Way back in June I got this crazy notion to do a Pyramid Head build for Halloween. For those who don’t know, Pyramid Head is from Silent Hill. He is also know as the Red God, Xuchilbara, (or at least a servant of) and many have postulated he and Valtiel are one in the same (or at least incarnations of the same God). His job is to be the driving force of revelation during one’s time in Silent Hill. He is blind justice, guilt, pain, and (especially for the original protagonists) sexual energy.
Anyway, The point here isn’t to give you the symbolism but to show the build. There are many different versions of Pyramid Head, so I choose a mix of all to suit my tastes. I ended up skewing towards homecoming/the movie version in many ways, mainly because they are so intimidating. The one problem I could foresee being he is shirtless and incredibly ripped while, at the time, I was almost 60 pound overweight. Well… everyone needs a impossible goal right?
So the first task was to sketch out what I was looking to do.
Here you can see the rough ideas of what I was expecting to do. I began sculpting the helmet immediately as this is the most important piece to the whole costume.
Everything had to be made of ultra light material. If I’m going to wear this stuff for any length of time and not seriously hurt myself then the weight needed to be negligible. So I built is out of foam board. Just the cheap poster board you can buy at Dollar Tree. I tend to have dozens of sheets on hand as I use it so much. However, I soon found out that the board wasn’t big enough and, in the picture here, you can see where I had to tape two pieces together.
I choose to make the pyramid five sided as opposed to the 7 (or more) side of some of the versions. One because it was easier to build but also I felt it just has a cleaner look.
I wanted to be able to see out the sides (unlike the movie version) because I have no wire harnesses and it will be very dark. So I decided to cut out the sides. This is another reason I like the homecoming version, it has a metal grid that makes it easy to make it look similar and still be able to see out of it.
After The basic build I Cut out the holes in the side and covered it in metal tape. I love metal tape it sticks to practically anything and it helps give stability. I then added the Metal wire and the Black screening (I absolutely hate working with rat wire). I ended up looking like I’ve been handling a rabid wild animal. But it fit the style of the helmet. I made very sure that all sharp edges were glues down with hot glue and then covered with metal tape before adding the metal screening on top of it. I had to be very sure I wasn’t going to get a stray barb to the face.
Once the rat wire was in, I added the little knobs to the back. This could be done literally 1000 different ways but I found a baby bottle at Dollar Tree that worked great. I sawed them down, cut out some phone for the hole, glued the foam in the hole, glued all of it to the helmet, and primed it.
The Last thing for the helmet, I primed with a metallic bronze, added paint, and grunge. Unfortunately, I sprayed a “clear” coat on it the first time and it and, for some reason, it turned the whole thing grey. So i had to repaint. To the right there you can see the bronzed primer in the bottom left and the other two are the first version of paint before I had to repaint. It worked out in the long run though because I got a sootier darker look in the final. Next up was the skirt… er… I mean Butcher’s gown… dang it! Uh… outfit? Whatever.
I used a faux leather style fabric as a base. I absolutely suck at sewing so I used liquid stitch to seam it and it worked great. I created a wire ring and hung it like a shower curtain. To keep the paint from flaking off I used a paint that is often used on spandex dancer’s outfits called Jones Tones. They were actually just left over from when I created my rake costume. I used red and black diluted with water in an airbrush… at first. By the end I was just splashing it on and letting it drip down. It made for a good effect.
Finally the piece de resistance, the great knife. I kind of did a mix of different versions. Originally, I was going to add the serrations (like the homecoming knife) but the placement of the handle made that impossible. I also originally had the blade at 10 ft. With a 2.5 ft handle this was just too long and ridiculous looking so I cut it down to 8 ft. The blade is two pieces of foam insulation glued together and then cut with a hot knife. In retrospect, the the foam I used was a poor choice. It has a film on both sides and took an inordinate amount of time to remove. I’ve been told blue or pink insulation foam are the best. The handle is a PVC pipe that extends more than halfway through the blade and then a cheap axe handle (from Spirit) was added over the pipe. I embedded aluminum strike plate at the tip of the blade to try and minimize wear and tear to the blade itself.
As for paint, I used plastic dip spray in about 7 coats to toughen up the blade. This took several days of spraying and drying. Once it was dry, I dry brushed chrome paint over the length by just spraying the spray paint onto a paper towel and dragging/dabbing it on the blade. I did the same with the red but this was just regular acrylic paint.
With that the costume was done! it took roughly 4 solid days of work but most of that involved the drying process and removing the protective film from the foam.
So there it is, not the “end all be all” method but it’s just a little look into my process of trial and error. This was my first use of foam and, in the process, I learned a lot. I always advise that the only way to really learn something is to dive in. Sure I did some research into it but ultimately you have to work out what works best for you in real time.
On to the rest of the props! So Happy Halloween and happy haunting!