Saturday, 12 February 2011

Armature Construction

Using the my armature design drawings I decided to make a test version of the 'Mail Man' armature. I was able use this armature in my 'Mime Project' to test if it works OK. This was the first time I would be using the silicone hands that I made and my new home made ball and socket joints at the neck. 
I started by cutting all the K&S square brass tubing and aluminium tubing I would be needing. I used my diagram to make sure all the pieces were the correct length. Next I twisted and cut all the Aluminium wire, using 3x twist for the legs and spine and 2x twist for the arms. I used heat shrink tubing around the wire to protect it from the sharp edges of the tubing. This means that the wire should last longer before eventually breaking.
I used epoxy resin to glue all the parts together making sure everything was the correct length and symmetrical. Instead of making new feet I recycled some from an old puppet I made in my second year at Uni.

In the picture above you can see the armature fully assembled with the new hands. I used white milliput (epoxy putty) to strengthen some areas. The milliput on the neck is what I will use as the core of the head.

Finally I bulked out the chest and waist using blue foam that I carved into shape. I cut out a square channel in the foam to give access to the rig point in the waist. The next step will be to continue bulking out the figure using sponge.


  1. Hi Nathan,
    I have a question about K&S tubing. How do you fix smaller tubing in larger? I saw in some book, that there should be M3 nut to keep hands and feets on place. Thank you for time, your work is amazing, I wish if i can do half of this things.
    Have a nice day, John.

    1. Hi John,

      You're absolutely right. That's a great way of doing it.
      Solder a nut on the larger piece and use a grub screw to hold the smaller K&S inside. Perfect.

      Here's another method.

      Using something pointy like a nail, gently hammer a small bump into the larger K&S. When the smaller K&S is inserted inside, the bump makes it a very tight fit and holds the K&S securely.

      I hope that answers your question.
      Have a great day :)

  2. How does the wire stay in the tubing? :)

    1. The Aluminium wire is glued into the K&S with epoxy. ;)