Step 6: Alligator Head

We decided to become creative and take our chances with the alligator head. Against JR's advice, I decided to build the head rather than using a stuffed toy. I built a wire frame of the head using a 14 gauge electrical wire. My son wrapped the wire frame with plaster wrap from the craft store. The plaster wraps are like these 2-3" wide band-aid type cheesecloth, which has a pre-applied layer of plaster of Paris. When wet the wrap becomes very soft. When the wire skeleton was covered with these wraps and dried, it became hard and gave a definitive shape to the alligator head. To make further shapes, we used a product called, Celluclay (instant papier mache). This stuff comes dried like paper dust. You add water and mix it like dough. It is great to make three-dimensional shapes. Thanks to all the folks at the rec.models.scale newsgroup, who contributed with many creative ideas to achieve the same result. I would highly recommend the book, 'Make Something Ugly for a change' by Dan Reeder for some great ideas. We used different shades of green to paint the head after it was thoroughly dried. Once the colors were dried we sprayed the head with gloss glaze, also from the crafts store.
<p>Hey, thanks man! Helped me get inspired for a full character, and you made it really easy! Great job!</p>
Thank you for the kind comments. Good luck with your project!
I like the idea and the implementation. The Intro was way too long and actually told the whole Instructable while the steps were too short and vague. It would have been nice to split up the Intro into the steps and include more detail on the construction. The video was okay, but I'd have sent the kids to another room. They were very distracting from the intent of the video.
To be fair, when the video was filmed, some 4 years ago, I doubt kabira had heard of Instructables. It's lucky he filmed that stage at all!
Thanks Vegas. Good tips. I have implemented them.
Nice project... What is controlling the blower? I am unable to view the video, Does the blower start when the mouth is open? Didnt see anything in the electrical diagram about that. I am planning on building something similar for halloween... thinking about using a vaporizor/humidifier to push out moist breath...perhaps I can add something to the water for stinky Dino breath... Also for other people interested, you can get similar motion sensors that are used for alarm systems that use 12 to 14 volt dc power... this way you can use batteries and make it more portable.
Thanks for the comments. The blower motor is connected to the same circuit as the main jaw opening motor. The only difference is that blower motor does not change direction. Good luck with the Halloween project. I looked around for 12V motion sensor circuit. There were a few available, but were expensive compared to the one I used from Home Depot ($14).
Would you mind explaining what these components are please? They look very nice but if someone were to wish to replicate the finished product they wouldn't know what the parts they need to get are.
Ah, very well then. Thank you.

About This Instructable




Bio: I am an electrical engineer by education and a software developer by profession. I am like building electro-mechanical models. I also like grilling and barbecuing ... More »
More by kabira:Build a beefy work table for under $50 Make delicious pastrami with a simple recipe Keep your basement dry with stacked sump pumps 
Add instructable to: