How to Make a Klingon Mask

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Klingons are one of the iconic alien races in the "Star Trek" franchise. Their appearance has been set firmly since "The Next Generation," with pronounced forehead and nose ridges, deep-set eyes and long hair. There are many generic Klingon masks available, but they usually have hair that is sculpted in place and a generic expression. You can custom-make your own mask using liquid latex, toilet paper and cotton.

Things You'll Need

  • Head form
  • Pencil
  • Crystal Clear
  • Liquid latex
  • Disposable paint brushes
  • Toilet paper
  • Hair dryer (optional)
  • Cotton balls
  • Paint
  • Wig
  • Needle and thread
  • Scissors
  • Set a head form on a working table. This head form can be made of plastic, cement, rigid foam or any other material as long as the dimensions are correct.

  • Draw circles around the eyes, and an upside-down U around the mouth from chin to nose. The eyes and mouth/chin area will be left open in the finished mask.

  • Spray the form with three coats of Crystal Clear acrylic to seal the surface. Allow each coat to dry fully before moving on to the next.

  • Brush the face and top of the head with a thin layer of liquid latex, using a disposable paint brush. You do not have to apply latex to the back of the head or onto the eyes and mouth/chin area.

  • Apply overlapping squares of toilet paper into the wet latex until the entire area is covered.

  • Brush more latex onto the surface of the toilet paper, completely encasing it between two layers of latex.

  • Allow the latex to dry. This will take one to two hours, but can be sped up with a hair dryer.

  • Repeat steps 4-7 to add three additional layers. Add five additional layers along the back edge of the mask.

  • Pull several cotton balls apart into fluffy worm shapes.

  • Brush latex onto the top of the mask, then lay cotton into it to begin forming the Klingon head ridges. Brush more latex on top of the cotton when the shape is close to what you want.

  • Continue working in small sections to build up the ridges, deep eye sockets and nose. You can apply multiple layers of cotton and latex to build up additional depth.

  • Apply a final layer of latex and toilet paper over the entire mask. This will provide a uniform skin and help to hide any lumpiness in the cotton.

  • Allow the entire mask to dry overnight.

  • Paint the mask with paints designed to be used on latex.

  • Put a black wig onto the head, positioning it where you want it for the mask. You may have to trim the wig to make it fit over the ridges.

  • Sew the mask to the wig, using thick black thread. Make sure that you are only sewing through the thicker back edge of the mask.

  • Remove the mask from the head form. Trim the eyes and mouth/chin area if cleanup is needed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear this mask with matching makeup on your eyes and mouth/chin area. Facial hair works well with this mask.
  • Add details such as facial scars if desired to give the mask more character.
  • Be careful not to get liquid latex in your hair or clothing: it will be nearly impossible to remove.

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References

  • "Stage Makeup-Sixth Edition"; Richard Corson; 1981
  • "Special Make-Up Effects for Stage & Screen"; Todd Debreceni; 2009
  • Photo Credit Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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