Tools of the Trade

I thought of starting a Thread where we can post tools that helped or are helping us along this Monster Build journey.


  • For those who don't want to buy a air compressor and/or a power sander- I purchased a Dremel EZ lock system and sanding disks. These can attach onto a Dremel and can be used like a power sander. If you need a bigger sanding disk simply trace a circle on sand paper, cut out the circle with a exacto knife and super glue it onto the existing sanding disk. Taa Daa!
  • Hey, this message is for Wolf mostly- I was using the same evo-stik contact adhesive as you on the upholstery foam, but I found that it shrinks slightly when it dries and leaves the edges wrinkled. I found a generic spray adhesive in B+Q and one called Bostik Fast-Tak (not the repositionable one). Neither are the same as the spray Ted uses, but they stick well and leave a much better finish than the evo-stik.

    Cool thread Tom!
  • Thank you Ciara

  • At wolf's request, my sources online for inexpensive(relative to NFT) fur products <-- NFT, the big boys, if you want custom fur and have a grand to drop on fur, go here <-- a good variety of natural colour furs, they do sample cards for like a dollar or something <--- under faux furs, they have a ton of weird stuff but they have more shiny, longer 'cartoony' furs, bright colours, a few natural tones but they're just like chocolate brown or true black, etc.   <-- an individual runs this site, send her an email asking for a quote and be VERY SPECIFIC on what you're looking for. Her website only shows about 1/50th of what she has in stock. GO HERE FOR NATURAL COLOURED FURS. Tell her gretchen sent you :D (I might get a discount!)   <-- relatively new comers to the faux fur scene, but they have EVERYTHING. A lot of their pictures dont show the true dye lot so you need to know what you're looking for precisely when heading here. Good prices and good selection

    I hope that helps!!! Some of the fur lexicon if you don't know:
    Pile: The length of the actual fur, not including the wispy tips
    Length: Total length of the fur, including tip length
    Underpile: The denser furs that are usually shorter than the length, that make up the base of the fur. Often found in realistic furs.
    Guard hairs: Longer hairs periodically placed throughout a shorter pile of fur. These are usually found on 'wolf' and 'coyote' coloured/styled furs
    Shag: A thick, lush, soft fur, generally only in flat colours and often cartoony.
    Seal: A very dense, very short fur. Think carpeting if it were soft and looked nice.

    Hope this helps!
  • Thanks for the links
  • Awesome thanks Gretchen! I can't find 4-5" fur anywhere- hope I find some using these links.
  • Tom: 4-5 inch is really hard to find because anything beyond 3 inches requires a different manufacturing technique from what I understand. You can get three inch("Fox" furs) realistic colours, but they are generally only available in a basic colour run of white, black, 'fox' red(out of public manufacture.. a few people in my circle buy them by the bolt and I will post somehere you can buy it once I find out who still carries it), and 'palomino' kind of a yellow-tan. These are all available from crscrafts in the bear supply fabric section.

    4-5 you'll have to specially order, but if you're doing it because you want something to look ultra shaggy, you can simply turn the fur upside-down so gravity makes it stand against the grain. You'll need to hit it with a brush before wearing it out so it doesnt look too weird but it will make it look ULTRA poofy.. I used this technique on this 5" fur from NFT: and it makes it look almost 8 inches long. Hope that helps!
  • Hey Gretchen, thanks for the info. I've a question for you and anyone else with an opinion:

    I went looking for fake fur in a fabric shop today and it's just waaay too expensive for me right now- but this clothes shop were selling these onesies for €14. I bought a large, it's giant. 
    I was thinking I'll only use it on areas like the chest and belly, but what's your opinion on using it on the rest of the body and head? I'm worried it might look a bit stupid- like a lamb. It's a super cheap and flimsy polyester.

    I might be able, fingers crossed, to get one or 2 raw sheep fleeces, it'd be awesome but pretty crazy.
  • Tom StewartTom Stewart ✭✭✭
    edited September 2013
    Hey Ciara,
    That would be fine, but would certainly give you a different look than using fur in those areas. I made a "Where the Wild Things Are" Max costume out of that stuff and remembered it was super Hot- not that Faux Fur or anything else you put on the character will also be just as hot; but I just remember immediately sweating when I put it on LOL
    Have you tried an alternative such as carpeting. Sounds crazy but Walmart sells a faux fur carpet that is essentially fur with a separate (anti-slip) backing that can be ripped off and you basically have a 3" fur for $12. I don't know if you have Walmart there- I heard you have a ASDA and that is owned by Walmart so you could check there- price might be totally different though.
    If you are really strapped I could look at how much it is to ship to you and buy fur here and ship it to you...although it is probably the same in price but I could check for you. Let me know, the Fabricland here in Hamilton sells 2" white fur for $25 a meter but I get it discounted because I'm a frequent flyer LOL 
  • Wicked mask BTW Gretchen! 

  • Thanks Tom, great idea about the rug/ carpet. We don't have asda or walmart here, but the place I bought the onesie is similar (Penneys, aka Primark). I checked online, they have some cheap faux fur rugs and bed throws which might do the trick. Another place have a cheap faux flokati rug which looks pretty good.
    The fur over your way sounds a bit cheaper than what I was looking at, but even at that it's out of my range- I just can't spend any more money on this. The guy with the raw fleece said he'd give me a few for free, but I got no car so I can't reach his farm- it's only 20 miles away. The flokati rug is probably the answer. Thanks for your help :)
  • The faux rugs work but I find they have a thicker fabric (with no stretch) and sewing it sometimes becomes a little tough. Something I do when I am machine sewing fur is I cut the fur back from the seam line about 2cm and when you sew you'll want to have a clay sculpting tool to push all the fur in as you push it through the sewing machine- this will ensure that the fur doesn't tangle up your machine and also prevent fur being in the stitch so when it comes time for you to pick the seam you'll have less fur trapped in the stitch to pull. Hope this helps.
  • Ah thanks, I was gonna ask about that.
  • I think someone asked about this link- thought I'd put it up just in case.

  • Ciara whats your budget look like? You can possibly buy a bag of scraps from some local costumers and dye them. Scrap bags go for super super cheap.
  • Got a Costco? They have a sheepskin cover for cheap.
  • At Peter's request. The two types of digilegs.
  • That's great. Thanks Justin.
  • Well I couldn't find any cheap faux fur around here, but...
  • Is that the sheep skin? It looks fantastic but how heavy is it? I love the bottom right colour.
  • Justin, I love those leg extensions. Fantastic. You might want to double up your bungee... just as a back up. You'd hate to have one snap and loose your support while wearing it.
  • Ciara, the sheep skins are great. I think they'll work really well with your character.
  • Ted, Justin is using the leg brace version. He was just showing me his old stuff too :)
  • Very cool stuff no matter what. Just hate to see anyone get hurt making monsters :)

  • The leg brace on the angle is a super great idea. Is that similar to what you guys do in the industry for dog leg? I think I saw one that went all the up to the thigh.
  • I've seen some absolutly incredible stilts like that. Check out some of the behind the scenes for "The Wolf Man", "Underworld" and I know they made some fantastic ones for The Matthew Broderick "Godzilla" film.
  • I don't know if this counts as tools of the trade for anyone else, but I almost always have to have background noise/bad movies on for inspiration, and someone politely uploaded nearly every MST3K episode to youtube:

    Cheesy movies, all practical effects(Not necissarily good ones but groundbreaking for the 50s is still kind of inspiring for me XD)
  • Even IF someone gets hurts making monsters, remember, there's no crying in fabrication.
  • I cried yesterday. Can I still go through with my costume?
  • Make sure your foaming agent is like shaving cream before running your foam latex. I had a liquidy foam agent on my first few batches that was from a brand new bottle and it laid really flat. Should have known. I had older foam agent that was still frothy so I'm hoping it will work better.
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