Design me a Dragon animatronic puppet develops…

Richard Allport Design me a Dragon dev

If you’ve noticed things have been quiet for a while in this news section, its partly because sculpting 2000 scales takes a bit of time!

The 4-foot Dragon head for next term’s workshops has gone from a simple mock up through to finished sculpture ready for moulding.

Shown above is the head and neck in stages of sculptural development, and when cast will have mechanics to make its eyelids blink, nostrils sniff and ears twitch in addition to it gurgling smoke and spitting 5-foot jets of fire from its mouth!

Check back here for continuing progress!

Richard Allport 2010,,

Strange how your days work out!

Richard Allport head cast

Ring ring…

Rich: Hello

Andy: Hi…it’s Andy, could you come over to Bentley Chemicals and cover my head in rubber?

Rich: Ok! Now?

Andy: Yes please, I want a head cast of myself to sculpt on!

Rich: No problem, see you in a bit…

A fun few hours at Bentley Chemicals doing a head cast of Andy Brown using body double and 4420 silicone! Many thanks to Emma Clayton for helping out and taking loads of snaps and Rob Price for letting us use his workshop and picking his brain!

Richard Allport 2010,,

Richard Allport in Bentley Chemical’s featurette.

Richard Allport Bentley Chemicals Feature

This month’s Bentley Chemical’s newsletter features an article on Richard Allport and his use of their amazing range of materials in making his Goblin Head for his schools lecture tour.

Check out Bentley Chemical’s services here:

Many thanks again to all the Bentley team especially Rob Price.

Richard Allport 2010,,

Making a silicone creature head explained…

head in stages Richard Allport

Following enquiries about how the goblin head was made in the gallery section I’m posting some making of pictures showing the process involved.

Firstly for sculpting I use Plastiline, basically a professional grade plasticine which melts when warmed up instead of going dry and crumbling. This allows for the use of a heat gun and sculpting tools to be used to create the form and also allows the sculpture to be left out in the open air without drying out.

Image 1 shows the form being roughed in blobs of plastiline, based on the artwork ideas generated before (See Gallery). Shot 2 shows the slow refinement of those blobs into features and begins to give the overall head a facial expression. Shots 3 and 4 show the further refinement of this process adding eyelids, tear ducts and baggy skin where required.

Shots 5 and 6 show the refinement further of this process including the addition of horns and ears, and the blocking off of the area behind the lips to create a mouth “void” where the teeth will eventually go. Shot 7 shows the final sculpture ready for moulding.

Shot 8 shows the deconstruction of the piece ready to be moulded and the removal of the horns which will be attached to the fibreglass underskull later. Shot 9 shows the first layers of silicone being applied to create a flexible mould. The moulding process has been left out from this post as it would fill a few pages (If you require any information on this process please feel free to get in touch).

Shot 10 shows the cast silicone skin which has been painted using base transparent silicone mixed with pigment and applied in thin washes to build up colours and tones. The hair has been punched in hair by hair and the eyebrow is being set into place with hair mousse. Pinning the hair down with a fabric strip keeps it in the desired shape/ curve. To the right is the fibreglass underskull with horns attached and hand sculpted teeth made from Milliput positioned to fit in place under the silicone skin mouth area.

Shot 11 shows the almost complete finished head save for a little bit more tweaking of the right eyebrow which needed resetting.

The materials used were supplied by Bentley Chemicals ( in Kidderminster who deliver nationally and internationally. They are an amazing bunch of guys with incredible technical knowledge of their range and the patience to talk you through any areas of uncertainty you may have if you are new to making special effects monsters or creatures.

I hope this breakdown has helped. More info will be available in Bentley Chemical’s newsletter, which includes a feature on the making of this head which I will post a link to shortly on its release.

Materials breakdown.

Skin– Smooth on “Dragon Skin” mixed with silicone pigments and flocking powder. Eyes and horns– Smooth on “Fast Cast” liquid plastic. Eyes painted with acrylic paint and given dozens of coats of lacquer. Teeth– Hand made from Milliput epoxy ( Hair– Real human hair from any beauty suppliers. Underskull– Isopon P40 car filler fibre glass paste.

Richard Allport 2009,,