Jake Remake

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Heading in a new (facial) Direction.

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Having recently decided to ‘Remake’ Jake’s head more to the style of ‘Toby’s Travelling Circus’ and use replaceable paper mouths instead of mouth sections. After constructing Jakes head version 1.0 it was clear that I was going to get a visible crease around where the mouths would be slotted in and although this could be edited out in post production so a curtain extent I feel that paper mouths will give me the option of really expressive and easily read positions more so.

I started making the head in exactly the same way as the first, beginning with the brass tubing with a ball of epoxy putty on the tip to build around. To make the head lighter and use less clay in its build I then took a length of tin foil and wrapped it around the putty before building a small layer of clay above it.

When it came to ears I wanted to concentrate more on them more than I had on my original version. As to make sure they were both similar in size I rolled out a length of clay and cut it into two halves and then began shaping them into ears.

I then put the ears and the head into the oven for 15 minutes at a low heat as to not burn the clay.

Once these had cooled and were hard. I began to sculpt the hard ears onto the body using more clay. I then build up the face and mark out the eyes and heated it in the oven for the same time.

My face is now ready to be sanded and painted which should hopefully be my next post.

Making Hair.

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Making Jake’s hair has been the absolute bane of my life. The hair is made from a recycled cuddly toy kindly donated to me by my lecturer after cruelly skinning the poor thing and harvesting its fur I began placing the hair around a couple of pieces of Styrofoam and gluing them into place with a glue gun.

With the hair looking nice and in place the one thing I still needed to do was make him look 60 years younger and ditch the grey hair. This however was not as simple as I had originally thought.

Attempt One: Considering Jake’s hair was teddy bear hair I had gone to my local Boots and bought a really nice shade of brown hair. After following all the instructions and leaving to set I cheerfully rinsed the colouring out only to find that it hadn’t dyed the hair at all. Five pounds down the sink- literally.

Attempt Two: With hair dye not working I hit the online blogs about dying teddy bears and found someone saying that they put diluted food colouring in a spray bottle and squirt it on there teddy. Having trapes around the shops only to be told that due to laws a lot of people don’t sell it anymore (too many E-numbers) I headed home and used the next best thing, coffee, and lots of it. Although it seemed to be working I had a sense of realization when my friend told me that it would go moldy. I couldn’t let Jake have moldy hair- It smelt enough as it was!

Attempt Three: This attempt consisted of me dying it in ‘Dylon’ fabric dye. This was the one thing I thought would definitely work. However after mixing the dye with the correct amounts of salt and water and leaving the hair in the sink for an hour to colour, again there was nothing. This was really starting to wind me up.

The Fourth attempt was finally successful! For this I used Citadel modeling paint diluted with water and began to shampoo it in. Once this had dried it meant the hair was coloured how I wanted it and also meant that it was stiffer so it won’t move around as much during filming.

Constructing the Set: Part Two.

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To finish the build of the set I had to add the corner bit. After Measuring out the size of the rectangle that will make the stage area I then cut it out with a Stanley knife and added it to my set. The inside of the stage area was built using four smaller pieces of hardwood. these were glued to the back of the front section before it was all glued into the corner of the set with a hot glue gun.

Constructing the Set: Part One.

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For my set I have used high density fibre board (hardboard). Hardboard is relatively cheap which was one of the many qualities that made it perfect for my set. The only problem I have encountered was that it has a tendency to bend. To counter act this I have reinforced it with some recycled chipboard that will hold the structure in place.

By using my Google SketchUp plan of the set, I began measuring the board before cutting to to size with a handsaw.

To ensure that the corner was strong and structured I reinforced the corners with chipboard and hot glued it into place. With the main two walls of the structure built I was then able to build the top tier of the set. This was done with a third piece of hardboard, to insure that it would be stable enough to support my characters, I glued a number of pillars to the two sides and underneath the flooring. With having the three main pieces all glued together the structure was a lot more, well structured.

The stairs were constructed by measuring out the height of the top tier and then dividing it by three. With these measurements, I cut out six strips of hardboard and glued them together. With the stairs on and the structure strong enough to withstand being moved about to different locations without falling apart, I think it’s time for a nice cup of tea.

Fantastic.