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.

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.

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.