Monday, October 28, 2013

Frankenstein and his Bride Costume Build

This year James and I were Frankenstein and The Bride! Thought I'd share how we got the costumes thrown together. It was the BEST year ever! So many creative ideas and fantastic costumes..... Don't know how we're going to keep up next year.

This pic was taken by our Hosts.... Seriously good time! 
You can see our outfits in this one. James got a goodwill suit and black turtle neck. We altered the sleeves and made them shorter. You can see the sheet alteration for my costume here. I think the two big things to remember are the shoulder pads and the square neckline. Oh... and I left my smock a bit long..... Tripped folks up all evening. Could have done with a trim.

We made James a positive cast of his head so he could build the prosthetic right on that. We put plaster of Paris bandages on his freshly shaved head. If you have hair, you'll want to wear a bald cap. After the plaster bandage had cured, we took the piece off and rubbed the inside with Vaseline as a release agent and filled it with plaster of Paris. Once that had cured, we pulled off the bandages and voila, we had a copy of James' head to sculpt on.

Here's the first few layers of Plasticine. He's just building up height and keeping things smooth.

Now he's started to build up the top edges. He still used the mini rolling pin to help him keep everything smooth and even.

Here's the final sculpt. He's exaggerated the details because some will be lost with the layers of latex. We're not creating a mold and recasting this year. We decided to try using the actual sculpt as a mold........Keep reading, You'll see what I'm babbling on about in a sec.

Here's the piece with about 7 coats of mold builder liquid latex, and three coats of flesh coloured latex from McCullochs Costume shop. He let each layer dry completely before adding the next. I think he applied no more than three layers a day.

After everything was dry, he dusted the whole thing with a layer of cornstarch so it wouldn't stick to itself when he peeled it off the sculpt. He started at the back edge so if something went wrong we could hide it under a layer of hair later.

All went well! He kept peeling until the whole head piece was off. He had to remove the staple pieces that got stuck inside but that was no big deal.

We stuffed the piece lightly with cotton batting and glued the edges to his head with spirit gum. Then I added a worm of cotton to his brow ridge and coated it with two layers of latex and some single layer torn toilet paper bits. He dried it with a hair dryer between layers. I also put a layer of this latex loo roll all around the edge of the prosthetic to hide it a bit and help blend it into his face and head. (Maggs is working her makeup commission in the background..... So proud!)

Now Maggie's got her fingers in. She's added a layer of flesh coloured gelatin from McCullochs to smooth the brow out a bit. It worked a treat! She's a genius!

We've covered him with grey snazaroo cake makeup and applied it with a sponge.
Then we went back in with white cake on the highlights and gave him some shadows with black. We also added a chin scar from the scars I made here..... We glued them down with spirit gum and sealed the edges with latex.

You can see the back of the head in this shot and where we gathered the piece a bit ti get it to fit. I think we stretched it some when we pulled it off the sculpt. We hid the bulk of this with the hair application. There's me too! I'm almost all done, just needed to add some white to my neck and shoulders and put my gloves on.

This is at the end of the night after the party. James is taking off the wrist scars. We put them on the same way we applied the chin scars. This is the only clear pic we have of the hair so far. There will be more from the event and I'll post them when they come in but I wanted to share for anyone who was working on a build of their own for this year. We got hair from Sally Beauty Supply and glued hunks of it in place starting from the base of his neck at the back. We stuck it down with spirit gum and layered some latex over top of each end layer to hold things down. It was messy and we should have allowed much more time for this step. 
At the very end we added some bolts that James made from STAEDTLER Fimo effect metallic silver #-81. We glued them on with some spirit gum.

Here's a pic of my applied scars with a base of white over everything. I added some red to the inside of the scars and blended things a bit more after this shot was taken. I'm hoping to have more pics soon to share so you can see the finished details and hair. I drafted a pattern for the dress and made it from three bed sheets. I wore a white long sleeved shirt, cutting off the neckline to hide it under the dress. I also used fabri-tak glue to stick extra strips of sheets for bandaged arms. I added the gloves I made at the very end and they blended seamlessly. 

A great choice for comfort and wear-ability! Watch for updates to this post and I'll add more pics as they come in. 
Hope you're having a Happy Halloween too!

Thanks for these pics Anna and Cathy! :D