The Making of Ursula from The Little Mermaid - The Costume
Channel: Steven Mayhew
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We began by using 125 lbs. of modeling clay to sculpt the mask and the upper fat suit on a mannequin bust and torso. We then applied four layers of Smooth-On's pink Rebound to create what would be the negative for both pieces. Next, we layered plaster bandages over the Rebound that would assist in keeping the negative from folding in on itself. After the removal of the clay, we slid the mannequin back into the Rebound "suit", stapled the Rebound seem back together, re-attached the plaster casts back on and poured the silicone mixed with blue Silc Pig®. We then painted the two pieces with purple silicone paint using a sponge to create pores in the skin.
The tentacles were purchased from FrightProps.com and were painted with purple, black and gloss Plasti-Dip to allow for the tentacles to stretch and the paint to not crack. 1/4" steel rods were then inserted into the middle of all 6 tentacles and then slowly bent / curled in different directions and ended with a hook at the top of each one. The harness that held the tentacles was designed with two straps of leather that would ultimately act as a belt. 6 steel tubes, were glued into the belt using a strong gasket adhesive. The second belt was then laid over the first to aid in supporting the tentacles from pressing against my hips. The tentacles then just slid into the steel tubes and arched outwards.
The black fat suit was constructed from multiple 3/8" aluminum rods and was bent and taped into a bustle shape. Four buckles were then sewn into the front and back of the suit. Two red straps with buckles on each end were designed to lay over my shoulders (under the purple fat suit) and were adjustable so I we could pull the black fat suit snug against the base of the purple suit. 1" foam was then sewn onto the bustle and then a layer of battening was laid down to give a smooth finish. Black spandex was sewn into a large tube shape and slipped over the foam fat suit to finish the look of her large stomach.
To hide my legs, we sewed a simple black dress with an elastic strap at the waist.
After a little make-up and placing on the glowing seashell necklace we made, the costume complete.
Hope you enjoyed the making of Ursula.