Monday, February 27, 2017

Leprechaun Dancing Pull Toy

Caricature leprechaun pull toy has 6 built-up 
layers that replicate balsa wood construction. 
Front and back main "body" shapes 
are separated by "posts" small and large 
to allow legs and arms to hinge. 
Pull the fob strings, and arms and legs move up; 
release and gravity pulls them back down. 

Full of details, including built-up face/nose layers, 
jacket with cuff and button sleeves, pants with buttons, 
layered shoes with buckles, layered bow tie, 
layered hat with delicate shamrock stem. 
Measures approx. 14.5" tall x 7" wide x .625" thick. 

(This tutorial is under construction.
Please return soon to view
the completed assembly guide.)

ASSEMBLY: 1. Identify and cut the shapes.
A body front build up layers (6)
B front inner body
C body back build up layers (6)
D back inner body
E hanger build up layers (6)
F & G  arm build up layers (6 each l & r)
H & I upper leg build up layers (6 each l & r)
J & K lower leg build up layers (6 each l & r)
L fob front & back build up layers (4 each)
M fob interior build up layers (3 each upper, lower)
Also cut the accent front shapes.
(Review the assembly steps to understand
better the coloration, placement and
build-up shapes.)
2. Assembly the built-up components by
carefully gluing the layers together,
matching up the punch holes and cut edges
as precisely as possible.
As an example, one arm is shown in assembly here.
Layer and glue the six layers . . .
. . . using a pointed tool such as this awl to help
align the punch holes precisely.
To help the built-up shapes stay flat, and
avoid warping or curling, use a flat weight
such as this muslin-covered cast-ff free weight,
placed on top until adhesive is dried.
3. Layer the build-up layers for the front body 
shown here, with the concave notch on the corner
of the brim being indicated.
Layer the 6 body front layers (shown), and
the 6 body back layers.
4. Build up the 6 lower leg units, left and right . . .
. . . the 6 upper leg units left and right
5. Layer the 6 hanger build up layers.
6. Layer the front (4) and back (4) fob "full" shape
layers, the lower partial (3) layers, and the upper
"point" partial (3) layers.
Attach the partial layers . . . 
. . . to bottom and top between fronts and back
to create a string-threading channel.
7. Prepare the large (2) and small (4) post shapes
by bending back on vertical perforations.

8. Form the large post shape(s) into a tube to
overlap the straight side edge over the side tab
to the first perforation line, then glue tab in place.
NOTE that it will be helpful to use a 5/16" dowel
as a form to press against inside the post tube
when gluing the tab.
9. Follow the same process to form the small
tube, using a bamboo skewer (approx. .12")
to form and glue the tab.
(NOTE that the next few images involving the
attachment of posts are from a different project.)
10. Insert one end of the large post tube tabs through
the large hex opening at bottom (and later top)
of the interior back body shape.
Take care to insert from face side toward back,
with only tabs inserted fully through.
11. On the backside, bend the tabs outward
and glue in place.
Working from the face side, apply pressure all
around the post to assist in the attachment.
12. Repeat the process to insert the small posts
through the corresponding small hex openings,
bending back the tabs . . . 
 . . . on the backside,
and gluing in place.
This is approximately how the face side of the interior back
body panel will look with all posts in place.
NOTE that the leprechaun project includes
a large post at center top and bottom,
with four smaller posts to hold arms and legs.
This is approximately how the
assembly will look from the backside.
NOTE that the leprechaun project
bottom large post may have a tab that
extends beyond the body edge.
Trim it flush or shorter than flush.
13. For added support, cut 3/8" long dowel stubs 
(5/16" diam.) and insert/glue in large post tubes . . . 
. . . and same length of bamboo skewers into
4 small posts (NOTE only 4 small remain
in final design version).
14. Prepare the hat unit by layering the accent crown
shape onto the crown base, then attach to the
hat base shape.
15. Layer the brim build-up (6) shapes, then attach
the brim accent shape to the top face.
Attach this assembly to the bottom area of the hat
base shape.
NOTE that brim build up helps the hat brim align
more realistically with the built-up edge of the face stack.
16. Layer the jacket front (with button opening)
over the neck show-thru shape (identified in 
step 19 below), matching
corresponding edges, then position and attach
over the lower body/pants base shape (left).
Also attach the jacket button into the recess.
17. Working on the front main body build up stack,
Position and attach the hat unit.
Attach the hat band, buckle, and shamrock as shown.
18. Position the jacket/body/pants unit
to the lower area of the front stack.
18. Position and attach the collar shape
at the top of the jacket shape,
with side edges matched to stack edges.
19. Identify the face stack and other fleshtone
shapes: (NOTE that most have their
order number cut at the center of shape)
1 under-chin base
2-6 face base plus contour shapes, 
(4 = nostril shading)
N eye underlay    O neck show-thru base
P mouth underlay   Q lower lip
20. Layer shape #3 over #2, align eye openings
and upper/side edges and glue in place.
21. Position and attach the mouth and eye underlays
behind the assembly, and glue in place.
22. Layer #5 over #4 and align corresponding edges,
and glue in place.
Layer onto the 2/3 assembly from previous step
and attach.
23. Position and attach the #1 (top) shape over
the assembly, align and glue in place.
24. Position and attach the pupil shapes into
the eye recesses, lower lip at the mouth cutout
edge.
24. Position and attach the face unit onto the
#1 shape lower chin base.
25. Layer and attach the hair base build up (6)
shapes (helps hair line up with face stack thickness),
taking care to align all cut edges as precisely as possible.
26. Working on a flat, protected work surface,
insert the head unit into the matching area of
the hair build-up, and align edges . . .
. . . then position and attach the front hair shape
over the edges of the face and hair stack,
attaching it to both stacks where it touches.
27. Position and attach the head/hair unit
below the brim stack, and overlapping 
the collar, with side edges matched up.
28. Prepare the bow tie unit by
layering the contour loops shape
on the base shape, attaching the knot
at center, with upper and lower
edges lined up.
29. Position and attach onto the body
front below chin, as shown.
30. Assemble the accent shapes on the fronts
of the right and left upper and lower legs,
including pant legs with button circles and stocking
"knee", and layered shoe with buckle and calf
stocking.
31. Layer the lower leg over the knee end of the
upper leg, matching circle punch holes. Determine
preferred leg angle, match left & right, and glue legs together.
Insert a decorative brad through holes, bending
back prongs as much as possible.
(Or, you may choose to leave leg portions unattached,
so they can hinge.)
32. Assemble accent shapes for left and right
arms, including sleeve base, cuff with button circles.
Here are the legs and arms ready to sandwich
between the body front and back on posts.
33. Place body BACK outer face down on flat surface.
Thread arms onto top posts. Thread a length of
twine or perle cotton through the small hole in
one arm and tie a square knot.
Thread the other end through the fob string
channel . . . 
. . . then loop the thread with fob down to "exit"
on one side of bottom post, then up on the other side,
to thread through opposite arm thread hole.
Adjust the fob/twine so that it is 3.5" to 4.5" below
bottom of the body.
Tie knot at second arm in square knot; trim excess.
34. Repeat the process for the legs pair,
adjusting leg twine so that fob is extended
fully downward, twine loops even.
35. Insert free ends of large and small posts
through the body front interior layer so that
all tabs are fully through, then bend back tabs
and glue in place.
(This is the most time-consuming and tricky
part of the assembly. Be patient and gentle
to preserve delicate tabs.
Remember: some of the holes/posts shown
here have been eliminated in final design.)
36. Position, align and attach the body front stack
onto the front of the puppet assembly.
Applying pressure for this joining is tricky.
Use a flat tool such as this spatula tool, or . . .
. . . this flat ruler, inserted under all body layers
to press against all around the body.
It may also be helpful to use a series of
"bullnose" folio clips around the edges to assist
with the connection while adhesive dries.
To make the leprechaun dance,
hold the hanger at top (or attach to something)
while pulling the fob downward . . .
. . . which will make the legs and arms
move upward . . .
. . . to this highest position.
Release fob to allow arms and legs to drop
to "relaxed" original position.
It is also possible to manipulate the arms & legs
somewhat separately.
Here is the leprechaun in resting position.

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