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The Making of a Snail's Fursuit- Updated 2/3/18

16 Jun 2017, 10:37 pm (Edited 4 Feb 2018, 11:01 pm)
Feel free to post/comment!

NOTE: This thread is extremely image-heavy! If you want to comment with an image, please post it as a link! Thank you!

Intro
Heyo, I'm Xen, I've been making fursuits for as long as I've been in the furry fandom, meaning around 7 years of experience. All of my fursuits have been solely for Halloween, with the exception of one which was for a cosplay contest. However, after attending my first furry convention at FWA 2017 with an old partial I made 3 years before, I made up my mind to start attending more furry conventions, starting with FWA 2018. However, first, I need a new fursuit, one that truly reflects me. With this, I've decided to undertake my most difficult project yet, making a fursuit of my snailsona, Sniall:

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Information
There are many challenges that come with making a fursuit of this guy, I'll list a few
-Lack of fur
-Brilliance of colors/complexity of markings
-Lack of a muzzle
-Body/head proportions
-Presence of hair
-Long antennas

Not to mention the amount of experimentation that needs to take place, I may have years of experience in fursuit making, however, up until now I've only worked with fleece and fur, and minimal sewing (I only got a sewing machine 2 years ago) What I do have going for me is my experience in making unusual/atypical head shapes, and my ability to improvise.

This will be a digitgrade fullsuit, however, the majority of the focus will be on the head, since that's mainly what I want coming out as good as possible. I have done a fullsuit before, however it was plantigrade.

One thing to consider that I did not have upon making my other fursuits, time. This time I have tons more time to experiment and try and be cautious. I'm used to making fursuits in less than a month, (my record for quickest fursuit done was a partial done in 2 weeks, the one that took me the longest was the fullsuit, which took almost 2 months and a half) For this fursuit, I have given myself the goal of getting it done at the earliest- the middle of October, and the latest by the end of January. Meaning I have anywhere from 4 months to a whopping 7 months to get him done, much more time than I'm used to. I'm hoping that gives me enough time to experiment with the new methods I'll be trying.

Here are 2 examples of my previous fursuits, the one done in the fastest amount of time, and the one that took the longest

Ninja Mew Fursuit Partial
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Done for Halloween 2014 (Time taken- Around 2 weeks)

Transformice Shaman Plantigrade Fullsuit
yQZzWWlLSxGT8BiL2aI8Cg.png
Done for Transformice's 2016 Cosplay Contest (Time taken- Around 2 1/2 months)
Results of the Contest


I will be posting pictures and updates here with whatever progress I get done. Below is an outline that is very subject to change, will be updated as I go.

Outline
Step 1: Material Collection 1
-Sketch out head shape [DONE]
- Get Mask [DONE- Check references]
-Get Foam [DONE]
-Research fabric [Part 1]

Step 2: Head Shape
-Bucket head [DONE]
-Basic Building [DONE]
-Shaving down [Part 1]
-Refining details and orifices [DONE]

Step 3: Material collection 2
-Get 'fur' DONE]
-More foam [DONE]
-Get the tripod thingies (Don't ask lmao) [DONE]
-[insert materials for eyes here] [DONE]
-Research airbrush/fabric paint

Step 4: Antennaes and eyes
-Building Antennae [DONE]
-Shaving Antennae [DONE]
-Placing Antennae [DONE]
-Eyes

Step 5: 'Furring' Head
-Fleecy Outercoat
-Fur

Step 6: Material Collection 3
-Duct Tape
-Underclothes
-Foam for days
-Polyfill (for tail)*
-Research shell materials

Step 7: Body shaping

Step 8: Shell 101

Step 9: Tail

Step 10: Furring body

Step 11: Painting/Airbrushing

Step 12: Material Collection 4
-Hair
-Fabric for hat
-Feathers?*

Step 13: Hair and Accessories


*=Optional/Might be changed


References/Resources
Have plenty, but will not be added until I am in the process of using them.
1) Balaclava Mask
2) Kloofsuit's Bucket Head tutorial
3. Fabric for 'fur'
4. Vinyl Tablecloth
5. Styrene Sheets
6. Brown Window Film
7. Fan
8. Battery Pack


Pinglist
(Ask to be added and I'll ping you with every update!)
DivideByZiro
CaptainAnabelle
Kaidaft
Texas_Toast
Kitten226
Shinrai
LordKaen
SpookySpaghetti
Astrodevil
Ri
MeloNeko
babbebbyb
FeatherCats
CaceyDoesThings
RedlaSunShowers029
Spyromancy
Charmly
RadioactiveAcid
Pamuya
Mykestri
hansel
starry_possum
I0dine
Dragonfire27
BatzyBoo
Ellitchhizui
Media
lockandkeith
Soni
Treble_da_Doggo
Reilon
StormyPhoenix29
FartNugget
MaiseKawaii
Pumpkibutt
tigerstripes175
quqqy
Moonpaw-Icyheart
ExternalEnthusiast
Keldeogirl
NuclearFusion
realitydoq
Kara
satintheunicorn
bitsiespider
HappyBuddy
FiniteFeline
Neut
Galra
RavenPocky
Honeebunny
Ro0_o
CosmicFeline
LucielChoi
spectral
Angeleina
Gilda
Deilich
Christovski
Kingkero
mnmix
Ghosteez
Lime-dragons-lick
MamaOtaku
arbitraryabsurdity
GreenMousee
TheLonelyGod
moonstar70
Oliver_Woolfe
BlazingFlre
Sirocco
TheRinioChan
Pretty-Pink-Princess
Ro
Yaschiri
Supernatural
Seabreeze_thefox
PoIarized
Candycat77024
shadwuff
quasars
Dizzie-Dreamer
Hazardous-Axel
WarriorMaiden
Tanwen

----
NOTE: Please please please do not try to offer critique on my methods, I use very alternative and and sometimes bootlegged methods to get things done. And while I will try to keep some semblance of order with my work, I will ask you to leave if you are constantly trying to get me to do things in a certain way. I will be needing help, and I will ask for it when the time comes, thank you for understanding. If you're just suggesting a fabric/tutorial, however, feel free to drop it here!

NOTE2: If you are a professional fursuit maker (as in, you have a business and make fursuits for others) And you're still interested in helping out, please leave me a message! I post all my resources here so if you help me with something, you won't go uncredited!


And yes you are allowed to post! I'll be linking each update in the main post!
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16 Jun 2017, 10:40 pm (Edited 16 Jun 2017, 10:42 pm)
Update - 6/16/17

Basic sketches of head done, Still some things to fix, Just trying to get a feel for the shape and basic foam placement, will be going back to this as needed.
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16 Jun 2017, 10:43 pm
Have you thought about latex fabric for the body?
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Made by Me
16 Jun 2017, 10:44 pm
Fluzzy said:
Have you thought about latex fabric for the body?

I've never heard of latex fabric, what is it? Is it flexible? :o
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16 Jun 2017, 10:48 pm (Edited 16 Jun 2017, 10:53 pm)
It is also called latex sheeting. Its very flexible but it is also glossy and shiny like the picture of your snail buddy there. It can also be muted so it wont have the rubber shine. My friend made all her friends prom dresses out of it. http://www.mjtrends.com/categories-.30mm,Latex-Sheeting
Just so you can see some types.

:Edit, no idea why it wont url that link.. Ah the comma.. Well some links have commas now. XD
8YF8LhY.png
Made by Me
16 Jun 2017, 11:54 pm (Edited 16 Jun 2017, 11:55 pm)
Fluzzy said:
It is also called latex sheeting. Its very flexible but it is also glossy and shiny like the picture of your snail buddy there. It can also be muted so it wont have the rubber shine. My friend made all her friends prom dresses out of it. http://www.mjtrends.com/categories-.30mm,Latex-Sheeting
Just so you can see some types.

:Edit, no idea why it wont url that link.. Ah the comma.. Well some links have commas now. XD

Oh my, I love those! I might be ordering some swatches from there to get a feel for it and of the color. I think the biggest problem I'll end up encountering is color accuracy, since I want something that fits his colors best. But honestly thank you so much for showing me this! It's definitely gonna help me in the future
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16 Jun 2017, 11:59 pm
You are most welcome, and I think they have pinks in that shop. If not there are quiet a number of different ones. I am certain you will find what you need and I hope the material will be useful just so it's one less thing on your list of things to do!
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Made by Me
17 Jun 2017, 12:09 am
best of luck!!
im sure it'll turn out nice

the head sketch reminds me of a very funky biker helmet
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✨ Crow/Wendigo || He/Him ✨
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17 Jun 2017, 12:13 am
could you ping me with updates? this is a really interesting suit idea and I'm excited to see how it comes together!
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❤ no need to ping on my threads ❤

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17 Jun 2017, 12:13 am
Hey, do you have a Pinglist for this? If so, may I be added?

Screenshot_2017-07-05_at_8.14.20_PM_-_Ed
17 Jun 2017, 12:20 am
wow this seems like such a unique idea, I'm excited to see any updates!
17 Jun 2017, 1:38 am
deerSkullz
Thank you!

DivideByZiro PopcornSnuffler Kaidaft
Thanks for the comments! Just made a pinglist, if you wish to be removed just let me know!
PIXu6rC.gif
17 Jun 2017, 1:46 am
Could I also be added to the pinglist please?
Male|Jan 4th|Ravenclaw

Please ping when replying!
21 Jun 2017, 6:09 pm
Xen
Pinglist purrlease!
(also your sona is so unique, I love it! I've never seen a snail furry before..)
21 Jun 2017, 6:09 pm
pinglist!
21 Jun 2017, 6:13 pm
Add me to the pinglist, as well. Can't wait to see how this turns out~
24~She/He/They~Genderfluid~Doggo~
Icon by Sixbane
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Sig art by Tiedenn
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21 Jun 2017, 6:24 pm
I'm excited you're the only person I've seen with a snail "fur"sona
21 Jun 2017, 7:16 pm (Edited 21 Jun 2017, 7:22 pm)
Thanks for the comments everyone!

Update - 6/21/17

In order to start on the actual head, I need the balaclava mask I ordered, and purchase some foam. Unfortunately, The mask might take a few days to arrive and I can only go buy the foam from my local store on the weekend, until then, I've been gathering references and sketching up some more plans.

I'm trying to give the face a bit more expression, while my sona usually isn't drawn with a mouth (At least when I draw him) he does have one, and I have chosen to include that in the fursuit for not only ventilation purposes, but for expression purposes, since in general, expressive fursuits bring more life to a room and appear cuter (which is what I'm going for)

Also, eyes, My original plan was to include the sclera (whites) of the eyes in the fursuit. I have since decided to scrap that idea and go for more animal-like doe eyes, where the whites either show very little, or not at all. In general, that has more of the look I'm going for, whites of the eyes usually connote more sentience in creatures, and while I would be fine with that, it's not 100% what I'm looking for. I'll make the final decision once I get to the eyes, but that's my plan as it stands at the moment.

Here are some additional sketches testing out expressions and eye concepts (without schlera)
The ones in the first picture may look strange because it's not showing the final covering, it's still just sketches of a foam base with eyes included.
-XjBhKn8SGma4Okpsz0W2A.png
8qxNkjF0S_CAmNrutrKDWg.png

Also, some legs, The fursuit will indeed be digitgrade, but I have included some plantigrade legs for comparison and curiosity.
0sAgVQh-SnK2-QtpNKQmIQ.png

There are subtle variation in each of the digitgrade legs (eg. knee length, ankle placement, prominence) Keep in mind that these are not slim digitgrade legs, I want the legs to be big to balance out the upper body, also, big digitgrade legs give a fursuit more of a "stuffed animal" feel.

Also, if you have any preference between any of the digitgrade legs, please tell me! I like hearing which ones people like the best!

This concludes my update for today, Once my mask gets here and and I get my hands on the foam, I'm be posting links to my purchases.
PIXu6rC.gif
21 Jun 2017, 7:17 pm
DivideByZiro
PopcornSnuffler
Kaidaft
HowlingCapricorn
Kitten226
Shinrai
LordKaen
SpookySpaghetti
PIXu6rC.gif
21 Jun 2017, 7:19 pm
Xen

May i be added please?
astro_banner_by_raylotic-db8tvrp.png
21 Jun 2017, 7:22 pm
Wow, amazing! Your fursona is sooo cute. :o
Would you add me to the pinglist, please? I don't want to miss out on your progress. It's gonna be amazing for sure!
21 Jun 2017, 7:26 pm
Holy fluff this is so cool! Please add me to the pinglist as well!!

.::Beta Tester::.
Please quote/ping me!
Plz click mons
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Icon by @whitelykos
Professional Disappointment
ADHD|Depression|Anxiety|Aspergers
21 Jun 2017, 7:41 pm
Updated the pinglist!

Also, I've added some examples of two of my previous fursuits, just so people know I'm entirely serious about this.
PIXu6rC.gif
21 Jun 2017, 7:48 pm
Xen

Could I be added to the pinglist please? I love seeing fursuits come to life.
Also, I like the second digitigrade leg you sketched the best! They're big and give a cuter/softer feel than the other legs.
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22 Jun 2017, 3:11 pm
Loving that Transformice 'fursuit'
currently stepping on edelgard von hresvelg in the name of the blue lions