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Stop Motion: Jim Davidson, Brett Foxwell, Animation Toolkit, & Other

March 26, 2011

I am usually behind with inquires to SMW but I do eventually read them all but do not always have time to reply to everyone (unless you’re desperate & remind me). Anyway, some stuff from my email inbox, past notes, etc. …..

Jim Davidson – Jim is a skilled modelmaker with good experience in the special effects biz. His personal passion looks like Stop Motion (good choice, BTW :mrgreen: ) He is starting to do some some fully finished replica re-creations of iconic Stop Motion puppets complete with all the taxidermy work …. external skin and/or fur, hair, etc. The replica puppets also have fully jointed armatures inside them. Jim is in the Southern California area, so any of you Independent ‘Suits’ (aka producers, studios, directors, etc.) looking for someone very qualified, Jim is ‘the man’ you might consider. Check out Fantamation Studio.


Brett Foxwell - I received an inquiry last year from him but I quickly skimmed a lot of emails and I must have forgotten to bookmark his. I believe he recently moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. He seems to have transitioned from work doing ‘mechanical engineering’ and has pursued the creative arts which includes Stop Motion. He fabricates these Steam Punk-esque armatures and they look very cool. Take a look at the T-Rex in clip below. Kind of high-techy Brothers Quay? (look at miniature sets too) I do not know how the he made some of his armatures especially a few of those unique jointing designs. I am guessing maybe some experience at the CNC Machining process. His work is finessed with good artistic stylization design aesthetics. Brett recently emailed me again and this time, I did reply but I have not heard back (maybe my email lost in his spam folder :o ) BFphoto

Big D, the Tyranosaur from bfophoto on Vimeo.


Animation Toolkit - A speciality stop motion supplier in the UK making its debut. A very comprehensive offering of materials and supplies for the Stop Motionists. You can tell that Westley Wood, the person behind this has experience in Stop Motion and knows exactly what the hard core Stop Motion practitioner needs. The website does not seem to be complete yet because it just opened. I would offer Westly maybe a few tips: Because your company is in the UK, perhaps more detail on how to order products especially for international customers. Make it easy for them about payment methods/options. Your prices & shopping cart check-out are in British pounds. Also, maybe include a link to an online monetary exchange converter. Animation Toolkit


Other - I usually do not post general animation festivals. This is a Stop Motion & Special FX emphasis online presence, however the person behind this festival, Sven Bonnichsen, is a Stop Motion enthusiast & practitoner and so, I will make an exception this time only! ;) It is the first time premiere of the Northwest Animation Film Festival. It will be accepting all forms & styles of Animation. You can STILL ENTER by MAY 1. Go to NW Animation Film Festival for all the info.

Topics: Miniatures - Models - Puppets, Stop Motion, Stop Motion Armatures | 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Stop Motion: Jim Davidson, Brett Foxwell, Animation Toolkit, & Other”

  1. L.I.O. says:

    @Adam – Ron Cole might be one to inquire about skull construction or general puppet fabrication. His website with more information RON COLE ART

    Stop Motion Works

  2. Adam High says:

    Dear Stop-Motion Works:

    I had recently purchased a fine-crafted ball & socket armature (machined/tooled of 6061 aircraft aluminum/mild-steel rod/bearings) I’m curious to know if you can create a resin skull & jaw for this armature. This armature stands approx. 18″ and depicts the mighty “KING KONG.” Armature professionally designed by Tom Brierton. A beautiful piece. Thank you for your consideration.
    Kind regards, Adam High

  3. Brett’s work is great. Very inspirational. Another unknown name in stopmotion just came to my attention, John Frame. http://johnframesculpture.com/film
    very much in the Quay/Dave Mckean style.

  4. Just wanted to endorse Westley Wood and his products. Ive been building stop motion puppets for 20 years and have used Westleys products on a number of projects and I am thrilled to see him developing his own joints. Really opens up options for independent puppet builders.

  5. L.I.O. says:

    One thing, if you go to metric sizing of ball joints, you cannot mix-up inch with metric. Example, 6 millimeters = 0.236 decimal. A 1/4″ inch ball is .250 decimal inch. You can see the the size difference. So a 6mm ball in 1/4″ socket and visa versa, will not theoretically work, although it can sometimes, the larger ball will seat nearer the top edge of the smaller socket so it would work similar to open hole socket principle.

  6. Dave Hettmer says:

    Animation Toolkit carries double ball joints from John Wright. If I remember correctly, McKinnon & Saunders farms some work out to John’s shop. The balls are drilled and you’re expected to solder rather than screw them in. No pictures of the product – only drawings – but I suspect they’re machined. A 6mm joint (~1/4″ to us Yanks) is about $30. I suspect CNC is involved, and a boatload of parts are made in one session.

    On the other hand, Animation Supplies with its cast (presumably zinc based pot metal) plates are $13.

    So if you’re in the UK it seems like you have a good range of options for the build-from-components approach.


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