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Recap: Face Off Season 13, Episode 7: Maritime Monsters

McKenzie introduces this week’s challenge (image: SyFy)

Tonight’s episode of Face Off begins with the artists walking into the Face Off Lab that has been decorated a bit like the inside of a ship, Pirates of the Caribbean style. McKenzie is waiting for them next to a large table and explains about the life of sailors. This week’s Spotlight Challenge will have the artists making original sea monsters inspired by the illustrations on a real 16th-century map.

Matt V Walter
Derek V Mel
Jordan V Damien

She reminds them how close they are to the final and stresses how important it is to really show what they’re made of. Then she explains this week’s twist. The makeups will be displayed in their “Natural Habitat” which is to say, underwater. There’s a mixed bag of reactions about that twist but no one seems super thrilled to do it.

The design phase begins immediately, and Matt does have the advantage here because he won the underwater challenge in his original season. There are some differences with doing a waterproof look in how you apply and paint the prosthetics and it should be interesting to watch play out. Mel has some neat ideas in mixing the image of a “sea horse” and an actual seahorse. If she can execute it, it could be neat. This time, the monsters are different for each artist, not a pair using the same image for inspiration, so it doesn’t fit the battle royale idea that the rest of this season has put forward except that they’re still going head to head in pairs. I’m seeing some very interesting sculpts so far using both the images on the map and actual sea critters for their inspirations.

Michael Westmore arrives and starts at Mel’s workstation where he cautions her on her color choice to not lay a black base under bright colors but the other way around. He tells Walter that he’s really catching the human in his look and maybe he should add more fish and be sure to use epoxy on the tusks. At Damien’s station, he thinks Damien should give it some more character in the muzzle. In Derek’s look he sees a bat instead of fish creature. He needs to push it farther and change the profile up. Think more aquatic. He thinks Jordan has really captured the idea, but he should be careful with supporting the lower jaw and maybe add a hole to drain the water. He tells Matt that there are some places where he’s out of the box but maybe he needs to bring more creature into the sculpt.

Everyone is running with his suggestions and finagling their looks before going into the mold room. Mel is struggling to get the face sculpted and may need to sleep on it. Walter is trying to make the little details look functional which is nice and is something not all the artists do.

Day Two begins with a rush and Mel’s got some fresh eyes and fresh ideas and is getting the look done. Everyone seems to be excited about what they’re doing and the ideas all seem to be coming together pretty well. There are a lot of interesting textures being used. Walter has some interesting ideas using cellophane for the motion in the water. Derek is using a fabric that turns super soft in the water but he’s layering it with latex to give that softness a little form. Mel is making a hair and latex mane for her horse creature and it could be interesting.

At the end of the day, there are some nerves for application day because it is going to take longer to apply to do it right, so it doesn’t come off in the water.

On application day, everyone seems to know what they need to do to make it work and be waterproof. Each prosthetic needs to be sealed, but everyone’s got to do the same process. Everyone is more worried about their pieces falling off or falling apart and I think paint might suffer this week. Some of the models are doing a bit of helping hands work. Derek has a little problem with an edge not laying down right but he has a few extra pieces to use as blenders and it seems to work. Jordan’s baked in expression is probably going to work in his favor this time, so long as everything sealed well. Walter’s paint is looking beautiful so far and that’s like a challenge to Matt who immediately takes up the airbrush to start the process. I did notice that Mel did exactly what Michael Westmore suggested she didn’t do and did it backwards and her yellow is mostly going green because she used a black base.

Heading into Last Looks, there are some definite nerves from Mel, she sounds like she’s already lost. This seems to be more of a make it work challenge than a confident challenge except for Walter, he has a lot of confidence. Matt takes the extra step of setting spray and we’ll see how it goes.

On the reveal stage, McKenzie is waiting for them where she introduces the judges: Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill, and Neville Page before she reintroduces the challenge and begins the runway show. We get to see the looks and then each character gets into the water for the up close and personal judges’ walk.

Mel V Derek: Sea Monsters (image: SyFy)

Mell V Derek: interesting, don’t see the horse in Mel’s at all on stage. It’s both too dark and too bright in places. Derek’s is weird and strange and awesome and still somehow feminine. Judges In the water: They love Derek’s fins and it is even better underwater. But the they think Mel’s face gets worse under water. The mane works better for sure. It’s bizarre, almost Day-Glo and the colors throw it off. The sculpt didn’t feel terrestrial or mythological but very alien. The colors didn’t work at all.
Winner: Derek

Walter V Matt: Sea Monsters (image: SyFy)

Walter V Matt: Both looks are neat. Both have good presence. Similar color schemes. These are both really amazing looks. Matt’s is a little more otherworldly to me but they’re both great. This one is the closest challenge match I think there’s been all season so far. Judges: In the water: Walter’s has good color and flow. They like that the fins seem to have a purpose. Matt’s look is fantastic and the paint is even better underwater. He has really risky forms but it’s good. Absolutely phenomenal head shape. Good balance between that shape and the others, works very well. The chest plate moved well under water. Profile view is just perfect. Sublime details.

Winner: Matt






Jordan V Damien: Sea Monsters (image: SyFy)

Jordan V Damien: Jordan’s is cool. The face is super static, but so are most fish. It’s neat and scary. Damien’s is interesting but a little flat and unfinished. You can tell he didn’t have the time for his usual paint. Judges: In water: Jordan has a great color palette and has made some really smart decisions. Great profile. Very purposeful and believable. It worked really well underwater. Damien’s color works against the sculpt and the paint and the fins are falling apart in the water. The face shapes are beautiful but the paint and the texturing, not so much. The paint doesn’t help but fights the sculpt because of how it was painted. A lot of problems in the water. This paint job sucks. It’s just not finished.

Winner: Jordan

Tonight’s winner: Jordan





A better look at Jordan’s Monster (image: SyFy)

Honestly, if tonight were an elimination challenge, Mel and Damien would definitely be going home. I think this year’s finale is going to be absolutely amazing. With the level of skill these artists are showing, I am really looking forward to it. I think it’s going to come down to who has the best concept for the challenge. I still think Walter is probably going to win but dang it if Matt isn’t going to make him work for it. That third spot could be anyone of the rest of the artists. I suppose we’ll find out at next week’s semi-finals.


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