I’ve been hard at work on my Foxy cosplay, and after starting the arms, I decided to take a short break and make Foxy’s hand so I can ensure the proportions between the hand and arms is correct. After creating his hand and enduring all the trials and toil described below, I became very grateful for the fact that Foxy only has one hand to begin with. What a relief…
Okay, so his hand wasn’t really so difficult as it was tedious and frustrating, mainly when it came to the finishing touches. A Youtube video tutorial showed me that wearing a silver glove was a great starting point for an animatronic hand, so I bought a pair of shiny, silver wrist-length gloves from Amazon, which were surprisingly easy to find (there is apparently an actual demand for these). I then decided to make each segment of his fingers out of craft foam.
First off, for every non-fingertip piece, I just measured the general length and width of the segments of my fingers and cut out a rectangle of foam with four segments so it could be folded into a square. Wrapping these pieces around my fingers, I ensured they were snug to prevent sliding later and trimmed them if they were too big. The fingertips were nearly the same, except I added an extra square of foam coming off the rectangle, as this would later fold down over the end to close it off and to make a flat surface for the claws to attach to. I then labelled all of these with a letter (from my pinky, with pieces A, B, and C, to my thumb, with pieces M and N). The lower portion of the thumb was a bit different, however, and I experimented with a lot of different shapes until I came up with something that would better fit the shape of my thumb. This is not accurate, I admit, as the lower half of Foxy’s thumb is actually the same rectangular shape as every other segment of his fingers, but I thought this had an interesting look, so I kept it.
After this, I hot glued the ends of every piece together and started trimming them so they would fit me better. I wanted as much mobility with my fingers as possible, so on the inner side of my fingers, I cut the foam to be smaller so my fingers could bend. This is all a bit hard to explain, but you’ll see it in the photos. I then cut out the piece of foam to go on the back of the hand, along with three rectangular shapes to go on the back, plus a square piece to go on the back of every finger segment (the thumb got its own special piece because it has a different shape from the rest). These were all hot glued on. For whatever reason, however, the hot glue ended up sloppy on the back of the hand, plus I realized this piece was too long, so I had to redo it. After I made a smaller version, I used super glue rather than hot glue to attach the rectangular pieces of foam onto the back, which made everything look much cleaner.
It took a little experimenting to get the shape of the claws, but this ended up being a pretty easy process once I figured it out. To get a shape that would work, I eventually decided to cut out three triangles and place them beside each other, with a certain point touching, and I got the shape you see below. This shape was used to make the claws and is the same length as the segment it will be attached to. I then hot glued these pieces closed and then hot glued them to the end segments of my foam fingers. Now the entire hand was made. Time for the painting.
The first layer of paint is three coats of metallic silver. It’s amazing what a bit of paint can do, though having Foxy’s hand so clean and new looking would just not do. Next, I wore the hand and began dry brushing. I decided wearing the hand would be the best way to ensure everything looked cohesive. Again, when you dry brush, you should slightly moisten a brush and dab on a little black paint. Wipe it off until there’s not much left, then, brush it on. I basically paint on some black, then, rub at it with the brush to spread it around. This gives you pretty natural looking aging on the fingers. If you get too much black paint on, just get the brush a little wet and use that to rub the paint around and spread it out before it fully dries (my paint is Basics brand, which is water-resistant, so it shouldn’t remove the previous layers of paint). The hand started to look pretty realistic at this point. I also painted a lot of black on the glove to help it to better blend in with the foam fingers. It took a lot of painting to get the glove to look right, but eventually it looked a bit less like fabric.
After this, I had one final thing to paint…fake blood! Eww… This was done in the same fashion as the rust on Foxy’s feet. First, I mixed a little bit of green paint with red to darken it (green and red are opposites, so mixing them would normally create brown; in this case, add a very small amount of green to your red paint to get a darker, blood color). Next, while still wearing the hand, I painted the red on, a lot at the fingertips and less going down, to the point that I was just dry brushing the red on the lower sections of my fingers and making some rather realistic looking smears and smudges. I also got some red on the glove so it would look cohesive with the foam fingers. I don’t want the glove to look like a separate entity, after all, and this seemed to be pretty effective.
After that, I started using my coffee grounds, which I hear is used by professionals to make realistic looking blood and rust effects. First, I dab the brush in the paint, then I dab it into the coffee grounds and make them stick. After that, I do my best to rub the coffee grounds off on the claws. I usually cover the coffee grounds with a bit more paint to cover up their color and to make them stick better. And then I repeat, slowly building up this crusty effect on the claws, with a little bit of the coffee grounds sometimes spreading to the fingers themselves. This ended up looking pretty good in the end, if not rather gross. Oh, Foxy, have you been getting into trouble again?
Last of all, the finishing touches. For one thing, I needed the back of the hand to stick to the glove, so I decided to super glue on some Velcro onto the foam piece, and I sewed the other side of the Velcro onto the correct spot on the glove. A good way to make sure the Velcro is placed accurately is to use sticky-backed Velcro. Attach the Velcro to the back of the foam piece, then stick the other side of the Velcro to it with the back removed. Next, press the piece where it goes on the glove and carefully separate both sides of the Velcro. Now the Velcro should be stuck on the glove in the correct spot. I accidentally got iron-on Velcro, which was slightly sticky on the backs, so like I mentioned earlier, sewing or super gluing was necessary to ensure they stayed on permanently, as they weren’t quite sticky enough to stay on long term.
I was also not convinced the fingers would stay on with prolonged wearing, so I devised a method to make them stick, as well. (I also labelled the insides of the fingers with their respective letters so that it is easier to know which is which later, as when I painted them, I covered up the original labels. These pieces need to be placed on my fingers and then removed every time I want to put the hand on or take it off, so this is important, as each segment is not interchangeable.) This final step was the most annoying. I thought Velcro at the end of every finger would secure each foam fingertip to my glove so it wouldn’t accidentally fall off when wearing it. I got tiny squares of the soft side of the Velcro, put super glue at the back end inside each foam fingertip, then, carefully lowered the Velcro in with tweezers. (Tweezers grip the soft side of Velcro better than the prickly side.) This way, the Velcro would hold the fingertips on without getting in the way. Super glue ended up not being super effective, however, and several pieces had to be hot glued in when they came loose. I would recommend using hot glue from the start. Just drip it in and stick that Velcro piece in there with tweezers. It should stay more securely then. I wish I had originally used hot glue to begin with, but alas, until the other pieces fall out (and hopefully they will not), there’s not much I can do about it.
I then added the other side of the Velcro to each fingertip. Just make sure it’s not too large or the finger segments won’t fit over it. I had this issue where the pinky segments barely fit over the newly-added Velcro, which was a problem. The thumb piece was sewed on, but the others were super glued when I found that sewing something at the end of a fingertip is very difficult. The pinky Velcro then came off, and in a moment of desperation, I hot glued it back on. I wouldn’t normally use hot glue on fabric, but after three pieces of Velcro in total came off, I just couldn’t stand working on the hand anymore and wanted the whole business to be over and done with. The hot glue seemed to hold, and now the pinky Velcro seems to be firmly in place. Hopefully everything will hold now.
Even though the hand was rather frustrating, the majority of it was actually pretty easy, and it turned out pretty cool in the end, so all that effort was certainly worth it. It’s my favorite part of the costume now…not that I’ve done all that much yet. Next up, the arms and the hook, which I think should be far easier. Let’s hope I’m right.
The Duck is Quite Handy