The Making of Basset Hound Ted Part II

This is part two of Tom Dahl’s story about the making of his Basset Hound, Ted (if you missed part one, click here)

Brant Gilmer used a dark, base coat for the full head. This is the color wanted by Alex Howell, as Alex explains that he likes to work “dark to light”.

The head is shipped by Brant over to Alex, and now Alex begins the final painting of the head along with the big challenge to make the “body” and make sure proportions work OK.




This is the basic body frame that Brant supplies Alex.


Alex uses the original drawing as template,and using a paper macho process, starts to build out the body.


The red collar becomes real, and the spring bouncing tail is added to the body frame.


Alex carefully decorates the paws, and adds the fur for that real dog look.


This picture scared the “client” a lot. I got very worried that this dog was going to look very, very dark, and
I couldn’t figure out the match of head to body.

Alex provided calming assurances that all would be OK.


Wow, Alex now shows the great progress with the head painting. It now becomes clear how he goes from dark to light, and how the head is coming to life.

Client is starting to get really excited !


At last the final figure is delivered, and he’s absolutely great! The head is very large, and there is a wonderful match of head to body. The figure is self standing,
and the head rotates easily within the collar structure.

The controls for animations are absolutely a joy to work; the engineering appears flawless.

Ted has become a real guy.

The creative talents of Brant Gilmer and Alex Howell are just sensational. These guys work well together, and their talents truly complement each other.

I hope to bring Ted to the VentHaven Convention this July and you can say hello to him up close.


Tom Dahl

June 1, 2012



Tom, thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story about the creation of your Basset Hound, Ted. He’s a great looking character and can’t wait to meet him in person next month.



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:

Copyright 2012 by Dan Willinger

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5 Responses to The Making of Basset Hound Ted Part II

  1. Mike Palma says:

    Just Amazing work!!!!

    Mike Palma

  2. P. Grecian says:

    Wonderful! And so much life, even in the still pictures!

  3. Donald woodford says:

    Great character and amazing work.

  4. James Manalli says:

    Beautifull work!

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