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Runeโ€™s Journey to being a Fursuit #2

Rune CandyGore by OtakuFoxx
***Candygore Rune art by Otaku_Foxx***

Hello everybody, and welcome back to another section of rune’s journey to being a Fursuit! I’m excited to say that: RUNE’S HEAD IS ALMOST FINISHED!!!! I have been very blessed with having an amazing maker (AJ Vengeant on FB // AJKitty on FA) who keeps in contact with me regularly and has been sending me updates like mad the last couple of weeks.ย  But yes, Rune’s head is almost finished…but, this “category” in the blog list will continue going even after the head is finished…because I do plan on making Rune into a full suit some day. Some of it will be commissioned, other parts are going to be done by my wife and I…so, all-in-all…the journey does not just end at Rune’s Fursuit Head…and I’m so happy to be able to share this with all of you.

[[DISCLAIMER: Please do not take my personal experience with my maker as the basis for all makers. Please understand that a lot of fursuit makers have other customers and will juggle multiple projects at once. Also, not all makers show as many WIP reports as mine has done. Professional makers might handle themselves differently, and their payment plans might be different as well. Please make sure to read and understand your maker’s terms ahead of time so that you know what to expect. Just because you may not get your suit done as quickly as mine has been done, it does not mean you are being scammed. My maker is only working on my fursuit head at the moment and is able to dedicate all that time to it’s completion. So, again, please keep in mind that this is merely my personal experience, and should not be taken as a permanent model of how all makers should and/or would conduct their business…]]

Before I forget! If you have not checked it out already…the first part to this blog series does not only cover my personal story with Rune being made into a Fursuit, BUT, it also goes into how you commission a Fursuit Head…what to expect out of a maker…what professional work is like, how to avoid scams, and etc. So, if that’s something you might be interested in: please click HERE for the link to that first part…

Rune foam head phase 1

  • In the Last Blog:
    —In the last blog I had finally been given the WIP on Rune’s foam head. The mouth still had to be dug out, the foam was still pretty rough (had yet to be smoothed and all that jazz), and the ears and horns had not been added yet. It was a start. This was on April 2nd, and, we did run into a bit of a delay. My maker actually got a part-time job and had started working…not to mention that life got crazy for us both. Unfortunately when it comes to art or crafting of any sort…this type of thing will happen, and so, it’s essential to stay in contact with those that pay for your services so that they are informed. Luckily, my maker has always been kind enough to let me know what is happening ahead of time, and while there was a bit of delay, I understood that life happens, and was fine with waiting a little bit longer for Rune to be finished.

 

Rune foam head phase 2

  • Ear check:
    —On April 21st (19 days since the last update on the foam head), I was given this picture of an “ear-check” for Rune’s ears. This was because my maker and I had been talking several days prior on how Rune’s ears should look. There were inconsistencies in how he was drawn, so, my maker needed my opinion on what I envisioned for Rune. While Rune has a different form depending on how he is represented (Longer ears if being shown as a Dutchie and shorter when being shown as just a regular Angel Dragon), with this being more of a Dutch-Angel-Dragon base, we eventually decided on longer ears because Rune’s badge actually showed him with longer ears. Not to mention that it was the ears from Reaper’s foam base (the example I was shown before commissioning my maker) that made me want to hire my maker to make Rune anyways. Still, after talking about it for a week, showing several examples of how i thought Rune’s ears should be…this pic was given to me as a temporary ear placement and ear check to see if I approved the design. I loved the design, so, my maker was able to continue working on Rune. Also, my maker noted that the eyes had been rounded out more for better vision, and that the mouth hadย  been widened for better ventilation. This was a nice touch and was very thoughtful of my maker ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Rune foam head phase 3

  • The Ears are on!!!
    —A week later on April 28th, 2016…Rune’s ears had been fully secured. The foam head had been made a lot smoother, and this was just a check to make sure that the ears looked right. Also, throughout the week, my maker had asked to see if I wanted stiff ears (that won’t fold if you tug on them) or the pull-down ears (flexible enough that you can pull them down and then they will spring back up). I chose the pull-down ears because I felt like that was the best option…me personally liking ears and all. These more permanent ears looked amazing and Rune was really balancing out. At this point, my maker and I were also discussing the third payment. We agreed that the third payment could be made when Rune finally got around to the “furring” stage since he was so close. Since payments were no longer going to materials, it only made sense to me that more progress be made before I send the second-to-last payment, and, my maker agreed. All that was left on his head at this point was to dig out the nostrils and mouth, the spikes on the back of the head had already been added…he still needed his brow horns, and then, he would be ready for taping.

 

Rune foam head phase 4

  • Spikes and Horns:
    —Only a day after the horns have been attached, on April 29th, the rest of the head was finished. And by finished, I mean that the foam was done, the brow spikes were attached, the nostrils had been dug out, foam was smoothed some more, and the mouth was carved out more than before. The brow spikes look very large on the foam, but, once the fur was added, they would not look as big. The eyes looked a lot better being as round as they were…so, making them larger earlier on had been a good thing. Since I approved all the work and design, Rune could go onto the next step.

 

Rune foam head phase 5

  • Taping!!!
    —With Rune’s foam design complete, the taping process could now begin. This was also sent to me on April 29th (I understand that my maker works extremely fast since my Fursuit head is their only project at the moment) and it showed the layout of where Rune’s fur would go. It’s like a map for the maker, letting them know what color is supposed to lay where and how it’s all supposed to line up and etc. For Rune, half of his face is grey and the other is white. He has a zig-zag pattern with the fur and on the white side he has a blue spiral and some other markings. My theory of the brow spikes proved to be right as well. Wit the tape, they did not look as big which was good for me. But, with the taping done, I double-checked the markings to make sure they were correct…and then the furring process could begin!

 

  • The Fur pattern is complete!
    —I first saw these pictures, and, my initial thought was: “Wow, Rune needs a haircut”! XD
    The furring process started on May 2nd, and this was what the fur looked like when laid over the foam head. It had not all been sewn yet, and naturally was awaiting my approval on it. Everything looked in place. The grey looked a little darker than what I expected, but, my maker assured me it was just bad lighting. Still, all the patterns looked in place, and, once Rune was shaved down, it would all look a lot cleaner for sure. So, at this point, all Rune needs is to be shaved down after all his fur is sewn and glued on. Eyes will be added in, maybe some teeth with be added, and he will be getting a little green tongue as well. Out side of that, he will be finished and ready to ship! So I’m looking at maybe another month, plus, however long shipping takes, and, naturally, I have to finish making my payments.

 

paper-money-clip-art-free-stock-photo-public-domain-pictures

  • Third Payment:
    —Since I got update of Rune’s fur on May 2nd…on May 3rd, I made my third payment of $100 on Rune’s suit as per the agreement with my maker. Now Rune only has one more payment to go which will be given upon his completion. This final payment includes the last $50 owed to my maker for services as well as $50 for shipping the head to me. So, we are in the final stages of the head…and it’s really exciting!!!

 

In conclusion for this section…Rune’s head is almost finished, and, I cannot even begin to express how excited I am right now. This is a dream-come-true for me…having always wanted a Fursuit and then knowing that I wanted it to be an Angel Dragon. This is one of the biggest investments that I have ever made. I am looking towards the future and seeing the changes I can try and make in the world with Rune, and so, this is one more piece in the giant puzzle I want to complete with this little Angel Dragon.

More progress will come of course. All the next few WIPs on this head will be posted here as well as an unboxing video that I hope to do. Granted, my webcam will not be the best, but, it will still be so much fun to make and place on Rune’s brand-new YouTube Channel (coming soon)!!! So, I hope that all of you will join me for that one!

More content coming to you throughout the week. We will have Fursuit Friday again this week, and hopefully more WYR (Would-You-Rather) next week as well. But, thanks for tuning in, and, I will see you all in the next one ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Rune’s Journey to being a Fursuit #1

By Kristina Murphey

***Art by: Holyhell111***

[[TL;DR summary: Rune’s fursuit head is being made and the steps of progress as well as when payments were made, the ordering of fur and etc is listed here so people can see how commissioning a fursuit head works!]]

Hey all it’s RUNE here with some exciting news!
I have been working on making RUNE come to life by commissioning a Fursuit head!

Yes, it’s small progress on what I hope will one day be a full suit of him, but, with little to no income right now, the head was the most expensive thing that I could even come close to buying right now and/or investing in. So, ever since I started this blog and realized that people loved the character and looked up to Rune and his advice, I started searching out fursuit makers to bring Rune to life!

It was hard…and now I understand why people really struggle in finding a good maker. Also, I understand why now people get wary about makers because investing in a head or anything fursuit related is all based in trust. But, because I know that so many people want a fursuit and yet are curious about the process…I decided to chronicle my adventure through the completion of Rune’s head!

But, before I go through the steps of Rune’s head…let me give you a brief overview of what to expect (as steps) in the general process of getting a head commissioned!

  1. Step One: Having a Character Reference (multiples actually)
    In order to bring a character to life, you should already have a vision of that character…and not just one in your head either, but rather, one on paper that is of good quality. Reference Sheets are common in the fandom because it is a guide for artists wanting to draw your character(s)…especially if you have commissioned them. So, it’s the same for fursuit makers. Not only should you have one ref sheet, but you should give them multiple pictures of your character showing their personality, their structure, and naturally all their fur colors, and markings. I know that for Rune alone, I sent in over 5 pieces of work…talking about which pieces were more accurate to certain part of his face, which ones had his marking more correct as to how they were, my maker got the ref sheet as well, but, because it was colored in pencil, I wanted them to have more examples to work with…and they agreed that this helped a lot.
  2. Step Two: Finding a Maker
    The thing about heads is that a lot of professional makers do not do “Head-only” commissions…meaning that you have to buy a partial (at least) from therm…and that could range anywhere from $800-$1000 easily.
    I also got a lot of “recommendations” when asking in groups and chats for makers. The thing is…when people recommend you to someone, it’s not always someone that they have bought from personally. A lot of the time they are advertising for a close friend of theirs that might do fursuits…but the thing is, these people’s quality is not always good. Sometimes the quality of the maker was good, but, the style that they made their characters did not really match with the image I had for my character. So please know that when finding a maker…you SHOULD be picky. Also, make sure when finding a maker, you are following these steps!

a. Look for makers that you know you can afford (but remember that you get what you pay for).
b. Look for a maker than can make your character the way YOU envision them (find a maker that matches your character’s style).
c. ASK FOR EXAMPLES! (If a maker cannot give you examples of their work, do NOT buy from them, look for clean work, and do not settle for blurry pictures. Make sure you are seeing clear pictures that shows the quality of what they can do).
d. Ask questions…a lot of them (what materials do they use, how long the head might take to make, where do they get their fur from, how many fursuits have they made, etc etc)
e. Ask for a quote (always ask them to review your character and give you a price…compare that then to other makers you have been considering and make your choice based off of that and everything else).

Finding a maker for my suit took me months to do…but trust me, it will be worth it.

  • Step Three: Setting up a Payment Plan
    Most makers already know that you have not saved up the complete amount for the fursuit. So, most of them (professional and non) will work with you on payment plans. While most can be flexible on when you pay, they will say that you must pay a specific amount each time…so no random $2 here or $20 there…but rather each time you pay you will be expected to make $100 or $200 payments until the fursuit is completed. Also be aware of whether or not the makers offer refunds for projects they might not be able to complete and/or projects you are not able to continue with because of life events. I will say that with any maker, there is always the “down payment” which is always non-refundable…this because it’s not fair that a maker start working and then you back out of a project and they get nothing for it. The down-payment usually only covers some supplies, so they are still in the negative if you choose to end your business with them before the fursuit is completed.
  • Step Four: Measurements & Agreements
    head measurements
    For a Fursuit (any part of one), if you are commissioning a maker, they will ask you to send measurements. For a full fursuit, you even have to send the maker a DTD (Duct Tape Dummy) so that they can make something that will fit you perfectly. For a fursuit head however, the measurements are simple. Please be aware that most heads do not take into account glasses…so, if you want to suit up, if you don’t allow room for glasses, then you will have to wear contacts, or let your maker know ahead of time so that they can give your face some extra space (I did not do this). Suits are form-fitting…and even if something does not fit, sometimes a maker might be able to make changes if you return the suit…but again, be aware of whether it is in the maker’s policies to fix anything that might not fit right on the suit. But make sure you give your maker exact measurements…do the steps 2-3 times to make sure you are getting accurate numbers.

 

But about agreements…getting a fursuit can be a bit risky. It is all based in trust as you are sending someone money that you hope will actually send you a finished product (eventually). Fursuits can take months or even over a year…so, it’s best to make sure you lay down some ground rules with your maker before beginning. Makers with a large history of completed works like Skypro do not offer WIP (work in progress) photos…but that’s because they always get their things done. An independent or beginning maker might be a little different though…so it’s best to ask for updates as they work on your fursuit so that you know that things are getting done.

For me, I told my maker that I would only do so many payments before needing to see progress. Then I would send over the next payments and wait for more progress. She agreed with my plan and so we work together as a team, always communicating to see how the project is going. Please keep communication open with your maker. Even if you are just asking them how their weekend is…stay active with them. Ask them if things got shipped in, ask them if they bought that foam they said they ran out of, ask them if they found the right fur colors. You are buying their services and you have a right to ask questions. Occasionally ask for a WIP (work-in-progress) picture so that you can make sure it is turning into the character you want. But at the same time…make sure not to pester them. Do NOT expect a picture every day or even every week. A picture every few weeks or so is better than what most people get.

If there was anything special you wanted on your fursuit (like with mine, I want Rune’s tongue hanging out) make sure you have an agreement with the fursuit maker to do this, and, as they show you the WIP pictures of your suit, ask them if they have remembered the agreed-thing, and have made room for it.

  • Step Five: Waiting
    Waiting is a real step…because as I said before, a fursuit can take months or even over a year to be completed. Especially if you are hiring services from a novice maker. Even with professionals…things happen, life happens, and you will have to wait. Things can go wrong and do go wrong…sometimes fur runs out and they have to wait for more, or their shipment of whatever tends to get lost.When this happens, you just have to be patient with the maker because it is out of their hands and their control. Will it slow down the progress? Of course…but they will start working on it again as soon as possible.

 

Waiting is where most people get nervous because the waiting is when all the scams seem to happen. That’s when suddenly the fursuiter is kicked out of their house and has no place to work or they get fired from their job and need more money because they can’t afford food and ran out of supplies. People have waited years for some sort of progress from sketchy makers and never got anything, not even a refund…so the waiting is the worst part…but, that’s why you always do the research and find a maker you feel you can really trust, then wish for the best.

  • Step Six: The Arrival
    If all has gone well…and you have made all your payments on time, you have been patient through all the waiting periods, you have approved all WIP pictures, then eventually your fursuit will be finished, you pay the shipping, and then, it will be on your way! It arrives at your doorstep, you try it on to make sure it fits, and if it does then you dance and rejoice because you know have the suit of your dreams and it’s time to show it off!

 

And that’s it…that’s really all the steps that there are to getting a fursuit done by a maker. Does it take time? Of course! But better safe than sorry and better to get good quality than to pay for something that makes a mockery of the character you love so much.

 

Now that you know what the overview looks like…now I can show you the dates and how long it has taken thus far in getting everything set up to bring Rune to life!

Reaper by Aire

***Reaper art by Aire / chari owned by AJ Vengeant***

  • My Maker:
    —My maker took forever to find. I was asking everywhere about people that made Fursuit heads only, and, as mentioned before, it’s very hard to find someone that will only do a head for commission. I looked at Skypro but they stopped doing head-only commissions and would not be opening again until Fall…I found a bunch of other professional companies, but their looks were too cartoony for Rune, and they did not fit how I saw him in my head. I got a lot of different recommendations, but most of them did not fit the quality of what I was looking for…and so, eventually I was recommended by Arianna Holmberg to “AJ Vengeant” via the Official Dutch Angel Dragon Community group on Facebook (March 12th).
    AJ and I started talking that very day on examples and prices, even talking about fur and how long it might take to make Rune. Total cost would be around $350 for the head and then another $50 for shipping. Rune could be done in less than 4-months. Which I was really excited about ๐Ÿ˜€

 

Head by AJ Vengeant

***Reaper foam head made by AJ Vengeant***

  • Examples of what I wanted:
    —As it shows in the steps above, when I first started talking to AJ, I wanted to see examples of what the character would look like. I knew I would be taking a risk because while AJ had this amazing foam head that she had made for her Reaper character, she did not have any pictures of what the fur would look like once it was put on. But, I went with AJ because not only did she promise me WIP pictures every step of the way, this foam head was perfect and was exactly what I had been looking for in Rune. Other makers had been too cartoony, or the face did not look right. AJ assured me that the mouth (while it did not move) was wide enough to add a hanging tongue, and eventually I knew that this was worth the investment that this was what I had been looking for. I was taking a dare (and still am). But, I have the feeling that Rune will end up looking fabulous!

 

  • Picking out the Fur:
    —With the reference of Rune, AJ and I spent about 4 days just picking out fur colors.
    AJ would get online, would look at different shades of the same color, send them to me, and when I picked the correct looking one, then we would choose the quality ones with the best shipping prices…and/or make sure there weren’t more options if we felt a shade could be lighter or darker. We looked at fur from March 12th – March 16th just to find the perfect shades. This assured me that I was going to get quality for what I was paying for ๐Ÿ™‚

 

money

  • First Payment: I made the first payment of $100 (the down payment) on March 16th, 2016 // because it was the down payment, this part would not be refunded if I dropped the project.
  • Second Payment:ย  I made the second payment of $100 on March 24th, 2016 // I told AJ that no other payments would be made until a WIP was shown (per our previous agreements). This means I would only have two more payments left to make and then to pay for shipping.

 

 

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  • First shipment of Fur arrives!
    —The first shipment of fur arrived on March 29th, 2016 // The grey is still on it;s way and AJ snapped this pic to let me know that it arrived safe, dry, and without any damage to it. It looks shaggy naturally, but it will be shaved down once applied to the head.

 

 

  • WIP of the foam head!

—I finally got my WIP photos on April 2nd, 2016 of how Rune’ head was coming along. It had not been smoothed, and the ears have not yet been added. But the crease in the nose, the nostrils, and everything else had been marked and smoothing would be happening shortly. Rune is on his way!!!

 

But, this was the last pic I got and the last bit of news I had received…and naturally I will be making more posts as progress continues so that people might see how everything is going and what all is being done to make this fursuit head a reality!!!

 

Thank you so much for tuning in!
Hopefully this was educational for those wanting to get a fursuit head commissioned or people just curious about the project. Just make sure you realize that AJ does not have a list of people waiting for products. Rune is the only priority project right now which is why the head is taking little to no time to make. This will not apply for all makers…so do not take my timetable as something you should expect. Every make will be different. As I said before, I eventually want to get Rune made into a full fursuit, but funding has been low. Once I get the suit, I plan on using it to raise money for charity as well as attending Cons and making promotional and educational (Furry) videos on YouTube!!!

If you would like to help me on this journey, I do have a GoFundMe set up just for bringing Rune to life! [[https://www.gofundme.com/erquzv7g]]!! Thank you so much for reading, and, I will see you all in the next blog ๐Ÿ˜‰

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