Harvey the Hussar

A bit of a new (or old) departure this one, I'm making a Napoleonic Hussar puppet for a friend who is a serious Napoleonic buff. It's been a while since I've made a puppet or anything other the Steampunk in style so this will be a fun challenge.
The aim this weekend was to make a head to get a feel for the figure, both look and scale. Ben (the puppet's recipient) wanted something that had the feel of Harvey Kietel in The Duellists.

Below is the head construction from start to finsih
The head will need to be hooked to the body to allow movement so I start with a simple armature with lots of spare wire to insert into the body.

Over this I build a simple skull shape from sculpey and cook it so I have a solid surface to build on.

The basic face is built over this and beads added for eyes.

When I'd added eyelids I realised the beads were too big so I removed them and added smaller ones. I want a much more realistic look for this figure than normal so the face must be in proportion.

The smaller beads allow for deeper set eyes. At this stage I'm just making the face from sculpey, once it's cooked and firm I'll build up the back and hat.

I'd originally intended to use plastiroc (which is air drying)  for the next bit so painted the face with washes of brown, red and black acrylic to give a weatherbeaten and swarthy complexion.
I started to build the hat but wasn't happy with the fimo/sculpey join so went back to sculpey. the lump you can see below is to create a shape around which the hat will be secured. The forehead is sloping so the peak of the hat can be stuck to it.
I was worried how the acrylic wash would react to another cooking but it was fine.
The brim of the hat, made from double layered thick paper reinforced with wire is glued to the head, it goes all the way into the head so once the hat is built it will be secure.

 The hat is  plastiroc smooothed to shape and wrapped in thick parcel paper. There was a dent in the shape which I've smoothed over with more plastiroc
The finshed head has a piece of wire through it. This is inside a brass tube, the wire will eventually be removed and thread inserted to allow the head to hang and move. The brass tube means no unsightly hooks and also stops the thread damaging the head when it moves.
All he needs now is detailing on the hat and some hair. Oh and a body!


ferinn said...

The sculpey gives a great finish ,though the eyes are seriously scary!Can you add in colour?

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