GROND29's 2013 Halloween Costume Contest Entry

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GROND29

New Member
Hi everyone, I've been a member here for a while now, but not put up any of my work yet. I thought this Halloween's costume contest would be the perfect time. I'm relatively new to the active costume building/ make-up hobby, but its something I've been passionate about for a long time.

For this Halloween I decided on replicating Boris Karloff's Imhotep from 'The Mummy' (1932) specifically his guise as Ardath Bey, in which he appears throughout the majority of the film. My idea was do do it all in greyscale, to give the impression I'd stepped right out of the movie.

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The robe and fez I sourced from an ebay seller in Egypt. The fez was the classic red colour so I covered it with dark grey felt. the belt/ sash was made from scratch by my mum (who is much better with making clothing than I am!) using a grey poly-cotton fabric that was layered with a darker shade of fabric to add some depth. The sash fastens at the back with a couple of sewn on poppers.

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To create the lion head buckle/ emblem I sculpted the design in water based clay and created a silicon mould from this. The clay sculpt came out relatively intact as you can see in the picture below. Once the clay was cleaned from the mould, I cast the piece with a fast setting resin, to which I added some aluminium powder to give it a metallic finish. After letting the cast fully cure for a couple of days I buffed the surface with steel wool to bring out a metallic gleam. This was harder than I expected, probably because I was using too fine a grade of wool. I gave the piece a wash of blue and black inks to give it some age, knocking back the wash with kitchen paper. I probably should have used a waxed based pigment as the water inks just beaded up and didn't cover the piece well. Finally a few coats of gloss varnish was applied and the emblem attached to the sash with strips of velcro.

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I used exactly the same process to create the ornate scarab ring that Imhotep wears. The finished piece was then glued onto simple aluminium ring. I'm quite proud of these two pieces as they are important aspects that represent the character and some of my first forays into the sculpting and moulding processes.

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The final part of the costume was re-creating Jack Pierce's classic wrinkly make-up. I decided to stick closely to the techniques that Pierce used. Here I cut out separate pieces of toilet tissue paper for the brow, cheeks, bridge of the nose, top and bottom lips, chin and a piece for the back of each hand. I glued these pieces onto my face carefully using prosthetic adhesive, then gently soaked the tissue with liquid latex, making sure to get the edges sealed first. Drying the latex with a hair dryer gave some great wrinkles!

One of the hardest parts was finding an appropriate thickness of toilet paper! Too thick and the latex make the wrinkles too extreme and theatrical. Too thin and the paper just disintegrates. I settled on Andrex Classic White. A further difficulty I had was in the placement of the two lip pieces, the mouth area being a high stress area for prosthetics. Sometimes I got it right and they stayed on, other times it started to come unstuck at the edges. The problem with using the tissue/ latex method is that it takes quite a bit of time and care to get it the same each time!

I used creme-based make-up to colour my skin and the latex appliances, the latter needing a powdered layer of prosthetic adhesive on top for the make-up to adhere properly to the latex. Colouring is a further area I need to practice with. The entire make-up process took me about 2 1/2 hours, but I'm really pleased with the finished result!

FIRST MAKE-UP TEST
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SECOND TEST (a bit more subtle with the make-up and under natural light, these are probably my favourite attempts. I also shot a couple of black and white ones)
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THIRD COMPLETE COSTUME AND MAKE-UP TEST (I was able to take these photos in the drama studio of my old school, to give me some different controls over the lighting. Some of them are probably a bit bright and not as moody as I was going for, but I was pleased nevertheless! [must learn lighting techniques!] One difficulty I had here was in getting the make-up to adhere properly to my ears, which stand out against the monochrome look of the rest of the photo. However I think this works well with the additional props that I had to hand, which stand out very positively. I decided not to completely cover my hands as I would be picking stuff up during Halloween, not wanting to get make-up everywhere)

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Just have to replicate it for Halloween now!
 

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Bizarro Lois

Sr Member
I missed this build thread, but was really impressed when I saw it in the Contest Gallery. Great idea - I love old horror movies! My husband was looking over my shoulder as I went through the pics, and he really liked it too. I want to learn gray scale makeup sometime soon. Maybe you can pass along some tips :)
 

GROND29

New Member
Maybe you can pass along some tips :)

Thanks Lois, It came out of wanting to do something simple for Halloween this year. Simple but effective, and I instantly thought of the old Universal classics!

It was actually my first time doing a grey scale make-up. I started by sponging on a couple of light layers of grey as a base tone, then gradually deepened the grey tone to hollow out my cheeks, temple and around the eye sockets. I used a brush to darken some of the deeper creases on the make-up, which I couldn't reach with a sponge, such as the bridge of the nose, the naso-labial folds on either side of the nose and on the lips. I finished off the eyes with some dark grey eyeshadow.

The hardest part was getting the creme make-up to stick to the latex pieces and create an even tone compared to other areas of my face that weren't covered with the latex. Stippling on some prosthetic adhesive, then powdering, helped the make-up to adhere properly. Oh and getting the make-up to stick to your ears, without it looking slapped on is challenging too!

You should give the grey scale a try, see what you come up with. I had great fun doing it and it was a great help in building my confidence with colouring, as it's just simply playing with light and shadow. I was thinking of doing all of the Universal horrors in this way, perhaps the Frankenstein monster next? ;)

All the best, Will.
 

Bizarro Lois

Sr Member
^^Someday I plan to make a Bride costume. If I can get the hubby to go as the Creature, it would be awesome. He and the Invisible Man are probably my favorites. However, my first gray-scale project will most likely be Twilight Zone related.
 

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