Chubbs was difficult project. He was three-feet tall, could only be operated by one puppeteer, and had to fire a Nerf gun for a climactic battle sequence. He was a tall order. Luckily, I didn’t have to tackle him alone.
My partner in this project, Danny Oakley, immediately set to work coming up with various LED ideas for Chubb’s gun, and this spectacular effect for the end of his cigar:
Danny has also been hard at work on a LED display for the gun, and created this great “hacked” display for it:
The Klingon symbol in the beginning was just a placeholder; it was going to be replaced by the symbol of the Nova Legion (a hardcore military group in the game). I asked Brennan if there was such a symbol, but as it turns out, there isn’t. So I made one–and some rank insignias:
On my end, I set to work on the actual puppet. I started with the head, building a oversized teddy-bear head around a glove-puppet mouth. Even at this early stage, the Chubbs this puppet is going to be is abundantly clear:
A little face sculpting, and hello, Chubbs!
After getting the head on proper, it didn’t take much to give Chubbs a body. The hardest part of this whole thing was Chubbs’s miniature version of the established Bulldogs! Captain’s Jacket. But for all the stress, I feel the pockets came out great. And Danny’s cigar effect works just as advertised.
A little Nerf-paint job, and adding some additional lights that Danny whipped up, and Chubb’s gun looks as good as he does:
Chubbs is attached to me via a padded harness. The belt carries all his battery and electronics, to keep the weight off my puppeting arm. The rod that controls his left arm also has the button for his cigar light.
All in all, Chubbs worked out smashingly! He was a bit hit at the LARP. He’s one of the biggest puppets I’ve ever made, and easily my favorite.