The Earth Worm
Hello Stan Winston School of Character Arts! I've got a bit of an announcement to make! About ten-minutes drive from where I live, there is an agriculture facility called Boone Hall. Every year on Halloween, the host a haunted house attraction. A few months ago, I showed them an animatronics idea for next year. In a few months, I will begin construction on it. It's a creation that I call The Earth Worm. Inspired by the gradoids from the 1990 sci-fi thriller "Tremors", this 10 foot long creature is controlled by four puppeteers. the main puppeteer controls the air-pressure muscles that drive the metal skeleton of the earth worm. It also has three more puppeteer, each controlling a 3-stage animatronic tentacle in the earth worm's mouth. I'll post some drawings when I get the Chance!
That sounds like an awesome project! I'm a huge fan of the Tremors franchise. I actually went to the 25th anniversary cast and crew reunion screening this year, and it was amazing. So many wonderful stories and memories were shared.
I can't wait to see your designs.
Pnuematics is a wonderful medium to work with however.. the supply and control mechs are often very difficult.
One interesting source is the cheap blood pressure monitors you can get on EBay. They have micro compressors and valves one can salvage
The original Howling move used them to expand the skin to make it look like muscles were growing under it.
That is a very neat trick to know. Certainly better than 'explosives'
Likewise using water works well if weight is not a factor since air is compressible and water is not. I've used water to inflate and then deflate a balloon just by using a 50ml syringe and some tubing. It's also pretty easy to make it a closed system and the number of extremely cheap peristaltic pumps on eBay makes the control and drive systems easier.
But I am more a 'hands off' controller.
I've always wanted to try hydraulics for a character, but that can get a bit expensive.