Sunday, November 27, 2011


Little Uncle Earl and Big Uncle Earl (under construction) are seen side-by-side. I worked on Big Uncle Earl's jaw, wrinkles below the eyes and neck wrinkles. Little Uncle Earl is almost ready for his headstick and body. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bite down

Full-size Uncle Earl made a step forward today.  I temporarily mounted the jaw with axle inside the head so the jaw swings freely.  Then I sculpted a countoured lower lip with Paper Clay. 

I'll let this dry before I move to the next task. (See previous post  referring to "head-donking").

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I should cut this into small pieces

Grisly as this may look, this photo actually represents an epiphany.  Well... maybe a donk on the head for being impatient. 

I'm fitting the jaw for my full-size Uncle Earl.  I made axle slots in the head to mount the jaw armature.  The slots (made of Magic-Sculpt) were placed so the jaw swung freely in the head and opened at it's widest possible point.  From there(thinking the Magic-Sculpt would stay somewhat secure... and this is where I shoulda been donked), I proceeded to sculpt and contour with Paper Clay atop the jaw armature  (pictured).  Of course, the constant movement of the slots caused my lengthy jaw-sculpting a total waste of time.  But in the process... the jaw sculpting was enlightening and fun (kinda like a kindergartner with Play Dough).  But I realized I should sculpt the jaw in steps. 

First, let the slots dry completely. (Duh!)

Step one is to sculpt the bottom lip so that it contours with Uncle Earl's top lip.  Let it dry.  Step two is sculpt the front part of the jaw down to the chin.  Let it dry, too.  Next comes the bottom of the jaw where it meets the neck. You guessed it... wait 'til it dries.  After that, layer the jaw's interior with a nice smooth surface.  Let 'er dry.  Next-to-last step, add a tongue. (No teeth.  Uncle Earl eats lots of Jello).

Let it all dry. 

Final step:  Sand to taste.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Maybe if you Jimmy it

Having trouble figuring out what to get that someone who has everything?  There's always "Jimmy"!

This bright-eyed redhead hits the Ebay auction block this evening.  Hopefully Santa (or one of Santa's Helpers) will snap him up.  He should fit really well under someone's tree.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A soft touch

Though I love making and playing with hard figures, I'm quite fond of soft puppets, too. A friend, knowing I have a soft puppet collection of cuties from the animal kingdom, gave me this white rat puppet. (The little critter claims he's a mouse, not a rat).

Friday, November 11, 2011

Checking his bags

I hope you're not tiring of the subject matter.  But here's the latest photo of my full-size Uncle Earl.  I added bags under his eyes and a turkey neck. 

The thing I discovered is that when I put in wrinkle lines, as in the eye bags, it's okay to make them rather rough.  The trick is to go back, remove the "flakes" of Paper Clay, then add another thin layer of Paper Clay over the rough wrinkle lines.  The additional clay forms smoother, cleaner-looking wrinkle lines.  That's the next step after the bags dry. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


My two projects continue to make progress.  The Asian character on the right has been painted with two coats of primer.  I will sand it again after the second coat completely dries.  Then he may be ready to ship to Braylu Creations to have his mold made.  Uncle Earl on the left got a wrinkled forehead today.  Nerxt comes bags under his eyes. 

Saturday, November 05, 2011

I'm aging

It's hard to say how close I'll come to the original 2T Uncle Earl with my full-size attempt.  But I added his jowls and upper lip today. 

I'm nervous.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Chinese checker

If my new Chinese character were to give me sage advice, he might say, "Patience, grasshopper".  His words of wisdom, however, would be lost on me because I just can't wait until he's finished before I know what he'll look like. That's why I did this rendering of the figure based upon the sculpting I've done. It's a great way to check his eventual appearance and share the prediction with my customer.  (And it's fun to do, too). 

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Nose first

The stars have aligned in Uncle Earl's favor.  It seems that Uncle Earl's 2T mold is wearing out.  A decision had to be made whether to invest the time and money into re-making the mold or to discontinue the 2T head castings.  Almost simultaneously, a ventriloquist from Puerto Rico told me if I could make a full-size Uncle Earl (40"-42" tall). he'd buy it. 

I told Buzz James, Braylu Creations' owner about it.  So Buzz asked customers on his blog whether to continue the 2T Uncle Earl, or wait for a new full-size version.  The vote for the full-size version won out. 

Well... I have never tried to sculpt a full-size head from a small head model. Fate dictated it was time to try.  I'm altering my "Jackie" figure again as I did with the Asian figure. I've made a careful plan and I think it'll work. I started with Uncle Earl's big nose.  I sculpted it in Paper Clay.  (This stuff has changed my life!)  After that I'll recreate the wrinkled upper lip and jowls.  Then it's bags under the eyes, wrinkles in his forehead, bigger earlobes and a nice turkey neck for full effect. 

Then there's the jaw.  (Think I'm gonna be here awhile).

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Conversion for conversion

The new "eye clips" from Braylu Creations can be converted to mount eyeballs in conversion figures or smaller 2T heads.  The clips need to be shortened to fit the smaller head.  It's easy to do.  I sawed off the back half.

In this instance, I plan to hang the eyeballs below the clip.  (I chose to mount the eyeballs above the clip in my full-size figure).  To make the installation secure, I drilled small holes in the face of the clip that makes contact with the head's interior.  I drilled small holes (not all the way through) in the head's interior where the face of the clip and the head make contact.  That's so the Magic-Sculpt epoxy will anchor well. 

I will use Gorilla clear super-glue and a dab of Magic-Sculpt to secure the bolt axles to the clip.