Sunday, December 5, 2010

Custom Control sticks

I recently had a customer that wanted some custom control sticks. They wanted to have different colored transitions to mix well with the heads of their characters. They also wanted a deeper rounded transition as well.

Shown to the right are the transitions.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Getting Creative

Lately, a few of the dummy builders out there are taking the cast heads we sell and making alterations. These changes allow them to make completely new characters and expand their product line.

Some of the changes include cutting facial parts. All of the changes include adding altering facial characteristics with epoxy clays such as Magic Sculp.

Shown below is a transition that was made by Dan Leighly. This is his butler head that we cast for customers. The next photo is the original character and the last photo is a new character he has created from the same cast head.
Below is another character designed by Kenny Croes. The original character is Kenny's Mr. Winkle character. His alterations produced a completely different character as well.

If you are looking to create a new character, start with an original cast head from our web site and add your own creative touch.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Body Variations

There are many body types and techniques when constructing a ventriloquist dummy body. The main objective of a body is to have a hollow body with a large opening in the back so your hand can maneuver the controls. Listed below are a few styles.

STYLE 1 – Insert frame:
The most common type of body is some sort of frame that that adds structure to the body but allows for an open cavity. The frame is typically made out of wood, but other materials such as plastic and wire can be used.

Shown to the right is a typical wood frame. This frame can be painted, covered and padded to give more comfort and a realistic shape if desired.




STYLE 2 – Form covers:
This is more of a hybrid type of body. It uses an insert frame with a formed cover. The example shown utilizes a formed styrene cover. Lightweight and “ready to use”, this style gives you the potential for detail body forms at a reasonable price.







STYLE 3 – Cast body:
The cast body is a more expensive route. This style is typically used for premium dummies. It allows you to add more detail to the body especially if the body needs to be exposed during a performance.

The cast muscle body on the left is an example where the detail of the body is important. The body is cast using a rotocast machine to allow for a hollow cavity. Made form urethane, this material allows you to paint the body.


MODIFYING YOUR BODY
Once you choose your style of body you can apply the final details. This can include painting, padding and adding arms and legs.

Some additions include adding shoulder padding to give more realistic form to inserts.

Legs and arms can be stapled, glued or screwed in the bodies. The photo shows the use of grommets, which is typically used on premium figures.











OTHER STYLES:
Once again, these are only a few of many styles of bodies. Other styles such as carved bodies, jointed bodies and flexible latex bodies are in the trade as well.

To see an example of an insert style body being sold on ebay – click here.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Grommets - An Upgraded Feature



Adding grommets to your stuffed arms or legs adds a nice touch for your dummies.

For construction, it allows for easy installation with a clean look. Installing with screws, allows you to easily remove the limbs if you want to change for different parts or for maintenance. (See photo on left)

If you are selling your dummy, this subtle feature displays signs that the dummy was made by a professional builder.


We can easily add the grommets to your order. Visit our web store at http://braylu.com/VentFeetLegs.html . Download our custom leg order form or email us for more details.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Marcelo Melison

Marcelo Melison, ventriloquist and now beginning dummy maker sent us some comments about he recent dummy making experience. Check out his website at www.miotravoz.com . Here is what he had to say.

I just finished to install the new eyes and eyelids I got for you recently in my home made figure. Wow! I'm so happy! Even with the very basic tools I have, I was able to install them successfully! Now I'm going for raising eyebrows (Marshall style). You can see photos of my figure, Napoleon, in my website, www.miotravoz.com He looks way too "homemade", so I'm changing his face and animations. I got a matte clear varnish now, it will make him look a little more professionally made. Once the whole thing is ready, I will send you photos. Napoleon has the eyes, eyelids, hands and body I bought from you.
Thanks again!
Marcelo.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The eyes have it


Now on special, we are offering 1.5" cast eyes. This offer is buy one set and get the other for 50% off. Check out this latest special and others on our home page at http://braylu.com/index.html

The pricing is already adjusted. Click on the buy now button and select your iris color.

It's always something new


Over the past couple of years we have developed and introduced many new items for sale. Some are creations that have been contributed buy others and some of the items are our own ideas.

We list these items on a special page on our website. You can view all new introductions at http://braylu.com/NewItems.html

We are always interested in new ideas and love making new products that help dummy builders. If you have any ideas, drop us an email.

Friday, July 2, 2010

James Tucker's dummy with rocker controller

James Tucker submitted some photos of his recent dummy using our rocker controller for eye movements. Here is what he had to say.

"Here are the photos of my new project. His name is Leon. He is made of water putty, plastic wood and spackle for smoothing. He has moving eyes (which is where I am using the rocker arm control). I found this new product very easy to work with. very smooth to drill and sand. large enough for quiet smooth control. I love it.. Leon also has a leather living mouth which I had never attempted before and a basic stick out tongue feature. let me know what you think. Thanks for the opportunity of experimenting with your poduct."


Thanks James

Saturday, June 26, 2010

New head offering - The Butler

We are excited to announce that we are now offering another head for sale. This head is sculpted by dummy maker Dan Leighly. Many of you have seen this head completed as a butler type of character on Dan's blog and web site.

The head is is a hollow cast and comes with a separate jaw for easier installation and time savings.

9" tall, 6" wide and 8" deep this head can be used for both 2T and 3T parts along with 1.5" eyes and blinkers.

To purchase the head, go to our website at http://braylu.com/VentHeads.html

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rocker control in use

Dan Leighly submitted these photos showing the rocker control in use. Dan is using it for eye control.

You can check out more of Dan's work on his blog. Click here to view his blog.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Improved blinkers

There has been a lot of discussion with blinkers lately. These discussions reminded us that we forgot to announce that we made an important change to our blinker shells.

For our 1.25" and 1.5" diameter shells, we have added a wider lip. This small improvement makes it simpler to accept the wire frames. The previous shells had little room making it difficult to mount and for use with larger gauge wires.

As before, our package includes only the shells and general instructions. No other parts are included as every builder has their own preferences.

You can find our blinkers and other eye components at http://braylu.com/VentEyes.html

Friday, May 7, 2010

Winners of the Rocker arm promo

As listed in a previous blog entry, we offered a free rocker arm to the first 3 people who responded to this offer.

The hope is to have them use them on one of their dummies and send us the photo.

The winners are:
James Tucker
Dan Leighly
John Rumsey

Looking forward to your photos and feedback.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Winkle Cast head available for limited time

Now for sale on ebay is a Mr. Winkle cast head. This model is not sold on our web site and is being sold by special permission from Kenny Croes. Kenny has exclusive rights to this model and is allowing me to sell only a few heads per year. Take advantage of this limited sale by bidding on this item. For the ebay page click here.

This is a light weight hollow urethane cast. The hollow head allows for you to install mechanics. The mouth is separate for easy installation. All you need to do is add an axle rod (not included) and other mechanics.

Make your own dummy or puppet using this hollow urethane cast head. Add your personal touches including hair, eyes, mechanics and if you are creative, you can sculpt epoxy to the head to make a completely unique puppet.

The head measures 8 1/2” tall from the bottom of the neck to the top of the head. The width is 5” across from ear to ear and 7 inch profile from the back of the head to the tip of the nose.

This head is perfect for our 2T bodies and other accessories. This head was designed to use 1.25” eyes and blinkers. See the example of a finished head to the right.

Visit our website for additional parts. Some sanding is required. White in color so you can paint to any skin color.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The latest change - No color

As we mentioned before, we will be making some changes this year. The latest change is that we will be discontinuing colored hands. We have offered white hands that you can paint to your desired color and caucasian colored hands. In order to simplify things, we will only offer white hands.

This change will take effect June 1, 2010.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Body Building


A couple times of year we concentrate on building inventory for our body inserts. We like to make a 1 to 2 hundred inserts at a time and typically focus on 1 size. to keep up with the demand, I have brought in extra labor to help with production.

Cutting, sanding, shaping, gluing and nailing are among the tasks to make a body insert. This week our focus was on inserts for conversion figures.
The next step is to box them up and put into inventory until sold or used. In a couple of months, we will start all over again.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Braylu on Facebook


For those of you that are on Facebook, you can stay linked with Braylu Creations. Click here to see our facebook page. We will post new items, discontinued items, specials and helpful dummy making tips.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Another First Time Builder

James Tucker sent in a photo of his first attempt at building a dummy. He used our 30" conversion kit in the construction. Here is what he has to say about his experience.

"I just wanted to drop you a line to tell you that several months ago I ordered a conversion kit for a 30" vent figure and installed it in a Charlie McCarthy doll. I had to upgrade his eyes with things that I could afford right now. His eyes are made of fishing bobbers and his irises are printed and glued on. His eyes move side to side to side with full movement. What I wanted to concentratrate on for you is that I used your kit to make Charlie what he is today. I am 51 years old and started ventriloquism less than a year ago. and Charlie is my first hard figure. I hope to upgrade his body and post again to the 2t size. Thanks for making these parts available."

We are looking forward to more projects from James.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Large Cast Head for pro size dummy

Now on Ebay, we are offering a pro size head for dummy makers. This head is a hollow cast head so you can add all the mechanics you choose. Lightweight and paintable. Add the wig of your choice.

The mouth needs to be cut out of the head. This is not a kit so sanding, filing, patching and standard dummy making tasks will need to made. No instructions are included but you can see a list of resources on our web site.

The head measure 10" tall. 8" across for ear to ear and 6" across from cheek to cheek. The profile measures 8"

Click here for the Ebay link.

At this time, this item will not be sold on our web site as we are limiting sales.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jigger and Rocker now available

Two new controls are now available for sale on our web site.



The "Jigger", is a control knob that is used to control side to side movements of eyes with a rod. Click here to see how Kenny Croes has used it on his latest controls.

The "Rocker" is also used for side to side eye movements. This is used for those who use string instead of brass rod. The string is attached to each side of the rocker.



As a promotion, We will give a free rocker to the first 3 people who email us at sales@braylu.com and are willing to send us a photo of the Rocker on their control stick.

Both are sold in packs of 10 for $7.50 and can be found on our site at http://www.braylu.com/VentControls.html

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Changing Times

Braylu will be making some significant changes this year. We are planning on reducing and eliminating many items to allow focus on other areas. It is not an easy task to identify what to cut out of the product mix but we are in the process of re-evaluating every product.

Some positive changes will come from it including re-designing some of our items. For an example, the 3T body inserts will now have a wider base. We have re-designed the blinker shells to allow for more room for wire mechanics. And we are in the process of expanding our line of heads to include head sizes for 38"-45" size dummies.

Earlier this year we discontinued our line of puppets and our retrofitting services. Next, we will be discontinuing our line of clothes. We will be phasing out the clothes hopefully over the next 6 months.

Other changes under consideration is reducing sales through Ebay and limiting other parts.

We will update you on future changes.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Montana Dan: Making headway with our heads

Dan Leighly aka "Montana Dan" has made a couple of characters using some of our heads from the Kenny Croes Collection.
The first character was made from the Uncle Earl head and the second from our Cheeky Boy head.

Dan also lists on his blog site the steps he took to make the character from Cheeky. You can visit his blog at http://montanadan.blogspot.com/

Improved 3T hands


We now have for sale our improved 3T hands. Before the hands were made out of vinyl. Even though they were hollow, they were heavier than I liked and people had difficulty painting them.

We now cast these hands in urethane. Much lighter, sandable and easier to paint.

The best news is that the price has dropped as well. Go to our website to buy at http://www.braylu.com/VentArms.html

Winkle completed

Mr. Winkle is now completed. Another head from the Kenny Croes Collection.

Like the others, lightweight hollow cast head from urethane. Easy to sand and easy to paint.

What is different about Winkle is that he will not be sold at this time. Kenny is going to use him for his personal collection.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cheeky now available

Cheeky is now available for sale from the Kenny Croes Collection.

This head is lightweight and hollow to allow for mechanics to be installed. 8 1/2" tall and 6" wide, this head is suited for all of our 2T parts and 1.25" eyes and blinkers.

The mouth is separate with detailed teeth and tongue.
For more details and where to purchase go to http://www.braylu.com/VentHeads.html

Saturday, January 23, 2010

More creations using Braylu parts

Phil nichols of SPFX make-up lab sent us some photos showing us some of his work usisng braylu parts.



He recently made a character he calls Charlene Peckerwood. He used Braylu head stick controller, eyes, hands and body insert.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

It happens a couple times a year

After the holiday season, we spend a lot of time in the shop rebuilding inventory and filling some custom orders. Pouring molds, cutting out body parts and sewing away. A couple times of year we run into a few "bumps in the road" as either equipment breaks or supplies run short or molds run their life.

After finishing a large order of 2T hands, the mold ran its course. After hundreds of pours, the mold is no longer usable. The fortunate thing was that we were able to fill all backorders. The unfortunate thing is that we were not able to build extra inventory.

So..... We will have to make new molds for this style of hands and place a SOLD OUT sign on our website. With the back log of projects, we are going to have to look to reprioritize some projects in order to fit this in.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Heading in the right direction

I have been receiving a lot of e-mails asking when the next couple of heads will be ready for sale. I appreciate all the interest and want to keep everyone updated.

Now that the busy Christmas season is over, our main focus is to complete the molds and casts for the latest heads from Kenny Croes. During January, you should see the introduction of Elmore, Cheeky boy and Mr. Winkle. I will keep you updated on the progress along with notifying Kenny when completed.

Other upcoming projects include an exclusive project for Kyle Scrivner and another line of heads from another popular dummy builder.

If you have or plan on buying any of the heads, we would like to see a photo of your completed dummy.