Monday, 24 March 2014


I got a little carried away when i was making props so the amount of progress photos is limited. 

I started by making the mannequins. I wanted to have a few dotted around the tailors cutters and due to the style of my film it didn't matter if they weren't exactly identical. Also in order to keep the hand built feel of everything, I decided to make as many of the props as physically possible out of wood, balsa or other. 

The fact that everything could look slightly different/off meant that i could churn out four mannequins incredibly quickly. 

On to the broom! Being the incredibly professional person i am when it comes to my blog, this is the only photo of the broom in production. That and the fact that I used super glue to attach real broom bristles meant that my hands were gluey, therefor i didn't want to use my phone. 

I also wanted to make tiny wooden sewing machines. again it wasn't important to keep items identical meaning i could make then quickly

After a little bit of sanding, a few more buttons and the bottom of a pin i had this! A quick paint job (which of course i didn't photograph until it was finished) I had a sewing machine! I then made three more. 

This is when things went a little hazy with photos. 


Then this happened, I made a LOT of stuff, pretty damn quickly. All very similar in technique, the two desks and cabinet were made out of a more solid wood than balsa so that it wouldn't snap when thin. 

You can just about see the mannequins and sewing machines fully painted. also on the far left there are rolled pieces of fabric, some wrapped around wooden dowel  

In order to paint the props I used very watered down acrylic paint as a base colour to get rid of the raw balsa wood. I then used a dry acrylic brush to age everything and generally rough it all up. 

I then regained photo taking consciousness and started making chairs. with the more solid wood to again be more stable. The four pieces of balsa wood are to stabilise the legs. 

LEGS! these were slightly stable but still not enough, 

I've added some extra supports across the middle to make the legs more sturdy. 

And the two backs! the gaps between each are big enough to fit a rig through to go into the back of Richard when he's sat down. 

I then made another as close to the same as possible but again it not being important if they are slightly off. Again, i used a watered down acrylic paint to colour the wood before 'scumming it up' again. 

Last but not least the clock!

I started by making the frame out of balsa wood and the back of it out of the thicker solid wood. 

I then took it into photoshop and erased the middle in order to design my own in roman numerals. 

Initially taking a photo from google so that i knew exactly where each number would be....

I took this image into Illustrator and used the path tool create my own at the exact size. This was then printed off, stuck to the solid wood and drilled through so that a nail could be used as the centre.  

The set'll be next at some point over the next week! Watch this space. 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Roy Clothes

Richards clothes were made in the same way as Richards, pattern pieces were cut off of the puppet and hand sewn together

I then sewed this weird, suspicious shaped pattern on, hoping to represent a fly, but it didn't look right AT ALL so i took it straight back off by unpicking it.  

I then wrapped the upper body in cling film and masking tape, same as before, starting with a cross over on the shoulders. 

As Roy has a small, rounder shaped body, the pattern wouldn't lay flat when it was cut off for the back piece. In order to make it lay flat, I cut a line up through the middle as seen below, which would be cut out of the fabric and sewn together so that it would fit properly. 


Below is one of the sleeves, which, being the intelligent person I am I made about 5mm too short, but I can put a cuff on the end to extend it. 

It was then a long night of sewing to get the shirt to the same level of Richards. 

And Here he is! in some sort of, religious/American gangsta (same thing (disclaimer: they're not the same thing, it was a joke)) pose.

The waistcoat was made from the same pattern as the shirt, altering it slightly to allow for a lower V neck on it and allowing for the shirt underneath.

All clothing is held together with painted sewing pins so that it can be taken off whenever necessary to tighten joints. 

I also never posted about this! or did I ??

I wanted the noses to look separate from the faces and all hand-built-y, mainly done through the colour. 

thats it for now! will crack on with props next 

Monday, 10 March 2014

Richard's Clothes

Apologies for the long post. I get a bit caught up when making clothes so there aren't as many photos of the process as i'd want. 

I started by wrapping the padded armature in cling film, then the cling film in masking tape. Lines were then drawn on the tape to represent cut/seam lines. 

These pieces were then cut off of the character so that Richard's clothes fit as perfectly as they can. 
I then repeated the same process for the shirt. 

Once the pattern pieces were cut from navy blue fabric, they were sewn together, making sure to wait until all four pieces were sewn together by hand before the top was folded over itself and hemmed to make sure it was all at the same level. 

They were then flipped inside out and hey presto, traaaaaasers! 

In my design, i wanted a striped pattern for Richards shirt. As it was difficult to find a pattern small enough for stop motion, i decided to make my own! Keeping it really basic, a felt tip pen and a ruler! Accuracy was not my main focus as i like the hand built look of inaccuracy. 

The pattern pieces were then hemmed and sewn together before putting the sleeves in. 

Again the sleeves were hemmed first and then sewn into the shirt. (apologies for the photo quality)

Now onto the collar! On reflection, with the thickness of the fabric it would've been tidier to just do a simpler collar.  It was done by creating four separate pieces that were sewn together and turned inside out. 

It was then a complicated and fiddly process of turning the non pattern pieces in on themselves and sewing it all together simultaneously. 

Then on to the bow tie!, it was done in a similar way to everything else. Sewn around the entire edge then turned inside out through a cut down the middle of the back. 

Once inside out, I glued a small strip of fabric to remove the frayed edges and wrapped it around the hourglass shape of the bow tie. 

And here he is! I made some buttons out of small sewing pins painted pink to hold everything in place but still allow me to get into the joints. 

Thats all for now! Roy next.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Puppet Hair!

I was panicking a little when it came to working with real hair. 

Then i spoke to EIRIK GRØNMO BJØRNSEN, director and animator on one of my all time favourite shorts 'But Milk is Important'. He told me the way they did hair for their puppets and it all seemed a lot less daunting!

Find their blog here

i ended up buying some horrendous feeling ginger synthetic hair extensions from Cardiff Market

After cutting this into smaller pieces, I put a line of UHU contact adhesive down the middle, then folded it down the perpendicular middle and clamped it in a vice once it had gone tacky.

Once the glue had dried, I cut down the middle of it making it into two separate pieces. 

These individual pieces were then laid around the hair line of Richard from the bottom up. 


he looks a little like Shakespeare to me in this one!

I didn't want to start cutting the hair at all until i'd stuck everything on 

Once i'd gotten to the crown of the head, I started working from the forehead backwards and then kind of bodged the join of the two parts.

After a swift hair cut and a hair styling with some hair wax, he was looking better than ever!