Had a chance to work on the new armature and some hands this evening.

Here's a problem I'm running into with the silicone. When the hands come out of the molds, the wires for the fingers are often times, either too close to the surface or partially exposed. You can see on this one the pinkie wire is exposed at the tip and the thumb wire's completely torn out.

I've been patching these up with super glue and more silicon, but I'm wondering if there's a trick I'm missing. After all a lot of guys will cast full puppets with an entire armature inside. How do they do it and keep the armature centered? (Any thoughts Mike???)

See you next time

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M-Flem-Jr said...

Hey Jeff, I'm no expert in silicone at all but I will try and help a little. I may be way off. Ron is probably the king of silicone hands.

It seems that the "palm" and "root" of your hand is fine and your only problem is with the tips. I'm not exactly sure how you are doing the molds for your hands but perhaps it's not fitting or aligning well enough. You just using silicone caulking right? So does that mean you have to smash the silicone into some type of hard mold to get it to fill? If so you are moving the wires around all over the place and you have no control over where your wires end up. If you had a pouring type of silicone then you could get perfect hands by just centering your armature exactly where you want it and then pouring in the silicone and then pressure casting it. Perfect hand every time.

For your setup now though I would try this. Wrap the fingers in Cloth tape, They sell it at walgreens and I think it's for first aid. One wrap or two would be plenty (this depends on if you can still bend the wire of course). Then try and paint the cloth tape with a color that matches the silicone the best. I would think this would help. and perhaps shorten the wire just a little so there is no danger of it poking through the tip. I think this would work. I'll call you tomorrow and we'll chat. Hope that helps a little Jeff, Good luck man!

JON said...

Hey, Jeff! I've never used silicone before, so I can't be too much of a help. But, I have done some small molds using liquid latex and I had the same problem. To get around it I would dip the wires in latex first (let it dry a little), then place it in the mold and pour. This didn't solve the problem completely, but it did help keep the wires place.

Good luck, man!

Jeff Lafferty said...

Thank you so much for the advice guys. I’m going to do some more experimenting this week and try to incorporate you ideas.