digitigrade legs

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inblackandlace

Active Member
I'm looking into making digitigrade legs for a future cosplay. My question is, are they comfortable to walk in? Which area takes the most stress (shin/knee/foot)? I have patellar tracking disorder (my knees are effed up) so any stress on my knees will cause crippling pain. I don't want to put forth the time, energy, and money into making these only to find that I can't use them.
 

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kialna

Sr Member
Well, you can also do what I did for Smaug. Just go with the illusion. I followed this tutorial.
It would save you the physical problems, and still look ok-ish. For Smaug, it didn't work as well as I had hoped, but that's what you get when you're just trying out and customise things. (I didn't really follow the tutorial, only followed the idea...)
 

Rnc88

Jr Member
I have also been trying to come up with a comfortable set.the best solution I have seen so far comes from this halo elite costume,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NsQLq7EMkk specifically at 2:47. Note though this is huge, for something smaller (Morrowind Argonian perhaps) fawn legs may work. I haven't done that much research though because all i can find comes from furry sites, and frankly I don't particularly want to frequent them. (no offense to those who do frequent them). depending on your knee comfort homemade "WETA LEGS" may work... Could you please elaborate as to what cosplay you are thinking of, some more information may help specify what the best course of action may be. Best of luck

RNC
 

inblackandlace

Active Member
Unfortunately, I'm on my phone and can't include it picture. It's a picture I found that apparently is not affiliated with anything. It's just a painting from a really talented artist. This is the closest I can find to the shape. www.thegirliegeekblog.com/images/content/wowcosplaydraenai.jpg. I love how this girl did it! If I can get away with just doing some kind of foot prosthetic, I'd much rather do that!
 

Duskrose

New Member
I made a pair last year, using the blueprints and instructions found at http://www.instructables.com/id/Werewolf-Stilts-digitigrade-legs/, also for a draenai costume. I made one change to the design, I cut the lower leg section shorter, and bolted a block of wood to the plate that serves as a foot in that design, around which I built my hoof, so the structure looked like this:

IMG_3364-1.jpg

I was amazed at how easily I was able to get the hang of walking in them, although I had to make sure I built a prop weapon that was big enough for me to use as a support, as without that, I couldn't stand still. By the end of the day (close to 12 hours of being in the full costume, albeit with a bit of a break middle day) I was exhausted, but I also hadn't been overly smart about eating much during the day.
I had no stresses on my knees or shins. In fact, the only issues I had, was a blister on one toe (more due to the shoes I used, than the design of the stilts), and I had a pressure point on the front of each thigh, which had been caused by the angle of my legs shifting throughout the day - the support cables had stretched out, and by the end of the day, I was trying to walk too upright. It is worth spending a number of hours practicing in the stilts ahead of time, for just this reason, and I had not allowed enough time to do this. Now I've had a chance to repair that, and tighten things up, I'm actually really excited to find another reason to use these again!
 

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Duskrose

New Member
Let's see ... We were able to do the whole build for somewhere between $150 and $200.
The big costs were the metal bar stock parts, and the Sintra. All the metal bars and blocks came from a website that lets you order custom cut pieces (we lack the tools to do accurate metal cutting) and totaled around $80 - $90. The Sintra was about $40 for a 4 pack of 12" x 24" sheets (including shipping). I only really needed 2, but was glad of the extra, when I dropped one of the stilts and one of the formed pieces broke.
The velcro I bought at a local craft store for $15 (I bought the kind that is designed to be used as a luggage strap, worked out WAY cheaper, and easier to sew).
The nylon webbing came from the same place we got the strap connectors, and was about $10.
Then adding up all the bolts, nuts, washers and other connector parts, probably another $20 or so.

I'm basing this off the parts that actually went into the stilts. My husband was very involved with helping me build the stilts, and he would sometimes buy additional parts, because he'd found something that he liked better - his primary concern was that I would be safe while in these things! Also, we went to the additional cost of buying a drill press for this project, although it depends on where you live, you can likely find a local machine shop that can drill the required holes in the metal.

Edit: the wooden blocks for the feet were just scraps we had leftover from some fencing work, and I sacrificed an old pair of sneakers for their soles, so that I had some traction while walking on a variety of surfaces.
 

inblackandlace

Active Member
Thank you so much! I was daunted by this before, but now I'm feeling more and more like I can do this! Most likely no help from the hubby though XD
Do you happen to remember which website you got the parts from?
(Last question, I promise!)
 

Duskrose

New Member
After a bit of head scratching ...
Metal bar stock came from www.metalsupermarkets.com, custom cut to the sizes we wanted.
Sintra was bought off Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/White-Sintra-...ie=UTF8&qid=1420306870&sr=8-2&keywords=sintra
Nylon webbing and the d-rings for the straps were from http://www.plastic-buckle.com/ (I used these: http://www.plastic-buckle.com/ph408-d-ring.aspx). You could also get the velcro from this site.
The turnbuckle (the part that controls the tightness of the support cable) as well as all the screws, bolts, washers and other fasteners can be bought from http://www.fastenal.com/web/home. If you have one of their stores near you, they were super helpful in making sure we had the best possible parts for the project.
The support cable is airline cable, which we got at our local Lowes.

If you haven't used a drill press much (or at all, like I hadn't), it's worth either buying a little extra material for practice, or finding a local workshop that will drill the holes for you. (I actually have a local Senior Center that offers this service, which I found out about after we'd already bought a press!) The holes are pretty precise, and the nervousness of getting them right caused more stress than any other part of the build!
If you go ahead with this, and have any other questions, let me know, I'm happy to help out in any way I can!
 

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