ecl's Kermit the Frog Puppet Replica (later builds, using my newest patterns)


KOMakesThings

Active Member
Hey all, I'm sharing this link with Ecl's blessing, I ended up combing through this and the older Kermit thread to try and create a master google doc that collected all of Ecl's posts into one long document:

ECL's Kermit Build Bible (RPF Comment Compilation) V1 - Google Doc

Over the years Ecl has posted a lot of really good tips/photos/diagrams throughout both of his threads and I personally found it really helpful to have them categorized by subject matter ("Patterns", "Hands", "Legs", "Mouth Plate", etc.). I focused primarily on this thread as I figured it had the most up to date information/diagrams, but there are a few tidbits from the older thread that I thought were useful to include as well.

My hope is that this'll be a living document, so I'll do my best to keep an eye on both threads and if any new information comes up I'll be adding it to the Google Doc.

Enjoy!
 

davidnagel

Well-Known Member
Yes yes yes! I keep trying to find bits of info when I need it, but thank you for doing this!
Hey all, I'm sharing this link with Ecl's blessing, I ended up combing through this and the older Kermit thread to try and create a master google doc that collected all of Ecl's posts into one long document:

ECL's Kermit Build Bible (RPF Comment Compilation) V1 - Google Doc

Over the years Ecl has posted a lot of really good tips/photos/diagrams throughout both of his threads and I personally found it really helpful to have them categorized by subject matter ("Patterns", "Hands", "Legs", "Mouth Plate", etc.). I focused primarily on this thread as I figured it had the most up to date information/diagrams, but there are a few tidbits from the older thread that I thought were useful to include as well.

My hope is that this'll be a living document, so I'll do my best to keep an eye on both threads and if any new information comes up I'll be adding it to the Google Doc.

Enjoy!
 

KOMakesThings

Active Member
After starting the mock-ups back in March and then not touching this project for the majority of the year, I finally got off my butt to complete both Kermit and Robin!

sm_EDIT_IMG_9789.jpg


Big thanks to Ecl for all of his tips/tutorials, I’m not sure I ever would’ve attempted my own builds without them (And even if I had, I’m sure they wouldn’t have turned out as nice as they did).

Ecl mentioned quite a few times in this thread the importance of customizing Kermit to one's own hand, that really sunk in while I was working on my own. My Kermit ended up pretty custom to my own hand/arm size, and that wasn't even intentional, it's just what ended up feeling "right" when I was trying to gauge Kermit’s proportions against my own arm. And even with that in mind my hand doesn't fill in Kermit's head the way it should, probably due to a combination of Kermit being designed for Jim Henson's larger sized hands and me having tiny baby hands with stubby-as-heck fingers. I didn't want to size Kermit down and risk him being out of scale with the 35 mm eyes though, so I just kinda accepted that my hand won't quite fill his head out the way it should.

To share a few things that worked for me:
  • Keep in mind the density of the fleece when working out your pattern pieces. The fleece material is fairly thick, so I made my torso slightly smaller than what I wanted to compensate. I also found it helpful to use thin layers of quilt batting to pad out Kermit, which was easier than just relying on the foam to give him shape (And made it easier to control the level of pudge on Kermit). Plus the batting helped disguise the seams of the foam.
  • I made my Kermit's torso openings slightly smaller than I needed so I could then take an exacto knife and carve out space for my arm, while keeping Kermit’s shoulders slim and nicely rounded.
  • I ended up making Kermit’s lower mouth plate slightly shorter than the top one, I kinda felt like the slight overbite made for a more natural looking mouth.
  • I added a few strands of wire to Robin's hands so his fingers were poseable. This shape worked out really well because the outer curve gives a bit of shape to Robin's "palm".

    sm_20211221_094712.jpg
Robin gave me a fair bit of trouble, I went through about 4 or 5 different patterns trying to decide on how big his body should be. Going back and referencing Ecl’s original build thread for him was super helpful, compared to that I was making Robin’s body way too small. I think I’d like to try and make a puppet version now that I’ve got a good base with the static one, I think I just need to extend the bottom out into a sleeve that can then be folded up inside the body (And then maybe stuffed a bit and sewn down to give Robin a little bit of body shape).

sm_EDIT_IMG_9779.jpg


Both my Robin and Kermit seem to have a bit of a skyward gaze, I ended up cheating on my Robin and using a few stitches to hold his head down a bit. I’m not sure if that’s maybe indicative that my mouth plates are slightly too big, maybe the fabric is too taut around the mouth? I also made a little loop of wire, basically a wire retainer, to slot into Kermit’s mouth from the inside to try and hold his mouth closed in a more natural looking position when he’s not being puppeteered. It’s not perfect, but it does reduce some of that “Silent scream” vibe he was giving me before.

I had picked up some of the Puppet Pelt’s “Lizard” Nylafleece months back, I think I’d like to make my next Kermit/Robin out of that fabric. It’s slightly yellower than the Frog Nylafleece and I think it adds a slightly more vintage vibe to them. Still I think the Frog Colour looks great, and I’m pretty dang pleased with how both of these guys came out. I may need to go back and try and adjust Kermit’s mouth though, of course it was only after taking a few pics that I realised I wasn’t super symmetrical with how I glued the fleece on.

Regardless, thank you a ton for all the info you’ve provided Ecl! I'm super happy to have checked these two off my project list. Now I'm trying to decide how I want to display them on my shelf, might be a good time of year to try and find a wooden log they can sit on.
 
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ecl

Sr Member
Congrats and beautiful work KOMakesThings! Thanks to you as well for sharing your experience—this is the kind of thing that I like seeing. Improvising and making your own adjustments to the build is something that I always encourage people to do—as you’ve discovered, the patterns are not a one size fits all situation. You hit some really great points regarding the build process in your write up as well. The way you added the wiring in Robin’s hands is also very clever!
 

KOMakesThings

Active Member
Congrats and beautiful work KOMakesThings! Thanks to you as well for sharing your experience—this is the kind of thing that I like seeing. Improvising and making your own adjustments to the build is something that I always encourage people to do—as you’ve discovered, the patterns are not a one size fits all situation. You hit some really great points regarding the build process in your write up as well. The way you added the wiring in Robin’s hands is also very clever!
Thank you! I was excited to show you what I was able to come up with, definitely room for improvement but I think it's a pretty solid first go!

Tweaking things to your own arm is super important, while I was figuring out the body I was starting to wonder if they would've had to make a new Kermit when Matt Vogel took over the role (That or maybe he already had similar enough measurements to Steve Whitmire that it wasn't as big of an issue?). I was thinking of making a Kermit for a friend as a surprise but now I think I'll need to get her measurements to make sure it'll fit right.
 
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