Sometimes I see something and it just clicks. As I've said, thinkgeek.com is one of my favourite places in the universe. They have a website with real humour, beautiful and innovative design work and products that appeal to me (and generally make me giggle). So, it was unsurprising when I went to their site the other day and saw their holiday header image and it made me giggle beyond the telling of it.
First, ThinkGeek's mascot is Timmy the Monkey. Being a Red Monkey myself, of course I like any site with a good monkey mascot. Being a pixel monkey myself, I appreciate the site's look and aesthetic. (What's not to like about that gorgeous robots to zombies background fade?)
Second, any site that uses nice renditions of my favourite puppet or claymation characters also has my full attention.
So to see Timmy the Monkey done up as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer from the 1964 Rankin-Bass movie just delighted me and I knew I had to have a Timmy the Red-Nosed Reindeer Monkey of my very own. Preferably one with a light-up nose.
Also, after being sick as all get-out for a week with this damn sinus infection from hell, I needed a project I could immerse myself in and yet remain quiet and still and restful. So, I grabbed some bricks of Sculpey and Fimo and cleared off the glass drawing table and began kneading the polymer clay. The light colours on Timmy are just plain tan Sculpey. The darker area is tan mixed with chocolate and the antler nubs are chocolate Sculpey mixed with black Fimo. The black eyes and red nose are also Fimo.
The problem with working in Sculpey is the stuff is ridiculously soft. That makes it exceedingly difficult to get it completely smooth and exceedingly easy to get small flecks of other colours embedded into each other. The head construction was fairly easy, but smoothing out the seam of the ears was difficult without leaving further marks in the soft clay. It went pretty well, though, including the inlay of the tan into the ears.
Then I started the body. I toyed with the thought of using aluminum foil to take up some of the bulk, but to be honest, I've never had success using that method - I just never seem to get the clay smooth again over the crumpled foil. So, his body is a massive chunk of Sculpey. Then I cut a diagonal line to create the joint for one leg - just to see if this method would make a better joint for the legs. It did. I was pretty happy with that ... and then it was time for the damn arms. Really, the arms weren't so bad, but trying to do the hands in the incredibly soft Sculpey was an exercise in masochism. Eventually I got it. Unfortunately, during the baking, both arms sagged downward more than I'd anticipated.
So he turned out pretty well, but that wasn't quite enough for me. I wanted a light-up nose, too. So, I carved into the back of Timmy's little head. I needed a slot big enough to slide a 3V 2032 button battery (often found in watches or super-slim remotes). I also needed a hole to insert the LED. Wiring him up was far easier than I thought at first - the area was small enough that all I really needed to do was slide the battery in between the wires in the LED - no additional wiring really needed. I could just take the battery out to turn it off. Far simpler than trying to embed both wiring and a switch inside the Sculpey head - particularly since I didn't want to bake the wiring along with the Sculpey.
There ya have it! Timmy the Red-Nosed Reindeer Monkey.
Posted by Red Monkey at December 6, 2009 3:39 PM |
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Nicely done! Timmy is very proud. :)December 6, 2009 10:48 PM
How awesome! Timmy's all ready for claymation movies now. ;-)December 7, 2009 9:00 AM
That is AWESOME! And I LOVE Think Geek. My brother is getting an extra special present from them this year.December 8, 2009 10:47 PM
Hi, I am enjoying your blog. I'd love for you to stop by and see mine. Thanks.January 27, 2010 11:57 AM