In addition to the prep piece I made below from water based clay, (this stuf cracks up by the by if you dont treat it or make your model secure, BEWARE! =3)
I also made my puppets from URO clay, which can be used to create cute things such as Dolls house appliances e.t.c, or like how I did, for puppets!
So where did I begin? Exactly where I should, with the armature!
I measured my wire against my planed drawing, spliced the wires and then added all of my nuts and bolts and such. I think if you consider yourself fairly adept, you should find your own way of doing your puppets. And learn from your successes and fails , its a large part of learning and improving your skills.