McKenzie brings the creators to Point Dume State Beach, a site immediately recognizable to fans of Planet of the Apes or Iron Man. Beside her are several tall shields, damaged by different kinds of substances - ice, tar, quills - and as the artists' imaginations start churning, McKenzie stuns them all by saying that their first solo challenge will be to create a dragon that breathes one of the substances represented on the shields. Most of the artists are thrilled to be working on dragons, but to make a dragon on their own? In 18 hours? That's another thing, entirely.
In the lab, Chloe starts sculpting manically - she has a vision of a sandblasting, seahorse dragon with a face, chest, back, AND cowl piece - yeah, it's a lot to get done. Tess takes the misstep of sculpting one side of her quilled dragon's face before the other, making symmetry much harder to attain and costing a ton of time. Rashaad and Tyler are zooming along, however, and by the end of the day they both have their face molds done, and Tyler has his mold poured and ready to work on for day two.
Fabrication is the name of the game the following day. Tanner makes a scale-by-scale coat out of foam and Rashaad fabricates a complete chest and back as well as arms and creepy, sexy, leathery wings. Tyler, who's way ahead of the game, finds he has extra time to fabricate wings, extending his concept of an ice-breathing dragon-vulture hybrid. Then, he vacuforms some icicles for the horns. Just for funsies.
Chloe is having a much harder time. Though she was able to finish her key sculpts in time, she didn't get to the chest or back, and the mold for her cowl is locked. On application day, she has to run the piece in polyfoam, a troublesome material, and when she removes the piece from the mold, she's unable to do so without cutting it away. This makes it unusable, and the best lemonade she can make out of these lemons is to use the cowl to keep the shape, paint as much as she has to, throw a cloth over the part that's unpainted, and do a kickass paint job on the rest. She's mortified by her work and certain that she's going home (Spoiler alert: she's fine).
Tess also has to cut one of her dragon legs off the core, and blending it back together takes a precious amount of time that she would've used to paint her piece and arrange the quills in a harmonious way. Niko also has mold woes: his chest mold cracks as he tries to free it, meaning he's going to have to airbrush the entire chest of the model instead of banging out a gorgeous paint job across the face and chest. Both Tess and Niko wind up in bottom looks this week, reminding us at home to manage our time wisely...we can all learn something from Face Off!
Also in bottom looks is Daniel, whose slime-spitting dragon looks sort of like the love child of a brightly painted ferengi and a cat. As Glenn notes, it's not particularly dragon-like - well, not at all - and when Daniel finishes the look with a floral, silk robe, the overall effect is downright confusing. The judges decide that he will leave the competition this week, and he does so gracefully and with a will to keep going.
In top looks are time-management mavens Tyler and Rashaad, as well as George, whose more traditional fire-oriented dragon looks as though it were stamped from molten bronze. The judges are impressed that Rashaad was able to fabricate and sculpt as much as he was, and Glenn is especially pleased to see such a multifaceted paint job. But it's Tyler's ice-dwelling vulture dragon that wins the day. Not only did he accomplish a ton of work, but the visual storytelling elements in his piece transport us to another world. He's ecstatic at winning, and beams a smile that can, no doubt, be seen from space.
Get a sneak peek at the next episode of Face Off, airing Tuesday at 9/8c on syfy
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