The head honcho of my work is a big fan of Halloween and encourages everyone to dress up in a costume on Halloween. This year (2007) I decided I would go as Teen Wolf.
About five or six years back, I went as an Ape from the original Planet of the Apes (you know, the one with Heston). I bought a latex appliance from www.ScreamTeam.com. I liked the outcome of the costume, so I decided to use their "Beast" appliance to make me look more Teen Wolfish.
This one didn't come out too bad, so I thought I'd post the process here.
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Step 1: Jacket
You may have noticed the jacket Michael J. Fox is wearing on the movie posters and DVD cover is red, however, the one he actually wears in the movie is blue.
I luckily found a letter jacket on eBay for $20 that was about my size. It was a pretty close match to the one Fox wore in the movie.
I ordered a 7 inch Chenille Letter "B" in royal blue on black felt on light gold felt. I don't remember where I got it, but you can google chenille letter for lots of options. Expect to pay around $20.
I used 3m Super 77 spray adhesive and sprayed the back of the letter. I then attached it to the jacket. I did this primarily to hold it in place while I ran it through my wife's sewing machine to keep the letter from coming off.
Step 2: The Hair and Face
I bought a long brownish wig from eBay for about $20 (includes shipping).
The wig was actually too long, but I planned that on purpose because I had planned on cutting off some of the length to make the facial hair with.
After trimming the wig to the appropriate length. I used liquid latex (you can find it at most costume supply shops or online) to attach the hair to the latex appliance. I used liquid latex to prevent any damage to the mask from regular glues.
I started on the chin piece first and then worked my way to the cheek areas. The wig I purchased did not come low enough on my forehead to match the screen shot of Teen Wolf I was using as my reference, so I attached more hair to the brow area of the mask.
I also decided to paint the mask a more realistic flesh color that matched my own, so I would not have to use so much grease makeup when I put it on. (Side Note: If you do buy make up for a latex mask, make sure it is made for latex. Oil based makeups and paints will deteriorate the mask much like petroleum will mess up a condom. Look for Rubber Mask Grease.)
I used PAX paint to paint the mask. PAX is a 50/50 mixture of acrylic based paint (Usually Liquitex brand) and Pros-Aide Adhesive (Found online or in a costume shop).
One word of caution. When painting an entire latex mask with PAX, avoid painting around the edges. Leave yourself at least about a quarter to half inch. the latex will soak up the PAX paint a little and will cause it to shink a bit and then you won't have the nice thin latex edges for better blending to your face. I forgot this when I painted and had to work around it when I attached it to my face.
I painted the mask after glueing the hair on so that I could try and hide the hair lines a little with the paint. It didn't work as well as I had hoped, so I took some light and dark brown crepe wool hair (eBay) and glued it along the hair lines with sprit gum to further camoflauge the previous hair work.
In the picture below from left to right is the various stages of prepping the crepe hair. It starts out as a briad when you first buy it. I then unraveled it and put it under an iron set to a steam setting to straighten it out. Tehn I cut it to length and pulled it apart to look more like hair. I did this with both the light and dark brown hair and then mixed them together to match the hair on the wig.
The last thing I did was paint the latex ear pieces.
It turned out pretty good.
Step 3: The Leftovers
The remaining work was on the finger nails and wrist hair.
I first bought some black fake fingernails from a costume shop, but they were made for someone with much smaller fingers than myself, so they weren't much help.
I found some cheesy platic fingeres with some nice sized nails, so I just cut off the nail portion and glued them to my finger tips with latex.
I need some fur to look as if my arms were hairy under the jacket. I took a pair of panty hose and cut two sleeves to glue hair onto. I used the crepe hair as before and glued it to the panty hose with latex.
Step 4: Bringing It All Together
I got up Halloween morning to put on the costume. I thought I got up early enough, but it turns out I didn't, so I was a little more rushed towards the end that I would have liked.
Here are the steps to putting everything on.
1. Shave!...this is important, otherwise it might hurt a little when it's time to take the mask off.
2. I glued the ears on with Pros-Aide. I didn't really pay too much attention since most of the ears were covered by the hair and you could really only see the tips.
3. I put the end of one of the panty hose legs on my head to help matte my hair down for the wig.
4. I put on the wig and brushed and hair sprayed it to my liking. It kept slipping a bit (probably from me taking a little too much hair off when furring up the mask), so I glued the front of it to my forehead with spirit gum. I put the wig on first so I could see where I might need extra fur once I had the mask on. I probably should have done it the other way around.
5. I cleaned my face and the back side of the mask with alcohol. I then put a coat of Pros-Aide adhesive on both pieces of the mask. I let the first coat completely dry and then I put on a second coat. When the second coat dries, it is tacky to the touch and then you are ready to apply it to your face. I first attached it to my nose and positioned it correctly. While keeping everything tight, I pressed down through the cheeks and brow area making sure the mask was secure. I did the same with the chin piece.
6. I combed the face hair and blended the brow hair into my wig.
7. You remember I had messed up and allowed the latex edges to shink when I painted it? Now I had to use liquid latex to blend the edges into my skin. This is the step I had not anticipated and it took a few minutes to let the latex dry. You have to build it up in coats of latex so it took some time to dry every coat.
8. Once the latex was dry, I took a couple of different shades of flesh colored makeup grease and blended the mask into my skin. I also made the eyes darker and more sunk in. I used a triangular makeup sponge to apply the grease paint.
9. Once the makeup was done, I took makeup powder specifically made for grease paint and powdered the makeup to let it set so that it wouldn't rub off easily.
10. I then used spirit gum to apply some crepe hair on the sides of my face where the mask ended to better blend in with the wig.
After the face was done. I put on the jacket and fur sleeves and started to glue the finger nails on when I relized how late it was and I needed to get to work. I also figured it would be hard to work with the finger nails on, so I took them off.
I put my 80's style portable tape deck and head phones on.
I also had meant to wear fangs, but it was going to take another ten minutes to let them set and I decided to skip it.
When I got to work, I borrowed a basketball for a prop and everyone was impressed. I just might have a shot at winning the company costume contest this year.