The tails are finished!! This was probably the most technical part of this build in terms of working out how to stabilise the structures. If you’ve not read my previous blog post, the tails themselves are foam tubes covered in fake fur, with a bit of wire for extra support. In themselves, they’re pretty stable, but trying to attach them to myself was a problem that needed solving.
I read a few blogs by other cosplayers who’d made ahri tails. One I stumbled across used a belt and a piece of wood with small holes drilled in for wires to feed through. Because my tails are fuller in shape than ahri tails, I couldn’t just use wire to construct them, so I couldn’t replicate this method completely. At this point, my handy cosplay helper came up with a plan – beans! Yep, beans – or rather the empty tins.
I bought an industry standard support belt for people that work doing heavy lifting and found a square piece of wood that was leftover from when we installed extra shelves in our house. Using an empty bean tin, I marked out where all three would need to be on the wood and roughly where the centre would be. I then drilled holes in the wood and the tins and inserted a long screw so that the length of the screw would be inside the bean tin – these would be fixed in place with a washer and wingnuts to keep them from turning – no one wants upside down tails! I painted the wood black as well, so even if some was visible on the finished cosplay, it wouldn’t stand out too much.
The tails themselves went into construction at this point because I needed the measurements from the tins to know how wide to make the base of the tails. The reason this has taken so long to finish was we needed to buy and consume three tins of mixed beans, which took longer than you’d think. After we had all three tins and three constructed foam tails, we started gluing everything in place. I chose my trusty contact cement for this job – I want everything to stay put! I applied glue to the outside of the tins and the inside of the foam tube and carefully slid the foam in place over the tin – these were a pretty tight fit so I had to work quickly so that everything wouldn’t stick properly before I could get it in place.
After the glue was dry, I strapped on the belt and jumped around a bit to make sure everything stayed put (and because it’s fun). I hot glued the loose fabric onto the foam around the base of the tails so there would be no foam showing. Ta dah! Completed tails!
After we took this last picture, I realised the weight of the tails was dragging everything a bit too far back. We’ve subsequently added two extra bolts – the top two corners of the wood block are now fastened to the belt, which has helped pull everything back up again. You’ll see the difference when I put the whole costumer on together.