Realistic scales for suit


New Member
Hello everyone! As the title states I am looking into making a realistic suit with scales. I am part of the furry fandom and for as long as I can remember there has never been a suit with realistic looking scales, at least none that i know of. So I wanted to bounce some ideas off of the people here for suggestions, input, and opinions about some concepts that i currently have.

The current idea that i have in mind is an injection mold based system. Essentially a mold would be made of the scale and have a high strength plastic injected into it. Once the plastic hardens it could be removed and riveted into place onto a sturdy fabric. The fabric could be pre-cut to specifications and made into the various suit pieces.

This method might work but borders on being tedious. But if does work there is nothing to say that mass production couldn't be done to rivet the scales into place on large sheets.

This is my current concept albeit it's still in its infancy state considering that it hasn't even been tested yet. But i would like anyone to please give me their thoughts on the subject or even better suggestions if possible!
When I first read this, I thought of scale armor.

OK, I see it is reptilian scales. Most scales that I have seen are painted on , but I think that you want them to move in a life-like fashion? Rather than injestion molding, what about vacu-forming sheets of scales that are cut into strips and appllied to a mesh base? It would be similar to scale armor. go to you tube for an example
If you haven't heard of it already: Worbla. It's a thermoplastic which comes in sheets, able to be cut with scissors (I prefer to cut it with metal shears), and made flexible with a heat gun. You could use a template to cut out a bunch of scales and custom shape them all to fit. Worbla also adheres to itself very well.

Here's a thread showing some of the stuff you can make with it, including some scale-like shapes.
You could just use thin plastic sheets. Cut the parts out , heat them, and add a slight vertical fold to the scales.
Then stitch, or glue them to a suit?

Seems like a lot of work to me. I made a Lizardman costume from the game Soul Calibur III, and I just burned my scales into my foam costume. Airbrushed each scale with a gradient that went dark to light.,from top to bottom. That added a shingled look. Then and added a gloss coat.

Maybe it isn't the method of the scales, just the amount of time put into them? Godzilla's Kaiju costume was just chunks of foam, and they look like scales to me.
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I think Proto's plastic sheet idea sounds the most practical (I think I'm going to end up doing something similar for a completely different costume). Worbla would make good scales, but if you needed a lot of them it would get expensive fast (and worbla will melt if you leave it in a hot car, so....keep that in mind).

I have seen people make surprisingly realistic scales just by cutting V-s out of leather or doing something like this with craft foam and painting strategically - it'd be time-consuming, but probably not more so than molding them all.
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