11th December 2012: Head Armour Scrapped. I came back to this project the other day and scrapped the work I did on the head armour. I am really unhappy on it now I've come back to the project and have decided to use cintra plastic to do it instead.
One thing that always bothered me about the head armour was that it's profile was quite low and I just couldn't look at it seriously. Being a medieval re-enactor didn't help with that. I hope with this new method that I will be able to make a more sold and convincing armour.
24th September 2011: Body Suit #1 - Body Suit Bought! OK - Just a quick entry. Bought the body suit today in preparation for working on the body! XD
It's a "Long Sleeved Dance Catsuit Shiny Nylon Lycra" - and at £23 incl. p&p it's a cheapest I could get =)
18th September 2011: Armour #3 - Bling! KK!
The head armour is at like... 90% completion! All I'm missing is the giant red gem at the front and the lacquering to give it extra strength and protection!
So since the last update I've added that last back panel, edged all of it with pearlecent gold and added gems! XD
I know he doesn't have gold trim around his armour usually, but... yanno I thought it looked cute and gave a bit more interest to the armour. The same can be said for the back panel. You can't find many pictures of that panel but I think there is supposed to be a large red gem there, however, because I've used the sun motif for all his armour, I thought it would be cool to use it at the back too and have it highlighted in gold! And that was the result, what do you think?
I still haven't got anything for the front gem, still deciding what size / what I want to use for that. Will seal the paint and everything though sooner rather than later to avoid damage. Apparently using a varnish will really strengthen it =) I would never have thought of that myself!
Oh dear... soon I'll have to start the body! Will need to steal friends for duct tape fun!
15th September 2011: Armour #2 - Etching, painting... and painting? OK! So the head armour is well under way!
Kero is starting to feel like a battle cat... or even better, panserbjørne!
Wait... kero isn't a bear D=...
Anyway! The first layer (?) of armour is done, debating whether to add more... just because I can! XD
After all the Muslin was on I etched suns in the style of seal of clow into the foam using a mechanical pencil. No, I know there aren't suns on his armour usually, I thought it would make a nice little flourish however! Artistic license right! It actually looks quite good!
Once I finished etching the suns in (all done freehand mind you) I lathered metallic acrylic paint all over it. Once the paint was dry, I covered it with ink. This worked really well, I worked it into all the little etchings and around the glue, which resulted in the hot glue seams looking really like welding! Happy chance!
However, in places the ink did smear and it was a little darker than I wanted, so I tried something different. Once the ink was dry (and in good daylight!) I put small dabs of paint onto the armour, got a small piece of muslin and rubbed the paint in in circular motions. This lightened it up without undoing all the good i'd done with the ink!
Finally I stuck one of my gems on to see how it looked. Not bad at all!
As I said, perhaps will add more layers on, and I still need to decide what I'm making the red gem with ^^; I'm leaning towards using a red Christmas bauble! XD
What do you think?
I don't think it's too bad considering it's the first time I've made armour!
12th September 2011: Armour #1 - Paper, Craft Foam, Muslin and PVA OK! So last week I started on my armour! I can't tell you how hard I find it! But with the help of many sheets of A3 paper I was able to work out an adequate shape =) It's only now I've started to make the armour I'm realizing how BIG he is. He has a massive head D=!
Once I had the template, I checked the shape and size on the head by pinning it into place. I altered it a little and then used the paper template to cut out Craft Foam shapes. I then pinned these onto the head, made alterations and carefully hot glued the pieces together.
Craft Foam is really floppy however, in order to counteract this I've started to layer muslin onto the panels, sealing it with PVA. It's becoming steadily more sturdy.
EDIT: Did some more work on it just after I posted this - just stuck on the last layers of muslin.
4th September 2011: Foam Head #18 - Completion, almost. Completed the head today! Well, I still have the armour to do, but the head is a proper mask now. All the sides are furred and seams sewn and glued.
Anyway - this was a little bit of a repetition of technique. Once I got the shape right I glued fur down onto it (of course it was glued onto the helmet already) with the hot glue gun.
After doing the fur on the back of the head, I did the fur from the chin down the front. In order to get the size right, I made a paper pattern, but most of it was done by eye.
Once the front panel was on I made patterns in the same way for the sides. I sewed all sides then hot glued the seams, burning my thumb in the progress.
I then cut the fur so it was equal around the bottom and... well that's it! Looks a lot better now with a neck!
Oh course it's "almost" complete - I haven't cut the hole to see out of yet! I'll do that when I have some gauze =3 might put a few gauze panels in for ventilation, it's very close.
26th August 2011: Foam Head #17 - Back of Head - Carving Hello -
I got an offcut of foam after work today and shaped the back of the head - it was more difficult that I envisioned!
Also seems to have a longer back than most, it was an effort to try and merge it into my back ^^; We'll see if that was successful when I get the fur on!
Also - a couple of days ago I cast more resin gems in preparation for the armour. Yesterday I bought some piece of A3 craft foam to make a start on the first piece of armour! =D
19th August 2011: Accessories #2 - Earring #1 - Complete! Well, this went better than expected!
Long live Fimo, and oven, paint and ink!
Note: the pictures do not show the blue gems! I found a big coloured picture and saw gems I didn't know were there! ( The gems are raised silver bits in the pictures.
Again, I took some artistic license '.~ ((mainly because I wanted to put grooves in that the wash would go into!! XD)
18th August 2011: Foam Head #16 - Markings #1 and Picture Update #2 Hello!
Just did some quick work on it today! Added in those distinct markings he has down the side of his muzzle.
Wasn't sure if using black was the right decision at first (since on the manga one it is more grey), but ti seems to look ok! If I decide otherwise I can always paint it since the velvet goes solid and thus paintable!
Anyway - I'm so glad I decided not to paint and went with fabric and glue! I think, unless you have an airbrush you just can't get it neat enough! PLUS it covers the joins between the fur pieces! =D
Anyway - sorry about the picture quality! it's off my phone... since I can't get the camera to charge!
18th August 2011: Accessories #1 - Gems #1 - A Happy Accident So I had a couple of blanks left over from casting the eyes - and I wanted to see if actually dyeing the resin was absolutely unnecessary - always trying to keep costs down! So I thought, hell - what if I just painted the back of the resin casts with acrylic?
Well, here's the answer =)
As you can see it's a pretty acceptable result =)
Now I have a red gem to start Kero's earring with!... I need to buy some Fimo on the morrow I think!
17th August 2011: Foam Head #15 - Eyes #3 - Eye placement. This was pretty fiddly!
I used a velvet like material for around the eyes / lids.
I hope this doesn't look weird! I tried to keep the size / shape of the eye... but with a smaller one? Basically it's ended up with a lot of black around the eye ^^;;.
But that's ok! I think I kinda wanted it that way anyway... Artistic license AMIRITE?!
Ehehe... So it was the return of the hot glue gun, it was hot and messy. That is all...
I haven't pictures atm because someone left the camera on and it's out of charge >.>; So with the next entry I'll post a picture or something!
17th August 2011: Foam Head #14 - Eyes #2 - Painting This was harder than I thought!
The resin cast really well! I didn't need the spares that I cast (but they are going to be used for his smaller gems anyway!).
I painted the eyes with acrylic, it took a few goes, but finally I managed it! I had to paint really small because of the depth of the cobochon! When the other one was put on it really magnified!
16th August 2011: Foam Head #13 - Eyes #1 - Resin casting Hello ~
My cabochon moulds came today! (about and hour ago)! I've already cast a set of eyes plus one spare.
The materials I've used are:
- Easy Cast clear epoxy resin
- Cabochons - Large - 2.5cm
- x2 small measuring / mixing cups
- 1 chopstick!
- My hairdryer!
Essentially very easy, just followed the instructions supplied.
Was concerned about the cloudiness and the sheer number of bubbles, but this was rectified by passing a hairdryer on medium heat gently over the molds, heating the resin slightly and causing the bubbles to rise to the surface. There seems to be a few bigger bubbles left, but I'll check them in a coupld of hours, they should naturally rise to the surface. On the other hand, I have seen bubbles used nicely as "shines" in the eye, a happy accident! XD
So yes... I think I've got to wait 24 (ish) hours now for the resin to cure. I need to get some black fur for about the eyes and some black (paper?) for the eye lids. No rush though, since i'll have to paint the eyes XD;;;...
EDIT - 1:1 ratio resin to hardener 10ml:10ml; made enough for 6 cobochons.
13th August 2011: Photo update #1 Fur and Drybrushing. This is the head in it's current state. It needs a lot of finishing round the edges of the fur / lips. More dry brushing needed.
Black fur needs to eithe rbe dyed or bought for around the eyes, as well as some black tissue paper for the eye lids.
Eyes will be cast when the molds come through.
Decided on Easycast clear cast epoxy resin and 2.5cm hemispherical molds.
Can't wait to paint and fix the eyes in!
Like the jaunty ear? Although not altogether deliberate, I think it looks cute XD and am loathe to change it!
What do you think?
Oh, also, do you like the fur colour? =3
1st August 2011: Foam Head #12 - Furring #5 - Paint, Mistakes and reglue. As I didn't write this entry at the time! I can't quite remember the date ._.;
Anyway, I made a mistake drybrushing and had to remove the white fur, make another pattern and then put it back on ><;; oops ._.;
Anyway, it's back together again now, I'm currently waiting for the epoxy resin to be delivered, then he can have eyes!
24th July 2011: Foam Head #12 - Furring #4 - Hot Glue Today was the fabled HOT GLUE day.
I hot glued all the seams of the fur mask first then starting with the nose piece worked back wards, then down one cheek and towards the nose again, followed by the other side.
The ears are in a jaunty position. I could straighten it up, but actually, I like the asymmetry, gives it more character. XD
Next steps are to clip the fur a little more, model the lips a little more and finish the nose / black around the eyes.
21st July 2011: Foam Head #11 - Furring #3 - Adjustments. Today I... cut and sewed on the missing patch of fur around the ears, cut and sewed the lower jaw pattern and adjusted the sides of the mouth (the left side was cut to a more severe angle, thus showing more of the gum - making it uneven).
Actually all this took a long time.
20th July 2011: Foam Head #10 - Furring #2 - Ears. Today I made the ears of my suit. I'd considered using foam, but I didn't have any thin sheets handy, and I wondered if I really wanted that thickness anyway?
Well, Duct (Duck) Tape solves everything! I cut out a basic paper template and covered it on both sides with the tape making adjustments and cutting where nessessary. Once one was done I just made a mirrored one, using the first as a template.
Then I simply drew around the ear shape and cut it out from the fur. I hand sewed the seams again, slotted the duct tape ear into the fur and sewed up.
Fitting it to the curve on the fur I sewed it onto the rest of the head.
I'm having to try and remove a lot of the fur from the seams at the moment ready for hot gluing.
19th July 2011: Foam Head #9 - Furring #1 Used the pattern I cut to cut the fur shapes. I only cut out one side, then just doubled it for symmetry.
After I's cut out the pieces, the jigsaw puzzle began! I'm an idiot so I didn't label my pieces! XD I took the pieces and pinned them in place, strangely they had changed size o_O; ah well!
After I had placed them in the right positions, I started to hand sew every seam. pinning it back to the head each time to check for any adjustments. I used running stitch over all seams.
At this point haven't made ears yet. Small additions need to be made to the pattern to complete.
17th July 2011: Foam Head #8 - Painting Teeth / Gums and Cutting Pattern. OK! Busy day today!
First off I decided to sand the teeth and gums with some very fine grit sand paper, I then painted the teeth and gums with acrylic paint.
The Milliput took about 4 coats of white for the teeth to stop showing the green through (next time I should use the higher grade Milliput) and after a few attempts with other colours I decided to just paint the inside of the mouth and the gums black. This actually worked better than I thought since although I wanted to just use the black as a base coat, it's currently serving as an optical illusion, fooling the eye into thinking the teeth are further forward in the head than they actually are. This was a worry for me since I'd made an error when carving the mouth meaning that the teeth were set further back than I liked, however it seems to be working out ok now since the white on the black is drawing forward the teeth visually.
I wasn't keen on keeping the mouth and gums black initially, but it seems to look less obtrusive than I thought. I'll take a look tomorrow and see if it's worth trying to paint the gums brown again to be more true to the manga version than the anime version which uses black.
ANYWAY - I also fixed the bottom jaw in place. It's going to be a static jaw since the mouth was such a tight fit and canines press on the bottom jaw more than they should hahah.... well it's my first go! Live and learn! XD
Finally, today I also made my pattern for the fur head - I covered the head with masking tape and marked pieces and fur direction, then cut one side out - I'll double the pieces just so it's identical (also less cutting for me hoorah!)
Really looking forward to cutting the fur and sticking it on!
... I haven't got the eyes yet, but it shouldn't make a difference.
16th July 2011: Foam Head #7 - Gums and Teeth Yesterday I made the teeth out of epoxy clay, overnight they set so today I set the teeth into the leather and foam and built the gums up with more epoxy clay.
I was umming and arring over moving jaw, but the canine teeth have solved that for me. I've set them too far in / the lips are too wide - (didn't allow for the width of the leather) so no it's pretty static. Static jaw it is then!
At least this means I don't really have to make a tongue (or paint the inside of the mouth!).
The next step for the mouth is to sand and paint the teeth and gums. So glad I didn't paint the teeth before I put them in, they would be all green from the clay already!
14th July 2011: Foam Head #6 - Carving and Lips. I refined Kero's jaw a little further making it a bit more narrow.
I found some thin, light brown leather which is pretty strong (was going to be used for some reenactment armour years ago) and used it to create lips and reinforce the inside of the mouth. I fixed it to the foam using double sided duct tape - this worked really well... you can't get it off the foam without taking some of the foam with you...
6th July 2011: Foam Head #5 - Further Carving. Yesterday I continued carving Kero! I'm so glad I was brave with this!
The day before I'd removed the jaw - full of trepidation - so what was left was for me to shape around the mouth and reduce the size of the bottom jaw. Now he doesn't have flat lips / nose! Haha... Is it possible to just keep on getting more and more pleased with your own work? XD
I found a video explanation on making the jaw move =)It's so much clearer to me now! Also, I don't think many people make these fur-heads like I've done.. i.e. carving from a block. Also researched resin casting techniques. The epoxy resin doesn't seem to cost a lot in the states but I bet it costs an arm and a leg here!
Next is the fimo nose and the jaw set... I need something for the lips, I see some people have used leather for the lips, I think I will follow their example.
4th July 2011: Foam Head #4 - Helmet and Jaw Removal The skateboarding helmet came today and to my relief it fits! Huzzah! I'm so glad I got this helmet instead of using a riding helmet or a cycling helmet - it's so much smaller and compact! Cycling helmets seem to be a bad idea to use since they are a lot larger than skatboarding helmets - their standard has to be higher, same with the modern riding helmets. Why did I consider using a riding helmet? I'm a horse rider, and they have to be ditched after heavy falls even if they aren't broken visibly.
Anyway - back on track!
Today I hollowed out the back of the head for the helmet and found which position is best for the head to be mounted on. Then I cut the lower jaw from the head to be re-attached later. The lower jaw is definitely going to have to be re-enforced.
29th June 2011: Foam Head #3 - Mostly Carved! Ok! So my fingers are blistered and sore, but at least I&amp;#039;ve finished the main carving for the head =)
Ignore the erroneous hole above one eye, that&#039;s the product of being awake too long!
I carved this using a pair of very sharp sewing scissors! I wasn't sure whether the hot wire would smoke, so I just stuck to scissors!
Originally I made the head too square, the eyes too high, but on some consultation with my artistic supervisor (aka MUM) we decided that taking the plunge and cutting a much more severe curve would be the right decision... and it was! I think a large portion of the problem was that I was using two different sets of reference pictures, and the angles didn't quite line up... and I wasn't brave enough to cut in enough... (more likely).
The bottom jaw hasn't been removed yet, and I have carved the underside of the head (I need a good helmet).
Nose to bottom: 15 cm
Width of front: 15 cm
Length of Mouth: 9 cm
Eye to nose: 14cm
Widest area (cheek to cheek) : 27 cm
Edge of eye to Edge of eye: 20 cm(?) Hard to measure.
Back of eye to end of head: 20 cm
The back of the head isn't carved either - I'm going to need another smaller block of foam to carve the back slope of the head/neck. I can't really do this however until it's been mounted onto the helmet.
I need to get more foam for the ears as well... the little bumps on the head are what the ears are going to be mounted on (on a real lions had they seem to have quite large muscles supporting the ears, I hope this reflects this). The ears will be added before the head is furred but after they have been furred...
I'm playing with the idea of putting a sprung jaw and ears on this head. The ears will twitch! But the jaw might be a little trickier. I'm going to remove the jaw anyway to make the jaw set, but again, only when I have the helmet, I want to see how far back the jaw will be able to be cut. I'm going to have to reinforce the jaw either way.
23rd June 2011: Foam Head #2 - Marking Out. Started to mark out the head shape... on all sides, it helps me visualise more than anything.
Working from pictures of the muscle structure / skinned lion head I marked out the main features and shape on all sides. It's helped me to no end in getting the picture in my head. Slightly concerned that the block I have is a little small, but we'll see when it's carved. If all else fails I've at least done a trial run!
Essentially I tried to work out the ratio of a lion's head - it seems to have worked quite well since the visible iris is about 32cm, which puts it at a real lion's size. So if I haven't got the size right for a fur suit, I at least have the size for a real lion's head. Either way, good fun for a project!
I'm tempted to discard anime versions of Kero in favour of only using reference from the manga. Since i'm not interested in toony eyes or anything.
One thing I have noticed from other people's experiences (and other fur costumes on here - actually even my own first attempt years ago) is that people visualise from the already furred head, so they carve a head with already furred proportions - which doesn't cute work since the head appears too bulky since you are adding more bulk - almost a second layer of fur.
I predict that the head will appear small but once the fur is added it should bulk up.
Since seeing the recent image of a non toon picture of Kero (as if he was real) I'm going to aim for a mixture of true to life and Clamp's design.
22nd June 2011: Foam Head #1 It begins! Foam block came today!
Lady Bahamut - 6th August 2011
I've been keeping track of your Kero and egarly await pictures! :3 Keep going! XD
Jenivix - 13th August 2011
=) Thank You for your interest! It's nice to know people are following ((no matter how slow you are!!!))!
I'll be uploading a few pictures tomorrow I hope - without the eyes still I'm afraid, I have ordered the right size molds now (I hope), just got to wait for them ><;...
yami-no-neko - 13th August 2011
Awww it's all fluffy wuffy XD I've been wondering what this will look like for a while, it's really cool. I wish I had a tallent for such things XD I can't wait to see the finished thing. Keep it up
Jenivix - 14th August 2011
Thank You Yami =3 - It's been ages since we've seen each other hasn't it?!
Believe me, It isn't talent when it takes you so bloody long to do anything! XD I had only done a very basic fursuit before, not anywhere near what I'm doing for this.... we'll see XD
Fizzykat - 18th August 2011
SO AWESOME! Im gonna watch this one :)
Leonie Heartilly - 4th September 2011
Keroberos! This makes me want to hurry up and cosplay Sakura
Mighty Odango - 6th September 2011
Your progress is looking really nice!
Natsumi - 12th September 2011
Amazing. <3 Can't wait to see how it progresses.
Angel Tear - 24th April 2013
Oh wow!!! Ohhh my gosh I cant wait to see this, I MUST get photos with you *flaps arms*
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