What are the number one mistakes of first time fursuit makers?

Discussion in 'Fursuiting & Costuming' started by paroapockinroo, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. Chinona

    Chinona New Member

    Need to not go and play starcraft for days at a time lol...
    It depends on the compressor itself. The ones I use are primarily meant for pumping up car tires and running air tools (like Air nailers for building a house). I've never exceeded the pressure limit for my airbrush by more than 15 psi because my compressor has a regulator on it that allows me to limit how much pressure comes out of it. I assume it could do damage if it was too much for too long, or it could just screw with how nice the paint flow is (which was listed as an issue to trouble shoot on one of my old air brushes). Do you know what the pressure is coming out of it (tire compressors normally are high because it needs to get the tire up to pressure while having a lot of weight on it)? that airbrush has a really big range 20-55 with a 75 max so its a pretty tough brush but yeah things can go wrong after 75.

    That said because it is a tire compressor, it very easily could get condensation in it, the lazy way of dealing with it is the 100 foot hose (which I got because it was the same price as the 20 foot hose - go figure). You can also use the drain which should be built into the bottom of the tank (if there isn't one then you don't really have an issue it's been built to deal with said condensation in the motor/pipes themselves) it blasts the air and condensation out when you pull it. I only see condensation if I am running long projects on it and then it only make s it to the first 'catcher' for the most part thought it's likely safe to say that the hose does get a little of it.
  2. Umbra.Exe

    Umbra.Exe Revolver Snocelot

    I kind of forgot that I had asked a question, sorry! Hope you see my response. >>;

    So, I need to have a way to regulate the pressure from 20-55 psi, then?

    And what does condensation do exactly, that makes it so bad?

    As for the thread topic, I've been noticing a few suits with pushed-in noses lately, I think I mentioned those earlier... Or perhaps it was on another thread. The top of the nose tends to be tilted further back than the front, which looks odd on most of the suits Isee it on. Especially since most of the suits are canines, which tend to have the tops of their noses turned out more.

    I have noticed suits with too-large ears, I think it's intended to be a style choice, but on many suits I think it's exaggerated to the point that it doesn't look like the intended species anymore. Although once I have seen a Fennec suit that looked more like a regular fox, its ears were too small for a Fennec, and its muzzle was too broad...

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by the tails though. Do you mean pointed like this: [​IMG]

    ...As opposed to rounded, like this?

    (Goodness, those pictures are way different in size, sorry.

    Again, that may be a stylized way of making tails, I think. I don't mind it too much, but it depends on the style they're going for, I think. I think that if the tail is short and fluffy, the round tip looks best, and if it is longer, the pointed way looks better. But that's just my opinion.

    I haven't seen this on any suits lately, but short-pile fur on a tail intended to be long haired and fluffy looks odd. It just makes the tail look fat instead of fluffy.
  3. Chinona

    Chinona New Member

    the condensation doesn't do to horribly much in most cases, however it can cause issues with the paint depending on the type and the application. Most airbrush paint that is highly permanent does not like being mixed with water it can cause it to flake off. Most of the time you have to buy a specific reducer for them in order to thin them for use. (which is why you should always blast a bit of pure reducer through a water cleaned brush when switching colors without a full clean.

    And yeah you should get a regulator for your compressor if you can't tell what its set at, I know a few hardware stores will sell them, places that sell welding equipment might as well (because acetylene welding using oxygen tanks and the like) but I've never really looked.
  4. Springdragon

    Springdragon Member

    Sorry if I articulated that badly. The pointed tip and the S shape are two separate issues. The two tails you posted are very well made, with the tip formed by the long hairs rather than the pattern. For pointed tip, I meant tails like this:


    It's worse in this one because the fur is too short.

    For S shape, I meant like this..actually, this tail has both problems.

  5. It occurs to me that I think one other big mistake is taking on really ambitious projects right off the bat, or being overly ambitious.
    ("I'm gonna make a full suit with digitigrade legs, dropped crotch, three tails, wings, silicone paws, LED horns a moving jaw and light-up follow me-eyes! 8D")

    Okay, perhaps not THAT extreme, but stuff like starting off on 3D eyes without ever having made 2D ones seems to be asking for trouble, and seems to invariably result in the strange follow-me eyes that don't seem to really follow and looks like the character had had plastic packaging rammed into its skull. I mean, of the suits I've seen, a no-frills suit that's well made always trumps the bells-and-whistles suits that were attempted without practice. It seems like mastering the basics is a good way to go, one of the reasons why my current project is 2D eyes, fixed jaw, no fancy stuff.

    I tried a moving jaw straight off on my first ever attempt and...yeah..it ended up looking like one of those wildlife documentaries when an anaconda splays its mouth out so it can swallow a capybara. Not a good look.
  6. Rivers Bluetail

    Rivers Bluetail Furry Little Blue Guy

    I'm most concerned about going too fast for mine. What's about the average time for a beginning fursuit maker? I know, "It takes you as long as it takes you" but a good frame of reference for a no bells and whistles, simple suit would be useful.

    Also, if I plan on only building a few parts to a suit, should I still get enough fur for the whole thing? I don't want to spend a ton on fur I'm not sure I'm going to use for a long time, but is it worth it to make sure that the fur matches?
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  7. Springdragon

    Springdragon Member

    I think it's okay to be ambitious so long as you know what you're doing. It seems backwards, but as a beginner, it's much easier to attempt something you've never done before if you have the proper supplies rather than trying to cobble it together without even firsthand knowledge of how it works.

    As for a time estimate, it depends on how fast you sew and how much knowledge you have. Foaming, eyes, jawset, ears, and elastic took me 3 or four hours. Then two more hours to remove, repaint, and reinstall with molded eyelids instead of satin.

    Eight hours for cutting, sewing, and attaching the skin. One hour shaving (would probably go faster with clippers. I did scissors over comb.)

    Another four hours redoing the hood pattern, cutting and sewing.

    Maybe 2 hours total work time for painting, with a lot of waiting-for-dry in the middle, spread over four days.

    I also put 30 minutes into painting the jawset, but most of the paint rubbed off, as I installed and adjusted it four times.
  8. Chinona

    Chinona New Member

    So far I"ve worked for about 3 hours on my suit... (my first) I've come to several conclusions

    1. GAWDS DAMN MY FACE IS SMALL! (attempting to figure out how to get the eyes to work on a snow leopard face when the center of my eyes has about 2 inches between the two of them is in fact a living nightmare.) I have photos. When I finally get somewhat happy with it I will post it on here for peer review... until then I will rip it apart myself.
    2. Clompy feet look HUGE on me. So I have two sets of paws on the go atm... out door clompy feet (which still are about half to a third of the size of most other peoples clompy feet (size 3 kids) as well as sock paws for indoors. The clompy feet are almost ready for the under layer photos. (Am excited)
    3. Foam bits from shaping clompy feet and vacuum cleaners should never... ever mix. Nor should commissioned wool tails sections and said foam bits.

    I am also 26. So no this is not something I will grow out of any time soon thus me going gang busters.
  9. Wereling

    Wereling Member

    LORDY THAT'S AMAZING!!!!! I NEED YOUR SKILLS -rips skills from you and runs- but seriously that's AMAZING

    When I saw this I laughed out loud xD oh Lordy how does that even happen?

    and also I thought this thread was extinct cause I wasn't getting any notifications in my mail but its alive!!!! Yay!!!
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  10. Springdragon

    Springdragon Member

    Wereling: Wow, high praise indeed. I think it goes back to the artist/suitmaker correlation discussed earlier in this thread. An good artist already knows what it's supposed to look like, so it's just a matter of learning how to work with the materials, and which details are and aren't important. (For example, I should have angled the resin eyes slightly inward instead of straight-on, and the base needs have exaggerated curves, but doesn't have to be perfectly smooth, due to the thickness of the fur. )

    Someone who isn't already an artist also needs to learn what the thing is supposed to be in addition to the materials. An experienced costume-maker is going to go the opposite way, knowing how to use the materials, but needing to learn what a fursuit head should look like, so you will see a completely different set of common mistakes.
  11. Troj

    Troj Well-Known Member

    Springdragon, that mask is beautiful. The eyes especially.

    When I draw or build something, I usually need to have a model or two handy to keep me on track, because while I know what looks good or bad, visualization is hard for me. Even then, I don't have the best motor skills, so the art tends to suffer for it, unless I can work something until I've massaged out the early mistakes.
  12. Rivers Bluetail

    Rivers Bluetail Furry Little Blue Guy

    So in general, do I want to trim fur before I cut it out with stencils or after? Finally getting around to starting on some smaller parts. I need some practice before I make a head.
  13. Wereling

    Wereling Member

    I would trim it after so you can match up the fur length of the rest of whatever you're working on
  14. Zoeymonic

    Zoeymonic New Member

    Lol!!!!! Same here!!!!!
  15. Rivers Bluetail

    Rivers Bluetail Furry Little Blue Guy

    Another quick one (I know...) For partial suit arms, what's the best route to go with keeping them on? Elastic at the top attached to eachother or what?
  16. Springdragon

    Springdragon Member

    I know that elastic at the top works well, but I went the cross-chest route with mine because I need the fur to pad out my shoulders. Looks funny otherwise. (I suppose I could just make a fitted vest with shoulder pads to wear underneath the whole thing, but this is easier.)
  17. Elbi

    Elbi New Member

    I have to admit, I've already learned a lot from this thread, and I also know I'm no where near being a good or decent suitmaker, but I'm getting better every single day. I'm an art student, so I just weirdly assumed I'd be good at making my partial. I did EXTENSIVE research before I even began, and I was still a bit stymied. So I ended up giving in and commissioning out a foam base by dfdcostumes. Getting that base gave me my confidence back, and I thought with her genius skills helping, I may actually be able to do a decent job. Of course, I fell victim to what a lot of beginner's do, and I rushed it a bit out of sheer excitement. I made my dt pattern a bit too generous, and fur bunched. I machine sewed with mismatching thread. I hacked at the eyeholes until they were on the verge of being too large. I bought fur that didn't have a plush enough pile to give me a proper fluffy looking suit. And...(I am legit wincing as I type this) I painted on details to the face. and let them harden. Her eyes are wonky, and her snout is crooked. (hangs head in shame) I regret all the mistakes I made now, because my partial would have been so great if I'd done her properly, and if I'd had the courage to stop and fix my mistakes. I wore her to one con, and people were for the most part either very kind and forgiving or kept quiet to what must have been a bit of a mess, but I knew going in I wasn't the absolute worst suiter there, so it made me feel a bit better. But i knew after that I couldn't continue.

    i did take something from the experience.

    I'm just not cut out to make suits on my own. Mainly for myself, because I have such a clear picture of what my 'sona looks like and I just don't have the skills to make it a reality. helping friends out with their first suits or making paws, sockpaws, tails, I can do, but otherwise I don't trust myself and it's far too much pressure. I learned not to subject anyone else to my monstrosities lol. And I was able to look back and laugh. I know it's not the best I could've done, and I know it's a bit silly now, but I learned from it and I moved on. I feel like as long as someone takes something from the experience it wasn't a total waste, y'know? and having that experience gave another suitmaker some business, because I commissioned a full head. xD let the pros do what they do best!
  18. Umbra.Exe

    Umbra.Exe Revolver Snocelot

    Ah, I see what you mean now. In addition to having short fur, the second one is also poorly/hastily stuffed, another thing to watch out for. Patience is key!
    i suppose it doesn't apply to foam tails though, but carving the foam also requires patience in any case.

    That's one thing to remember. Just becasue a suit isn't perfect doesn't mean it's thhe worst suit ever or anything. There's always going to be better suits, and worse suits than yours. It's just how things are. Same goes for any type of work really. (Now if only my friend would listen when I say that, he's been so hard on himself about his art...

    I wouldn't be so harsh on yourself. You probably just need more practice. But I suppose of you're a perfectionist, then commissioning is a good way to go, so you pretty much know what the final product will look like. But I do agree that a 'sona suit isn't really the best choice for a first suit in most cases, as a first suit is usually the one with the most mistakes.

    I thought of another thing for the list. Not sure if it's really a "mistake", but I do find that it looks odd. When people wear partial suits with huge fluffy feetpaws, and then proceed to wear skinny jeans over that.... It tends to look rather comical and disproportionate, no matter how good the rest of the suit looks. It kind of looks like furry slippers instead of looking like the costume's feet. I'm not really sure why people tend to do this so much though.
  19. Rivers Bluetail

    Rivers Bluetail Furry Little Blue Guy

    I see it on girls alot, definitely. Mostly the 14-year-old-YAYFURRIESI'MAFURRY-girls that don't do much with the fandom except want a fursuit.

    I'm a little nervous about suiting though. I'm a little, little guy. 5'10, 130 pounds. Most fursuiters are a ton larger than I am, and I don't wanna look like a teeny-bopper in suit :p
  20. Umbra.Exe

    Umbra.Exe Revolver Snocelot

    Yep, I mainly see it on girls as well. It's like they don't own a single pair of baggier/looser pants, so they have Mickey Mouse-like feet.

    I wouldn't worry too much about being small. I'm even shorter than you are, actually. I'm planning to make digitigrade stilts for my suit to make me a little taller. If not though, I think just the head itself would help increase my height a bit. Yours will probably add an inch or so as well, and like I said, you don't sound that short. (You're taller than my brother too, and I consider him to be average height.)

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