Introduction: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Replica
The Majora's Mask has been REMADE! BUY IT HERE: http://tinyurl.com/pqyjoe5
More pictures of Mask #2 are also on my Flickr, www.flickr.com/rileyplanalp
I'd like to present to you a guide for making a Majora's Mask Replica from the Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask! From start to finish, this project took about three months to complete, but if I needed to do it over again it could probably be done in less than a month. Much of the time between steps was spent waiting for materials to arrive in the mail. Also, I spent lots of time thinking about the best way to complete each step in the process so that the final product would look as authentic as possible.
My inspiration for a Majora's Mask replica came from a few sources, but the main thing that kept me going through the building process was looking at all of the attempts that people have made in the past to make an authentic Majora's Mask. There were really only a few that I found that were decently authentic and none of those individuals were willing to sell a cast...sad face. I think that the Majora's Mask is one of the most iconic symbols of evil and of the adventure that millions of gamers (including myself) took over a decade ago.
In order to create your own Majora's Mask, you're going to need a whole bunch of stuff!----
Smooth-On Rebound 25 Trial Kits (x2)
Smooth-On Rebound 40 Trial Kits (x1)
Smooth-On Smooth Cast 65D Resin (1 gallon)
2 Gallons of Plaster of Paris
A 4'x1'x1" piece of soft wood (I used pine)
Sculpey Terra Cotta (about 2 pounds)
Melamine (2" square should do)
3M Bondo Autobody filler
3M Glazing Putty
Several cans of the cheapest primer you can find (mine was $1.50/can at Walmart. You want it to come out thin and dry fast!)
Three feet of 1/4" Polyurethane tubing
Wooden dowels (3/8")
Acrylic Lacquer (I used Dupli-color)
A 3" Clear Plastic Christmas Tree Ornament (Found mine at a Hobby Lobby)
Sandpaper, and lots of it--(40, 80, 100, 150, 180, 300 grit)
I tried to for each step list the tools that I used. Since this project took me a few months, I may have forgotten something, but I'm pretty sure it's all there. Let me know if there's any confusion.
Thanks for taking a look at my second Instructable! Hope you're able to use it effectively as a guide!
Step 1: Building and Shaping a Wooden Base
I started making Majora's mask by laminating 2 pieces of 3/4" heart-shaped pine together and ripping away the square edges with my belt sander (40 grit) and forming a smooth curve around all sides. After I had formed a shape I was happy with, I felt like the overall thickness was a little slim so I ended up laminating another 3/4" heart-shape to the bottom of my 1 1/2" heart and reshaping the entire thing (ending thickness = 2 1/4"). After a thorough sanding with some higher grit paper (150 grit), I gave the entire mask a thin covering of glazing putty. After letting it dry for a few hours, I used 180 grit sandpaper to remove excess glazing putty and smooth the entire base. I then repeated the glazing putty covering, this time only in areas that had visible scratches or dents. I gave the mask another several hours to dry and used Rust-Oleum Gray Filler Primer to give a nice thin coat.
Step 2: Drawing the Features and Routing Tubing Channels
After I gave the mask ~24 hours to dry, I spent some quality time with my Sharpies, rulers, and my trusty compass to meticulously map out the details of the eyes and the surrounding raised areas. I used the digital image of Majora's Mask included in this Step's Photo Reel for the entirety of the feature placement. After I had mapped out where all of the features were to be located, I put a ball stylus bit on my Dremel and freehand cut very shallow channels between my Sharpie-d lines. I got a little marker-happy and filled in all of the lines that I had just cut out, as you can see in the picture.
Step 3: Installing the (unwilling) Tubing
This step took me a few days to complete since my progress was dependent on the curing time of my 2-part epoxy. I started by cutting a long piece of 1/4" polyurethane tubing. I found some nifty electrical tape that was unusually wide, so I began to tape the tubing down into the channels I had cut by laying the tubing and putting several strips of tape over it. After I had laid tubing in the entire outer raised area, I used my heat gun to soften (NOT MELT) the tubing so that it wouldn't resist gluing. After the tubing cooled, I began to glue the tubing into the channels about 3 inches at a time. To secure the tubing while the epoxy cured, I used the electrical tape. Little by little, I glued the tubing down and after the entire strand was secured, the electrical tape was removed. I followed this same process when doing the inner eye regions, except I had to glue about 1-2" of the tubing at a time since the curves were much sharper.
After that incredibly meticulous process was complete I gave the entire mask another thin coat of filler primer. I gave the primer 12 hours or so to dry before I gave the entire mask a sanding with 200 grit paper and gave it a final coat of primer.
Step 4: Making an Intermediate Mold/Cast
I found out the hard way that the tubing wasn't bonded tightly with epoxy and the result was a friction hold. This made the mask so fragile that it would make things extremely difficult in the future. So after much deliberation, I decided to make a plaster mold.
My first plaster mold was a complete failure (see pictures).
After I learned the proper way to create a plaster mold, things turned out much better. For premolding preparations, I used clay to eliminate any undercuts that could appear between the channels and the tubing. Secondly, I gave the entire mask a thin layer of Murphy's Oil soap to act as a mold release. The plaster set up perfectly and resulted in a flawless plaster mold. I allowed the mold five days to dry (with the last day being right next to a space heater). After the plaster mold was dry (enough), I gave it four coats of shellac and lined the inside with a thin layer of petroleum jelly.
I used 10 thin coats of Smooth-Cast 300 Resin to get a fairly even cast. After I had poured my first two coats I set in a wire mesh to help add to the structural integrity of the mask. The other 8 coats covered the mesh with 1/2" to 1" of resin. The mold had to be broken to safely remove the cast, but the result was much MUCH better than the first run.
I removed much of the excess resin around the edges with my bandsaw and started adding glazing putty/sanding to fill the imperfections. I used a hole saw to drill out the large circular eye regions and blended them into the adjacent raised area by sanding.
Step 5: Installing the Eyes
I probably bought 5 different sized spherical objects in a search looking for one with just the right radius. I ended up choosing a large ornament kit that I found at Hobby Lobby for 2 bucks. I used my compass to etch a circle on to each of the hemispheres. The marked circle was then cut out using a Dremel. Since the whole structure of Majora's mask has it sloping downward, I couldn't get away with a simple circular section of a sphere. Instead, I had to individually shape both of the eye pieces with a sanding Dremel bit. I used a few drops of hot glue as a temporary adhesive and I filled the backs of the eyes with Bondo to make their installation permanent. The Bondo also helped to fill some tiny gaps that existed between the plastic globe and the resin cast. After the Bondo had some time to cure, I used more glazing putty to help smooth over the eye areas.
I gave the entire mask 3 coats of filler primer to help blend some of the surfaces together. This turned out quite nicely...
Step 6: Creating and Installing the Horns
This step proved to be the most challenging, since I intended to make one 'master' horn for each side (to be molded and reproduced 4 times apiece). I bought some terra cotta Sculpey and got to work. I made about 3 horns before I finally got one I was happy with. I used a sanding Dremel bit to lightly even up the clay surface. Then I sanded it with 150 grit paper and filled the imperfections with glazing putty. After that, I gave it a light coat of filler primer.
I decided to make 2 mirrored horns for the top of the helmet to save money on mold supplies.
After I had readied my master horns for the left and right side, I created a silicon mold using an Alumilite kit and some Legos to form a mold box.
I made a total of 12 horns using Smooth-Cast 300 Resin and ground them level with my belt sander. Attaching these horns to the Mask Body was probably the most frustrating thing I've ever done. I decided to use small dabs of hot glue to temporarily stick the horns (which, by the way, had to be individually cut to perfectly fit the curvature of their locations) to the Mask Body. Then, I used small amounts of Bondo to secure the underside of the Horns to the Body. After that Bondo had time to cure I made up a new batch to help smooth the transition between the horns and the Mask Body. I spent the next three hours sanding...and sanding....and sanding away this Bondo.
At this point, the prototype Majora's Mask was complete. I drilled 2 3/8" holes into the back of the back and inserted dowel rods. Then I drilled corresponding holes into a 2x4, and stuck the mask on. This would serve as a painting/molding stand.
Before I began to mold the Majora's Mask, I gave it two coats of filler primer.
Step 7: Creating a Silicon Mold and Fiberglass Mothermold
As with any casting project, no two projects are the same. After much deliberation, I decided to glue the Mask down to a large piece of melamine (bought from the shelving section at Lowe's). I used Sculpey to fill the undercuts that appeared between the horns and the board. This way, I could paint on a silicon mold and slush cast. I think the pictures tell the story better than I can, but basically I painted two layers of Rebound 25, two layers of Rebound 40, one layer of 1:1 Rebound 25/40 thickened with Thi-vex, one layer of Rebound 25 thickened with Thi-vex, and a final coat of Rebound 25 to smooth everything over. You might be thinking "holy crap, that's a lot of silicon!", but I wanted to make sure that the mold had enough stability to be slush casted later on. I ended up using one trial kit of Rebound 40 and about two and a half kits of Rebound 25.
For the mothermold, I first cut up two 8-foot cloths into manageable strips. Then, I mixed about a half-cup full of fiberglass resin and painted it onto the silicon. The strips were placed onto the silicon and were soaked with resin by dabbing a paintbrush over them. I ended up using an entire can of resin for this particular mothermold (oops?), but it turned out very nicely in the end. I allowed the mothermold to dry overnight, and in the morning I mixed up some Bondo and slathered it on in a few places where I intended to drill through for bolts.
I used 3/8" bolts and wingnuts as a way to clamp the whole thing together, which turned out to be pretty effective.
I began casting by pouring rotocasting resin (Smooth-On's Smoothcast 65D) into the mold and bolting it shut quickly. I had to move quickly so that the resin wouldn't gel up before I had a chance to shush it around in the mold. I included a picture of a few of my resin screw-ups...slush casting a twenty pound piece for 15 minutes is harder than it sounds!!
I used some PolyTek R2 Polyurethane foam to fill the thin resin copy. Pretty messy stuff, that foam.
Step 8: Paint It Up!
I'll preface this step by saying that I haven't ever used acrylics before. I figured that the more time I spent painting this thing, the better it would turn out. The entire process took 3 days. After I had pulled a good-looking cast, I needed to clean it up with some sanding and glazing putty. I gave the entire mask two coats of gray primer before I started in with the acrylics. I started by painting the magenta and purple areas on the mask, since they make up most of the surface. I used some Frog Painter's Tape to rope off the areas where the black borders were so that I could get a sharp edge. I used two layers of straight black paint to cover the black areas. Next, I mixed up a pale yellow color and painted a base coat on each of the horns and the eyes. If you notice in the pictures, I didn't paint the yellow all the way down the horns so that it would be easier to blend some color into the horns later. I left all of the paint above to dry overnight before moving into the next steps.
I started day 2 by working out the eyes. I've seen several other Majora's Masks with eyes that were either too red or too yellow so I spent extra time on these to make sure I got it right. I used "Cadmium Red Light" to blend from a dark orange into the pale yellow that I had applied the day before. After that had a few hours to dry, I freehanded the eyes with a small brush. I actually used a black marker for the outside black ring around the eyes.
After this point, the rest of the mask was all freehand. I VERY CAREFULLY painted the pink and light blue lines first. Then, I used the same light blue paint to make the first of the four color "rings" on the symmetrical areas on the bottom part of the mask.
I spent a good three hours blending paint and drybrushing color onto the eight lower horns. The top two horns were painted with a darker yellow, then a thin layer of brown and finally a layer of black to give them a weathered look. I gave the bottom eight horns a drybrushing with yellow to blend them together completely.
The last thing I did was the two orange sections at the top near the horns, which was simply orange with straight black sections. I gave the entire orange sections a black wash to help them match the dark hue of the mask.
And finally, I have the mask three layers of acrylic lacquer to make it nice and shiny, while making the entire thing scratch and water proof