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Markus G. Nowak's Journal
EF23 Pawpet-Show - how Ortha was built  
22nd-Aug-2017 10:29 pm
Fussel
Ortha puppet - on Stage at the EF23 Pawpet Show
Ortha is a giant 4-legged puppet with foldable wings, that is played by 2-6 puppeteers (depending on what features are used). She can be carried by one puppeteer, put on a rolling lift with a tiltable connector or be lifted by two ropes. It took almost every weekend from January to July 2017 to build her - with usually 2-4 people working on it.

Her features include:
- 3d-printed head (PLA) Bowden-cable controlled animatronics (eyelids, ears, mouth, head-tilt front/back)
- foldable wings (each wing has three segments - the feathers of the second segment tilt when the wing closes) with removable rods and magnetic connectors on the body (to keep them in place in the folded position)
- control-rod for the head with 3d-printed levers, grips and battery holder
- blue LED-lights in the eyes
- movable eyelids
- folding ears
- movable lower-jaw
- tiltable head
- flexible neck and tail
- fully articulated front-legs
- movable back legs
- front-paws with inbuild gloves for the puppeteer
- back-paws with rods
- inbuild connectors that can be used to hold the weight of the puppet from above or below (14.98 kg)
- a hand sewed fake-fur cover that was painted with UV-paints (4 colors sprayed on and details drawn with UV-Markers)

We made several videos to test the puppet while we made it - here is a playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHuH-0GDY9CtekiyRyLQv78YAG02n2xte
This is a very complicated puppet - you will find many pictures in the following sections:


Ortha puppet sketch made by Pan Hesekiel Shiroi
I made a 3d-model for the head based on a sketch of Ortha made by Pan Hesekiel Shiroi.

Head closeup:
Ortha puppet 3d-model

Ortha puppet 3d-model

Ortha puppet 3d-model

Head and body:
Ortha puppet 3d-model full body

It took several iterations to agree on the final head and body shape.



My projector was used to transfer the design to paper.
Ortha puppet transfer to paper template

The paper template was used to find the right placement for the joints.
Ortha puppet paper template



Ortha's head was printed in PLA on my Flashforge Creator Dual in 4 parts (7 parts if you include the eyelid-mechanic, connector for the neck and guides for the Bowden-cables).
Ortha head base

Ortha head base



Plaast (from http://www.plaast.de/ ) was used to glue the parts together and to hand sculpt the teeth.
Ortha head base with teeth and eyelids

Ortha head base with teeth and eyelids

Ortha head base with teeth and eyelids
The eyes and eyelids were changed later.

LEDs with half a ping-pong ball as a diffusor (painted with blue acrylic marker)
Ortha eye backlights



We used empty 3d-printer filament spools, hoses, heavy-duty webbing, pipe clamps, aluminum profiles, cable-ties, chair casters, plastic-mesh and pipe insulating foam to make the basic structure of the body.
Ortha basic structure of the body

Ortha basic structure of the body

Ortha basic structure of the body

Ortha basic structure of the body

Ortha basic structure of the body

Ortha basic structure of the body

Ortha basic structure of the body

Ortha basic structure of the body

Top rope attachment ring
Ortha connector for the fly rig



The feathers were made using cardboard templates in many different sizes. They were cut out of very dense closed cell foam (from a Store that specializes in materials for Live Action Roleplay). A strip of foam was removed in the middle of each feather and a carbon rod was glued in with hot glue. A plastic strip was glued on to secure the rod. A part of a linkage rod for RC airplanes was glued on the end of the carbon rod with super glue. The part to hold the feathers was mostly made with aluminum profiles.
Ortha feathers

Ortha feathers

Ortha feathers rods glued in

Ortha feathers

The plastic strip made it more difficult to move the feathers - so we used an iron-on fabric on the other side.
Ortha feathers

Ortha feathers

Ortha feathers

Both sides of the feathers were spray-painted in three colors.
Ortha feathers

Ortha feathers

Ortha feathers



The ears are simple foam shapes - attached to the head with cable-ties.
Ortha ears

Ortha ears

Ortha ears



The tongue was made by cutting it out of a foam sheet and covering it with Plaast (pigments were added). I pressed a rough material (filter foam) on the plastic to give it more texture.
Ortha tongue

Ortha tongue



Ortha head controlls

Ortha head controlls

Ortha head controlls



Ortha foam body shape
Ortha foam body shape

Ortha foam body shape



Ortha wings

Ortha wings

Ortha wings

Ortha wings

Ortha wings

Ortha wings

Ortha wings



3d-printed attachment point for the neck.
Ortha neck adapter

Ribs to make it easier to lift Ortha from below.
Ortha internal spacer



A simple lever for the bowden cables.
Ortha Bowden cable lever

Shripwrapped grip
Ortha head rod grip

Controlls assembled
Ortha head controls

Ortha head controls



I used painters tape to make a pattern for the head fur - the head is symmetrical so one side was enough.
Ortha head pattern

Ortha head pattern

Ortha head pattern

Mock-up of the pattern before drawing it on the tape.
Ortha head pattern mock-up

The pattern for the fur of one side of the head (I only made a pattern for the most important part).
Ortha head pattern complete



Orthas fur is from https://www.webpelzshop.de/.
Ortha head fur sewed together

Trimmed fur
Ortha head fur trimmed



Ortha body assembling the fur

Ortha body assembling the fur



Ortha puppet - almost finished - last build weekend

Ortha puppet - almost finished - last build weekend
Comments 
23rd-Aug-2017 10:07 am (UTC)
So this is why you been so Hushed up...

Well I hope to use the 3D Flux delta on making me parts to replace the 1950's tech that has rusted into dust..
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