Death Jester (Warhammer 40.000) – MAKING OF

This is not a tutorial. It only shows how I chose to build these pieces, given my budget and tools. It isn’t the best way to do it, but I hope my progress pictures (and mistakes) will help you come up with your own methods.

I also apologise for butchering the English language.

I was asked to create a mask for a Death Jester costume. I was free to design it as I wished as long as I kept the Harlequin vibe. The final product was inspired by Death Jester miniatures, Jes Goodwin’s Harlequin concepts, and Venetian masks.

The most recent version of the Death Jester mini wears a mask split in two. One side is a skull, and the other is a grining face akin to commedia dell’arte masks. I liked the idea a lot, but didn’t split my own mask in the middle. Instead, I made it look like the grining part was slowly “eating” the skull and made it much more decorated than it appears on the mini and artworks.

I could have scuplted and cast the mask. Unfortunately, it wasn’t an option given the budget, so I had to find something else.

The mask started as something very ugly. The base was patterned thanks to a simple toy mask, by covering it in tape, cutting the pieces flat, and scaling them up with a scanner. Why not use the mask directly as a base, you could ask. Well, the answer is pretty simple: it was a rather small mask, and a grown male couldn’t possibly fit his head inside.

I then cut all of them out of 5mm EVA foam and added the sharp jaw. At first, I wanted to use the papier mĂąchĂ©+craft foam method I used for the Visarch (create volume with paper and aluminium foil, and then cover everything in craft foam because it’s quite stretchy). I quickly realized that whilst it worked pretty well for the Visarch, it wasn’t the best idea in this case.

The Visarch’s belt. The tassets were made with a 5mm foam base, papier mĂąchĂ©, and everything was covered in craft foam. It was totally improvised but worked for some reason.
How to use the ads you find in the mailbox.

I ended up removing the paper to keep only the foam base.

Yes, this is what the Death Jester mask started as.

It was the perfect occasion to try foam clay for the first time, since the tub had been sitting in a drawer for almost a year.

Quite ugly, but it was starting to look like a mask.

I did several placement tests for the rhomboids.

I do not remember why I cut off the nose at this point but I probably had a valid reason.

I cut all the rhombi out of 2mm EVA foam and sanded the edges.

I glued them to the mask (with superglue, if my memory is correct).

The right side was slowly getting its shape, but the left side was still an awful mess. The nose was back (I still don’t know why I cut it off).

I sanded the left side a bit with a rotary tool, and tried to draw where I wanted the details to be with chalk.

The poor thing looks like its jaw partially melted. Remember, this is what hot pizza does to you.

I added the extra detail with 2mm and 5mm EVA.

That nose looks extremely weird.
It almost had its definitive look at this point.

I primed the whole thing with Flexbond and made a really bad color test (I usually do my painting simulations with GIMP though).

Really quick, but I wanted to get an idea of the general look.

I spraypainted the whole mask with a (flexible) matte white. The skull side was handpainted with ivory and then got a brown wash, while I rubbed the left side with pearlescent white acrylic. It gives a slight shimmery effect to the mask. It then got weathered with brown, I tried to create the kind of shadows you see on Venetian masks. The rhomboids were painted with nail polish.

I made some tests with a single yellow LED and black mesh -stockings- (I do not have pictures, but I actually tested several LED colours). The rhomboids had changed again…

I changed the colours one last time, to match what I had done on the rest of the armour.

I then sewed a matching hood, and got the result you saw at the beginning of the article.

[BEHIND THE SCENES] Post apocalyptic photoshoot

The very first “homemade” photoshoot. After looking for locations on the Internet with DrCassbul, we decided to go scouting in the Massif de l’Étoile (the mountain range surrounding Marseille).

Thanks to Google Maps’ satellite view, we got the coordinates of an abandoned house. The map showed a road connecting the town’s 13th borough to the location, but we didn’t know if it could be accessed with a four wheels vehicle. We decided to drive as far as we could and walk the rest of the way. We had to stop 2km (roughly 1.2 mile) away from our destination, which was closer than I had expected.

It was a warm day, and DrCassbul brought his drone to film the area. After a bit of walking, we spotted the house.

Google Map’s (pretty recent satellite) view showed a terrace with a stone railing, which wasn’t there anymore. The house was apparently going to be levelled soon, and the workers had already started. The view was nice though.

As expected, the house was in bad state. Don’t enter buildings with compromised integrity. Or don’t enter abandoned buildings at all, it’s illegal most of the time anyway (AND dangerous). Since this house was out in the open, we considered we weren’t violating property…and given the state of the roof we stayed outside.

When you try to hold your life together.
Drones are useful when you’re trying to take pictures of a roof.
This lovely coffin-shaped water reservoir.

I still took a few pictures of the house from the outside.

But what had caught my interest wasn’t the building in itself, but its surroundings.

There was also this mysterious tanker lost in the bushes.

I wonder what’s the story behind this.

After looking at everything, taking pictures and aerial videos, we walked back.

The goal was to shoot my post-apocalyptic costume there (photos and drone videos), preferably in a gray weather, since the Mediterranean blue sky isn’t exactly menacing. It would just be a bit tricky to carry all the material. We checked the weather forecast and chose a day (I’m self-employed and Scalpa is retired, so our schedules are adaptable, but DrCassbul is still at university, so we had to take his own timetable into consideration).

And…we ended up not shooting there. Basically, the weather was too menacing, and getting stuck in the middle of the hills wasn’t the best idea (and lightning would make it impossible to use the drone). So we changed our plans and went to a more accessible location. It was in a urban area, so using the drone would be forbidden, but at least we could get a few pictures. In the end, it only rained lightly so we could actually have gone to the abandoned house.

I’d like to thank the former Electrical Factory of Allauch for letting us take pictures outside and inside the building. It was built around 1904 to connect the town to the Mediterranean coast electricity network and stop using oil lampposts. It ceased to function in 1960. Nowadays, the building is used for art exhibitions.

The whole pediment reads “Énergie Électrique du Littoral MĂ©diterranĂ©en” (Electrical Energy of the Mediterranean Coast)

The back of the building is interesting as well, with broken glass panels and painted walls.

DrCassbul was behind the camera, and Scalpa was nice enough to throw the dirty rag I call a cape around countless times.

He got so good at this I didn’t even have to edit him out of the picture.

It was DrCassbul’s first photoshoot, and my first time editing pictures as well, so everything is a bit basic…

That’s only a few of them. We came back a few weeks later, but switched roles. My father was wearing the dystopian prosthetic arm I made for a short movie, DrCassbul and I were taking pictures.

If the abandoned house hasn’t been levelled yet, we’d still like to shoot a video there.

Magik (Xmen) – MAKING OF

Before we start…

Unfortunately, I did not take many progress pictures, but I think I still have enough to illustrate an article. My phone camera being damaged did not help, so some of the pictures are blurry and/or have black dots in them (you can probably tell which ones were taken with said phone…)

I pick my methods by taking into account my budget, time, skills, restrictions, and tools. What worked for me might not be the best solution for you, and this isn’t meant to be read as a tutorial.

I am also sorry for butchering the English language.

Left arm armour, based on the Kotobukiya statue. The goal here was to keep it lightweight (the entire pauldron is only 96 grams – around 0.2 lbs) without breaking the budget (that usually means no moulding/casting unless absolutely necessary). As a consequence, I had to rely on materials like EVA foam and thermoplastics for this project.

Luckily, I made this for someone whose arm was similar to my own, but a bit larger. This is why I am wearing a slightly loose jacket on the picture below to hide the fact that the arm piece is actually too large for me, and also why my brother is the one modelling it instead of me in the last photo of this article.

This is edgy.


The glove armour is entirely made out of Worbla, a material I do not particularly like for a handful of reasons, but find useful in some occasions. The hand is composed of 24 articulated pieces.

The fingertips were actually two layers of material (instead of the single one pictured here) to avoid damaging the tips.
All the pieces. This table is disgusting.

I textured the armour, coating it with wood glue and then applying sand on top. The sand I had was rather coarse, so I built a makeshift sieve with tulle fabric and an embroidery hoop to thin it.

The downside is that now I cannot embroider something and sieve sand at the same time.

I sanded away some of the sand -no pun intended-, so some areas would be more or less textured. The glove received a second coat of wood glue to keep the sand from being rubbed off. All the pieces were then coated with Black Gesso, received a minimal amount of silver paint applied with a rough brush, and then matte spray varnish.

I made a spandex glove to use as a base, glued the pieces to it, and then sewed them (just in case) by heating the needle in a flame. I am aware that sewing it might not be the right way of handling Worbla.


The base of the pauldrons is 5mm EVA foam. I added undercuts on the backside (cut out bevels of foam and then glued the edges back together) to create more relief.

Everything held with tape at this point, and collapsed mere seconds after this shot.

It was time to make some spikes (cones with different sizes). I considered my options, given the budget I had:

  • 3D printing
    • Pros: lightweight, seemingly perfect cones
    • Cons: time-consuming, fragile (since I cannot print ABS with my current setup), would need to be coated or filled with something to make it durable
  • EVA foam, PE foam etc…
    • Pros: easy to work with, lightweight
    • Cons: the tips would quickly get damaged, especially since I had to ship it
  • EVA foam/styrofoam/thick paper/prettymuchanything covered with a thermoplastic
    • Pros: durable enough for this kind of use
    • Cons: easy to screw up, creates seams I’d have to get rid of, heaviest option
  • Any hard material I’d have to carve: trying to get this kind of geometric shape without a lathe wasn’t worth it in my opinion
  • Anything lightweight covered in epoxy resin: why not ?

Of course, I had way more options than that with all the stuff I have laying around, but I cannot list everything that crossed my mind here. I also considered making the spikes removable (like I did for Roadhog’s armour), but finally decided against it for several reasons.

I made the core of my spikes out of high-density EVA foam. I glued several layers of 10mm foam together and roughly carved them with a cutter (though I could have used a scrollsaw…).

I meant it when I said “roughly carved”.

I pinned them to the pauldron to get an idea of the general look.

I then grabbed a rotary tool to actually shape the spikes. I heated them up afterwards and rolled them between my hand and the workbench to get a more regular surface.

I glued all the spikes to the pauldrons, and added a bit of foam clay (I had some, so why not use it) to make the transition smoother.

Some resins are made specifically for coating (like Epsilon PRO). I briefly considered ordering some, and then remembered the clear epoxy I had left from the Death Jester project. It has a 24 hours curing time (of course, it depends on the conditions in which you are working, it cured in 4 hours when it was 40°C in the workshop last summer -I had left said workshop at this point and was working outside). Anyway, it’s meant to be poured and not brushed on, but I still wanted to try it. I mixed the resin and the hardener, and let it sit in the cup for a while since it was way too runny for the use I intended to make of it. After it had thickened enough to my taste, I brushed it on the spikes and kept the pieces upside down, so the resin would gather at the tips (the zone I actually needed to protect) and not around the base of the spikes, should it start dripping. After it had cured, I would just have to sand off the excess resin with a rotary tool and sandpaper. It worked perfectly, but if you are going to brush resin on something, I suggest that you do it with products that are actually meant for this use…

I already detailed the rest in the “glove” section, I followed the same steps to texture and paint this part. Only two things changed:

  • I used Flexbond instead of wood glue. I often see people talking about wood glue as a primer for EVA foam and get confused because what we call wood glue here hardens after a few weeks and then cracks when bent or hit (at least the brands I’ve tried). That’s why I save it for hard materials like thermoplastics or PLA prints (and to actually glue wood, while I’m at it…)
  • Instead of applying Flexbond/wood glue and then sprinkling sand on it, I mixed said sand with the primer before spreading it on the foam. It creates random chunks and gives a more uneven look to the surface. The pauldron was actually the first piece I coated and I decided to use a different technique for the rest because the chunks would be too big for smaller pieces like the ones on the fingers.

It does not have attachments, the person I built it for wanted to replace her own armour that had been damaged at some point, and already had what she needed on her costume.


The base was 5mm EVA foam again. I cut the backside to create a “muscle” look (I do not know how to describe it, I hope the picture below speaks for itself). It also has three seams, in order to get curves in the right areas. You might have noticed that the seams to not run on the whole length of the armguard, as it’s only one piece of foam with darts.

These are really bad seams and I should be ashamed.

I do not have much more to say about that part, since I already talked about the spikes, texture, and paintjob earlier. It has magnetic straps, you can see one of them on the picture below.

Featuring DrCassbul’s arm.

This project was quite interesting to work on, and weighs less than the box I shipped it in. I hope you enjoyed watching it come to life.

Morrigan Aensland (Darkstalkers) – MAKING OF

A rare sight of myself without any visible paint stains (good thing you cannot see the state of my hands)

I was only in charge of making the wings (both sets, head and waist). They were meant to be budget-friendly, so there wasn’t anything fancy involved in the construction process.

Building the head wings was pretty straightforward. After drawing a pattern based on the HMO statue -the reference I was asked to use- with GIMP and printing it to the desired scale, I made the wings out of high density EVA foam with a steel wire armature to keep them lightweight.

The difference heat-shaping makes (left is flat, right is shaped).

I then added the tiny spikes at the top and created extra volumes with foam clay.

A headband is worn under the wing, with two metal brackets attached to it, and you just have to slide the wings in. It can also be worn on top of your own hair but if it doesn’t have enough volume the heabdand might be visible.

I primed them with Flexbond, using it to create some texture on the part sthat would be painted black, and airbrushed the purple areas.

I then painted the rest with thick acrylics, by hand.

This old wig is terrible, but at least it wasn’t part of the project.

The larger wings started with an aluminium pipe armature and polyethylene foam. I cut each piece several times to create thickness and then carved everything with a sharp cutter blade and a rotary tool.

I kind of like the skeletal wing look.

They are supposed to be purple at the front and black at the back, so I sewed two layers of fabric together. Don’t ask me for the name of said fabrics, I have no idea.

From this point, the process is the same as the smaller wings. Extra volumes with foam clay, Flexbond on the foam parts, airbrushed purple, and thick acrylics on the black areas.


Sadly, I do not have any pictures of the harness. Basically, the aluminium pipes you see on the picture above slide into slightly larger pipes through two holes in your clothes. It also allows the wings to rotate in their sockets. Two extra pieces of foam -holding thanks to magnets- go on top.

You can find a video of the wings in action below.


I love Overwatch’s designs, they are futuristic and cartoony at the same time, so I was glad to receive this request. It splits in several parts, and the spikes are magnetic.

Demo videos

Photo gallery

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The Visarch-Undersuit and armor texture

Before we start – and this is valid for any build, not this one in particular – wear appropriate protection for what you are doing (respirator, safety glasses, gloves etc). I am not saying you should wear a mask when drafting patterns, but know the risks related to any products and tools you are using. I am aware that a lot of people start wearing protection AFTER an accident occurs, but please take in consideration what I just said and you might keep your fingers and/or lungs intact.
Thank you.

I got a fair amount of questions regarding the steps involved in the creation of the Visarch’s undersuit. Please keep in mind that I did it with what I had on hand at the time, and I certainly did not use the best methods and materials for the job. Thus, you shouldn’t see this as steps to follow, but merely as what I learned during the build. Be careful, what worked for me here might not be suited for your project, but I hope this article will give you ideas to make your own.

My suit has four parts: pants, shirt, and gloves. Since I knew most of it would be covered by armor pieces, I didn’t mind having separate parts (it also means I can pee without having to remove everything). The tassets and bracers would respectively cover the shirt/pants transition and the sleeve/glove one. Depending on your project, you might prefer a catsuit.

What I used:

  • Stretchy shirt, leggings, and gloves
  • Dimensionnal fabric paint
  • Flexbond
  • Acrylics
  • Brushes
  • Sponges (upholstery foam)
  • A mannequin
  • My hands

Since I didn’t need a particular design, I used store-bought clothes as a base (form-fitting, black stretchy sportswear). There are two things you should know when choosing your base:

  • The fabric should be as least porous as possible (you will see why)
  • What I am about to do to it will make it loose a lot of its elasticity. Be prepared.

I had originally planned to brush my base suit with liquid latex. Unsurprisingly, my pot of latex, which had been opened back in 2015, was in the solid state AND mouldy (I had no idea latex could do that). Anyway, since this started out as a stupid experiment, I didn’t want to buy materials for something that was supposed to fail. So I used what I had primed the armor with: Flexbond. Warning: this is probably not the cheapest and most efficient option here, I just used what I had.

As I said earlier, applying Flexond to the fabric will make it loose a great amount of elasticity, so you need to apply it on something close to the volume of your own body, otherwise it might not fit you once dry. The optimal way of doing this would be to brush it directly on the person who will wear the suit. It does have some issues though (they are still valid for other mediums, like latex):

  • You cannot do it alone (obviously)
  • It requires the model to stand still through the whole application and drying time, and depending on the conditions it can be hard on the body. I am really insisting on this particular point, PLEASE do not hurt yourself for the sake of a costume.
  • If your fabric is porous (mine didn’t look that way, but still was), Flexbond, no matter how thick it can be, WILL get through it. You do NOT want that on your skin, especially when it starts to dry, so your model would need to wear something waterproof underneath.

I am lucky enough to own a female mannequin that was given to me by a clothes store after being damaged during a flood. It looks like an elongated version of myself, but what I was interested in was the width of the limbs rather than their length. You can always pad such mannequins so make them closer to your body type. Another option is to make a tape dummy of yourself, you can find plenty of tutorials online (and it will be useful for any costume as well).

Oh, and if you have a lot of time/money on your hands you could just 3D print yourself or make a life-cast.

By the way, what I am about to describe below is also what I did on the foam armor pieces, from priming to painting.

I used a large rough brush to apply a first (it is important to keep your layers thin) coat of Flexbond on the fabric. One of the advantages of Flexbond is that it washes with water, so you won’t be sacrificing your brushes to the prop god (I cannot garanty the succes of the recovery operation if you let said dirty brush dry in a corner though). You can also dilute it with water, I usually choose not to.

You can see I had trouble spreading my first coat because of the porousity of my fabric.

Depending on how porous your fabric is, your first coat might soak into it, which will help saturate it. You can speed up the drying process with a hair dryer (or a heatgun if you are feeling adventurous like me, but be prepared to face the consequences). As a workshopless person, I was doing this outside, in December, on a very windy afternoon/evening/then night, so speeding up the process was essential to my survival. Do not be too greedy though, creating bubbles on the Flexbond because of the high temperature will greatly contribute to the organic texture you might be trying to achieve, but I accidentally melted the armpit area of my shirt during the process *synthetic fibers in a nutshell*.

My Visarch armor has some vein-like details all over it. This texture was actually achieved with dimensional fabric paint. I did the same thing on the undersuit.

As you can’t see I used the exact same technique on the fabric and the foam armor (here on the chestplate).

Once the veins had dried, I applied my second (THIN) layer of Flexbond which I had tinted black (using Black Gesso because it is the darkest thing I posess, but any flexible acrylic paint would do), because I wanted to be able to see where I was brushing it (Flexbond dries clear), and because it gave me a black base for the paintjob (this entirely depends on said paintjob, some might require a white base or any other color). Even with thin layers, undiluted Flexbond is still rather viscous so two were more than enough in my case. The suit was ready for painting.

After the black layer.

Once again, the process I am about to describe here is the exact copy of what I did on the foam armor. I built up layers of red with a sponge (a torn piece of upholstery foam from a fragile package). I went like *dab* *dab* *dab* with it all over my surface. It is just my personnal preference, you can use brushes, an airbrush, old socks, or your cat (my cat stepped in red paint ON THE DAMN TABLE when I was painting the Visarch, so this is not entirely off-topic). As you can imagine, your paint needs to be highly flexible. I mainly use these two ranges, because they are widely available in my country (and rather inexpensive given how long the tubes last): PĂ©bĂ©o Studio and Liquitex Heavy Body. These are (according to my experience) incredibely flexible (remember, THIN layers – both ranges have great coverage anyway, so you do not need to put a ton of paint).

I used four shades of red, going from the darkest to the lightest one to create shadows and help the details pop up.

  • How well can you move in it ?
    • It just feels like wearing jeans, so I quickly forget about it. It gets really stiff when cold though, but your body heat is enough to make it keep its flexibility.
  • Does it get warm inside ?
    • As you can probably imagine, your skin hardly breathes in it (wear with caution). My own suit was only coated on a part of the legs and sleeves so it is easier to wear than a full suit in warmer weather.


Squeezie, a well-known French YouTuber, was sponsored by Ubisoft to release a video promoting their game Rainbow 6 Siege. The short movie was directed by ThĂ©odore Bonnet, and I was in charge of creating Dokkaebi’s costume, worn by actress Leanna Chea. This was done in collaboration with Replica Industries, who sewed the undersuit whilst I was making the rest of the outfit and accessories. Given the close deadline, I had to complete my part of the project in 9 days, including material research.

You can watch the film here
You can watch the making-of here
Photo gallery

Deathbrand Armour

I had to recreate the outfit my character wears in Skyrim. This project grew between 2017 and 2019, gaining new parts and details. I made eight props for the occasion (some based on Skyrim, some on TESO). It also marks my debut in 3D modelling and printing, which is the technique I used to create a few of the elements.

After three years of good services, the armour and most of the props have been re-homed, some in the USA and some in New Zealand.

Photo gallery

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Online ressources

Glass Armour

By Tenhaku.
Helper: Shas’Ozo

This is the armour that made me. Without this build, I would not be doing what I do today. This costume will always have a special part in my heart. I will build a V2 with a slightly different design.

By Yann Champion during Mang’Azur 2017

Several props were built (in that order):
-Nordic battleaxe
-Whiterun shield
-Nordic sword
-Glass quiver
-Glass bow

By Elkashir-san during Hero Festival 2016
By SĂ©bastien Gourgouras during Hero Festival 2016
By OMarcel during the first edition of Avignon Geek Expo
By Tenhaku.
Helper: Shas’Ozo
By JapActu
Helper: Shas’Ozo