View Single Post
Old Jul 28 2016, 11:12 AM   #3798
Senior Member
Zelandeth's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Milton Keynes
Gender: M
Fan of: Dragonsdawn
Now Reading: Working my way through the whole Pern series
Default Re: What is happening

Originally Posted by mara View Post
When you found out how hard, let us know, will you??
Well I'm definitely getting towards the stage of finding out how hard it will be now! Received the fabric samples I'd requested from over here at The Throw Company - major thumbs up to them for offering a sample of up to five fabrics completely free (including shipping!). I having finally decided on what I was doing with the markings on the character figured that I needed four types of fabric. A natural white in both shortish pile and long pile, and likewise for a darker grey. I'd picked both out from their range but obviously it's hard to tell exactly whether they would match from images on a computer screen, so samples are essential.

The whites look a slightly different shade on the camera, but they really look well matched to the eye, I certainly don't reckon there will be any clashing going on when they're used on the costume. Don't think the long and short pile white will actually be next to each other in many places either, it's mostly just going to be on the very top of the head and laying across the front of the shoulders. From memory anyway and I can't be bothered to run upstairs right now to dig out the concept scribbles to check!

Lovely material, though I'm fully expecting that it will be an absolute pain in the rear to work with, especially the short pile white which is very like chinchilla fur and is incredibly slippery! At least most of the work is done from the back anyway and the backing is good and sturdy - which is one of the big differences between this sort of fur and the cheapy "fun fur" that you tend to find in high street stores or in cheap kid's Halloween costumes and the like. It's also dense enough that no matter how hard you try, you can't see the backing from the fur side. It's also north of GBP45 a square metre! Never said this was a cheap hobby!

I'm very quickly starting to realise just why it's so common to see professionally made fursuits with pricetags well into the thousands of dollars. I'm doing this pretty cheaply and the man hours are essentially free, and I'll be surprised if by the time I'm finished if the bill for stuff I've bought in will be under GBP500. Yes, I'm mixing currencies left, right and centre...Tends to happen in this field as 99% of the suppliers I need are in the US!

So this is the total layout of what I've got in front of me now (save for a block of foam upstairs which I'll be using to craft padding that will be needed around the feet/knees). This was the only place I could find large enough to lay stuff out in one frame that also had decent light.

The pipe insulation at the back will be forming the core of the tail, I needed something semi-rigid and roughly cylindrical and this seemed a cheap and readily available solution. I'll be cutting partway through it in places to give flexible segments, and probably have a wire running along the length that I can by varying the tension on control how it behaves - that's the theory anyway.

..."That's the theory anyway" is something that's being said a lot around this project!

I'll have to scribble something out myself at some point shortly to show the end result I'm aiming for.

The obvious question from most people looking at the rather odd shape of his (sorry, still haven't settled on a character name - I always struggle with that sort of thing!) head though is "what the heck is he?" That's a very valid question given that he's not based on any widely known species outside the furry fandom, rather is one of a fictional race that someone came up with back around 2000 called a Sergal, and which has become quite a common sight in the furry fandom in recent years. With a bit of luck, this should be a reference image as to what they look like in the eye of their creator.

(Now you can see why I needed decently long-pile fur - which is harder to find than you might think!)

I do reckon I'll need to carry cards around that I can hand out with a brief rundown of what they are and the lore surrounding them as whenever out in public I know full well the "what on earth are you?" question is one that will happen a lot! I do need to do a lot of background research myself for that matter so that I can flesh out a backstory for the character as well...

Took a *lot* of choosing that race/character to be honest, but was eventually chosen because I find them appealing visually and it's a bit of a left field choice I guess being a fan made species that's only been around for a relatively short period of time. Also not being a dragon like Zel means that I manage to dodge the engineering challenge of the wings! I've also seen a few other folks with suits based around a Sergal character (which I've since discovered are actually based around a lot of the same parts I've bought!) and they come across really well I think.

The fact that I've got the base of the mask here now means that I should be pretty easily able to create some templates to figure out approximately how much fabric I'm going to need. I'll be aiming to buy probably 1.5 times to twice as much as I think I'll need because there will be several reasons I'll need more. Firstly that I'll inevitably mess some things up and need to do them twice. Secondly is that I'll inevitably just need more than I think I do. Also because the fur has a natural grain and I'll need to make sure that it's going in the right direction wherever it is on the character that will limit how much I can optimise the use of the fabric so there will probably be more wastage than there would be if just using plain cloth to make something. Exactly how much extra I pick up will probably depend on how much the initial checkout price makes me cry when I'm making the order!

Need to do some more reading yet as to the best sequence in which to do things, but we are definitely getting tantalisingly close to actually being able to start putting things together now...and seeing how far I manage to walk when wearing the head before colliding with something.
Zelandeth is offline   Reply With Quote