Gryphon body building
|Looks kind of like bunny legs to me...
I wanted to make the legs appear as if the Gryphon was balancing on the rear paws. To achieve this effect, but allowing me to keep both feet planted on the ground, I added foam "extensions" starting just above the ankle. Foam was also used to make a knee bump, although it is still open in this section to allow my leg to flex into the opening some.
As with all of my foam costumes, a spandex or cheap knit liner was made to glue the foam onto. This also creates a smooth inner surface to make it easier to get into and out of. (Liner seams face out, and they get covered with foam anyway.)
|Arms are created similar to the legs. Start with a liner
with "quickie" gloves attached; glue foam muscle shapes directly to the
liner. Note that there are only three fingers and a thumb. My two small
fingers go into the outermost claw.
Claws for the hands and feet are cast epoxy resin, blackened with powdered charcoal. A model is made using an oil-based clay; two part "RTV" (Room Temperature Vulcanizing) mold compound is poured into a box with the model. Once set, the mold is cut open to remove the model and allow removal of the finished claws after casting.
Two claw models were used, a long thin talon claw for the hands and a thick flat lion claw for the feet.
|The talon claws were too weak to even handle the stress of
flexing the mold during removal. After the first breakage, I cast the rest
with shredded fiberglass threads mixed in the epoxy and longer ones pushed
down into the mold after pouring.
A spring is suspended part way into the claw once the epoxy is poured. The spring can be hot glued directly to the foam or into a short piece of tubing to provide more surface area. I used some stiff PVC
|After attaching the claws, the arms are ready for covering.
To achieve the ridge effect, pieces of 1/2" thick foam are cut to the shape
and size needed, then covered with the spandex fabric.
All of the pieces are stitched all around using a curved needle and nylon upholstery thread (when I can find it in a compatible color.)
Because I will be wearing a cooling vest with this costume, the vest is placed over the dress form for fitting the lined-foam upper body. The chest is firm packing foam built up into a deep "breast" that also provides a place to hold a nylon camel-pack canteen. The mouth of the canteen is large enough to drop ice in and it has a bite-down drinking tube that I poke up through near the neck.
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