Wormly stands, and has hands! And a tail! And he's...well, kinda wobbly, frankly, but he doesn't fall over if you shake the table, and will withstand moderate poking. Smack him upside the head and he goes down, mind you, but then again, so do I, so we probably can't hold that against him. He's 13 inches high at the top of the skull, and the ears go up a bit farther. Tomorrow, I'll bulk him out--possibly with foam, but more likely with tinfoil--and then the vast and terrifying adventure of clothing! (Uploading "Irrational Fears" made me realize that he looks a little like a chupacabra...probably not a beret sort of guy, though.)
"You'll get better at doing this," said James encouragingly, as we fought to find Wormly's balance point.
I looked at him.
"I'll get better at doing this," he said, resigned.
What we have learned for the next time:
James is arguing for a smaller head, but he's probably not going to get it for awhile, since it's hard to work small and still get suitable detail, and I really like the 2.5 inch diameter ornament blank. Still, I'll make the effort, and also try bulking out the muzzle with tinfoil a bit, although it's hard. (sob)
Sink the head right onto the copper pipe (not all that big a deal, epoxy holds it well, but it'd save a step, and I could probably extend the neck lower along it.
Heavier leg armature--either double up the 14 gauge wire, or go for the 9 gauge. Wormly's wobbliness is due mostly to having jelly-legs. They hold him up just fine, but they're contributing to wobble.
What worked well:
Six inch copper pipe body
Tail is good. Having three points of contact with the ground is a big help.
James is way better at wiring than I am, having much stronger hands and a better grasp of operating pliers.
Plumber's epoxy putty--REALLY good stuff. Reeks to high heaven, but easy to mix, almost exactly like Sculpey, and hardens like steel within an hour. Wormly's joints are all protected by the stuff, and it's only like four bucks for a tube, or roll, or whatever. I recommend it highly.
This was sufficiently fun, and looks good enough so far that I think I'll want to do at least one more, even if just to iron out some of Wormly's kinks!