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Animatronic "Skin" Answered


I am making an animatronic tail, similar to the one pictured below and I am not sure how to go about covering it so I can put the fur on. I am thinking that some type of rubber tubing (and what kind of tubing) or nylon/mesh stretchy fabric, but I am worried about glue seeping through the fabric and onto the moving parts. What do people use for this stage of their project?



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4 years ago

If you want it realistic with fur/skin attached to the moving parts I would try latex as used for face masks and ofther theatrical things.
Take a teflon rod (or something else with a non stick coating) of slightly thinner diameter than your tail and maybe just wax for the outer casting form.
Of course you need to center the teflon rod and screw it in place for the curing.
Once cured you can turn it inside out so you start from the end of the tail to roll it over.
Add a drop of glue on the fixed body parts and all should stay in place.
But judging by your image it should work just fine without glue as long as the dummy in the cast is slightly thinner than the original.

Other people might suggest using our homemade silicone based molding stuff but it will be quite hard to get fur on it.
On latex you can use the make up glue as used for masks and place single hairs if you like.
Ask some hairdressers or check Google - you can actually get hair in all sorts of colors for custom wigs.
Might be easier than shaving your neighbours dog ;)


4 years ago

Usually you create a skin to cover the moving parts. So a fabric or material made into some kind of "sock" to slip over the entire tail would do. You would not glue directly to the moving parts since that would restrict or bind the movement. You might need to fasten it at the tail ends so it keeps its shape and not shift about.