Kaiju Rod Puppet- fabrication or foam casting?


I'm designing a kaiju rod puppet for an upcoming film of mine. At first I was going to go with stop motion, but I've decided against it in order to expand my horizons. I've seen the Garage Monsters tutorial where Shannon Shea builds a rod puppet using very minimal casting and latex work. I feel I could build my puppet in a similar manner, however I'm wondering if it might be better to cast it in latex or foam latex? 
I really like the look, feel, and shape of the rancor from return of the Jedi, so that's kind of a model of inspiration I'm working from.
If I cast pieces individually from latex and piece together on an upholstery foam body I'm a little worried about buckling latex. I feel like I may be able to cheat my way around that issue though by keeping the limbs rigid like a carapace or exoskeleton, while the joints remain soft (spandex and latex?)
To date I have never worked with foam latex (but I'll worry about that later.)

Specs and design notes-
Height- 13-15"
Head to Tail length- 24"/2'
Head- open/close jaw & turn head L,R, up, and down
Arms- controlled at elbow. 
Claws- open/close. Right claw has articulated tentacles inside. 
Claw Tentacles and tail- cable control. 
Legs- Controlled at ankle (I think ankle is best.)

My wip color concept for the creature. 

Phil Tippet painting the Rancor, Return of the Jedi. 

Any input or advice is much appreciated,

Cadmus Rimbeaux


  • Options
    Casting could help in keeping consistency in detail between castings if you have to re skin it.  Problems come when you have to bake the foam latex.  Do you have a separate oven with exhaust fan to outside your house?  You do not want to bake possibly toxic chemicals in Mom's baking oven!  I recommend using what you know.  You can get decent results with fabrication,  just plan it out.  You could do one trial one,  maybe sculpt the head and any areas like your monster's chest area and underbelly/under side of tail.  Be sure to measure the areas width, length, etc,  and draw out on a board for sculpting the flat sections.  It would be like sculpting large stop motion puppet skins.  I hope this helped.

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