In May of this year, Derek Lux and Christian Anderson began designing and building puppets for Shrek The Musical for 3D Theatricals. Puppets included a Gingerbread hand puppet, a mechanized chirping bird rod puppet, assorted rod puppets for a Travel Song number, and a 25 foot full scale dragon puppet!!
Here are some behind the scene pics of the build!
A one fifth scale head was carved from poly foam, then draped with muslin to created a pattern for the sheet foam that will later be used to create the final head of the dragon puppet.
The muslin was then carefully removed and traced onto paper.
All markings were transferred over as reference.
An overhead projector was used to blow up the original pattern pieces two times larger.
Now twice the size of the original, the patterns are traced onto 12TF sheet foam and cut and glued to make a mock up.
This crude mock up confirms that everything has gone smoothly thus far in the process.
Now it’s time to blow the original pieces five times larger on the overhead projector.
With this foot in the picture as scale, you can see the pieces are getting quite large!!
Now time to trace them onto the L200, the foam that will be used for the final version of the head.
The markings help assemble the large and often confusing pieces. The 1 inch thick and 1 1/2 think L200 is glued together with Duall #88, a very strong grade contact cement. Notice the respirator, safety first!
The limbs of the dragon being carved and sanded with a dremel from 2 inch thick L200.
About 35 different sized rings created from different thicknesses of sharkbite were made to make up the shape of the dragon’s torso and tail.
Webbing and fanny pack clips were utilized to created custom attachments, this way the dragon’s body could be disassembled for shipping and storage.
An inside view of the torso rings connected and padded with foam insulation tubing.
Starting to take shape!
Next, the head is draped once again to create the fabric pattern to be machine sewn. About four or five full bolts of fabric were used to cover the dragon!
Not to mention many many pins!!
The mechanism for the wings were sourced to our friends at Encirco Studios. They did an amazing job creating wings that can extend and flap up and down! Check them out – http://www.encircostudios.com
Once the head was fully completed, it was harnessed and tested!
The big girl in the truck ready to be shipped!
Backstage ready for her entrance!
And here are some great production quality pics!