I have been asked about the Tommy Knots figures and could I describe how they are done and if they are made like the full size figures. I have to tell you that Frank Marshall made these little guys with the same care to detail as the large figures.
The heads were done on a dupli carver and the front and back half were attached at the top of the head. Frank would have to cut and carve them down to match. He had to cut out the mouth palate and attach them with the pin across the back and then once the palate was installed he ran the connection directly from the center read of the palate to the top of the head and then down through the head stick. The eyes were glass eyes and were permanently installed with plastic wood from the rear. He then painted the figure in his usual Marshall orange finish. Inside the mouth was painted red with no teeth. I do have a couple of these that have teeth painted on but that was a later addition and was not done by Frank.
The head stick is done just like the large figures being hollow about half way down and then the chop stick lever for the control string to attach to for the mouth to function.
The bodies are done exactly like the full size bodies with the shaped shoulder boards and spline and then covered with fabric.
The arms and legs are done in muslin and stuffed with cotton.
The hands and feet are carved from wood and do have the detail expected from a Marshall figure. I am surprised that he was able to make as many of these as he did because of the time he spent on each one. They are certainly a Frank Marshall figure through and through.
Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Copyright 2010 by Dan Willinger
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