Alongside your reference art, a duct tape dummy (or DTD) is one of the most important tools we need to bring your creation to life. As the name implies, a duct tape dummy is a complete cast of your body, constructed from duct tape. The purpose of the DTD is to provide us the exact size and and dimensions we need to ensure that your suit fits perfectly. A DTD is not required for partial suits; however it is essential for full-body fursuits.
Preparing a duct tape dummy is a two-person job. It is not possible to build a DTD by yourself without distortion or damage, and it should not be attempted due to safety concerns. If you have never prepared a DTD before, use the following steps below as a guide. Please note that building a DTD can take over an hour and can be somewhat labor-intensive. Be sure to allot enough time and do not rush – the better quality dummy you provide, the better your suit will fit. Furthermore, building a DTD necessarily exposes you and your helper to personal contact – be sure that you and your helpers are comfortable before proceeding. Finally, remember that you will be immobilized during much of the build – be sure to take a bathroom break and stretch before starting.
- To begin, you will need a set of painters coveralls, as well as 6-10 rolls of ordinary duct tape which you can get at any hardware store.
- Start by having a friend or partner wrap your legs in 2-3 layers of tape, winding around each leg and allowing a bit of overlap between each pass. Be sure to crisscross each layer to add strength to the dummy.
- Work your way up to your groin area. Depending on your comfort level, you may wish to do this part yourself; tear strips of tape and wrap them between your legs and around your hips. You may need to tear smaller strips to cover your groin and butt completely. Again, be sure to apply 2-3 layers and alternate directions to improve strength.
- Next, have your partner work upward, winding your torso in 2-3 layers of tape. Be sure to overlap each layer for strength. Take care not to wrap the layers so tightly so as to hinder breathing.
- Once the torso has been completed, begin working down each arm using a similar technique as the legs. Keep your arms straight and raised from your sides for the best results. Note that moving or bending your arms will damage the dummy so you may wish to prop your arms up with supports to prevent them from tiring.
- Finish taping by around the shoulders and neck. Again, take care to not wrap too tightly around the neck for safely reasons. You may need to tear strips of tape to complete the shoulders.
- Once the dummy has been completed, use a permanent marker to draw lines down the side of the torso and down the sides of the legs and arms as shown. Use a strong pair of scissors to cut along these lines, taking great care to not cut or damage the person inside.
- With the incisions made, you will be able to free yourself from the dummy. Remember that the painter suit you wore will be stuck to the tape, so you need to ask for some privacy before removing the dummy completely.
- The dummy is now complete and can be carefully rolled up and mailed to us. Refer to our Contact information for mailing instructions.