Introduction: Splinter Build
Last year I made a step by step instructable with the entire group of ninja turtles and splinter. This step by step focuses on only splinter. I took all of the photos last year during the build and since I was not focused on just splinter, my photos are pretty limited for the Master. I do not have new images to follow each step. Ill just use more text to fill the gaps.
Step 1: Materials
1. Chicken wire (about 5 square ft) for head and feet.
2. 2 yards of brown long pile faux fur (I ordered from fabrics.com also google a promo code and try to save $)
3. Small amount of white faux fur, I just order a swatch with my brown order. you just need enough for Master chin beard.
4. small bottle of wood glue
5. 1-2 rolls of paper towels
6. 1 bag of flour
7. 1 roll of black electrical tape for nose ( alternative approach, check out step 5)
8. Wool blanket (kimono/ clothing) I used an old electrical blanket I had in my closet. Just look for a blanket or sheet that is wool or something you can rip up and make it look old. Dont get white bc it will look too new, use off-white or very light tan.
9. A needle and thread
10. random colors of fabric to use as patches. I used old rags and t shirts to sew on red and blue square patches.
11. An old stick or wooden dowel ( cane)
12. Ping pong balls (eyes)
13. 1 oz bottle white paint and 1 0z pink paint (inside ears)
14. 1 oz bottle brown paint
15. Brown knit gloves (get cheap ones from walmart)
16. Wire cutters (for chicken wire)
18. A single black shoe lace. (dont buy, you can use anything that resembles a cord or rope for his neck tie.
19. an old pair of shoes that you are willing to destroy and turn into rat feet.
20. 1/2 yard of brown faux leather for tail. (if you pay the same for a full yard then obv get the full yard and save material)
21. Hot glue gun with large supply of glue sticks.
22. 1 roll of masking tape.
23. black sharpie or permanent marker.
24. small paint brush.
Step 2: The Skull
To start, I googled images of splinter using several angles. I stayed away from the realistic movie images because his head is too small. I used more pics of the comic/modern cartoon images.
Cut out your chicken wire with the wire cutters. There is no set length and width to cut out because everyones head is shaped differently. I cut my wire out first to fit over my head(width) like I was wearing head phones (from bottom of the ear to bottom of my other ear.
Next cut the length of the wire almost 3X as long as my width so that I had enough wire to go from the back of my head all the way to the snout and nose and back down to the chin. Your wire should be a rectangle shape.
Using the images, mold the head to fit yours. the most important part in molding is the eyebrow ridge and divots for the eyes. First mold the width (headphones) and actually put it on your head. start molding the eyebrow ridges and eye slots where your eyes are. Later you will be cutting out a slot between the eyes for your actual vision. splinters eyes should sit just outside of your real eyes. ( its important not to back splinters eyes too wide so they sit on the sides of his head like bug eyes.) (also, be careful not to cut yourself when trying on the chicken wire mask, the wire ends you cut will be very sharp)
Once you have your eyes in place, form the snout and chin. Splinter has a slight incline in the bridge of his nose before it declines to his nose. pay close attention to his snout shape and length. You dont want splint to have a short straight snout because he will look like a kitten or a mouse. Make him kind of ugly, he lives in a sewer and is a mutant.
Last, cut out 4 rectangles separately from extra chicken wire. make 2 of them half con shaped and attach them as ears. Just spin the ends of the wire around the wire on the head like bread ties. Next, attach the 2 triangles (non con shaped) as cheeks. This will give splinters face some depth once you attach the fur. (tip: The ears should be crooked and sit on the sides of splinters head, dont make them too symmetrical.)
If I did this build over I would have attached the nose now during this step so that it was more secure once I paper mache'd. So thats would you should do. With extra wire, mold a box shape to cover the end of splinters snout. If you look at pictures of my splinter finished you can see how big to make the box. Once you make the box shape, keep some ends of the wire exposed so you can attach the nose just like you did the ears. Tie on the nose, It doesnt have to have a real secure hold now because you will mache it in place later. just make sure its straight lol.
Step 3: Paper Mache
Cover splinters skull in masking tape to give the Mache a platform to stick to.
Cut up your paper towels into 1 inch wide strips.
Mache: mix 1 part flour to 2 parts water. Add half part wood glue. This recipe does not half to be exact. the final consistency should look like egg nog. parts 1:2:1/2.
I only have an image of the turtle head mache'd but its the same process. Coat the head once then let it dry 24 hours then recoat and let dry another 24 hours.
Step 4: Eyes and Ears
Try on your head and pinpoint where your actual eyes are behind the mask. using a pencil or marker, place dots on the mache where the center of your eyes are.
using a razor, zacto knife, or sharp cutting tool, cut the ping pong ball in half. I used a sharp hunting knife and carefully and slowly operated on my pong ball ( be extremely careful on this step).
Next trace around your pong balls where you want them on your mask. try to place them as far as possible outside your eye marks from earlier without making splinter look Pug like. (pug dogs have wide eyes right?)
The dont have to be completely outside your eye marks, half and half will work but your eye sight will be more limited.
Once you trace the pong balls, cut the eyeslots out with the same tool you used to cut the pong balls. Keep the tape and chicken wire in the eye slots to provide a back support so the eyes dont fall into the head.
Next, once your eyes fit snug, pull them out and hot glue the inside rim of the eye slots where the masking tape meets the mache. Before the glue cools too much, place the eyes into the slots. If they have a good hold you are all set. To add extra support hot glue the outer rim of the pong ball where pong meets mache.
Paint the inside of your ears pink. Paint the outside brown. (tip: I cut out a scar or triangle from splints ear lobe to make him not only more ratty but badass.)
Where you snout meets the middle of your eyes is where you want to cut out your hole for vision. Cut out a rectangle that extends similar to how the middle of reading glasses would. Make the rectangle extend from eye to eye without touching the ping pong balls. You need the mache around the balls to hold them in place. leave about a CM or so between your eye slot and pong balls. the more mache you leave the stronger the eyes will hold. Trace the rectangle first then cut it out. Use the wire cutter to cut out the chicken wire that bock the eye slot if need be. Make sure you do not cut out the chicken wire that is providing back support for the eyes. (tip: start with a small eye slot and try on the mask, if you need more visions cut as you go) my slot was roughly a half 3/4 and inch tall and 2 inches wide. Check 3rd photo to see my eye slot
Step 5: Eyes Nose Continued. (before You Add Fur)eyes and Nose Continued.
I dont have photos to show my eye slot before I added fur and how I molded the nose.
My eyes were too close together for me to see so I also cut out splinters pupils with my knife. You may not need to do this if your eye line works well. Also, its difficult to do this without destroying the stiff plastic balls. If you ruin the ball after they are glued in place you may destroy your mask.
Use your sharpie and draw in your pupils and iris rings.
Cover your nose in the shiny black electric tape. Try to place the tape so that the sides of the tape aren't x'ing into one another, keep them parallel to one another.
** I didnt like how my nose turned out. since this was my first build like this I would do it differently if I had to rebuild splinter. That being said, if you check out my Sulley from monsters inc. build, I would do splinters nose the same way. I would cover the mache'd nose in a fish net type material and secure it in place with tape. I would then add high gloss black acrylic paint. once it dried I would remove the netting to give the nose a realistic texture.
Step 6: Add the Fur and Paint
Im missing a few photos to complete this step.
to start I drapped the fur over the ears and forehead. On the inside of the fur I used a strip of masking to to mark the where I would cut the ears slots. the slots don't have to be exact because the fur is so long the it can cover up small blemishes and errors. the slots should be V shape to match the base of your ears. Also, dont cut the fur so that it matches the exact width of your head. you want it to be a few inches longer on each side so that it will hang down from the ears and cover your jaw and neck line when you wear the mask.
obviously avoid your eye slot you cut out.
Fire up the hot glue gun and glue fur to the head. Starting around the base of the ears is easiest but first, place the fur over the ears to make sure the ear slots that you previously cut out fit correctly. Glue in place. Notice from my picture that this is a single piece of fur. It also extends down the entire back of the head. Make this piece so wide the it will cover the back of the head and an extra 7-8 inches hanging off to provide neck coverage when you wear it. Tip: If you have too much fur it wont hurt because you will be tucking it into your kimono or robe.
Next, you can start glueing the eye brows and face. Notice the pattern of the fur and which direction it travels. Glue it so the eyebrows travel away from your eyes and your cheeks move away from the snout just like a real rat. Also, while glue the eye brows, try to make them raised and stand up much taller than the forehead. If you look at your downloaded images of splinter you can see his eyebrows are pretty big. You can do this by either adding extra fur, bunch up tape balls under the fur, or glueing two pieces of fur together to add thickness then glue it to the eyebrow ridges. You dont have to use large single pieces of fur to cover large portions of the mask. You can use strips as long as you glue them adjacent to one another without mache showing. The long fur with cover small errors.
Last. glue your white swatch (fur piece) in place. It helps to fold the swatch in half (long way) and glue one end to splinters chin. This way you have fur showing on both sides instead of having the inside rough edge (non fur side) exposed.
ears: cut our chunks of the white fur and hot glue them into the inside of the ears. around the outtert rim of the ear lobe(inside lobe) you can place strips of hot glue then dab in loose pieces of fur. once you apply the glue wait about 5-10 seconds for the glue to cool so you dont burn yourself. You can also you a pen or pencil to press the fur into the glue so your skin wont touch the hot glue.
Paint the fur and eye brows. Take your white paint and dab your brush into it. Dont apply the wet paint to the fur because it will ruin the fur. What you want to do is dab the brush into the paint the paint a paper towel to remove most of the paint so your brush is almost dry. with your dry paint brush that still has a small amount of white paint on it, paint the fur gently. you want the paint to go on subtle and not wet. it needs to blend with the fur. If you apply it wet it will make the fur stick together and look clumpy.