Leith's facial armature explained. For further puppet maintenance stills visit the PREPRODUCTION folder.
Puppets fresh from their moulds always need some work before they can be painted. Seams need to be covered, missing details need to be addressed, tie downs need to be cleaned up, eyes need to be added. Sometimes the work is minor, other times it can take a few days. My initial satisfaction with Leith's final foam run was somewhat tempered when I realized that the jaw armature was sitting slightly to the right of her face. This caused the right side of her mouth to open more than the left side and made her appear as if she had some sort of facial palsy. Clearly this would not do so it was necessary to hollow out inside the lower jaw, reposition the armature, which thankfully was double jointed (see photo) then seal it back up with liquid rubber. Though it was a delicate procedure, it was completed without incident and her appearance while speaking is now uniform. I also spent a lot of time repairing the original, discarded Leith puppet which has actually patched up very nicely. I had hoped to use the back of the first puppet for all the reverse angles thus saving the hero puppet for all the dialogue but I am now fairly confident that they can both be used for any shot. I will decide how to proceed once the puppets have been painted but this is a very favourable position to be in.