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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to be really ambitious for next year and I'm thinking about making a 10-15 ft tall animatronic monster. I've got a lot of testing to do before I actually build it, but one of my biggest worries is what to make the skin out of. Currently I'm thinking the monster will be humanoid sort of like a troll and I'm imagining his skin would be gray.

I've thought about making it out of monster mud, but I'm afraid that might be a little too heavy considering it could be up to 15 feet tall. I've also thought about making it out of latex, but I've never worked with latex and I don't know how east it is or how weather/sun resistant it really is. Anyway, if anybody has any experience with latex or has a good idea of what might work let me know. Currently I'm up for any ideas so even if you've never tried it yourself let me know. I just need something that will be lightweight, look realistic (well realistic for a monster) and hold up to the rain and sun during October.
 

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You said animatronic..the type of skin you use will depend on the actuators. Servos? Pneumatic? IF servos, you will want to mold and cast foam latex..pretty advanced stuff. For pneumatics, regular latex or silicone would be the choice. Either way you'll need to start off with a scuplture of the creature. Can you sculpt? If not, you may want to reconsider making it a full animatronic. I mean, what would you cover the monster with under the skin to begin with? Starting off with a full working armature can be done, but you would need to fill it out with vaccuformed shells like Disney does with thier animatronics then stretch a vinyl skin to it, but again you would have to sculpt, mold and cast. Monster mud would be too heavy for animatronics so forget about that. How far are you with design? Maybe if I knew more about what you are doing I could be of more constructive help.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I do want to keep it as light as possible so that dragon skin looks like it could be just the stuff I was looking for.

Dr Morbius, to answer your questions I am going to use pneumatics. At the size I'm going servos would just be more trouble than they're worth. I think I have decided to keep it at 10 feet because 15 is just bigger than what I need.

I'm not too good at sculpting, I'm more of the mechanics guy. Although if I have a design to follow I can normally copy it close enough. Luckily, I have a couple friends that are more familiar with sculpting than me so they'll be able to help me when it comes to that.

I am at the really early stages of my design. Currently it's more of just an idea that I'm trying to see if it will even be possible. I am focusing more on the skeleton of the creature to see what movement could be possible. I have drawn up one concept of what the skeleton could be, but at this early stage I don't want to limit myself to just one design. Also I want to do some tests on both possibilities for the skin as well as play with some pneumatics to see what sort of movement I can actually get. I'm vary familiar with pneumatics and most of my props use them, however, I've never used them to move a creature in this way. I'm also going to be putting all of my hand drawn designs into Solidworks and test things out in there to make sure everything will move the way I expect in theory. If I get time tonight I'll scan in my first design so you can see what I'm thinking so far.
 

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Cool, then my only suggestion would be to get the sculpt built around an exact duplicate (dimensionally exact I mean, not functioning) of the armature you are building so the skin fits right. This can be done in stages. Maybe fillin the skins with foam or something around the armature.
 
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