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He'tah the Cheetah

 

16/6/99- Bought "Honey Mink" from Spotlight.. 4.5metres!
30/6/99- JW2 sacrificed to be part of the head.
02/7/99- Carved muzzle + foreface out of foam.. Looks great!
04/7/99- Bought 1 more metre of "Honey Mink".. all the fur I need!
05/7/99- "Jaw tracker" completed.. just a fabric chinstrap!
09/7/99- Foamed jaw-tracker.
09/8/99- Furred back of head, extended muzzle.
10/8/99- Adjusting muzzle length to accomodate teeth.
13/8/99- Final trimming of foam before adding teeth, tongue, and fur.
16/8/99- Shaping of teeth done.
17/8/99- More furring! Forehead and eyes of head furred.
04/9/99- Sewn paws, finished nose, finished jaw.
13/9/99- Bodysuit completed. Paws sewn.
14/9/99- Claws and pawpads added.
17/9/99- Adjusting of fit.
18/9/99- Spotting.
19/9/99- Spotting.
20/9/99- Spotting and finishing up.
 

He'tah was my second costume, an attempt at something a little more realistic and a lot more form-fitting than JW before. In somewhat of a contradiction however the bodysuit (which was made by a friend since I can't really sew) was made to have a bit of padding worn beneath it, to make my ribs and 'haunches' a little more prominent.. and therefore not nearly as form-fitting as it could have been.

The head, however, was an extremely snug fit. After lessons learned through making the wolf, this time around I used a combination of thin foam (for shaping) and plastic meshing (for what little structure there was). Jamie Wolf 2's base structure was sacrificed as it was easily the closest-fitting one I'd made so far. The foam shaping for the muzzle was added, along with a fabric chinstrap for the jaw, and other things. Mesh + foam ears, epoxy-putty teeth

He'tah never saw a great deal of use, mostly for a lack of events to attend, but also because over the space of a few weeks or months, the spots began to smudge and stain the fur. Let that be a lesson to people making their own costumes - if you have a new, experimental idea, then *experiment* first on something which isn't the costume you're working on. A scrap of fur, whatever.

Still, the head's in reasonably good condition still, as the spots haven't smudged. It still contains a great many flaws and less-than-stellar constructs, but it was a good learning experience and I'm convinced that, if I ever have the time and money to make another costume (yeah right), it'll be better still.

 

And now, a handful of photos of the anchored claws made for the costume.

These are milliput claws. Combined, each 'hand' of claws weighs around 100 grams, maybe 200. In hindsight, they're really not that great. Easily better than JW's glued-on claws (which were usually left removed because of how annoying they were), and kinda-workable, but they didn't make for the best of comfort due to how inaccurately the finger mounts were made.

Head construction: A plastic-meshing upper, with thin lightweight foam for shaping and the lower half of the head. Jaw actuated by a fabric chinstrap with foam and fur glued to it. Eyes made using latex and cotton to take a 'mould' of my skull's eye-sockets.. My own eyes act as the cheetah's, with the prosthetics to smooth out the transition. Foam ears.