March 3rd, 2004


(no subject)

Well, I've just decided on my next project, so I figured I'd ramble a bit for those who may be interested (you know, so I can take more pictures and stuff than I normally would ;) ).

I had been planning to save my gryphon suit idea for a couple years from now, but thanks to a friend telling me of the wonders of the Michigan RenFest (not to mention the fact that they're extremely costume friendly, unlike the college idiots I have to deal with while in costume on Halloween!), I've decided to try to get this not-so-little project done for August. I really don't know if I'll be making it to the Michigan RenFest since it all depends on the timing as I head down for college next fall, but if I do, I want to galavant around as a gryphon ;)

This will be my first full-body suit, since in previous years I've been short on time and cash, so I went with the mask/tail/paws partial suit bit. The body suit shouldn't be too difficult to pull off. I've done enough sewing over the years that I can whip up a body suit fairly quickly and easily. The tricky parts will be the digitigrade feet (as I've never done them before), the wings (which I plan on making so that they'll open, similar to Loopy's setup on his costumes), and the tail (which - if I can get the servo motors - I'm going to try to follow Wolftronix's how-to so it'll move). I would really love to do some animatronic or CO2 powered wings, but I don't think I could afford it, or pull it off for that matter. I'm having a hard enough time trying to follow Wolftronix's how-to for an animatronic tail, so I doubt I could pull off wings without some sort of blueprint ;) I'm an artist, not an engineer!

In addition to the full suit, I'm thinking of making some sort of simple costume to go over top of the suit. Mostly, this stems from a concern of wandering around outside on bare dirt. I'm going to need boots of some sort to keep the feet somewhat clean. But a gryphon wearing only boots would look a bit silly ;) Unless I can come up with some kind of foot covering that looks more like a stylized ornament which can be matched to bracers on the arms, I'll have to do some sort of garb to go over the costume. Said ornamental footware and bracers, if I go that route, will probably involve leather and chainmail. If I do decide the easier route would be some regular clothing, most likely it will either be vaguely renfaire-esque, or perhaps pirate-ish. Judging by the dates that I might get to go to the Michigan RenFest, I'll be landing there right in the middle of their pirate-themed weekend ;)

So, yeah. That's the plan for the next suit. I won't be starting it until May since I'm in college until the end of April. In the mean time, I'm planning on sketching out ideas for the look of the gryphon and his garb. And looking for the materials I'll need for a servo-run tail. Does anybody by chance know where you'd get that kind of thing?

My new suit, and my New Site...

Here is the grand unveiling of the project I have been working on and off for 3 months (everything is custom made the cloths, the goggles etc.), my new fursuit:

Finally I feel I have enough records of enough heads, and fursuits to give them my own fursuit related website here:

Also, a step by step of what I am currently been working on, and how I make fursuit heads:

Ryngs Rakune
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Fursuiters I haven't seen before

Was bored at work today, so I did a search for Fursuits I havent seen. Why not share some of your favorites/new ones you haven't seen before.

Take a peek:

has a HOW TO in German..I wish it was english: interestig wolf head Kinda neato, though bright white of the body suit might look better being airbrushed to match the offwhite of the head. Neat suit though!

ok, seem this one, but its too neat not to show..built by Lance Ikegawa:

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Another Ambitious Fursuiter

Hi all! This will be an extremely long post, as I am providing details in place of pictures at the moment. *kicks her scanner* Stupid thing isn't designed for use with Windows 2000.

I am new to fursuiting, and this fursuiting community. I picked a doozie for my starting project: a gryphon. But you know, it doesn't seem all too hard, just time consuming. And patience consuming. I see long trails of trial and error in my future.

My goal is to make a realistic sort of creature. I'm researching bird wings at the moment. If I can't make a set of wings, I can't make a gryphon. I've built a frame as described in the Legend Wings v.1 so far, and added an arm pulley system similar to Rulok's wings. It seems to work with a heavy canvas covering, so I'm not worried about weight. I've got a friend experimenting with hydraulics and squeegee thingies. That'd be cool. The first problem I've run into is the feathers. How do I get feathers long enough? Do people make feathers in the 2'-4' range? For that matter, can feathers even be manufactured? o.O I can get real flight feathers at 1'2" at the moment: peacock feathers. My wingspan will end up being about 16'. I am planning to attach the feathers by driving them into blocks of foam or some such, and then gluing them into place. They grow out of a bird's wing, so they have to come out of something, right?

I haven't really designed anything for the head, as of yet, except for portrait drawings of my character. If I ever get my scanner to work, I'll show them off. Along with blueprints for my wings. Hawk's beak, then eyes, short fur mixed with feathers, then mostly feathers up to the end of the cheeks and top of the forehead. She'll have a crest, just barely brighter than the hair, and after the mostly feather part, long deep red hair. I can get weave for that. I've even picked out some really nice stuff for it too. The hair won't be so much long as big, like a lion's mane. Technically incorrect for a female, but it will help with having a large neck, which will compensate for having a large head. I think I will base the head on my old half-helmet. It's got a crack running across the back, but I would drill holes through it for added breathing, so that crack wouldn't matter much after a bit of JB Weld. My head gets horribly itchy when I sweat and I'd go insane if there were no air flow. The hair and feathers should cover that up, however. Any suggestions on the material I would use for a beak? I mean, wire base, screen door wire mesh, and then ... what? Something I could sand and polish and paint and stuff. And ... eyes? I like the idea on the Legend page, with the two lenses. I could use mesh around the eyes too, for added visibility. And we can't forget eartufts. I don't know if they'll be just furry/feathery lumps, or something that might look like a lynx's ear. Decisions, decisions....

Next, I started designing hand-paws. They'll be eagle-ish, with a few exceptions. I will keep all five fingers, and even my entire arm shape! Long fur will go down to the elbow, and hang there. A glove of some sort would go up to about the middle of my upper arm, under the fur. It'll be some sort of shiny, tight material, with a scaly pattern on it. I may have to airbrush that myself. If I can buy a pair of gloves at that length that fit snugly and are kinds stretchy, more power to me! :P I'll sew pads onto the palms of my hands, faux leather, sightly stuffed. For the fingers, three small pads, one at the fingertip, one in the middle in between knuckles, and one at the base of my finger. I suppose the thumb would only have two pads. There would be one pad for the top of my palm, and another for the bottom, fairly form-fitting. I'd make an ink print of my hand so I could design the pads. And of course, talons. I've heard Sculpey is good for that. They might be a little bit unwieldy, but it's certainly easier to write with hand-shaped hands than big paw-gloves. I might put a vestigal claw midway up the forearm, like a cat has.

On to the foot-paws. I think it would look out-of-place if I just had normal human legs, so I'm going with making digitigrade legs. Did I spell that right? Or even use the right word? Anyways, I've drawn them out already. I see that if I'm not careful, I'm gonna have some fat legs. Good thing foam comes in huge rolls at Lowe's. Four toes for the feet. I've designed a paw-pattern for them, but I imagine that'll take a lot of trial and error before they look decent. I hope the legs don't end up looking too short from being in the typical almost-crouched position that furre legs are drawn in. I want a fur tuft to hang from the knee, and the fur to get gradually shorter as you go down the leg. So, I'm going to buy extra fur of the long variety, and experiment with a beard trimmer. The same will be true of fur going down my belly and back and such.

Ohh ... the tail. *purr* I like tails. I checked out the Wolftronix tails, and I like the spine design. Since I'll have an extra fluffy feline tail, it won't really need to wag. I'll have a tail-up position, a neutral tail position, and the last half of my tail will move back and forth, slowly, or faster. Since I have an available tail-down position, I will modify its use. My character basically has an odd tail: fur gradually giving over to soft feathers, and soft feathers to harder feathers, and finally the tailtuft that is the bird's tail. Tail-down would open the tailtuft, and tail-neutral would close it. Maybe that should be the other way around? Tail-up would open the tailtuft, tail-neutral wouldn't affect it, and tail-down would simply close it. I'm working on that. Where would I get a servo (the servos?) to run this tail? The control board (well actually I found one, but it can't be the only one!)? Would it have to be radio-controlled? How much would it cost? And anything else you could think of.

And finally, the main body. She'll need a larger chest than I've got, because she's birdish and has lots of chest muscle. I'm thinking the long fur material mixed with fuzzy feathers, gradually going down to just fur, which would be used down the rest of the body, on top of a foam lump of some sort... How long can I find faux-fur material? I know it's expensive. It doesn't have to be particularly soft, just grey. Should I shape the lump to have breasts, to add female definition to her? Maybe have the chest ruff go between my own breasts and wear something to enhance them? Mine aren't particularly impressive, and I think they would be lost under something that wasn't completely formfitting. On the bright side, I have a huge rib cage in proportion to the rest of me, which will help the gryphon form a little bit. Should I buy a bodysuit and glue/sew the fur and foam additives to it? If I do, I would modify it to zip off at certain points, like the shoulders, down the back, across the middle, and at the knees. If not, I'd still make those places zip-offable. It'd be useful for storage, if nothing else.

How long will a feather last? Does it decay? Does it give off a weird smell after a while? Can I mix and match different bird species' feathers if they're all approximately the same color without being obvious about having done that?

Now that your eyes are about to fall out from reading this huge post, I'm going to stop, because my fingers are gonna fall off. Feel free to email me, post replies, comments, and suggestions. Scans of my blueprints and pictures of my wing-frames will be forthcoming, as soon as I can manage it. But don't hold your breath. My electronic stuff has been arguing with me lately.

Tobia Hawklyn
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