I've been inspired all week by the courageous Terror Tuesday screening of the misunderstood 80's horror oddity Halloween III. If you aren't familiar with the film, it's the redheaded stepchild of the Halloween franchise that has nothing to do with the other movies- beyond the fact that it's packed full of generic John Carpenter synthesizer music. This movie is so random that it could only have been inspired by inhalant abuse (ok, so they claim it's actually inspired by Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but how you get from modest aliens to evil Irish warlocks with armies of robot yuppies that are plotting to appease the old Gods' hunger for sacrifice by using stonehenge dust-powered lasers to turn children's heads into bugs... I have no idea). Anyway, the plot uses whole-head halloween masks to hide the child-obliterating druid laser technology I mentioned, and I thought this year I would get all crafty and make myself a whole-head mask. This way, when I am busy abusing inhalants on Halloween, no one will be able to tell I am drooling, or identify me to the police when they find me sleeping in their closet, covered in bean-dip and candy wrappers. Here's how I did it: I picked Crayola Model Magic as my main medium because it's easy to mold, and dries into a sort of lightweight styrofoam that is easy to paint (get the giant tub of white, not the little kiddie packs that come in colors). When you are making something as big and heavy as a mask, however, you need some sort of reinforcing structure. You can use a balloon, or wadded up newspaper wrapped in tape, or something with a surface smooth enough for the model magic not to stick to, but I had a feeling that something this large would come apart when I tried to peel it off whatever form I built it on, so instead I made an armature out of this stuff called Shapelock, and then built the mask on top of it, embedding the reinforcement in the mask. Shapelock comes in a bag of white beads that you pour into hot water. The beads melt together into this pliable clear mass that you can sculpt with your hands. When the Shapelock cools, it turns into hard, dense plastic. A word to the wise, if you drape a bunch of rope-like blobs of shapelock around your head, get it off while it is still flexible. The stuff contracts slightly as it cools, and it would be loads of fun to pour scalding water over your head to try and melt it again when you can't get it off. Likewise, once you remove it, the contracting action will probably make your framework too tight to get back over your head. I used a hair drier to re-soften and loosen a few pieces, or alternately you can saw or drimmel pieces to make room or to make joints.
Next I applied the Model Magic in big sheets and blobs. You can keep the Model Magic soft by getting it wet, and also smooth out the lines where you join separate hunks together by rubbing it with water.Remember to leave yourself air holes! Also, if you have a microchip full of stonehenge dust that you want to slip in, do it now while the Model Magic is soft, and make your air holes big enough to let out the rattlesnakes and centipedes that will be boiling out of all your facial orifices. It's inhumane to keep them trapped inside! After that, you just need a good coat of paint. I'm almost finished with mine- this paired with an upsetting black unitard and a lot of blue paint is going to be a Draag costume from the 1973 animated film Fantastic Planet. I'm hoping the red saucer-eyes will discourage anyone from thinking I am a "Blue Man", but luckily one of the benefits of a whole-head mask is that if you punch someone in the junk as hard as you can and then run away, no one will know who did it. -Wiley