I have armature wire and plastilina. Help.
October 26, 2007 8:10 PM   Subscribe

CostumeFilter: I have armature wire and roma plastilina. What can I do before tomorrow night?

My plan was to make a stylized African-ish mask of a bull/antelope/Pan-type thing. Unfortunately, I started tonight, and after cutting a bit of the armature wire up, I started to notice how amazingly frustrating it is to work with. So now I'm faced with the sad reality of having to scale back a bit.

I'd still like to have something that goes over my head, but I don't exactly have a great artistic streak. Any ideas given the materials (oof) would be terrific!

Other than this, I'm wearing baggy cloth breeches. I'll be going barefoot & shirtless (and I'm on the hairy side).
posted by devilsbrigade to Media & Arts (7 answers total)
I don't know exactly what "armature wire" is but I once made a really Fifth Element type hat using wire and colored tissue paper in the manner of papier mache. It did take quite some time to design it and make it so that it looked like two fat tentacles coming off my head and wrapping around my shoulders. I used duct tape and a thick ski cap to make something which could actually sit on my noggin without hurting. Um... really impossible to describe in words how one might do this, especially in such short of time.

Maybe do some searches for papier mache and wire masks, hats, costumes, etc.
posted by amanda at 8:24 PM on October 26, 2007

Bert (of Sesame Street fame) is really really easy to do, but I don't know how well the shirtless bit works there. Using the same shape as Bert's head (basically cylindrical) what about the traditional cartoon witchdoctor. Paint it up with black & white only as well, instead of using lots of colours - it'd be quite striking.
posted by b33j at 8:45 PM on October 26, 2007

the armature (floral?) wire would be a lot easier to work with if you twisted it together (for strength esp. if you are animating it) and covered it in masking tape. You might try making an underside with the wire and aluminum foil to help get the shape you want and not have it weigh a ton as well. As to what to make... I dno, is there anything you could make a form from?
posted by psychobum at 8:58 PM on October 26, 2007

It has nothing to do with your materials, but I saw a cute easy costume once where the wearer was a bag of jellybeans. They had a clear plastic garbage bag on their trunk, and they filled it with inflated multicolored ballons and had a tie at the neck as the bag tie. Easy, fast, cheap, hairy legs okay.
posted by 45moore45 at 9:04 PM on October 26, 2007

The oilclay probably won't hold onto the the armature wire during the kind of jostling it will get when you're wearing it.

Pick up some plaster-impregnated guaze (or use cloth strips and plaster) at the art supply store. Use that to build up a shell on the mask, remove the oilclay and wear the plaster shell. (Or maybe even duck tape?) You could try coloring it with acrylic inks; I'd stay away from most paints and anything that's going to smell/not dry fast enough.

If you had more time, I'd suggest other materials, like bondo. Or you could pick up some thermoplastic sheets and work those using hot water or a heat gun, if you can source them at a plastics shop / art supply store in time. Good luck.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:14 PM on October 26, 2007

Response by poster: the roma plastilina is actually holding up better on its own than I was expecting. I may just ditch the wire altogether. sebastienbailard was right on about it not holding on at all. the tissuepaper idea is cool as well.. i may put some over the clay once I finish it to give it some color, since I won't have time to cast/paint it.
posted by devilsbrigade at 11:13 PM on October 26, 2007

Make a big eyeball ala The Residents. big hairy eyeball works for me,
posted by hortense at 11:16 PM on October 26, 2007

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