2.09.2007

Foamy Pre-Jenny

I made my first Jenny mold almost a year ago after sculpting her head and torso. I knew virtually nothing about puppet construction back then and realized soon enough that this mold wouldnt cut it. So I started sculpting what I dubbed 'Jenny 2', still in-progress. My plan is to mold the Jenny 2 body, cast in foam latex, and use replaceable foam heads cast from the first Jenny mold. I thought I'd resculpt the head, so Jenny 2 would be all in one piece, but she wouldn't fit in my toaster oven, so I'll have to do the head separately.
Today I took the first mold and tried casting her in foam. The mold is just basic plaster of paris and I wasn't sure if it would hold up, so I made a few solid rubber latex heads first, just in case. The Jenny head you've been seeing was cast in solid rubber latex, very heavy but not completely unusable.
I followed the same GM Foam formula as last time, the 'textbook' measurements and times for mixing, and had a second successful foam run. It was warm today, and I did notice the foam getting thicker, faster. I was sure it was going to gel in the mixing bowl but it didn't. It was actually so thick by the end of the cycle that the bowl wouldn't turn on its own, I had to manually spin it.
The plaster mold suffered a few cracks, none interfering with the head, so I think I'll do some repairs and try a second foam casting of the head. This one didn't turn out so great....


I had so many air bubbles in the Tree Beast that I overcompensated when pouring the latex into the mold this time. I hardly pushed the foam around at all, just tapped on the bottom of the mold, and as a result she has big holes in her cheeks, and her lips & nose didn't cast. Fewer tiny air bubbles though :)


I am very excited by the way she feels and moves in foam latex, I think the Jenny 2 body will be perfect. Oh...did I mention that this foamy test Jenny has a test armature inside? Watch for test clips soon.....

7 comments:

jriggity said...

swwwweeet!

always thrilling to get a new foam out of the oven.

jriggity

Sven Bonnichsen said...

Sweet! So exciting!!

More unsolicited thoughts: Have you considered doing just the head in resin?

herself said...

Swah-heat! Rock it!

Hila said...

Looks great, Jeffrey.
Can't wait for the test clips, tee hee.

Ubatuber said...

I think you've suggested resin before but I've never worked with the stuff.....Percys head is resin, yes? I think foam is the way to go here, with the puppet being mostly nude I'm worried about matching textures etc, between the head and body, but if I can't get a decent foam head out of the mold I'll definitely look into it...thanks again for the unsolicited thoughts, I look forward to them :)

Ubatuber said...

Oh, a little side note I forgot to add in the post....this original mold had pour holes in the back and back of the head, which I filled in using epoxy putty.....interestingly, no skin formed on the puppet where the foam was exposed to the putty, it just looks like the inside of a nerf football on those two spots, and the skin is sort of cracked and farkled around the edge of the spot....very zombie-ish, could be a cool casting technique to use in a more undead character........can something be MORE undead? :)

Sven Bonnichsen said...

Percy's head is Super Sculpey. The weight was a big problem -- I had to hollow it out, and managed to (predictably) gauge myself bloody in the process.

With resin you can add glass microspheres to make the casting lighter -- and you can even do a hollow head. I'm really close to trying one of those myself now.

I'm liking what I'm seeing with the foam head as you're getting it painted. A resin head would, true, present a slight problem in terms of hiding the neck interface -- although most of the time you're probably looking at her face on, and not seeing the base of the skull. In terms of texturing, I'd've thought the paint job would take care of that pretty well.

What made me think of resin (besides that it's my on my own current radar) is that you already seem to be dealing with the head separately from the body. Might have some advantages in terms of attaching hair, too, giving you a solid base that doesn't squish while you're trying to animate the dangly bits.