This cosplay costume was started on April 1, 2013, finished on April 9, 2013, and gifted on April 13, 2013.
Ever since seeing Miyazaki's animated film Spirited Away, I have loved the character No-Face. He starts off the movie sulking around, silently looking at spirits coming and going before later appearing before the protagonist, Chihiro. While I won't spoil what happens in the movie, I will say that No-Face plays a big role in the flow of the story. With No-Face being one of my favorite Studio Ghibli character (second only to Totoro), I have always thought that making a No-Face costume at some point in my prop-making career would be an interesting project to take on.
For the full build log click "read more"!
I was lucky to draw one of my best friend's name out of the pile of names and instantly I knew what I would make her. For a year I had talked with her about fun things (such as Spirited Away) and at one point told her that if I ever had the chance, I would make her a No-Face costume. Well, this project was a perfect opportunity to do just that! So, grabbing my computer, I began to plot out a No-Face costume.
After printing up my full-scale drawings and doing some quick mock-ups with foam/poster board to get the size of the mask correct to fit my friend (without being too big that she'd fall over from the weight of it), I contacted EZ Tops for a custom acrylic dome. This dome is 16in x 20in x 4in and 1/8in thick. I also ordered a 1/2in flange (a flat rim around the base of the dome) so that I had a place to mount the mask to the rest of the costume.
After cutting out a bunch of holes into the once perfect dome, I began to work on a way to get this giant mask to fit in front of my friend's face without being so heavy that she would topple over. To do this, I used some lightwood to make a "support beam" that was mounted with bolts to a hard hat. While this looks quite scrapped together at first glance, it actually took a lot of effort to make sure everything was level to the brim of the helmet (which was a curve) to ensure that the balance of the whole assembly would be ok for use.
While I was waiting for the actual mask assembly to cure, I moved onto my first sewing project ever. After scouring my local fabric store, I found a slightly transparent, lightweight, black fabric. Using a TON of this fabric, I sewed a "sleeping bag" out of it, essentially by sewing edges together. After measuring out the correct lengths, I also cut out arm holes and a big hole for the mask to fit through. After going over the edges of the fabric with a lighter to "seal" the edges to prevent runs, I returned to the mask assembly.
To wear this costume, the wearer uses black satin opera gloves (yes, they go arm length) to cover up all arm skin and then pulls the whole costume over her head. The hard hat on the inside is adjustable and with the proper fit, the whole costume is pretty well balanced. Visibility is great through the mouth and allows the wearer to view much of what is happening in front of her.
This was the first prop that I ever gave away and I'm glad I could give it a good friend. I definitely learned a lot through this project (especially about sewing) and I hope that this would be a prequel to more full-costume builds in the future! I must say...the reaction I got when I presented my friend with this gift was absolutely priceless!
Like always, thanks for reading!