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A question of feasability

thebeast76

Just a friendly robot
PLEASE. if you look, comment!

I have been interested in getting my own fursuit for a while, but of course, since I'm sixteen, I'll have to wait until I stop growing =P

But before I do, I want to ask about the possibility of getting a partial or full robotic looking fursuit, possibly made out of fiberglass or carbon-fiber in the design of a grey cat. A possible estimate of cost would be helpful, but is not necessary.

I know this may seem very far-fetched and perhaps silly, but I feel like I should at least get some knowledgeable opinions on the subject.
Thoughts or comments, anyone?
 
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Bladespark

Member
The number of people who make fursuits for sale is already a fairly small number.

The number of people who make fursuits for sale and also work with fiberglass and/or carbon fiber is so tiny I could probably count them on my fingers.

And of those people I've never met one who made robots, they use the fiberglass as a base for furring heads, not for a whole body.

I'm not going to say it's impossible, but you may have more luck learning to make it yourself than finding a fursuit maker who can.

I mean, I've done space armor, and similar things, but from foam, not from fiberglass, and I'm not sure I care to do such a project again, it was more work than a regular fursuit, and I got paid less.
 

Kellan Meig'h

Kilted Luthier
Having been involved in a project (fembot) of this type about twelve years back, I can tell you it's very expensive and labor intensive. The suit ended up costing $10,000 USD in 1999.

The result was a heavy (25lbs+), cumbersome, HOT costume. The actress had to endure a neck down body cast done and a head casting. The suit was fiberglass/carbon fiber hybrid with some very intricate articulated aircraft aluminum bolstered joints. It still didn't allow full body movements (could not sit!), needed a dresser/handler just to use the facilities when nature called, took about an hour to put on or take off and limited her to 1/2 hour stints maximum due to heat buildup. It took about two years in his garage to complete.

The suit was snug enough (very form-fitting) that she wore a dress that was only one size bigger than her normal size when she went on stage at a sci-con. She almost didn't make the performance because heat was building up as she waited to go on stage. A gen-2 torso the next year had miniature computer fans in the back, run by 9 volt batteries to pull air through from the front of the suit but it didn't help to any degree. I would post pics but I haven't heard from her or her husband (the principal designer) for years now. The costume was known as "Clockwork Catheryn" but it doesn't google. It was worn a total of four times that I know of.

Personally, I wouldn't dive into a costume like this as an amateur unless you have extensive fabrication/machine shop/fiberglass skills. a well-equipped shop and a deep set of pockets to fund it. $5,000+ as a minimum.

Not to dissuade you but that was my experience. Today's methods and materials might bring the price down a bit but I'm still sure it's quite a bit more than you would want to spend on a first suit. Sorry to sound negative but you did ask. I'll suggest maybe some vac-formed partial armor over a normal fursuit as a possible alternative. Less heat, more affordable. You could make your own vacuform machine.

http://www.halloweenfear.com/vacuumformintro.html

You might make something out of vacuformed polycarbonate (Lexan) that would be close but I suggest armor over fur. Hope this helps you out in making a decision.

Kellan, the old warhorse
 
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thebeast76

Just a friendly robot
The number of people who make fursuits for sale is already a fairly small number.

The number of people who make fursuits for sale and also work with fiberglass and/or carbon fiber is so tiny I could probably count them on my fingers.

And of those people I've never met one who made robots, they use the fiberglass as a base for furring heads, not for a whole body.

I'm not going to say it's impossible, but you may have more luck learning to make it yourself than finding a fursuit maker who can.

I mean, I've done space armor, and similar things, but from foam, not from fiberglass, and I'm not sure I care to do such a project again, it was more work than a regular fursuit, and I got paid less.

Bladespark, I thank you for being honest with me. I will say this now, I am not going to buy one yet. I do appreciate you telling me all of this now, so I don't make a mistake later. Thanks.

Having been involved in a project (fembot) of this type about twelve years back, I can tell you it's very expensive and labor intensive. The suit ended up costing $10,000 USD in 1999.

The result was a heavy (25lbs+), cumbersome, HOT costume. The actress had to endure a neck down body cast done and a head casting. The suit was fiberglass/carbon fiber hybrid with some very intricate articulated aircraft aluminum bolstered joints. It still didn't allow full body movements (could not sit!), needed a dresser/handler just to use the facilities when nature called, took about an hour to put on or take off and limited her to 1/2 hour stints maximum due to heat buildup. It took about two years in his garage to complete.

The suit was snug enough (very form-fitting) that she wore a dress that was only one size bigger than her normal size when she went on stage at a sci-con. She almost didn't make the performance because heat was building up as she waited to go on stage. A gen-2 torso the next year had miniature computer fans in the back, run by 9 volt batteries to pull air through from the front of the suit but it didn't help to any degree. I would post pics but I haven't heard from her or her husband (the principal designer) for years now. The costume was known as "Clockwork Catheryn" but it doesn't google. It was worn a total of four times that I know of.

Personally, I wouldn't dive into a costume like this as an amateur unless you have extensive fabrication/machine shop/fiberglass skills. a well-equipped shop and a deep set of pockets to fund it. $5,000+ as a minimum.

Not to dissuade you but that was my experience. Today's methods and materials might bring the price down a bit but I'm still sure it's quite a bit more than you would want to spend on a first suit. Sorry to sound negative but you did ask. I'll suggest maybe some vac-formed partial armor over a normal fursuit as a possible alternative. Less heat, more affordable. You could make your own vacuform machine.

http://www.halloweenfear.com/vacuumformintro.html

You might make something out of vacuformed polycarbonate (Lexan) that would be close but I suggest armor over fur. Hope this helps you out in making a decision.

Kellan, the old warhorse

That sounds pretty accurate to what I was shooting for, in terms of size and whatnot. I was expecting it to be expensive, but not nearly THAT expensive. I don't have any experience with doing any of the things you described that would be needed, but then again, I was just asking a hypothetical question. Thanks a lot!!:)
 
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Kellan Meig'h

Kilted Luthier
That sounds pretty accurate to what I was shooting for, in terms of size and whatnot. I was expecting it to be expensive, but not nearly THAT expensive. I don't have any experience with doing any of the things you described that would be needed, but then again, I was just asking a hypothetical question. Thanks a lot!!:)
You're welcome. the lifecast you need to work from (ducttape dummy will not work, btw) will not be cheap, either. I'm still pondering how to pull off a set of wings (10' or more wingspan) to integrate into (looks like it's part of, not worn over the top of) a bipedal semi-realistic style Pegasus costume and I do have an extensive background to pull from.

Kellan
 
Beastcub, I thank you for being honest with me. I will say this now, I am not going to buy one yet. I do appreciate you telling me all of this now, so I don't make a mistake later. Thanks.

Um hun. That is bladespark. Not beastcub.
 
lol our mistakes are petty yet laughable.
Just a quick Q, would you have any idea on the subject in this thread?

Well, I, myself couldn't ever see myself wearing one but to see one somewhere else would be awesome. I know that fiberglass is really hot and can be really uncomfortable. I think maybe foam would be your best bet for a project like this. But that is just my opinion.

I wish you lots of luck though!
 

thebeast76

Just a friendly robot
You're welcome. the lifecast you need to work from (ducttape dummy will not work, btw) will not be cheap, either. I'm still pondering how to pull off a set of wings (10' or more wingspan) to integrate into (looks like it's part of, not worn over the top of) a bipedal semi-realistic style Pegasus costume and I do have an extensive background to pull from.

Kellan

By any chance do you remember the name of the convention she (Catheryn) attended? If I did a bit of digging I could probably find something.
 

thebeast76

Just a friendly robot
Well, I, myself couldn't ever see myself wearing one but to see one somewhere else would be awesome. I know that fiberglass is really hot and can be really uncomfortable. I think maybe foam would be your best bet for a project like this. But that is just my opinion.

I wish you lots of luck though!

Thanks! I'll most likely need it!!
 

Kellan Meig'h

Kilted Luthier
By any chance do you remember the name of the convention she (Catheryn) attended? If I did a bit of digging I could probably find something.

I believe the big Sci-Con they attended in 2000 and I think it was the same one in 2001 was in the midwest. I can't remember the city, though. Denver is a possibility.

We went to a small Sci-Con here in the SF bay area in 1999 that was in San Mateo. That year she wore a customized motorcycle helmet instead of the full head setup to make it look like armor. She wore it on Saturday then the bldg A/C broke down. Too hot to wear it on Sunday. She then wore it the last time for a Sci-Con in San Jose in 2001.

Wish I had firm dates and Con names for ya but there's too many of just the Fur-Cons for me to remember! Besides, I'm an old fart, too.

Hope you find something and I'll keep looking through my photos,

Kellan
 

thebeast76

Just a friendly robot
I believe the big Sci-Con they attended in 2000 and I think it was the same one in 2001 was in the midwest. I can't remember the city, though. Denver is a possibility.

We went to a small Sci-Con here in the SF bay area in 1999 that was in San Mateo. That year she wore a customized motorcycle helmet instead of the full head setup to make it look like armor. She wore it on Saturday then the bldg A/C broke down. Too hot to wear it on Sunday. She then wore it the last time for a Sci-Con in San Jose in 2001.

Wish I had firm dates and Con names for ya but there's too many of just the Fur-Cons for me to remember! Besides, I'm an old fart, too.

Hope you find something and I'll keep looking through my photos,

Kellan

Can do, chief!
 

wolfbird

Member
TBH, I'd stay away from metal and anything else that's rigid. A rigid suit would look AWESOME but I don't even want to think about putting it on, walking around, realizing you have to pee, taking it off, etc etc. Plus, with anything rigid comes the risk of it being crushed, bent, warped or cracked. And if you ever gain weight, you're essentially SOL because it has zero give (at least fursuits *can* have darts and suchlike put in, albiet in a time consuming way). And I don't even want to think about the cost of the item. Ughn.

If I were you and wanted to just have something that looked robotic but want to cut down on cost and increase the enjoyability of wearing it and you don't mind sacrificing realism, I'd suggest starting with a black lycra bodysuit and then gluing/sewing/whatever stuff that looks like metal plates onto it. Off the top of my head, I should think that shiny vinyl (I'm sure it comes in gray or silver) with the edges tucked in (or tucked under thin fun foam plates) would probably end up being OK. In my idea, the point of the bodysuit underneath is because when you flex or move around the plates won't pull apart or anything-- lycra is stretchy like nobody's business so you won't have to worry about making the suit baggy. On the other hand, it'll also show between the plates during movement, which you might find either cool or blah.
 

thebeast76

Just a friendly robot
On the other hand, it'll also show between the plates during movement, which you might find either cool or blah.

Well, robots can have covers for exposed parts made out of materials such as rubber, or some other material, so this could work to my advantage if I play it right. Thanks man! These ideas can really help me out!
 

nedded

is a goat.
Believe it or not, milk jug plastic can be just the thing. Use that bodysuit idea (they're like $20 on Ebay and leave zero skin exposed), then cut and trim panels to your heart's content. A little hot water helps to bend certain parts into shape.
Scrounge in your recycle bin and experiment!
 

thebeast76

Just a friendly robot
Believe it or not, milk jug plastic can be just the thing. Use that bodysuit idea (they're like $20 on Ebay and leave zero skin exposed), then cut and trim panels to your heart's content. A little hot water helps to bend certain parts into shape.
Scrounge in your recycle bin and experiment!

Sounds simple enough! That's a unique idea! I totally would not have thought of that.
 

Beastcub

Member
i could take a whack at it
i used foam to make this dragon halfsuit http://www.beastcub.com/apps/photos/album.jsp?albumID=1487442

i am pretty handy at using all kinds of strange crap and making some thing neat out of it (and it still be durable if not nearly indestrcutable)

this thing here http://lilleahwest.deviantart.com/art/Sea-Horse-82365361
is made with the moving frame from a light up riendeer (the tail was its neck and it still moves) a bird bath stand, selant foam, pine cone pieces, beads, fabric, hot glue, the moving stand of a light up flamigo (head and legs move) bits of wire and plastic and such

and i made this dragon litterally out of junk http://www.elfwood.com/art/l/i/lilleahwest/ew_crow_cruncher.jpg.html


i could have a go at making a robotic cat but it would be in the $2000 range (like $1300-$2200)
 
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thebeast76

Just a friendly robot
i could take a whack at it...

i could have a go at making a robotic cat but it would be in the $2000 range (like $1300-$2200)

Hmm, I will definitely keep you in mind should the time come I am ready to make a commitment. I admire your willingness to do it.
Thank you so much, Beastcub.
 

sharkbate

New Member
I have a Lot of glasswork and Carbon fiber experiance and from what I know of it...

1) It will be expensive. But if you shop around and look at anyplace that does custom glass or fiber work you may be able to get bit and pieces for free or really cheap. more likely though you would only get some help, and maybe work space or tool lending

2) be prepaired to fail a few times before you get it right. Its a fact of life. I got into Fiber glass owrk cuz i wrecked my dads camaro while he was on vacation and in the three days it took me to learn glass work i spent double the cost of a new fender. Good news if if your careful and dont cure it accidentally, carbon fiber will be extremely forgiving of your little mistakes
 
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