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Wolf costumes

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  • Curtis Kidd
    ... ... Years ago, when my college did Into the Woods, the wolf costume arrived without a head. I had to make one. I used a face cast of the actor,
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 21, 2004
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      > From: "Carl" <cyberborg4000@...>
      > Subject: Need Help with Wolf Costume sections for a
      > Convention that I like to go to
      >
      >
      >
      > Hi everyone I need to make a Partial Wolf Costume.
      <SNIP>
      > However I do want to have a
      > Wolf Head that atleast passes on looks for a Wolf Head
      > with somewhat of a snout , ears (wide apart enough for
      > the Top Hat) , and a mouth with some kind of teeth in the
      > jaws that would have atleast partial movement to be able
      > to talk and eat & drink if possible.

      Years ago, when my college did Into the Woods, the wolf
      costume arrived without a head. I had to make one. I used
      a face cast of the actor, built up a wolf face over it in
      modelling clay, and then used fiberglass matting and resin
      to make a shell. Coated everything with latex to prevent
      chafing, attached straps, covered the outside with
      appropriately colored fur, trimmed it down very short over
      the muzzle and around the eyes. The teeth were made from
      Sculpey and glued into the mask...if I was doing it over
      again, I'd find a better method of attaching them, although
      they did last a good long time (well through the run of the
      show).

      I made the lower jaw a separate piece and glued it to the
      actor like a regular prosthethic. I then used some extra
      fur to cover the seam between the two...in that way, the
      lower jaw moved as the actor spoke or sang (the sound
      designer also hid the actor's mic inside the lower jaw).
      Then we used another couple of pieces to make a coif to
      match, complete with ears (just a couple of triangles of
      fun sewn back to back and stitched to the top of the
      coif...one triangle was trimmed so the fur was slmost
      completely gone to make them look like the inside of the
      ear...that's another one I'd probably do differently if I
      was doing it over again.)

      I liked the results so much that I made one for myself, and
      used it for several years for haunted house work. I think
      it's still kicking around here somewhere (the strap came
      loose in my old apartment, so I couldn't hang it on the
      wall, and I've just never gotten around to fixing it). If
      you're interested, I'll see if I can find it and get a
      picture.

      > Then Glove type Hands covered with Fur that could have
      > (small) claws , but I would need to be able to picj up
      > and use things. Like Drinking Glass or a Throw Away
      > Camera and things like that.

      I've had my best luck doing such things using batting
      gloves or golf gloves (batting gloves are cheaper, golf
      gloves are available year-round in this area--remarkable,
      considering the amount of snow and ice that typically gets
      built up on a golf course in these parts. Batting gloves
      are also typically available in black...golf gloves are
      usually white). I used a pair of these to make hands for
      the Mummy in our Halloween shows, and he loved it...they
      are light-weight, so it's easy to stitch material onto it,
      and you have excellent sensitivity for grasping items (the
      sound guys were very insistent that he not be dropping his
      mic).

      > Is there any way that this could be done with (real) WolF
      > or Coyote Fur and how Large or Long do the Tails for
      > these animals get. Do they reach say 26 to 30 inches in
      > length and get Really Bushy.

      As far as real fur, I'd say it's highly impractical. First
      off, you have to find someone who sells it (considering
      wolves are an endangered species, I'd be suspicious of the
      source if you do happen to find that). Also, based on my
      experience with costume conventions and the like, there's a
      very good chance that using real fur could upset some of
      the people attending. I won't go into the possible
      problems of real fur triggering allergies in people around
      you. And if it's real fur, and you happen to get anything
      on it (where you're talking about picking up a drinking
      glass or eating in the mask, that's a definite
      possibility), it will cost you a small fortune to get it
      cleaned (leather cleaners are not cheap...and if you want
      them to actually be careful with your stuff, that can
      become another problem altogether).

      Besides, the fur that would be available on a pelt would
      have the wrong texture for the parts of the body you're
      trying to do...faces and paws are covered with short, stiff
      hairs, not the long fur that would be on the pelt.

      A little patience and some paint can create a very
      effective fake fur (I made a fake wolf pelt for a costume I
      did a couple of years ago, people thought it was a very
      good addition to the costume).

      How soon do you need this costume finished? If it's not
      too soon, I would be willing to do some of the work for
      you. Let me know...I never got really good portfolio pics
      of the Into the Woods mask, so an opportunity to try it
      again is intriguing.

      =====
      Curtis Kidd
      "Remember, the light at the end of the tunnel could be you!"

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      "One World, One Web, One Program" - Microsoft promo ad
      "Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer" - Adolf Hitler
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