Saturday, April 23, 2011

Miniature Diorama

I've been working on a several stop motion puppets based on creatures from the 1933 version of King Kong.

To showcase my puppets I decided to build a diorama. The diorama will be the bottom of a jungle ravine on Skull Island. I'm going to need a large rock. Also a portion of an old uprooted tree trunk.

To build up the tree trunk I took a cardboard tube from a roll of aluminum foil. I hot glued chunks of styrofoam to the tube and roughed out the shape of the trunk with a file.

Next I mixed a batch of Mache which I tinted with brown acrylic paint. I applied this over the styrofoam trunk with a palette knife.

I'm using Durham's Wood Putty to create the root end of the tree. After mixing up a thin mixture of it I painted the putty over the base of the tree. While this was drying I began work on the rock.

For my rock armature I filled a plastic bag with shredded paper and wrapped it with Duct tape till I got the general shape I was looking for.

Then I mixed a batch of wood putty and saturated burlap strips with it. After squeezing out the excess putty I began draping it over the armature.

After this dried I mixed up a thick batch of putty and using a palette knife applied it over the entire rock. When the putty reached a leather hard stage I carved it to create an irregular craggy surface.

When it was dry enough to be safely handled I removed the armature to facilitate drying.

I was left with a light weight, hollow putty rock. I was pleased with how the putty handled and would definitely use this material again in the future.

Next post I'll be creating the roots for the tree trunk.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Bad Bunny!

I've been working on a new dark art themed piece for my Etsy shop OOAK Bad Bunny by BlacknickSculpture on Etsy and thought I'd share a couple work in progress photos with you.

This naughty character started out as an aluminum wire armature. After padding the armature with foil I added a coating of Apoxie Sculpt clay which I allowed to cure.

After the clay had hardened I began adjusting the pose of the legs to give the figure the stance I wanted.

Here is the figure roughed out and posed on its wood base.

Remember what your Mother told you about taking candy from strangers? It goes double for naughty rabbits!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Stop Motion Puppet Construction

Over the Christmas holiday I decided to try my hand at creating some stop motion puppets. This type of puppet is fully posable and used in the film industry to create stop motion animation in movies like Coraline.

I thought it would be fun to create my interpretation of the strange creature that crawls up from the pit in the 1933 version of King Kong.

I began by carving a wooden skull for the creature and adding some Apoxie sculpt teeth.

Next I used aluminum wire to create the spine and front legs of the creature. Here is the lizards head added to the spine. The small human figure is one of the lizards intended victims.

The wire body of the lizard is then wrapped with cotton.

Then chunks of foam are glued to the armature using liquid latex. It is then trimmed to shape and covered with a foam tape overwrap.

Next I sculpted the lizards head and lower jaw over the armature in clay. I then made a two piece plaster mold of the clay head. I brushed a mixture of acrylic paint and liquid latex into the mold halves.

After peeling my lizard head pieces out of the molds I brushed some liquid latex onto the armatures skull and glued the sections in place.

Next I glued down the neck section onto the lizard and added some spikes I had formed using liquid latex and cotton.

For the lizards skin I made a textured mold into which I brushed a thin coat of tinted liquid latex.

When the latex was dry I brushed talcum powder over it. This prevents it from sticking to itself.

Then I carefully peeled the latex skin from the mold.

Here is one section of the completed skin. I'm guessing I will need about 3 or 4 sections to cover the entire lizard creature. Hopefully I'll be able to finish the puppet up this week.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Asian Noodle Soup

I'm frequently at the Chinese restaurant to get my soup " fix " so when my wife Diane came across this recipe she knew I'd like it! I forget where she got a hold of it so I can't give credit to the author.

I changed the recipe somewhat. Instead of turkey meat I browned up some Italian sausage and crumbled it up. I also did away with adding the extra 3/4 of water. We like things spicy so I added some cayenne pepper to our soup. I'm not a fan of cucumber so I omitted that garnish.


2 tablespoons hot sesame oil, divided

1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey

1 bunch scallions, sliced, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

3/4 cup water

3 cups thinly sliced bok choy

8 ounces dried Chinese noodles

3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 small cucumber, sliced into matchsticks, for garnish


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add ground turkey, all but 2 tablespoons of the scallions, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring and breaking up the turkey, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add broth, water, bok choy, noodles, soy sauce, vinegar and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Return the turkey mixture to the pan and stir to combine. Serve garnished with the reserved 2 tablespoons scallions and cucumber (if using).