Introduction: BFX Build Plan Kano Metal Face Mask
1 Phantom of the Opera Mask.
(Your classic half mask. It's white, plastic and cheap!)
(I like the "5 minutes to set" stuff. This stuff is great. Like playdough that turns to plastic!)
Red Plastic Reflector.
(I found a set of 2 at the hardware store for like 3 bucks, but you can always get one off an old bike or car.)
(I bought a chrome and steel color.)
(I should buy this stuff in bulk. You can find it cheap online.)
(You only need a small amount.)
Novelty Ear lights.
(Or any other bright, cheap LED's with a convenient switch built in.)
Basic Make-Up Kit.
(Some reds, and browns to enhance your scar tissue. Also some powder to reduce shine.)
Soft Nose Putty.
(Also called "Nose and scar wax" this s great for creating everything!)
(White or gray.)
(Or sweat pants, white or gray.)
Brown duct tape.
2 old belts.
(The thicker the better.)
An old pair of black socks.
(To make into bad-ass arm bands.....duh.)
Step 1: Making the Mask
This is actually a really simple and cheap build. You'll need to trim your mask so start by holding your mask up to the actor who will be wearing it. Use a pen and mark where to cut. You want this thing to fit the contours of your actor, so that usually means trimming around the cheek and forehead and removing the nose piece. These plastic masks are so cheap you should be able to cut them with regular scissors.
Step 2: Reflector Eye
Next remove the red reflector from it's plastic housing (if it has one). Now you can hold this up to your mask and figure out how you want to trim it. I'd go with a half moon shape. Just make sure it will cover the eye hole already in the mask. To cut the reflector I would really use a rotatory tool. Also whatever plastic they use to make reflectors puts off some stank (and probably dangerous) fumes. So do this in a well ventilated area. Also be careful it will probably be sharp. I also wanted to add a slight curve to my lens so I carefully heated the lens with a lighter and bend them holding both ends with pliers. Heating plastic is very dangerous so proceed with caution and at your own risk.
Step 3: Attaching the Eye
Now we can attach the eye lens to the mask using plumbers epoxy. This stuff is great! Take it out, mush it up and form it right to the mask. When it's done curing it will be just like plastic! To get nice shapes and edges try using a knife or other flat edge to sculpt your epoxy while it's still soft. Anther trick is to use spit and your finger to help smooth out creases. Once this is all set you are ready for paint.
Step 4: Spray Painting the Mask
Make sure and carefully mask off the red lens. We want this to stay nice and shiny and transparent. Start with a couple base layers of silver (chrome) then add a subtle dusting of a darker (and more dull) metal color. This will create a cool weathered, well used look to your mask. I had people ask me if it was real metal!
Step 5: Adding the Lights
Adding the lights is simple. Cut off any excess stuff, like the ear wraps, so you have just the LEDs and wires coming out to the switch. Turn on the lights and arrange them inside the mask so that the show through the lenses exactly how you want them to. Then hot glue in place. Don't worry about that wire. You should be able to hide it in your actors hair. Make sure and cover the back of the LEDs with some duct tape so you don't blind your actor.
Step 6: The Application
This is also an easy application. Just apply a thin layer of nose wax along the edge of your mask. Apply spirit gum to the back of the putty and the surface of the actor face where the mask will go. Attach the mask and blend the edge of the putty to the actors face with your fingers. I'd recommend hiding the wire behind your actors ear. Once you have a good shape and placement start adding layers of liquid latex to the edge of the putty. This bonds everything together so that your actor will have SOME freedom of movement. Finish up with some blending makeup. Reds, browns and yellows to mimic scar tissue and powders to reduce shine.
Step 7: The Costume
Oh wait, this part is simple too! For the tunic, take a t-shirt and cut off the sleeves and down the middle of the front. DONE! The pants can be any lightweight, gray or white pants. The arm guantlets are just black socks with the ends cut off. The waist belt is just an old army belt. For the shoulder belt I took and big, thick ugly womans belt and started taping on fake little pouches made from brown duct tape stuffed with news paper. When I was done, I had a cool "tactical belt" that even Chewie would be proud to wear. Put all this together, stop shaving and slick your hair back and you are KANO!