Creaturiste's Laboratory

Techniques, works in progress, and everything that doesn't fit in the portfolio. Comments and questions are encouraged, custom orders are welcome!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Giant Skull Mask 2

This is the sequel to Giant Skull Mask WIP.

The skull mask is close to be completed.

The first two pictures show texture of the paper mache Bark before the sealing (diluted Weldbond, two coats inside, one outside) and application of the Monster Bone finish, which has softened it and made the whole mask come together.

The yellowish paint job on the last picture is the first step of it. Much more staining and aging will be required. As a solution to reduce friction and noise that was happening from the stiff wire, I used a braided black cord to hinge the lower jaw to the skull. The compromise that comes with this choice is that I see the black knots outside the jaw, which I made as clean as possible, by trimming close and gluing with a drop of hot glue. The more I look at them, the less I worry about it. After all, a skeleton creature, without tendons or muscles, must need something to hold the lower jaw in place!

I was lucky to find a bicycle helmet that fits my head perfectly. It fits inside the skull mask, and brings my eyes level with those of the mask. The helmet's straps allow total stability and ease of movement. The mask, made of paper mache, is so lightweight that I don't need extra support like heavier masks would need, such as a harness from the shoulders.

The biggest remaining step is to build a foam chin piece that will activate the jaw without the need for a strap. It has to be low profile enough to allow for enough depth in the open jaw to appear like an endless hole of darkness, once the black veil is installed in the jaw to hide my face.

The costume is a simple black robe with long falling sleeves. I made a separate hood that fits the giant mask's size. This separate hood prevents the need to cut into the robe, which will allow me to re-use the robe for future costumes. I was looking for a natural fiber look, without paying the high price of linen, which would definitely have been my first choice. I was glad to find this 100% polyester textile which had a "linen" look to it, at a very affordable price. The weave is not too tight, allowing enough breathing while still being sufficiently opaque.

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