Foxy Cosplay: The Head Part 1

Throughout this entire cosplay, Foxy’s head had loomed over me with a mixture of trepidation and anticipation.  On one hand, I feared this would be a rather difficult part of the costume.  For all prior cosplays, I was able to just, you know, use my own face, but actually making a character’s head seemed a bit tougher.  At the same time, I was kind of excited, too, as putting together Foxy’s head sounded like a rather fun prospect.  I’d get to make his ears, his nose, and even add his teeth.  Plus, I love any part of a cosplay that I can later display in my gaming room, and what’s better than a big Foxy head?

Mainly, though, I was just nervous, so I put this part of the costume off until the very end.  Now that everything else is done, save for some finishing details and the like, I had no choice but to create Foxy’s head.  I had done some research in the past, and the method for making the head that I thought would work best for me would be to create a frame out of plastic canvas.  Even so, this looked like a rather complex process, so I made sure I watched several videos on the topic to see how other people did it.  I also looked up how to make a moving jaw, but thus far, the details of that have eluded me.  I’d really like to figure out how to do this, but no one seems to want to go into any in-depth detail on how to make this work.  It’s a conspiracy, for sure….

No matter.  The mechanics of the jaw mattered not if I had no head to begin with.  First, I needed to make that pesky frame.  I started off with measurements and a basic plan.  I would create the main part of his head first, minus the snout and the puffy cheeks, which would largely be a big ball of canvas, more or less.  I knew that breaking things down into simple shapes was always a good idea, so that was what I was going to try here.  Basing the measurements off of his already completed torso, I figured out the width and height of his head, the width of the upper jaw, and the placement of the eyes.  After I was satisfied, I started to put together the frame, with one key difference.  The width would have two inches subtracted from it to account for the one-inch thick foam that would be attached to either side, and the height would have one inch subtracted from it to account for the foam that would be added to the top.

To get started, I cut a few sheets of my plastic canvas into thinner strips that would be easier to work with.  (Each sheet was 10.5 inches wide, so I cut them into fifths so that each strip would be just over two inches wide.  It seemed like an appropriate size.)  I then started attaching them end-to-end, using binder clips to hold them together.  These and large paper clips are invaluable for giving yourself an extra pair of hands in this process, so if you have them, definitely use them.  Once I made a loop that measured the correct width in diameter and another strip that would go across the top, I started hot gluing.

Foxy's head is done. He looks great.
Foxy’s head is done. He looks great.

During this initial experience, I learned two important things about plastic canvas and its relationship with hot glue.  One, just because there are holes in the canvas, that doesn’t mean simply hot gluing the top of two overlapping pieces is sufficient.  I thought if I applied the hot glue to the top of the two layers, it would seep through the holes into the layer beneath.  This is not the case.  This was probably obvious from the start, but I just thought I’d mention it anyway.  Hot glue in between the layers, as you would any other material.  The holes will not help you here.  The second thing I learned is that the metal end of the hot glue gun will melt plastic canvas fairly quickly.  Be careful not to touch the canvas with the end of the glue gun, or this will happen….

Uh-oh, owie alert!
Uh-oh, owie alert!

Anyway, to make the main frame, I made a loop of canvas ten inches in diameter.  (Measurements will vary.  If you make your own Foxy head, you will likely need to use different measurements based on your own costume.)  I then carefully added a strip of canvas on top that would extend at least nine inches down on either side.  Be very careful that you don’t attach this strip too tightly, or else you could compress the plastic loop and distort its shape.  I then made another loop of the same size and attached it so that its bottom edge was around nine inches from the top.  I then added one more strip perpendicular to the first one.  This is kind of difficult to explain, but you’ll see in the picture what I mean.

I have just created a cage for my head. That's where my head goes when it's being bad.
I have just created a cage for my head. That’s where my head goes when it’s being bad.

Next up was the upper jaw.  I figured out that the upper jaw was two and a half inches thick, seven and a half inches wide where it attaches to the face, and three and a half inches wide at the end.  I think.  To also give myself an idea of where the eyes would go, as the snout sits just below the eyes, I paper clipped a piece of paper that was about the size of one of Foxy’s eyes at about the correct height.  I think the horizontal placement is all off, but I’ll figure that out later.  I also used a paperclip to mark the exact center of the front of the face, and I placed a paper clip at the edges of the snout and one inch in from these spots to mark where the canvas would go (again, the foam would fill in the rest of the space).

Now I had the difficult task of figuring out how to make the snout come off the face smoothly.  After messing around with it for a while, I figured out that the best thing to do was to have the canvas for either side of the snout attach fairly far on either side of the face, all the way to the exact left and right of the main head.  I’m not explaining this very well, but again, the picture provided below will illustrate my methods better.  Basically, this made the canvas extend smoothly forward, which looked a lot more natural than if I had attached it right to the spots I had paper clipped.  Since I had no reference for the side of Foxy’s face, I had no idea how long his snout should be.  To figure this out, I would just need to keep adjusting the canvas until it looked right.  So that’s exactly what I did.  I clipped a bunch of canvas strips together and made his snout extra long, then, I shortened it until it looked right.  The length I thought looked good was about eight and a half inches (or seven and a half to account for the foam I would add later).

Foxy has a big schnoz....
Foxy has a big schnoz….

Once again, I got to work hot gluing these pieces together until I had the main frame for the upper jaw.  I then got some extra thin strips of canvas (about half the width of the strips I normally used) to make the jaw more secure.  I hot glued one between the end of the jaw and the center of the face, being careful to keep the length of the jaw at seven and a half inches.  After that, I attached two strips across the jaw to secure the width.  One was near the face, where I made sure that the jaw was five and a half inches in width.  The other was near the end, where the jaw was two and a half inches in width.  And there it was, Foxy’s head and upper jaw.  Already, our dear animatronic fox was starting to come together.

I have nothing snarky to say here. I just think this looks good. Good job, Duck.
I have nothing snarky to say here. I just think this looks good. Good job, Duck.

Last of all was the lower jaw.  Now, I really must point out that, while most of the costume is based off of Foxy from the first game, I never liked that extra large, rectangular lower jaw he had.  His face was fine, but as far as his snout went, I thought the shape of his mouth in FNAF 2 was much better because it looked more natural.  This cosplay is my own interpretation anyway, so I figure I can change him wherever I see fit.  Anyway, the lower jaw is basically just a long V-shaped piece of plastic canvas with a piece glued across the end to make it more stable.  I didn’t give this jaw the same support as the upper one because any efforts I made to do so only distorted its shape.  Plus, the top jaw can be a bit rounded on top, but the lower jaw should be flat on the bottom, and any extra plastic canvas would get in the way of this.  As for the size and shape of the lower jaw, it was simply based off the upper jaw, but slightly smaller.

Oh, and one more thing.  Before we move on, I wanted to mention that I also glued on more canvas above the uppermost horizontal loop of the main head.  Once I cut out the holes for Foxy’s eyes, I could potentially sever this entire strip of canvas and ruin the integrity of the frame I had made.  To prevent this, I thought increasing the canvas around where his eyes would go would be a wise thing to do.  Now there should always be some canvas here holding everything together.  ‘Tis ‘portant.

Well, that wasn’t so difficult.  But I wasn’t done yet.  I still needed to attach the lower jaw to the rest of the head in such a manner that the jaw could open and close.  To start, I lengthened the sides of the main head so I had a place to attach the lower jaw.  Once I lined it up just right with the upper jaw, I paper clipped the ends in place.  Now that this was temporarily secure, I needed to figure out some kind of hinge.  The main video I used that not only showed how a fursuit head should be made, but how to create a hinge for the jaw, can be found here.  This person alternated between plastic canvas and craft foam because the foam is meant to soften things and prevent the plastic from cracking.  She also used one screw, one nut, and three washers for each hinge.  With this in mind, I headed down to the hardware store to get the necessary parts, a place that is usually pretty intimidating to visit, as I don’t know the first thing about hardware.  Fortunately, there was a guy working there who probably noticed how lost I looked, as he helped me find what I needed.

I guess paperclips work on more than just paper. That's nice.
I guess paperclips work on more than just paper. That’s nice.

After that, putting everything together was actually pretty easy.  It was really just a matter of measuring the centers of a few things and putting it all together.  To get into more detail, I had two pieces of foam for each hinge of about the same size as the section of canvas that was overlapping.  I measured the exact center of each and used an exacto knife to poke a hole in the center for the screw to fit through.  For the canvas, I marked the center of the overlapping segment with a marker and then carefully cut it open just a tiny bit.  Once this initial setup was complete, the rest was very straightforward.  I stuck the screw with a washer on it through a piece of foam, which then went through the plastic of the main head, after which I added another washer.  Next was the second piece of craft foam, then the lower jaw, then a washer, then the nut.  Yeah.  Hope that makes sense.  I just did this on both sides, and lo and behold, I had two working hinges for Foxy’s jaw that opened and closed with ease.  Needless to say, I was pretty proud of myself to have accomplished something entirely new.

Now Foxy has gained the ability to go "om nom nom".
Now Foxy has gained the ability to go “om nom nom”.
I know how washers work now. See how good I did!
I know how washers work now. See how good I did!

The canvas for Foxy’s head is more or less complete now, though I still need to figure out how to make the jaw open and close when I open my mouth.  I think some kind of elastic is needed, and I have already located the elastic I used for Vanille’s skirt.  I’m not sure if this is exactly what people would use for such a thing, but I think it’ll be sufficient for my needs.  For now, I just need to be proud of how much work I’ve gotten done so far.  Foxy’s head might turn out even better than I expected, and it’s all thanks to careful planning and my usual level of obsession.  And Youtube.  Youtube’s always helpful.

The Duck’s Cosplay is Head-ing Towards Completion

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