I just saw this license plate on a car while I was driving to a worksite. Just what I needed to get me back in the mood to work on that Pinhead costume!
This is really the moment we’ve been waiting for. We’ve done parts of the makeup here and there, gotten all the prep work done but haven’t done an actual application. There’s not time to do a test run. Already I can tell this is going to be a crazy long makeup, and I’m not about to waste a couple of hours and a bunch of makeup on a test run like I usually do. This is it.
We begin with some white makeup on the face, right around where the bald cap is going to meet the skin. I wan makeup under some of the cap so if it begins to ride up on my forehead we wont have a flesh toned line where the latex is escaping the skin.
Next we put the cap on. Time for more makeup. We need to do the whole face, but special attention is paid to that seam. The white greasepaint is what we are using to make it disappear. Adding latex to it would cause a bump, not the smooth surface we need and I can’t run a horizontal grid line across it because the shape would be wrong.
Once my face is white, we begin to draw the grid lightly with black makeup. This is entirely for guidance on where to put the pins, these black lines will be completely covered by the time we are done. The grid is lined up with the bald cap and we follow the vertical lines down, and begin the adding the pins at the intersections. This is slow as each has to be applied individually and dried. They don’t feel quite stable but that’s part of what the cotton is for, to add some support. Time to begin cotton process again, bit by bit. Applying all these small pieces was what made the Zombie Spider-man we talked about last Halloween makeup so difficult. It’s dragging this application on as well, really glad the bald cap is already done. Still, between the pins and the cotton grid, we’re still pushing three hours.
After cleaning up the grid we add some light gray to the corners to add shading and get dressed. The next step is going to be to create a proper costume, but for now, black cloths a puzzle box and a long coat should give the right impression. Adding a sinister belt and some knives just in time to meet up with Batman.
PINHEAD MAKEUP : COMPLETE
But that’s not really the end of the story. Like I said, I still have to create a proper costume. I can probably get away with a cheap black skirt for the lower part and a long black sleeved shirt for part of the top, but I need to create a vest for the center of the Pinhead costume…and that will also serve as a central part of any other Cenobite costume I make. We’ll be back to the Hellraiser project after I create some more Violent Blue.
In our last post on the Hellraiser Project we had finally found success in creating nails for the Pinhead Baldcap. That process was actually a great deal more difficult than I had anticipated, but I’m glad it’s done.
The next step is to create the grid of cut flesh on the top of the head. The idea is that with a bald cap complete with pins and a grid, the rest of the makeup on application day will be half as difficult.
Back when we were trying out the facial pins, I settled on the cotton ball method of creating the cuts. A little latex, with pieces torn from a cotton ball sticking to it. This is a long process, and it’s giving me an idea of how long this makeup will take to apply. Just creating the cotton grid takes between an hour and a half and two hours. Each bit between the pins has to be added individually, then heated to dry faster. Instead of the long lines that it appears to be, what you are actually looking at is dozens of tiny little cotton pieces, four little pieces making up each square.
The next step is to mat it down with fake blood. This is where a creative choice comes in. I’ve seen people do the grid just drawn in with black, I’ve also seen it done in red. I don’t want to do any of that. I’m using blue food coloring to mat the cotton down. Pinhead is frequently shown in a blue light and the color gives an eerie look to him. It also serves to mark out the grid and highlight it, without looking unnecessarily bloody. That’s a principle of Pinhead’s look…he cause all this horrific bodily damage, but none of the blood ever gets on him – he always looks crisp, clean. The blue color adds to that stark, clean look. When I apply the makeup, we’ll use the same method, and follow the lines set down for us on the bald cap. Finally we add white makeup to the squares and clean up some of the edges of the cotton with white greasepaint and a brush. The idea is to create trauma, to look like the skin is puckering where the cuts are, rather than it look like there’s a bunch of makeup in rows on my head.
That’s it. Time to celebrate with some Violent Blue, because the next step is the full application of the makeup.
PINHEAD BALD CAP : PHASE TWO COMPLETE
The previous two attempts to create a bald cap with pins that matched my facial makeup failed because I was trying my usual methods of creating makeups.
Time for something new.
It came to me when I was looking at the tools I use to apply makeup. Q-Tips. Lots of ’em. The shaft is white and soft looking, very similar to the nails I made already. The big difference is that my facial nails aren’t quite as straight as these, but I think there will be enough confusion on my face with all the pins sticking out that you probably won’t notice unless you REALLY study it.
I started by snipping off the ends of the Q-tips and trimming them down to the right size, using one of my homemade nails for reference. Next I drew a grid on the cap lightly with a bit of black makeup and started to glue the nails in at each intersection. This grid will be pained over with white makeup eventually.
Trying it on again, the nails still spread nicely, but feel sturdier coming off. No snapping and popping…..
A few nails began to fall off. The glue holds, but not enough, because the latex bald cap stretches under it. I went through and reinforced each pin with a bit of liquid latex around the base. Cap comes on and off! Next step will be to create a permanent grid…but first I got to do some Violent Blue cartoons.
Today it’s try two for the skullcap part of the Hellraiser makeup. It turns out that the sculpty pins that we made for the bald cap constantly broke when taking it on and off. We need something sturdier.
Since we need something stiff and sturdy I want to revisit the molding process. I’m hoping that using hot glue and a mold, I can create pins that are sturdy enough to withstand the bald cap being taken on and off, but light enough not to fall off or drag the makeup down. The most important thin here however, is that they look like the model magic pins I will be using on my face.
We start off with some sculpty and a nail. I like using sculpt for hot glue molds because unlike clay, it doesn’t melt. It’s designed for high temperatures and can withstand the heat of the glue. The glue isn’t hot enough however to bake the sculpt into a hardened mess so it can still be reused. I pressed a nail into the sculpt and carefully pulled it out. The impression looks good, but now we have to see how the glue holds up. I coat the inside of the mold with a little vegetable oil. It’ll help the glue release from the mold after it cools. When I pull it out I can immediately see a problem. there’s WAY too much flash. To many ridges and bumps. even painted, this won’t pass for the same kind of nails I have in my face, and I can make nails for facial makeup out of this stuff…it’ll be too heavy. back to the drawing board.
Today we’re back to the Hellraiser makeup. Now that we’ve created the pins for the face (as we saw the last time) it’s tiem to address the rest of the head. In the past I’ve simply driven nails through a plain old bald cap and called it a day. The nails were real and looked just fine. In this case however, that’s not going to work. What I’m going to need on the Bald cap are nails that match the ones that are on my face.
The natural route was to simply use the exact same nails I had created out of model magic for my face and glue a bunch of these to the bald cap. I had made a whole lot of extras with this in mind and so I went to work gluing them on.
They ended up a little floppy, but so were the ones I had already made for my face. It really didn’t matter as long as it all matched. I tried on the cap and the pins spread evenly. Everything looked good.
Then I took the cap off.
Pins started to break off and flew everywhere. The model magic was too light to take the shape changes of the bald cap and constantly broke when taking it on and off. Looks like I’m going to have to find something else to try with this. Time to go work on some Violent Blue while I ponder this.
Pinhead cap : FAILED
So when we last tried to make pins for the pinhead makeup, it was using liquid latex. That experiment failed miserably. This time we’re going straight to the modeling compuound, something I’m reasonably sure will work.
I use a product by Crayola (like the crayons) called model magic. It’s extremely lightweight and the consistency of clay. It dries hard, but still remarkably light, lighter than foam rubber even. The reason I had wanted to avoid using this was because I was going to have to roll each of those nails by hand…and yep. That’s exactly what I ended up doing.
I had counted the pins on Pinheads skull and kept coming up with different numbers. I finally settled on 120. I expected I would end up making a slightly larger grid and not needing all of those, but better to have extras than not enough.
Finally, once enough pins were done, it was time to do a test run to see if they would be light enough to stick on my face. First we draw the grid on my face so we know where to put the pins. this will also serve as a guide for the cotton scars I’ll add later. A dab of liquid latex at the bottom each, then some heat and time waiting for them to connect with my face. In addition, I am planning on using shredded cotton to create the grid on my face. That will have t he added effect of helping to support the pins and hide the wide bottom that is holding it on to my skin.
The grid is going to be achieved by adding shredded cotton to my face. First you draw a line of liquid latex, then you slowly add bits of cotton on top of it. Next you color it to blend in with the skin. When I actually do the pin head makeup, I won’t actually have to color the cotton since my skin will be white anyhow. To get it to look like a slice however, you need blood. The blood mats down the center and makes the edges look torn. For Pinhead, I plan to use blue food coloring instead of red blood.
Since I’m not in full makeup yet, I still did some of the cotton cuts, but colored them flesh tone and added a line of red blood in them so it gives kind of the effect of a pre-pinhead….it is just a test run after all.
The cotton cuts are going to take forever…I can see that just from the preliminary testing I’m doing right now. This is going to be a long makeup application.
Since it’s just a test appliance, I decided not to do the whole face, just half…it’ll save time, and still be proof of concept. I like how it looks, and the pins are working out just fine. The next step is goign to be the bald cap. There’s plenty of Model Magic pins left that I can glue them on to it….
but not tonight. I’ve already spent two hours rolling pins and another hour and a half just trying tout this makeup application. I’m loving the look, you can really see the beautiful symmetry of the pins, but I’m also getting a little tiered and need to do some Violent Blue for tomorrow. We’ll tackle the bald cap on anther night.
Today We are starting on creating the nails for the pinhead makeup. This time around I want something more on my face than just a painted grid, I actually want the nails to come out of the skin, but first I have to create some nail shaped appliances. I figured we would try to make it out of solid latex. I have an alternate method in mind, but it would involve rolling each nail one at a time and I’d rather have something that I could just create a mold for and squeeze them out a bunch at a time. I’ve had so good luck lately creating latex prosthetics so I grabbed a nail that looked about the right size, then pressed an impression into clay. Then I poured latex into the impressions, dripping it in using the brush in the jar. It dosen’t matter if there’s some overlap, I can always trim the flash off later with a razor.
I could just wait all night for it to dry, but I keep a small hair dryer around just for this purpose. I use it frequently when I apply makeup, and this is pretty much the same thing. I’m also eager to see what the results would be and the heat could actually make it dry harder than simple air drying.
Once things have gotten hard and dry, I tried prying them out of the clay. It didn’t work, the latex is too flexible and would stretch when I tried to flex it out. I ended up trashing that first batch and startign from scratch again….but aroudn this time I was getting a bad feeling about using this method. Once I got the second set up and dried I grabbed a razor to try and cut the nails out. It worked better, but not as well as I had hoped.
Things were still too floppy, and I could see it as I cut them out. Those fears I had earlier were realized. Latex is just too flexible, it isn’t drying hard enough and I don’t have the resources to compress it. This isn’t going to work. I’m going have to go with plan B.
But not tonight. Tonight I’m going to go read some Violent Blue to cheer up.
Nail Appliance status:FAILED
Starting a new feature here at Argo City. The Hellraiser project is a way for me to document the process of creating makeups and creature effects for at least two hellraiser characters. Right now I’m focusing on Pinhead and Chatterer. If all goes well, I’ll add a completely new Cenobite of my own creation later.
Posts will go from makeups to costumes as things get created.
In the past I’ve had a pinhead costume, but it wasn’t as good as I would like. It consisted of a white bald cap with nails driven through it and attached. Add white makeup and draw the hint of a grid on a face and top off with a long coat buttoned to the top collar like a robe. It worked, and both I and others used it on occasion, but I was never really happy with it. This is a chance to do something different, get the makeup RIGHT (or as right as I can) and create a better costume to go with it. We’re going to show the successes AND the failures (and trust me, there are going to be plenty of failures. When creating a new makeup, there always is). You’ll get to see every bump in the road as I try to figure out how to make this stuff.
I think this will be an interesting ride, and I hope your up for it with me. If it’s not your thing, go check out today’s Violent Blue, and hopefully that will make you smile.
See you in the Labyrinth.