Monday, October 31, 2011

I gave him a fat lip

No, I didn't smack him.  I applied more Paper Clay.  I gave my Asian figure model a fuller upper lip.  I curved up the left corner in a slight smile, and the right side in a flatter expression.  Paul Winchell mentioned this technique in his book "Ventriloquism for Fun and Profit".

This guy looks rough right now.  I'll be happy to get to the sanding phase so I can see if he really looks right.

By the way, thanks for the tips on dealing with the Paper Clay cracks.

Oh... and Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Crackin' up

True to the comment made by a reader, Paper Clay contracts as it dries and forms cracks.  The cracks are repairable, but it's still an extra step.  Still, I like Paper Clay for sculpting and altering cast heads. 

I'm making progress on my Asian figure.  I sliced off the end of the perky nose to form a flatter probiscus.  The wrinkled forehead is a little too "Klingon" right now, but sanding will bring it into line.  I will add a few more wrinkes and I may fatten his upper lip. 

This is fun!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What about me

One of my many obsessions is tweaking my "KENNY CROES DUMMY STORE" website.  I've migrated the design to the screenshot on the left.  I also added an "About Kenny" link so folks can find out what I was up to before I started making dummies.  My past is somewhat checkered, but there was only enough room to brag and namedrop.  When you get a moment, take a peek.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Paper Clay eye

I purchased some Paper Clay awhile back with the intent of using it to sculpt a new figure.  Well, I am doing that... however... I'm using it to alter my first full-size figure, "Jackie".  I have a request for an Asian character, so I decided to use a "Jackie" cast as my armature.  I'll do the other eye, then make changes to his nose.  I may think up a few more transforming features.  After he's completed, I'll have a mold made, then make castings of my Asian character.

I really like the Paper Clay.  I've always sculpted with Magic-Sculpt, but it hardens quickly. (I call it "speed-sculpting").  Paper Clay stays pliable for a long time and takes 2-3 days to air-dry completely.  Then I'll sand the eye nice and smooth.  I may try it out to fill imperfections in the casting, too.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Shoe store

I'm not sure how many pairs of children's shoes I have (in various colors and sizes), but I've stocked quite a few. My wife always picks up a pair or two when she's out thrift store shopping. I also have a rack filled with 2T-4T outfits.

So why do my friends think it's a little weird?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Jackie

I finally finished my first full-sized figure.  Serial# FS-2011-0001.  I've named him "Jackie" after my first Jerry Mahoney dummy I got when I was 6-years old. I'm not going to sell this fellow.  He's mine.  However I took copious notes on his specs so I can build others and put them up for sale.  Of course, I'll take special orders, too. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Connect the neck

Q: I bought one of your heads from Braylu and I also bought a control stick with a cup and trigger. How do I attach it to your head? Do I cut your head at the neck or does it fit inside? I do not want to ruin your head.

A: The head comes with the rounded part at the bottom of the neck because some folks prefer to install a wood dowel or PVC pipe alone.  The control stick you bought comes with a rounded part (the cup is called a "transition").   Since the head you bought is rounded at the bottom of the neck, cut that part off. The transition on the headstick replaces the rounded part at the bottom of the neck. After I've built the mechanics in the head and attached the cords inside, I attach the headstick to the neck with Magic-Sculpt. Have fun with your project.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I need glasses

I shop the Dollar Tree store to buy socks for my figures.  I also check the toy aisles for odds and ends.  Because Halloween is just around the corner, they had these cool coke-bottle glasses.   I only bought two pair because I wasn't sure if they'd fit.  But as you can see, they work great on my full-size figure.  Today I'm going back to buy every pair they have in stock.

As a bonus, each pair of glasses comes with a big red clown nose. (Oh good... something for me to wear.)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Been away

We spent the weekend with friends in Springfield, Oregon.  My buddy Raye's wife Janie gave up her seat so I could go to the Duck Game with Raye.  Snapped a picture, of course.  (Oregon Ducks defeated Arizona State last night 41-27).  So not much work got done around here.  But the pair of hands you see are where I left off.  They've been primed and ready for their paint job and manicure.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


A funny story from a friend...

I just turned 65 yesterday, and a couple from church (longtime friends) asked my wife and me out for dinner to celebrate.  I’m trying to get my friends involved in putting on a show. Consequently, I took my first vent doll with me to dinner.  This is a younger looking vent figure as was evidenced by the fact the waitress wouldn’t sell my dummy any beer when he asked for a bottle.  She asked for his ID, but unfortunately my dummy (who I call Ian) left it at home (according to him). 

The best laugh of the night came later, however, when Ian continued to flirt with the waitress.  He asked her when she got off work, and could he come back to take her out.  The waitress was quick witted however, and didn’t skip a beat when she replied, “Sure…I’ll go out with you, but if you come back, come back ALONE!” 

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Keep looking

My first full-sized figure's head is finished.  I really learned a lot making this fellow. His mechanics are very smooth. (mouth, side-to-side self-centering eyes, crossing eyes, raising eyebrows).

I still have to finish his body and hands.  I also need to get him some clothes.  (Wouldn't do to leave him in his skivvies) 

Please draw it out for me

In case you haven't noticed yet, there are very nice drawings of the eye clip on the Braylu Creations blog

Friday, October 07, 2011

Clip tip

Eye Clip (front side is on the left)
As I bogged earlier, Braylu Creations' new gizmo, now called an "eye clip", works well.  But the order of installation is very important.  So here's what I recommend:
  • Before you start, it's best to have already installed the back springs or posts in the eyeballs.
  • Mount the eye on top of the clip.  Insert a bolt axle and washer in the slot from the underneath side.  Screw a washer and nut (we'll call it Nut and Washer A) on the bolt on the top side of the eye clip so it's snug against the eye clip's top side, but don't tighten it too much. Slip the eye on the bolt axle (with the eye's indented side down) over the Nut and Washer A
Eye Clip. (front view)

  • Now screw a nut and washer (we'll call this one Nut and Washer B) on the top of the eye (atop the flat portion of the eye). Slip the eye and bolt forward in the slot toward the front of the eye clip, then tighten Nut and Washer B so the eye can't turn.
  • Insert the eye clip and eye in the head.  Loosen Nut and Washer B just enough to slip the eye forward or backward in the eye clip's slot until the eye is in the right spot in the eye socket with the iris centered.  The front of the eye clip should be as close to the front of the head as possible.  The closer it is, the less Magic-Sculpt you'll need to mount it.
  • Once the eye is in place in the socket, tighten down Nut and Washer B and clearly mark the bolt location on the underside of the eye clip. Then remove the eye clip and eye from the head.
  • Remove Nut and Washer B, then remove the eye from the bolt axle.
  • Apply a glue or "Lock-Nut" to Nut and Washer A or bolt, then tighten the bolt permanently in the marked place with Nut and Washer A. Let the glue or Lock-Nut dry before the next step.
  • Slip the eye back on the axle.  Apply a glue or "Lock-Nut" to Nut and Washer B or bolt, then screw and permanently fix in place with Nut and Washer B so the eye turns freely. Let the glue or Lock-Nut dry before the next step.
  • Place it all back in the head so the eye is back in perfect position in the eye socket. Then Magic-Sculpt the front-side of the eye clip to the front of the head's interior.
  • By the way, I used 1-1/2" eyes and 10-24 size bolt 2 inches long.  Refer to the picture below of the installed eyes and eye clips on my previous post.  However, remember that I made the mistake of not installing the back springs first. (Do as I say, not as I did).
  • The final step is to attach a synchro bar to the eye posts or springs.

Monday, October 03, 2011


This little feller is named "Harlan".  He's a hobo moonshiner.  He loves his "XXX Bonafide Homemade Hooch", which he's holding.  Harlan is an Elmore head with an altered upper lip, jaw and nose.  His hat is a Charlie McCarthy doll top hat that I crushed and painted.  He's now looking for a podner on Ebay.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Porch pals

Uncle Earl is keeping my friend Wally company.  They both look relaxed, don't they?  I bet together they spin some interesting (and humorous) tales. 

I bet they argue, too.