Frequently asked questions / resources
An Important Note:
Building Your Own Dummy Using Braylu Creations Parts
By acquiring the parts you purchase, you will get a head start in the process of building your own dummy because you will not have to craft these parts yourself. That being said, it’s important for you to know that purchasing the head, body and/or other dummy-building supplies is not like building a snap-together project.
You will be required to sand, grind, fill, drill, bend, screw, twist, staple, trim, fit, glue and more. There are no manuals in the traditional sense that will lead you in a simple, step-by-step, one-size-fits-all project. Fortunately there are a few resources we recommend that will help you learn to construct a professional-grade vent figure. See our FAQ page for a list of resources.
Considering the modest prices of the various vent figure parts we offer, you will save hundreds (and possibly thousands) of dollars by building your own.
Here are some online resources we recommend to prepare your for your dummy-building project:
1. Braylu Creations Facebook Page
New product introductions along with some tips and tricks.
2. “The Fred Project” - http://www.alstevens.com/ventriloquism/fred.html
Ventriloquist and figure maker Al Stevens provides a step-by-step tutorial on building a dummy from a kit called “Fred”. He demonstrates several animation techniques potentially applicable to the parts you’ve purchased.
3. “Vent Into The Mic” - http://www.ventintothemic.blogspot.com
The Kenny Croes blog contains tips, tricks, and utter failures. Kenny designed some of the heads for sale on Braylu Creations and builds dummies with them as well. This is not an organized, chronological instruction site. It’s a blog. If you browse current and previous year’s posts, you’ll find some good advice.
Other websites where you may find helpful hints:
Al Stevens Blog: http://alstevens.blogspot.com
Montana Dan Blog: http://montanadan.blogspot.com
Mike Palma Blog: http://mikepalmasblogspot.blogspot.com
Gepetto’s Workshop: http://stevebarry.blogspot.com
The Bob Cave: (steps Bob Lane took to upgrade using a retrofit kit) http://thebobcave.blogspot.com/2018/08/building-brad-reconstruction.html
Q1: How can I purchase some of your products?
A1: Most of the items for sale on our site will have a PayPal button located near the item. Just click on the button and it will add it to your PayPal cart. Follow the checkout procedures from there.
Q2: I live outside the United States, how can I purchase some of your products?
A2: Just email us and we will send you the pring with shipping to your country. If interested, we can send you a PayPal invoice for payment.
Q1: How do I install your legs and arms?
A1: Using a staple gun, staple the top of the leg or arm to the wood body frame. It is best to staple under the leg or arm and fold over to hide the staples.
Q2: How do I install the rubber band from the control stick to the body base?
A2: Take the rubber band and "triple-over" the rubber band to make it shorter. Insert one end of the rubber band to the control stick eye hook and the other to the body base eye hook. Click here to download instructions with photos in pdf format.
Q3: How do I install a padded stomach to Braylu body inserts?
A3: Click here to download the instructions in pdf.
Q4: What size shoes go with your pro size legs?
A4: Toddler size 2 or 3 will work fine.
Q5: My amateur doll's jaw doesn't work anymore.
A5: Most likely the rubber band has broken. Click here to download some basic tips on repairing your ventriloquist doll by Arie Everett.
Q6: Do you have any instructions on building a dummy?
A6: You can view "The Fred Project" from Al Stevens for free - Click Here
Q7: What is the best way to cut open the head?
A7: We have found that using a Dremel with a cutting blade works best. Either Dremel 456 (left) or 543 (right). Make sure to use a mask and protective eye ware as tiny particle will be airborne during the cutting process
Q6: Any tips on completing a Kenny Croes 2T head?
A6: Go to Kenny's blog site. He has listed numerous tips and instructions over the years. - Click Here
Q1: Do you sell the stuffed arms without the hands?
A1: Yes, There is a purchase button under the arms with hands section that says "arms only". Click on that button to buy.
Q2: Do you make custom parts?
A2: Yes, but it depends on the item. Just email us with your request and we can discuss your needs. If you want a custom body, download the custom body form by clicking here .
Q1: What products do you recommend for modifying one of your cast heads?
A1: There are many products on the market that can be used for modifying the cast heads. The most common ones are
- Paper clay (Sold on our site)
- Magic Sculpt
- Apoxie Sculpt
- Free Form Air
- Free Form Earth
Each product has its pros and cons. You will need to experiment to the ones you prefer.
Q2: When using Magic Sculpt, Apoxie Sculpt, Paperclay or Free Form Air do I need to do anything to make it stick to your cast parts?
A2: Typically you do not have to do anything else when applying epoxy type modeling clay to make it stick to the urethane cast heads. However, some builders like to "scuff" up the area by doing a light sanding or drill small holes in the area of application.
Q3: What products do you recommend for filling small holes or minor patching?
A3: There are many products that can be used to fill small holes. The simplest material is wood patch that is found at any local hardware store. Another product is Bondo filler that is used for car repairs.
If you have larger areas to fill or need some structural integrity, we would recommend Magic Sculpt, Apoxie Sculpt or Free Form Air.