Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Making of a Tiger.


We thought it would be helpful and informative to share with you some of the processes used in creating our costumes and critters. As time and the confidentiality of our clients allows, we’ll post sneak peaks of projects as we are working on them. Those of you not familiar with our business will hopefully find it interesting to see the stages involved. For those of you in the critter/costume creating world, we gladly welcome your comments and ideas.

Making of a Tiger.

We are currently working on a tiger for Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, for the Siegfried and Roy exhibit. Our deadline is mid January 2011.

We were lucky enough to recruit a very talented sculptor, Len Burge (www.LenBurge.com) to sculpt the body and head of the tiger.
First he needed to create a strong base for the tiger to be sculpted on. So, off to home-depot for 2X4s, sawhorses and strong plywood. Since he anticipated using 500lbs of clay he needed to put together a strong and sturdy table with rolling casters so that the table could be rotated.
Before starting any sculpting plumbing pipes were used for an armature and a combination of chicken wire, burlap and gypsum created a base loosely shaped like a tiger.

The body was sculpted out of wet clay and head out of a soft chavant clay.
The most important thing to take into account when you are sculpting an animal that will have fur applied is to not make it too big. You have to take the thickness of the fur into account so the sculpt resembles the animal without fur.

As you can see Len has done a fabulous job sculpting the tiger.

Next step was off to moldmaking. Jim Ojala (www.ojalafilms.com) is our guy for mold-making. He and his crew created a 12 piece mold of the body. It needed to be in this many pieces because of undercuts underneath claws etc. We chose a fiberglass mold for the body. The head is in for mold making as I write and will be a silicone mold.

I will keep updating the "making of a tiger" in the next couple of weeks so please come back and visit and I/we welcome any comments and/or ideas of "how to". I know there is a lot of very talented artist out there and we all have slightly different ways of doing things. I/We are always open and interested in learning new things here at The Critter Den.

Thank You

Chief critter