The creation of the mask
To make the overall shape of the mask and costume look right, I knew wearing a simple cloak with a mask attached to it wouldn't do at all, so I thought the best way to replicate No-Face's body shape would be to build an internal frame structure to attach the mask and cloak to instead.
Having calculated the best size for the mask in proportion to my height, I started making a positive mold by coupling together three cardboard planes that were shaped as the mask's profiles from the front, side, and above.
More cardboard planes were added to the mold to fill it out and give it the shape I thought would best represent the general look of the mask.
After taping over the entire surface of the mold, paper scraps were pushed into the voids between the cardboard planes to further round off the shape of the mold.
The smooth tape would also work nicely as a mold release.
A few layers of fiberglass reinforced polyester was spread over the mold to make a hard shell that would basically become the mask itself after the mold is removed.
A black line was drawn around the inside of the mask along the bottom of the mold to make it easier to see where I should trim the edges of the fiberglass later on.
After removing the mask from the mold, a second layer of fiberglass reinforced polyester was applied to the inside of the mask to smooth it out and further strengthen it.
A layer of fiberglass mixed body filler was applied over the surface of the mask to smooth out any cracks and imperfections.
After all the layers of materials had cured, I could trim down the edge of the mask along the black line I had drawn earlier.
A sanding machine was used to smooth out the surface before further wet-sanding it with a fine grit sanding pad.
I thought it would be easier to get the surface as smooth as possible by casting the mask without the eyes and mouth that could simply be cut open later anyway.
Studio Ghibli for making the movie Spirited Away.
The Clonetrooper who left behind his armor making materials.
Whoever left behind the aluminum fishing nets in my attic.
Since No-Face was hand-drawn, the details on his mask didn't exactly match from one scene to the next, so the shapes of my mask's details would be made more after my own preference while still trying to make them look as if they were authentically drawn by Studio Ghibli.
After deciding on the shapes of the details, templates for only one side of the mask were drawn so I could symmetrically mirror them later on.
The shape templates were transferred onto pieces of masking tape that were then attached to the mask along lines that would make sure the details were placed straight and symmetrically.
After cutting open the eyes and mouth, the outlines of the other details were faintly carved into the surface of the mask, with slightly deeper grooves around the details underneath the eyes.
Several threaded grommets were attached to the inside of the mask where it would be bolted onto the frame.
The mask was spray painted with a glossy white paint that had been left behind from someone else's Clonetrooper costume project.
A fine black mesh was glued onto three metal wire frames that were made to fit behind the eyes and mouth.
I decided to cut the mouth open instead of painting it on since this would let more air through while also working as an extra view-hole for seeing the floor and low objects.
The main structure of the frame was made from a couple of aluminum tubes that were shaped to go around my chest and shoulders, and to form the outline of the head.
The upper tube was also attached to the polystyrene padding from a bicycle helmet that would hold the frame in place against my head.
Having run out of aluminum tubing, I had to snag a few additional tubes from my clothes drying rack to bend them into the shape that the mask would bolt onto.
The mask frame was attached to the main frame by screwing it onto the top of the helmet and an additional tube for the front of the neck.
Two smaller tubes were later added to the sides of the frame to prevent the mask from wobbling around sideways.
After adding four long metal rods to fill in the corners of the frame, thinner metal wires were wrapped around them, also going through holes on the edges of the aluminum tubing.
Several more vertical and horizontal wires were added in a neatly woven pattern to fill out the shape and strengthen the whole frame structure.
The large holes in the frame were wrapped in with thin metal wires to prevent the grid texture from showing through the surface of the cloak.
To make the rigid frame structure more comfortable to wear, an inner padding was made from thick sheets of polyester batting.
To contain all the stray fluff of the padding, an outer lining was made from black velvet that had a similar texture to the cloak.
The inner padding was stitched onto the frame along the vertical wires with a thick thread.
The extra length of soft materials underneath the frame structure would further smooth out the transition between the frame and my body when the cloak is draped over it.
The edges of the black velvet and polyester batting were sewn together by a sewing machine.
An outer layer of polyester batting would further smooth out the grid texture of the frame structure.
The outer padding was neatly hand-stitched onto the inner padding and the frame tubing for the mask.
An outer lining was also made for the outer padding to make the edges more durable when pulling the frame structure onto my shoulders.
The edges of both velvet linings were sewn together with an internal seam, then the top of the outer lining was hand-sewn onto the outer padding.
A small pocket was also sewn onto the inner lining for holding a battery that powers up a small fan behind the mouth of the mask.
It took a lot of force to press the mask onto the frame to bolt it in place, but it gave it the exact look I wanted, as if the mask itself has grown right out of the black cloak.
A few strips of sticky backed foam were attached to the inside of the helmet to make the mask more comfortable to wear, and to give it some extra height.
The mask was finished just in time for the convention where I wanted to wear the costume for the first time, and it got many good reviews and easy recognition. Some even said it was the best No-Face costume they had ever seen, which was very nice to hear after all the stress and late nights it took to create it.
To calculate the size of the mask and frame, I traced a drawing around No-Face and then traced my own body inside it to see what the frame would have to fill out from my shoulders to give the costume the right shape.
2 weeks - between 22 March 2014 and 8 April 2014.
Aluminum tubing from fishing nets - 0 NOK - Found in my attic.
Knitting sticks - 25,60 NOK
Metal wires - 0 NOK - Already available.
Copper coated metal wire - 5,98 NOK
Black mesh fabric - 0 NOK - Already available.
Fiberglass - 0 NOK - Excess from my Xenomorph costume.
Polyester resin - 0 NOK - Excess from someone else's Clonetrooper costume.
Polyester hardener - 0 NOK - Excess from my Gordon Freeman costume.
Fiberglass mixed body filler - 0 NOK - Excess from my Darth Vader costume.
Body filler hardener - 0 NOK - Excess from my Nothosaurus life-size figure.
Spray primer - 0 NOK - Excess from someone else's Clonetrooper costume.
Spray paint - 0 NOK - Excess from someone else's Clonetrooper costume.
Acrylic paint - 0 NOK - Already available.
Clear coat spray - 0 NOK - Excess from someone else's Clonetrooper costume.
Total - 31,58 NOK / $3,66 USD
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To match the colors of the mask to what is seen in the movie, I digitally extracted the colors from several screenshots to make a large color chart that I could compare my own mixed paints to.
A black pen was used to make the lines around the dark gray shapes underneath the eyes, as also seen in the movie.