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How I Made An Actual Dancing Baby Groot!

My Wife's Birthday was coming up soon, and like everybody else who saw (the brilliant) Guardians of the Galaxy... she had fallen in love the baby dancing Groot from the end of the movie. I mean... who didn't??

 

I knew what I had to do.... !!

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I gathered my supplies. The most important of which was a light up dancing flower from Japan which was made around 2008.

 

They're very rare at the moment as they're not made any more.... but it was the one I wanted as it had the perfect dancing movement, and luckily I found one JUST in time.

It was slightly heartbreaking cutting this thing up as it was so cute, and looked great when all it's petals were lighting up and flashing bright colours.....

 

but I needed that Baby Groot!! So off came the leaves and petals!

Eventually I had all the petals and leaves off, and all the lights disconnected.

 

Now we were ready to rock 'n' roll!!

The body was built up using one of the sponge hair rollers cut up into sections (I wanted to make sure I didn't restrict the dancing movement)

I got some thin green fabric that had a bit of texture and painted it to a much darker shade. This would be the base for everything else that came on top.

I found some brown felt covered paper that I'd kept for no particular reason for years. Now I FINALLY had a reason to use it!!

I glued the green fabric around the black sponge sections...

I took one of these 'Chenille Sticks' ...basically oversized pipe cleaners with extra long fur on. I only needed the wire and some of the fur... so most of it was chopped off.

Once this was done I glued a piece of string at one end, and started winding it around tightly. This was to be the arms!

Once this was done (and glued at the other end) I painted it with Umber acrylics. Basically dark brown.

This was then wrapped tightly around the body at the correct height where I wanted the arms, glueing it to the body to make sure it didn't  twist around or anything. This has to be solid.

Then it was time to make it look like a tree!!

 

I took some thick string from a kitchen mop head, and thin string from a regular ball and started glueing them onto the sponge sections. I needed to both make it look like a tree, but also be loose enough between sections so that it could still move.

Once this was all done and I was happy with it I painted the whole thing with Umber. This would act as the bast colour onto which I would paint everything else.

Then came the slow process of painting dozens of layers if varying shades of greens and browns, to both make string look like a tree, but also to make it look like Groot how we saw him on screen!

I unwravelled a piece of string down to it's thinnest individual piece and painted this green. This would be glued on and give some variation to the look (and also the dancing groot that we see in the film has these tendrils in the same place)

Now it's time to sculpt the head!! I use Milliput for this.. a two part epoxy putty that dries within a few hours once mixed together, so I had to be quick.

 

I used two small ball joints off a spare action figure I had lying around for the eyes.

Some fake grass was added, along with some granite chips. These were glued down onto the 'soil'.

And now it's time to PAINT. A few thin coats of grey primer and we start laying down thin washes of colour, building it up. Eventually after a few days we get to......

....THIS.

 

There's dozens of different layers of browns and greens here. Also some shadows are painted in and enhanced in the cracks and crevices. Painting can always enhance and add to a sculpt.

 

One thing that I've seen that every custom  Groot out there has wrong is that they just give him flat black eyes. This is wrong! He actually has regular looking eyes with a pupil in the middle.. its just *really* subtle. His eyes are green/brown, just really dark. I made them extra glossy too.

 

Some extra fake moss was added along with some leaves and twigs to enhance the overall 'groot' effect.

 

And there you have it!! One Dancing Baby Groot!!!!

I sculpted the head separately as I wanted it to be poseable afterwards. It simply sits on top of the main body and can be turned in any direction you wish.  

EDIT: After incredible interest I decided to make some Groot fridge magnets, with the face moulded from my sculpted Groot head.

 

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