Gul’dan’s face is almost done! In my last post, I had finished most of the sculpting, and I’ve since moved on to refining the features. After much trial and error, (and many, many wrinkles,) the face is looking pretty good. You may notice the addition of teeth and a lower lip in the picture above. I wanted to the top half of Gul’dan’s face completed before I moved on to the teeth and lower lip. This is because the teeth needed some prep work before I could start sculpting around them. In the last post, they looked like this:

The pink stuff is insulation foam, like you’d find at any hardware store. But insulation foam, though lightweight, can be pretty brittle. To make it strong enough to endure the rigors of a Con, I coated it in an epoxy resin called Epsilon. The stuff is designed to work with foams like this, and it’s durable, sand-able, and paint-able. In other words, it’s all-around awesome. To give you an idea of how durable it is, I covered the teeth with one coat Epsilon. When it was fully cured, I could smack the point of the largest tooth against a table, and nothing happened. It didn’t chip or crumple – nothin’. And that’s just with one coat!! It takes 16 hours for a coat to fully cure, but it’s soooooo worth the wait.

This is with a thin coat of acrylic paint, just to see where the burs were so I could sand them down.


I put the teeth in and started building up the lower lip. Here’s a side by side comparison of what I’ve got so far.

Gul'dan side by side comparison

I made a deliberate choice to make the teeth shorter than Gul’dan’s in-game model on the idea that it would be more realistic. In the cinematic, Gul’dan’s teeth are shorter:

Gul'dan Cinematic face

But I have a little problem. The “tusk” tooth I sculpted for the left side of Gul’dan’s face is too… chunky. I’m going to need to re-carve and re-epoxy it. If I don’t, it will literally bother me *every time* I look at the costume. -sigh- I’m not looking forward to fixing that, but I’ll regret it if I don’t.

But enough about teeth for now. Let’s talk about texture.


I once heard that Jack Pierce (a make up artist in the 30’s and 40’s) used an orange peel to texture Boris Karloff’s face for the 1931 Frankenstein movie. I don’t know remember where I heard this, and I can’t find it anywhere on the internet, so it’s probably not true. However, that idea helped me figure out a way to give Gul’dan’s face a little texture. Here’s what I used:

The blue thing is a sanding block – 60 grit, I think. I pressed the sand paper into the skin to give it a rough texture that approximates gnarly, warlock-y pores.

For some areas, it was difficult to get in there with a block. I either used a sheet of sandpaper, or the bristles of the chip brush.


Here’s what it looks like up close:

At this point, it doesn’t quite look like pores – the edges are too sharp. To smooth things out, I used a foam brush to rub down the surface of the clay. This removes the harshness and makes the marks look more like the pores of skin.


This is how I textured the whole thing, except for the lips. I had a little fun with the sanding block on the nose to make Gul’dan’s complexion more gnarled, though I don’t think I’ll go as gnarly as the cinematic Gul’dan. What works for the cinematic may be over-kill for real life.

Just a note, StarFest is next weekend, and although I don’t have any new costumes planned, I’ve got stuff to do to prepare for it. Truth be told, I don’t know how much progress I’ll make this coming week on Gul’dan, but we’ll see!

Until next time,

– El 🙂