JessKitt-08 (kitt_creations) wrote in fursuit,

Conner Hemming- the Folf

I now present to you the final version of Conner Hemming V1 (fake name btw, just incase you wondered). From start to finish this was really a fun project to do (for me at least). I can't really say much about the owner it went to... he's been uncooperative for the most part. I was very happy to get to do something to match my art style for once too X3 The previous two heads and previous set of feet done were made to look like someone else's drawing style (drawing style used with permission from the artists- had to make sure before I made the two suits).

Head, Feet, and Tail were made by me (now the ONLY person to build for Kitt Creations)
Body and hands done by
Esuterure Fursuit Productions

Don't ask me why the body has a neck attached- I really wanna know myself XD Sorry about the smaller photos. The commissioner refused to send me any new photos today (god only knows why this time- I think it's cause I was too busy to make a free website for him- at least that's what he made it out to be- He never specifically says why and then gets mad.. not a first- been up and down the whole commission). The smaller ones were pulled off his freebie website by a friend of mine. She just did screenshots since you can't download them (the damn gallery's all flash based). HOPEFULLY I can get the full versions of the new stuff. No promises.

This suit was a complete nightmare to build. The commissioner first agreed to give me everything I needed to get it done, so I ordered the materials (he signed a contract as well). After I get everything set up and ready, I get messages saying he refuses to send Esuterure the duct tape dummy, refuses to give me any head measurements,etc. Hey, we even had a hard time getting an address to send it to cause he'd flip out every time he was asked for it. This had to be completely built off of guesswork. He's lucky it fits. The body doesn't fit however, and was poorly done unfortunately, so now I have to make him a new one. This time it will be exactly what he ordered the first time (digitgrade legs).

The head was made based off of a scanned image of a baseball cap that I told the guy to make it fit around his head. This was the next best thing I could do considering I couldn't get any measurements out of him. He did end up sending a hand tracing, amazingly. Esuterure said she made paws based off of that and then said they were "too small" so she manufactured new ones using her hands and just making them smaller. I have no idea if the original ones would have fit or not. The biggest problem was is his hands are much smaller than hers and I guess she didn't like that. There wasn't too much she liked about this suit really. Didn't like the commissioner, his character's colors, the fur fabric I picked to match his colors and yeah- I just got complained at a lot about random stupid stuff.

Esuterure didn't have a duct tape dummy at all so we just asked for t-shirt/pant size since Conner refused to give a dummy and there was no way to refund (materials bough, plus he bought it all with Linden Dollars; SL game money- there was no paypal account to send it back to). Top was made using a large T-shirt for a pattern, the bottom half was made with a pattern from a pair of either pijama bottoms or sweat pants. I don't know exactly what it was that she found.

Conner says his body suit doesn't fit him length wise. I was told to inform the other builder to make it for someone who's 5'7. Conner says he's 5'6. Dunno went wrong there, but it was easy to tell that his body didn't fit very well from the photos. Never did get any final photos from Esuterure either... asked for them quite a few times, and so did Conner. Neither of us got them. His arms are way too long and so are his legs. The body suit and hand paws were also falling apart as I'm told Xp So yeah, because of that, I'll have to spend the money and make him a whole new body myself. I won't be using her for anything anymore (thankfully). Besides, I won't need to. I'll be working with another builder in the same place, so why bother having someone across the US do bodies for me when I'd be more than able to do them myself and or my boss could just do them.

The head and feet look huge on the person because by far he's no where near proportionate X3 With such a huge head in real life, larger feet, and such a small body, I can see why the larger parts of the fursuit stick out. Hard to fit a head as big as his and size 9 1/2 in mens feet onto a person that's only 5 foot 6 inches and is rather scrawny/skinny. I was amazed that he was that short with that wide of a head X3 I was just thinking "oh my god this thing is going to look crazy when it's all together".

The head is huge, then again, so is his. This head is a whopping 25 and a half inches in circumference!
There were some problems creating it, though. The first debate was how to fur it. After some long thought, I just simply decided that since it was all one color, I would lay the fur fabric over the top of it, start gluing down places and carefully cut out around the ears. Once I laid the fur on the back of the head, I glued it down (first glues I always tack things down, that way if it has to be moved it can be) and then cut away carefully where the only seams are on the entire head- the cheek ruffs. The line between the two pieces of fur fabric goes directly down the edge of the foam added for a cheek ruff (extra foam added on top of the rounded cheeks to make the fluff stick out instead of giving it a more 'feline' appearance by letting it just be rounded). It is undetectable even up close unless you pull the fur away. The other seam on the head was where there was an opening left for the nose and then it continued straight down the middle of the muzzle and all the way on the underside of the bottom jaw. That seam too is not visible unless you purposely go looking for it with your hands. The fur around the eye sockets was removed, the eyes were installed, and then the second debate happened. Oh and the nose sits a little lower than it should. I removed it three times and moved it upward and then reglued it and stuff- looks better than it used to at least. Nothing's ever perfect.

Heads are built in this order: Foam, (eyes are made before final foaming is done to ensure the eyesockets are correct), ears (ears are built after the whole head is foamed and ready, then they are furred)- ears are mounted FIRST before the final fur on the face, then fur is put on over the top of the foam- holes are cut for the ears and eyes and seams are made where need be (you wouldn't be able to cover a head completely without any folding/overlapping of the fur, so you have to cut away the extra- that's where a seam is made- also seams are made between different colors), after all of the fur is on, the fur is then shaved down to the appropriate lengths all over the head.  Once the fur is shaved, the eyes are then installed and finished. The eyes are made from 3mm sheets of foam and buckram and are spraypainted with krylon paint (usually this kind ) Airbrushing acrlyic paints onto the buckram will also be used after I can get my hands on an airbrush system. Good quality spray paint does just a good of a job, though because you mist coat the buckram. I usually color/paint both sides to ensure the colors show through real good. After the eyes are installed and completed, things like hair can be added on. Those are always the last things to be added on because they're "extras". The nose is also mounted after the fur is put on (the fur is left loose around the nose area so I can go in, cut away any foam I need to and then secure the nose on the foam base, then glue the fur around the nose so it helps hold it in place). If the inside of the mouth has to  be done, then it's completely finished and the teeth are added last (if it's a jawset, the jawset is added before the fur so the edges of the fur can help anchor it in place). Lips are made and installed on the head, and then the very last thing that is done to the head is any detail work via airbrush/drybrush. Before it's packed, it's brushed and inspected. If I'm able to wear it, I'll test it to see how it works/how it'll hold. If I feel that by chance something's wrong, I'll go back and fix it. Nothing leaves my hands without being inspected. Never has in all the years I've been making these things and never will in years to come.

Note: WIP shots were taken with the webcam as I went along. The eyes are NOT anchored in at all- they're just placed there for looks until the very end of it all. When placing them so they 'rest' on the foam, they are not supposed to be 100% perfect. They're just supposed to be there. The eyes are not on while I am sculpting the foam. Some photos were taken at night, thus you won't see very much. I don't take many WIP shots anymore since I've started livestreaming the progress from start to finish (Ustream lagged too much, so I switched).

The next thing I thought of  was what am I going to do for the black "eyelids" I guess is what you'd call them. Well idea number one was to use "foamies" aka 3mm sheets of foam. This is what I normally do. Cut out the first set, too thin, cut out a second set, didn't look right. Gave up on that idea and moved to the idea of using some of the suede fabric. Well, I didn't cut any suede, but I just pulled some around the one eye to get a guess of how it would look- didn't look good at all. Back to the drawing board. After long thoughts I finally made another cut out set and then proceeded to go spray paint the foam black (because it was originally white because I had cut up all of my black foamies; flat black spray paint made it look just the same, so whatever). Looked better, but still not 100% what I was after. I was happy with it well enough to say it was OK. I thought it made the head look kind of cute actually.

Next I grabbed my black acrylic paint so I could paint the nose, the lips, and touch up on the eyes, plus add details by dryrbushing. Well I figured the gloss paint looked awesome on the nose, so I'd make the lips shine too. Those came out a little too shiney... The black around the eyes was great and was just a flat black before, and then I went over it with the gloss paint. Didn't think it'd make it as super shiney as it did. Some parts of the drybrushing on the fur fabric also caught the shine from the gloss paint because I totally spaced off and didn't even think about whether I was using the gloss black or regular flat black.

Direct sunlight killed the 'detail' work and you can see where it got a little shiney. Again there are no seams on the face (no seam from muzzle to face, etc). The horrible shine is from the black gloss paint. The fur on the face is nicely transitioned, but it's hard to tell now since I shaded over a portion of it (makes it appear to go from short to long). Lips were made from model magic (same with the nose- it's actually very hard; dunno what i did to it to make it that special.. maybe the really super hot space heater over baked it since it is air dry. I would have used sculpey, but my clay sat too close to the heater and is sort of half pre-baked Xp totally useless now, too hard to mold.)

My feet were a bit different than how they were originally intended to look. I did a sketch drawing of how the foot paws should look (per request of the buyer). The toes were actually placed out in front of the entire shoe, so it made the foot longer. The toes didn't come out "tall"/"thick" enough XD they were more fanned out to the sides as well. Oh well, first time doing feet paws in my style so it was a challenge. There's always a next time to do better.
Instead of adding the toes on like 4 inches in front of the shoe, build the toes right over the top of the 'toe' area on the shoe. The one big pawpad came out bigger than I wanted, so I added a smaller pawpad in to hopefully make it look better. Would've just looked better leaving the big one out. The pawpads were also stuffed slightly to make them stick out, the only thing I thought of after finishing them was "wonder how that will feel when you stand on it". Considering the shoe sized use was too small to fit my feet I had no way to try it. I haven't heard anything bad about them, so I guess they must feel OK. I may consider building new ones, but it seems kind of a waste considering those won't wear out for a while XD Oh yeah, another problem I had were the claws. I ordered a bunch from Grey Owl Craft's. They're nice and all, but after I made the feet I looked at the claw and went "oh... damn.. that sucks". They aren't too short, no, that's far from the problem. My problem was their over all size... they were tiny! Compared to my hand  I thought oh man these will be great and just the right size. Made the feet, put the claws in and looked at it- tilted my head to the side and looked at it... hmm.. guess not after all. Maybe they have extra large claws or something, or somewhere else has pretty decent sized claws I can use for feet, but yeah I looked at that after I got done and I was kind of disappointed- thought they'd be bigger- bummer.

The body suit was just horrible. Everyone agrees on that. Esuterure was supposed to have worked on it and was given notice to many weeks before the due date :X Didn't start until the sunday before Halloween and shipped it with the remaining fur fabric to Conner the Tuesday before Halloween.

UPS took its sweet old time with my box, so it never got there for Halloween :\ That's actually a first and I'm surprised! Normally I send something via UPS and it gets there earlier than estimated arrival date. Taking it downtown was interesting though. I didn't have a big enough box to put it in so I had to ask for one at the store that has the UPS drop off/pickup area in it. The locals gave me the weirdest looks ever. One person thought it was cute. No one here knows what a furry is, but I thought if anything they'd say OH HALLOWEEN COSTUME....... no they just stared at me and made me feel rather uncomfortable. My aunt was being nosey as well, but by the time she came around it had been boxed up already, so she didn't get to see it (and got kind of huffy with me because of that... I came there to ship it, not show it to the world, geeze).

The tail is also pretty awesome. I tried my best to actually make the whole thing look like a fox/wolf hybrid. My biggest references were photos of coy-wolves. A coyote to me looks like a cross between  a fox and a wolf, however, it's not (just looks like it). I figured the best thing in real life that's even remotely close to a fox/wolf (folf or wox) would be a coywolf. It looks a lot like a wolf, but still has foxy aspects such as the larger ears, bushy/longer tail, and of course the face. It's not a wolf, it's not a fox, it's both. I could've just used someone's artistical interpretation of one, but where's the fun in that? Isn't it more fun to come up with your own idea of what you would think a real folf would look like?

Best suit I've made so far, and plus, the character has been awarded the title of being by far my most favorite to make. I was so sad to see it go because it was just that cute. I was thrilled to know that the owner, his family, and friends loved it just as much if not more as well. Not so happy with the person for all the crap he gave me (and still does), but hey, the character was fun to make and at least the guy's happy with what he paid for. Getting good example photos from him, however, is proving to be a real pain in the ass. One moment he's up for it, the next he's screaming at me no. He did say he was bipolar, but still >_< Would it kill you to just let the builder showcase their work? Fursuits ALWAYS look  better when the buyer wears them because that's who it was made for!

Artwork to go with the suit:

I'll be revising how to make anthro feet.. I liked how i did them last year (example of a suit being commissioned- to be completed early next year): - I'll do that for feet from now on XD the new style didn't work very well at all. Magnum (C) Magnum the Husky

That's it. That's how it was made and that's what it looks like put together. I'll hopefully get new photos once I make him the new body suit. I'll be lucky if I do at this rate. Very hard person to work with, but it was possible and it was done! I was sad to see my stuff go, I thought it was just too cute. Ah well, there's always a new one to have fun making and then there will always be the personal suits when I get around to those ^_^
This journal took a very long time to put together Xp

Crap. I forgot to add what the materials were/where they came from
Here's the list of materials used:
Burgundy Fur from Distinctive Fabric
Toffee & Chocolate furs from Mendel's (Punky Muppet)
3mm sheets of foam
multi temp hot glue
ES accelerate men's skate shoes (I use these on all my feet unless the buyer wants to send me a pair of shoes. Normally they sell for $70 in a store like Pac Sun, but I find them online for $40 XD- I also wear these myself; very comfy.)
Nylon thread- extra strength (for upholstery)
Medium sized curved needle
Fabric scissors (titanium steel)
exacto blade
pool noodle (tail core)
Suede from Distinctive Fabric
Claws from Grey Owl Crafts
Model Magic (nose/lips)
Krylon Spray Paint (eye colors)
Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint: Black Gloss
Charcoal Foam from the Foam Factory
Blue foam mat from walmart (closed cell foam)

Esuterure used the same fur, but I don't know what the claws are (they're supposed to be sculpey), nor do I know what thread was used or what the pawpads are made of (supposed to be vinyl fabric from Walmart painted over with acrylic paint) and I do not know where the zipper came from.

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