Top Chef Masters

The armature for my foam stop-motion puppet is almost ready to go…

…but the brass fittings in it will eat away the foam over time, so I seal all those areas with a healthy dose of spray paint.

Next I whip up the top secret foam recipe. OK, it’s not actually top secret, but I apparently wasn’t paying very close attention when the instructor was going over all this and I have no idea what I poured into what, when, where or why, so this is still a secret recipe to me.

I pour the foam into both sides of the mold, clamp my armature in, cross my fingers, pick up the other side of the mold, spin it around and drop it into place. There is so much foam and goo squirting out all over the place I don’t know if the armature has stayed in position or not, I will only find out when this process is through.

I strap this puppy up and head for the oven.

I have gone a little extreme as far as stop-motion puppets go. Most are small mainly because if you have a large puppet, you have to build huge sets for them to be animated in. Just to give you an idea of the size of my puppet, that is my mold sitting in between two normal sized molds.

Here is a normal sized mold in the oven.

Here’s my mega super-sized mold in the same oven. Absolutely zero room to spare.

OK, everyone keep your fingers crossed. We are about to find out if this worked or not!

15 Comments on “Top Chef Masters

    • I’ll be fine, but poor Magnus… you might want to move him to the top of your prayer list.

  1. Usually, the foam is injected into the mold from a hole in the back of the mold, to make sure all the little areas are filled. If it doesnt turn out right, you can still use the mold again, and just cut off the foam from the armature. Ive enjoyed reading your blog on this, cant wait to see the finished model.

    • I’m casting this thing old school, that way I can have plenty of things to blame other than myself when it all goes down in flames…

  2. Dennis, have loved your blog for a long time, but this is the first time I’ve actually left a comment. The compelling drama surrounding the fate of Magnus has left me waiting with bated breath. Reality TV has nothing on this story line. I commend you on your effort to bring this warrior to life and hope that he emerges to enjoy a long career as a stop-action action movie star. We’ll get the Netflix queue ready.

  3. Dennis, what type of oven is that? Looks like a small convection oven. How long did you bake the mold in it at what temp. Ive been wanting to build and cast one of these all of my life and have never got around to it. You’ve peaked my interest again. Ive built ball and socket armatures, but always used the build up method. This is much better… Thanks again for sharing.

    • John, I think it is just a convection oven. A regular oven would work, too, although there would be a lot of ammonia fumes that you would not want lingering in your everyday cooking oven… or your house. I cooked this at 200 degrees for four hours. Since there was so much mass to my puppet, we were just guessing on a lot of these times and formulas.

      • I looking as well for a oven this big that would keep my regular kitchen oven intact and away of ammonia fumes… Any idea on the brand of the one you used?


        • No, I really don’t know anything about this stuff, however, I do think anything that can deliver consistent heat will work.

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