called Biscuit: a Puppet Build.
Hello Instuctables! I received such wonderful feedback from all of you with my very first puppet building post! Thank you! So, here is a more detailed look at another puppet build .
Step 1: The Idea
This is the creation of “Biscuit” a puppet monster idea I had. There is a rather famous blue furry monster puppet that suffers from Nystagmus Eye Disorder and has an eating fetish for baked goods. He normally ingests vast quantities of food while saying “Nom, Nom, Nom.” Not trying to infringe on any copyrights here, but you probably know of what puppet I am speaking about.
I wanted to do my own “creepy” version of this type of creature. So, I came up with the idea of “The Biscuit Beastie”
I started with a concept sketch.
Step 2: The EYES Have It
I’ve always enjoyed making eyes for my puppet characters. I also like trying different ways to create them. For Biscuit’s eyes, I went though my supplies and selected some plastic white “blanks” that I had cast a few years ago.
I normally paint the pupils from scratch, but this time I used a technique I haven’t tried in a while. I picked out some plastic coloured gemstones that you can get at most craft stores. I used a dremmel to carve out the black pupil and I used an exact-o blade to scratch in the texture of the pupil from behind.
I then inlayed the gemstone into the white blank and epoxy glued them together.
I coated the whole eye with epoxy to give it a natural “wet” look. I also added purple nylon filaments around the edges of the eyes for a bit of a “blood shot” look.
Step 3: The Mouth
I’ve built puppets for many years, so I have an inventory of casts and molds that I can use. I picked out a medium sized mouth mould and cast it in red latex. I took this approach to mix in more “realistic” elements to this fantasy puppet character.
I adhered the mouth shape to a heavy duty cotton sleeve. Essentially it is a sock, hence this could be called an elaborate sock puppet.
Step 4: Foam Skull
Because I intended Biscuit to be a “one of a kind” puppet, I wasn’t concerned with sculpting a skull that I could cast and re-use for other projects.
For his skull, I used high density foam to shape his eye sockets, jaw and nose bridge shape. I filled out his cheeks with Scott foam.
For his teeth, I used some Halloween costume false teeth. A friend of mine who owned a costume rental outlet that had closed and I was given most of her inventory. So, I had a box full of these vinyl dentures to use.
For the body core base, I used more high density foam to construct a simple barrel chest.
Step 5: Body Building
I attached his head to the body base and continued to fill out his shape. I used a variety of Scott foam thicknesses to plump him up.
I used thin foam around his neck and gullet so that his chin would still flex and pucker when he was puppeteered.
I fashioned a nose for him using Sculpey “Flex”. A polymer clay that has flexible qualities when cured. Again, know this was a “one-off” puppet, I did this instead of making a master sculpt out of clay, casting it and molding it out of latex.
I placed soft leather pads on the inside of the eye sockets and I coated the teeth with epoxy to add to their strength as well as give them a glossy finish.
Step 6: Now That's Handy
The hands used a simple wire frame covered with high density foam.
The foam was carved and shaped into fingers that could be bent and are strong enough to “grasp” light objects.
I added claws to the fingers with epoxy putty.
Step 7: Gimme Some Skin!
His feet were built the same way as the hands. I finished off his claws by painting them and coating them in epoxy.
I completed the body assembly using a mixture of high density foam, Scott foam, Pink Styrofoam. Depending on how flexible certain parts of his anatomy needed to be, I used a different material.
Then it was time to start putting on his skin. I used Antron “muppet” fleece and carefully glued and stitched that all into place.
Step 8: Stitching Him Up.
The longest part of the process was stitching the fleece skin into place. There are many invisible seams so that the fleece is sung against all the curves and corners of Biscuit’s anatomy. But, you can see how all that extra work helps to hide any rough spots on the foam under structure and it blends all his “bits” together.
Step 9: A Bit O Fur...
Some bits of long fur to finish up his look….
Step 10: Some Finishing Details
A little bit of airbrushing to blend in his colours…