3d printed splicer mask

Intricate masks were once worn in rapture by the aristocracy at the lavish parties thrown by Sander Cohen. they gradually saw more daily use to cover the ulcers and sores that started to appear on their faces from Adam abuse. As their minds continued to slip, the masks stopped coming off until they became the insane splicers of rapture, killing and harvesting the Adam from their victims.
My take was to try to create the mask pre fall of rapture, but close enough that you can see the wear and infection starting.

The model was made by Audrey2 on Thingiverse and is full size and wearable, so I had to print it in 3 pieces.  I used glow in the dark PLA because I wasn’t certain if I was going to rough this mask up and weather it, and if I was I wanted to make it so the worn parts had a bit of glow to them in the dark.

Each part is printed at 30% infill with 4 walls, tops and bottoms to make it nice and heavy. I wanted the mask to feel like it was ceramic or similar. I used regular old CA glue to bind the parts together. This isn’t the best way to bind PLA, but I’m going to get a lot of additional support from the bondo and finishing later on, so I’m not too worried.

At this point I haven’t done any finish work or sanding because I’m going to use that nice rough surface to help hold the bondo to the piece.

The first coat of bondo is on the seams, I really don’t want those to show at all.  Bondo is a 2 part putty typically used for patching up car body parts, but it works great on plastic. It adheres well, is very tough and doesn’t eat away at the material.  So after I mixed it up per the directions, it’s just apply, wait 20 minutes for it to set and then sand it away.  I then follow up by coating the entire piece in a filling primer. This is a really thick primer that’s meant to fill in small cracks and is sandable.  I do a medium coat of filling primer, sand that down and then start on a new coat of bondo. This coat of bondo goes on pretty much everywhere. I wrap around the corners of the model, I use it to smooth out the support layer scars, etc. This is where I’m shaping what I want the final piece to look like.

At this point, the piece has had 2 coats of bondo and 1 coat of filling primer. I’ve worked all the primer and bondo down until it’s smooth, so it’s just primer from this point forward. I’ll shoot a total of 4 or 5 coats of primer, sanding in between each, until all of the signs of the seams and layer lines are gone.  My last coat of primer is very, very heavy because I’m wanting that ceramic/enamel feel without getting runs.   This coat needs to dry for a few days.




Paint time!  I found an ivory paint that I liked and did several coats of that, waiting at least an hour in between but not sanding.  Normally I would do a fine sand in between each coat, but I want to keep those natural looking textures in the surface.



Next up is applying gold leaf, or gilding,  to the details. I have a separate page on how to pull that off if you want to get more detail, but the long and short is go slow, wear gloves, make mistakes.

Once the gilding is done, I took a fine brush and outlined all of the gilded parts with brown. It gives the part a bit more interest AND it hides any rough gilded edges. Now it’s time to fire up the airbrush and weather it.

The first time you are introduced to the mask, it’s in a felt lined case inside a record store, but even then the mask is worn looking and a bit weathered.   I wanted to keep with that theme, so out comes the airbrush.  This part was VERY nerve racking as I’ve only used an airbrush once before and…it didn’t go great.


But, going slowly, this one turned out pretty ok!  After the brown dried I hit the piece with 3 coats of gloss poly with no sanding again.   After a day of drying, the mask is done and I just need to figure out a way to mount it securely to the wall in our game room.