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Making a Fox Head

In Summer 2002, I decided to have an experiment.  A friend of mine had constructed a wolf head based on a latex cast, and I wanted to see what would happen if we used the same base, covered it orange and white fur, and passed it off as a fox.  This somewhat strange task did have a motive behind it - I was due to attend Anthrocon 2002, and, having a likely allergy to fake fur, had been unable, for the second year running, to complete a wolf fursuit.  Borrowing my friend's Darkstone Realms foxsuit was a possibility, but the sheer growth in popularity of their fursuits over the year would have made me one of many.  So the idea was to create quickly a unique head to fit with the existing body.

Working from the same base as the wolf with only a few minor modifications, the fox head was furred over, dyed and finished in a period of two weeks, with the added help of Sandroo, creator of the original latex mask.  Photographs of the final fursuit can be found here.

The images shown below all point to the full-sized pictures.

The fox head started out life as a latex shell originally modelled for becoming that of a wolf.  To make the appearance slightly more vulpine, two cheek-ruffs were carved out of foam, and glued to either side of the head, here mounted on a bust.  The result was then furred over.
Because we couldn't find fur to match the original Darkstone foxsuit, we ended up using white fur throughout, in three lengths - short for the top of muzzle and ears, long for the cheeks and down the front to the chest, and medium everywhere else.  After a trimming session to beld the different fur lengths together, it was then dyed appropriately, using acrylic paint - being careful to brush the fur thoroughly while it dries to prevent matting.

Here is the head from the side, with one base coat of brown dye added.

So as the head would be easy to get into, while not leaving masses of loose fur around the neck, the back of the neck is split up the middle, and an overlapping join made out of velcro - a little brushing from a friend on putting on the head and the join becomes almost invisible.
A close up of the muzzle, which shows where the first coat of brown dye hasn't fully taken.  Another application of it removes the problem.

The easiest way we found to apply the dye was to take an old toothbrush and use that to rub the colour in, making sure it reached the roots of the fur - that way, you wouldn't be able to tell it started out white.

A close up photo of one of the ears.  Later, we put some fur inside them to hide the latex, just as would be found in a real fox.
The muzzle, front on.  The lips and nose are made black by using a mixture of latex, black acrylic, and water (yes, latex and water do mix), and sponging it on in several coats.
Detail was added to the muzzle - a little black airbrush paint applied with the fingers, followed by some whiskers.  These are made from the bristles of a dustpan, threaded through the latex with a needle and glued in place on the other side.
The finished fox head.  Here you can see the black detail around the eyes, and the beige fur inside the ears.  All of the white fur has also been 'dirtied' a bit with a very weak solution of dye, so as to better match the off-white fur colour of the original fursuit's chest.


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