Despite setting a deadline for this week that I haven't quite met, I'm happy enough with my progress. I now have the head entirely papier mached, as well as the three barrels of the Ion Blaster.
To begin this post with Zurg's deadly weapon: it has been quite difficult. One of the most frustrating pieces of any costume I've done, but it is coming along nicely now. Like most of my work, I started by free-handing the shape of the gun using wire. Unfortunately I overshot the length of them, and made the barrels far too long. Reducing them was pretty difficult, and practically amounted to starting all over again. However, they are now wired, masking taped, and papier mached. Here is a rough pictorial chronology:
The rest of the gun to follow!
Onto the head - I had a bit of trouble as far as the eyes went, but other than that it's been smooth sailing. The issue was that with the mask on, my eyes weren't in line with the mask's eyes. I was worried about changing the design of his eyes because I didn't want to give in to costume inaccuracies - but thankfully I was able to resolve the issue by cutting out some of the wire foundation on the inside of the mask (I was able to because the masking tape was enough to hold it together until I put the papier mache on). I then had to cut the eyes out (making them ever so slightly larger than planned, but not compromising the look thankfully).
After that, all I had to do was the papier mache. I used the recipe from this website (the thicker glue from the first recipe).
I'm very happy with the quality of the papier mache. In previous costumes there were always one or two patches that had upturned corners and needed more glue. Not this time - think it was a case of nailing the recipe (usually I'm quite liberal with the ingredients!)