RECAP! Face Off: Skull Island: Reign of Kong

We’re down to the semi-finals. Four contestants left. Only three can move forward into the finale. Here we go.

Mel, Melissa, Walter, and Rob are being driven through what looks like the Universal Backlot (or subsequent outdoor set) in a green caravan. The dramatic music combined with the overreactions of the artists make it seem like it’s much scarier than it is. Once they arrive, McKenzie greets them, then informs the remaining crew that their challenge will involve Skull Island and King Kong.

Standing with McKenzie is Executive Produce for Universal Creative, Mike West. He’s here to explain (read: plug) Universal Orlando’s new attraction – Skull Island: Reign of Kong. He tries to explain the ride without giving too much away, and I’m left a little confused. Is it like Indiana Jones, where you’re in a real vehicle going through a real set? Or is it more of a virtual reality + ride like Transformers? I just don’t know.

But it doesn’t matter right now. The artists are tasked with creating “evolved” intelligent being from a set of animal-like creatures. Bonus! The winner of this challenge gets a trip for two to Universal Studios Florida. Hooray!

By claiming fossils of these creatures, the artists choose their inspiration.

Walter has a Terapusmordax. Looks like a giant, giant bat. Walter’s deciding the move the wings from the arms to the back, leaving the creature with arms free for fighting.

Mel’s is really bug-like, with insect armor.

Rob is working with a dinosaur hybrid – Vastatosaurus Rex, or V. Rex, to his friends. Rob is making a conscious effort to keep realistic goals and not over-burden himself like last week.

And finally, Melissa’s got crab. Well, it’s a huge crustacean-like scavenger.

Back at the lab, Walter’s spending lots of time on the face. Lots of wrinkles and details. Melissa’s already planning the weird antennae and all that she’ll be sticking onto the face. Rob’s initial sculpt is a little silly-looking, with a big grin, so he adds teeth to… well, give it some bite.

The Westmores show up. Mr. Westmore warns Rob to pick and choose what will be seen and to hide everything else. With Melissa, he suggests she bring the face sculpt down to the neck, just for seamlessness. He gives some painting advice to Walter. And with Mel, it’s a little tougher. She’s putting in several fake eyes, and Mr. Westmore warns this could look too much like a mask.

This promptly puts Mel in panic-mode, as she realizes she’s doing things the judges hate: static eyes, beak around the mouth. She decides to start over.

Rob is putting lots of effort into the scaling of his piece. Melissa is adding texture to her piece using pearls.

Day 2 starts with Walter making a slip cast of his face so he can properly line it up with his cowl. Mel is starting all over again, again. Now, she’s creating plates out of geometric shapes, placing them on the face, trusting they will work together. So far, they do.

Rob is working on a back piece, giving his overall character a cool silhouette, he hopes.

Walter is now fabricating the giant wings. His plan was to create a mechanism where his model can pull a string and the wings would pop up. But, as is often the case in these situations, it doesn’t work. The springs bent, and now Walter must think of a new plan involving static wings.

Melissa is also fabricating like a fiend, creating pinchers and a piece that will go around the back of the head, in lieu of a cowl.

Mel, on the other hand, is hesitantly fabricating. She admits it’s not her strong suit, but she’s gonna have a go at it. She’s creating a chest and an “insect butt” with l200 and A LOT of duct tape.

Day 2 ends with Walter frustrated about his latex wings and the crew sit around mulling their futures.

On Application Day, Mel is working hard on painting her fabricated piece. Melissa is still fabricating away, before jumping into painting. Rob only begins his paint job with less than an hour until Last Looks.

In Last Looks, Mel is still using duct tape to put her look together. Rob is really unhappy with his progress, and ends up throwing grass onto his model just to cover him up.

My Amateur Impressions:

Mel’s Decarnocimex: Hmmm. I kinda like it. The back is really cool. And I like the colors. But there’s something weird with the mouth.

Walter’s Terapusmordax: Truthfully, not a huge fan of the wings. The face is good, though it eerily reminds me of a silicon mask we have at the haunted house.

Melissa’s Arachnocidis (or Arachno-Claw, because only some get nicknames): It looks pretty cool. The paint job and detail are amazing. You can see the model’s lips, though, and I’m not sure if that’s intentional, but it throws me off a little.

Rob’s Vastatosaurus: Ummmm…. huh. Kind of disappointing from Rob. While the detail scale work is obviously incredible, the paint job and bare skin on the model are total drawbacks.

The Professionals’ Impressions:

Glenn wishes Mel’s mouth was synthesized with the model. They wish Walter’s wings were instead folded on the back instead of up and out. They are very impressed with Rob’s sculpture, not so much his cover-up job.

The three going into the finale are… Melissa, Rob, and Walter, with Melissa winning the trip to Universal Studios.

Poor Mel is going home, just missing her shot at the finale.

Overall Thoughts: Even though I can’t necessarily argue, I’m really sad to see Mel go. I’m also curious to know how Rob’s makeup would’ve been judged in an earlier round, without all those wins behind him. The challenge itself was okay, and while there was the usual stress, there wasn’t much drama, which is also usual this season.

Beauty in Words:

“I don’t want to toot my own fabrication horn but…… toot toot.” — Mel.

“It’s super good to meet you I’m just spray painting your butt right now.” — Mel.

“I really did like the form language.” — #Nevellism. Drink!

 

One more left, folks! And a 2-parter!

(I need something else to RECAP until Face Off comes back! But what? Kimmy Schmidt? Game of Thrones? Help me out with some suggestions!)

 

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