View Full Version : Tutorial: Hollow Masks

07-28-2007, 11:46 PM
From full masks on regular Hollows to partial masks on Arrancar, this tutorial can help you on all fronts. I'll be using photos of my Ichigo mask as a reference point.

-1 bag of paperclay (~$5.00)
-1 plastic mask (~$3.00)
-2 packs of fake fingernails (french style with squared tip is best) (~$5.00 ea)
-Gesso (or a lot of patience with regular white acrylic paint) ($6.00 sm bottle)
-Red paint (~$0.88)
-Paint brushes (~$1.00 per large and small soft-bristle brush)
-Rough and soft sandpaper (varies)
-Scissors (you should have these already)
-E6000 craft glue (you could probably get away with hot glue) (~$4.00)

-2-3 nights (I worked on it in conjunction with styling my wig and checking the boards)

STEP ONE) Construction - Image>> (http://www.bloodknight.net/Cosplay/TutorialPics/Tutorial_Mask_01.jpg)
-Cut out any non-stabilizing sections of the mask (I removed the back of the jaw/cheek area on mine, but left the sides of the eyes for now.)
-Use the Paperclay to begin creating the profile of the mask. I started with the side because the nose and chin are very defined, and then worked my way to the front-profile for the ridges around the eyes and the figure of the outside edges of the mask. Don't make the clay too thick otherwise it'll be needlessly heavy, so only bother with showing thickness around parts of the mask that can easily be seen when it's worn (ideally, just around the eyes and jaw-line, pending the mask you're making.)

-Let the mask dry OVERNIGHT. Because of how thick the paperclay is around the middle, sanding or tampering with it too early will mean the moist clay under the surface will warp and thus make the rest of the thing look funny.

STEP TWO) Refinery - Image>> (http://www.bloodknight.net/Cosplay/TutorialPics/Tutorial_Mask_02.jpg)
-Sand the mask. Sand it good. Also, this is the time where you want to cut out any pieces of the mask that you don't need (such as the sides of the eyes/jaw or under the chin like in mine. Leaving them in-tact until this point helps to retain the shape of the mask while under the weight of drying paperclay. If you cut out those parts at the beginning then it's possible the mask's shape will have changed and won't fit on your face as well as it could.)

STEP THREE) Painting and Repairs Part 1 - Image>> (http://www.bloodknight.net/Cosplay/TutorialPics/Tutorial_Mask_03.jpg)
-I used the Gesso all over the mask at this point. Gesso is great because it's an EXTREMELY heavily pigmented white acrylic paint so it'll help to fill in cracks and subtle variations in texture. I put about 7-10 layers on it because I had a few deep cracks come up over the bridge of the nose, but you can decide when you've got enough.
-Use the E6000 to glue together any MAJOR and significant cracks after you've applied the Gesso. The heavy, thick layers of paint will help the glue hold the crack together whereas the clay would just re-break again if glued without the paint.

STEP FOUR) Arranging Your Teeth - Image>> (http://www.bloodknight.net/Cosplay/TutorialPics/Tutorial_Mask_04.jpg)
-The fake fingernails I bought were simply the cheapest I could find, and they had 24 nails of different sizes. I generally discarded the pinky-finger ones because they were way too small. One pack should cover the top row of teeth and the other should cover the bottom. You'll need 7 teeth on each side/row (for Ichigo's at least) and the top-row teeth should be slightly rounded at the corners. The root-area of the tooth should be cut into a rounded-point, as per your references.
-I labeled my rows of teeth as such:
7 6 5 4 3 2 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
There were dots as well on the teeth for the right, and NO dots on the teeth for the left.
-Use the E6000 to glue each of the BOTTOM ROW teeth to the mask first. Make sure you start from the center and work your way to the sides. Once the glue is dry (you can work over it in about an hour, but it takes 24 to cure) I'd apply several layers of Gesso. It'll help hide the application points and smooth the contact-point between the tooth root and the mask. Apply the top-row of teeth after that in the same manner.

STEP FIVE) Final Touches - Image>> (http://www.bloodknight.net/Cosplay/TutorialPics/Tutorial_Mask_05.jpg)
-When you've got enough Gesso on there that you can't see the numbering-marks on the teeth, get out your red paint. Use pencil very lightly to mark off the spots you want to color in and then very carefully start to paint.


Facials: I'm going to be attaching two eye-and-hook deals into the forehead of my mask so I can attach it directly to my wig and be able to remove it easily. I'll probably also use some double-sided medical tape inside the nose to hold it onto my face if I intend to wear it for long periods of time without removal.
Partials: You can either use medical tape or even spirit gum to attach it to your face. DO NOT USE DUCT TAPE, MASKING TAPE OR ANY OTHER KIND OF GLUE, BECAUSE IT CAN AND WILL TAKE SKIN WITH IT WHEN YOU REMOVE THE MASK.

Partials: You don't need to buy a plastic mask for it, but I recommend buying at least something that resembles the shape of the part of the face you'll be covering so you have a base to work on.
Helmets: It'd require a whole new tutorial to go over these, such as what Ulquiorra wears, but suffice it to say, you can use fun foam and paper mache to make the initial base for the mask and then use the paperclay method to finish it.

Hope this helps! Woo Bleach!

07-29-2007, 12:39 AM
Excellent work =)

07-29-2007, 01:03 AM
Wow, this is quite wonderful. I'm glad that someone made this. It's good to see a full mask tutorial and not just a partial (although you can use it for both). Kudos to you. ^^

07-29-2007, 10:02 AM
This is an awesome tutorial, looks like I'll be making a hollow mask to add to my Ichigo costume.

07-29-2007, 06:40 PM
Wonderful tutorial. I really like the idea of using fake nails for the teeth. I'll have to keep that in mind, because molding them into that perfect shape is a headache.

Might I add a suggestion.... instead of a plastic mask, I used Rigid wrap as a base to get a closer fit to my face. It did require help though.

Your mask turned out great! :rockon:

07-29-2007, 08:20 PM
I was gonna see about using plaster of paris to make a form-fitting face mould, but I was lucky cuz the pre-made plastic ones at the craft store actually fit well enough for me to use them without alteration. Definitely something to do though when your own face doesn't fit! Lord knows not all craft masks are made the same. I've seen some pretty small ones..

07-30-2007, 10:38 AM
This will help sooooo much for Hiyori's mask.
Thanks so much for posting it.
I had no idea what I was going to do and yours came out so great!
It seems really simple as well.

11-19-2007, 07:24 AM
Thanks this should help out alot for my hollow mask for AB

11-19-2007, 03:27 PM
This would be a great tutorial for someone to make an Ashido. Hhhmmmmm.....

11-25-2007, 05:59 PM
Thank you! I'm gonna use this mask tutorial, for sure!

12-03-2007, 04:40 PM
Very nice, i love masks and have been wanting to make some nice ones like this for a while now. Thanks very much!! :P

12-05-2007, 08:28 AM
This is the best tutorial for masks I think (especially for espada masks), but I have a big problem with meg Neliel mask, because it have more bigger tooth : ( I can't use fakenails to create it :bigcry:

03-25-2008, 07:50 PM
i used a paper machee clay instead of paperclay do and my mask is kinda craked and not as sleek as yours where can i find paper clay plz reply soon i need a mask for a cosplay con

03-25-2008, 09:54 PM
I've seen Paperclay at Michael's (http://www.michaels.com/), though I imagine most any arts and crafts store would have it.

03-26-2008, 03:30 AM
very Nice tutorial!

03-26-2008, 01:58 PM
Lovely work, I must say. Unfortunately, I have not seen premade plastic masks that fit my face.

03-29-2008, 07:51 PM
is magic mold a good type of clay to use i heard that ist the same as paper clay

04-28-2008, 08:20 PM
is magic mold a good type of clay to use i heard that ist the same as paper clay

I've worked with both and I prefer Paperclay just because it drys better and actually hardens. The Crayola Magic Clay is really good to use too, but it always feels a little soft to the touch, and for my stuff I was needing hardened material, but I have some Nell helmet masks that came out wonderfully using magic clay.

The Paperclay is a bit better if there are gonna be possible bumps or what not and it is really easy to use. When ever it starts to dry and you still need to mold it just wet your fingers and massage it and it is like puddy again as you mold it. Also, it dries rather quick, can be sanded and shaving/cutting it is pretty easy. If you are gonna paint it though, I recommend some Gesso to hold the paint.

Btw, Thanks Tallus for the superb guide. I had to alter it a little, but my mask turned out great. Thanks for all the help.

05-18-2008, 03:36 PM
Thanks so much for the tutorial!
I made my Hiyori's Hollow mask with other materials, but the fake nails tip for the tooth really helped me.

05-18-2008, 08:13 PM
WOW! Making a mask seemed like a daunting task, but this tutorial really changed that! I just need some reference shots and I'll be ready to make Kensei's mask XP

05-19-2008, 01:59 PM

06-08-2008, 03:16 PM
You, my friend, are Jesus reincarnate.


I'm working on a bit character with crazy awesome hair, Menoly, and I was totally stumped on her eye-mask dohicky.
I actually didn't use fake nails (Which probably would have looked better, but I spaced and forgot them), but I got by just as well.

I love you?

09-17-2008, 01:08 PM
Is a mask made this way fairly light? I'm fixing to try and make my first mask and this has been the most helpful info I've found anywhere.

09-17-2008, 03:06 PM
Yea, it is pretty light. It all depends on how thick of a mask you need to make. The Ichigo's Hollow mask that i made was about half an inch thick or so and didn't weigh very much at all (too much for any tape to hold it up, but not heavy). I'd guess that my mask weighs about half a pound or so.

09-17-2008, 04:47 PM
Looks Awesome. Great tutorial very helpful~

Shuuhei Hisagi
10-09-2008, 11:52 AM
i must say that this is a hard mask to make 've been working on mine in stages, and kinda gave up on the voice changer idea

02-09-2009, 02:59 PM
This helped a lot. I really had no idea on how to go about the teeth for my costume! But, now I'm half way finished.

I'm happy c:

05-20-2009, 05:31 PM
double post =x

05-20-2009, 06:00 PM
My friend and I used this tutorial to make our Vizard masks. Here is a picture of us 2 with Hollow Ichigo at Anime-Expo 2008.
We did a few things different, used different clay, and mixed it into white paint before shaping onto a standard plastic masquerade mask as a base. To hold them on we used the head harness from those mining forehead flashlights. Worked well, breathed well despite not having any air holes, adequate air came from around the mask since there was a bit of space between my face and the mask.


And the masks:



05-21-2009, 02:19 AM
Thanks a load for posting this. I've been looking for how to go about taking on my Hirako Hollow mask. Although I may still look into using this method in order to produce a mold for resin casting, at least I know where to start now.

Natsu Haru Ryuu
06-02-2009, 08:57 PM
WoW! Using the fake nails as teeth. This is the creativity that cosplay is about.:bigtu:

06-19-2009, 06:54 PM
How would you recommend making a completely featureless mask?? Same tutorial?

06-22-2009, 04:14 PM
How would you recommend making a completely featureless mask?? Same tutorial?

If you include pictures, it will be easier to know what you mean by "featureless"

08-12-2009, 04:50 PM
Verry Good
But, I don't how make a more, I can not make a wig
Please post a tutorial on how to make a

08-26-2009, 06:38 AM
do you think I can do my Halibel mask like this? :D


10-09-2009, 06:27 PM
i know this is old but thanks from me, another stranger, too. im gonna use it to create my own vizard mask that im currently designing

01-23-2010, 03:24 PM
Such a great tut, sadly for some reason I can't see the pictures D:!!

04-26-2010, 01:43 PM
I second that. The pictures aren't working. I work better with visuals D: Could you fix the links/repost the pictures? I want to redo Red Mask San wears in Princess Mononoke, and this seems like I could rework it for that.

10-27-2010, 10:36 PM
great post I wish your pictures werent deleted i would liked to have had somereference points

07-15-2012, 10:58 PM
Great thread but can you please fix the photos. I want to make a few masks for my husband.

07-25-2012, 02:44 PM
Wow amazing *-*

08-03-2012, 11:10 AM
This member hasn't been active since the beginning of 2010 so I doubt they will be fixing the links/re-uploading photos.