To finish off the base puppet, we add in a posable hand and arm rod. Here is a shot sequence of how we prep the hand with wire so you can bend and pose it. In the first image, we cut the wire to fit the foam glove -- one wire for each finger. We then curl the ends so they don't poke through the ends of the finger (ouch!). Next we curl and interlock the ends that come together. This forms the base of the hand and keeps the finger wires from sliding around too much. Not shown is the arm rod. To seat this into the palm, we insert 2 palm sized pieces of fun foam that sandwich both the finger wires and a control rod for the arm. Last photo is of my kitchen table during this final puppet building phase -- a lovely, creative mess of wire, rods, foam, bits of fabric and fur, tools, and the original sketch.
Once the base puppets are finished, its time to customize each one with facial features -- hair, eyes, noses, lips and/or teeth. We use "wig tape" to tape down the hair/features first. This lets us try out the type, size, and position of the facial features before committing to gluing them down. I'm noticiing that Officer Phil's pupils are a little off. They actually should be crossed a little, but I'll probably go back and line them up better. Next... costumes!!