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How DO you make those Animal Costumes? (Fursuits)
Removable digitigrade padding question 
5th-Jan-2008 03:48 pm
Cas by Goldie
I have a question that I feel should have an obvious answer...but I just can't see it :/

I am making digitigrade legs on my suit using the "glue the foam onto an undersuit" type method so as to be able to have the foam separate/removable (not attached to the actual suit), and make washing the bodysuit easier. I've glued my foam onto a pair of spandex pants and have all the shaping done already. I'm now at the point where I've got the digitigrade pants on my duct tape dummy, and have a cloth mock-up bodysuit to start taking in to be form fitting in order to make a pattern with. Well my question is, how will the foamed pants be removable? The large hock sticking out the back of my calf is much bigger than the area right where my knee is...soo I would imagine taking the pants back out of the bodysuit would require a lot of squishing of foam to fit back through skinnier areas. I hope that made sense. Not to mention it was difficult to even get the horribly baggy mock-up suit over the legs...I can't imagine trying to wrestle a trimmed and fitted suit over those padded legs. So am I missing some big point, or is trying to have a fitted digitigrade suit mean I can't have a removable padded undersuit?

For an example of what I'm doing...I've made undersuit legs pretty much like these that LV made...but with more foam in some places including some around the ankles (fits with the hooves I've made). http://latinvixen02.livejournal.com/103006.html
Comments 
6th-Jan-2008 12:37 am (UTC)
... Couldn't you put the padded suit inside the bodysuit before you put it on? - it should be easy to slide the padding into place without your legs in the way - then you can just slip the whole thing on.
6th-Jan-2008 01:02 am (UTC)
I was just thinking that. Before you put on the fursuit part, stick the spandex pants inside. The foam should atuomatically want to go to where the gaps are for it. Then grab the waist of the pants AND the fursuit and put it all on as one. Same deal with taking it off, slide your leg out then quish the foam just enough to get it out.
6th-Jan-2008 01:03 am (UTC)
I do that as well :D. Or just have the pants on and slip myself in to fit the pockets specifically made for the legs and such. Foam squishes, so it should not be a prob. Have photos of how yours is giving you problems?
6th-Jan-2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
I haven't had an actual problem with it yet, I was just getting ready to take in the legs on my mock-up and got stumped :) Thanks for the advice :>
6th-Jan-2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
I'll take your word for it then :D...I guess I'm just assuming it will be a big hassle for some reason.
6th-Jan-2008 06:29 am (UTC)
i've got actual pockets in scape. I just cut a slit in the pocket from the inside -squish the foam into the pocket or remove to dry or wash. this way i can wear my undersuit under regular clothes and can ninja right into scape quite easily ;)
6th-Jan-2008 05:58 pm (UTC)
I considered taking that route, but the way I've laid the foam on my pants really doesn't allow for me to take it off and transfer it to pockets :/
7th-Jan-2008 01:48 pm (UTC)
Probably not what you want to hear, but, that suit is hanging a few feet from where I'm sitting. Over the last 3 years (scary when I look at the dates!!) The suit has been extensively used (and is now starting to look like it'll have to be replaced this year)

We actually abondoned the two suit concept for a couple of reasons... Hygenic first and foremost, we have different people wearing the suit at different times, so, it became quickly apparant that the two suit concept, while ideal for a single "owner/operator" would be fine, it didn't work for us. While I don't think any of our performers have hygene issues, we just didn't like the concept that they'd be wearing a body suit someone else has worn. A receipe for disaster.

There was also a speed issue... A number of our performances we have very little time to get ready, so, it became a problem trying to work the suit on over the padding. It's not a huge problem, but, it did add 5 minutes to the prep time, and, when we often are doing a specific part of a sport game, it becomes problematic.

From an appearance pov, I don't think it really added/detracted from the suit having the padding on the undersuit. What I will say, and, problem only because I'm a perfectionist when it comes to suits, is, that you can see a texture difference on the butt of the costume, where the padding is sewn on. We over come this by frequently brushing the buttocks between appearances.

In the end, we've sewn the padding directly to the suit, and, heavily enforce a policy of people performing in the costumes must wear underarmor which they launder themselves.

Speaking of which, there's always been the argument of "it adds bulk to the costume which is a problem with laundering the suit".. Our suit is regularly laundered with the padding in place, and, we've never ever had a problem with it.

Since we have a special closet to dry it in, drying isn't a problem either. (We've installed a dehumidifier in a 5 x 6 costume/hockey gear storage room) I can wash the suit and have it perfectly dry within about 24 hours.

Oh, and, as for brushing, I will also throw the suit in the dryer on an AIR FLUFF (NO HEAT NO NEAT NO HEAT) cycle for an hour, with a number of bounce sheets thrown in. Not only does it fluff the suit up, but, it comes out smelling neat at clean.

7th-Jan-2008 08:40 pm (UTC)
I am making a fursuit with removable padding at the moment. You can have a look at my WIP pictures from my journal: http://pekingfoxie.livejournal.com/9176.html#cutid1

That padding can be removed and re-attached countless times.
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