(Close Window)
Topic: Ventriloquism figure
Message: Posted by: Anverdi-museum (Nov 10, 2011 05:20PM)
Here's a couple of links to my latest project - a vent figure, not really a magic effect but a close relative. I have been performing vent work for over 30 yrs. in my shows, always wanted to give a try at building one. I just completed the head and all the mechanisms. This baby is LOADED with slot mouth, self centering side to side eyes, blinkers, sticking out of tongue, spitter/smoker and raising wig.


Here is the inside of head:


I will complete the head with wig in the near future and body, will post a completed photo then.

Chuck Caputo
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Nov 10, 2011 05:30PM)
That head looks fantastic! What material did you make the head out of, Paul Winchell said he made Jerry out of plastic wood filler.

I know things may have changed in 70 years, but that really looks professional. You seem to know what you are doing with the mechanics.
Message: Posted by: Pasquale (Nov 11, 2011 11:44AM)
Looks good - a Brose kit. I do think that it should be painted slightly darker so the "skin tone" isn't washed out by bright lights. Although not as necessary today as in the old days (Frank Marshall figures had an almost orange tint..), it would probably show up better on stage with a darker tint...
Message: Posted by: Dr. Solar (Nov 12, 2011 01:17PM)
Definitely a terrifically good job on the mechanics. Ditto on the pale tone issues. As well, less gloss and more matte finish. Where did you get the info on the movements?

Message: Posted by: Anverdi-museum (Nov 13, 2011 12:03AM)
Many thanks for all the pm's and positive feedback, keeping in mind this is the first figure I've ever made.

I used as a vague guide an old Maher book a friend ( ventriloquist ) mailed to me by William H. Andersen - I believe it was called "building your own dummy".

A lot of drawings were not decipherable so I basically had to make things up as I thought best as I went along, the mechanics in these things are definitely the most tedious. Because this figure has so many features that I always wanted one to have it made it that more difficult, I should also mention his eyebrows raise and lower also. I found that the control rod for the self centering eyes seems to go well hiding it in the control rod itself via a hole drilled in same as opposed to grooving the rod as suggested. Try to use pulleys whenever possible for the strings along with eyescrews to eliminate as much friction as possible.

I devised a simple way to make an inexpensive pulley for about two dollars, if anyone is interested p.m. me.

Throughout the years I have built many magic effects ( mostly electronic ) that is very limited on space so I am used to working under such conditions which can be frustrating at times.

In my spare time I am working on the little fellow's body, I would like to get him into a size 4 T clothing as possible, this is the size the current figure I have been using for many years from Howard Olson wears, the 'hatch' on this figure is sealed, I never needed to open him up yet so I've never really looking inside of one of these personally.

Below is a snap shot of the little guy with his upper torso I just completed and wig, I will be using matte spray for a dull coat on his face in the near future.



Chuck Caputo
Message: Posted by: Anverdi-museum (Nov 15, 2011 07:48AM)
Here's the complete figure, chilling with his favorite magazine....


This was a lot of fun, my little buddy will be in my upcoming shows. Have a little touching up to do and dulling to his face and I am done.

Chuck C.
Message: Posted by: veegates (Nov 15, 2011 01:49PM)
Congrats!! I think you did a fantastic job!!
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Nov 16, 2011 01:55PM)
Excellent work. You should add making vents to your career business.
Message: Posted by: manal (Nov 26, 2011 03:34PM)
Nice work. You should post this in the "I'm A Real Boy" section.
Message: Posted by: Anverdi-museum (Nov 27, 2011 03:54AM)
Thanks for all of the positive feedback. I wanted to incorporate electronics in this figure ( moving mouth, eyes via wireless remote ) while standing across stage but everything is pretty tight. It is not out of the realm of possibility of still doing this as the power supply and needed electronics do not have to be in the head but possibly in the body proper.

When time allows I may add this and a few more features such as flapping ears, etc.

Chuck C.