Sunday, December 30, 2007

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! We celebrated the birth of our Savior here at home. It turns out my wife didn't sprain her knee, she broke her leg! The hospital sent her home saying she was alright and told her to visit an orthopedic doctor.

He gave her a shot of cortisone and told her she'd feel better in a week. Three days later her leg was swollen and she was in pain. Of course the doctor was on vacation so Darlene suffered until after the holiday. He then took an MRI and found she had split the large bone in her calve. I don't know why doctors are paid so much when they constantly misdiagnose problems.

She is now in a leg cast and has to have someone with her to help her up and down. My granddaughter is here in the early evening until she goes to bed and I am with her all day until I go to work. Needless to say, figure making is on the back burner.

I did complete Bob's lower jaw. I fit it by building out the sides and grinding it on a belt sander until it fit.

I then drill a hole through the jaw and mount a hollow brass tube through it. I slide a brass rod into the tube and cut it to the width of it's placement inside the head.

When the jaw is finished, put it in the head where it goes and build up some epoxy sculpt under the brass rod leaving the indentation of the rod in the putty. Take the mouth out and wait for it to dry.

While it dries, you can sculpt out the inside of the mouth. Teeth and tongue for a realistic look.

I drilled holes in the head for his eyebrows which I will install next week along with his eyes. I

I put a coat of paint on the head to find any touching up needed. So instead of Bob Albino, he is starting to look like Bob Albano.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Building Bob V

After sanding Bob's face, I cut out the eyeholes and the mouth slot. It is very important to make sure your lines are straight for the mouth and the distance between the top and the bottom is the same width. Otherwise the mouth won't fit well.

I then glue the bottom part of the head back on to the face plate, leaving the back of the head off to add the mechanics later on. I use string or rubber bands to hold the head together while it is drying. I use Gorilla glue to attach the pieces.
together. Then I build up the cup around the mouth piece I removed. Some people use wood for the sides of the mouth because it is flush and will be more forgiving with the fit. I just make it out of magic sculpt and then use a belt sander to make the sides flush. I always build out wide so I can take off to make a good fit.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Building Bob IV

I woke up at 1:00 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. I decided to work on Bob's facial features. Bob e-mailed me a picture (I asked for a side view also but he didn't have any on hand so I punted!) I took the

I sat down in front of my computer with a glob of epoxy sculpt and started working. Here is the result of the rough out.
I will fill in where needed and smooth out the features once it dries. Then I will cut out the eye holes and the mouth.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Building Bob III

It's been almost two weeks since my last post. My wife and I were getting ready to take my father out for his 79th birthday and she caught her foot under the rug and fell hard. She damaged the meniscus in her knee and possibly tore a ligament. I have been spending all my time with her. She is unable to walk.

I did start Bob's head this weekend. What I do is take a hat mannequin and cover it with tin foil.

I have about five different versions of them for different styles. Bob has medium smooth features. He has no outstanding features like a large nose or big chin. Good for him, deefeecult for me (o;

When making a caricature, it is easier when there are outstanding features. When there aren't, the head has to really resemble the photo or the whole idea is lost.

After I cover it in tin foil, I use one of two mediums, either magic sculpt or paper clay. In this instant I am using magic sculpt. ( I ran out of paper clay)

Paper clay is much easier to work with and requires little if any sanding when finished. Magic sculpt is a bear to sand and takes quite awhile just to get ridges smooth.

After i cover the head, i let is sit for about thirty minutes and then I cut the head in half right on the hat mannequin and run the blade across the back of the head also. I can then remove it from it's armature to do the finished work when it dries. That's where I am so far.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Building Bob II

I attach a quilted cover to the body by wrapping it around, trimming at the top and the bottom. I leave enough on the bottom to fold under.

I then roll two tubes of filler and attach them around the neck hole. I staple them into a circle and then glue underneath them to hold in place. I use Fabri-Tac. It is the best glue on the market in my opinion and can be bought in just about any hobby or fabric store.

I then cover the top with fleece. I pull it tight around the top and staple it in place in the front and glue it to the back of the top.. I then cut a small hole in the top and pull at it to open it to about an 1 3/4 inches. Theres his body cavity.

Now, I cut two pieces of cloth for arms and two for legs. I made a pattern for those and cut them down as needed. I didn't have a pattern at first, but my wife was frustrated with me constantly asking her "do these look good?"

For the legs, I fold the cloth in half and trace the pattern. I cut it out at the opened end and stitch it closed, leaving an opening at the top of the legs to stuff it.

I do the same thing for the arms (with a pattern) and leave both ends open.

I then turn them inside out and stuff them. I attach the hands on one side by folding an inside colloar on the arm sleeve and sliding the hand into it. I run a bead of glue around the wrist with Fabri-Tac and pull the sleeve over the bead. I then sew a joint in the legs and the arms so the figure will have the ability to move his arm with an arm rod and so his legs hang when he sits.