Animal Masks

Here’s a job we did for Barcardi International. They wanted the waiters at their Cocktail World Championships to have animal heads so we made this series of masks.

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We’ve just returned from a great weekend showing our stuff to the fans and meeting a lot of people with some awesome costumes. We’ll be adding some photos soon and updating the shop so watch this space.

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It was a Thursday morning when we got the call, “Can you make a mechanical bull into a sheep?” of course we love a challenge so I said sure bring it over.

When the client dropped it off they informed me they need it by Monday morning! It is to be used at a Merino farmers convention and inspected by experts! Oh and it needs to be restored to a bull again after the event so we can’t glue anything on..! Wow did I say challenge?

I immediately got to work replacing the rubber bull horns with curly rams horns, these needed to hold their shape but be flexible so no one would get caught in them while falling from the sheep.

After both horns were symmetrical I removed them to coat in rubber and paint.

I made new sheep eyes and cover the old bull ones and carved foam to reshape the face.

It was then covered in a stretchy fabric, coated in rubber and painted. In the absence of Merino wool I found a reasonable substitute in some Alpaca wool we had on hand.

After replacing the finished horns I built a harness to strap on the bull that I could sew the sheepskins onto. It took 3 skins to cover this over sized sheep.

Oh yeah, did I mention we had to leave the built in saddle showing? This was technical trickery pulled off in 4 days. It is basically a mask and costume because it all has to be removed so the bull can be used again.

We look forward to the folks at NZ Merino sending some pictures of sheep farmers riding this behemoth.

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yep, after the first one was seen we quickly got an order for another Batman, this time built on to a mannequin with a sculpted chin and eyes added to make a display statue.

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Big Pig Rig

My Gamorrean Guard costumes are popular with Star Wars fans, here’s a look at how I make them.

Starting at the feet, these have been sculpted, molded and cast in thick latex rubber then lined with foam rubber for comfort and stability.

They will fit up to size 13 comfortably. The sandal straps are made from closed cell foam skin and painted to look like leather.

The sole is made from more PE foam and covered with a hard wearing urethane goo.

These get one more paint job with an airbrush once the rest of the rubber parts are finished. The new feet are only a quarter of the weight of the old ones and should be quite a relief on long troops.

Here are the hands/gloves I made, they are really comfortable to wear.

They would also be good for other costumes.
And here is the head/mask/helmet

The helmet part is made from a two piece ABS kit stuck together and bogged down the centre then covered by a stretchy brown material outside and lined with foam inside. the detail parts are cast in resin and bolted together through the latex mask holding the whole thing together.

Foam is added to the inside for comfort. the nostrils and mouth and lined with a black lycra.

The mouth is cut open a bit and can bounce open with a slight nod, this way you can make him talk or laugh, a pretty cool effect.

The body is made from open cell foam rubber, cut to fit with the arms added and carved and the belly is a pillow which gives great movement.

It is opened at the back with a zipper and dome snaps holding it all together.

this post is a work in progress, more soon.

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Brand new BATMAN

We know a collector who loves to dress as Batman for the special kids Christmas party so when his suit wore out I suggesting making a custom fitted suit to replace it.
I started by making a lifecast of him and he loved the experience and likened it to being treated like a movie star.

My first step was to sculpt his brow and get the look of the whole cowl.
I have been given free reign to design my own version of the suit.

I like a scowl on Batman and was inspired by the vision Scarecrow has in Batman Begins.
Next I decided on quite long ears,

This is the rough sculpt of the overall shape.
And here is my attempt to add a bit of interesting detail to the eyes.

This is what I came up with for the nose and cheeks,

my plan is that when he smiles at kids these details will help make the mask look less threatening.
And finally here is the finished sculpt ready for molding.

My muscle suit is made by gluing foam on to a tight shirt, with some carving in situ.

then I glue a 4-way stretch fabric over top. (spandex)

over that goes different sizes of mesh and then I paint it all with latex

I used 6 types of texture on the torso and 2 on the legs

a couple more shots of it all together, looks great all black.


Then he was commended for his good work by the Prime Minister.

If you want a suit like this, shine a lighted symbol into the night sky….. I’ll meet you on the roof.

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