Lily created a simple drawn up diagram of the Trixi puppet in Illustrator. I used the outlines for the basic design, but then tweaked the armature to my own liking, as shown below.
I wrapped 0.5mm wire around the joins of the legs and body, then applied two part epoxy to secure it in place. For added reassurance, Millieput was added around each of the joins.
When dry sandwich together two sponge pieces around one leg, both have had spray mount applied to before placing together. When each leg and tail are covered in foam, rape in masking tape to ensure it stay in one place. This also ensures there is enough pressure to stay together. Then leave till dry, which can vary but to be safe I normally wait around 30minite depending on how much spray mount glue I have applied.
Now the legs are dry and covered with foam, remove the masking tape. Pin point in each leg where the bottom of the wire foot is locates, then draw a circle this will become the base of the foot.
One the legs and feet have been marked up correctly, it’s time to begin the cutting. As evenly as possible cut around the leg to create a leg shape. Then cut around the foot, to the midpoint of the leg to create a similar shape to that on the back legs, as shown above.
Before adding the body, I decided to make the tail as it would be easier to complete first. Cut the desired shape wanted, and paint with a mix of liquid latex and acrylic paint. Once dry, apply the same paint to various bits of string, once again allowing them to dry. When dry start applying the coloured string to the tail, I found super glue to work best but you may want to try something different?!
The tail is complete, now for the main bulk and body of Trixi. With the same principle as before, you need to measure the size of the foam. Referring back to your armature already made and scaled drawings.
After cut small slits into the sides of the foam to allow the legs to fit between nicely. Now apply quite a bit of spray mount glue onto the foam and in between the slits. Now sandwich the two pieces together and fix together with masking tape, should look something like that.
For the head once again sandwich the foam and cut a mane and head shape, not forgetting to look back at your drawings contently as a reference.
The head is created the same way as the legs, draw a circle then cut around it once you are happy and begin to smooth down the noise area.
Now you should have one completely foamy Trixi all ready for her stripes.
First mix a large amount of liquid latex with white acrylic, then paint Trixi all over 3 times. This stops the puppet looking like foam it also makes a hard shell around the entire puppet securing its overall shape.
Referring back to Trixi I tried to replicate the colour pattern and stripes. First I added masking tape to get straight stripes, but the paint went under the tape and when removing started to rip the puppet.
So in the end I applied all the stripes myself by hand, not literally but used the opposite end of a paint brush. And a steady hand.
Tip: Use the opposite end of the paint brush, as liquid latex DOES NOT WASH OUT! Completely ruining you brush.
Once painted I finished the puppet by; adding the coloured string to the mane, added white beads for the eyes, some tiny foam ears with wire armature inside and even crafted some white super sculpty teeth! As it is one CRAZY looking horse.
CGI verson of Trixi
My finished puppet of Trixi
Hope you like this simple making of Trixi blog post, if you have any question please ask away :)