Turning my wife into Medusa

I realized the other day it's a couple months until Halloween and here in Las Vegas there's usually a couple costume contests with nice prices and although I'm not terribly experienced with this sort of thing I decided that I'm going to turn my wife into Medusa, but I want it to look pretty legit. I don't want to do a bunch of fake plastic snakes sticking out of her hair and just some makeup. 


Silicone prosthetic scale appliances used around her body and a skullcap with mold/cast snakes coming out of her head. Also a few costume bits like jewelry and Grecian style clothing. 

My biggest concern is what to make the skullcap out of? The snakes will be a bit thick, about 1-2" diameter, spread over her head, and I intend to have them coiled and posed, not just hanging there, so they'll have to be cast out of something rigid, but I need to make sure the headpiece is going to be stable on her head. If anyone has any ideas, on what would be best to use for the skullcap and snakes, I'd appreciate some advice.

Naturally I'm consulting SWS videos, tutorials and whatever other resources, but it would help to just get some specific answers to my questions so I can move along faster and efficient. 

Week 1 (8/8/17) I'm going to get alginate and hydrocal 30 to start getting her head and hands molded. 

I'll post updates, sketches and pics this week and as I progress through the process. 


  • edited August 2017
    Hi Ashley,

    For the skull cap, I would make it out of fiberglass or thick vacuum formed plastic. 

    For the snakes, I would use a self skinning foam and cast them over armature wire.  Rigid plastic snakes might snap off on you.  Also, the lighter you can make the snakes, the more comfortable it will be to wear, and the more likely it is to stay put. 

    I had a friend do a medusa costume that had a small MP3 player and speaker built into the head dress that was playing hissing sounds.  It added a lot of style points, which always helps in costume contests.

    And for some good inspiration, check out the Medusa by Steve Wang.

    Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  • Thanks for the tips Chris.

    The MP3 player with hissing sounds is genius and that Medusa sculpt by Steve Wang is pretty awesome. 

    I like the idea of making a more detailed piece that goes from her shoulders and neck and climbs up to her head. I thought that would help give more support to the skullcap piece to hold the snakes. 

    I wasn't thinking of making the snakes out of anything too rigid, like plastic, just a stiff foam or such, possibly supported by armature, but armature is probably the right way to go, just not sure how I'd attach the armatures. 

    Some sort of reference would be great, but it's proving hard to find. 
  • I've got her hands molded and cast. I used alginate and hydrocal 30. I still have to do her head, but I'll probably use ultracal for that. I'm going to use Chavant NSP medium clay to sculp the prosthetics. 
  • Looks like the hand castings turned out great!

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