dolphin prop construction
Water spritzed on the silicone skin Feb. 23, 2015
Spritz the dolphin prior to presenting in public. There is a thin coating that provides a "grip" for the water. Cleaning in the future should be done with just water.
The eyes are not yet inserted. The skin's coating of specialized silicone colorants has set up.
Paint job finished and dry on Feb 23, 2015. Skin sitting on a steel stand for painting. This skin is then removed and stretched over the mechanism and foam base seen below.
Feb 11, 2015
The mechanics are built. Now it's the art department running a good, flexible "core" (shown above). The head is a hollow fiberglass shell which will be cut open. The mouth's pallet will be installed and the outer skin blended. Then the paint job. The hardest parts are complete.
Speakers are mounted in the head as shown here. Above the speakers, an orange connector hangs down which is the blowhole sprayer. That sprayer is controlled using the pushbuttons.
The dolphin core mold is shown here with a urethane foam insert ready for installation over the animation.
Mechanical core coming together. Steel tubing and sealed ball bearing hinges will provide many years of service. The head and mouth animation is closest to camera.
The animation core lined up with the newly built mechanics. The core shown is an old one and will not be used in this prop. New cores (as shown above) are being run for this.
Mechanism is getting fit into the core in this picture. The jaw animation is shown at far left. The head up/down is shown in middle. Tail area goes out of the shot to your right. See below for jaw included in photo.
Mechanism is getting fit into the core in this picture. This is the tail lift animation fit with the tough, tail slapper (white on right).
This dolphin is to be part of a live show. The show presents this full sized Common Dolphin replica as a live dolphin from a live show that is also available at this venue. This prop is 8' long. The animation list includes a tail move, mouth open/shut, and blowhole that spits. The inside of the mouth is seen, so there will be a mouth palette installed.
In this video, the newly animated tail is shown. This is being controlled by a simple finger push. The finger push controller has an on/off button which controls the animation.
The head animation is not shown here. That will be shown next Friday.
Click in lower right corner to see video full screen.