Basic armature making

As I mentioned I've been working on a stop motion project in collaboration with Donna Mallett and Cheryl Walker. You can read more and see more 'making of' for the props and everything else for 'Innocence' here on the blog.

The armature's I've been making are basic but whilst making them as sturdy as possible but keeping in mind...they need to be torn apart too. Also as Alfred is a very skinny character, his clothes are tight so to make them and put them on over his hands and feet wouldn't work so all hands, feet and heads are being made separate to the body then attached afterwards.

This is the process of making the 'test' armature.

Body:

- 2mm aluminium wire (body)
- 1mm aluminium wire
- Epoxy putty or Milliput (same thing, different trade name- plumbers epoxy in
DIY store or Milliput from an art store)
- Pliers
- Bandage



Some of the materials...




Starting off with the basic characters to scale...

Using the 2mm wire, cut enough for the length of the torso and neck but double the length as it's to be twisted...

The wire is twisted to strengthen it. You can twist it using either pliers on each end or a drill.

Next is to measure against the length of the leg- double it again and again for the other leg, and also allow a bit extra length for the hip area and for twisting around the torso to join. Once cut, again twist each side for each leg....



Then using the same technique- copy for the arms, measuring then double for each arm and allow extra to wrap around the top of the torso/shoulder area...


Once the arms and legs are twisted around, it should look like this...

Next is to strengthen the joins and make sure they are secure which is where the Epoxy putty or Milliput comes in. These are a 2 part fixative that you cut a piece from each and roll in your hands until they are combined.


Place the putty on parts of the armature that are not to move or bend- such as the shoulder/chest area, hip area and 2 parts for each arm and leg- where your thigh would be and calf. Allowing gaps for 'hinges' like elbows, knee's etc.



The putty sets in a few hours, or you can get 5 minute putty but once it's set then its ready and should look like this. So this is the basic armature- just a test piece. Not an armature using K&S which you can buy kits for from places such as animationtoolkit.co.uk
As mentioned, the hands, head and feet will be attached afterwards.





This is a far more advanced armature kit.


I will be posting a 'making of' for the hands. Which as I type this, I have just re-dipped in liquid latex as they dried too dark.

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