I usually go pretty gory or spooky with my costumes, but this year I wanted to go Steampunk. I also knew that I would be wearing this costume at my place of work (a fine-dining restaurant ) and wanted to keep it appropriate and somewhat elegant because last year I had to tone mine down quite a bit. BUT I couldn’t just eliminate any SFX makeup, that’s my favorite part!! So, I became the greatest invention of the lonely Professor Hamilton Bashford- a technological marvel of steam-power, robotics, and artificial intelligence!
I wanted it to appear as though my ‘skin’ was withering and peeling back to expose my inner workings of gears and cogs, the mechanisms that “make me tick”. To do this I started with brass gears and clock parts that I use for jewelry making and pressed them into modeling clay to leave the negative impressions. Using this as a mold, I began layering liquid latex onto it -letting each layer dry in between. After a total of six coats I left it overnight to dry completely and then carefully peeled it off while dusting with a translucent powder to keep it from sticking to itself. Now I was ready to paint! I painted two ways-on mine I simply used creme makeup and metallic mica powders mixed with an eyeliner sealer then coated the whole thing with a coat of Kryolan Crystal Clear. For the other, I was contacted by someone online that wanted to purchase one of these latex appliances, so for a more permanent paint job I used acrylic paint mixed into liquid latex and coated with Crystal Clear. With the latex prosthetics completed, it was time for the creation of other props and accesories.
I created two custom necklaces using watch dials, gears and watch movements and a set of ‘gearrings’ for my look. Also, though not really pertinent to our costumes, I created a tesla gun for each of us using toy guns from Dollar Tree-painted and adorned with gears and bits.
Goggles are to Steampunk like wings are to a bird. Pretty much anyways, it’s a definite visual trademark. I found some swimming goggles in a half-off discount section at the store, $2 a pair. These were good, but when at Walmart I found some larger plain costume goggles for $5, I snatched up a couple pairs. Using crafty bits I had on hand like gears, filigree pieces, rhinestones, and paint, I was able to spruce them up quite a bit! And again I was contacted by a buyer! :-O So I sold one pair, kept one for myself, and worked on the swimming goggles in the same fashion to use for Professor Hamilton Bashford.
I found a top hat at a local costume store for $10. Because I like to keep items like this for future use, I don’t want to alter them too much. So, I cut gear shapes out of foam sheets and glued velcro to the backs of them and attached to the hat. After slipping the goggles onto the hat, I also tucked some of the gears behind the strap to secure them.
For our wardrobe we used what we had from previous costumes and what we could borrow from my parents closets. :) Professor Hamilton Bashford is wearing his thrift store pants from his Mad Hatter costume a few years back, his own dress shirt, his own shoes, my fathers vest and sportcoat, and a papillion from my mother’s old work uniform. My dress was purchased for a previous western themed costume, using my own boots, socks, and undershirt.
To apply my prosthetics, I adhered it to my skin with liquid latex, then using layers of the latex and toilet paper I covered the edges of the prosthetic and let dry. After a light brushing of Castor Sealer on the latex to help makeup go on smoothly I applied my foundation on my face and on the toilet paper/latex. I peeled the toilet paper layers back to create the look that the skin is torn. A bit of paint, blood, and finishing touches. It’s done!
All dressed up and in character of course, we strolled about through the town. We stopped into one of the local bars for a drink and won a bag of candy for Most Original Costume!
I had a lot of fun creating this look and learned a lot as well. I also sold some of my creations! So cool! I hope you enjoy it as well and thank you for your consideration! Happy Halloween!