The Quick and Dirty Guide to Getting Started with Kigurumi
(a list of various pieces of gear with price tiering)
(a list of various pieces of gear with price tiering)
Getting started in kig can be daunting due to the fact that high quality masks of an Anime character can easily set you back $1000 or more; however, you can get in for just exactly that too. This little guide will break down and explain the differences in tiers and terms you will see while ordering from various makers.
Tier 1 (quick, dirty, and sexy?)
This tier will get you in with the smallest investment but comes with some caveats I’ll go over on each
Instead of a hadatai from a maker, you can get pretty much any cheap flesh tone zentai for about $40 US. My first was a Milanoo but anything off Amazon works fine here. The downside is that they are usually shiny and not matte leading to the mask and bodysuit colors looking off.
Next up is shape enhancement. This is kinda all on you at low tier. If you need boobs any enhancer will do: socks, push up bras, foam sleep forms. You need to get boobs under your zentai, just beware the mono boob to follow as it will not track into your cleavage well. You can add a simple shaper that pulls you in a little if you want to try to minimize that belly, You can probably get away with spending only around $60 here before we step into tier 2 and even then you’re going to be able to carry what you get here over.
As far as masks go technically the hobby can be started with anything from the hard plastic Generic anime girl mask from a novelty store, the rubber female anime blonde who’s always lurking on ebay, or if you want something a little nicer at the end of this tier and a with a little bit of DIY a Munimuni.
Now Munimuni is a Japanese maker who mass produces in a much softer material and you order a face, with eyes, straps to put it on, and maybe a wig. Muni comes with some DIY required on arrival but it’s not that bad and can look good with some skill. This leads into the two caveats for this maker though: first size and second they are sold at sex stores in Japan. In terms of size they aren’t that tiny but they are sized to cover Asian faces better. If you have a fatter face you run the chance of the mask not sitting so great in front of you and showing who is under it at times. There’s not much to say about the sex toy thing other than because it is sold alongside them in Japan, most kigs from that country will not be pleasant to deal with and you get that nice stigma going for your kig presence which can lead to awkward real life encounters with other people. Price ~$165-200 US
So to get you into your nude kig body on the cheap, you are looking at:
Tier 2 (that $1000 sweet spot!)
This is where things get fun because a lot of what I’m going to write out here falls into the higher end as well. You will be spending money at this point and it will be a nice chunk depending on your route.
Shapewear is a delicate subject because some people use a lot, some use a little and it all depends on what you are aiming for in size adjusting. Corseting and waist cinchers work here, try not to spend a ton on them as they will be under your hadatai and not seen. You may also want to invest in a leotard or other undergarment to keep your sweat away from the corset as they don’t clean easy. I’ve gotten some good corsets from Corsetdeal.com for less than $50. As far as under or over bust, honestly your mileage may vary I know people who swear by either, but personally use over. If you need to add to your hips you can get crafty with some open cell foam or just buy silicone stuff. Maybe you have hips naturally; this section is just kinda all over due to how varied we can be in size and shape as humans. I would recommend taking time on this before buying the hadatai as your shapewear is going to affect your measurements when done right. I’ll include links to some ideas on amazon for what you might use around a corset in the link section. Just do yourself a favor a read up on how to size and wear a corset properly as failing to do so can lead to SERIOUS INJURY!!!!!!!
It is at this point you need to get a hadatai from your mask maker, most are resellers for MyWayFetish (they don’t speak English very well). The hadatai has many options at this point from crotch zippers to pockets for breasts. These are made to measure so plan to get help from a friend. Each maker has their own way of selling them and thus different prices and shipping costs to you.
Now this is a little bit of a fun subject but it’s time to talk boobies. Everyone needs some enhancement when getting in kig as your proportions change just from putting on the mask. Now if you’re ordering with a maker they will probably tell you the forms that come with your MWF hadatai are “asian” sized so you will want to keep in mind you need to shoot a size or two larger. Personally unless you are planning a lolita character, I wouldn’t recommend going below their “E” size. Alternatively you can buy pretty much any forms to put in the pockets, but they are best measured by weight and this guide assumes you’re taking the less complicated route and getting them with your hadatai.
Now we move onto the big cost again, your mask! There are several good makers that have intro masks around the $500-600 mark which right now is DAME and RTPS. You pretty much just get to choose open or closed mouth, hair color, and eye color at this tier so you won’t be getting any actual characters unless you can find a used one. You’ll probably still have a multi month production window, but they are usually quicker turn around since they can cast these in advance then finish to order.
Brief note here There are a lot of Asian makers that also sell in-between the ranges I’ve given between tier 1 and 2. You get what you pay for so go looking around and just be wary of cheap kig heads. Also that whole Asian sizing thing comes up in terms of head size and it sucks to get like a Nukopan and discover it’s 90% of what you needed and you look like a pinhead….
So dirty total for mid tier naked kig
$450 (DAME converted to US) $575 (RTPS Etsy)
Tier 3 (Time for actual cosplay)
Okay at this point we are assuming you’re either balls to the wall in or are just ready to throw money at it. This is where we are going to talk really only about the mask as tier 2 pretty much covers everything below your neck.
The terms at this point for mask makers are going to be semi-custom, an existing shell design that they adjust a character onto, (Miku anyone?) and full custom, the big one off sculpt just for you. Pricing is going to vary a lot at this point but you get what you pay for. GKO does some really nice semi-customs but do not do full customs at all. I’ve not dealt with DAME personally at this level so I can’t give much info on them, but they’ve done some pretty work and I’m assuming it costs the pretty penny. Ride the Pig Studios will do pretty much anyone in semi-custom or full. There’s usually a long wait on full custom since they are one off sculpts, yes one off, they will not sell it again without permission from you and they try to take your body size into account for proportions. Makers at this stage are usually busy and require more lead time on quotes and deliveries because of the nature of making these masks.
Tier X (DIY)
So this is here mostly because I see people with 3d printers going “how hard could it be” or wanting to sculpt their own for other reasons.
Basic things you need to be aware of are: prints are going to take days and multiple pieces to put together, you need to be ready to sand and properly finish to have a smooth looking kig, you will need to know how to use an airbrush as it takes a good bit of work to paint them properly, and you are going to be styling some hair. With that out of the way, there are many different kig head files online I recommend going to Openkig as they just ask you credit them for the original file and that’s about it there. They just want to make kigging more accessible to all and you can even modify their stuff. If you want to sculpt your own I have used Autodesk Meshmixer and Sculptris. Both are free and aren’t hard to pick up. Just know it’s still an art skill so good luck and have fun if you were bad at sculpture before.
This concludes my quick and dirty guide for what you need to start kig. It’s just about having fun at the end of the day. You can get whatever you want in outfits from anywhere with kig and still be the character you chose and that’s half the fun. If you are on a tight budget don’t rush in to the hobby please it’s not cheap even after the initial investment because you almost always want a new mask or outfit. Happy kigging
Munimuni works munimuni.jp
Foam Sleep forms (example you will want to take the time to figure out your size)
Corset deal corsetdeal.com/ (cheap corsets for under your suit)
Various kinds of soft shapewear on amazon (for under and over corset and general use)
DAME Kigurumi (please note all their prices are in GBP) facebook.com/DAMEkigurumi/ (contact here regarding any mask inquiries) damekigurumi.com/Home (offers their skin toned matched hadatai on their website)
Ride the Pig Studios etsy.com/shop/pigdroppings (for their best deal on generic masks) facebook.com/ridethepigstudios/ (ordering hadtai and actual character masks)
Goukaou Kigurumi Studio facebook.com/gkokig goukaou.blog131.fc2.com/?fbcli…9373qJLFeMtGWGw9ng0ZUSBOM (most ordering can be done through their website)
Open kig openkig.com
Care and Maintenance
So you've bought everything, waited untold weeks or even months, and now are in the position to have fun being a kig. But wait! There are a few things you need to know to ensure your suit remains in pristine condition.
First and foremost, if you bought a hadatai from MyWayFetish or one of their resellers you'll see that the breast forms that came with it have velcro attached to their backs, to hold them inside the breast pockets. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you be handling those with your suit gloves – the velcro hooks WILL noticeably damage them. Instead, either handle them barehanded or if you absolutely must handle them while suited up use latex, nitrile, etc gloves.
Your kig’s hair is finite so you need to be careful when brushing out your wig. Please check with your maker for their preferred brush and pay attention to details about it. I personally like to use a Michel Mercier Detangling brush (yes the as seen on TV brush) for “FINE” hair. This means the pink one usually, but you should read the box or make sure you are ordering that one. Before you start brushing the wig out make sure you are avoiding any areas that have been glued or hard styled, You’ll eventually have to redo them, but no reason to inflict that on yourself early. Start by holding the section you will be working on then start brushing the bottom section of the hair working your way up. This will help work out the knots in the wig without straining the hair as much. Slowly repeat this around your wig and it should stay nice for longer and you won’t look like you have terrible hair skills. The back of the neck is very susceptible to tangling and knotting so pay extra close attention there. If you need a little help get a bottle of Mane and Tail detangler from your local beauty supply store it doesn’t take much but a squirt or two per area to help get everything back in shape
Now you have had your, put away your mask and have a stinky sweaty hadatai on your floor. Time to wash it. This is best done with a delicate detergent like Woolite. You can hand wash it, or you can get a delicates bag to put it in a washing machine on the gentlest cycle possible. When it’s clean it’s best left out on a drying rack or other large surface to dry. DO NOT HANG IT UP WET!!! This will cause it to stretch out over time and it will end up bunching at various points which won’t look very good.
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