Friday, August 9, 2013

Chris Walas's Build-Up Gorilla Bash !!! ...part 11...The almost Final Chapter !...sort of...

Hiya gang, old Bongo here !
I've got to tell you, this has been an incredible honor having Chris Walas as a part of the HGM gorilla family. Chris has graciously documented this build up exclusively for the readers of Hollywood Gorilla Men, and with the help and support of our gorilla brothers at the Facebook Ape Suit Cinema group.
Before we start this "final chapter" let me first say that this will continue in the next segment with closing thoughts and an incredible alternate head Chris sculpted ! So don't miss out !
No lets get this madness started !....Back to the great Chris Walas !!!
LAST CHAPTER!!!
Finally we're at the last construction phase of our monster gorilla build-up suit. I'm not going to show you the process for combining two suits into one. It was just too darn confusing and difficult. Not worth it. I did it as a personal challenge, but if you ever build a suit, just go out and buy yardage faux fur. It's sooooo much easier!
One of the suits wound up covering the lower half of the suit quite nicely;

The top, on the other hand, was a bit of a nightmare and I struggled for a while to find a way to wrap the second suit around all that foam. I couldn't quite cover everything, but I got close. Only the lower upper arms weren't covered;
Being a less than joyful seamster, I decided to simply glue the missing lower sections on so that I could sew the main fur section to it later.
Once the top and bottom main sections were sewn together with heavy duty thread and a heavy duty zipper sewn in the back (I cut through the foam of the back to match the zipper line just before attaching the zipper), it was time for a test fit to see if it was really working at all. Remember that feet, hands and chest have not been painted yet.

The suit fit well and moved well, but I found that working on an old, beat up duct-tape dummy is not the most accurate base. The right shoulder had an odd angle to it and the shoulders were too square across for my taste, so I added more foam there to give it more shape and that seemed to take the curse off that issue. Here it is after additional foam and painting the feet, hands, chest as well as more paint on the face;
This looks very much like what I was after; a big, hulking, intimidating but still comic gorilla. Now that all the parts seemed to fit, it was time to attach the fur suit to the foam suit. It's not necessary to do so and there are numerous approaches to how to build a suit like this, but I opted for the quickest and easiest suit to get on and off, so I decided to glue the two suits together. But I don't glue every square inch of foam or fur. Glue adds stiffness and weight and I wanted this to be as light and movable as possible… considering the construction. In order to allow for as much movement as possible, the fur suit is glued down only where it really needs to be; the base of the legs, over main sections of muscles and along the zipper. I started at the base of the legs.
This process is tricky and critical. Mistakes throw everything out of whack, so I proceeded with great care and attention. So much so that I forgot to take pictures. Sorry. I first rolled the pant legs up to the knee to glue the lower foam muscles, then I rolled the entire suit down and worked my way up from there. Here's the thigh getting glued. It's older foam so I glued the entire outer surface for a little more strength.
Here's where I stopped taking pictures. Anyway, once the entire suit was carefully glued, I found I needed to add some length to the elbows. I added an inch to the forearms and cut a section out for the inner elbow to move;
Then I added a cupped section to the main suit outer elbow so that it would close up any gap that might form;

When all seemed right, it was time for an overall finishing pass. I went over seams and edges to make sure everything was where it should be. Any edges that hadn't been properly glued (I have raced through this, you know) received a dab of glue to hold it down. I make sure the glue catches enough of the fur itself to cover any of that horrid white base thread like you see here;

I had planned to do some paint work on the fur to enhance it a little, but this fur is so thin and flimsy that paint just makes it worse. Which is OK with me as I think Mogo looks better and meaner as an all black gorilla.

Next up will be some finished shot as well as a second head I did while working through all this!

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