Predator Skin Tutorial

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Elder one

New Member
Hello everyone - I have received a few queries lately on how I put together the Seahunter skins. In no way am I claiming this is the best, easiest, or preferred method, but simply how "I" do it. I have used this method to build 6 suits so far and I can say, I have yet to have any failures. The last couple of weeks, I have been putting together a skin for Bovine to use for his Samurai suit. I shipped it off to him this week and we should see some progress from him early next week hopefully. The pictures I'm going to share are the progress pictures for that skin. For the next few days I will post detailed pictures with the explanation of what your seeing from start to finish. I am going to post a few steps - then pause and allow for questions. Then when it's completed, I'd ask the moderators (*cough - Bovine - Cough*) if he could clean up the posts to remove the random discussions for future references. I'll talk to you Scott about what I mean.

So lets get started shall we??

First things first - this is a Seahunter skin fresh out of the mold. As you can see it is a two part skin (upper and lower torso) There is no zipper in the back, so at this point you would have to put this on over your head like a shirt to wear.

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When we are done - we will have a skin that the upper and lower pieces are connected, with a zipper added to the back for ease of wear. The final product will look like this. Well - - - sorta....

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Tomorrow night - - the ZIPPER !!!

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Bovine13

New Member
Got it today and I must say that the skin is so awesome...we had a moment. It was beautiful and felt so natural. What I mean is it went on my duct tape dummy...you sickos.

The skin is phenomenal EO. Nice clean, great detail, perfect thickness, the latex is great, and the zipper would survive the apocalypse.

Well the skin, cockroaches, and Kieth Richards would survive.
 

Elder one

New Member
OK folks here we go with the zipper. I have found sewing directly to the latex causes problems down the road. again, this is not to say there is not a process out there that works -but just my experience. When you sew into the latex, your basically perforating the edge and making the latex weak. So - I do the following:

First - I typically use a 20-22" zipper. These are inexpensive and can be bought at any WalMart, hobby, or fabric store. No more than $3-4. Then I take a piece of sturdy material, preferably something dark to match the final paint scheme of the final suit. Preferably something that an adhesive or latex can permeate... or "soak in too". You want a piece of material that will allow for at least 3" on each side once the zipper is sewn into place. To make things easier, do NOT cut the material in pieces just yet. Go ahead and sew the zipper in. You will have a zipper that doesn't unzip yet. more to follow on this later.

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Now I'm going to touch two issues at once. If your a bigger guy like me and a few others on here *cough Bovine Cough*... you need a little more room in the mid section.... For that I actually pour a center portion of the back skin as shown here to be added to the skin itself. This gives us wide-bodies a little more room to breath. This also shows the flexibility in these skins to be used for such a wide size differences in wearers.
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This piece is 8- 10" wide. This skin happens to need the addition - However, if your not adding you can follow these steps directly to the back of the original skin.


As you can see here - I cut the extra piece down the back similar to what you would do with your original skin. As we get down the process a bit, you will see how we attach THIS piece if it's added.
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Next - I like to use super glue or quick dry adhesive to position my cloth/zipper piece where I want it to be on the skin. I recommend trying to keep the latex edges as close as possible for a nice clean seam in the back. REMEMBER - we still have NOT cut the material away from the actual zipper.

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Now we have the zipper placed in the skin or added material temporarily being held by a few drops of glue. We'll work on making this attachment permanent on the next post.

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Elder one

New Member
This post we are going to start making our zipper install a permanent one. The materials that can be used here can vary, but I use the latex the skin is actually poured with. I prefer the RL-461 latex from SilPak. I have found for skins, and attaching items the flexibility and durability is incredible.
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So here we go with the next steps.
If you turn your skin inside out, or the addition piece over, you will see all that 2-3" of material on each side of the zipper. THIS is what I use to make the attachment permanent. Remember we glued the material in a few spots? Now we're going to fold back that extra material and start brushing on the latex directly to the material. If the direction or photo are not clear enough, just ask I'll try to explain more clearly, or add some photos.

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Brush a good layer on the material then let the fold lay back down and brush on the other side. The final look is this.

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I try to let the latex dry over night for each of these steps. Allowing the latex that has soaked into the material is important. Once dry, they are basically one piece.

These pictures also show how we have NOT cut out the zipper just yet.... Don't worry soon....

Once completely dry - you either have a zipper installed into your upper skin... or you have a piece you can add to your skin to enlarge it.
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NOW - - you get to cut out the zipper area !!!!!!

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POOF - - one installed zipper.
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The next couple of days we're going to cover installing this added piece for the wide-bodies, and connecting the upper and lower skins for a final product. I hope this is helpful for those that want to go out on a limb and give this a shot.

Enjoy,
Elder-One
(Dave)

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VaderDave

New Member
Excellent tip, Dave! :)

This method would also work for any other place that a zipper may be needed..ie...backs of feet, etc...
 

ugossj4

New Member
excellet method, personally i have bought a mr.fantastic suit, and i covered it with liquid latex...
 

ancientpredator

New Member
Thanks Elder-one, I know what you mean bigger guys. I think I reach easily 7 feet when I'm in my pred suit. OK the boots are one of the reasons.
 

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hez1

New Member
I'm interested to see more of this now I have my own skin to work on...any chance of updates?
 

WTF are you

New Member
Will be using this as my mr i suit for my first skin is a little tight in places even though its an XL and needs adjustment.

Thanks for the tips.
 

midland hunter

New Member
Brilliant idea i had the same trouble with my mr I suit it was too small so i just left it half done now ill be cutting it in half and useing this method thanx for sharing :)
 

4505marcel

Active Member
Any chance of seeing how the extended piece then attaches into the main suit, looking at my new skin I need to extend by 4" at the bottom to nothing at the top, triangular piece needed if you like.
 

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VaderDave

New Member
The next couple of days we're going to cover installing this added piece for the wide-bodies, and connecting the upper and lower skins for a final product. I hope this is helpful for those that want to go out on a limb and give this a shot.

Enjoy,
Elder-One
(Dave)

Hey Dave,

Did you ever finish this? Would really like to see the fitting and connecting techniques you use...
 

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