Introduction: Darth Revan's Mask - Star Wars KOTOR
"With the mask, however, Revan was an icon, a symbol. He was the shaper of history, an individual defined by his actions rather than his thoughts, feelings, and beliefs."
Before the rebooting of the Star Wars canon with The Force Awakens, one of the more iconic characters in the EU was the star of the game Knights of the Old Republic, Revan. I recently started playing the game and I wanted to get my hands on a version of his mask (along with another Sith Lord in the sequel, but that's another post). I looked through a bunch of reference images, other builds and models, and I found a version that I wanted to work with (I may make another that's more source accurate).
Many of the materials and techniques are ones that have been explained in detail in my other posts, so I'll just be listing products and techniques that I used throughout the instructable.
Step 1: Supplies Needed
There were a couple of things needed for this particular build, and if you're good at sculpting the initial mask with better detail than me you should be able to skip some steps/materials. You're going to need:
1. A base to sculpt on. I went out an bought a cheap paper mache mask that fit my face well, but a lifecast face would have been better. I actually bought a life sized mannequin for something else that would have perfect for this, but hindsight is 20/20.
2. Sculpting medium. I used Monster Clay and NSP Medium Chavant, both pretty good and easy to work with. You just heat them up in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and start work.
3. Casting medium. Easycast Resin is my choice, sets very fast, cures white and at Shore 75 hardness, and is the cheapest local product for me. I also used some resin dye to colour it black to stop the white from showing.
4. Molding Materials. I use Pinkysil as a thin coat for fine details, and CloneFX as a thicker strength coat to avoid tearing.
5. Body filler was used to fixed up any messed up things on the junk cast.
6. Visor materials. I used some PETG 0.5mm plastic sheeting as the visor material, and dyed it with iDye fabric dye. For that you need hot water, some buckets, and rubber gloves.
7. Paint, super glue and elastic straps for the finishing touches. I used metal paint as the base coat (aluminum ended up too shiny, stainless steel was perfect), acrylics for details and finished off with a blackwash and weathering.
Step 2: Sculpting
After heating up the clay, I got to work. Start out by blocking out a rough shape and size of the mask, and start adding/removing details. I kept the eyes visible so I could always keep the visor shape right, and used loop tools and exacto knives to cut away clay. I was still new to using this clay so it wasn't as clean as I wanted, but that's what a junk mold and cast is for.
Step 3: Casting a Junk Mold and More Refinement
Once the sculpt is 'done', time to make a mold. I made a small dam to keep runoff minimal and poured a thin coat of Pinkysil over it, making sure to avoid any bubbles forming, and then poured a thicker coat of CloneFX over that. They're both 2 part silicone molds which are mixed in equal volumes, and they set fairly quick so they're easy to use. I also made some registration keys out of silicone to keep the mold in place when casting the mask. After that put on some plaster bandage as a mother shell to keep everything ion place and you're ready to pour.
Take everything apart and pullout the clay model inside the mold, you don't need it anymore. Clean it out and get ready to use the Easycast resin. This pours in at a 1:1 ratio by volume, so measure out equal amounts, mix together for a few seconds and pour in. Keep rotating the resin so it covers everything until it sets in a few minutes. It's better to do thin coats of this stuff, so keep going until you feel it is thick enough. Once it sets (should take between 30min-few hours depending on hours), you can pull it out of the mold jacket and start fixing up the details.
I had some dints and blemishes from my sculpt, so I used some body filler to fix up and sharpen up edges on the mask. I also carved in the lines along the front of the mask using a blade and cut the edges for a better final master mold, and a bought some cheap rivet nut inserts for the mask's 'speakers' (made a small mold, cast them and stuck them onto the mask. After sanding down the surface to around 800grit sandpaper, it was ready for a master mold.
Step 4: Master Mold
Basically the same as the previous step, make a dam to avoid waste, pour on Pinkysil and CloneFX and make several registration keys for the mother shell. The mother shell is slightly different this time though. I made a dividing wall to make 2 parts of the shell so it was easier remove and allowed for a easier cast. I split it with some clingwrap so the plaster wouldn't stick to itself, and let it harden. Once that sets, pull it all apart again and reassemble it without the mask. Use the Easycast resin again, doing thin coats so you get all the details (I added the resin dye on the last coat to hide the white), and now you have a nice clean final mask.
I did 2 pulls of Revan, one with the cheek guards and one without, as I was unsure what looked better. I'me personally partial to the cheekless one, but others like the guard. Cut off the excess plastic, do some last minute sanding and now it's ready to paint. Also we need to do up the visor and headstraps, can't forget those.
Step 5: Painting, Last Minute Tweaking and Visors
I did the painting first and the visors last, as I wanted to dye a bunch all at once. Prime the mask with a flat primer and then put on you chosen base colour. I originally chose Aluminum because I thought it I could darken it enough to work out (did not work like I wanted), so the second one was Stainless Steel which looked much better. I added some crimson red next, masking off small parts to mimic damage/wear-and-tear with toothpaste (just wash it off well once it has been painted), some darker red after that, and then blackwashed over everything. Blackwashing refers to mixing black paint with a little water, brushing it over the mask and wiping it away fairly quick with paper towels. I made the cheeks extra black as the game model just showed black and it wasn't really confirmed if it was part of it or rendering his face. I added some extra battle damage by gently rubbing sandpaper over parts of the mask. This finished off the painting.
The visor is relatively easy, just cut out your visor shape from the PETG sheet and dye it. Boil some water in a kettle/stove, pour it into a bucket, and mix 2-3 packets of your chosen colour iDye into it. They stink in the water and will dye whatever they touch, so where some rubber laundry gloves and put down some old towels to avoid stains on your counter tops (I got yelled at for some splash marks last time...). Add a little cold water to lower the temperature a little so you can reach in (or use tongs), and drop in the PETG and leave it for a few minutes, pulling it out to check the tint. After 2-3 minutes, pull it out and place it in a bowl of cold water to seal in the tint. Keep doing this over and over until it reaches your preferred darkness/colour, and wipe it down and let it dry.
Now you can glue in the visor. I used some contact cement and superglue to attach it, and I cut out some cheap craft store leather (like $4) and elastic straps and glued them onto the side of the helmet. I added some foam along the cheek to keep it in place on the face, and viola!
Step 6: And Done!
And there we have it. An alternative version of the mighty Darth Revan's mask. Most of these steps can be applied to different projects, or you could basically follow it with a different initial sculpt. With this kind of stuff you get better with time and practice, so you have to eventually get better in time. I made a lot less mistakes this time around and was able to cut down costs on materials by reusing certain things, but overall this was a good experience (I have several people lined up to buy a cast of this, so I can recoup costs).
Next up, one of the Sith Lords of the Sequel.