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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Strange Mask Making Continues

I really got the mask making bug doing those retro monster mask repaints.  While I was working on the Frankenstein, an idea finally gelled that had been floating around for a few years now.  I had the sense that, with his strikingly textured face, Glenn Strange's incarnation of the Frankenstein Monster would lend itself beautifully to my wacky zombie corpsing technique

I had originally envisioned doing a full bust of the character, but, at 11:30pm on a Monday night, I realized it had to be a mask, so I pulled out some clay and got to work.

I used some Model Magic clay that I had kicking around on top of a reject casting of Sybil the Clairvoyant.  At this point I was imagining that I would leave everything attached to the hollow Sybil face as the structure for the mask, but I realized after I finished sculpting that it would be too heavy with the amount of clay required, so I slathered the sculpture in vaseline to release it from the subsequent layer of paper mache.  Had I known it would go this way, I would have used a non drying oil clay.  It would have released itself from the mache mask and been easier to work with.  Oh well.

I didn't worry about getting a perfect likeness, because my other source of inspiration, besides the movies themselves, is the fantastic Don Post "Calendar" Mask of the character, which has its own over the top exploration of the design, and only almost hits the exact likeness.

Two layers of newspaper and thinned school glue make up the shell of the mask itself.  It gives it structure, but isn't totally rigid, which is kind of nice in a mask.

Then two layers of "chicken mache."  The first one smooth for extra structure, the second with all the wrinkly goodness.  Check the tutorial linked at the top of the post to see how it's done.

And then we paint.  drybrushed pale green highlights and thinned down, washy purple shadows.  What color is he supposed to be? I don't know.  You can't forget the Glenn Strange mole, though!

From there I added hair, monster hardware, and an elastic strap.

And now I'll probably have to make some more.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Monster Masks Rewind

Target put out a line of Universal Monsters themed Halloween products this year, and what caught my eye was the cheesy vacuum formed plastic masks.  They had the bones of vintage Ben Cooper and Collegeville Halloween masks, but the paint job was lacking.

I picked up the Creature from the Black Lagoon to have a go at painting it up retro style.  This one had a really cool vintage counterpart with an almost identical sculpture from Collegeville, so I had a clear direction.  Here's the before and after.

It was pretty fun, and the Instagram kids seemed to dig it, too, so I sought out the others.  I found the Bride of Frankenstein next.  Turns out the vintage paint jobs on these were just about the same as the new one. Snooze.  So I pulled from some vampire lady designs, as well as the Frankenstein ones to come up with what hopefully comes across as wild yet pretty. It's certainly prettier than the factory paint job, so there's that.

I had to order the Frankenstein Monster, as it was all sold out locally.  This one is sculpted pretty boring compared to the old ones, but we  can save it in paint!

And here's the terrible trio!