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How DO you make those Animal Costumes? (Fursuits)
On realistic digitigrade feet 
2nd-Mar-2008 07:54 pm
Seabert C:
I've been wanting to give my next project some realistic digitigrade legs with a nice, detailed sculpt on the feet up to the ankle (which on me, would be up to my mid-calf- eep!) and because I want those little intricacies of shape to be visible, I want to spray the padding down with glue to make sure the fur hugs the shape nice and tight and shows off the detail.


I've heard there were difficulties attached to cleaning a foam-padded bodysuit. Many seem to want to have removable padding or polyfil padding on their bodysuits, and I've been wondering what specific reasons there are for this- Does spray adhesive or hot glue or whatever people are using break down in the wash? Does foam trap and hold bacteria and other little critters particularly well? Are there suggestions on how I can have my fine-sculpted feet, but still be able to wash everything- aside from making the feet up to the ankle one whole separate piece?

Also, has anyone ever attempted realistic 3D pawpads on feet? I've looked -EVERYWHERE- and I have not yet found a suit with 3D pads on the feet. What I mean by "3D pawpads" is that the pawpads are actually large, sculpted shapes that your foot is standing on. ( http://images.jupiterimages.com/common/detail/71/37/23123771.jpg ) I know this kind of foot wouldn't hold up stomping around for hours and hours, y'all don't have to tell me that, but I'm curious to know if anyone has tried it before.

Thanks a bunch, fursuit!
3rd-Mar-2008 01:28 am (UTC)
You mean like these?

3rd-Mar-2008 01:30 am (UTC)
YES! They look wonderful! Is that just cast rubber by itself? Can you walk around on it without problems?
3rd-Mar-2008 02:05 am (UTC)
Thick cast rubber, reinforced with cotton strapping, and filled with flexible foam. And, yes, you can walk around on 'em without problems.

Poke around the web site. I'm perfectly willing to talk about how to do 'em as well as selling 'em.
10th-Mar-2008 12:37 am (UTC)
These aren't as realistic, but they are neat too, I think: http://community.livejournal.com/fursuit/2224212.html :)
10th-Mar-2008 12:38 am (UTC)
P.S. And do you make those rubber paws?? I always thought they were amazing! O_o
3rd-Mar-2008 02:16 am (UTC)
As far as I know, they use removable padding type of digitigrade in order to actually be able to wash the suit without worrying about the foam growing nastiness by trapping in moisture - foam takes a long time to dry thanks to all it's holes and spongeyness D=
3rd-Mar-2008 02:30 am (UTC)
If you remember Jhonen_C, he had 3D pawpads that would actually leave giant pawprints everywhere :3 But they were so raised it was really uncomfortable to walk on. They were made from hard sandal foam, so if you made yours from latex it might be a bit more comfortable to walk on.

And yeah, people avoid foam directly attached to the bodysuit because it absorbs water a lot and can mildew easy. :(
3rd-Mar-2008 02:53 am (UTC)

I want to leave giant pawprints everywhere. That is SO cute! Right now I'm just sculpting the whole feet out of foam and I want to carve the pawpads the same way and dip them in layer upon layer of rubber/plastidip/something until they're firmly "shaped", yet still a little squishy. What I'm hoping is that since the pads be so big, it'll spread the weight over enough surface area that it won't hurt my feet. Hopefully.

As for the foam- ewwwww. I wonder if it's possible to treat it with a chemical or cover it in something to make it waterproof. Like those strips of foam they use on boat upholstery that you were telling me about... hrm...
3rd-Mar-2008 02:55 am (UTC)
The boat foam is more expensive, but I think it would be worth it to be able to wash it and still have it constructed the way you want. *nods*
3rd-Mar-2008 03:21 am (UTC)
I've been experimenting with Foam, Hot-Glue & Plastic Dip.
Its a little heavy & wear is visible after 4 hours of dance.

3rd-Mar-2008 03:42 am (UTC)
Those are pretty much what I'm trying to do!

How are the little sandals working out for you comfort-wise? How many layers of the Plasti-Dip did you do?
3rd-Mar-2008 03:57 am (UTC)
The Hind Paws have a 2" elastic band sewn to the shoe/ankle area to compensate for the weight~? 2-3 Lb

I used 3/4 of a can with a foam/sponge for texture

The paw pad sandles are still incomplete.Next Attempt will use Lexan-polycarbonate sheet & foam"s".
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