I am blessed with a child who enjoys cosplay. For Anime Midwest 2014, we decided on going as a father/child pair. After looking at a few options, we decided to go as Deathstroke and his daughter, Ravager, from DC Comics. I knew that if I could get the mask right for Deathstroke, I would be in good shape for the costume.
After cruising through the wealth of information YouTube offers on cosplay, I decided to build out the mask using a plastic Iron Man costume piece as a base. I planned to take the mask, use Bondo to mold it the shape I wanted, sand it down, and then paint it up. In this case, the simplicity of the execution actually matched the design. I couldn’t argue with the cost, either. Excluding the Dremel tool, construction of the mask cost less than $30US.
To make this Deathstroke mask, I used:
- Marvel Iron Man 3 ARC FX Mask
- Bondo All Purpose General Putty
- Putty knife
- Sandpaper, medium and fine grade (a Dremel tool can help with sanding, a lot)
- Masking tape
- Paper, pencils, and scotch tape for stencils
- Black elastic, ¾” wide x 12″
- Spray paint: Safety orange, flat black
- Modeling paint: Flat white
- Screen repair kit
- 2″ x 2″ slip of cardstock
- Hot glue and gun
- Plastic bag
Before jumping into the process, I want to note a few things about working with Bondo. Bondo is a product line of putties and fillers created by 3M. Originally used to repair cars, the brand has expanded to a multitude of uses: wood filler, fiberglass, and adhesives. I used Bondo All Purpose General Putty for the mask. It hardens to a very paintable gray color and was easy to shape and sand.
Bondo gives off some heavy fumes. I recommend working in a well ventilated area while using the putty. A pair of latex gloves will prevent the material from sticking to fingers. How long Bondo takes to harden depends on the temperature and humidity of the workplace. I had much more time to fill gaps and holes on a hot, sticky day than on a cool summer’s evening in my garage.
I started the project with an Iron Man 3 ARC FX Mask. After snipping of the red elastic from the back, I used Bondo to fill out the nooks and crannies on both sides to get a more rounded shape. To fill in the right eye socket, I attached a slip of cardstock to the interior of the eye with hot glue before pouring in the putty. The Bondo would settle a little as it dried and required multiple applications.
I allowed the putty to dry 48 hours before settling down with my Dremel tool to sand out the bumps and ridges. The Dremel saved me hours of work in smoothing out the mask. I used a rough grain bit to get the shape I wanted, then completed the work with some fine grain sandpaper.
Before painting, I cut out a section from a screen repair kit to fit in the left eye and attached it to the back of the eye opening with hot glue. Mesh over the eye hole makes it more difficult to discern the color of an iris and the skin underneath, creating a more dramatic effect.
Once satisfied with the shape and smoothness of the mask, I started painting. I taped off half the surface, covering one side with a plastic grocery bag.
I cut out a paisley shape to cover the right eye. I pained the black half first before attaching the paisley stencil to the mask and spaying the orange.
A few coats of white paint to fill out the paisley and a black border nearly finished the mask.
Once I re-threaded some black elastic though the loops at the side, it was complete.
A balaclava, black technical shirt, tactical vest and pants, some paintball gloves, and a pair of knee high DocMartins rounded out the costume. My daughter’s cosplay took some more serious work, but we were very pleased with the results.
This article was previously published on Geek Bar DLC. All the content it mine, even with the watermarks.