Introduction: Stunt Double Fake Dog
Last year I made a spacesuit for our dog Kajsa, a very patient Yorkshire Terrier. She has worn the suit a couple of times and I've been able to photograph and film her, but for showing and talking about my space builds I've had to come up with a Kajsa "stunt" double. I had a model for size and measure but it was missing the head. No problem when the visor was down, but otherwise, the magic was lost:-)
I've been invited to do talks about this build and I can't bring Kajsa on the road, my family has told me… duh!
Material for body
- Foam (I had some foam tube leftover)
- Plywood (19 mm)
- White gaffer tape
Material for body
- One mitten, fury, leftover
- Sugru, for the nose (sugru.com)
- Animal fake eyes
- Strip, black
- Jigsaw (don't cut foam, will "bite" it)
- Xacto knife
- Bandsaw (can cut foam as well)
Step 1: Spot the Fake…
I'll jump right to the end! Who's the imposter? You get one try:-) Dina our other dog thought this new family member was weird…
Step 2: Put a Head on It…
I started with the most important part, the head. I wanted this to be as lively as possible, it was going to be visible in the helmet and being a spacesuit for a dog, well a dog it must be.
My wife donated an old mitten where the left one was missing, much help from the get-go. I folded up the mitten and made the hole where the hand would go in as the mouth. So the thumb and the pocket for the fingers became ears. The one strip was used to hold it in position, I cut away the excess strip.
I took my favorite material, Sugru, and googled "dog nose". Sugru is a silicone-based fudge that has flexibility when left for 24 hours to dry. Since it is slow drying you have time to mess up, I did:-) When happy I left it overnight and the next day I glued the nose to the mitten.
The eyes were placed last to fit the face symmetry, they are held in place by paper clips on the inside.
Finally, I did a bit of trimming with the razor to make the face and eyes get a more natural feel.
Step 3: Body for Structure
Next, I started to make the body, I had the old simple dogequin as reference. I took the plywood and cut it to size with the jigsaw, all the other pieces would be attached to this part. The wire was 2 mm thick so quite sturdy, I made sure I had enough for the legs on both sides, I drilled two holes for the wire to go through to the other side, front and back. The large piece of foam was split in two and cut to fit each side. I made large holes where the wire came through so I could fit the foam from the legs.
With the legs, I slit a wedge in the foam halfway through. Then I put the wire inside and secured it with gaffer tape. It was important to make sure none of the sharp edges of the wire would stick out and damage the suit.
Attaching the head was the final step. It looks violent but I can assure you the patient was not conscious during the procedure. I filed the wire to make them needle-sharp. Through the mouth and into the back of the head was what I was aiming for. With two screws and washers, I secured the wire by twisting it between the two screws.
Even though the wire was thick and sturdy I could still easily adjust to the right position.
Step 5: Will It Fit…
Yes, it will, because I measure twice:-) I'm really happy with the result!
The head is lifelike but the best part it doesn't bark!!! (I've installed a small Bluetooth speaker in the helmet so I can make the dog bark… from my phone:-)
So as soon as the COVID19 pandemic is over we're hitting the road, me and Kajsa2
Participated in the