(I recommend using latex, because resin is a bit tricky to get to stick your skin and stay put. Because of its properties and weight, it'll slide down. Which I why I think for a lot of Terminator costumes - including this one! - the eye piece is 'off')
*Nothing against papier-mâché. I love papier-mâché. You can do wicked things with papier-mâché. But, you know what I mean, right?
Step 1: Head/Face Mold
Do not just go and wrap the entire head with long sheets of plaster and expect to cut it off. Do not use regular plaster or gypsum and slap it on. If you are uncomfortable with having straws up your nose, you can leave the bottom of the nose open. And arrange a 'safety signal' with the person being life-casted, just in case.
You will need:
- Plaster of Paris Strips/Bandages. NOT just a tub of Plaster of Paris. That is dangerous and dumb. Don't do it. Go to the craftstore and get a roll of bandages. Cut them into strips 1-2 inches wide and about half-the-size-of-your-head long, give or take. You will also need some tiny strips for getting into smaller spaces.
- Vaseline. To be used as a release agent. Drug/grocery store will have this.
- Bald Cap and Spirit Gum (and Spirit Gum Remover). You can get these online or at a local costume store.
- Straws. For easy breathing.
- Plasticine Or any oil based clay.
- Rubbing Alcohol (and cotton balls)
- Scissors, tub of warm water, a few friends/family members. Stuff I'm sure you already have at home. You don't need the extra help, but it does make things go quicker (and it's more fun)
- A Good Shower Afterwards.
If you have long hair, "put it up." You want your head mold to be an accurate representation of your head, so get your hair to lay as flat as it can against your scalp. I recommend braiding your hair into various sections, then pinning the braids up and around your head.
Put on the bald cap. You will likely need to trim it. Tack the bald cap onto your head with spirit gum.
Apply Vaseline everywhere (to act as a release agent against the Plaster of Paris strips). Make sure to coat your eyebrows and eyelashes.
Take the Plaster of Paris strips and layer the back of the head. Do horizontal strips first, then vertical, horizontal and vertical. I like to do 4 layers. Again, it's just the back of the head.
Let that dry, (around 30 minutes) then apply vaseline along the edge of the plaster of paris; that way, when you do the front and overlap the plaster, it won't stick together.
Next you do the front! You can use the same technique as you did for the back, but what worked best for me was making a 'chin strap' and then 'filling' the face in. I put small pieces over the eyes, then just before doing the nose had my bro put plastic straws slightly up his nose so he could breath. I left the mouth until the very end just in case there was a breathing-mishap.
Do four layers for the front, being careful not to overlap the back too much (don't extend beyond your 'vaseline' wall)
Let that dry (around 30 minutes again) then pop it right off (just have to pry it a bit at the neck and both pieces should come apart beautifully).
Wipe off any excess vaseline and let the two pieces completely air dry. Remove the bald cap and have a shower in the meantime.
After the pieces have dried (I recommend leaving it overnight), remove any additional excess vaseline with rubbing alcohol. Fill in any problems areas with plasticine. Put the top pieces back together and secure with one layer of plaster of paris strips along the seam.