The Making of Rukario (part 7)

By Rukario on Sun 18 May 2008

Time to start sewing. Went out, bought a sewing machine, found it to be a total waste of time. Back it goes in the box to be returned to the shop. I ended up hand-sewing the seams on the torso part; it seems to fit well. The sleeves are a bit tight, so I’ll have to rethink them. Still actually sewing these was a lot easier than I had anticipated, though I wouldn’t have liked to try that with a sewing machine!

It turns out that I would have been better off using a tank top for the torso, as the grey toroidal shoulder pads ended up well over my shoulder, so I’ve had to take them off and start over. I’ll also need to rethink how the sleeves are done; I worked out using sleeves 450 mm wide, it looks like I’ll need at least 600, especially if I’m going to let the sleeves start further up my shoulder. At least I can use the material that’s been cut for other areas like the ears and tail. The 14 mm pile also conceals any botches in the stitching, so that’s good.

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The Making of Rukario (part 6)

By Rukario on Sat 17 May 2008

Ok, I’ve started cutting the material. I used a basic sleeveless T-shirt for the basis of the Flavine part, though a bit more generously-cut, to compensate for the lack of stretch in the fabric. I’ve also cut strips from the Dark Grey (230 mm wide) for the tori (that should give me shoulder pads about 70 mm diameter), and another for the belt around the waist. I’ve also cut sleeves from the Cobalt fabric.

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The Making of Rukario (part 5)

By Rukario on Fri 16 May 2008

I’ve been considering some design elements, now that I have the fabric and can get to work on it. I’d like to make some progress on the suit over the weekend, hopefully getting the torso done. That should be fairly straightforward, in theory, but it provides some interesting conundrums. The base design is just to make a sleeveless T-shirt out of the Flavine fabric.

The initial issue is that Rukario has a rather narrow torso, while as a result of living on a diet of Guinness and Ulster fries, my girth is somewhat wider. And, this material doesn’t stretch very well. So, if I plan for a circumference of 1200 mm (my chest is about that size), that means two pieces of fabric each 600 mm wide, plus an allowance for the stitch. That can easily fit on a piece of 1500 × 1000 fabric. I would also need to make a generously-sized neck hole, to allow for the widest part of my head to fit through it.

Proving more of a problem is the issue of those toroidal shoulder pads that Rukario has. This will prove very interesting when it comes time to sew it on. I’ll probably have to sew it on by hand, along with the sleeves.

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The Making of Rukario (part 4)

By Rukario on Thu 15 May 2008

The fur and felt from Craft Fabrics arrived today. The Dark Grey is an absolutely gorgeous colour. The Flavine really is a Pikachu yellow, so I need to tone it down. The Cobalt is rather dark, but not tremendously dark; it will be suitable for the lighter bits of the “shiny” Rukario suit (if I decide to do one!), provided I can get a darker blue; I’ve asked Craft Fabrics to see if they can send some swatches with my next order. Out I go to CraftWorld to get a bag of stuffing, fabric glue—and I also picked up a pair of 21 mm amber eyes. I also managed to get some other materials that let me get on with another of my major projects, ie the house move. So that took priority, unfortunately.

I also picked up the camera and glasses yesterday when I was in London. I haven’t tried them yet; the camera turned out to be broken, as one of the wires that held the microphone in place broke. (Let’s see, black wire 7 mm, red wire 13 mm, guess which one broke.) It’s a five-second soldering job to fix. This could also work in my favour, as I want to make the wires to the mic longer anyway.

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The Making of Rukario (part 3)

By Rukario on Mon 12 May 2008

I’ve placed an order for one linear metre each of the three fabrics for the normal Rukario, just to make sure I’m satisfied with the colours, as well as the felt squares. It will be about two weeks for the materials to be delivered. Not a lot I can do until then, except write this page. And this page was indeed written using such wonderful HTML-editing tools as Kate and Notepad. I thought about using blog-editing software such as WordPress, but for what I want for this page, that’s too much like hard work!  Maybe I’ll migrate it to WordPress at a later date.

Maybe I can work on some patterns when I get home. Or, try to find somewhere that will sell me a balaclava, recommended as a base for the head piece. Picture it, living in the balaclava capital of the world! “Hi, I’d like to buy a balaclava please. No wait, I’m not with the *I** or the U**, honest!” On second thought, I’ll try buying one online instead, preferably from a reputable fursuiting supplier. (See here or here.) Still, Whipperleys seems like a good source for the balaclavas.

I’ve also been researching some solutions for vision. One possibility is this camera, probably embedded in the nose, coupled with these glasses.

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The Making of Rukario (part 2)

By Rukario on Sun 11 May 2008

The cones:

These are the cones that stick out from Rukario’s chest and the back of his hands. (I tried to determine whether they were closer to his wrists, but it appears they are closer to the back of his hands.) I assume these are bits of protruding bone.

I was initially going to use polystyrene cones from a craft shop. However, they are way too steep for my liking. If Rukario’s cones were that steep, (a height-to-base ratio of about 2.33) then a backhand slap would have pierced Ash’s throat. Not that the Twerp doesn’t deserve it. It would also have left me with a nine-inch spike sticking out of my chest! However, a rather unscientific measurement of various pictures would suggest a height-to-base ratio closer to 1.5. This simplifies calculations greatly, as can be seen below.

I need to cover only the exposed part of each cone, ie. the lateral surface, in white felt. Now, the net of the lateral surface of a cone is given by the section of a circle with a radius of the cone’s slant height, ie. (r²+h²)½ (where r is the radius of the base of the cone, and h is its height), subtended by an angle of θ = (2πr)/(r²+h²)½.

For a height-to-base ratio of 1.5, ie. h/2r = 1.5, so h = 3r. This gives θ = (2πr)/(r²+(3r)²)½ = (2πr)/(10r²)½ = (2πr)/(r(10)½) = (2π)/(10)½ ≈ 0.632π.

As this is just under (2π)/3, I can make three cones out of one circle, with a π/30 overlap for the seam. And, I just happen to need three cones. How very convenient!

Taking a nine-inch bit of felt, this gives a maximum radius of the circle of 114, ie (r²+h²)½. As (r²+h²)½ = r×10½ and h = 3r, this gives r = 36 and h = 108. This is fine for the chest cone, but for the wrist ones, I want something a bit smaller; one about 45 diameter seems a good size for my hand. This will give r = 22.5 and h = 67.5, requiring a circle of diameter 143.

To actually create the cones, instead of polystyrene pre-fab cones, I decided to laminate a piece of 160 g m-2 card with 2×125 µm film. This gave me the opportunity to print out the nets to cut out.

The cones actually turned out better than I had expected, though probably a bit fragile.  I actually made the cones slightly larger, to give them a “flange” around the base to be attached to the other bit of fabric.

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The Making of Rukario

By Rukario on Thu 8 May 2008

Ok, so Midwest Furfest is at the end of November, that gives me six months to have a suit ready for it. No, I’ll be moving a third of the way around the world in early October, so I need all my stuff packed, palletised, and ready for loading onto a container by the end of September. This gives me only four months. And, to have one made up by a costume maker, it will be at least mid-winter 2009. In the end, I’ve decided to go it alone. Much like Rukario would.

Going online, I’ve found a few resources with some bits of information on how best to go about this. I can’t recall all of the sites I found with a few one-line hints; some are from costume makers, others are from amateur fursuit makers. I’ll try to find them all and compile a list.

So, I managed to get started on the design. And, the more I got into it, the more pleased I was that I didn’t give the job to someone else. Initially, the decision was simply one of expediency. However, I found myself getting deeper into Rukario’s character, and I was increasingly of the feeling that this was far too important for me to let someone else to do it. This is not a matter of making a Rukario suit for someone with my measurements; this a matter of making a Rukario suit for myself.

Fortunately, apart from the extremities (head, hands, feet), the design of the suit appears fairly simple. At its very basic nature (and at the risk of insulting dedicated fursuiters), it is just clothing—from a design perspective only! The completed suit is far, far more than just clothing! But this means I can base the bulk of the design on normal clothing.

Using Craft Fabrics as a supplier of the fur, I’ve settled on using their W160 fur, with these colours:

  • Flavine(Cobalt for shiny) × 1 m for the torso; it may be too bright a yellow, but it isn’t as vivid as, say, a Pikachu yellow. Oh well, a wash in a bit of bleach might be able to tone down the colour if it does turn out to be too bright.
  • Cobalt(Marigold for shiny) × 2-3 m for the blue areas; parts of the head, arms, tail, and thighs; again, this may turn out to be too dark, but the next-lightest option, Baby Blue, is far too light. And, to be honest, not very tough-wolf-jackal looking.
  • Dark grey(China Blue for shiny) × 2-3 m for the remainder; the rest of the head, hands, shoulders, waist, lower legs, and feet. This choice of colour will no doubt prove controversial, as these areas of Rukario’s body are sometimes depicted as brown. However, looking at my DS under good lighting, they are indeed grey.
  • White felt squares to be used to cover the cones, and for the eyes.
  • Flamingo felt for the heel pads. It has that mixture of pink and black that suits the pads of a canine’s paw.

I haven’t yet decided whether to go for a standard, or a shiny, Rukario. Rukario in his normal colouration is the one who holds more meaning for me. But, I adore the blue and gold of the shiny Rukario.

Just a note. I’m going to give various measurements. If I don’t give any units, assume millimetres, and radians for angles.

On that note, this page will probably be filled with a lot of mathematical weirdness. I think I may have missed my calling as a mathematics professor. Still, this is throwing up a load of interesting problems, and few things I like more than interesting, challenging mathematical problems!

I can’t really do anything else until I order the materials, hopefully tomorrow, and they arrive. Oh wait, I can make the cones!

But first, I’d like to thank fellow Rukario for introducing me to fursuiting. This project is making me realise even more just how much Rukario means to me.

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