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Wicket "Animatronic" Prop build

 
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michmalo (Michael Maloney)
Devaron Base XO
Devaron Base XO


Joined: 28 Sep 2016
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Location: New Jersey
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Rebelthon2020 (Amount: 1)

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:01 pm    Post subject: Wicket "Animatronic" Prop build Reply with quote

I've built my own R2-D2 and I have several approved costumes in both legions and wanted to do something a bit different. I started with the idea of making a Jawa prop, my kids were on board until in their confusion got Ewoks and Jawas confused (kids?!?!?). So I put the Jawa mannequins on hold and started on making some Ewok parts. I had already sculpted a nose, lips and a few teeth that I had sitting in a box but I needed to make some realistic eyes, and since I was going to make realistic eyes, why not make them move while I was at it.

I decided to experiment with my 3D printer to see if I could print eye shells and then cover them in resin to get the effect of shiny eyeballs.




I drew myself a guide line around the eye to where I wanted the pupil to extend to and painted the iris black and then started adding detail.



I found a great tutorial on Instructables https://www.instructables.com/How-to-Make-Ultra-Realistic-Eyes-Using-3D-Printing/

This shows you how to cast your own eyes but since I didn't have any silicone I decided to skip the casting part. Once I was happy with it I mixed up some resin and poured a few coats over the eyes themselves. In hindsight I probably should've done this on wax paper or something other than a porous surface but it actually worked well.



While the resin was drying overnight I mocked up a head with styrofoam that I had laying around.

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Last edited by michmalo (Michael Maloney) on Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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michmalo (Michael Maloney)
Devaron Base XO
Devaron Base XO


Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 172
Location: New Jersey
Medals: 1 (View more...)
Rebelthon2020 (Amount: 1)

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



With the eyes in place in their holder (also 3D printed from Instructables, see previous link), I roughed out some ears trying to imagine what they would look like without fur on them. I used some wood skewers to hold them in place and moved them several times to try and get them in a screen accurate position.

My first attempt at a nose was too small so I started from scratch and created a new one with Sculpey and roughly painted it to match screen references. An old EVA foam project and added fur to the ears.


I couldn't get past the roughly cut out eyes so I decided to create a new "mask" out of EVA foam and scraped the green foam lid and old half mask that I had been using to conceal the electronics.

this was before I sanded down the brow a bit to get the shape of the face right but it should what the mask looked like. I cut out the piece between the eyes to give it more of a sunken in look and again tried to better reproduce what was seen on screen.

Once I was happy with it all I had to do was start gluing on fur. I ended up using about 5 different glues at this stage to get everything the way I wanted, rubber cement worked OK but I felt like it was soaking into the back of the fur too much and CA glue was perfect but too expensive to use for the entire project. Super 77 was the perfect balance of cost and hold but also messy to use because I needed to spray areas next to areas that already had fur applied, wrapping those areas in plastic worked well to spray.




Remembering that fur won't lay flat on a curved surface I tried my best to cut some V's out of the back of some pieces to get it to better lay flat.

I was able to do this by laying the fur across the curve and then pinching the fabric in between my fingers simulating how it would lay flat, I would then pick it up and draw a line on the back of what fabric I needed to remove.

This is what he looks like so far, still a long way to go but I'm really happy with him.


Next up is rewiring the electronics to get all of the servos in sync, I tested everything and it all works but now that it has to fit inside of his head and I need to hide the wires I need to make some of them shorter and others much longer. There'll be a small button and joystick that I'll hide under his hood so he won't be remote as the joystick will be tethered to him for now until I learn some more programming but the eye movement and blinking is very realistic so far.
_________________
ANH - Captain Antilles
OT - X-Wing Pilot
Rogue One - Scarif Trooper
Rogue One - Yavin Operations Trooper
Rogue One - Signals Intelligence Technician
Rogue One - Yavin Officer/ Command
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michmalo (Michael Maloney)
Devaron Base XO
Devaron Base XO


Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 172
Location: New Jersey
Medals: 1 (View more...)
Rebelthon2020 (Amount: 1)

PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to post a pic of how I did the ears, I used some green expanded insulation foam and cut and shaped it to resemble what I wanted the ears to look like. Once I had one done I flipped it over and traced the shape onto another piece of foam to make them both identical.

For the middle of the ear I used some darker fur and shaved the fair down to create some depth and contrast.


Once I stuck them into the foam I used hot glue on both the outside and the inside so they are really well adhered.
_________________
ANH - Captain Antilles
OT - X-Wing Pilot
Rogue One - Scarif Trooper
Rogue One - Yavin Operations Trooper
Rogue One - Signals Intelligence Technician
Rogue One - Yavin Officer/ Command
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michmalo (Michael Maloney)
Devaron Base XO
Devaron Base XO


Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 172
Location: New Jersey
Medals: 1 (View more...)
Rebelthon2020 (Amount: 1)

PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the current mess of electronics that I'm wrestling with at the moment.



I'm using these little connectors to make it a little easier once I have it all working right I can easily swap the wires out to make them longer/shorter to fit better


I still need to make him a hood as well, I may do that BEFORE I actually build his body, depending on how the weather in the North East plays out and I can get to the store to buy more supplies.
_________________
ANH - Captain Antilles
OT - X-Wing Pilot
Rogue One - Scarif Trooper
Rogue One - Yavin Operations Trooper
Rogue One - Signals Intelligence Technician
Rogue One - Yavin Officer/ Command
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