Monday, 30 May 2011

The Armoury and Creature Shop

..At Camp Silver Beach Summer 2010

It works like this:
1) Ross Barnes has a vision of the most amazing Evening Programme (basically evening game/activity for the kids) ever at Camp Silver Beach.
2) We both work on the principle of if you're going to do a thing you might as well do it properly.
3) Most of our evenings and weekends (in fact pretty much all) are spent in making costumes for one night. (Well two nights really, because we had a Harry Potter EP which is what the Dementors were for, and then the medieval fantasy EP which is what all the armour and stuff was for...)


Dementor Masks for the Harry Potter EP:

The Dementors are described in the books as being clammy things made of rotting flesh and not really having a face - although a mouth is needed to suck out a person's soul. So the vision I had in my head started from the mouth and worked backwards.
These masks are made by first covering a load of balloons in papier mache, using tissue instead of newspaper to achieve the wrinkled, rotting skin effect. The balloons deflated slightly in the drying process, which actually added to the effect. I had to put eyes in so that the person wearing them could see, but I used gauze so that once they were painted they would be as invisible as possible. I then used lumps of glue-soaked tissue to build the features of the face, starting with the round area for the mouth and working backwards with cheekbones etc.
I finally used my drybrushing method of painting them to enhance the wrinkled texture, and varnished them to make them look wet and clammy. I also made hooded cloaks from black sheets, and made them tatty, and dragged them through dust outside to weather them.

Here are the different variety of hats we made!
To paint them up we mostly used spray paint and then I dry-brushed with a darker colour and used a cloth to rub the paint off in order to get that tarnished metal feel.

The helmets, swords, and shields for the Templar Knights - there were four in total.
They also wore 'chainmail' (large knitted jumpers spray painted silver) and white tabards with the red cross on the front.

Ross's own special helmet!

The "Claymore" - A 5ft Broadsword

I used string wound around the handle for added realism, and gems for decoration. The spray paint on slightly wet glue produced an interesting 'patination' effect.

The Dark knight's helmets and Shields - there were four in total. They also wore dark cloaks.

We realised at the very last minute that we needed a crown - I didn't have time to make a real looking one so I made a fairy-tale one - It was only seen from quite far away anyway.

A small dagger made for one of the characters:

A piece of armour made for the character of the 'Golden Angel' - the costume also included gold shin pads, gold arm pads, and a gold jewelled leather-effect 'skirt' made from pointed strips of foam-board bent to make them more flexible and stapled to a fabric belt.

My costume for the EP - made even more at the last minute than the crown (literally about 5 minutes before we started!) It consisted of a large beige sheet with a hole in the middle for my head, a piece of white sheet made tatty with scissors and dragged through mud and dust, a piece of white sheet for the bandage around my eyes, a stick with some rags tied to it, and lots of white and black face paint.


  1. These are all completely fantastic! It just goes to show that ingenuity and creativity are the best tools we have!
    Incidentally, if you are looking for jobs in theatre production around London, this site has some great jobs in its job section from time to time:

  2. Thank you :) and yes indeedy they are!
    And cool thanks - I'm on a few of the stage/film jobs websites but I didn't know about that one! xxx