Stop-Motion

It Is Finished… For Now…

Painting Magnus was a truly horrible experience… for both of us I’m sure. It finally came down to a “this is good enough because I’m not going to do this this any longer” sort of conclusion.

As you can see, the paint is very glossy under light and is still quite sticky to the touch. This would not work very well on a lit stage, plus after a few days Magnus would look like one of those old time, hanging fly strips with all sorts of junk stuck all over him.

To remedy this I put corn starch in a bowl and give Magnus a good coating of it. The corn stach adheres to the sticky paint and gives Magnus a matt finish for the camera. He is also no longer sticky.

Magnus is now ready for his big screen, stop-motion film debut. All I have to do now is learn a new software program and write him a story.

Stuck In A Sticky Situation

Poor Magnus StormWeasel. Now he finds himself hung upside down and enduring some sort of primitive, medieval paint torture. Actually, it is me that is suffering the primitive, medieval paint torture. Magnus is covered with a coat of clear Pros-Aide adhesive that makes him permanently sticky to the touch. I have to add the Pros-Aide to my acrylic paint in order for it to adhere to Magnus and rubberize the paint so it can stretch as he moves. Since I cannot hold Magnus, I have to hang him from his feet. It is like trying to paint upside down with melted gum. I don’t know who will cry uncle first… me or Magnus…

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!

Magnus… Down But Not Out

I cracked open the mold for my stop motion puppet and sadly, poor Magnus did not survive the procedure.

So long Magnus…

I clean the mold out and then build an armature that is truly an engineering marvel… ok, ok, your standards for engineering marvels has to be kinda low to consider this one, but I have pretty low standards…

The armature is fitted into the mold…

The next step, the almighty casting of the foam… then I will either experience the thrill of victory… or the agony of defeat.