Dragon Con has come and gone, and now that I’m done burning the midnight oil on my Amon cosplay, I can get back to the doodlin’.
I thought it might be fun to post some of the shots I took throughout the building process. This was my first mask build, and overall I’m actually pretty pleased with it. There’s a lot that I’d like to do differently, but I’m saving that for Amon Mark 2.
Big thanks to thehalfanese and BlackKrogoth. They both have some great insight to the build process, and Krogoth’s mask was one of my biggest inspirations.
For starters, the clay. Every mask that caught my eye was sculpted using Creative Paper Clay. I ended up loving the consistency of it, and I can see me using it for quite a while. I don’t have much actual sculpting advice other than practice, reference, practice, reference, practice, and more reference.
Far as tools go, I had your standard brushes and sandpaper. A few diamond files, an exacto knife, gesso, kebab skewers, and acrylic paints. The mask helped for the lengthy sanding sessions.
Of course, the artbook helped a bit.
Now to the work.
I used one of those plastic party masks from Joann Fabrics as my base. I do not recommend this. After all of the cutting and bending I had to do to get the thing to fit my face, I probably should have just gone through the face casting process. I just didn’t feel like working around my beard.
Nothing fancy here. First pass at the sculpt. It was somewhere around here that we—my fiancee and I—decided to lengthen the nose and change up the jawline on the mask.
Next came a bunch, bunch, bunch of sanding, as well as figuring out where the mouth needs to be.
You can see some last minute fixes here, as well as the newly carved mouth. The exacto knife cut through the paper clay with relative ease, and the diamond file helped to further shape and smooth it. Overall, I should have spent more time cleaning up after myself on the sanding front, but time was working against me.
Final pre-gesso sanding pass.
After about ten layers of gesso and even more sanding (including a goof on the nose) I went ahead and sketched out all of Amon’s mask markings just to make sure lines were falling where I wanted them.
Finally comes about three coats of ivory spray paint.
Once the paint dried, I very lightly re-sketched everything and proceeded to paint the reds and pattern colors (lotta beige, grays, and greens.) The skewers that I had handy helped for shaping stray acrylic paint before it dried too much. I’m not a very good painter, but this helped me keep shapes more or less where I wanted them.
Next came an attempt to use masking tape while applying the thin red lines. This was…not remarkably successful, and I ended up using my skewers to chip away the gross extra red paint, opting to paint the rest of the lines by hand.
After getting the lines down and looking decent, it was back to the garage for about three layers of matte finish sealant. The base spray paint had more of a gloss finish that I wanted, and this helped to bring down the specularity.
After all of this, it was time to get the straps in order. Used super glue to affix a strip of elastic as well as three scraps of black fabric used for extra stability. Here you can see exactly how little attention I paid to the interior; something I want to do better the next time around.
So there you have it. There’s a lot that I wish turned out differently, but overall I’m pretty pleased.
Some shots of the final cosplay can be found HERE, but in the meantime, here’s a little sample (plus my fiancee’s awesome Asami!)
Special thanks to her for helping so much with my cosplay. While I was working on the mask, she made that bad ass tunic and damned near everything else from scratch.