|This is a big challenge for me, but I've always wanted to make this icon of my childhood. The first ever console game I played was Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly on PS2, and I was 8. To mark 10 years of being a fan of the little guy, I'm determined to make this costume.|
The variation of Spyro that has had the most impact on me is the Legend series, and I really want to pay tribute with this cosplay. The design is going to be the in game model of A New Beginning and The Eternal Night (by Krome studios) since the style just more appealing for me than the later game (Dawn of The Dragon by Activision), and will be easier to construct.
He's going to be a large scale puppet more than a costume/fursuit, but will require most of the techniques that I've learnt/researched while making costumes. Big influences of mine are the Lion King puppets (Michael Curry and Julie Taymor), traditional Bunraku, and lately, the Joey/Topthorn puppets of War Horse (Hand Spring Puppet Company).
I will be largely visible while operating the puppet, and I am deciding whether to incorporate a simple related design costume as well, or to black myself out. This will be figured out later on in the project.
I also plan to have an accompanying Sparx with this project, and it's likely that he will be finished first.
Structure progress (Posted 17th August 2013)
Finally getting my act together for sorting out the structure. The legs are working out perfectly, and should work just as intended if not better. I may add the tail tonight and so be making the attaching belt, so it'll be wearable for the first time. The body should be easy to get on with after that.
In the picture you can see my full scale sheet (4 A1 sheets taped together), so you should start to be getting a sense of the scale of this project.
I may have to review my plans for the head because I'm not sure if I'm too happy with how they are currently. We'll have to see. But for now I'm happy I'm making progress. At this rate I may be able to start working on the wings (though I may wait until I've done the head to make sure the horns are clear of them).
And more updates (Posted 7th August 2013)
Progress is slow for now. This last week I've been waiting heavily on supplies to show up that I've ordered. A lot of them have shown up and I've bought more. I think by tomorrow I can get more done.
I've started working on the front legs a bit, but I can't for the life of me find where my string is, the last thing I need is to add more to my current price list. I haven't even started think about fabrics yet which is daunting.
My compressor and airbrushes came recently as well, they were really worth it and I can't wait to get more practice.
Even more updates (Posted 29th July 2013)
I've been working on the head mechanics again, and I've decided that I'm probably going to scrap having blinking eyes. As long as I can have the moving mouth, this shouldn't be too much of a problem. But at least now I have the mechanics mostly sorted.
Also I now have a lot of the supplies I need to get started, lots of insulation tubes and pvc pipes. I'll probably need more after experimenting with them for different parts, like using thin insulation pipes split down the middle for the 'rib cage'. I'll use the pvc pipes for the wings for sure.
Something else I got was a pair of expanding foam cans. I clogged up the nozzles of the plastic tube after my first practice and now I need to get new tubes XD its godly to carve though, so it'll work perfectly for sculpting his head, horns, tail tip and crest. I still need to work out what I'm going to use as the base for the head though. Because of the mishaps (and a couple of small explosions of messy hot pink sticky evil foam that I can't get off my hands even after 3 days) I may just empty an entire can onto a large dust sheet, and make a giant lump that I can carve what I want from. I don't want to waste so much but unless I can find a safer way, I'm more comfortable doing it this way.
On another note, I finally got around to ordering a compressor and airbrush kit. Should arrive in the week, and I can finally test it out.
24/7 Update (Posted 24th July 2013)
Working through written plans. The head mechanics seem to be more difficult than I had originally planned, so I'll need to do some research and see if I can find a resolution. If I have to I'll ask for help.
I'll be getting a huge amount of supplies on Friday hopefully, so I can get cracking~
Piecing the back legs together (Posted 23rd July 2013)
When the foam was rubbed together, it'd just get stuck to itself, so I'm covering the basic flat pieces with some cheap garden fabric (that I've used before in costumes) so that the movement isn't restricted.
I also might have tried to PVA the fabric to the bare foam because I've run out of hot glue... yeah... didn't turn out well... I will try to get some spray adhesive and see if that works, it should do. Even if it doesn't stick I'll sew the edges down. But keep in mind that this isn't the most crucial part to do this fabric laying on, since it is only the base after all. It's when the rest of the foam is added on top for the final look that it will be important, so really this is a good test in itself.
I'm going to get a can of expanding foam soon, and play around with it to see what I can do. Then I can look into how I'll finish its surface. If I can get some practice and finish the mechanics, I might be able to get started on the head soon. I didn't think I would have been able to do this before I did my full scale plan, but now I'm confident I've got the proportions correct. But still, I'll make sure everything is planned.
Something else that I'll just put here is that I'm looking into an airbrush system. I've found one that's been recommended heavily by other cosplayers (with a 3 litre tank and two airbrushes), and it's within my price range, so I might jsut get my hands on it soon. I have several things I can use it for (including this costume) so I'm looking forward to getting it.
Holidays are here soon, and so there'll be lots and lots of progress soon :D
Leg bases cut (Posted 21st July 2013)
I've used high density upholstery foam to make the structure of the back legs. I'm looking at how to connect the pieces next~
Maquette painted and Full scale reference (Posted 14th July 2013)
I've done the paint job on my maquette (not too pleased with the result but it's nice to see him with some colour). I'll add the membrane at a later date, because it's much easier to see the overall shape while making the full scale puppet.
I've also drawn out the full scale reference sheet for the body, it's really starting to dawn on me how big this project is going to be.
More Maquette Progress and thoughts (Posted 5th July 2013)
Finally finished modelling him, baked him, and now I'm getting through painting him. I've done all the painting except his underbelly, wings, and I may redo his eyes. After that I need to put on all his membrane then attach his wings. Should be done tomorrow. I'm annoyed that I've painted him too dark though ;_; that'd be the biggest thing I would change.
Painting really has made me think about how I'm going to do his surface decoration for the final product. I may need to do some experiments with fabric types, and possibly look at some pattern. I really want to look into the games' use of patterns and what cultural references they use, and see if I can link something back in the final thing. I'll research that as I plan the rest of the construction process.
I really want to get started on some part of the legs tomorrow, then I can say I've started. It's only 112 days away until the next Expo; my deadline. Jeeez .___.; I better get cracking, and with the form of this maquette done I can finish my plans and finally start with foam work. Even if I don't /start/ tomorrow, I want to post my plans so I can ask around if others agree they will be able to work. if not, I'll have to make them work.
Maquette progress (Posted 3rd July 2013)
I got my new box of super sculpey today, unfortunately kinda smaller than I was expecting but still enough to finish this stage of the project at least. It's a good thing that I've doing this since it's going to help me out big time when it comes to scaling things up. Being able to pick up a model and see how things are meant to look in physical form is so helpful, especially when it'll be hard to see the whole large scale form at a close proximity (I've always been worse at larger scale work, but this method seems to help a lot).
I would have done a pepakura model, but all the files of Spyro's in game model wouldn't work and it just looked too complicated to put together. Then again, I've had to distort a fair bit of his model to make it suitable and possible for human wear and manipulation. Examples of this is how his body slopes down to his tail and this would be impractical for securing the legs to the puppeteer's. I've also made his legs a little longer (only a smidge) to increase his height, and to smaller his head. Something I want to do is get a full range of movement in his head and neck, so if the legs don't work as well as I hope, I an express enough emotion and character in his face and head movements.
I just have to make his wings, and then be sure I'm happy with the look of him, then I can bake him! I'll be adding the 'skin' of his crest and wings after I've painted him.
Weeeeee~ progress :'D
It begins~ (Posted 1st July 2013)
Okay so I'm heavily in pre production right now. This is a very ambitious project for me but I think I'm ready to give the purple guy a go.
I'll post up my written plans once I have finished them. They're very messy right now and need finalising XD it's mainly the front legs that have been causing me grief, but I /think/ I've sorted it. May have to ask around for advice at some point. The head's mechanics will need some approval too, and I may have to test them on something before I jump in.
I'm also in the process of making a maquette of my own rendition of the in game model that would be suitable to wear. So far it looks like I have a raw chicken on my desk because I have run out of sculpey. I'll fix that by next weekend.
I'm starting with the back legs since it's the main connecting part to the body, and I can work from there for correct scale.
Busy busy busy! With the deadline in October I should get it done.... should... I aim to be done with the overall structure by the end of August, that way I can focus on the skin and the surface texture, which will be an entirely difference ball game @_@