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Old May 29 2016, 06:35 PM   #3761
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Dan J the one next to me found a place he like now I'm flat/apartment hunting.

I'm waiting over this weekend for a new/old place to look at a one bedroom, and while my phone was charging East High Apartments called back with an opening, that I might be able to get http://www.easthighapts.com/

Dan J and I lived there for a few years, we like but the rent was getting to high, now I'm hoping to return to this history making place.
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Old Jun 2 2016, 06:34 PM   #3762
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X-posted from the KT.

I made a THING!

Well actually Tat made a thing, but she got me to make a video of said thing, which I did and then posted to YouTube!

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Old Jun 3 2016, 08:41 AM   #3763
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Great video!
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Old Jun 3 2016, 09:18 PM   #3764
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Great video!
Thank you!
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Old Jun 4 2016, 11:28 AM   #3765
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Meanwhile - anybody who thinks that it's a good idea to make a firelizard out of gold pleather to wear to Armageddon on Saturday should think again. Not only is the stuff hell to work with, but gold flakes were coming off it before I even started sewing it. Finished it - but it's half past two on Sunday morning. Now, if I make it to the 8.30am bus in the morning - I might just arrive a day late.
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Old Jun 5 2016, 10:44 AM   #3766
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I make it to the cosplay event. The first person I met asked: "Is that a Pernese Firelizard?" To almost everyone else it was a shoulder dragon. Then I went to the main Armageddon event which was very crowded, very noisy, and there were lots of people wearing the most amazing costumes.
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Old Jun 8 2016, 07:08 PM   #3767
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Dan J the one next to me found a place he like now I'm flat/apartment hunting.

I'm waiting over this weekend for a new/old place to look at a one bedroom, and while my phone was charging East High Apartments called back with an opening, that I might be able to get http://www.easthighapts.com/

Dan J and I lived there for a few years, we like but the rent was getting to high, now I'm hoping to return to this history making place.
I GOT IT! Leaving this place, have wait this month, internet in lease.

Without internet for a few weeks, so I shall update when I can.
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Old Jun 13 2016, 12:00 AM   #3768
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Hugs P'ter and Zelandeth.

Zelandeth, nice work on your garden.

Here's my update for those who are not on the NKT:
I've been gone for awhile because real life has been insanely busy. However, I made time for myself by "working" the So Cal Renaissance Faire as a monger. I had a blast and look forward to it next year. I am halfway through my PhD program and have the first draft of my research questions for my dissertation. Next year will be my last year of classes and I hope to be writing my dissertation next summer.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week!
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Old Jun 13 2016, 01:22 AM   #3769
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I GOT IT! Leaving this place, have wait this month, internet in lease.

Without internet for a few weeks, so I shall update when I can.
I feel like I don't what, but dad offered to come up and let me stay with him and grandmother, while they clean the carpet, the chemicals and I don't react well.
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Old Jun 13 2016, 06:05 AM   #3770
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Been up all night because our phone company were apparently doing maintenance on our voice line last night.

Fine and dandy except for the fact that any time it detects the line has gone down, our intruder alarm throws a massive hissy fit and triggers an alarm which will persist until you walk all the way to the control panel, punch in the code and acknowledge the fault. If it goes down once this is annoying...if what happens last night (the line kept going down for a few seconds at a time, dozens of times over about a six hour period) happens though it is beyond infuriating.

Honestly, if it weren't for the huge chunk it takes off our home contents insurance it would be getting ripped out about now. We already have an intruder alarm (and deterrent device) in the form of a large dog!

Off now to wander around for the rest of the day looking like the living dead and probably doing the same tasks three or four times before I realise I've already done them...
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Old Jun 13 2016, 11:34 AM   #3771
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We already have an intruder alarm (and deterrent device) in the form of a large dog!
I know what you mean. Some time back, I had the service come out to mark where lines and pipes were buried. When I called in the request, the lady asked me, "Do you have any alarm system, like ADT?"

I replied, "ADT? No, we have D.O.G." When she finally quit laughing, I explained that our alarm system is our visually intimidating 175 pound Mastiff.
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Old Jun 16 2016, 10:10 PM   #3772
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Oh no Zelandeth, Zen hugs if we could reach you we would, a twist on Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey Ship Who Searched from me.

Also thanks for the reminder, have them check that the battery is changed in the fire alarm, for they do have 'high places that are hard to reach'.
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Old Jun 20 2016, 01:42 AM   #3773
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Wishing everyone a blessed week!
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Old Jun 26 2016, 12:57 AM   #3774
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Weird how grief affects one, or doesn't.

My mother is the oldest of 9 siblings, so I had 4 maternal uncles and 4 aunts. Three of my uncles have already passed, the youngest of them at only 44 (he was only 7 years older than I am so I always felt like he was more like an older cousin than an uncle). As an adult, I've never been very close to any of my aunts or uncles, and each of them died following a period of severe illness, so their deaths weren't exactly unexpected. One of my aunts died at 62 a month ago, but she had early-onset dementia and had been in 24/7 care for the last four years. So I was sad but not grieving in any real sense of the word, when my relatives died.

Compare that to the fact that I'm still upset about the death of Anton Yelchin, an actor whose performances I've enjoyed but I haven't really been a particular fan of his, in the sense of going to see a movie just because he was in it. I did enjoy his performance in the Abrams Star Trek films, and look forward to seeing him again in Star Trek Beyond this summer.

I actually feel a bit guilty about being sadder about Yelchin's death than that of my family members...
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Old Jul 2 2016, 05:33 PM   #3775
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Well that was an entertaining day - in a good way for a change!

Have been aware that there's a pretty regular get together of a pretty decent number of Furries down in London, but had never actually got around to really investigating it despite that only being a half hour train ride away - until we got poked into doing so by the guest we've had staying for the last couple of weeks.

Now I was used to the meets we used to have up in Aberdeen where there were 10-20 people appearing and generally the events being very low key. I was expecting it to be bigger obviously with it being London and all that, but cripes that wasn't a furmeet, that was a mini-convention not a meet! Must have been upwards of 150 people there, and at least 40 or 50 suiters (they're hard to count as they never stay still long enough!).

What I found really intersting here was that this was an event where we actually went out into the outside world rather than it all being held within a venue over which we had full control, so there is actual interaction with the general public, which I was a bit apprehensive about.

The walk was probably an hour or so, going through some pretty heavily populated areas (not least over the Millenium Bridge and past the Tate Modern), and what I found wonderful was how overwhelmingly positive everyone's reactions to us was. A certain degree of bafflement from some people, but no apparent derision from anyone. Well, aside from the one impatient taxi driver who felt it necessary to honk at the one guy in front of him who was too busy looking at us lot to spot that their light had gone green.

Really felt like we had brought some happiness and colour into some people's lives today, including my own. Even though I have ascertained that my badges and lanyard combination are really not wind-friendly, and I'm not entirely sure how I managed to get through the day without it taking anyone's eye out.

Will definitely be heading back next month I reckon, and think that this will become a regular thing now. Funny lately that every brush I have with this lot seems to make me come away thinking "Yes, this is something that I feel that I am really a part of and feel at home with."

Looking forward in due course to being one of the folks there in suit as well, though that's still a little ways off - even though I have in fact ordered some parts for that now, just waiting for them to arrive (and to get utterly gouged for import duty no doubt). Will share my creation as it comes together of course.
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Old Jul 2 2016, 07:28 PM   #3776
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What fun! Surely it would be very hot to be all done up in a suit?
Looking forward to seeing your own creations.
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Old Jul 2 2016, 08:12 PM   #3777
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Thermal management is probably the single biggest challenge when you're in suit.

You'll usually find that folks wear specialised clothing under the suit to assist in keeping cool (whether it be underarmour type stuff as used for some endurance sports or actual active cooling vests etc), and a lot of the heads have fans in to help keep some airflow going there.

I've already got the fan planned in, but will probably be picking up some of the fancy pants phase change cooling vests (they're apparently massively effective and will basically stay at 15C or thereabouts for several hours), though that's going to have to wait a little while as at a few hundred pounds they ain't cheap. ...Though to be honest, there is absolutely nothing about this hobby that is cheap! You learn that quite early on!

Even so, the biggest danger generally is overheating and dehydration so you need to A: Know your own limits, and B: Be careful.

That's why at the half way point we had a break at a secluded location where the suiters were able to take their heads off and cool down a bit. We try to avoid head removal wherever possible so as to avoid breaking the magic where practical.

It's also one of those areas where you might want to be a bit clever about designing the character - if you have a suit which is mainly black or a similarly dark colour direct sunlight is suddenly going to become your worst enemy! This is one of the reasons that the one I'm currently working on (who has yet to be named for certain) is predominantly white! ...When I do come back to make Zel's final one it's a headache I will have to face mind you!

Does make me wonder though how they manage at Anthrocon (6000 odd attendees!) which is held in Pittsburgh and at the start of July (they're probably just wrapping things up right now actually thinking about it), where it's wicked hot to start with never mind trying to wear a suit. I'd definitely be staying inside the convention centre there I reckon!

Common challenge number two is that almost every suit is similar with respect to the fact that once the head is on that you will have absolutely zero peripheral vision, and many have a large blind spot straight ahead as well. Environmental public enemy number one immediately becomes waist high bollards, and number two is stairs.
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Old Jul 3 2016, 11:44 AM   #3778
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Me n maw wuz ridin to town when we seen this here thang sittin long side the road. Well, we stopped n looked at it n after studyin on fer a spell, we decided it must be one o them there fancy flower planters, like they have in the big city. So we loaded it up n brought it on home n set it on this here ole stump n stuck some flowers in it. Heavy thang, tho. Like to throwed my back out, movin' it round.

That there one thang on the bottom I wuz goin to use to frame Great Granpa's picchur, but maw sed it wuz the wrong color, an we wuz all out o black paint right now, so we jus let it be. An that there other thang standin up agin the back, maw sed wuz too flimsy to use fer a bread board, so we jus let it be, 2.

Anyhow, we think it looks right purty a settin there on that there stump, an the flowers seem to be doin real good a growin in it!
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Old Jul 3 2016, 11:56 AM   #3779
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Tomorrow we're going on a six-day "road" trip. We'll take the ferry to Stockholm, drive to Malmö, spend the night there and drive to Legoland in Denmark (we're taking the bridge across the strait) and back again. Back on Saturday morning.
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Old Jul 4 2016, 08:14 AM   #3780
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Meanwhile, I got told off by the person who runs the body corporate for this block of flats. What for? "Changing the appearance of the building." Y'know what I did to upset her - I pulled out the dead plant in the heavy concrete planter that was on the landing of the front door when I moved in and put some live plants in it!
They also made me remove the "no junk mail" sign off the front gate. The next time I come home to a huge bundle of soggy junk mail shoved through the scrolls on the wrought iron gate, and wet paper all over the pavement and the road that has a continuous stream of heavy demolition waste trucks going up it that sign's going right back on the gate.
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Old Jul 4 2016, 06:55 PM   #3781
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Eigh, annoying landlords are the worst - something I mercifully managed to avoid during my rental days.

Today I mostly gave my old Saab a bit of TLC in preparation for the MOT (yearly safety check) tomorrow morning. I knew the brake pads were getting a bit low on the front (still had a bit of life left in them but not much) so stuck a fresh set in. Changed the fluid while I was at it as what was in the reservoir looked disgusting and the brakes are worked moderately hard with it being a pretty heavy car with an automatic gearbox. Then I finally got around to changing the spark plugs (they've only been in the glovebox for about six months!), and giving the throttle body and air metering unit a good clean. Managed to blast myself in the face with carb cleaner while doing that but at least it removed some of the brake dust I was covered in...

Then did a full lighting check (will see if my usual curse of a brake light failing between here and the test station continues!) as it would be silly to fail for something as daft as a duff bulb.

After that just spent a couple of hours giving it a good coat of wax and treating the plastics etc. Always figure that turning up with a car that looks well looked after can't hurt. Plus it having two brand new tyres, a new exhaust, half a new braking system and evidence of a service less than a month ago should give a decent impression of the owner being someone who believes in maintaining their car.

...fingers crossed it will pass. Will see, 9AM tomorrow.
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Old Jul 5 2016, 08:16 AM   #3782
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I could deal with my landlord - he's my son. Ms Picky Body Corporate lady is someone hired by the six flat owners (the Body Corporate) to see about the maintenance of the outside of the building. She is supposed to be answering to the owners, not the other way around.
A check on Google Earth shows that the offending potplant was in fact already on my front entrance and already dead in 2008, which is the earliest Google Street View of this block of flats.
So far, the plumbers she's hired have been very efficient and nice to deal with - one of them had to go through the top of one of my cupboards into the roof-space to fix a leaking header-tank. The painters painted over wet pigeon shit, and, if she really is hiring gardeners then somebody's being royally ripped off. I've taken archeological quality broken glass out of the garden, and only once in the nine months I've been here have I seen any evidence of garden maintenance, and that didn't include the removal of household rubbish tossed into our carpark from the street.
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Old Jul 8 2016, 10:35 AM   #3783
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The official word from my landlady today was to ignore Ms Picky Body Corporate lady. In fact, from her reaction, I suspect she was already unimpressed by the woman's lack of HR skills after a fuss was made about the land agent sign outside my front entrance.

So ... the plants that I collected for the purpose are going in the garden, and too bad if Ms Picky doesn't like them. I doubt she'll even notice that they are there.
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Old Jul 8 2016, 06:51 PM   #3784
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Some people have no lives
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Old Jul 8 2016, 11:43 PM   #3785
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Moved in and still unpacking, nice place, old math room, got the internet, working, and had a problem with a cracked USB cord, took three tries to get out the broken part, had a friend help check connections, and found my spare one, so far good
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Old Jul 9 2016, 09:33 AM   #3786
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Congrats on your new home Ginny!

Got back from our five-day trip this morning. We had a great time, but it was rather exhausting... :Sleepy:
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Old Jul 10 2016, 05:53 PM   #3787
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Glad it seems like you've got things sorted out there Vyon, and congratulations on the move Ginny. Been here two and a half years or thereabouts now, and I certainly have no intention of doing it again!

With the success in getting the Saab through its MOT last week I finally decided that it was time to stop procrastinating about sorting the failed head gasket on the Skoda (I've only been putting it off for about nine months now) so I can get it back on the road in time to get to some shows with it this year.

So, I started out with an engine bay that looks like this:



...approximately an hour and a half later, this scene of devastation was before me!



Then spent a full day just cleaning everything up, as that's about the most important stage really.

...and at least three or four hours trying to get one snapped stud out of the exhaust manifold, which really did test my expletive vocabulary.

Today was reassembly day, and in somewhere around two hours I managed to change a pile of bits back into an engine. Astonishingly enough one which actually started when I asked it to, and one which while I've still to test thoroughly, but so far *seems* to be behaving.

More testing to go on tomorrow, but if everything goes well I'll look at getting it booked in for an MOT shortly. There's a show relatively close to us on the 23rd July titled "The Festival of the Unexceptional" which focuses on the everyday cars of yesteryear rather than your exotics like Ferraris and E-type Jags, somewhere my little orange Skoda would fit right in I think.

Interesting to be honest that (assuming that I have in fact fixed it!) this job has actually been fun to do. There's a lot to be said for working on cars that are as simple as this!
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Old Jul 10 2016, 07:16 PM   #3788
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So agree with you about older cars being more interesting to work on.
(Not that I'm an engineer! - it's hubby)
He is very keen on British cars and scorns the more modern ones
It's a good hobby rather than a boring job that needs to be done, isn't it?
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Old Jul 10 2016, 07:48 PM   #3789
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Yep, it's a fantastic hobby, but I don't know whether I'd want to do it for a living...especially not these days. You don't repair modern cars...you just unplug little plastic boxes, throw them away and put new ones in. The art of actual troubleshooting is rapidly dying out and being replaced by flowcharts on laptops.

Your hubby would probably have been right at home doing this job to be honest, for all it uses different materials and different external fixtures and fittings, the engine in the Skoda is a very typical OHV four pot, not a million miles away from the B Series BMC used in a plethora of different models.
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Old Jul 12 2016, 05:53 PM   #3790
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I like watching when I can the repairing of old cars, and planes, I don't drive nor well fly an airplane, but I did help my dad with his ultralight http://www.quadcitychallenger.com/ Its was a John Cash special one section at a time, money from his safe driving payments, and I help by checking to make sure they were the right ones. I was up in it over the 4 of July, USA. around Wild Rose WI, airport.
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Old Jul 18 2016, 01:08 PM   #3791
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Given that it's 27C outside at the moment, I have decided that this afternoon is an ideal time to hide in an air conditioned room and park myself in front of the computer and expend as little energy as possible. I've got quite a few bits and pieces I need to catch up on actually so this isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Ginny, that's quite an interesting looking little aircraft, could certainly see having one of those being a great deal of fun.

Skoda went in for the MOT on Friday, and not only managed to get there and back without blowing up (always a bonus when you've just had the engine in pieces), but only failed on some welding being needed on the one sill where there's some corrosion that I was already aware of, so actually classing that as a pretty good result. It's going back in on Thursday to have that sorted out, so with a bit of luck it'll actually be roadworthy again by the weekend.

My seemingly unstoppable slide downhill into furry madness has continued and suddenly started to feel very real now that the first few bits of the costume have actually shipped. Need to get off my backside and order the next few things I'll need as well, and am giving serious consideration to picking up one of these cooling vests so I don't die the first time I actually use the thing. ...With the temperature being what it is right now, actually sounds like a useful thing to have anyway! Basically just that and the actual fur left to pick up now (sheesh it's expensive - and surprise surprise it looks like I'll be buying from the US again so yet more customs charges)...then just putting the bits together. How hard can that be?
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Old Jul 20 2016, 12:47 PM   #3792
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Given that it's 27C outside at the moment, I have decided that this afternoon is an ideal time to hide in an air conditioned room and park myself in front of the computer and expend as little energy as possible. I've got quite a few bits and pieces I need to catch up on actually so this isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Ginny, that's quite an interesting looking little aircraft, could certainly see having one of those being a great deal of fun.

Skoda went in for the MOT on Friday, and not only managed to get there and back without blowing up (always a bonus when you've just had the engine in pieces), but only failed on some welding being needed on the one sill where there's some corrosion that I was already aware of, so actually classing that as a pretty good result. It's going back in on Thursday to have that sorted out, so with a bit of luck it'll actually be roadworthy again by the weekend.

My seemingly unstoppable slide downhill into furry madness has continued and suddenly started to feel very real now that the first few bits of the costume have actually shipped. Need to get off my backside and order the next few things I'll need as well, and am giving serious consideration to picking up one of these cooling vests so I don't die the first time I actually use the thing. ...With the temperature being what it is right now, actually sounds like a useful thing to have anyway! Basically just that and the actual fur left to pick up now (sheesh it's expensive - and surprise surprise it looks like I'll be buying from the US again so yet more customs charges)...then just putting the bits together. How hard can that be?
When you found out how hard, let us know, will you??
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Old Jul 21 2016, 08:45 AM   #3793
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I've never tried to sew fur, but velvet slides all over the place. So did the pleather stuff I made my fire-lizard out of, with the bonus of flakes of the gold coating coming off it.
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Old Jul 21 2016, 06:20 PM   #3794
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When my staff get back from vacation, I shall have her take pictures of my two fire lizards, one is white like Ruth, the other is two tone green.

Right now they are watching from a deep window ledge, more later.
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Old Jul 21 2016, 06:43 PM   #3795
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Well we'll be finding out how hard it can be very soon given that the box of bits arrived today...

Last edited by Zelandeth; Jul 24 2016 at 10:46 AM. Reason: Just correcting a typo.
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Old Jul 23 2016, 12:04 PM   #3796
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Well we'll be finding out how hard to can be very soon given that the box of bits arrived today...
O My
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Old Jul 23 2016, 11:43 PM   #3797
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I have some images, that I took years back that just refound while moving.I shall have to see if can get them up. Might take a tad longer to do so.
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Old Jul 28 2016, 12:12 PM   #3798
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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.
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Old Jul 28 2016, 04:49 PM   #3799
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I looked at the drawings and automatically thought "wolf", not any fictional race or character, but that's just me.

But that made me think of some of my engraving work, these:






Just sayin'.
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Old Jul 28 2016, 05:07 PM   #3800
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Some lovely work there!

There are definitely wolf-esque elements in there, no doubt about it.

Wolf probably would have been my next choice, but for the fact that there are a *lot* of canine based characters out there, meant that I would have struggled to come up with something I felt was really mine.
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