Foam Construction and Framework
To support the heavier sections (or to add functionality), the costume construction starts with some sort of framework. On the right hand, the thumb and forefinger are spring-loaded and cable controlled. On the left hand, all of the fingers and the thumb are spring loaded, but do not have cable control. The cable of the left arm goes over a pulley, then back up into the head to open the mouth (although not as well as I wanted, because of too much friction over the distance.)

To make the finger and thumb joints, 1/2" copper tubing was used. A section of 1/4" tubing was soldered to one section. Two steel washers were soldered to the connecting section. A piece of copper rod was passed through the washers and soldered in place on the washers, creating a sturdy hinged joint. More 1/4" tubing was soldered along the back of the finger and the thumb to contain bicycle brake cable. Three springs were then pop-riveted to the hinge joints to pull them to the closed-fist position. Cable was run through the tubing and tied and taped in place to the end of the finger joint.

The shaft running up the arm is made of 1" copper tubing. A short section was soldered on 90 degrees to the long tube to make a hand-grip, and a rubber bicycle handle grip was placed on it. I found this difficult to control, so extended the long tube another 10-12". A circle was made from 1/4" tubing, bent oval, then curved into a "U" shaped cuff and soldered on the end of the long tube. With the extension and the cuff, the arm sections were now very controllable and did not "flop around". The finger cable was run up tubing along the pipe and fastened to a cabinet hinge that had been riveted to the pipe. The cable from the thumb was also extended through tubing and passed through a lower hole in the hinge. A section of rod was passed through a lawn mower handle and attached to the top of the hinge. The thumb cable was passed through the hinge and anchor plate, then wrapped around a large cable ferrule. Pulling on the handle extends the finger, pulling the ferrule raises the thumb.
The left hand was constructed by similar means, with spring loaded hinges on all of the finger and thumb joints. The last joint on each finger was made by adding a section of solid copper rod.
Once the framework was complete, foam was glued in place. Large square lengths were cut, then split lengthwise. A small amount of material was removed to create a hollow core. Short sections were glued in place over the pipe sections, leaving enough open space around the hinge joints. Small pads of foam were cut to create knuckles, and glued on one side of the joint. Foam sheet was cut and glued around the palm area, then built up and carved down to create the bone structure on the back of the hand.
Thin foil-covered tubing was used to create a dead space around the lower arm, then covered in foam. Dense foam is used in areas where compression was not desirable, such as the back of the hand. The upper arm has a section of plastic 8" corrugated drainage pipe with 1/4" copper tubing creating a framework at the shoulder joint. A screw-lock link and heavy duty brass hook dangle from a similar joint at the shoulder. The hook snaps to the arms and allows front-to-back and rotational movement. The shoulder joint forms a loop to hang chain mail from, and supports the shoulder guards.

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