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Topic: My Scavenger HIB Figure Project
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 17, 2011 04:38AM)
Here's a project I've been working on for a couple weeks as time permitted. It wasn't supposed to take that long, it was supposed to be a quick simple project, which I of course had to complicate.
For a long time, one of the items on my project list was a Head-In-Box figure - everyone who makes figures has to do one sooner or later. I sort of a came close once when I made my "Ventriloquist's Handbook" - that was a wooden book that opened up with a carved slotjaw face inside, but it wasn't really a "Head-In-Box figure", so I finally set out to build one.

The main plan for this project - to make this figure with just what I had on hand. I had a busted novelty vent head that had been snapped off just below the jaw to repair and use, and I had some extra pine boards, and assorted hardware, so away I went. Even down to the finish, I had some Oak stain on hand, so that was to be the color for the box, which I liked also because most HIBs I've seen were stained dark, so one way to be different from the rest.
I succeeded using only what I had on hand, including scavenging most of the brass hardware from a wooden trunk I'd built for a figure. That trunk proved to be too heavy to use, so I just use it for storage of figure parts now, so it wouldn't miss a handle, some corners, etc. I had a pair of small brass hinges, no brass screws, so had to make due with others.

Where I complicated it;
Most HIBs, that I've seen anyway, didn't have a 'standard' mouth control like a regular figure where you pull down on a lever to operate the jaw. Most have something else, like having the lever attached directly to the jaw where you have to push up on the lever to open the jaw, which is totally unnatural for a vent figure. So I had to have a separate lever and a pulley for the string, and to complicate it a bit more, I wanted the lever to be recessed when not in use.
Also, most HIBs I've seen, the head was stationary in the box. I wanted this one to have some side-to-side movement to offset not having moving eyes. The control for turning the head is also what holds the head in the box. If anything needs fixing in the future, taking off the top of the box and removing the control rod will permit removal of the head.

So anyway, it's done and I'm pleased with the way it came out for using odds and ends, so here are some pictures (I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures);

The front;

[IMG]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/vent%20personal/hib0062a.jpg[/IMG]

The back showing the lever part way down and the control on the bottom for turning the head;

[IMG]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/vent%20personal/back0072.jpg[/IMG]

And some assorted open box pictures;

[IMG]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/vent%20personal/hitbs0077a.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/vent%20personal/hitbs0075.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/vent%20personal/hitbr0069a.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/vent%20personal/hitbl0081.jpg[/IMG]
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Nov 17, 2011 05:12AM)
WOW!!!! Very nice! :)
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 17, 2011 05:15AM)
Thank you Wanlu.
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Nov 17, 2011 05:58AM)
As one who did miserably in shop class in junior high school (as it was called them), I'm extremely impressed. Very fine work and clever engineering. Do you plan to perform with hiim/it?

Bob
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 17, 2011 06:44AM)
Thank you Bob.

They don't call it shop class anymore?
As for performing with it, there's the irony of my building activities. The things I enjoy making the most are the vent novelties and small figures, but I only feel comfortable doing vent with a regular "full size" hard figure. So most of the things I make, I hardly even use. Often, I keep them around a while, using them rarely, and then end up selling them, which is okay too because I like the idea of having stuff I made "out there" either being used by others or in their own collections.
Message: Posted by: Servante (Nov 17, 2011 09:50AM)
Great job! What impresses me most is that you decided to kick things up a notch and make the head move! I don't believe I've EVER seen that.

-Philip
Message: Posted by: marshalldoll (Nov 17, 2011 10:39AM)
A very nice job indeed. As you said, if it is for sale, let me know!! I need an item made by you for the Ventriloquist Central Collection!!
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Message: Posted by: Pasquale (Nov 17, 2011 11:41AM)
Looks Great!!!
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 17, 2011 12:13PM)
Thank you Philip and Dan and Pasquale.

Philip - I already knew how I wanted to do the lever, but the turning head thing was actually a spur of the moment idea, but I didn't think I had seen it before either which made me want to do it even more.

Dan - I'll keep that in mind.
Head-in-a-box figures must be more popular than I thought, I already had someone else ask me if I was interested in selling it, which I'm not right now. I always keep stuff I make around a bit before I sell it, unless I make more than one at the same time like I did with the "Ventriloquist's Handbook" I mentioned in my first post, I made three of those, sold two and kept one. I think when I get home from work tonite, I'll try to take some pictures of that, it is, like I said, close to a head in a box, some might find it interesting.
Message: Posted by: manal (Nov 17, 2011 01:00PM)
Dave ,
It looks great! Great job!

Jim
Message: Posted by: NZBloke (Nov 17, 2011 04:17PM)
Hey Dave... I would prefer blue Christmas paper when you wrap it to send it here to New Zealand. Thanks mate! Awesome!!!
Message: Posted by: Chatterbox41 (Nov 17, 2011 05:33PM)
Awesome Dave! Looks good and the extra time you took definitely shows in the construction quality!

Gary
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 18, 2011 04:11AM)
Thank you Jim, Ray and Gary.

Oh, and sorry Ray, I'm all out of blue paper, so I guess that means I can't send it. :bg:
Message: Posted by: KeithS (Nov 18, 2011 05:13AM)
Dave,

I concur with what everyone else has already said. Very nice job. I am quite inept at building anything myself (I get nuts when my wife buys anything at Ikea). But you are clearly quite talented!
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 18, 2011 05:33AM)
I took pics of my sort of almost first head-in-a-box thing yesterday, my "Ventriloquist's Handbook".
I made these in '96 according to the date on the book. I had come across these wooden books in a store somewhere, and always looking for things I could turn into vent novelties, I quickly saw their potential and bought the only three of these wood books that they had.
The books were not very large, 7.5" high x 5.5" wide x 2" deep, so definitely no room for a full head and standard controls. So I carved a flat faces to mount inside, with big features to add to the visibility.
For the mouth "control", it's kind of a gravity thing like I had done with a couple vent canes I made, partially due to space limitations and wanting to keep it simple. In the back of the book, there is a little panel that opens up to put a finger in. With the book tipped slightly back, the mouth falls open, and you just push the back of the jaw to close the mouth.
That's it, nothing too fancy, here's the front of the book;

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/vent%20personal/HB0065.jpg[/img]

The back and you can see the closed access panel;

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/vent%20personal/HB0067.jpg[/img]

Here's the book opened up. Those are glue marks on the inside of the front, at one time, on this one I kept for myself, I had a plastic pocket thing glued in there for holding business cards. I ended up not liking it in there and took it out, but never got around to doing anything about the glue marks (and looking at the one card I do have in there shows me how old this is, it has the NAAV logo which I stopped using when Clinton ended the NAAV);

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/vent%20personal/HB0072.jpg[/img]

Here's a pic with the book tipped back and the mouth open;

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/vent%20personal/HB0075.jpg[/img]

And a pic from the back when the book is opened, and the access panel is open;

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/vent%20personal/HB0077.jpg[/img]
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 18, 2011 05:33AM)
[quote]
On 2011-11-18 06:13, KeithS wrote:
Dave,

I concur with what everyone else has already said. Very nice job. I am quite inept at building anything myself (I get nuts when my wife buys anything at Ikea). But you are clearly quite talented!
[/quote]

Thank you Keith.
Message: Posted by: Steve at The Dummy Shoppe (Nov 18, 2011 06:55AM)
Dave,

Thanks for sharing this fun, cool project. Looks like you had a great time doing it. You can make book on that! :)


Steve

http://www.thedummyshoppe.com/blog
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 18, 2011 07:02AM)
Very punny Steve. :)

Thanks, both projects were fun, actually, I enjoy most of my projects, even if they prove to be give me difficulties, it can be fun figuring out ways around them - and naturally, it's especially fun when it actually works out.
Message: Posted by: creativemac (Nov 18, 2011 07:12AM)
Can I check that book out of the library? Great job Dave.
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 18, 2011 07:28AM)
Hahaa, no, I'm afraid it was a self-published limited edition.

I realize, I like making things that can be the "Ventriloquist's-something". My Rudy figure I made years ago, I made a collapsible body for him and he fit nicely in a toolbox I bought and lined for him - and I called it my "Ventriloquist's Toolbox", and the tray that toolboxes have, I could use for business cards, etc.
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 18, 2011 11:00PM)
I don't know if anyone is even looking in this thread any more, so I may be rambling to myself, but if I'm rambling, maybe it's just as well that no one looks. :)

For various reasons, it's been at least a half dozen years or so since I made anything along these lines, this project was a reminder of how much I enjoy it and look forward to creating more stuff.
But upon completing the HIB, I was also reminded of something else - the completion of a project is always a double edged sword.
On one side of it, I'm naturally pleased when I finished something, and it's turned out okay and I can just step back and enjoy it.
On the other side, I then have decide what I want to do next. The ideas aren't the problem, the problem in that area is having too many of those, I've got a long list. No, the problem is deciding which project I want to tackle next.

Top of the list right now;
-I have enough basswood on hand to carve at least two full size figures and hands, maybe three.
-Before my shop went idle, I cast some head shells to make clones of my Rudy figure I created because I wanted to make some more of him to send out into the world.
-I also cast some shells for my MoonHead figures. I had made six originally, keeping one for myself which I ended up donating to Vent Haven. So I'd like to make another for myself along with another "batch" to send out into the world also.
-I posted in another thread about having carved three small heads, keeping one for myself which I also carved hands for, but I've yet to make a body for him.(This one is really taking the lead in my mind because it's a long time unfinished project, and the hard part, all the carving is done - except I'm thinking of carving his feet and body as well - so we'll see if he's next.....)
-I'd also really like to do some more of my small vent sculptures. I really like those myself. But they are something I can do without having to be out in the shop.

Well, that's the top stuff on the list - decisions, decisions......
Message: Posted by: manal (Nov 19, 2011 08:18AM)
I'm glad you will be again soon creating. I enjoy seeing your work.
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 19, 2011 08:34AM)
Thank you Jim, and you already know the feeling is mutual. I'm really looking forward to seeing what comes out of your future carvings.
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Nov 19, 2011 10:05AM)
I read all of your threads, and I read the updates every time one pops to the top of the forum.

Since I am by a court order not permitted to touch any tools since the fire that burned down my house from the last repair I attempted, I can only look and admire your handy work.
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 19, 2011 10:12AM)
Hmmmm.....we have a house up for sale, but the market not being so great anywhere, and even worse where we lived, is there any chance you'll be visiting upstate NY - I'd love to have you do some work on that house for me...... :bg:
Message: Posted by: Kyle Scribner (Nov 19, 2011 01:29PM)
Hey Dave,

I love these photos. You mentioned MoonHead figures above. Do you have any photos of them.

Thanks

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 19, 2011 03:49PM)
Sadly, I only have a few pictures of the one I kept for myself.
Here are the two best pictures I have of him which are really good pictures because they are from pictures taken by the local newspaper photographer when they did an article about me just before I sent him off to Vent Haven;

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/vent%20personal/moony1.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/vent%20personal/moony2.jpg[/img]

And here's a picture I found of him without his body and hat (I think it might be the same one, or it might be one of the other ones I made, not sure from the crummy picture);

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/vent%20personal/moony5.jpg[/img]

These are the specs from the webpage I created about them way back when;

"The heads of the MoonHeads are typically about 3 and 1/2 inches high and mounted on a headstick.
The mouth is operated with a lever on the headstick.
The "spring" is a simple rubber band, with easy access inside for replacement, & a place to store spare rubber bands within the head.
The body is a cloth body with stuffed arms (and molded hands).
The idea behind this creation was a small, portable, foldable, pocketable, take-anywhere hard figure."

Those specs for the first batch weren't completely accurate, those ones didn't have molded hands, I left the stuffed hands that were on the bodies I bought for that first batch, but future ones to be made were/are going to have molded hands.
I don't know what the bodies will be on the next ones. I have another body exactly like the one in the picture which I'll use to make a duplicate of the one in the picture for the one I keep, I guess I'll figure that out when the time comes.

I also created a story about the MoonHeads which can be seen on their webpage;
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/moonhds.htm

I think I'm mostly torn between doing the body for that small carved figure or more MoonHeads, I really miss having my own Moonhead - maybe I'll work on both at the same time.
Message: Posted by: Steve at The Dummy Shoppe (Nov 19, 2011 07:25PM)
Dave,

Real cute characters. Are they any relation to the Moonies?

Steve

http://www.thedummyshoppe.com/blog
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 19, 2011 07:30PM)
Thank you.
Who are the Moonies?
Message: Posted by: Kyle Scribner (Nov 19, 2011 09:50PM)
Hey Dave,

Very nice. Thank you for the photos. You are very talented.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 20, 2011 12:10AM)
Thank you Kyle.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Nov 20, 2011 12:12AM)
Nice work Dave. I really love the book.
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Nov 20, 2011 01:09AM)
[quote]
On 2011-11-19 11:12, blueshawk1 wrote:
Hmmmm.....we have a house up for sale, but the market not being so great anywhere, and even worse where we lived, is there any chance you'll be visiting upstate NY - I'd love to have you do some work on that house for me...... :bg:
[/quote]

I can do some electrical repairs for you; this would guarantee an insurance claim; working on the gas stove is assurance of a complete loss..

O wait the court order pervents me from holding tools in my hand
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 20, 2011 03:25AM)
The court order is in CA, not NY. :bg:

[quote]
On 2011-11-20 01:12, Mr. Pitts wrote:
Nice work Dave. I really love the book.
[/quote]
Thank you Mr. Pitts.
Message: Posted by: marshalldoll (Nov 20, 2011 11:17AM)
You can keep the NY house and become a snowbird!!
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Message: Posted by: creativemac (Nov 20, 2011 07:56PM)
Dave,

look what I found in the computer files;

[img]http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa346/creativemac/Dave/Vent_Book.jpg[/img]
Message: Posted by: creativemac (Nov 20, 2011 07:58PM)
Here's another one;

[img]http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa346/creativemac/Dave/VentBook.jpg[/img]
Message: Posted by: creativemac (Nov 20, 2011 08:37PM)
Dave,

is this also some of your work?

[img]http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa346/creativemac/Dave/finished-heads.jpg[/img]
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 20, 2011 09:43PM)
Donald! You have pictures of the other two books that I made and sold!
At one time, I lost a lot of pictures from a computer crash, so this is SO cool to see them again!
That last picture with the two heads isn't mine though.
Message: Posted by: creativemac (Nov 20, 2011 10:08PM)
I'm still looking for more pixs. Wish I had been one of the fortunate to buy one of them.
Message: Posted by: Chatterbox41 (Nov 21, 2011 07:34AM)
I have one of the Moonheads, but he's packed due to remodeling the whole house. When I get him out again I'll try and remember to take a photo of him for the world to see. The one on display at Vent Haven is in one of the Quick time photos though.

Dave's got many unique ideas!

Gary
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Nov 21, 2011 08:04AM)
[quote]
On 2011-11-21 08:34, Chatterbox41 wrote:

Dave's got many unique ideas!

Gary
[/quote]

Gary;

I am trying to talk Dave into making a figure that works by remote control with a speaker in it that will work through the Internet.

This way I can stay home and do my show remotely while sitting on my couch and watching reruns of the three stooges.
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 21, 2011 09:30AM)
Donald - thank you again for posting those pics you found, and thank you for wishing you had gotten one of those, it does feel good to have people like and appreciate something you've created.
Gary - Thanks for the comments on my ideas, I keep trying to come up with some different stuff.
Howie - sorry, I won't be able to help you out with your idea, I can't do remote control.
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Nov 26, 2011 09:07PM)
Anything new that your comming out with soon?
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 26, 2011 09:46PM)
New - yes, but not totally new.
I just got the molds out the other day to make a new batch MoonHeads, although it will be like making something new because it's been so long since I made any of them, some of it is going to be like making them the first time again, figuring out as I go.
As for "soon", not real soon, between having to figure out how I did it before (with no example here to look at), and the fact that I want to make about a dozen of them at once, and I want to come up with a new body for them - I imagine I've got a little time ahead of me before I'm announcing they are done.
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Jan 26, 2012 10:12PM)
Well, the HIB is up on ebay, we'll see how it does on the open market.
Message: Posted by: Aussie (Jan 27, 2012 06:36AM)
NIce work, thanks for sharing :)
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Jan 27, 2012 06:54AM)
Thank you.
Message: Posted by: Chatterbox41 (Jan 28, 2012 02:48PM)
[quote]
On 2012-01-26 23:12, Dickens & Dave wrote:
Well, the HIB is up on ebay, we'll see how it does on the open market.
[/quote]

Hope it does great!

Gary