Kevin Roche (kproche) wrote,
Kevin Roche
kproche

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In which Conrad chases some tail...

Modifications are well underway on the costume for Worldcon...



One of the the things I wanted to change about Conrad is to give him a tail (even though there isn't one in Frank's drawing that inspired me), because otherwise he looks too much a "Big head and a jumpsuit" costume, because, after all, he was a big head and a jumpsuit X-).

Originally, I was going to make the tail segments out of conical sections of WonderFlex, but I realized it just was not going to move the way I wanted it to. I'd been planning to use light chain to give the tail enough mass to flick while moving on stage, and realize I could make foam "vertebra" and string them right on the chain. Here's what I've done so far:


Layout of the tail segments Layout of the tail segments

Another view of the laid out pattern pieces Another view of the laid out pattern pieces

The foam blank is 4 inches thick, for reference. 12 segments should come out 48 inches before trimming
The 12 segments plus the  tip of the tail, carved out of the foam slab The 12 segments plus the tip of the tail, carved out of the foam slab

The 12 raw segments slightly different view The 12 raw segments slightly different view

After trimming and shaping the raw blanks After trimming and shaping the raw blanks

Closeup of the shaped blanks. Closeup of the shaped blanks.

The idea is that just like real vertebrae, the tail will have more flexibility in one direction (left to right) than the other (up and down). This should make it possible to lash it quite nicely if it is securely rigged to the hips of the wearer
Assembled tail vertebrae Assembled tail vertebrae

a piece of twist link (like dogleash) chain strings them all together and gives the tail enough mass that it can be made to move. A piece of shockcord runs parallel and above the chain to limit up down motion and prevent twisting of one vertebra with respect to the next.
A second piece of shock cord will be threaded parallel and below the chain to further stabilize against twisting.
Assembled tail vertebra, another view Assembled tail vertebra, another view

As you can see, it bends and coils quite nicely. Nothing like basing your design on good ol' Mother Nature!



What's next: adding the second shock cord, and carving a top segment and rigging the harness to make it hang properly from the hips, then putting the skin on him. Oh, and cutting a hole in the jumpsuit to let it come out.

I've got most of the work to fix his underbite done; I just have to re-attach the lower jaw. I also found dark red mesh to use for the face mask instead of the black I used originally, so it will look like staring down his throat.

If there is time, we'll glue some giant acrylic rhinestones left over from Amber onto the jumpsuit, and maybe I'll put some dino-toes on an old pair of cowboy boots.




Should be plenty of time to get it all done before we leave on the 19th.
Tags: conrad, conventions, conzilla, costume, lounge lizard
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