Alien Baby Puppet - Cable Operated

Check out the Alien Baby Puppet I made! My name is Samuel Bricker and I had the pleasure of executing every aspect of this build from start to finish. This was my first time making a silicone puppet- I know I did much of this backwards and funky but it all came out in the end. I learned so much along the way and I can’t wait to apply those lessons to my next project! Thanks for looking!

Here’s the skinny:
The sculpture is monster clay on top of my core (a baby doll head covered in tinfoil). For the mold, I started with a brush on silicone then continued building up layers until the mold was PROPER THICK! After cleaning and prepping the mold with release, I mixed up a batch of silicone and started experimenting with pigment and color theory and adding flocking to the silicone. The first couple runs were a little rough but on the third try I think I nailed it! 
For the casting process I poured the silicone into the mold and moved it around, like a slip cast, to form the skin of the puppet. After demolding and a quick seaming and clean up I trimmed the mouth and eye holes open. Finally, it was time to bring the puppet mechanism (the sketches can be seen on the Home Depot receipt) and the alien baby flesh together and bring this monster to life!
I designed the mouth mechanism in fusion 360 and 3D printed the mouth pieces. The mouth is operated by three bike cables connected to the three little pieces in the mouth. Two for the top mouth beak flanger flaps and one for the bottom lip. The three mouth movers were mounted on a piece of piano wire I bent into a squared U shape. All of that was mounted to a pickle jar lid and stuffed inside the head, along with some upholstery foam to fill the cranial space.
I had to get creative when attaching the mouth mech to the silicone so I used a strong glue to adhere frayed cotton balls to the plastic parts of the mouth movers. I then sculpted a thickened silicone over the cotton, working it into the fibers, hoping it would be strong enough to hold and accomplish the needed gestures. As the silicone cured, held in place by some clothespins, I plopped in the eyeballs. Those were made from large wooden beads painted black and finished with a gloss coat.
The cables were fed down the pool noodle neck/ body and the whole thing was swaddled up in a great unicorn blanket.
If you read this far I want to thank you for your time. As I mentioned above, I learned so much throughout each step of this process and already know many things I will do differently next time, thanks to this project and the courses here on SWSCA.

Thank you!

I was commissioned to make this alien baby puppet for an indie short film called “Happy Milk”.
The entire process from conception to shooting was approximately 6 months. The build (sculpture-finish) was done during my “free time” over the span of about two weeks.
I only made one functional puppet but used the first and second runs as stunt babies for some of the more destructive scenes. You can see the puppet and their and stunt double sharing a car seat on the set. I fed the cables through holes in the car seat and operated from just off camera, wherever I could hide.

Sorry about the wacky order of the photos.

follow me on Instagram @samuel_bricker for my weird art and the full build video soon!

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