Gul’dan, being the major lore figure that he is, shows up depicted in World of Warcraft in a lot of different ways. I think it’s fairly obvious that I’ll be doing the Warlords of Draenor version, but even within his WoD depictions, there are differences. This will come up a lot as I try to figure out the best way to bring the Gul’dan out of the digital realm and into our own world, but my first task is his face. My two best references for this costume are his in-game model and the Gul’dan of the Warlords of Draenor cinematic.

Gul'Dan Cinematic Face

Gul'Dan Character Model Face

Generally, it’s the same orc, but there are some important differences here. The in-game model has a longer forehead, a fuller face, protruding teeth, and a wider/larger nose. From a practical perspective, these traits will make it easier to make a face prosthetic.

The one thing that the in-game model lacks, of course, is the gnarled facial texture of the cinematic Gul’dan. It’s like the guy washes his face in corrosive chemicals. But I suppose you have to maintain that lovely warlock/destroyer of souls complexion somehow. As a rule of thumb, I’ll be using the in-game model as my guide, but maybe with a dash of cinematic flavor.

Time to make a face!

Gul'dan's Face - Progress


You may notice that there is a gaping hole in the clay around the chin. This is where the teeth will go. Gul’dan has a very long upper lip. Actually, it’s not really his upper lip, but the part between the upper lip and the nose. It turns out this is called the philtrum. -shrug- To get the proportion right for this part of the face, I’ll be covering up my husband’s mouth entirely, and the lower lip and teeth will be attached to his chin. In theory, he’ll be able to open and close Gul’dan’s mouth a tiny bit, but I really have no idea because I’ve never done this before. Here’s a “mock up” I did before I got too far into the sculpting.

Gul'dan Teeth Test

I’ll be making the teeth out of insulation foam (aka EPS… aka extruded polystyrene). You can get sheets of all sizes at any hardware store. And, yes, that’s a scalpel in the picture below. It helps to have a sharp knife to carve with, and I happen to have a scalpel.


After carving out the rough shape, I smoothed it out with a fine grit sandpaper.


My priority at the moment is just to figure out the size and shape of the teeth so I can continue sculpting the rest of Gul’dan’s features. I have plans for how to finish the insulation foam, but I’ll get to that in a later post. Here’s how the face looks with the teeth. I’ll build up the bottom lip over the top of the teeth later on. That’ll probably be the last thing I sculpt.

Gul'dan - with teeth!

Here’s where I’m at so far:

face 16

From this point onward, I’ll be working on making the wrinkles more realistic, and texturing the skin.

Also, on the topic of faces, this.

You face.

Until next time,

– El 🙂