Monster Musume Rachnera Cosplay making of – Part 5
Sitting on a spider
So we had the spider’s body holding by itself on its legs. That was very encouraging. And we had figured out a solution to the assembling/disassembling problem. This step was certainly the most complicated step from the whole building process and we were released that it was done. However, more challenges were waiting for us.
One of the questions that people asked me the most was: ‘Where are you gonna put your legs? Will they be hidden inside the spider’s body?’ On some of the drawings, you can see that the human part of Rachnera is attached to her spider body in a way that we couldn’t reproduce.
Even if my legs would have been hidden inside the body, there’s no way I could have kept my body in that angle for many hours in a row during the convention. The only logical solution was to have me sitting on the body. But what would we do with my legs? When you look closely at other Rachnera pics, you can see that she does have shorter ‘legs’ that are actually called ‘pedipalps.’
We thought that the best solution was to disguise my legs as the spider’s pedipalps. Making latex leggings for the costume would make my legs look as slick and shiny as the fiberglass spider body that would be shiny because of the automotive paint. The latex would imitate the spider’s ‘skin texture’ perfectly. But how would we integrate my feet in the pedipalps design? I tried various pointy high heel shoes, but it would always, in the end, look like shoes. It would have been disapointing to work that much on a fiberglass body to finally wear my Rachnera costume with simple shoes. So my friend and I built these fiberglass leg pieces that would cover my feet and give them a different shape. Of course, my legs would remain longer than Rachnera’s pedipalps, but at least, they would be covered by the same material than the rest of the structure, creating a camouflage effect.
Now that we knew that my legs wouldn’t be hidden inside the body and that I would be sitting on the body, we had to build my seat. It would be easy to create a fiberglass seat that would be part of the structure itself. However, it had to be a comfortable seat because I would have to stay there for a long time. Fiberglass remains fiberglass, not very comfortable, so the least we could do was to make sure that the seat would be… sculpted to fit my booty. I thought of older tractor seats. They had type of an ‘ergonomic’ shape. Remember that box containing the metal plate where the legs would be boalted? We cut a ‘seat’ shape in that box and sculpted a styrene lid. I would literally be sitting on the lid of the box giving us access to the legs’ assembling mechanism. On the next picture, notice the boalts coming out from under the seat, where the legs are fixed.
Then I tried to sit on our first attempt of seat. Since my legs were dangling off the edge, I had to hold my body to keep my balance. Otherway, I would fall down. It was clear that I couldn’t force my back and thighs muscles like this for many hours. We had to find a way to support me, to keep me on the seat. So we added that ‘bump’ in the middle front of the seat to support my crotch and keep my body in balance. It helped a lot. Plus, that part of the seat would be hidden by Rachnera’s loincloth. It was a good idea. But I still had to force my thighs muscles because the weight of my legs dangling off the edge of the seat was still pushing me down, making the under part of my thighs pressing very hard against the seat. After a couple of minutes, my thighs were numb already. And I wasn’t even wearing the fiberglass leg pieces that would add even more weight on my legs. That seat was far from being comfortable. That would be a bigger challenge than we had thought.
I suggested to add something on the front of the seat to support my legs as much as possible. We added 2 pads of EVA foam that we covered with fiberglass and integrated to the seat. If you look closely to the next picture, you’ll see these 2 little shapes in the front of the seat that we designed expressly to support my thighs. It wasn’t perfect, but I felt like it was as close as it could get to a ‘comfortable’ seat. We sanded and finished the edge of the seat so it wouldn’t hurt me. If we would have been building this for another model or cosplayer, I don’t think we coud have expected another girl to sit on this for a long time without feeling pain. But since we were building it for me and since I’m pretty resistant to muscle pain, I knew that I could stand it for the time of the convention. Anyway, we had to move on and we had no other choice. I would sit there and stay there no matter what.
See the window wall on picture? Just so you know, that’s where my sewing room is. My sewing room is on the mezzanine floor in my workshop. Thanks to the window wall, when it’s summer time and when I work with the garage door of the workshop open, I can see outside even if I’m working in my sewing room. I love it!
Enough for today! Be ready for Part 6 of my making of blog! I’ll explain how the legs’ assembling mechanism was hidden by an intricate custom made lid.