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Garchomp, my first fursuit -- my plan of action! (looking for advice)

PriestessShizuka

Dragon Master


I'm planning out my first fursuit idea, and I'm pretty confident about the following numbered list, and I have read all the fursuit tutorials on this forum and in many of the links and in many Youtube fursuit tutorial videos, but I still have a couple questions.
1) I am confident in my artistic abilities to sculpt foam into the shapes I desire and in getting the shape and design I am looking for.
2) I am able to buy all the pieces and parts I'll need.
3) I have good stamina and an athletic build.
4) I'm not claustrophobic.

the foam
I'll be gluing foam together with hot glue, I guess, but how do you suggest I go about doing it so that I don't create "hard parts" in the soft foam where it's supposed to be even and relatively squishy? Use wider pieces of foam? I'm not picky about having hard edges in the foam due to the glue, but I just want to be careful not to have too many hard edges.

I'll use high density foam for the horns, snout, feet, fins and tail tip parts. I'm going to use normal density foam for the rest of the head, the shoulders, the neck, the thighs, and the thick part of the tail. I'll use some special material for the spikes, claws and teeth.

the head
The eyes will be resin, and I'll be able to see through the tear ducts made of black mesh with the angled shape of the face. I'll also have a semi-movable jaw with the elastic strap method. I won't be a talking character, but I'll occasionally hold my mouth open to try and look intimidating, or strike a "roaring" pose.

I'd like the neck to attached smoothly to my bodysuit give a thick-neck look. Should I use velcro or snaps to achieve this? I feel like velcro will be too stiff and will come undone if I turn my head too much, and I'm hoping to give the fursuit the ability to turn its head to the side naturally without having a gajillion diagonal wrinkles in the fabric. Any suggestions for doing this?

Another idea I had that I thought was pretty good was to cut a small hole in the center of the balaclava mask so that I can drink water from a straw through the fursuit's own mouth without having to remove my mask. Good idea for hydration? Or no?

the body
From my chest to a little higher than my hips, the costume will just match my own body in shape. I'm going to place the zipper along the line of red and blue of Luci's front side to avoid any extra seams.

What fur fabric would you suggest for an animal like Garchomp who is actually a reptilian species? I'm not going to go the leather/scale route--just gonna use fabric, but I'm guessing I need a short, smooth fabric. Maybe fleece?

the handpaws (such a cute name this fandom has created for these<33) and arms
Even though Garchomp has apparently no fingers, I'm going to put fingers in the glove so that I can at least pick up things, but as long as I keep my fingers together when holding like, a water bottle, with both of my hands, it should still look like Garchomp has a single fist. My pointer finger goes inside the claw itself.

I'd like the fin to not flop around (at least not too awkwardly) when I wave my arms as a Garchomp does. How do you suggest I get the fin to attach to the arm so that it doesn't flop around and remains relatively stiff and held in position? (same for the back fin, claws and spikes)

the legs
The thigh will be quite round in shape and be rather wide as well. Most of the padding will be on the outside of the leg, though. I'll use the normal density foam for the thighs. Right under the kneecap of the person is where the Garchomp's thigh will end.

I want to know where I should place the cuts in the form for flexibility of the human joints. Since the feature of Garchomp's thighs is that they are so round, I'm worried that putting a high cut will create a strange shape in the roundness whenever the leg bends. I considered putting the cut lower on the knee, but will that be too uncomfortable to kneel down on? I'll probably fall down onto my knees a couple times in character, like to pretend I'm imitating Garchomp's KO animation in Pokemon X/Y.

The feet will be somewhat blocky in shape, but a bit flexible around the ankles. It'll also have a lowered ankle as Garchomp does.

the tail
Garchomp's tail is very thick, and like Mewtwo's, is a smooth transition from the lower end of the front of the body, between the legs and to the tail. It'll be attached to the rest of the fursuit by a very wide base that is basically just connected to the entire fursuit.

I'd really really like to make the tail "waggable". Maybe so that when I walk, the tail will slightly sway back and forth like a shark swimming? The tail will be relatively long, but I think that its thickness will allow it to hold a shape allowing it to stay above the ground for the most part. The tail tip is allowed to drag a little if that's too much to ask. I'd also possibly like to make it so that if I move my hips/body, I can get the tail to swing in wide arcs from side to side. Can I get this effect from doing something similar to what Rarsuit did for his dragon tail?



Any advice and criticism is appreciated~!!
 

Rhee

Member
A side seam like a traditional ladies dress shirt? I don't recommend it, a back seem would be better since you can use that back fin to cover most of it.
fleece or minky fur

Try and fit a fan in the head, its one of the best features a head could have, neck line maybe a hidden wrap around zipper? other wise all I've seen is a handkerchief used for this

Arms, you could have claws and have a slit to move your hands out if you need a break or drink, the slit could be velcro or magnetic, so your hands would be at the base of the claw and not the actual claw.

Fins, foam and foamies, the foamies come in various thickness and are predominately used in ears. I used faomies in my fins a few of the thinner ones glued together, with a base tab that I sewed to the part to make it less floppy. [hand sewn, I don't know about machine sewing foamies] bigger fins could be upholstery foam carved into that shape squishy and light. Spikes I'd just go with DVC ones and to the cut back fabric and push through method and then glue them in place.

defiantly ask digigrade suiters their preferences on leg padding

crotch padding, just remember that's a high friction area, lots of rubbing. a delrin rod will help with the bounce and sway movement. Don't know that reference
 

Radioactimals

Shark fighter
Gonna start off with an unhelpful comment about how this is hella ambitious if you've never done this sort of thing before. But hey, you're asking for help for and seem pretty involved with wanting this to turn out nice. Which is more than can be said for most, so I wish you the best of luck.
That being said...

Check out CanineHybrids work, she does a lot of intensive work on her pokemon suits and should be helpful to you.
https://www.youtube.com/user/CanineHybrid
http://www.furaffinity.net/full/9859230/
http://www.furaffinity.net/view/6869466/

foam
Don't use too much hot glue and then no hard part. Hard part/edge? Trim it out or trim the edge so it's flush, or glue a square of fleece over it and then no hard part. Or don't use hot glue at all. Use a spray adhesive like super 77.

head
I can see no reason why you couldn't just cut a small hole in the balaclava. Go for itbody
Canine hybrid uses velour on hers, so you can go that route or fleece. Minky doesn't have a lot of stretch, it must have a smooth surface under it as it's quite thin, and is very difficult to work with. First time suit, do not recommend

hands
make a thin foam ball around your fist and just cut a slit in it so you can pop your hand out when you need to. Use a thick/high density foam for the fins and they'll flop, but not as much. Try EVA foam/that stuff they make the puzzle mats out of and it'll be stiff.

Legs
Look at the padding stuffedpandastudios uses.
http://www.furaffinity.net/view/8375980/
http://www.furaffinity.net/full/7310480/
http://www.furaffinity.net/view/6510181/http://www.furaffinity.net/view/5538838/
The inside of the rabbit padding has a hollow area for her knee to bend into.

tail
http://rarsuit.livejournal.com/44876.html
 

PriestessShizuka

Dragon Master
A side seam like a traditional ladies dress shirt? I don't recommend it, a back seem would be better since you can use that back fin to cover most of it.
fleece or minky fur

Try and fit a fan in the head, its one of the best features a head could have, neck line maybe a hidden wrap around zipper? other wise all I've seen is a handkerchief used for this

Arms, you could have claws and have a slit to move your hands out if you need a break or drink, the slit could be velcro or magnetic, so your hands would be at the base of the claw and not the actual claw.

Fins, foam and foamies, the foamies come in various thickness and are predominately used in ears. I used faomies in my fins a few of the thinner ones glued together, with a base tab that I sewed to the part to make it less floppy. [hand sewn, I don't know about machine sewing foamies] bigger fins could be upholstery foam carved into that shape squishy and light. Spikes I'd just go with DVC ones and to the cut back fabric and push through method and then glue them in place.

defiantly ask digigrade suiters their preferences on leg padding

crotch padding, just remember that's a high friction area, lots of rubbing. a delrin rod will help with the bounce and sway movement. Don't know that reference

Thank you so much for the feedback!!

I had worried about a centered back seam for the zipper 'cause I thought it might mess up the back fin's symmetry. XD But that's a good idea, using it to cover most of the zipper~! :D

And yes I gotta remember to get a mini fan, especially since I wear glasses. XP I think there should be plenty of space inside Garchomp's bulky head for a fan~ I actually don't mind too much if the neck slide loosely over my collarbone just a little, since dragons usually can have plate-like armor scales, and it could be like that. I have to remind myself that I can't make the costume flawless and perfect. XD There will be seams, I guess.

What does DVC stand for? ^^; And I might go with a slightly dropped-crotch technique to form the base of the tail. :3 I know even girls don't like crotch discomfort. XD

Thanks again for all the advice!! I really appreciate it! <3

Gonna start off with an unhelpful comment about how this is hella ambitious if you've never done this sort of thing before. But hey, you're asking for help for and seem pretty involved with wanting this to turn out nice. Which is more than can be said for most, so I wish you the best of luck.
That being said...

Check out CanineHybrids work, she does a lot of intensive work on her pokemon suits and should be helpful to you.
https://www.youtube.com/user/CanineHybrid
http://www.furaffinity.net/full/9859230/
http://www.furaffinity.net/view/6869466/

foam
Don't use too much hot glue and then no hard part. Hard part/edge? Trim it out or trim the edge so it's flush, or glue a square of fleece over it and then no hard part. Or don't use hot glue at all. Use a spray adhesive like super 77.

head
I can see no reason why you couldn't just cut a small hole in the balaclava. Go for itbody
Canine hybrid uses velour on hers, so you can go that route or fleece. Minky doesn't have a lot of stretch, it must have a smooth surface under it as it's quite thin, and is very difficult to work with. First time suit, do not recommend

hands
make a thin foam ball around your fist and just cut a slit in it so you can pop your hand out when you need to. Use a thick/high density foam for the fins and they'll flop, but not as much. Try EVA foam/that stuff they make the puzzle mats out of and it'll be stiff.

Legs
Look at the padding stuffedpandastudios uses.
http://www.furaffinity.net/view/8375980/
http://www.furaffinity.net/full/7310480/
http://www.furaffinity.net/view/6510181/http://www.furaffinity.net/view/5538838/
The inside of the rabbit padding has a hollow area for her knee to bend into.

tail
http://rarsuit.livejournal.com/44876.html

Thank you so much for all the help and support!! :D I know of CanineHybrid and I love all her work and have seen all her vids on Youtube ^^
The hollow knee in the rabbit padding is a good idea~! And yeah Rarsuit's tail was what I was referring to. :D

What are your thoughts on the overall weight of a costume? Should I work really hard to make it as light weight as possible, or just let some parts be as heavy as they'll just have to be, such as the tail?
 
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Misomie

Lazy Artist
I have a Lucario fursuit. Super heavy padding mainly in the legs but when I got him the chest and arms were padded as well. He used to weigh a good twenty pounds and though he was difficult to walk in at first, I soon got used to it. You can try for trying to make it more lightweight, but it depends on your stamina. Since you said you have good stamina, don't be too concerned about weight. Rather, worry about heat and moveability.

For the fins on the arms, I'd cut them out as others have recommended and instead of attaching to under armor, glue (as sewing and foam don't mix) elastic on them so you can slip your arm in (or maybe make a sleeve instead for your arm). This way you can pop the foam out when washing the suit and easily wash the upper body under armor without worrying about foam as much. For the spikes, you can try what my Lucario suit uses:
http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2...e_summer_2012_by_latinomaninblack-d5epemi.jpg

They are lightweight things (I'm sorry, I bought the suit used so I'm not sure what they are exactly) that are held on through super strong velcro. This allows me to pop them right off when the suit is in storage (and not stress the seams) and make cleaning easier than if they were permanently attached. If you want, I can take pictures of them without the spikes attached. Just send me a PM.

I'd treat the back fin as if it were a tail (aka, one of those removable ones). Make the foam easily removed and maybe have it attached to a harness beneath the suit. This will help hold it in place and help with cleaning and storing the suit.

I'll warn you ahead of time. Lucario's thighs are a nightmare. They are massive things that make it hard to wash, store, and travel with. Sure they look good in the end but they are super annoying evil things. Not to mention they are the hardest part when it comes to me suiting up.
 

PriestessShizuka

Dragon Master
I have a Lucario fursuit. Super heavy padding mainly in the legs but when I got him the chest and arms were padded as well. He used to weigh a good twenty pounds and though he was difficult to walk in at first, I soon got used to it. You can try for trying to make it more lightweight, but it depends on your stamina. Since you said you have good stamina, don't be too concerned about weight. Rather, worry about heat and moveability.

For the fins on the arms, I'd cut them out as others have recommended and instead of attaching to under armor, glue (as sewing and foam don't mix) elastic on them so you can slip your arm in (or maybe make a sleeve instead for your arm). This way you can pop the foam out when washing the suit and easily wash the upper body under armor without worrying about foam as much. For the spikes, you can try what my Lucario suit uses:
http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2...e_summer_2012_by_latinomaninblack-d5epemi.jpg

They are lightweight things (I'm sorry, I bought the suit used so I'm not sure what they are exactly) that are held on through super strong velcro. This allows me to pop them right off when the suit is in storage (and not stress the seams) and make cleaning easier than if they were permanently attached. If you want, I can take pictures of them without the spikes attached. Just send me a PM.

I'd treat the back fin as if it were a tail (aka, one of those removable ones). Make the foam easily removed and maybe have it attached to a harness beneath the suit. This will help hold it in place and help with cleaning and storing the suit.

I'll warn you ahead of time. Lucario's thighs are a nightmare. They are massive things that make it hard to wash, store, and travel with. Sure they look good in the end but they are super annoying evil things. Not to mention they are the hardest part when it comes to me suiting up.

Yeah, I don't mind learning to walk with a wide stance while stomping around heavily and awkwardly. :p Is there a certain kind of foam or building technique for making the fursuit as breathable and cool as possible, besides wearing under armor and not encasing the suit in extremely tight multilayered and glued foam?

Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions! They're really helpful! <3


Update: I've begun on the head~! :D



So far, it's going rather smoothly. I'm going to head to the store tomorrow and get myself an electric knife so I can smooth out those eye tear ducts, and all the other edges as well.


Update2: Finished the foaming!! :D I just have to install the black mesh eyes, make the resin irises, and stick a mini battery powered fan inside ^_^ Then I'll work on the foaming for the rest of the body. I'm gonna get some high density foam to do a lot of the rest of the body... I might even replace the teeth with high density foam. c: I've already bought the fabric for the finishing of the costume.

(the nose is opened because I'm still waiting to put the fan in.)






 
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PriestessShizuka

Dragon Master
In case anyone's curious, I finished the super ambitious fullsuit I planned out last Fall, and I got a Judge's pick award at Otakon2015! 8D
I'm really happy with how the dropped crotch and digitigrade padding came out! Almost everything worked out for my first ever fullsuit!

 

ExperiMUNt

The Creationist of Monsters
Whoah, that is amazing!! This is also pretty inspirational to those who haven't ever built a full body suit/full costume, especially for this kind of complexity. Right now I'm trying to build my first full costume as well ;u;

Can I ask what material you used, and how you hid those seems so well? I'm quite curious!
 

PriestessShizuka

Dragon Master
I just used fleece for all the fabric! :3 It's super duper available in stores. XD
Also the usual high(green) and low(white) density foam which I hand carved and shaped myself with scissors, balaclava for the head. For the feet, I used an old pair of fitting tenneshoes as the base, and playmat foam for the soles. I sewed in zippers into the back and in the front of the feet-boots. There's also velcro where the dorsal fin attaches to the back, and where the thigh connects to the feet-boots. There are snaps that connect and hold the arms to the arm sleeves of the bodysuit and the neck flap down to the bodysuit. The eyes consist of black plastic mesh and painted DVC resin blanks. There are elastic straps going around the head and under the chin for a movable jaw. ^_^
As for the seams, I mainly just ladder stitched it and pulled it tight, and they hid the thread instantly! A little bit of seam was still visible, but not too obviously. For the parts I machine sewed, I used dark blue or black thread with a simple, short stitch.
For all the bodysuit parts, I used super strong thread and a heavy duty needle and sewing machine. :D
 

ExperiMUNt

The Creationist of Monsters
Hey, thanks for the information! That was really good to know. Even though I've been sewing for a couple years, I've never been good at hiding the seams. So you hand sew the ladder stitch, or is the option found on your sewing machine?
 

PriestessShizuka

Dragon Master
You're welcome~!
I handsew the ladder stitch. :D
On my sewing machine, I just kinda use the simplest and most straight forward pattern, no fancy stuff. Though I'm not an expert, so I can't say if that's the best way to do it ^^
 

grassfed

Indica Dominant
wow that turned out really great! Especially with that being your first suit, makes me want to make one some day.
 

Stormowl the Owl

New Member
I have a Lucario fursuit. Super heavy padding mainly in the legs but when I got him the chest and arms were padded as well. He used to weigh a good twenty pounds and though he was difficult to walk in at first, I soon got used to it. You can try for trying to make it more lightweight, but it depends on your stamina. Since you said you have good stamina, don't be too concerned about weight. Rather, worry about heat and moveability.

For the fins on the arms, I'd cut them out as others have recommended and instead of attaching to under armor, glue (as sewing and foam don't mix) elastic on them so you can slip your arm in (or maybe make a sleeve instead for your arm). This way you can pop the foam out when washing the suit and easily wash the upper body under armor without worrying about foam as much. For the spikes, you can try what my Lucario suit uses:


They are lightweight things (I'm sorry, I bought the suit used so I'm not sure what they are exactly) that are held on through super strong velcro. This allows me to pop them right off when the suit is in storage (and not stress the seams) and make cleaning easier than if they were permanently attached. If you want, I can take pictures of them without the spikes attached. Just send me a PM.

I'd treat the back fin as if it were a tail (aka, one of those removable ones). Make the foam easily removed and maybe have it attached to a harness beneath the suit. This will help hold it in place and help with cleaning and storing the suit.

I'll warn you ahead of time. Lucario's thighs are a nightmare. They are massive things that make it hard to wash, store, and travel with. Sure they look good in the end but they are super annoying evil things. Not to mention they are the hardest part when it comes to me suiting up.
I really want to make a Lucario costume! Could you maybe give some advice like what materials to get, step-by-step building processes, etc? I'd greatly appreciate it.
 
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