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Mrs. Mantis 

Film: Symbiotic

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Mrs. Mantis, a 1950s mantis woman inspired by the orchid mantis. Her design was meant to be quite feminine and angular as I wanted her to represent the 1950s housewife archetype. When conceptualizing her, she went through many changes that I knew would be best figured out in the sculpt

Responsible for all but costume and prop

While I mainly sculpted her as one whole unit, she had to be divided into 4 sections for molding purposes. She was separated into her front more "human" part, her two hind legs, and then her abdomen. After I sculpted her to the design I wanted, I separated her parts and refined them individually to be molded.


Her armature presented an interesting challenge. The main issue was figuring out how to get all of these pieces to connect seamlessly. Her armature consists of armature wire and polycarbonate pieces. Her chest piece was relatively simple but her pelvis required 3 pieces to connect her abdomen. In the end, her pelvis contained four lock nuts to ensure the piece was strong enough to hold 2 sets of wire and withstand animation.

After I figured out where all the bolts and rig ports needed to go, I began cutting the polycarbonate pieces and shaping them. I used a bandsaw to cut the rough shape. From there, I was able to shape it on a disc sander and refine the shape with the Dremel. I also used the Dremel to carve out a spot for the wire to sit.


When making the head, we knew we wanted the mantis people to have glossy eyes. After some testing, we realized we wanted the eyes to be vacuuformed. After molding and casting the original sculpt of the head. I separated the pieces and refined them so the eyes could fit into the head with space for the vacuuformed pieces.

After I molded the prototype of the head core and eyes, I began vacuuforming the eyes. This presented a challenge as I realized they couldn't be vaccuformed in one piece. They had to snap over each other in 2 halves. I wanted them to connect on a seam in a way that seemed intentional to her design. After I got the pieces I needed, I painted the eyes, snapped the vacuuforms on, and glued her eyes into place.

Responsible for puppet fabrication

Monster Mrs. 

Film: Symbiotic

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This puppet is the transformation of Mrs. Mantis Her armature was a simpler version of Mrs. Mantis' but she still required the same pelvis so we could use the thorax and legs I had already made for this puppet as well. They connect to her as seen below.

arm spikes

Monster Mrs. was meant to look quite intimidating. To garner this look, she needed spikes as real mantises have. We went through a few tests before deciding that the pieces should be made of PETG. The thin plastic was able to create the silhouette we wanted while keeping the spikes slim

She had 30 spikes in total, 15 on each arm. After drawing the shapes I wanted for each spike on paper and seeing them on her arm, I was ready to cut them out of the PETG plastic. AFter that I attached each piece with a piece of 28 gauge wire so they could be stuck into her arm. After each piece had wire, I spray painted them to match her coloring and used a little bit of silicone glue to keep the wire in her arm.


The head for Monster Mrs. was fairly similar to the regular mantis woman's. I was able to take a cast of the head core and adjust parts of it with propoxy. I made some of her features sharper and more aggressive. This head had to eat so we knew we had to make the moth movable and carve out a space for the food to go. She also needed little mandibles to grab her food. Those and her antennae were painted wire and then dipped into balloon rubber.

After I prototyped the piece and saw all the parts worked together, I went ahead and made the final versions of everything. I vacuuformed her moth plates so they could be thin and leave space in her mouth. Here I am, assembling the final piece.

Finally, the head in action!

Responsible for all except mold and costume

Responsible for puppet fabrication

Responsible for puppet fabrication

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