Nightcrawler

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lowsee

New Member
So... A friend told me his favorite X-Man was Nightcrawler. It got me thinking about how one would go about building such a costume, because the guy has a lot of animalistic qualities about him that aren't human.

Another friend, who goes by Oonacat on Facebook, built these unicorn and demon hooves by removing the heel of very high heel boots. I thought the same could go for Kurt's feet to give that elongated look.

Yet another friend, who goes by Fitz Caliston on Facebook (or Caliston Armory), does a lot of builds using EVA foam. Looking at some of his work, I figured I could sculpt the toes out of foam.

Another friend, Eric Hall, used three-fingered cycling gloves for his movie version of Kurt. I figured I had enough mental pieces to begin my build.

I bought 4.5" Pleaser boots in size 14 women's (he's size 12 men's) and removed the heel. I had done so in the past for my (still unfinished) Hathaway Catwoman.

As I was sculpting toes (though I may skip the dewclaw), when it occurred to me that I had no plan for a tail. One that just hangs there is okay, but boring. I found a video on YouTube by a guy going by William Jakespeare called "DIY Cat Tail." This seemed like what I wanted, except that the rope glued to the top and the size of the pool noodle used would make for a very poor Nightcrawler tail... the one in the comics being much thinner. I Googled fruitlessly for thin pool noodles, finally trying such terms as "foam" and "tube".... and I found it. The perfect, elegant solution.... Rubber foam pipe insulation.

Apparently, I can't attach photos from my phone, so I'm going to email them to myself and continue this thread in a moment.

EDIT: We're doing the Age of Apocalypse Nightcrawler.
Nightcrawler1.jpg
 
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lowsee

New Member
So, here's the guy I'm building this for, wearing the boots I bought. (And my dog, River Song.) We had to be sure they'd fit. They seem to. Also, an interesting thing is when he walks around in the boots without the heels, it almost automatically gives him Kurt's hunched-over gait.

izzi-boots.jpg
 
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lowsee

New Member
Blargh, sorry for the double post there. Anyone tell me if I can remove a reply?

Anyway, moving on. I sketched out ideas on attaching the toes, once finished, to the boots. Sorry that they're a tiny bit fuzzy. My hands naturally shake a bit (inherited from my grandmother, yay). I think some tacks and dowels ought to help keep them in place. Hopefully. (This was done while I was considering making the feet sans boots. I'll be covering them in white vinyl, so they won't have toenails as shown here.)
0 (1).jpg0.jpg

I made a pattern first....
0 (2).jpg

Then cut blocks out of thick scrap foam I got from Fitz. Here's the toes starting to be sculpted. Dremels are awesome, let me just say. Also, Lois (my cat) is uber curious about it whenever I use it. Clark, her brother, just runs away....
sculpting-toes.jpg
 

lowsee

New Member
The nice thing about the foam rubber is that it's a tiny bit more sturdy than your typical foam used for pool noodles. So I also decided to go with something else more sturdy than straws, as called for in his video. Vinyl 1/4" tubing.
tail-materials.jpg

Also, I didn't want it to be 1.75 inches from the top to the bottom. I wanted it to taper. So marking the bottom at pi (3.14"), I drew a line and then cut that off. Then I applied a glue specific to plastics and rubbers along the freshly cut edge in order to bond better with the "self sealing" sticky stuff on the remaining edge. I applied it with an epoxy brush that came with some flux I bought (for an entirely different project).
tail-glue.jpg tail-brush.jpg

Then came the cutting. At first I was going to make the smaller bits longer, because if you look at the bone structure of animals, it looks like those smaller pieces are longer than the base pieces.... but in the end, I decided that was probably because they looked thinner. Sure enough, when all cut out, those thinner pieces look longer than the thick pieces, even though they're all 2".
tail-cut.jpg tail-size.jpg

Also, as I mentioned, I didn't want that line that gluing the rope on top would create, so I decided to run the vinyl tubing THROUGH the top of each piece to get the stability needed. In order to do this, I punched 3 holes in each piece, two on the sides, one on the top. I used an awl first as a guide hole then used a slender mechanical pencil to enlarge the holes. The awl helped because these are much thinner than the pool noodles, and I kept rupturing the side walls with just the pencil. I still broke through a few places, but I'm hoping a bit more glue will correct that.
tail-awl.jpg tail-pencil-front.jpg tail-holes.jpg

tail-pencil.jpg
 
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lowsee

New Member
I also needed the arrow-shaped bit of the tail. I did this out of regular EVA foam floor mats. Then I used a Dremel to contour the pieces and a bit of copper electrical grounding wire so I can shape it.
tail-tip1.jpgtail-tip2.jpg

I cut the tubing to the length of the tail, because I actually intend to hold it together using tiger wire (used for beading/jewelry).
tail-assembled.jpg

So, that's as far as I've gotten now. Tomorrow's adventure, bringing in skills from jewelry making.
 
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JaySee1983

Member
I'm interested to see this but your attachments for the last two posts aren't coming through. When I click on it...it says the links are invalid.
 

lowsee

New Member
Yay... I thought there was something funny going on with the pictures. I think I've fixed it now.
 

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