Dragon/animal head question

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by kialna, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    So I'm going to tackle *another* dragon. [Audience moans loudly] yes I know. However, I want it better and different than my Smaug.

    The dragon I'll tackle doesn't have 'lips' like Smaug. Instead, his teeth seem to be fixed and his lower jaw has armour. (If you know which one it is, hit the button and you win...nothing!) I'm a bit torn in what way I'd do it.

    -Sculpt & Cast in foam?
    -Sculpt & Cast in Resin?
    -Sculpt & Cast in Latex/Silicone?
    -Sculpt from Foam?
    -Sculpt with a variety of materials?
    -Or just be lazy and use Worbla in case I get rich?

    It needs to be weightlight. Another part of me thought of doing a skull and add a skin like I did with Smaug, but I don't think it'd work in this case....

    So..what would you do?
     
  2. fallimar

    fallimar Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You've got heaps of options, which is awesome. It depends on your skillset really, I do most of my work in sculpted upholstery foam because it's easy to work with and incredibly forgiving. I do it on an EVA foam base though, so there's a bit more comfort and rigidity and it doesn't absorb sweat like the upholstery foam does! Don't want a stinky, bacteria-ridden head!

    There's also the option of buying or making a resin base, which will give you a nice rigid base to work off and you can add detail in with more foam. If you want a moving jaw this is probably the easiest route to go (buying, that is, unless you're good with sculpting and casting masks yourself!) -Dreamvision creations on etsy sell a pretty awesome beaked dragon mask. I'm working on one myself too.
    If it's the dragon I'm thinking of, you'll want to keep the mask light, so definitely go with a lightweight foam and maybe some worbla or EVA foam for the armoured parts.
     
  3. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    You mean this one?
    [​IMG]

    Part of me goes 'it could be a good base' the other part of me goes 'it'd need SO MUCH work that I might be better off making my own'.

    I learnt a lot from Smaug, so I guess this one should be better. Also, just curious, what dragon are you thinking of?
     
  4. fallimar

    fallimar Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah, that's the one.
    Deathwing?
     
  5. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    Correct!
    [​IMG]

    I've been mulling over doing this boy for years now. But I refrained from doing it because he'd been done so often. But then I realised; I can always try it *my* way. And so I will. And the armoured jaw probably gave it away.
     
  6. stigmorgan

    stigmorgan Sr Member

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    This is gonna be awesome, cant wait to see it unfold, I absolutely love dragons.
     
  7. fallimar

    fallimar Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Woo! I'm a huge fan of dragons and dragon costumes, and honestly I've never actually seen a Deathwing costume. I don't get out that much though :p

    Hm! Well, he does have a short upper muzzle, so maybe starting from scratch would be a good idea - I suppose a really easy and effective way to make it work would be to first sketch it up over a photo of your face profile, so you can see where everything needs to go. He's got a strangely shaped head that's very flat on top, so you don't want a gigantic forehead problem. The easiest way to make that work well is to angle the whole face down slightly - I'll sketch what I mean to show you:
    MaskTilt.jpg
    There we go, something like that. If the face is straight on with the jawline flat, the forehead starts to cut into your own head and the jawline sits above yours, which makes fitting tricky unless you start making the head bigger, and then you end up with horrible proportion problems. That's in my experience anyway!

    I'd say a good method would be to sculpt the very basic top form on a dummy head that's close to your head size then heat-form worbla/craftiflex over it to make a really easy base that you control the shape of. Then you could add features made with foam and worbla, and construct any softer pieces with upholstery foam. The chin armour could be either worbla or EVA with an EVA and upholstery foam backing to make sure it sits well. You could very easily do a moving jaw like that too! If you see out from underneath the eyes (easy since most of him is black or grey, woo!) then you can put in glowing eyes too. :D
     
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  8. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    Yeah. Smaug's head was just as flat, but incredibly heavy so I want to it differently this time. Even so, I'll take my time in sketching things out. I also thought of maybe elevating the head a little so I'd see through the neck and move it with rods.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's some images of Smaug. I want to make Deathwing a lot better. This costume is now a year old and has many faults and mistakes. I've learnt a lot from that, so I want to take on Deathwing a little different.
     
  9. fallimar

    fallimar Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Oh, of course! I remember that build! Very cool.

    Yeah, I've found that the most valuable thing you can do is to sketch out your proportions before you start anything so you can see how big things need to be. That and where you can get away with things :D
    You could elevate the head of course, though I always find that makes jaw movement problematic and a lot less straightforward. Still, it's very doable and it does mean you could get a longer neck going - add some extra height.
    Can't wait to see what you come up with anyway, dragon builds make me a happy potato :D
     
  10. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    Haha cool. I'm also trying to figure out the wings! And I want stilts so Deathwing's definitely going to be bigger than Smaug, but I want to make him not too bulky. He's a bulky dragon, but not in a too much way. Scaling it down to my proportions, you get a bit of an athletic Dragon with a puffy chest.

    Also, Smaug is worth money since December.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. fallimar

    fallimar Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wah, that's so cool! :D

    Wings... well, again it depends on what you want to do. Since Deathwing is a hexapod you'll probably want to do back wings, not arm wings I'm guessing. Of course there's the easy way, wire core, batting, fabric covering and stretch fabric membranes and then cover with whatever you like for finishing. Pop that on a padded back harness for comfort and weight bearing and you're golden! If you want opening ones, that's trickier but a lot of people have done them, this website sells (or used to, it's an old site!) wing frames which could be modified to suit any costume, really. I'd like a set for myself, particularly the ones that fold back!
     
  12. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    I was thinking of a rather simple mechanism that seems to work for what I want yeah. I dread the simple ones because it often *looks* simple. I just want good looking wings that don't look like weird appendages, so on the back I'll not just have to make a harness, but make the harness look like it has the muscles to support the wings.
     
  13. fallimar

    fallimar Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I know what you mean. Size helps a lot, since even a simple folded wing will look a lot more real if it looks like it's plausibly big enough to fly. ... Plausibly as in fantasy plausible, that is. Do you watch Face Off at all? The makeup effects reality/competition tv show? They had a cool example there, season 8, episode 10 - Super Selfies. The contestants had to do a superhero themed makeup on themselves, and the winner did a really cool set of simple wings for his dragon archer hero. ... ooh, photo! Can't see if they have any of the back, but you can see that they're basically just the method I described with latex and some foam scales, I think, and they're big enough to look like they could function without being cumbersome.
    FaceOff_gallery_810SpotlightChallenge_01.jpg 466884352.jpg
    maxresdefault.jpg yeah, construction photo! :D
     
  14. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    That's amazing, but I want to have pics with the wings spread. I mean...it's DeathWING after all.... ;)

    And infortunately, I never have had syfy.

    just made a sketch quickly and a colour mockup. I just traced my head on top of the paper and sketched along.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. fallimar

    fallimar Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nice work! Yay for getting ideas on paper. I find it helps me, anyway. That said I plan far too much :p


    The nice thing about wire core soft wings is that you can pose them. So long as the wire is strong enough to hold the wings up and the membranes are stretchy (which is why I recommend using thin stretch fabric) you can open them up as much as the wire and membrane shape will allow. I like this configuration myself as I think it better mirrors what a "real" dragon wing would do muscle-wise:

    Dragonwings.jpg

    Even a little poseability and slack in the membranes gives you an impressive wing size, and realistically the further they protrude backwards the more strain it puts on both the structure and your back. The trick is keeping it as light as possible. It's tricky but doable.
     
  16. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    yeah. I'm going to figure that out slowly. I'm thinking of using PVC pipes as a base. They're lightweight and easily bendable if heated properly. I'll discuss it with my courseleader though. (I'm studying Prop design & Special effects, starting this month)
     
  17. fallimar

    fallimar Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Very cool. I've avoided PVC piping as it seems a lot heavier than the stuff I usually use, but I've never actually weighed it to test. Could be good. Good luck with the course too! I'm currently putting together a portfolio to study costume tech at my local arts university too.
     
  18. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    Good luck with that! I hope you make it! :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015
  19. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    Once I get started, I can't stop... so I made a sketch over my body. The chest needs to be puffier, just like the arms. Other than that, it could work. Though in my experience, it starts looking interesting/good/better when you start on it physically.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. stigmorgan

    stigmorgan Sr Member

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    would this help?
    20150902_191851.jpg
     
  21. kialna

    kialna Sr Member

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    Not so certain. The idea is fun of course, though I think working from scratch might be better. If not, I can always try in case other methods don't work. But the carving from foam seems a winner to me so far.
     

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