When I agreed to make my son a Speaker mask for Halloween I didn't realize what I was getting into. The big challenge was to make it look like the digital character's full white face mask and still be able to see out. There was very little reference material, since the game is so new, so worked from a rough plan of my own and figured the rest out one piece at a time. This instructable shows you what I did to get to the final Speaker mask. Now I've got to get to the rest of the costume!
You'll probably notice that this instructable is written in several tenses. This is because I wrote some of it as I hoped it would work, some as I was actually working and some after the work was done.
For the full costume, please go to my armor instructable:
Step 1: Gather Supplies
The Speaker is shades of white so I bought what I could to make a costume base. This list includes what I bought for the armor as well as the mask. I'm not sure if I'll need everything, but I got:
The *starred items are what you need to make only the mask. Add the black fabric if you add the hood.
1.5 yards of white fabric
1.5 yards of black fabric (for the hood)
.5 yard of grey fabric (for a sash)
long sleeve white tee shirt
oversized white shorts
*white blank mask
*white air dry clay (I tried both polymer clay and paper clay. The polymer dried harder, but was harder to work with. It was also cheaper than the paper clay, but all together I liked the paper clay better. Your choice.)
*approx. 2 feet of 1/2 inch elastic (size depends on wearer's head size)
*liquid nails adhesive
*silver & white spray paints
*large sheet (20" x 30") of white foam core
*sander, sanding pad or block
*Future floor polish or varnish & brush
*black acrylic paint and or black marker
Step 2: Mask Template
Ultimately, I may not need the plastic base mask I bought. However, I'm going to start by cutting up paper and trying to fit these pieces onto the plastic mask into a Speaker mask shape. The shapes correspond to the shapes on the Speaker's mask. You'll have to play with them a bit, but you can see what I ended with. You can also see that I folded the papers in half to get symmetric pieces and shapes. These paper shapes will become my templates.
Step 3: Cut Out Mask Shapes
Transfer the templates to white foam core. Use pencil and a straight edge. Make sure to mark off fold marks and centers.
Cut out the foam core pieces with an xacto knife and straight edge.
Score the fold lines. Do this by cutting through only one paper of the foam core. This MUST be on the outward facing side. The back paper is left intact.
Bend the foam core pieces into shape.
Note: This is a good time to try the mask on. Make sure everything fits.
I know I'll have a problem with the triangular shape over the eyes, but I need to get the base stabilized before I work out a solution. If this mask was a decoration it would be fine. But since it will be worn, I still have to figure out the problem of seeing while wearing the mask.
Note from the future: It worked out okay using this pattern.
Step 4: Start to Cover the Foam Core Base
Roll out the air dry clay (I used a pasta maker that I use only for clay) into small, thin sheets, about 3-4mm.
Working in sections, start covering the foam core. Begin with the bottom of the mask for stability. (But don't put on the chin band yet.) My clay isn't sticking to the foam core well, so I'll let sections dry and glue any clay that's lifted up. Use tape to hold the foam core in place if you need to. As you add clay, mold in the bends and folds of the mask. They're pretty subtle.
When the first sections of clay are dry, fill in any lifted areas with liquid nails. Also add liquid nails glue into the fold openings. This will help hold the sides of the mask in shape. Use tape to secure bends in place while the glue dries. Don't worry about covering the tape. There's no need to remove most of it. Use heavy objects to keep the mask in shape while the glue and clay dry.
When this is all dry, add more clay. Then more glue. Keep smoothing bumpy spots.
Note: Liguid Nails is great for this project because it's very strong and thick and the right color.
Step 5: Add the Chin Band
When the glue and clay are mostly or all dry, glue the chin band onto the base with liquid nails. Wipe off excess glue. Secure in place with tape, clips or clamps.
Add glue to the inside seam of the mask for added strength.
Note: At this point I had a lot of glue and clay on my base. I let everything set for more than a day before continuing.
Step 6: Add the Forehead
This is the trickiest part. I've been trying to figure out how to cover as much of the forehead as possible while still being able to see.
The base for this piece can be made from anything flexible. (Use the foam core as a template, but not on the mask.) I was looking for a large soda bottle to cut up and wound up using thin cardboard. Since it will be covered in glue and clay, I'm not worried about the aesthetics.
I used the foam core triangle as a template for the forehead section. I added tabs to the cardboard so it could secure it to the mask sides. After I cut the forehead section shape, I joined it to the mask using only tape.
When the positioning looks good, and you can see out of the mask!, glue it down with permanent glue. The liquid nails will work for most materials.
Step 7: Adjustments
Now that I have all the pieces together and a strong base, I can make adjustments to the mask shape. I will raise the nose bridge, widen the forehead and fill in any empty spots on the foam core with clay. Your adjustments will be different. If any large areas need to be added, use pieces of cardboard or foam core as a base. Add them just like in the previous steps. If you can't see out of the mask, get out a small saw or mat knife and cut away what you need to. I'm not adding details yet, but I am defining where the sections join and bend.
This step can take several passes because each layer has to dry before adding on to it.
Note: I found the air dry polymer clay difficult to work with. I often had to mold a piece into place and then glue it after it dried because it didn't stick where it was supposed to. The advantages of this clay are that it's pretty light when dry and it's very inexpensive. The air dry paper clay worked better, but didn't seem as sturdy.
Step 8: Logo Template
While I'm waiting for glue to dry, which is a lot of time, I'm going to make the template for the logo on the front of the armor.
I printed out this Destiny logo:
Then cut out the logo. I will use the paper as a template to paint the logo onto the armor later.
Step 9: Sanding
Once the base is really sturdy and all the pieces are together, start sanding. It's okay if you don't have all the foam core covered yet. I used an orbital palm sander to get started on the big flat areas, then got in the corners with a sanding pad. You can really do this all by hand, I just wanted to play with my new sander.
The idea at this point is to refine the shape and see what needs more glue and clay. I still have a ways to go, but it's really coming together.
Step 10: Last Pass
This should be the final layer or layers of air clay and adhesive. Keep each application as smooth as possible from here on.
Step 11: And Sand Again
Yup, that's pretty much it.
I also, sketched in where details will go.
Step 12: Seal With Glue
Make sure there are no bare cardboard or foam core patches on the front or back of the mask. Use the liquid nails to fill in cracks, bare spots etc. Also smooth out any rough bits on the back of the mask so they don't scratch the wearer.
The mask is pretty much ready to paint at this point if you're using it as a decoration and not wearing it.
Step 13: Elastic Band
The next step is to make the mask wearable. Essentially, I made an elastic head strap that goes around and over the head. You can adjust how you want the straps if a different arrangement would be more comfortable for you. Hold the mask up to your face to get the approximate size of elastic you need to cut.
1) Glue one end of the elastic to the inside of the mask as shown. Secure until the glue dries with clips, pins or tape.
When the glue is dry:
2) Measure around the head of the wearer. Trim extra elastic and glue the same way as the other side.
When the glue is dry:
3) Is the mask secure? Add a second elastic band over the top of the head if you think it needs it. To do this attach a strip of elastic to the top center of the mask and sew the other end to the middle of the head strap. (Remember the hood will help keep the mask from falling down as well.)
4) If the glued elastic seems strong, smooth and secure, move on to the next step. Otherwise, glue a small square of white fabric over the glued elastic for added strength and comfort. Make sure glue goes to the fabric edges. Press down and let dry. (I didn't need to do this.)
Step 14: Detail
I sketched the details out first, then carved them and drew in the color with a thin black Sharpie. You can just draw them on if you don't have a carving tool.
Step 15: Paint
I sprayed the entire front of the mask with 2 coats of white spray paint. Then I highlighted areas with a light application of silver spray paint.
Step 16: Seal
When the paint was dry, I put on three coats of Future Floor Polish. This is a trick from polymer clay art. It gives a hard, shiny finish to the mask.
I also added nose padding (You can use a little roll of fabric, some packing foam, etc.) on the inside, which I covered with a fabric scrap.
Check the fit again.
Note: When I got to this point my son tried the mask on and it was to low for him to see. I adjusted the elastic straps and nose pad before adding the hood.
Step 17: The Under Hood
I decided to construct the black hood in three pieces. The under hood will be the base. The outer hood will hide the mask straps. And the cowl will be the decorative V-shape that comes over the chest. The mask will be attached only to the outer hood.
The under hood is made from black stretchy fabric.
1) Make a hood template using a hood that fits. Lay your garment on a big piece of paper or cardboard. Draw an inch or two outside the garment and remember to mark the shoulders. Draw a point down the front and back from the shoulders. No need to be exact.
2) Fold the black fabric in half. Cut out the template and lay it on the black fabric. Cut out the fabric. You'll have two matching pieces.
3) Sew the two halves together, leaving the bottom and the face open. For the face, leave an opening (about 6") in the front of the hood. Turn the hood right-side-out and try on. Cut the face opening larger if needed. (Or sew up smaller.)
Step 18: The Outer Hood
The outer hood will attach to the mask and cover the mask straps.
Take a large rectangle of the black fabric (at least 24" x 18") and lay it flat on a table. Lay a 2" x 12" piece of stiff fabric, cover stock or interfacing (I used wall patch mesh, because it's what I had handy) on the center of one long edge. Cover this with the edge of the fabric and fold over. Secure by gluing or sewing. Hold in place with pins if needed. You should now have a a large rectangle of black fabric with a top edge that has a stiff, but flexible center. 9See the photo of the fabric draped on the chair.0
Now glue the center of the stiff edge to the top center of the mask (between the side pieces that stick up. Make sure you're covering the elastic, but don't glue the elastic to the hood. Hold with pins or tape.
When this is dry, glue the hood sides to the sides of the mask, just inside the side pieces. Attach along each side just past the elastic. Hold with tape or pins until dry.
Now the outer hood is attached and can be shaped.
Step 19: Cowl
When the outer hood is well attached it's time to form it into the cowl. Essentially you will make two diagonal pleats from the front to the back on each side. I laid everything as flat as possible on a table and started pinning the pleat folds until the hood hung correctly. I used a sewing machine to secure the folds by sewing a line along each edge. Even with a fair amount of sewing experience, getting this to work was pretty hard. The good part is, you can just keep sewing diagonal lines until it's right. The design and the fabric are very forgiving. Try it on as often as needed and make adjustments.
After thought: This may look just as good with out the pleats. I'l never know...
Step 20: Try It On
I did the cutting and pinning to get the shape right while my son had the mask on. Then I went back and forth to the sewing machine.
Step 21: Trim and Hem
The final step for the hood and cowl is to cut the bottom to the right shape. It should come to a point in the front and sweep the shoulders on the sides. I made the back straight across.
After cutting, hem around the entire hood and cowl. Sew down anything that's not in the right place.
Note: I decided to keep the front open so it's easier to get on and off. The under hood will show in the center. However, it would be more true to character to sew the middle front together.
The outer hood is ready.
Step 22: Back to the Under Hood
Put this on with the cowl over it. Make sure the under hood is not seen on the sides and back. Make sure the front hass a nice point in line with the cowl. Trim all excess and hem the entire bottom. See the photo for the shape you'll end up with.
Use the Destiny logo stencil to paint or draw on the front of the under hood. I used a silver marker, but could have used my silver spray paint. The marker was easier.
The under hood is ready.
Step 23: Put It All Together