Introduction: Halloween 2008 - Monster Cereal Franken Berry and Count Chocula (inspired by and Thanks to Pokiespout)
They say "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" and I hope he sees it that way. From the first time I saw pokiespout's Frankenberry mask slideshow I knew I had to do it myself for this Halloween. I do not believe I achieved his level of quality but I am thrilled with the results for my first time using paper mache. Once I started I knew I had to have Count Chocula too and my wife agreed to wear it.
I did not fully document the steps and for that I apologize... I'll leave instruction to pokiespout's expertise. However, a few quick words:
I knew I wanted to replicate the size so I needed a way to determine that. I took one of pokiespout's pictures which had both him and the mask in it. Using PowerPoint I drew a line the length of his thumb, then compared the line length to approx 1.25", estimated size of his thumb. I could then determine the size of the other features on the mask. There is a slide here of pokiespout's mask showing the PowerPoint lines.
The punch balloon idea was great for the muzzle. Once I made that I used poster board to frame out the rest of Frank's head. Note the inflatable footballs for the lobes. Count Chocula's head was initially built entirely out of poster board, duct tape and masking tape. Each mask was covered nearly entirely in newspaper and masking tape for added thickness and stability. Paper mache was made with flour, water, salt and some Elmer's. I felt I could have taken more time with the paper mache to get a smoother result. In the end my impatience won out and I only did 2 layers of paper mache and very little to no sanding. Be careful with the drying process. If your armature is not solid enough it may need to be braced during dying to keep the shape you intended.
I created the whistle and gauge separately, using paper towel tubes for the arms with rolled newspaper making the bends in the tubes. I had a somewhat difficult time attaching these to the head and supporting them during the drying process. The rest of the features are crumpled newspaper and tape.
I used gesso as the primer layer. Worked well. Used acrylic paints. My Frank head is a little brighter in color because I was trying to match the body of each costume (which BTW was purchased) to the mask. Finished with a satin varnish.
Overall, I'm quite pleased. Sincerest thanks to pokiespout.. his inspiration and directions in his mask making instructables were invaluable.