Wee Dunn | Male Rodian Infant | Star Wars - The Clone Wars | Puppet - Entry #1

Hello everyone,

My name is Alina, I'm a Romanian living in Slovakia. Please excuse this long intro on the first post.
American Studies major and Corporate HR systems admin by day, all kinds of amateur self-taught artist during most of the rest of the time I'm awake. I'm obviously very into DYI, and I apply it to many aspects of my life.

I've been passionate about and constantly modelling things in plasticine (plastilina,) wax scraps, sand, snow, polymer clay, heat and air drying clays and generally just anything that can be used for modelling / sculpting for cheap since a very early age, but I felt I was never particularly good at it.

REcently I found a renewed love for sculpting and I'm now working towards building my portfolio as an artist and hoping to eventually make a shift in career fields.

Last year around August, with a change of job that restored my work-life balance and mainly motivated by the prospect of enhancing my Star Wars and other fandom collections with custom items as much as space allows, making personalized gifts for my friends but also making original portfolio pieces, I decided to try my hand at sculpting again with different types of air dry clays.

I watched a few YouTube video to learn tips to prevent cracking and how to make your own clay recipes, but otherwise I am self-taught.

Then I found an air drying polymer (I think, the label is very generic) modelling foam in a local/regional shop chain, and just fell in love with it, as my main annoyance with clays is that the result is very heavy, and my main annoyance with polymer clay is that it requires an oven and mine was ancient and eventually broke.

This foam's biggest challenge I found is that it creases quite a lot as it dries. But in time, I've learned to use Vaseline or water to soften it even more, and also found that if I cover the dried piece in slip, or even better, slip + PVA glue, it is much more resistant and easier to sand and buff, to give it a smoother look.

But I'm looking to keep finding new materials to work with and combine, and I love incorporating plastic junk and paper tissues into armatures. I'm particularly excited about developing on anything SFX related and working on finding the time to enroll into several Stan Winston courses.

Regarding the piece, Wee Dunn is an animated character, a Force sensitive male Rodian infant, one of the children kidnapped by Cad Bane in Clone Wars episode Children of the Force.

I found out about this competition at the start of May, two weeks after it already begun, and in the first week and a half afterwards I have been working on several projects, trying to judge progress and decide what to focus on and submit.

I know the work is by far not the best here. My main goal was to hold to the task and meet the deadline (barely, and that's only thanks to some all-nighters and a couple of 3 day weekends,  :) ) get the courage to post my work and just ensure that I can keep the activity as fun and enjoyable for me as it has been so far.
I started working on Wee Dunn on the same day I found out about the competition, May 3rd if I recall correctly.
Completed him Saturday, May 20th. However his antennae broke a few times so there's been a few fixes since.

I'd estimate the total number of work hours to around 25-30 for each of the two puppets and around 10-15 for the third submission which will hopefully be completed and uploaded within the last few hours of the competition.

I work for about 4-6 hours after my regular day shift with some extended regular life breaks in between sessions, 12-16 each day on weekends, but even if my focus was on 3 main pieces, I can't help but as I tinker with others, so it's hard to say.

He is the first officially completed piece of this size - doesn't mean I won't add more detail later tough. However I have so, so many pieces in various stages of completion, in what I call the "To deal with later" box (now 2 boxes and a bag but who's counting?)

Initially supposed to be a part of a puppet trio of Force sensitive kids from this episode along with Roo Roo Page and Zinn Toa, this piece is currently only part of a duo, as Zinn Toa's head is drying on my nightstand.

It is made of 2 parts that join together at his waist, modeled with tin foil and then covered with the foam, then when dry, covered in slip+glue. then hand painted with acrylics. Inside I have the option to add a small Bluetooth speaker.
As it is covered with the slip to smooth out the creases formed in the foam and strengthen it, then painted, the color of the foam does not matter. This is also an advantage to save the foam, as it's not always in stock in the local shop and I only think I found it elsewhere at one seller online.

The speaker is something I thought of for R2D2 and Slave I / Firespray, but tried to achieve when first working on Grogu, tough with him I'm using half of a bent plastic bottle for the top armature, joined with the bottom which is modelled in tin foil armature.

Eyes are made from chocolate candy plastic packaging.

The puppet is very light as the foam and tin foil themselves are very light, and it's mostly hollow on the inside. The slip+glue and paint and clothes and speaker weigh it down a bit, but very little.

I tried to do their clothes, but sewing is not my strong suit, especially by hand, and after 2 tries and also due to time constraints, I resolved to buy some baby clothes for now.

With special thanks to my partner for the support and photos.

Blooper: Here's Wee Dunn nose-diving off the trunk of a tree unearthed by a recent storm, to Roo Roo Page's delight and my despair.

 I was on the other side of the trunk taking photos, so the fall was somewhat damaging - both his antennae and hair(?) broke, but PVA glue made it all better. In fact, this is not Wee Dunn's first tumble, proving how durable, and flexible this foam + slip + glue combination is, compared to just dried foam or just dried clay.

P.S. The painting, and all tattoos in this photo are also done by me and are in progress, and I don't know if you can tell but I've also long been experimenting with all things to do with my hair, sometimes not too well. :) 

Thank you,
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