Toothless Quadsuit Update #3

toothless quadsuitHi everyone! Welcome to another edition of Friday Fun Stuff! I know it’s been a long time since my last update, and I apologize for that. But I’ve made some great progress on my quadsuit project of Toothless, the Night Fury dragon from How to Dragon Your Dragon. I’m finishing up the dragon’s head and have made substantial progress on the legs and torso as well. Let’s dig into the details…

First, the head. As you may remember from my last update, I’d finished cutting out the 3-D paper fold and added some foam to the interior to give it stability. Since then, I have added a layer of paper mache and fiberglass to give it a hardened exterior (so it won’t collapse). The fiberglass mix was painted on with a large brush and worked pretty well.

photo 1

The paper mache was still drying so it looks a bit saggy.

I also used the fiberglass to help secure a section of PVC pipe that will serve as the neck “bone.” But before that, I bent the PVC pipe with a heat gun so that it has the proper curvature of a neck.

The next important step for Toothless’s head was painting the eyes. I was a little intimidated by this step as I wanted his eyes to look good and also they began as Sytrofoam balls (which can be hard to paint). So I first attempted to create a smooth painting surface with hot glue. That worked okay, but what ultimately helped smooth over the rough bumps of Styrofoam was Mod Podge. Plus, it gave it a nice, glossy appearance. Next step was to simply add acrylic paint (easy, right?).

Here is the photo I used as a reference for Toothless’s eyes:


Image borrowed from the brilliant costume creator, Monoyasha.

And here is what my version looks like:

photo 5

Up close and personal Toothless.

Not an exact match, but decent nonetheless.

Once that was finished, I concentrated on adding fabric (although you can tell from that painted eye picture that I already started). But one issue remained: how could I give Toothless better definition to his nose and lips? The head mold was rather flat after adding paper mache and fiberglass. My solution? Foam!

As you can kind of see in the above picture, I used thin upholstery foam (plus a little stuffing in the nose) to give shape to Toothless’s upper lip. The next step is to stitch and glue on the lower lip, which I’m planning to do soon.

That’s it for the head update, so now we move on to the body/torso. In my previous update, I mention using foam and wiring to give the body proper shape and support. I ended up using copper pipe around the upholstry foam and came out looking like this:

photo 2

That big cut out circle is the arm hole.

Once that was finished, I need to add the black fabric to make it look a little more like an actual dragon body. But not just the body, I also needed arm holes. So I made those separately with my sewing machine and a T-shirt as a pattern. Once the proper measurements and sewing efforts were complete, I added the arms to the torso and it came out looking like this:

photo 3

You can see my pup, Jazz, in the background! Hi, Jazz!

This is only pinned on right now because I still have to add the zipper to the underbelly and finish sewing the pieces together. But I did manage to mold the foam, so now the body is a bit more shapely than the previous picture with only foam and pipe.

I even played around a bit with the chest and head attachments. This is by no means what it will look like once I’m done, but it’s fun to get a vague idea of how the attachment will work.

photo 1

This image was taken before fabric and eye paint were added to the head.

And my Toothless back legs are now finished too! I started with thin pants as a base, but then stitched them in a more form-fitting and added the dragon-like fabric over them. I then added foam to the back of the calf area so it looks as though there is muscle there. You got a peek at them last time, and here they are all done (along with the feet).


They’re a bit tight on, but once the whole costume comes together, that won’t matter.

That’s about it for this update. My next one will feature how I attach the neck and head (which will definitely require some power tools). The other big step is adding Velcro and a zipper to the center underbelly. I’m sure it won’t be easy handstitching Velcro to foam! But it’s important to help with securing the body. Stay tuned for more! Update #4 will be coming soon (or at least, sooner than this update did).

Have any thoughts or comments on this project? Share in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!

You can also find my on Twitter (@alishabmarie). And if you’re a fan of TV shows Arrow and Gotham, or you like board games, you can read my reviews on Three If By

About alishabmarie

Sometimes I write things. Sometimes they are even good.
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