xaerael
 


Costume :SkekSil the Chamberlain
Source :dark crystal
Progress :Complete
Worn At :London MCM Expo May 2011


Costume Photos

[MCM may 2011] Masquerade #5

[MCM may 2011] Masquerade #4

[MCM may 2011] Masquerade #3

[MCM may 2011] Masquerade #2

[MCM may 2011] Masquerade #1

Head!

Left hand sculpt

40 minute maquette

Broach

ref3

ref2

ref1

 


Costume Information

General
Cost : current: £250 final: £950+
Awards : British representative for Euro Cosplay 2011

Description
regenerated project!

moved away from an OC and started work on an existing skeksis, the chamberlain.

mmmMMMMmmmmmmm~~~~


Comments

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Gaaah! I both look forward and fear this cosplay. XD They've always ALWAYS creeped me out but it's gonna be awesome~

Seeing all your Dark Crystal progress and plans makes me want to do a Gelfling cosplay XD

by Demented Kid on Friday, 19 June, 2009 - 20:35
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I wish you all the luck in the world! :)
Amazing

by FairyPorchQueen on Friday, 19 June, 2009 - 20:49
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awesome i hope u get all the sly creepness going, they always freack me out

by timpey on Friday, 19 June, 2009 - 21:50
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Well if anyone can its you, hope this and all you other projects go well!...cause if they don't! *shakes fist*

by Stella Wolf on Saturday, 20 June, 2009 - 00:39
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OMG! I'm so in awe of you doing this.

by Sephirayne on Friday, 10 July, 2009 - 12:10
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I was told by my friend you where going to do this and i thought she was joking

but... MY GOD I CAN NOT WAIT TO SEE THIS!!!! *_*

by Kaka Extreme on Saturday, 18 July, 2009 - 14:42
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you had better be practicing your whimper :P

hehe, this will be amazing to see when you do it! Dark Crystal was always a fave film of mine. in fact, me and my girlfriend are hoping to cosplay Jen and Kira over the summer ^^

by Fishyfins on Thursday, 20 May, 2010 - 10:00

haha, better get the whimper down. XD This guy is a real creeper.
Incredibly awesome project, looking forward to seeing some progress! :D

by Adamoluna on Saturday, 22 May, 2010 - 00:19

hehe, the whimper might be difficult since i don't have the vocal range of frank oz ;p

all the amazing stuff i'll be packing into the costume will make up for it, i promise ;p

by xaerael on Thursday, 27 May, 2010 - 10:57
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HmmmMmmmm! XD

This is going to end up so awesome. Looking forward to more updates!

by Pez on Sunday, 1 August, 2010 - 11:18
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The Dark Crystal is one of my favourite movies ever, and the progress on this looks amazing--I'm so looking forward to seeing this when it's done!

by Storme on Monday, 18 October, 2010 - 22:19
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Love the mini sculpt. I love your 3D work. I so can't wait to see the actual costume. I'm so looking forward to seeing this. I've added Kira to my planned list. I would love photos with you.

by Sephirayne on Tuesday, 19 October, 2010 - 21:47
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Nice to see this one is back on the table ^__^
REALLY looking forward to seeing this one in person ;)

by k4tt on Tuesday, 28 December, 2010 - 17:24
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Thank you for your comment on Kira ;).

Yes, it would awesome if I could have picturess with you. Sadly, it looks like I'll be wearing Kira on Sunday as I'll be entering the comp on sat with a different costume and have a photo-shoot planned with someone from Belgium. If you are ok to don it for a photo-session on Sunday it would be brilliant and I would be so grateful.

I would do it on sat where I change during the day but I'm most likely staying at a friends so I'll be traveling on the underground to and from Expo each day.

Thank you for letting me have photos with you. It will be an honour. ;)

by Sephirayne on Friday, 28 January, 2011 - 07:04

unless it suffers a mischief on the saturday, there's no reason for me to not be able to throw it on a second time over the weekend. i'll have my PC with me, so can charge the video-goggles back up.

by xaerael on Friday, 28 January, 2011 - 17:53
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That will be fantastic. Thank you ;). I so can't wait to see.

by Sephirayne on Wednesday, 9 February, 2011 - 16:25
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Wow, this looks seriously cool! I can't wait to see it done!

by Yuka on Sunday, 20 March, 2011 - 13:01
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My god Xae! you never cease to leave me lost for words! It's looking amazing!

by Lulu Rose on Sunday, 20 March, 2011 - 13:07
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Veeeery cool!

by Telly on Sunday, 20 March, 2011 - 14:16
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Looking amazing!!

by Kacela on Sunday, 20 March, 2011 - 14:36

progress so far looks great! The fabrics you picked look like they're very high quality, both in colour and drape. Is the large red, uhm, "back armour" made from leather? I really like how detail-minded you are about this costume, it's really inspiring. :)

by Adamoluna on Friday, 25 March, 2011 - 21:08
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Holy crap!
This is so frekain' amazing!
Your sculpting is incredible!!

by Mosquitoast on Tuesday, 5 April, 2011 - 01:33
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FFFFFF-
that hand!!! EVERYTHING.
Just wow. Props for how amazingly i've did this.

by SachikoYumi on Tuesday, 5 April, 2011 - 02:03

epic sculpting skills, that hand looks amazing!

by Adamoluna on Tuesday, 5 April, 2011 - 07:47
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OMG! This is amazing. ^___^ XD

by RebaSephiroth2 on Wednesday, 20 April, 2011 - 16:40
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wow your sculpting skills are insane!

by Leolarua on Wednesday, 20 April, 2011 - 20:55
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Echoing everything above :D

This is going to be outstanding and far beyond anything anyone has ever made!!!

by MangaChild on Friday, 22 April, 2011 - 16:01
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Another phenomenal work-in-progress! Can't wait to see this finished :D

by Chibi on Friday, 22 April, 2011 - 20:31
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Congratulations for representing the UK for Euro Cosplay. ^_^

by RebaSephiroth2 on Sunday, 29 May, 2011 - 13:20
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Congratulations on the EuroCosplay placement, you looked incredible!

by Chibi on Sunday, 29 May, 2011 - 21:33
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This was all kinds of Epic :) I love the dark crystal and your costume looked like it was taken straight from the movie. Congrats on winning :)

by Archer on Monday, 30 May, 2011 - 23:28
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Congratulations, well deserved.

by Alias Cosplay on Tuesday, 31 May, 2011 - 09:34
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I was so damn impressed with this cosplay. My jaw dropped completely and I could not stop grinning when you were on stage. EVEN THE EYES BLINKED. SO MUCH DETAIL!!! I am so damn happy you're representing us in the finals, very well deserved! Probably the best costume I have -ever- seen in the whole entire UK cosplay scene!!

by CrystalNeko on Tuesday, 31 May, 2011 - 23:10
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We need a new word to describe just how vastly incredible this is. It's a work of art that blinks and has moving puppet fingers! I'm so happy I got to see it in person.

Congratulations on the Euro Cosplay place, very much deserved :)

by Amy-Lou on Wednesday, 1 June, 2011 - 10:19
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This was just the most incredible costume.
The point at which we realised there were moving hands and blinking eyes was when this crossed the line into legendary :P

Such a well deserved win ^.^

by Toshi-chan on Wednesday, 1 June, 2011 - 11:10
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This was bloody amazing! you should be so proud of yourself! saw you at the masquerade! :D

by alienqueen on Wednesday, 1 June, 2011 - 12:34
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Absolutely bloody brilliant! You are going to blow them away at Euro Cosplay!!! :D

by Eloraborealis on Wednesday, 1 June, 2011 - 12:42
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Deserved win there mate. And once again, raising the bar. ;)

by k4tt on Wednesday, 1 June, 2011 - 13:25
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Absolutely Fabulous. Well done Xae, this really looked A-mazing on stage. The animation was superb. And thanks to Kii too because she really helped you convey Menace..poor wench :)
So glad I got to see this in person.
You really could steal the Euro award for us with this. ..No pressure. :P

by Ranma1-2 on Wednesday, 1 June, 2011 - 14:49
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Wow. Just Wow. A well deserving representative for Eurocosplay, not to mention you chose an amazing film to pay homage to.

by Nomes on Wednesday, 1 June, 2011 - 16:55
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You've done an amazing job on this costume. Congratulations on becoming the eurocosplay representative. I'll have my Fingers crossed for the final! (though I'll doubt you'll need them)

by Cosplex on Wednesday, 1 June, 2011 - 22:29

thank you all for the lovely comments! it really is the feedback that makes big projects like this worth the effort and time.

by xaerael on Wednesday, 1 June, 2011 - 23:08
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You totally blow me away with this cosplay one of the best I've ever seen I got a load of good photos of it to there on my flickr if your interested feel free to steal and use if you like them

http://www.flickr.com/photos/foxseye/sets/72157626882381160/

by FoxyChan on Saturday, 4 June, 2011 - 20:20
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This is a most incredible piece of work, it is actually perfect!

by Kacela on Sunday, 5 June, 2011 - 07:59
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Jim Henson Seal of Approval!!
International acclaim!!!
The UK's FIRST Male Entry for Eurocosplay!!

All well deserved this is such a spectacular costume I hope many more opportunities open up to you, you've worked so hard on this and every ounce of effort shows.

Great work :D as always I look forward to seeing your next creation

by MangaChild on Sunday, 5 June, 2011 - 13:20
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...my jaw just hit the floor!! I'm fucking blow away dude!! Amazing work! I just.. cant even.. GUH!! >_<

I'm lost for words!!

by Alyx on Wednesday, 8 June, 2011 - 22:04
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This was just too awesome for words . . .

by TheEmoEmu on Wednesday, 8 June, 2011 - 23:55
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Well done on your win i absolutely loved it so much accuracy and deatil!
It truly brought back scary memories of those Seksils xD

by Solaria on Thursday, 9 June, 2011 - 06:48
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Wow, this is just...wow. One of the most amazing costumes that I've ever seen. I love the dark crystal and to see someone do something so EPIC from it really warms the heart. You are amazing!

by j_mercuryuk on Thursday, 9 June, 2011 - 09:00
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EPIC - looks like the real thing. I need to watch this film. :P

by LittlePidgey4 on Thursday, 9 June, 2011 - 10:57
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HOW did i miss this!! SO so amazing i cant even explain how much i love this!

by FairyPorchQueen on Thursday, 9 June, 2011 - 11:45
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Congrats! That head sculpt is amazing. Beautiful work!

by Tomecko on Thursday, 9 June, 2011 - 21:53
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HOly S***. This looks simply amazing!

by Sley on Friday, 10 June, 2011 - 13:05
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Mate this was fantastic. Much love for the dark crystal, but well done on your cosplay.

by Bugrophenia on Friday, 10 June, 2011 - 14:17
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Simply brilliant! Nuff said.

by Joshua on Saturday, 11 June, 2011 - 20:05
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OMG! Brilliant costume. Obviously a lot of effort and work put in! You deserve to get through to the Euro Cosplay qualifiers! If you don't win then I'll be damned.

by Alex4Manga on Sunday, 12 June, 2011 - 13:51
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My goodness, I'm blown away. Gwah.

by tripletriad on Tuesday, 14 June, 2011 - 00:28
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Absolutely fantastic! Love it. I'm so sad I wasn't able to see this in person :( but well done for making it through to the next stage of Eurocosplay! Much deserved for such a wonderful cosplayer :3 <3

by picklesofdoom on Wednesday, 15 June, 2011 - 20:40
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This was so amazing! I adored this film as a kid and I feel it's under-appreciated and you've done the character and the film a great justice! Absolutely brilliant!

by BabemRoze on Sunday, 19 June, 2011 - 18:57
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This was jawdroppingly amazing!!! :D

by Manga Girl on Sunday, 19 June, 2011 - 21:01
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Truly amazing work! Well done on the Euro qualifier

by theKillingDoll on Sunday, 19 June, 2011 - 21:57
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This Costume is Immensely Incredible, definately lives up to the amazing film that is the Dark Crystal! Congratulations on the Eurocosplay win ^_^

by ElegantAura on Sunday, 19 June, 2011 - 22:54
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My mind has been blown... Well done on a terrific costume, and congrates on the Euro qualifier!

by Just Hen on Monday, 20 June, 2011 - 20:26
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dear lord that's awesome!

by Paprika on Tuesday, 21 June, 2011 - 11:37
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This is pure genius, fantastic beyond so many levels :D!

by RevolverKitty on Tuesday, 21 June, 2011 - 16:00
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Congratulations on the eurocosplay win and great job on the costume dude!

Best of luck in the finals. KICK ASS!

by Berserk667 on Wednesday, 22 June, 2011 - 00:01
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Saw this in the Metro today!

by Bugrophenia on Wednesday, 22 June, 2011 - 09:01
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This was amazing! Seeing it backstage first was like Woah then when you came out was stunning!!! can't even think of words to describe the sheer awesome of this.

by CharlotteLuna on Wednesday, 22 June, 2011 - 16:28
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Absolutely amazing work!

by sakara on Wednesday, 22 June, 2011 - 20:16
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Seriously impressive costume man! Well done 8)

by GAINAX on Thursday, 23 June, 2011 - 16:26
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That is beyond perfect :D. I think what would make a good photo would be if you got something a bit like fake saliva hanging from the beak, like when they eat.

by Larxene on Thursday, 23 June, 2011 - 17:11
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Congrats on the showcase. Totally deserves it.

by Sephirayne on Thursday, 23 June, 2011 - 21:04
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best cosplay I've never seen :-(

by CPU on Friday, 24 June, 2011 - 22:05
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I read about you in the Metro :D made my day

by 1000014 on Sunday, 26 June, 2011 - 13:55
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This is honestly stunning, i bow down to your awesomeness.

by TheRandomFairy on Sunday, 14 August, 2011 - 18:16
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An unbelievably amazing costume <3 I have so much love for The Dark Crystal movie and much love for your costume! You are immensly skilled.

by DarkElf on Sunday, 18 September, 2011 - 14:06
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well done is win eu cosplay

by vallon on Friday, 6 January, 2012 - 19:12
 

To-Do List

handsHighIn Progress
headMediumPlanned
cape fallsLowPlanned
skirtingLowPlanned
fixingsLowPlanned
weatheringLowPlanned

Shopping List

Platsil Gel10£50.00To Buy
Chavant LBT (x4)£25.84To Buy
pigment (std flesh)£5.84To Buy
Mixing cups£6.35To Buy
stir rods£2.35To Buy
ML P&P cost£12.99To Buy
PTEF 60 2L£38.99To Buy
Herculite 2£20.74To Buy
Total£163.10

Journal

[5th march update] (Posted 5th March 2011)

body is coming along beautifully. i'd say construction is at about 60%, but the last 40% should be very quick since it's just putting everything together and finishing off loose ends.

hoping to be starting the sculpture part of the project within the next fortnight. probably hands first, then on to the head.

[5th Feb update] (Posted 5th February 2011)

done a whole lot of looking at the costume recently. neck ruff is made, fabrics for completing the carapace are all picked out, few more bits and bobs for the robes.

the arms are next. i can't really move on until i have the arms sorted. having a spot of urgh sorting the right hinges for the elbow, but i'm sure a trip around B&Q will turn up something.

[25th jan update] (Posted 25th January 2011)

most of the understructure is complete now. carapace is at about 85% done. working on the arms next, which will be a bit of a puzzle!

[28th dec update] (Posted 28th December 2010)

finished the basic framework for the eyes, support points still need to be added in, but are all designed ready for sculpture.

hoping for the eye rig to be ready for the end of jan, and the other facial movements to be started.

[X-mas day update] *¬* (Posted 25th December 2010)

making of the dark crystal book for xmas, get.

incredible resource, lots of detailed photos of the guts of the skeksis suits. i feel pretty fortunate to have found a copy of it for my folks to buy, the book being over 28 years old. it's also in pretty amazing condition for it's age, with no tears, and very little signs of age. to be truthful, i've bought off the shelf books in worse condition.

[Note to self] (Posted 20th October 2010)

Beau Touche

rucksack

keep working on ideas for carapace

[31 July update] practice time! (Posted 31st July 2010)

little bit of a skin detail sculpt. didn't go too detailed as i was going to destroy it straight after sculpting.

eye is a 36mm crystal glass blank, clay is white newplast.

[note to self] (Posted 31st July 2010)

Noile

[08th July research update] (Posted 8th July 2010)

more research stuff!

Skeksis Body puppet from the 1982 movie "The Dark Crystal" by Jim Henson. As many as 3 puppeteers were needed to articulate the fingers, eyes and facial movements from outside of one of these creatures while the main puppeteer performed from inside the Skeksis moving the head, arms and body. The bulk of the puppet was attached to a backpack carried on the main puppeteer's shoulders which kept his hands free to manipulate all these parts. There is no way to see out of the creature once inside so a small television monitor was attached to the backpack. This allowed the puppeteer inside the body to see where he was going.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92BgINy8rL0

[20th june.... update?] (more like an infodump) (Posted 20th June 2010)

if you're wondering why the chunk of design notes, i learned my lesson last project when i lost all my research to a power surge that cause my HD to corrupt.

taken from the book of Habidabad

These notes are a compilation from a memo of rediscussions between Michael McCormick, Sarah Bradpiece, Lyle Conway, Vin Burnham, Leigh Donaldson, Brian Froud and Sherry Amott, and notes from a script meeting attended by Jim Henson, David Odell, Brian Froud, Duncan Kenworthy, Michael McCormick, Lyle Conway and Sherry Amott.

Each indicated by color.

General Notes

Special voices/sounds for each
Garthim Master: spurs sound
Artist-Designer: swish, rustle of silks
Historian: shushes, hums

Symbols - see Ritual Master notes

Power struggles. Two sitting on the bed/throne, perching forward.

Mystic-Skeksis corollaries: Slave master - missing hand and eye - same on one mystic. Scientist - artificial leg and bionic/mechanized arm. Same on a mystic.

All Skeksis have hump cowl configurations, which are combination of organic and mechanical elements.

1 CHAMBERLAIN

Miss Haversham in the woods. King Lear. Looks like a chair, upholstered and stuffed, with hard carved animal parts like Lion's foot legs and Griffin arms. Collar like a headboard. When stripped we see the inside of the back contrast to outside. Also we see mechanical bits worked by his spines and vestigial hands, chair insides - springs, sawdust, horsehair, money, webbing, sacking, underfelt. Work in a coat of arms somehow.

Runs castle. Wheedling, obsequious, golem type.
Secretarial, administrative, carries rolls of scrolls, second to the dying one. Envy. Suspicious, eyes moving a great deal. Smiling. Creates dissension.

2 GENERAL/GARTHIM MASTER

Stern, massive, strong, sneers, is angry. No subtlety, mostly movements of power . . . brute strength, when speaking he never goes quieter than a deep resonant bellow. But, if this is the Alpha of the character, should we also see the Omega - what are his unguarded or weakened characteristics?

3 RITUAL MASTER/HIGH PRIEST

Tallest. Skull-like head. Throbbing temples. Deep-set eyes. Rasputin type with white eyes showing. Hypnotic - like Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Bishop Sheen, Eric Von Stroheim. Witchdoctor scepter. Ring hand to be kissed, has hidden menace - stylized, ritualistic type movement, like Tai Chi, but perhaps clumsy for all his smooth, gliding movements. Conjuring tricks - throwing powders into flames to punctuate his speech. Self-aggrandizement: conjures up false spirits. Carries (palms) a deck of tarot cards. Skeksis symbols - perversion of Urskeks symbols. Floor and wall markings. 21 spaces in floor, 21 original Urskeks masters, split into 21 Skeksis and 21 Mystics, 21 black magic symbols. Triangles, threes. 9 power centers. Double Helix, double spiral. Transcendent power - two snakes intertwined. These same symbols different styles appear in the crystal room/council chamber, floor patterns, mystic back piece, ritual master costume, and Aughra's costume. Masonic imagery - lower piece - Masonic apron. Symbol of the crystal - neckpiece, crescent with spike. Over apron or waistcoat - pockets for fobs, chains, pieces to put on - added ecclesiastical bits, dingle-dangles, badges of office plus straps, holders for stomach. Bogus religious stuff - obvious switch on staff to turn on light - like gaudy religious grotto. Reliquary boxes with glass fronts set into costume, going down the ribbon bands over robe. Like in the Russian film IVAN THE TERRIBLE, or as in BORIS GODUNOV, Russian orthodox Icons-encrusted.

High Priest. Controlled, precise, formal, straight backed, carrying ceremonial ornaments, a snob. Tarot readings, astrology-horoscope, myth making. Shaman, false magician. Connection with the other world solely for their own mafarious ends. False augurs.

4 SLAVE MASTER/EXECUTIONER

We see him kicking, whipping slaves. Evilly silent. Hisses. Sneers. Metallic hook, sheathed. Pulls off sheath, revealing hook, herds slaves around. Directs their movements. Sees that dead slaves are carried away, or that machinery rolls over the dead ones, like in pyramid building. Surcoat - leather, hooks, metal clasps, chains, manacles. More chains, padlocks. Hook seen grabbing peasant hands, neck, head. Hook seen pinning notes between peasants to floor. Back prong on costume opens and closes like scissors. Shiny fabric on gown like snakeskin, colors/tones like slaves. Head attached to collar with chains. Scars. Moist, wet snakeskin texture, like layers of crocodile skins, surround head-neck area, yet remain flexible like gearshift box surround. Like mock turtle plastic wrinkled pieces in Alice in Wonderland. Slave control tools, Garthim like claws. Hard plates, chain mail, armor. Hanging sleeves with detailed hard and soft bits. Back plate - black shiny, patent leather, put together and stitched like a glove. Slavemaster keeps slaves from playing. Tally sticks of dead slaves. Scalps?

Slave master: in charge of the eye blanking, getting rid of slaves, rules the abattoirs (in terms of slaughtering the food sources). Has eye patch.

5 HISTORIAN

Sitting on a stool, knees up, peering over tomes. Tail wrapped around stool, flicks tail. Blotter pad. Expandable reading glass prop. (Like Kermit on the stool - Skeksis as actual hand puppet). Historian has characteristics of the idiot. Looks like a book. Pleated fabric like pages. Bookmarks in the pleating. Surcoat like a green-tooled leather book cover. Marbled inside book flyleaves. (Lining of surcoat, lining of collar? To better identify heads). Live bookworms, pressed flowers, writing like print on fabric to look like pages. Head - long snout gets caught in the books. When head projects out of collar, he assumes an academic, pedantic tone. When head retreats into collar he assumes other persona - babbling, cackling, childlike, falls asleep like dormouse. Has a group of peasants doing illuminations. Add a court photographer. Historian shushes, hums.

Smallest. Lopsided face, constantly looking confused. Goes where angels fear to tread. Does everything out in the open . . . completely opposite of the others . . . maybe the General/Garthim master is his idol. Idiot gets hit and laughed at a lot. He limps. I think this is a valuable character. Possible use for a plot change. Perhaps this is another race? Problem of breaking up the hierarchy.
Smallest. Historian, always carrying scrolls, writing notes when Skeksis meet. This job could be the Chamberlain's. Professor, librarian, historian, solicitor. Propaganda making, rewriting history, has the power of the written word - but as a solicitor who uses words for their power only, not for truth. Argues any side of the case that's useful at the moment. Actively corrupt.

6 GOURMET

Head - Robert Morley. Jowly, bushy eyebrows, sweaty, burping. Stuffs food into cheeks. Lifts head to swallow, like a pelican. See food traveling down. Cheek bulges mechanized. Wine stains. Bits of encrusted food. Slaves always carrying trays of food for him - silver goblets, small sugar things, tidbits for him to nibble. When he talks he sprays food and saliva. Has a serviette of handkerchief tucked into sleeve. Surcoat dark glaze - crème brulee! Inside collar - skirts, pantaloons, like Roast Pork of Leg of Lamb. Back costume piece like a Lobster of Crayfish presented on a tray. Feelers reach over back of Skeksis and move. Pastry on shoulder rolls. Scored Pork with cloves and cherries, with apricot glaze. Sausage skirt. Body bulges, tummy pops buttons, slits gape, pink extrudes. Ham pale pink, edges of white fat. Has beautiful crystal goblet with murky wine. Has soup that eats him - clams in soup. Hands - long fingernail to pick teeth. Little finger to cock, lifting teacups.

Gourmet cook, sensual, glutinous, lustful, sloth. Slob, food encrusted, slovenly, fat.

7 ARTIST/INTERIOR DESIGNER

Designs fabric, jewelry, furnishings. Decadent, perverted sexually, sensual hedonistic, vain, theatrical. Highly emotional, shining. I believe his main function would be to dress and bejewel himself (and other Skeksis?) Heavily made up with jewels and equipment of mascara. Artist's power play might be to create a strange new jewel, then bribe the Ritual Master to falsely augur this jewel - i.e. everyone must have one, and must go to the artist to get it.

Has slaves, peasants with makeup pots, powder puffs. Giggles. Slimmer belly than design? Swishes, rustle of silks.

8 SCIENTIST/DOCTOR

Pale. Yoke-like neck brace or brace with metal bits. White or pink, hinged chrome-plated sections. Plastic and chrome tubes. Latex sheeting thing for under or over sleeves. Leg appliance - exaggerated. Very finely mechanized. Gears, levers, machine parts. Gleaming metals, glass. Limps with cane. Special sound of artificial leg. Constantly fingering his instruments. Bionic type arm. External structure on outside of atrophied arm, to help it move - pneumatic devices - hisses, pins into bones of arm. Structure starts at cowl, leads off from it down his arm - view from side of body like a nautilus machine, or wheelchair, or locomotive wheels. Loci description. Italian futurist sculpture, movement machine, other side of body normal. Wound on sleeve, suture pins. Transparent tubes - liquids, fluids. Materials like clear cast resins and polypropylenes. Cowl like iron lung - a medical support system for him. It hisses. Electrodes to head from cowl with tubes and liquids. Pacemaker, colostomy bag. Tube with liquids going into face - one color going in, another color leading out, or different color threads pulled through bubbling liquids like Christmas tree candles. Epileptic, petit mals, Oxygen tents, waste bags, liquid receivers. Back of train gauze, with bloodstains on hem. Polythene worked in somehow. Thick bandages on surcoat - cotton wool with frayed gauze over. Back spine - metallic blades. Leeches, bloodletting. Hanging sleeve piece with pockets for surgical instruments. Keith Moon pervert - flasher with raincoat.

Little beady eyes, mad. I don't think he's mad. He's always studying, observing, thinking. Maybe he constantly has scientific tools about him, (equivalent of stethoscope, speculum, etc.) He's the intellectual. Experimenting with reproduction. Has telescopic eyepiece, possibly with light source, for peering intently.

9 TREASURER

Thinnest, counting - abacus collar. Tiny brass scale on hook. Weights, measures, coins, purses. Suggestions of chains and padlocks, fastening devices, keys. Combination lock with dials. Pocket calculator. Gold mesh bags and misers purses. Sagging and bulging pockets, pocket in vest. Silas Marner type. Pound signs on pupils. Biting a coin to test for gold. Touch stone to test gold, sound of cash register or reacts to sound of coin. Codpiece purse - two coins and a fountain, or miser's bag. Details - wax edgings - seals Hieroglyphics, for quantities of wealth. Milling. Embossing - shallow relief. Spines open out to the sides. Jeweler's loop to look at mint marks - decorative notches on staff like tally sticks. Casket or chest under his arm, which he strokes. Spines - weighing scale-like shape. Weights and chains. Weights with holes in it stacked on a rod.

Avarice, handles jewels and money.

10 EMPEROR/DYING ONE

Dark-faced, crumbling, dark head on the pale pillows. Mystic goes pale when he dies, Skeksis goes dark. Dark - going off like a piece of bad fruit. Or white faced in death, wheezing, excretion from eyes, nose, mouth. Deterioration of Skeksis: build up layers of wax with high melting points. Hard bits fall off separately, soft bits slough away at different rates.

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&quot;They are part reptile, part predatory bird, part dragon.&quot; - Brian Froud

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For every Mystic there was a corresponding Skeksis. SkekTek the Scientist was the counterpart of urTih the Alchemist. SkekAyuk the Gourmand was the alter ego of urAmaj the Cook. The Skeksis had control of the castle where the Crystal was kept; in its chambers they practiced their evil arts, hating one another as much as they hated the rest of the world.

Evil masters of a corrupt culture, they rule through the power of a darkened crystal suspended at the heart of their encrusted castle. From, there, they have turned all good in the world into evil. They have bird-like beaks and reptilian bodies, but under their elaborate robes of velvet, lace, and brocade, there is only decay.

Their figures are sinister and reptilian. They have hooded, uneasy eyes above their beaklike jaws. They stand bulky in the thick layers of robes with which they have draped their skinny, scaly bodies over eons, never removing a layer but adding another as one decays. They walk on their hind legs with their forelegs poised in the air. Their talons are arched and their heads protrude from humped cowls, thrust out as if to strike.

Their bodies decompose with remarkable haste, having no soul to arrest the process. It is like the creation of volcanic rock with the space of a minute or two. Their flesh seems to boil, rise, blacken, and then transform into rock that rapidly develops gaping cracks and festering caves. Soon they crumble into pebbles. A sour, grey dust thinly films the air.

The assumption that pure spirituality was in some sense a higher form of being than brute matter was not self-evident to them.

Force, greed, and ruthlessness are the qualities the Skeksis respect in a ruler.

Skeksis are carnivorous. They have been known to eat roasted Nebrie and small, hairy-legged shellfish.

They have cold reptilian eyes and long necks.

The Skeksis always use the Garthim for their hunting because they aren't terribly good at it themselves.

Pettiness was a strong suit among the Skeksis.

Since the division after the Great Conjunction eons ago, the Skeksis had left the urRu to themselves in their valley. They had to: the object and its mirror image could not be combined except in cancellation of both. In any case, the Skeksis never had needed the urRu: impractical, old, chanting visionaries, obsessed solely with their collective inner life, their values diametrically opposed to those to which the Skeksis ascribed.

The Skeksis had profited prodigiously from the knowledge and from their control of the Crystal within the fortress they had carved from the mountain that contained it. Along all the ley-lines of energy around the planet, they had continuously fed noxious pulses, fomenting misery and weakness throughout their world. And along the same ley-lines they had sucked in the geodynamic energies. Lightning focused into the Standing Stones of the Valley and transmitted to the castle. The Skeksis controlled the nodal points of the planet by terrestrial acupuncture.

To the Skeksis, the Division of the urSkeks was a great triumph; even the darkening of the Crystal is interpreted favorably.

Every one of the Skeksis desired to have sole credit for the Garthim.

They had a demand for repetitive flamboyance in their materials.

There were considerable mutation in the Skeksis during the period of their degeneration. The Skeksis did not care to keep records of their former appearance.

Much of the Skeksis' descriptions of their work was committed to parchment made from Nebrie skin. Smooth and unblemished, it crumbles after a few centuries.

The bodies of the Skeksis are founded on deeply disordered principles. Only in their heads does an intelligible pattern remain.

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Between skekUng the Garthim-Master and skekSil the Chamberlain there was bitter rivalry, for skekSil hoped his smiling poison and suspicious craft would lead him, not skekUng, to succeed to the Emperor's glory. Both were deceived.

He has a scrawny neck and a moist and unctuous body. He is the Chief Secretary, and therefore next in line to the throne.

He has a wheedling voice that all the others loath.

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Comments from Steven Gregory, associate costume designer:

I cut all the toile's (fabric patterns) for the Skesis. The Chamberlain had advanced the most. I worked with Sarah Bradpiece at Henson's in Hampstead. I was introduced to Duncan Kenworthy by Vin Burnham. They wanted me to do a 5 day week, but the naval gazing was a very slow process. I went in one day a week and cut a complete pattern of each character's costume. My theatrical eye could see possibilities in Brian Froud's wonderful drawings. The experience of having my work shown to Jim Henson and Brian Froud, as thought it had been done by our leader, was rather galling. I thought my involvement had finished and later, whilst on holiday in Germany, I had a call from Duncan. They wanted me to come back to do the art work on the costumes. I insisted on a separate workshop to get some kind of control over this process. Sleeves had been made by one person, a collar by another, it looked like a jumble sale from the woman's institute. I could see that none had used an organic approach to the decoration elements. I set about the costumes. I had makers in tears when they saw what I had done, but Brian Froud loved it.

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[20th may 2010 update] (Posted 20th May 2010)

rise from your grave!!

project is in pre-production.

[21st august update] (Posted 21st August 2009)

big upgrade in plans. i'm excited for one!