How to create a Cardassian?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Nerys Ghemor, Jan 1, 2009.

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  1. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm trying to get an idea from those with some experience at making costumes what it would take to create a fairly reasonable-looking Cardassian appearance for a sci-fi/fantasy convention.

    I will NOT be attempting the armor--it's the ridges and scales I'm trying to figure out how to do. Given the correct tools, I trust myself to do any artwork involved (I already draw OK and even have a pretty detailed drawing of how Cardassian features would look, so it's just another hand-eye exercise)--the key is going to be budget and time involved. Has anyone attempted something of that magnitude before? If so, how did you do it, and where did you buy the stuff you needed?

    I've got until late March, and I'd like to have some idea if I should even attempt this or if I need to wait until another year before I can afford trying something like this.

    I feel like such a doofus asking about even trying a thing like this. I know it sounds freaky, but it's not like I'm planning on wearing this anywhere BUT the convention, which has a costume contest. (I do, however, look forward to any stares I may get while sitting in traffic that day. ;) ) I see this simply as attempting another art form...I do writing, drawing, and music already, so what's one more?
     
  2. sbk1234

    sbk1234 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, when a mommy and daddy Cardassian love each other very much, they hug in a special way....
     
  3. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :rolleyes:

    Moving right along...
     
  4. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I just about died laughing reading that sbk1234..

    OP I will be very interested to read how it turns out. I assume there is actual stage makeup stuff that would be useful to you, putty stuff to make the ridges out of. There was a costume thread in General I believe with some awesome photos.
     
  5. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not exactly sure whether simple putty would be enough to pull off something that extensive--and that's one of the things I'm trying to find out. I'm thinking I'd actually have to create something with latex in order to look even halfway "decent," but I have no idea what expense level we're talking when it comes to an undertaking like that.

    Just to give you an idea...I'd be making some modifications to make this more true to the screen as opposed to stylized for drawing, but this is the end-state I have in mind: http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=6533
     
  6. JNG

    JNG Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command

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    ^

    That link is not working for me.
     
  7. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  8. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  9. Marie1

    Marie1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not sure silly putty would work...
    You could buy a mask.
    Otherwise, I'd say get a close-up of a Cardassian, preferably a couple of angles.
    Start, preferably, with some kind of flexible material for the ridges that could be glued on (make sure you can get it off!) Then, cover the whole thing with the all-over gray base coat. Then do the unique scales with a darker colour.

    You can't use most things, paper mache, some clays etc because they shrink when dry, and almost be careful of clay, some of its toxic. But according to this website, there is a kind of plaster...
    http://www.creative-chemistry.org.uk/activities/masks.htm
     
  10. cultcross

    cultcross Janitor of the Mind Palace Moderator

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    Latex is obviously your best bet for realism, but that is fairly complex. A brief guide is found here. That site also sells packs to allow you to make appliances or full face masks - they're pricey, in the $300 range, but would probably give you the best (most life-like) results.
    There exist specialised glues for attaching appliances to your face, which come off with alcohol but won't 'sweat' off.
    The actual makeup is applied to the latex and to your skin, using sponges to blend the colour into your skin and hide the edges of the appliance.
     
  11. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My bad! Try this one...

    http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=65339

    And indeed that does look pricey, and quite damaging to my modest budget. Unless I can find a cheaper alternative, it looks like I'll probably have to wait...
     
  12. dreadpiraterose

    dreadpiraterose Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, the problem with a Cardassian is that if you aren't willing to invest a lot of time and money into it, it won't look good. You're going to need to do a lot of trial and error, and a lot of sculpting wax/putty/latex and make up. It isn't enough to just do the ridges, you have to consider the neck and hairline too. You'll probably also need to invest in a wig. I wouldn't even know where to begin in terms of the neck.
     
  13. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think I have a fair idea of how to pull that part off...getting my measurements exactly right, however, would be absolutely critical to get the effect to work. I expect in order to pull it off, I'd have to have not just a mould of my head, but also of the neck and shoulders area to build on everything. What I would guess I'd have to do would be sculpt the neck ridges and then layer on the initial coats of latex--and then once everything was dry, take it off the sculpture and fill that area in somewhat to give it enough strength to hold up to having the neckline of my shirt/dress on it without giving way.

    The wig, in the case of the design I have in mind, actually appears to be one of the less costly parts of the costume considering there would be no complex styles involved...all I'd have to do is get a simple straight-haired wig and then weave the braids into it myself. I think I already have beads on hand that I could use (and if I don't, I could get hold of something cheap that would work). The clothes probably wouldn't be awful if I can get some things at a consignment shop on the cheap to experiment on and destroy if necessary. ;)

    Figuring out how to do the rest on discount (but still get something fairly authentic-looking)...that's going to be tricky! Realistically, it now seems like I'll have to build this up over a few years at least, to avoid breaking my budget at any given time.
     
  14. dreadpiraterose

    dreadpiraterose Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Definitely better to wait and do it right than do it half way, I think.
     
  15. SonicRanger

    SonicRanger Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  16. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think that would work on a woman. I think sizing would be likely to be an issue--not to mention the differences in ridge shading and so on.

    I AM starting to get some ideas from here and other places how I MIGHT be able to pull it off...but we'll see. It all depends on what happens when I manage to put a final cost on it. If it's too expensive, I'm going to have to put it off until next year (or a Halloween debut at the soonest).
     
  17. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    And if mommy and daddy are into kinky stuff, they probably roleplay Gul DuCock and the Bajoran love slave.
     
  18. SonicRanger

    SonicRanger Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, that's why I suggested "cannibalizing" it. Cut off the ridges, glue them to your face, and then use makeup to blend to your skin. Slightly more advanced would be to mould new latex pieces from the mask.

    Here is another mask -- I can't tell if it is the same company or not:

    https://www.aaagh.com/star-trek-cardassian-delux-latex-mask-aaagh-pr-16232.html
     
  19. dreadpiraterose

    dreadpiraterose Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I didn't even know they made Cardie masks...
     
  20. Gary Mitchell

    Gary Mitchell Admiral Admiral

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