Saturday, August 20, 2016

How the part 3 masks were (probably) painted

As I mentioned in a previous post, the hero mask created for part 3 has been one of the toughest for hock painters to nail down and the color has caused some controversy over the years, mostly due to the fact that it looks different in different photos and screen shots.

Was it white?


Beige?


Or yellow?

How could it look so drastically different from image to image? None of the masks in later installments seem to have this apparent disparity.

Back in December 2009, I contacted Robb Wilson King, the set designer from part 3, who gave me some very important clues. He said the mask was painted an "off white" that was enhanced with what he described as a "slight aged patina" that gave it a "cream color" (all his words).

The original shooting script called for Jason to wear a white mask, so that was the starting point for the effects team. To make the white mask look creepier and fit with the rustic setting of the film, it was evidently sent to King to make it look older and weather-beaten.

Set designers will often use antiquing media found in art supply stores in order to make things on set look old and creepy. You can see the obvious crackling paint used in The Walking Dead in the Season 3 prison interiors, for example.

Robb Wilson King said he used an "aged patina" to make the mask look old. There are two main types of patinas: those used to age metal and those used to age oil paintings.

King probably use the same methods that oil painters have been using for decades to give their paintings an antique look: a combination of an amber patina varnish and a paint cracking medium, such as those made by Maimeri.

Patina varnishes come in several varieties and can give any paint work a subtle golden tone while maintaining the clarity of the underlying artwork. The tone can be deepened with additional coats, which can be applied with a sprayer.

There is evidence on the original mask that the white basecoat, the yellowish tone and the cracking were three separate layers. You can see it under the forehead and cheek chevrons. In the lower photo, there are still yellow varnished spots but with no cracks.

More evidence of a separate translucent layer: On the part 3 stunt mask, there's a bunch of "skid marks" likely made with a dremel on the cheek you can see in the shower scene. Today that area on the mask is whited out, and some painters interpret this as an alteration to the mask that sanded them away, revealing the white basecoat on the back. Not so. The skid marks are still there in the white area, indicating the white color is actually on the front of the mask where they sanded the varnish away. See for yourself...
 This is pretty solid proof that the yellowish layer was a transparent amber varnish, not a flat spray paint.

So for anyone who has been confused... remember watching part 3 back in the day and concluding Jason wore a white mask? Your childhood eyes weren't deceiving you. The mask was white.

So can a mask be painted just like the originals and come out the same? May as well try it. So I bought the Maimeri patina varnish and repainted a Crash project82v4 with Krylon Dover White. I then did all the weathering right on the basecoat.
Six coats of varnish later, the mask took on the perfect caramel-beige color you see in the movie mask. I ended up with runs and color inconsistencies for lack of a decent sprayer, but you get the picture... 
Once you sand off the nose and some other scuff marks it really starts to look authentic.

After evening out the runs and adding weathering... the final result:
Like painters and fans have been saying for years, you can't get the original mask's peculiar amber color in a spray paint. That's because it's not paint at all-- its an antiquing varnish. In direct sunlight it looks very yellow, but in dimmer room lighting it looks very beige due to the way the varnish refracts light.

In warm light...


Compare with the real thing...


It seems that Robb Wilson King experimented with different styles. For the hero mask, he went with a paint-cracking medium over the varnish, but the stunt mask is hand-scratched right into the basecoat. Ironically its almost impossible to tell the difference in the film. All that work for nothing!

So why does the part 3 hock appear white? It could be that they started shooting before it had properly yellowed, which takes about 3 days. It seems more likely, however, that the bright stage lights they used for night-time shooting washed out the transparent yellow layer and reflected off the white paint beneath.

So there you have it. This is most likely how the movie masks were painted: a basecoat of white paint, followed by an amber patina varnish. If you want to paint one of these, You may want to add a cracking medium on top of that if you're doing the hero mask. Be forewarned: varnish is tough to work with on a hockey mask, which is probably why David Miller and all later hockey mask painters just used acrylics and oil paints. Thanks for reading!




28 comments:

  1. Good read, and I think you're absolutely right, it looks great.

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  2. Loved it!! Thanks for the handy tips and the extensive research!!

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  3. You are adorable...

    More importantly, a slew of Friday Part II cast members will be at Bay of Blood Wknd in Tampa next month; it would be wonderful [for fans, and for herself] to see Marta Kober reunited with the Crystal Lake sign, in the chance you can make it :)

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  4. Thanks for reading and commenting everyone! I'll definitely keep Tampa in mind.

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  5. Any tips on the weathering part? What tools do you use to make the scratches and whatnot. Looks great

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  6. I just used a cone tip on a dremel and i think some were with an exacto knife. important to draw them on first though.

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  7. So does that mean I am better off starting with a white plastic blank instead of a clear? Or I suppose base coat a clear blank inside and then do the weathered/ scratchy coat and patina on the outside. I'm just trying to make sense of it.

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    1. Good Question, I'd base coat front and back of the clear blank, apply the weathering to the front side and layer the patina on top. That's how I understood it, maybe JL can help us out ;) :)

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  8. To be movie accurate you should start with a clear blank and paint it white on front and back. You definitely want it clear because you will be scratching off a lot of the paint on the front (including on the tip of the nose) to get the right effect.

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    1. jl did you use the crackle or just the patina ? did you use the camel color ? any ? what type of sprayer did you use..... thanks and great artle.

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  9. Thank you. I took it that way too, but got so confused when you said that it wasn't painted on the inside. I believe I have a total understanding now. I was waiting on the answer so that I could finally buy my 1st blank and put my skills to the test. Honestly, I never expected anyone to reply so I did buy a clear blank last night. Very glad I made the right choice. Anyways, that was the most informative and well thought out article I have found on the entire internet for this sought after information. Thanks again, because this made a complicated issue so much more simple. Time to have fun with my dremel :)

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    1. No problem! Let us know how it turns out!

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  10. I finally got the varnish from italy. Couldn't find it anywhere else here in europe. It's pretty thick i must say. There is no way i can spray it, looks like it dosent mix with water either. Did you reduce it to get a better viscosity?

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  11. It is sprayable you can get a varnish sprayer on eBay. If necessary you can thin it with turpentine or mineral spirits.

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    1. did you use the patina only ? or did you use the crackle mediu, too by miameri ?

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  12. Can you recommend a sprayer? Does the varnish have to be thinned out?

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  13. I can't recommend a specific sprayer, but generally you want something that can handle a highly viscous fluid, so you want something powerful. Don't think it out if you can avoid it, since the thinner the varnish it is the more you will get runs that are a bitch to fix.

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  14. Looks great. What color did you use to coat the inside of the mask? Almond or white?

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  15. By the way for anyone attempting this technique, it may actually be better to paint on the varnish in thin coats with a foam brush, according to what other hobbyists have been saying.

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  16. Great thread! How would you suggest achieving the cracking layer? Also, if the base white paint is under the chevron, doesn't that mean that the chevrons would need varnished over before doing any varnish? Same goes for the crackle layer.

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    1. Never really done it, but Maimeri's picture cracking varnish is a good starting point. Incidentally I found you can get nearly perfect crack patterns by clear coating it with krylon crystal clear and bending the hell out of it, but parts of the coat will flake off so not the best way to do it.

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    2. As to the chevrons, I think they went on after the amber varnish but before the cracking layer. Its also possible they went on top of everything though.

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  17. What type of Varnish did you use?

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    1. This one: http://www.dickblick.com/products/maimeri-patina-varnish/?clickTracking=true&wmcp=pla&wmcid=items&wmckw=02991-1334&gclid=CjwKEAjwppPKBRCGwrSpqK7Y5jcSJACHYbWY0q9zY_0fjx4fF2g63LiLiAXvPZcefcELlMXP1Y0zxRoCoCrw_wcB

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