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The Night's King: Two

By moleculo
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This was my makeup and costume design for Halloween 2015, The Night’s King, as depicted in the HBO Game of Thrones adaptation. All photos are by Tim Stiller of The Big Event Photography. Please do not use them without permission and proper crediting. *Photos adjusted for exposure and tint only*    *This is not a mask*

Head to toe:

(The Make-up)

- I created a latex cowl by brushing layers of liquid latex onto a plaster lifecast of my head and shoulders (a full bust). The bottom edge went down to the base of my neck, and the other  major edge hugged my chin and jawline while circling up around my brow, ultimately leaving only my face and ears exposed. It was around eight layers total (having let each layer dry before applying the next), and was reinforced at the throat and down the back of the head and nape with two nylon stocking scraps. Incorporated into the design during the final two layers was a simple bath tissue and latex buildup on the neck to achieve the three-dimensional ribbed appearance, saving having to do another separate prosthetic.

    I sculpted eight individual horns to complete the ice crown and then cast them out of Dragon Skin FX Pro silicone. I did not add any intrinsic color or flocking to the horns so they would have an icy, translucent look to them. I adhered the horns to the latex cowl, placed using as many references photos of the back of the head I could dig up. I achieved the dramatic shape of the occipital bone of the skull simply by leaving my hair up in a bun before pulling the cowl on.

    I pre-painted the entire cowl with whites, blacks, grays, and blues, using a combination of creme makeups, Skin Illustrator palettes, and even acrylics mixed into water and Gesso.

- I created two ear tips by sculpting them onto plaster replicas of my ears, and then casting them out of Dragon Skin FX Pro silicone. Again, I did not color them intrinsically so that they would look translucent. Once adhered to my skin, they were lightly painted with Skin Illustrator and the acrylic Gesso mixture, along with the rest of my exposed ears, which were blended into the latex cowl.

- I created a full-face prosthetic to be the center-piece of the entire look, sculpted onto a plaster lifecast of my face and designed to perfectly fit the contours of my features. This was then cast out of slightly deadened Dragon Skin FX Pro silicone for its translucent quality and also its softness, which allowed me to still speak and intensify the expression when desired. This piece also included the remaining horns of the ice crown. I intrinsically colored the piece with white flocking, and pre-painted it with mostly Skin Illustrator palettes. When adhering it to my face, the edge blended straight into the pre-painted latex cowl. I darkened my eyes with simple black creme makeup and by putting tenacious black eyeliner at my lashes and on the waterlines of my eyelids.

- I wore a pair of sclera contact lenses that I chose for their shade of blue and that I thought would pretty closely match the CG augmentation of the eyes done for HBO. Note: Sclera lenses, and costume lenses in general, should be purchased and worn with caution. Serious injury can result from cheaply manufactured lenses and improper wearing of them. Please be careful and use good judgement.

- I designed a small set of false upper teeth and cast them out of dental acrylic. They were filed down further to have a sharp and pointed look.

- Any exposed skin on the arms and hands were quickly painted with some white character makeup and the remainder of my bluish Gesso mixture at the end of my self-application.

(The Costume)

- The collar was made from cannibalizing a turtle neck and attaching overlapping layers of darkly-colored faux suede onto it with gorilla tape.

- The sternal emblem has such a specific look, that I decided to quickly sculpt it out of clay so I could match it to reference photos more accurately than trying to manipulate an existing accessory or material. I simply did an alginate cast and made the final piece from Ultracal 30 stone. It was painted with the bluish acrylic Gesso mixture mention above.

- With the armor for the shoulders, torso, and elbows, I took a big leap of faith and trusted my intuition that six aluminum ducting sheets from the hardware store (at $3.48 each) could do the trick. After eyeballing from reference photos, and with a combination of measuring tape, a ruler, a sharpie, a utility knife, and a total of 15-20 hours, I achieved the shape and aesthetic of the armor’s surface. It was colored with a base layer of black spray paint and then stippling of the bluish Gesso mixture.

- The arm wraps were made using more of the faux suede, cut into strips, and backed with fusible, iron-on interfacing to create the layered and ribbed look. Superficial ties were added by sewing on three silver rings to each wrap and adding some lengths of scrap suede. I added strips of velcro inside for ease of getting in and out of them. They were quickly colored and distressed with the bluish Gesso mixture.

- I created the waist wrap from a single piece of the faux suede, accordion-folded to look layered, and colored in the same way as above.

- The robe-like covering for the legs was created by cannibalizing an actual robe and gorilla-taping 30-40 strips of the faux suede in layers to give it a heavy, ribbed look. It was also quickly colored and distressed with the bluish Gesso mixture.

Image size
3840x5760px 3.06 MB
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Shutter Speed
1/181 second
Focal Length
55 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Oct 30, 2015, 5:01:36 PM
Sensor Size
© 2015 - 2020 moleculo
anonymous's avatar
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JuanLer's avatar
I have a question, can you tell me the sclera lenses model? because i couldnt find some lenses that get close to the night king eyes.

Thank you! 
gbuena1's avatar
this is amazing. do you still have the armor? I would love to purchase it from you. If not, I will try my best to mimic your amazing job.
thank you.
Jmangini19's avatar
Hey Moleculo,  I was wondering how you punched all the holes into the Aluminum?
moleculo's avatar
moleculoHobbyist Traditional Artist
I apologize for the delayed response (I'm not on dA as much as I used to be).

Thank you for showing so much interest in my project. The holes in the aluminum were not punched, actually. I found the most controlled method to be the use of a simple yet sturdy utility knife. So, yes, all of those notches - or 'hanging chads', as I started calling them - were individually and painstakingly cut out after a lot of eyeballing of reference photos and endless measuring/gridding with a ruler and sharpie. Be prepared for it to take a long time, and be sure to take plenty of breaks and wear work gloves. It may go without saying, but you don't want to pinch a nerve or cut off a finger.

Thanks again and best of luck.
Jmangini19's avatar
Hey I really appreciate it.  I thought that was probably what you did since I haven't been able to discover any tool that could be helpful in punching those out.

On last question,  Where did you get those contacts?  I have looked at several but those seem to be the closest I've seen.

I appreciate all the help.  I'll send you pics when I'm done.
Jmangini19's avatar
This is epic!  I have been looking into doing this for months and a lot of the stuff you did for the costume was right on with what I am looking to do.
I didn't think of using aluminum sheeting for the armor...interesting idea.  Were the edges sharp? I would worry about them being to sharp.
I was originally thinking of using some time of thin plastic sheeting but I hadn't figured out how I would get it to form the right shape.

did you use a tool to punch all of the tabs into the armor?  If so what did you use or how did you make it?

For the head, I'm actually looking to make a mask like CompositeEffects did.  I have a life cast of my head so I was going to sculpt out the face, head, horns...everything and use Smooth-on Ecoflex 00-30 to make the mask.  I haven't figured out how I want to cast the mask.  I'm thinking that after making my front and back molds I will secure them together and run one coat of the ecoflex mixing it around inside the cast using a brush to get into the details. After the first coat I was think of doing one more coat but tinting the silicone a blueish tint so you will see a slight blue tint under the skin.  Then I just need to touch up with some white and darks.

What do you think?  Any advice as I tackle this challenge?
anonymous's avatar
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