Hopefully this one will be a little shorter!
The mask. I wanted to sculpt it myself like Penwiper and Kilayi but ultimately I ran out of time. I ordered one on amazon that looked like this.
It’s a vacuform one, so thin moulded plastic, with an elastic strap. The eyes are covered with a quite open weave mesh material, sort of like tights. I took it out, because it lay flat across the holes and there wasn’t any room for my eyelashes and it was irritating. The mask was also a little too big for my face – too wide, and too high at the top. Thankfully this kind of plastic needs only a small amount of heat to re-mould, so all I did was hold it over the gas hob for a very short time and then squeeze it thinner, and wait for it to cool. If you’re leaving the eye coverings in, be really careful, because they will melt too. At this point it’s a good idea to add breathing holes too. I used a hot pin to open up the nostrils a little, and poked half a dozen tiny pin holes around the mouth. I still had to whip it off now and then to get a few breaths in, but I think it was better than it would have been.
For the height, I trimmed it down to the ribbon part, which was enough as it then sat nicely against the wig. It’s painted in the same way as the wings and dress – dark grey, mid grey highlights, then light grey highlights. Again, I’d prepare everything and paint all at the same time to be sure of matching colours.
Under my mask for the eyes I used Snazaroo Dark Grey face paint. This way, for pictures all I needed to do was close my eyes to give the full stone effect, but I kept perfect visibility for moving around. It was a little tricky as when your eyes are closed you don’t know when the picture is done. I was listening out for shutter noises, or waiting for flash, but I probably held my pose a little longer than necessary but whatever.
I started off with this (fairly awful) wig from ebay.
When it came it looked quite thin and I was worried it’d be no good, but it worked out ok. First I pinned it to a polystyrene head covered in cling film. Then I sectioned off the front part, and tied the rest in a low ponytail. I tried to make a small bun out of it but it was tiny, so I wrapped half an old sock around the pony tail to bulk it out, then wrapped the pony tail around. Securing it was a nightmare, so at this point I added a bunch of glue and the headband. It was just a strip of fabric with the ends turned under, and I wrapped it over the top and the ends wrapped around the bun, with the front bits still hanging loose. Then I added more glue. I pretty much just spread superglue all over. The front pieces now come in – I took one side, draped it round the back, over the bun, around and under. Loads of glue. Then the same with the other side. Glue everything, and stick down any stray hairs.
Then it’s more painting again.
The sleeves. Another Penwiper/Kilayi idea – you take a pair of tights, and cut a hole in the crotch. This is the neck hole, and the legs become sleeves. With your hands in the ends, you pin between the fingers so you know where to cut. Then use whipstitch to make the fingers or the gloves. It will take a long time and be careful to only get the edges, or it’ll be too tight on your fingers. Put them back on, and if they fit nicely, use nail varnish to seal the seams. make a tuck at the wrists so they’re nice and tight, then turn them inside out and put them on. Add false nails to the end. Be sure to liberally put lotion or oil on your own nails so you don’t end up with everything fused to yourself. Then while wearing them, paint them and let them dry. This way they stay big enough to wear. If you want to have more stretch, you can use fabric paint, but I wasn’t going to spend the money on it.
Kilayi and Penwiper also made a hood out of tights to cover the neck, and I made one, but it was so hot, I knew I’d never cope with it for long. So before putting anything on I used more of the Snazarro Dark Grey to cover my neck, around the edge of my face, and up halfway on my ears. The wig or mask covers the rest. After a tip online I sprayed all the face paint with hairspray to help it keep, and most of it did until walking back to the car in a light rain. Not bad for water based.
And that’s it really! I recommend wearing a vest top underneath to prevent any rubbing, then the tight/sleeves, then the harness, then the dress. Here you’ll need help – someone to put your wings in and zip you up. They go through the holes in the dress and into the harness. Then do the dress up. The mask goes on next, then the wig so the strap is hidden, but I actually had the wig fit under the top of the mask, so you still get the fringe bits on the mask visible as I couldn’t for the life of me think how to make the wig behave that way.
Done! Thanks for reading, it was loads of fun to do, and wearing it was amazing.