Wire armature

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This is a method to make a framework of a puppet using wire. Unlike ball joint, making wire arimature is no need for machine tools. It is easy to make it with only pliers. Also, it is flexible structure because it is free to move and direction. Although if you use it many times,it will be broken. But, if you devise how to make and animate, it becomes hard to be broken. In feature stop motion animation, puppet has many turn like a protagonists are made to be ball joint armature, other sub characters are wire armatures, or wires are used for such as fingers(it is difficult to use thin ball joint.) and tails(freely moving parts).


wire fuse
In Japan it is a material that has been used as a framework for puppets of stop motion animation since long ago. It is a very soft wire. There are wire fuses of various thickness, but they are classified by electric resistance (ampere) rather than diameter. It is okay to use a lead wire as a substitute.

lead wire
It is used as a substitute for wire fuse.

aluminium wire
Compared to thread fuses and lead wires, it has strength and it is hard to break, but it is hard for small parts such as fingers. It is inexpensive and easy to purchase.

lead plate
I use it for feet or palm. There are various thicknesses.

paper tape
wrapping it in a wire. Prevent scratches. Difficult for the wire to break. Clay biting improves. The strength can be adjusted by the thickness of winding. There are various effects.

I use it for the core.


I introduce the basic type of humanoid. The core is divided into two parts, the chest and the waist, and the framework is attached to the neck, arm, waist, leg. Waist and legs are 3 mm thick lead wire. Neck and arm are 2 mm thick lead wire. Fingers are using a 5 A (ampere) thread fuse. Height is about 18 cm.

Cut the lead wire longer than actually used. Be careful not to scratch as much as possible.

If the lead wire is bent, the paper tape wrinkles, so roll it across the two boards and stretch straight.

If you can, it will wind the tape in a spiral shape, but if it can not be done well, cut the paper tape according to the wire length, and wrap it in parallel along the wire.

Wipe with woodworking bonds thinned with water on a paper tape with a brush and wind it on a lead wire. Be careful not to wrinkle. By winding paper, the lead wire will not break easily. I think that it is better to avoid using only the lead wire as it is easy to break.

Cut the wood and make the core of the chest and waist. File down the edges, and drill a hole in a core.

The placement of the parts looks like this. A thread fuse is soldered in the hand.

Insert the epoxy bond on the lead wire and insert it in the core. You should use epoxy bonds (bonds that cure by mixing Solution A and Solution B) to use bonds. If it is a woodworking bond or G bond, it may be taken out while the puppet is animated because the strength is insufficient.

2mm thick lead plate is soldered to the feet. Depending on the design of the doll the shape of the core and the balance of limbs will be various.

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