a new flying rig

Well for the stopmotionmagic.com october challenge I needed to turn my puppet 180 degrees, and for that I needed a super great wonderfully terrific flying rig, so I built one. (Note: in the photos you will see a black track, ignore this because that is my track lighting, has nothing to do with this rig)

Here is how:

Start with a long piece of wood, cut a dovetail slot in it with a router bit or table saw, cut a small scrap with a dovetail to slide in the slot. So now you have a 4 foot long piece of wood with a scrap that slides in a dovetail joint along the length. This will allow your flying rig to slide across the set left and right.

Now for the main piece. I wanted three connection points to keep the puppet better balanced. Take two pieces of scrap and make a Tee.  Glue these together. Drill holes in the ends for round dowels (pencils work great). Attach string to the dowels, and attach tiny wire hooks to the ends of the string. To raise or lower the hook heights just turn the dowels. If your holes in the wood scrap tee is not exact fit for the dowels you can cut a slot, and then put a nut and bolt on it to make it a tighter fit.  I drilled holes in the pencils and put a thin diameter dowel to make turning the pencils a little easier.  The whole tee assembly gets a bolt drilled through the center and is bolted to the scrap that has the sliding dovetail cut on it. Using this system allows the tee to swivel around. A wing nut on the bottom loosens or tightens the tee against the dovetail block and makes it easier or hard to twist around.

My latest animation exercise “turn your puppet 180” uses this flying rig and no tiedowns at all.

here is the link to video.

you can see the strings in the video.  I will remove them later.  The rig works great. Hope you enjoy. Let me know if you have any questions about how to build this.

Go ahead, make a mess, have some fun.

6 responses to “a new flying rig

  1. Looks great – I kinda like it with the wires still in! But will be cool to see edited.


  2. I’ve seen illustrations for this kind of flying rig, but never a demo by someone who’s actually built one. Right on!


  3. cool invention dood!



  4. Awesome rig, the puppets aren’t very good.
    I reckon you should hook up with someone who makes awesome puppets and you could do some great stuff. ( Im not being rude, I couldn’t make a rig as good as yours, and I couldn’t make puppets any better than yours either, Im just trying to constructively criticize,)


  5. Yoiks!!

    Really cool. Astonishing problem-solving. I’m going to follow your lead and build a rig like this — I want a helicopter model to fly.


  6. I needed a super great wonderfully terrific flying rig, so I built one – indeed. Stop-motion puppetry combined with string puppet techniques. Hehe. Very cool idea…


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