Dinosaurs: From the Inside Out!

BUILD-UP Puppet Method: An easy alternative to molding & foam latex body casting

By Kenneth Brilliant
Cinemagic #21, 1983


1. The stegosaurus armature. The body and head are balsa wood and the limbs, neck, and tail are aluminum armature wire.



2 & 3. The build-up process begins. Thin strips of foam rubber are wrapped around the armature and glued in place with liquid latex or other kinds of adhesives such as contact cement, barge cement, pros-aide.
4. By stretching and gluing different size pieces of foam rubber onto the model, the muscles are formed. During this stage, much experimentation is needed to get the desired muscular effect.

5. To make the skin texture, small balls of plasticene (oil based clay) are flattened onto a piece of plexiglass (or any smooth flat surface). Once the sculpture is complete, a clay wall is built-up around the edges of sculpt, to contain the gypsum (plaster, hydrocal, ultra-cal, etc.) for the mold.
6. After the gypsum mold has set & dried, gently pry it away from the skin clay scupture and clean out any remaining clay. As pictured on right, this is the mold in which you will use to make your latex skins.
7. Pour & brush in a little liquid latex into the mold and spread it evenly around to capture details (avoiding air bubbles). You may need to do a few latex layers. Let each layer dry (hairdryer helps quicken the drying). After the drying of final latex layer, before peeling the skin away from mold, powder the back surface of skin. This prevents the latex skin from sticking to itself. Photo at left shows skins.
8. For gluing skin texture sheets onto the model, use liquid latex which is also used to smooth over the seams. You also use cotton in any large gaps or irregularities and use latex to smooth that over. The head is built up using tissues and liquid latex.
9. The completed model. The plates are carved out of balsa wood and applied with Super Glue. The spikes on the tail and the toenails are made from baked polymer clay. After all these things are applied to the model, it is painted using acrylic paint mixed with liquid latex or one of the foam latex paints such as PAX mix.

(c) K. Brilliant 1983   BRILLIANT CREATIONS

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