Welcome back, everyone, time to continue my explanation for the creation of the feet for my Foxy the Pirate cosplay from Five Nights at Freddy’s. Now we’ll finally get to start discussing the details. The main “body” of the foot, so to speak, is complete, but how do I make it look like old, beaten up metal? Well, I didn’t think painting my upholstery foam was a very good idea, so I decided to go with a tried and true favorite of mine, craft foam.
When I originally bought this stuff for Ghirahim, I got a bunch of sheets of multiple colors. I’m nearly out of white foam, which is the best for painting, so I had to use colorful foam for the sides of my Foxy feet (it may take more coats of paint to cover this, but I didn’t have much choice at this point). So I first cut out pieces of foam to cover every single side of the feet, and with a shape like this, there are a lot of sides. With the narrow places, like between the toes and the notches around the toes, I cut out some little strips of tag board (it’s basically thicker paper) which I had left over from my Ghirahim costume, as well (I originally used this for the mold of his resin jewelry). It’s not the best option out there, but since it’s thin, I thought it would be best for these narrow parts of the foot, as the craft foam was too thick and would have ended up closing up the narrow bits.
Gluing on the craft foam with my spray glue (I thought it would be major overkill to use that kind of glue for the tag board, so I waited on that part of the foot for now) was a nightmare. I thought I could glue a bunch of sides at once and stick the craft foam on one piece at a time, but this was not the case. Instead, this took me far longer because I had to hold each piece on the foot for several minutes until it stick. Otherwise, it just peels right off without any provocation, almost as if the spray glue was pushing my craft foam away. It was very frustrating, needless to say, so if you can, recruit some friends to hold this foam for you, because this process is very time consuming.
As bad as that was, however, gluing on the tag board was even worse. Now, like I said, I really didn’t think heavy duty spray glue was right for what is essentially just thick paper. Nevertheless, I couldn’t find any other glues suitable for upholstery foam. Some people use hot glue, while others say you shouldn’t because it will burn the foam. I also read that certain kinds of super glue will dissolve the foam and release fumes. I read this about Loctite glue, but I couldn’t find out one way or the other when it comes to the other brands. Nevertheless, I needed to stick this stuff on somehow, so I just went for it. I decided to test my Scotch brand super glue on some upholstery foam to find out what happens, and there is a reaction. What it does is the foam will expand upward and create a hard, little tower of sorts where you applied the glue. Yuck.
This is rather gross, I must say, but I was out of options, and I had to do what I had to do. Plus, I decided, no one’s going to see the effects of the super glue anyway, so I went ahead and super glued on the tag board into the narrow parts of the feet regardless of the unpleasant side effects. Unfortunately, the glue would usually dry before I even had a chance to place the paper where it was meant to go, and then no sticking would occur. (Seriously, at least give me a few seconds. The glue seemed to dry almost instantly.) As a result, you have to be really fast with that stuff! It was a really awful part of the costume, but I was helped by the handle of a plastic fork, which I used to press the paper where it was meant to go in places where my fingers couldn’t easily reach. It was awful, though. Really awful.
Sigh… With the worst parts over, I trimmed the edges of the craft foam covering my Foxy feet, as some pieces were too large and stuck off the sides. Once the foot was nice and neat and clean, I cut out the ankle hole in the craft foam on the very top of the foot to match the hole in the upholstery foam underneath. Now my foot could fit inside again. Next off, whenever I try the feet on, the foam in front of the ankle hole bulges up on top where my foot is just a bit too big in that spot, which I don’t like. To try and fix this, I cut out more of the top layer of upholstery foam inside at an angle to make it thinner and hopefully better accommodate that part of my foot. The foam still looks a little odd on top (it usually gets better when I walk in it a little bit), but I think it’s better now.
Now for some details. I saw in the tutorial video I was using that the person added some details on top of Foxy’s feet, three rectangles on the top of his foot and a border of sorts on each toe. I made these out of craft foam and attached them with hot glue, as I know hot glue’s a perfectly acceptable thing to use when attaching craft foam to craft foam. Now for the paint.
With my yellow and blue craft foam encasing the feet, it took about three layers of metallic silver paint to cover it to the point that you couldn’t see the color of the foam beneath anymore. I also painted the EVA foam, as well, so you can’t see it too well anymore, either. I used a small brush for small areas I couldn’t reach with a larger brush and to get excess paint out of corners, but for the rest, I used a big, 2 inch brush I recently bought. It is much better than my small brushes, as it creates a really smooth surface with little effort.
Once the feet were all shiny and new looking, it was time to age them. First, I was going to dry brush black onto the feet, a method I don’t use too often, as previous costumes didn’t require much aging, if any. This was my first time dry brushing on a larger scale, and I learned an important lesson early on. Don’t use a dry brush for dry brushing. I know that sounds rather contradictory, but when I used a dry brush, it turned out really scratchy. When I accidentally used a slightly moist brush (it hadn’t fully dried after washing it, and I was too impatient to wait for it to dry all the way), the black paint spread a lot more smoothly.
Okay, as for how you dry brush something, the trick to this method (this is how I do it, anyway) is to use a slightly moist brush (and I mean, slightly) and dip one side of the bristles in a tiny bit of black paint. Next, wipe it off until you have very little paint left (I guess this is the dry part) and then brush it on. I usually brush the black paint on randomly, then, rub the paint with the non-painted side of the brush to spread it around and make it look more natural. I left random dark accents from time to time, but much of the time, I simply spread the black paint nice and thin all over the surface of the feet to basically dull that silver shine. This made the feet look much more old and worn.
Last of all, the rust. I want to start off by saying that this is one of the best parts of any costume I have ever done. I am so proud of how it turned off. Okay, so this is how you do rust. Looking up tips online, I read that the professionals use coffee grounds to make fake rust look chunky and, well, rusty. So what I did was get metallic copper paint (Basics brand is my favorite; they have some nice metallic paints, like silver and gold), and I added a little bit of red and a little bit of yellow. After that, I had this really nice metallic orange. After that, I experimented with the coffee grounds. I found that the best way to do this is to dip the brush first into the paint, then into the coffee so that it sticks. Then, you paint it on.
So here is my method for fake rust. I usually paint the rust along edges and thin details, where I assume rust would develop first (I have no idea how rust works, so that’s just my guess). Once I decide where my rust should go, I start by painting on my rust colored paint first, without the coffee grounds. I make sure the edges are kind of thin and wispy so it looks more natural where the rust ends. Then I start painting on the coffee grounds. I put on a lot of coffee grounds more towards the middle, and I build this up brush by brush until I have a nice texture. I am also very careful to add less and less coffee grounds at the edges until it fades into the faint edges of the paint. The coffee also adds a nice color to the paint, so it’s more brown and natural and less flat in tone, though I do usually paint a little bit of my rust paint on top of the rust where the coffee shines through too much so it’s not too brown.
I was really proud of how my rust turned out, and thus far, I think it’s one of the best details I’ve ever done. I tried not to add too much, as I feared I might go overboard if I wasn’t careful. I think it adds a really nice touch that I hope people will notice at the comicon. I’ve also become more and more aware of how much I love adding the little details to my cosplays. I think that might just be my favorite part. And now, after weeks of work, the feet are done. I admit they are a bit large and difficult to walk in, so I have to lift my feet a bit so I don’t drag the toes on the ground. I think it’ll add nicely to my weird “Foxy walk”, though. He’s an aging, old animatronic, after all, so he probably would walk a bit strangely. Also, be careful not to make the compartment for your feet too wide, or else the foot has a habit of slightly angling to the side when I walk. I know this probably isn’t the best method for making Foxy’s feet, but I think it still turned out pretty good. Next, I think I’ll work on the arms. Back to work!
A Rusty Duck