Making an SFX Headpiece




Introduction: Making an SFX Headpiece

About: Untidy, disorganised and a bit silly. I am a photographer, artist, body artist, sculptor, prosthetic maker, model engineer, and general idiot who likes making stuff and messing about. I give hands on workshops…

I have been asked to produce an Instructable on making the headpiece I used for this promo costume.

It's not difficult and you could adapt it to suit a number of different types of headgear. This one would work well for a Predator, Giger or one of the ones here:

I have nothing to do with that site but there are loads of ideas on the net.

Step 1: Find a Base

Materials used:

Baseball cap
Hot melt glue
Liquid Latex (see my earlier 'ible for safety warnings)
Acrylic artists paints and inks
Aluminium car repair mesh
Cotton wool
Wax paper

If I were to do this one again, I would certainly use a bald cap. The method used here turned out to be far too bulky at the front, although it was comfortable and quick to put on and off.
If using a bald cap you need to buy one of the heavyweight types or make your own using at least 20 layers on the upper dome. You also need to allow extra time to fit it.
Here I have use a shop dummy for the stand, but I would use a glass head in future since the head of the dummy was a bit small.

For the base I have used a baseball cap, the brim has been trimmed down to an inch wide, the brace has been cut off the back and a felt liner has been added. The cap is on backwards. The dummy head has been covered in food wrap to protect it.

Step 2: Start Adding the Bits

Using hot melt glue you can now start adding bits. Here I have stated adding 'Cyberlox' a sort of expandable plastic tubing, and 'Cyberfalls', fake stranded hair extensions.
You could add feathers, or ropes, or pre-formed latex parts, almost anything. Just bear in mind the weight for your user!
I've added an aluminium wire mesh for support here. Another mistake I would leave out of using a bald cap.

Step 3: Add More Stuff

Build up the back and the sides with more stuff. I find that layering will give a more mobile and believable look to the finished item.

Step 4: Strengthen It Up

Here I have added a set of 'sideburns' using aluminium car repair mesh. This would work well if you are making a helmet design, but again it's superfluous for a bald cap set up.

The front has had a very thin layer of cotton wool and liquid latex added to start the build up at the front.

Step 5: Tissue Paper Shaping

Here I am starting to blend the front into the falls. I am using toilet tissue soaked in latex and then thin cotton wool to blend from the forehead over and around the roots of the Cyberlox.

Step 6: Keep Building Up

Steadily add latex, wool, tissue and anything else you like that is absorbent to hold the latex form.
Here i am working on the sideburns.

The big bit of grey felt is to stop the latex getting on the sides of the dummy and to try and compensate for the small head of this mannequin. - Use a bald cap next time eh?

Step 7: Blend Out the Ends of the Lox

Here I have completed the forehead and I've started blending out the ends of the Cyberlox. the method is to form a 'cone' of cotton wool and then coat and blend with latex.

You can clearly see where I have marked the positions of the blends with a felt pen.
The straw colour is the colour that natural latex goes when it's cured.

Step 8: Finish the Blends

Here all the blends are done, You can see both the fresh, semi-cured and cured latex.

Step 9: Blending and Feathering

Here all the blends are finished and cured. i have added some wax paper behind the edges so that I can add thin latex layers to blend to the skin. Again this was a mistake and I would use a bald cap in future.

Step 10: Adding Feathered Edges

The edges are complete.

I have added extensions to two of the blends.
This is a case in point of more is too much. You have to force yourself to stop adding shit to your creation. I don't know why I added these two extensions, but I feel that the original configuration was actually better ....... too late now.

Step 11: Start Adding Colour

Using some artists acrylic added to liquid latex I am starting to build up some colours. Here some green and yellow are being added.
Build up the colour in layer to add depth and suspend disbelief.
Take plenty of time with the colouring, it will make or break the creation.

Step 12: Finishing Up

After two days of adding colour layers and then blending with acrylic artists paint and inks over the cured rubber we have a finished creation.

The final ensemble of this Giger homage can be seen at the links below along with a few other prosthetic and body art work:

Be warned, there is some non-explicit nudity BEFORE you click the links.

Giger Girl

Space Girl

Red Devil

Body Viens

Blue Alien Girl

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    9 years ago on Introduction

    THIS IS AMAZING, I have been wracking my brain like crazy trying to figure out how I was going to do this for my Queen of Blades cosplay! I am so grateful this exists! Psyched to try it out :D


    11 years ago on Step 12

    wow thats awsome and extreamly hot u are buteifull and are an amazing artist and desighner 2 words "just wow"


    Reply 11 years ago on Step 12

    Actually, the guy who made this isn't the person in the photos. They're artists who wore his creations. But yea, he's pretty amazing.


    12 years ago on Step 12

    Beyond amazing!     You really need to produce a website, ezine or fan blog.

    I am a fan. 


    12 years ago on Introduction


    Is there a possibility to see more pictures of your work? (at deviant art for example?) I realy like the few pictures that you have shown to us.

    Thank you for an inside look at your work! Keep it up! :o)


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Oh my goodness! I didn't actually expect this! :D Fantastic, thank you!


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Nicely done!

    I can't imagine the time it must take to apply the body makeup / prosthetics in those linked images...


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    A full body like these takes around 6 hours start to finish.