Foxy Cosplay: The Head Part 2

Well, the Duck has been hard at work constructing the noggin of the frightening, yet also strangely adorable, Foxy the pirate from Five Nights at Freddy’s.  Last time I talked about this cosplay, I had described how to make the main frame of Foxy’s head out of plastic canvas.  The next step was covering it with upholstery foam.  I’ll try not to bore you guys with the details, but this was certainly one time-consuming process.  A lot of people glue the foam on, but I hate working with glue, and some glue causes the foam to get hard and puff up, so I just sewed it onto the canvas using lesser-needed colors of thread.  I was able to use leftover scraps of foam to cover Foxy’s head, which was pretty nice, as it prevented these pieces from being wasted, and I even managed to avoid opening my final roll of foam.  (I bought an extra roll because I thought I’d need it…but I didn’t.  Now I can save it for some future projects I have in mind….)

Another thing a lot of people do is carve the foam first before attaching it to the mesh, but I decided to sew the foam on first, then deal with the carving later.  I started with the upper jaw, and after that was covered in foam, I attached foam to the main head.  Again, it’s a rather boring process that likely needs no description, so I’ll only bring up the details that matter.  One thing worth mentioning is that, when two pieces of foam sit side by side, I found that they don’t always line up as neatly as one would expect, so sewing them together helps to smooth out any imperfections you might find at the seams.  Some gaps also had to be filled in with smaller pieces of foam so there were no holes in Foxy’s head.  This should hopefully avoid any unsightly lumps or indents once Foxy’s fur is added.  Last of all, I added foam to Foxy’s lower jaw, though at first, I refrained from adding any foam over the hinges, as I hadn’t decided yet how this should be handled.  You see, I wanted to leave the screws uncovered so that I could tighten them whenever they became loose.  Deciding I would return to this later, it was time to start shaping the foam.

I began by carving the top of Foxy’s upper jaw quite a bit to more greatly resemble Foxy from the second game, as his snout had a more natural shape than that of the original Foxy.  I also carved out the indent on the top of his head, and I cut out the eyeholes.  One issue I ran into was, though I had planned for Foxy’s head to become larger once the foam was added (the foam is one inch thick, after all), it strangely maintained the exact same dimensions as when he was just a plastic frame.  I have no idea how nine inches plus one inch could still equal nine inches, but this was the bizarre paradox I had ran into.  This resulted in Foxy’s proportions being off, which meant I had to rethink the size and placement of his eye sockets.  I realized that the space above Foxy’s upper jaw can easily be divided in two, with the lower half containing the eye sockets and the upper half containing his forehead.  With the height of the eyes decided, I lined their outer edges up with the edge of the upper jaw, and I placed the eyes one inch apart.  In the end, I think I did the best I could with the altered dimensions.

The foam head with the outline of the eyes. It almost looks as if our piratical fox is wearing glasses.
The foam head with the outline of the eyes. It almost looks as if our piratical fox is wearing glasses.

Next up, I decided it was time to figure out how to make Foxy’s mouth open and close.  Once the foam for his lower jaw had been added, some initial testing told me that if I put the head on and placed my chin upon the foam comprising the bottom of his lower jaw (all the while loosely holding the lower jaw closed with my hands), I could indeed open his mouth simply by opening mine.  The problem was merely closing the mouth again.  And this is where the elastic came in.  I may have mentioned it before, but this is one process that never seemed to be properly explained online, but here it is.

Based on my own testing and what I had heard, the elastic’s sole purpose is holding the mouth closed.  When placed properly, opening your mouth presses down on the lower jaw, which opens the mouth.  Closing your mouth should close the jaw because the elastic should retract and pull the mouth shut again.  Simple.  So I got two identical strips of elastic (I used the elastic normally meant for waistbands since I had some leftover from Vanille’s skirt), and I sewed one end about three inches behind the eye (this is what most people say to do) and the other end a short distance in front of the hinge on the lower jaw.  And it worked, as simple as that.  Now I can make Foxy’s jaw open and close with my own, and it’s a really cool effect.  The only issue I’ve noticed is that Foxy’s mouth does hang open the slightest bit even when his mouth should be closed.  It’s not much, but I think that this can possibly be fixed by pulling the elastic a bit tighter before I sew it or, perhaps, by sewing the elastic just a bit farther forward on the lower jaw?  At least, that’s my theory.  I might try to fix this later, or maybe I should just leave well enough alone.  I haven’t decided yet, though allowing his mouth to remain slightly open will at least ensure that his teeth will be visible at all times, so that might be the better way to go.

Here you can see where I placed the elastic. Keep in mind that Foxy's head is upside down right now.
Here you can see where I placed the elastic. Keep in mind that Foxy’s head is upside down right now.
And here's the all-important close up. Not sure what that purple arrow's for....
And here’s the all-important close up. Not sure what that purple arrow’s for….

Anyway, now that Foxy’s jaw was more or less working, I decided to add the tufts of his cheeks next.  Based on my measurements and the head’s current proportions, I made the tufts three inches thick (three layers of foam) so that the bottom would line up with the bottom of the main head (not including the lower jaw) and the top would line up with the bottom of the eye sockets.  The bottom layer is the longer tuft (six inches, based on my measurements), the top is the short tuft (three inches), and the middle is the in-between area.  I couldn’t get any decent references for the side of Foxy’s head to properly figure out what these things should look like from different angles, so I basically just centered the tufts on the side of his head and then proceeded to mess around with them, trimming and rearranging them until they looked right.  After that, I sewed the tufts to his head separately and trimmed them further, mainly by rounding off the edges.  Last of all, I sewed the three layers together and there you go, Foxy’s adorable fluffy cheeks.  Such details definitely make a big difference.  Now he’s really starting to look like Foxy.

Foxy's cheeks are currently not attached to his head.
Foxy’s cheeks are currently not attached to his head.  I’m not sure this is a good look for you, Foxy….
Foxy's cheeks have been attached, and temporary paper eyes have been added.
Foxy’s cheeks have been attached, and temporary paper eyes have been added.

After this, a few more details needed to be taken care of.  First off, I needed to make the indents on either side of his head where the ears went.  I basically drew on with marker where they should go, then, I thinned out the foam here a bit.  Unfortunately, I accidentally cut too deep in a few spots and made holes in Foxy’s head, so I had to patch these up.  Woops.  Next, the upper jaw was a lot deeper than the lower jaw, so, to even them out, I sewed some foam into Foxy’s upper jaw so that both sides of his mouth were identical.  And then I sewed on the last bit of foam on the lower jaw, where the screws of the hinges are.  What I did here was cut a hole out of the foam so that, once it was sewn down, the screw would be accessible through this hole.  This way I can still tighten the screws in the future if need be.  To provide a temporary covering, I cut out a small piece of foam to act as a plug for the hole.  Now it will prevent any indents from being seen underneath the fur, but it can easily be removed later.  (I just need to ensure that the fur on this corner of his jaw is removable, as well.  Perhaps Velcro will be useful here….)  Truly ingenious, Duck!

One of Foxy's ear indents. This poor fox is a mishmash of foam and stitches!
One of Foxy’s ear indents. This poor fox is a mishmash of foam and stitches!
Based on my willingness to place my hand this close to Foxy's mouth, you can tell that I am very brave.
Based on my willingness to place my hand this close to Foxy’s mouth, you can tell that I am very brave.
And here's one of the foam "plugs" covering the screw of his left jaw hinge. Easily removable for repairs.
And here’s one of the foam “plugs” covering the screw of his left jaw hinge. Easily removable for repairs.

The last thing I needed to do was make the head more wearable.  As you can probably tell, Foxy’s head is far larger than a human head, so attempting to wear it now would result in a very loose fit.  What I decided to do to fix this was to basically make some kind of inner hat that I would wear.  I had to make sure that my eyes were lined up with Foxy’s eye holes (I even paper-clipped in some temporary paper eyes to give myself an idea where I could see out), so I first figured that my head should be about an inch down from the top of Foxy’s head.  All right.  With these quick measurements complete, I got to work.

Anticipating this process right from the start, I already had a loop of plastic mesh I had made back when I was putting together the plastic canvas frame for Foxy’s head.  This loop also had one piece across the top, which allowed it to fit snugly over the top of my head.  To place it at a proper height inside Foxy’s head, I sewed a strip of upholstery foam over the top (because my foam is a perfect one inch thick).  After this, I sewed this inside the head, a few centimeters behind the elastic, both to avoid messing with the elastic and to keep my face away from the Styrofoam eyes I would eventually add inside the head.  While this proved to be a pretty sturdy way to wear the head, I ran into several issues that would require some extra thought.

My stylish new hat. Is plastic mesh "in" right now?
My stylish new hat. Is plastic mesh “in” right now?
I think this is before I sewed it in, but it still looks about the same.
I think this is before I sewed it in, but it still looks about the same.

The first problem I noticed was that the jaws are too heavy.  Now the head sags forward when I try to wear it, plus my chin is too high for the lower jaw, so I can’t open the mouth anymore, either.  Woops.  That’s not ideal.  Luckily, I have a few ideas in mind that just might solve my woes.  One, I need to extend the end of the lower jaw to be just a tad higher so it can come into contact with my chin again.  I will probably arrange for this foam to cup my chin so it’s easier to open my mouth.  And two, I’m seeking out ways to place something weighted in the back of the head to balance out the weight of the jaws.  I think some kind of weighted bean bags, or some pellets I can sew into a pouch, would fix this problem.  With a solution in mind, this is something I can take care of in the near future.  For now, I think I might just take a break from this part of the costume and begin adding the fur to Foxy’s head as I decide what will work best for the weights.  This is an important part of the costume if I wish to be able to wear the head comfortably, so I’d rather not rush into a solution until I am certain it will work.

Well, I’m getting really close to finishing Foxy’s head, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the completed thing.  Until I decide how exactly to fix these final, few issues with the frame, I can at least add the fur and other details to Foxy’s jaw, which will likely be the topic of this cosplay’s next post.  For now, I leave you with this final picture. Toodle-loo!

Lookin' good, Foxy. You are one handsome foam blob.
Lookin’ good, Foxy. You are one handsome foam blob.

A Two-Headed Duck?

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