Squirting Figures and Props

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Squirting Figures and Props

Postby Tony James » 17 Sep 2013, 18:55

I mentioned these noveties elsewhere and suggested here was the pkace for the detail.

My first squirting routine was a Crying Baby from Supreme which Bryan Clarke had supplied. Lovely little figure but hard to handle. There were three problems which I’ll explain because they and their solutions all apply to most squirting figures and props you are likely to develop.

1. The water bulb was pushed onto a large diameter plastic tube which in turn pushed into the head where the finger hole would otherwise have been. The tube was supposed to act as a holding stick. It didn’t. The head swung about as the tube flexed. A Drunken Baby could have been a first!

Also the tube was too big – it absorbed too much of the water reserve.

2. The water filled the head and exited via eye holes in the eye outer corners. The water squirted sideways. This is good. Water squirting sideways is far more visible to the audience than water squirting forwards, straight ahead. But in mine it squirted so much sideways that it hit any other figure to its right or left and almost squirted back, behind the prosc arch.

3. When the tube was pulled from the head the inside of the head smelt strongly of wet wood. In fact when I came to open up the head a couple of days later the wood inside was still wet.

Years later I mentioned this to Bryan who explained the inside of the head was treated to be water resistant. Maybe mine didn’t receive sufficient. By then it was too late. I had tubed it. My concern was that using it daily for a season the head would never dry, the wet would come through and push the paint off the face.

I’ve used the same tubing system on all my squirt novelties because it’s simple and effective. And it’s not difficult – just time consuming.

For the Crying Baby I drilled out the head a bit more using a spade bit to gain space in the head. I also drilled through the eyeholes making them slightly larger and facing ever so slightly more to the front.

The tube I use is silicone fuel line intended for model aircraft. A type of springy, semi-translucent tube with a tiny, almost needle bore and thick walls. Feels stretchy which it is but not much lengthways. The stretch is across the diameter. Remember this, for if you pull it, the tube will stretch and snap, very easily and unexpectedly. Don’t pull it through holes – push it.

So it is pushed through the eyeholes, down through the head and neck. A flat holding stick needs to be screwed to the back of the neck to manipulate the figure replacing the plastic tube (keep the tube) and the silicone tubes will eventually be fixed to this holding stick.

At DIY stores selling plastic tubing you can buy tiny connectors – straight, L, T and Y as a mix in a pack. I know, you wont believe you could ever get that tiny bore tube to expand to take the leg of the connector but you can and you will. Use a Y for the two eye tubes and the bottom leg for a larger diameter feed tube. Make an increasing connector from bits of tight fitting tube, one pushed inside the other, till the last bit is a tight fit into the bulb. The whole of this home made connector should only amount to three inches maximum.

Finally, with a cocktail stick form a bead of epoxy resin adhesive around the tubes where they exit the eyeholes on the face and let it dry and cure.

It only remains to slice the excess tube off flush with the bead and touch up the art work. Protect the fuel line inside the dress by taping to the holding stick with gaffer tape and make sure the final feed tube piece is fastened tightly enough to the stick to allow the neck of the bulb to fit easily AND to be secure against the stick when hanging the figure.

Fit a discreet hanging ring to the back of the neck so it can be hung upright when filled with water and will not leak.

This basic system is adaptable for almost any figure and prop. Because the fuel line has such a tiny bore it uses much less water, produces a greater pressure and so reaches further and the water is more visible.

If the distance from bulb to exit is short, all you need is a small bulb. Further and you need a larger bulb.

Bulbs for water squirting

Somebody, somewhere is going to tell me where you can buy rubber bulbs suitable for squirting water. There was no internet when I first bought mine. Actually, I’ve just looked and haven’t found anyone selling bulbs on their own. Not at sensible prices anyway. All you need is one and a spare. You can use the same bulb for no matter how many squirting figures/props you have.

The easiest and cheapest way is to go to a bicycle shop or store or Halfords or Decathlon and look at cycle accessories.

Here you will find a range of three sizes of cycle horn.

Tiny, for tots; Small for children and larger for older children and adults. Forget the massive. antique repros intended for old cars.

Which size you need is personal but I would suggest the ones for children and possibly the larger adult size. The tiny for tots are very small for general use. But it doesn’t really matter.

You see, the bulbs are all different capacities and the horns are all different lengths and diameters but the brass reed hidden inside the horn which produces the noise is the same size across the range. So it follows that the end of the horns are the same which means:-

The inside diameter of the bulb neck is identical across the range, regardless of bulb size. Not a lot of people know that!

But it’s true. So the bulb will fit the same tube regardless of bulb capacity.

Why? Because that’s how they have always been made, for over 100 years. Originally made here the machinery was shipped to India before the war so the story goes. And the machinery, patched up and kept working and maybe now replaced by copies has produced these bulbs ever since.

The thing is they are made on British designed machines to Imperial measurements unless something has changed very recently.

When Bryan supplied the Crying Baby with a length of plastic tubing that too was to Imperial measurements which is why it fitted as sung as a bug into the bulb.

The trouble now is that plastic tubing is being made here to a different, metric dimension. It’s not just a same size metric equivalent. But the bulbs are still Imperial unless they have changed in the last couple of years.

So, if you still have a Bryan Clarke Crying baby with its original tube, hang on to it. You’ll probably never get another. You only need a couple of inches to make the final link to the bulb.

You can use the rest for another link on another figure/prop. That’s what I have done.

But in the absence of a suitable Imperial tube you will have to use metric in a slightly too small size and make it up to a watertight fit using plumbers PTFE tape wound around the tube.

It may sound a lot of fuss but trust me – it works without problems and the audience results are worth the effort. I’ve been squirting with my figures and props for over twenty years.
Tony James

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Re: Squirting Figures and Props

Postby Chris » 18 Sep 2013, 22:25

A slightly easier approach than Tony's is to buy from Joke shop or magic dealer a squirting Sunflower or Bow Tie and cut off the flower or bow, and Bob's your Uncle. There you have a bulb and flexible narrow tube made for the job. Painless.
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Re: Squirting Figures and Props

Postby Tony James » 19 Sep 2013, 08:40

HA! Why didn't I think about that?!!?

This would certainly provided the reservoir and initial feed tube. If the feed tube diameter is too large for eyes you could easily use a Y reducer/connector to the silicone fuel line tube to the eyes. The real time consuming part is opening up the inside of the baby head and drilling the eyes and pushing through the tube.

Having done that once subsequent figures are easier and props easier still.
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Re: Squirting Figures and Props

Postby Chris » 19 Sep 2013, 12:33

Tony, you don't need a narrower tube. The diameter of the tube is of no consequence, it is the hole the water comes out of that counts. These flowers or bow ties are usually equipped with a nozzle with a pin hole apperture. After all they are made to squirt water.
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Some examples available on the internet should anyone wish to experiment.
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Re: Squirting Figures and Props

Postby Tony James » 19 Sep 2013, 17:35

Thanks - look alright to me.
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Re: Squirting Figures and Props

Postby Chris » 19 Sep 2013, 20:02

Sorry, I forgot to include a link http://www.magicnevin.com. There are many others.
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