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GUEST BLOG: How To Transform Yourself Into A Klingon

John Paladin shares his tips for your Klingon transformation

I’m John Paladin and I do the convention makeup for the Star Trek actors who perform their characters at the conventions you attend: Robert O’Reilly, J.G. Hertzler, Suzie Plakson, Max Grodenchik, Aron Eisenberg, Barbara March, Gwynyth Walsh, and Casey Biggs. asked me to pass along a few tips to help you put together your Halloween or convention Star Trek character without spending an arm and a leg.

Since my specialty is Klingons, we’ll use them for an example here, but any character you decide on will employ the same basic techniques.  Start with your hot-foam forehead and wig, adhesive, rubber mask grease paint, 99% alcohol, makeup brushes, makeup sponges, Q-tips, Duo adhesive and translucent powder.  Most everything you’ll need is available at your local drug store at inexpensive prices. What you can’t find at your local drug store, you can get online at sci-fi makeup suppliers.

Clean your skin with the alcohol or witch hazel. Apply adhesive to the center point over your nose and other areas on your forehead where the appliance will be fitted. I use silicone adhesive [Telesis 5] or pros-aide. Both can be purchased online at a sci-fi makeup supplier. For me, silicone adhesive works the best. It goes on easy, holds all day, and is easily removed with alcohol. It is also the most expensive item you’ll purchase, but if you’re careful you can make it last for a longer period of time.

If you use pros-aide, you’ll need a special remover. Ask your supplier for details. Fit the appliance to your forehead being careful of the edges. Blending the edges is EVERYTHING to creating a final look to your character. Use the duo adhesive to blend the edges and powder when the duo is dry.

Now, with a sponge or brush dabbed in the alcohol and excess removed, you can start applying the rubber mask grease paint. I apply it with alcohol to give the makeup layers a washed look, allowing each layer to compliment the other. When you have your base coat, shading, and highlights the way you want them to look, powder and set the makeup. Use the adhesive to glue your wig to the top of the forehead appliance, use crepe hair for eyebrows, and you are ready to go.

These are just basic tips. You can get more details at your Halloween shop or online where you get your makeup supplies.

This article was originally published on October 17, 2013.

About John Paladin:

John Paladin is a former radio disc jockey, has had two records on the country charts, and has acting credentials in radio commercials, TV commercials and movies. He was a drummer in two country bands and has worked with Dave Dudley, Bobby Bare, Jack Scott and many others. He currently owns Paladin Productions, Inc., his own audio production company.

Paladin’s makeup expertise goes back over 20 years, including serving as J.G. Hertzler’s personal makeup artist on Star Trek: Of Gods and Men. He was the head special FX makeup artist on Star Trek: Kitumba (both from Star Trek: Phase II Productions).  He is also featured as a Klingon in Kitumba. Currently, he is the convention makeup artist for J.G. Hertzler, Robert O’Reilly, Suzie Plakson, Max Grodenchik, Aron Eisenberg, Barbara March, Gwynyth Walsh and Casey Biggs.