Harryhausen Cyclops stop-motion puppet replica

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FANTAMATION

Well-Known Member
Well, I'm going to give my best try to pay tribute to the man who introduced me to the world of visual effects as a boy and inspired me (as well as MANY others) to not only choose this craft as a profession but to also make it my lifelong passion! I'm going to attempt to recreate one of my very favorite Harryhausen creatures, the 16" tall Cyclops stop-motion puppet from the 1958 classic "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad". There were 3 different versions of the Cyclops made for the film, the 16" puppet being the largest. I'll be starting with the skull sub-structure, sculpting it directly over the armatured skull assembly and then moving onto the rest of the armature. Progress will be a little slow on this project since most of my time is devoted to working on Kongs for clients, but whenever progress is made it'll be posted here right away.
 

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nick daring

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Can't wait.



Nick
 

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DarkHelmet

Sr Member
One of my favorite stopmo models after Kong and MJY.

Can't wait to see this. Reminds me of a guy (Tom Baker) back in the 70's who did stopmo replicas. He offered a Kong and The Cyclops. He would advertise in Starlog. I would drool and dream about owning them.

Would love to see your armature. Do you make them yourself? Also would love to see your Kongs. Can you post any pics? :D
 

Scott Graham

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Haha! Yeah, same here. I dreamed of having one of his replica stop motion puppets of the cyclops. Before star wars came out this is what I was nuts about.
 

FANTAMATION

Well-Known Member
One of my favorite stopmo models after Kong and MJY.

Can't wait to see this. Reminds me of a guy (Tom Baker) back in the 70's who did stopmo replicas. He offered a Kong and The Cyclops. He would advertise in Starlog. I would drool and dream about owning them.

Would love to see your armature. Do you make them yourself? Also would love to see your Kongs. Can you post any pics? :D

Dark Helmet,
I have a buddy of mine who makes my armatures and I have an entire thread on the making of the Kong stop-mo replica puppets here on the studio scale forum...... I'll post a pic here though for ya
 

Guy Cowen

Sr Member
Cant wait to see this one mate, I promise to call you, possibly tonight when I get back from Dropping my mum at home.

I just wish there was more SW Stop mo subjects, we could keep you in work for ever.

Care to post which ref pics you'll be using for this one?
 

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FANTAMATION

Well-Known Member
Yes, Tom does my Kong armatures and he used to offer a generic gorilla design but the Kong armatures he does for me are designed directly off of the measurements from the original Bob Burns Kong armature.
Tom is going to get me started with this prototype Cyclops armature but due to his personal workload with his own projects I will be switching over to a new armature source in the very near future for my machining needs.
 

DarkHelmet

Sr Member
Yes, Tom does my Kong armatures and he used to offer a generic gorilla design but the Kong armatures he does for me are designed directly off of the measurements from the original Bob Burns Kong armature.
Tom is going to get me started with this prototype Cyclops armature but due to his personal workload with his own projects I will be switching over to a new armature source in the very near future for my machining needs.


Have you talked to Jeff Taylor in Las Vegas? He makes some of the best armatures around. He used to have a website but I can no longer find it. He recently met Ray Harryhausen:

Ray Harryhausen: Proud Owner of a ‘Mighty Joe Young’ Armature | Stop Motion Works News
 

FANTAMATION

Well-Known Member
Yeah, he posted his mighty Joe Young armature here on the RPF a while ago, he does do amazing work! His armatures are works of art in themselves and are almost too beautiful to cover up with a puppet.
 

FANTAMATION

Well-Known Member
Cant wait to see this one mate, I promise to call you, possibly tonight when I get back from Dropping my mum at home.

I just wish there was more SW Stop mo subjects, we could keep you in work for ever.

Care to post which ref pics you'll be using for this one?

Guy buddy!! Hey man, my work plate is overflowing as it is (wouldn't want it any other way)!! As far as reference for the Cyclops I've got pretty much every single book on Ray that has been published that I know of and like I did with Kong there's no better reference than a good dvd of the flick and a pause button on the remote! Although any Cyclops fans out there who may have some rare pics of the original puppet that I may have missed would always be welcomed and greatly appreciated....... if so and you don't want to post them here then just pm me and you can always email them directly to me.
 

mbmcfarland

Sr Member
Weren't there multiple cyclops armatures? If I remember correctly, the Ymir armature was converted to a cyclops.

I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Mike
 
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FANTAMATION

Well-Known Member
Hey Mike, yes there were 3 different Cyclops puppets made. The largest being the 16" and then there was one 12" tall which re-used the Ymir armature, and then there was a 6" tall puppet made for the long shot of the Cyclops up on the cliff that falls to his death and that one also re-used the 6" Ymir armature.
 

DarkHelmet

Sr Member
Yeah, he posted his mighty Joe Young armature here on the RPF a while ago, he does do amazing work! His armatures are works of art in themselves and are almost too beautiful to cover up with a puppet.


wow, just realized member 8thWonder is Jeff. Need to reconnect with him.
 

Colin Droidmilk

Sr Member
Saw one of the original Cyclops puppets in the flesh once. Ray brought one to a lecture at the Everyman cinema in London about 17 years ago. Either the 12 or 16". Sadly heavily degraded, it was really just an armature with shreds of latex hanging off it...

The Cyclops is THE quintessential Harryhausen creature. Can't wait to see this project progress.

It's also one of Ray's greatest formal achievements in sculpture terms. His solution to the problem of how a centrally placed single eye can fit into the face is not only entirely original, but it's also the most satisfactory in the whole history of art, outstripping even the known examples in Greek sculpture, which never erase the eye sockets sufficiently to prevent the reading of a 'normal' face as well as the cyclops face. Ray completely banishes any dilution of the cyclops effect caused by vestigial eye-sockets. The other clever innovation is the linking of the eye corners to the nostrils, which locks the eye down and prevents it from floating, making the underlying structure of the head believable.

Having seen your Kong I'm sure you'll do great justice to this masterwork.
 

JPolacchi

Sr Member
I had checked out The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad just this weekend.Yeah,I'm reliving some of my child hood.I saw this film on TV when I was probably...6yrs. old and I was forever hooked on stop-motion and Ray Harryhousen's work. Do you have pictures of the replica you are working on?I was curious to know if you plan on casting it of silicone or urethane rubber,or do you intend on following it faithfully with the buid up techniques Harryhousen used to make most all of his puppets?
 

FANTAMATION

Well-Known Member
VERY well put Colin Droidmilk, he also repeats the same facial structure with the Centaur from "Golden Voyage of Sinbad" but on a much more human skull shape...... and it still works! Yeah I was lucky enough to have made it to the last Harryhausen exhibit in LA last year and got to see the 16" Cyclops armature, I just wished I had brought a tape measure with me to get measurements...... although I have just finished calculating all of the body segment lengths and widths except for the finger lengths and the neck length so I'm going to be getting the armature started very soon! I did get the skull armature part so I'll be starting the skull sculpture this week!

JPolacchi- I'm going to be casting him the same way I've been casting all of my puppet replicas, using silicone and silicone foam. The original Cyclops puppets were among the first of Ray's puppets to utilize foam latex casting by injection into molds. Ray stopped using the build-up method after "20 Million Miles to Earth".
 

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