Author Topic: Hockey Helmet vs. Balaclava  (Read 1609 times)

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Offline Redsword

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Hockey Helmet vs. Balaclava
« on: April 29, 2014, 06:48:55 pm »
I am working on a rat fur suit that will be worn on stage. Many different people will wear it over the course of the show.

In the past I've built a fur suit dog with a hockey helmet as the base of the head with carved foam rubber for the head.

I've been reading a lot and hear good things about the balaclava construction for heads.

Here's is the background and requirements.

1) I want a sturdy head that can stand up to professional use and demands of various wearers and a traveling show.

2) It will only be worn on stage for 15-25 min. per show. So, comfort and weight are always important but this is not going to be worn outdoors, all day long, nor in a physically demanding role.

3) It will need to fit males and females of very different sizes. As we are on the road the person in the costume may change at every venue.

4) Great looks is the most important element (over ease of construction, cost, or comfort).

5) I do not need an articulated jaw. The person wearing the costume will not need to talk or simulate talking. Articulated jaw is okay but not required.

6) The whole character is for stage and will be built to look "larger than life" meaning the head will be large and cartoonish rather than in proportion to an anthropomorphic rat body.


Here is my question. Given the above guidelines, how would you choose to construct the head; a helmet base, balaclava, or something else (and if so what else)?


Also, I'm interested in any advice or tips that I'm too dumb to even know to ask about.


Thank you in advance. I am so glad to be a part of this wonderful online community.

Offline Kobuk

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Re: Hockey Helmet vs. Balaclava
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2014, 10:51:46 pm »
My answers to your questions are in green.

I am working on a rat fur suit that will be worn on stage. Many different people will wear it over the course of the show.

In the past I've built a fur suit dog with a hockey helmet as the base of the head with carved foam rubber for the head.

I've been reading a lot and hear good things about the balaclava construction for heads.

Here's is the background and requirements.

1) I want a sturdy head that can stand up to professional use and demands of various wearers and a traveling show.

^ If it's something sturdy & durable you want, then go with the helmet.

2) It will only be worn on stage for 15-25 min. per show. So, comfort and weight are always important but this is not going to be worn outdoors, all day long, nor in a physically demanding role.

^ A balaclava will be a lot more comfortable and especially weigh less.

3) It will need to fit males and females of very different sizes. As we are on the road the person in the costume may change at every venue.

^ Hmmm. Tough call on this one. But I'd probably opt for the balaclava instead. ;)

4) Great looks is the most important element (over ease of construction, cost, or comfort).

5) I do not need an articulated jaw. The person wearing the costume will not need to talk or simulate talking. Articulated jaw is okay but not required.

^ Just my .02 cents, but I'd prefer a balaclava rather than a helmet for an articulated jaw.

6) The whole character is for stage and will be built to look "larger than life" meaning the head will be large and cartoonish rather than in proportion to an anthropomorphic rat body.

^ Maybe go with the helmet since the helmet is a "big & bulky" item anyway. Once you add foam and fur, then it will be even more big and bulky.

Here is my question. Given the above guidelines, how would you choose to construct the head; a helmet base, balaclava, or something else (and if so what else)?


Also, I'm interested in any advice or tips that I'm too dumb to even know to ask about.


Thank you in advance. I am so glad to be a part of this wonderful online community.

And........lots of good tutorials here. ;)
http://www.matrices.net/fursuiting.asp
Click link below for more fursuit information. ;)
http://forums.furtopia.org/kobuk's-fursuit-guides/

Offline Redsword

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Re: Hockey Helmet vs. Balaclava
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2014, 01:13:05 pm »
And........lots of good tutorials here. ;)
http://www.matrices.net/fursuiting.asp


Thank you for your ideas they are exactly what I was looking for.

The link is also VERY helpful.


Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

Offline Alsek

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Re: Hockey Helmet vs. Balaclava
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2014, 08:53:20 pm »
It may depend on the proportions you want... It's going to be very difficult to make a fursuit head based on a hocket helmet that isn't oversized.  Most heads are either made almost entirely out of foam,  are based on a balaclava,  or use a plastic mesh to build a frame to work on.  The idea of using a helmet to make a fursuit head is a common one,  but I can't say I've heard of any success stories.  (This doesn't mean there aren't any.)

Kobuk's link to matrices is probably the best possible.  ^_^


This link explains to pros and cons of several different construction methods:

http://www.matrices.net/balaclava.asp


Also,  Welcome to the forums!

You should consider making an introduction post here:  http://forums.furtopia.org/furry-greetings/

It's a good way to say hello and meet new folks.  ^_^


Offline Redsword

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Re: Hockey Helmet vs. Balaclava
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2014, 04:14:43 pm »
Thank you Alsek. That is a great link.

This forum is so helpful. I'd hate to try to tackle this project without it.