DRACULA (and Vampire) ACTORS:
Isabel Adjani. (Mina in Nosferatu) Dark Blue eyes, Black hair
Lionel Atwill. (Inspector Kroegh) Brown hair
John Barrymore. (Mr. Hyde, Svengali) Medium brown hair
Carroll Borland. (Luna) Brown hair
John Carradine. (Dracula) Brown hair-grey as Dracula
Lon Chaney, Jr. (The Wolf Man, Man Made Monster) Brown hair
Dwight Frye. (Renfield, Fritz...) Dark Blond
Klaus Kinski. (Nosferatu)
Bela Lugosi. -piercing blue eyes- Dark brown hair
Maila "Vampira" Nurmi. (TV Host) Blond hair, Black wig
Max Schreck. (Count Orlok) Brownish-grey Nosferatu tufts
Ernest Thesiger. -greyish blue eyes- (Dr. Praetorious) Grey hair
Conrad Veidt. (Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Man who Laughs) Dark brown hair
Paul Wegener. (the Golem) Brown hair
Zacherley-the Cool Ghoul. (TV Host) Almost black hair in 'Ol Transylvania, now grey
Lon Chaney, Sr. (Hunchback, Phantom, Vampire...) Brown hair
Colin Clive. (Dr. Frankenstein) Dark brown hair
Gloria Holden. (Dracula's Daughter) Dark brown Hair
Henry Hull. (Werewolf of London) Brown Hair
Boris Karloff. - dark brown eyes- (Frankenstein, "Black Cat"...) Brown hair
Charles Laughton. (Dr. Moreau, Hunchback) Light brown hair
Fredric March. (Mr. Hyde) Brown hair
Claude Rains. (Phantom of the Opera) Mousy brown top, grey sides
Basil Rathbone. (Wolf Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes) Dark brown hair
Glenn Strange. (Frankenstein Monster, Petro) Brown hair
George Zucco. (The High Priest of Karnak) Grey hair
Tom Tyler. (Captain Marvel, Mummy--See "Mummy" notes) Brown Hair
Elsa Lanchester. (The Bride Of Frankenstein) Red hair; and it is this
that was pulled over a wire frame in her most famous
appearance. The silver shocks
are not perfectly balanced at her temples. The
left side starts closer to her ear.
Try it- you'll love the look as opposed
to that black hair Universal "decided" to
use in its licensing directives!
Barbara Steele. (Black Sunday) Black Hair
HAZEL Eyes (variable tones, blue-green-grey)-
Jeremy Brett.(Sherlock Holmes)Brown hair
Robert Mitchum.(Night of the Hunter) Light Brown hair
Mary Philbin.(Phantom of the Opera) Brown hair
Edgar A. Poe. (author) Brown Hair, almost Black
Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari: Veidt's Cesare (pronounced by All Good Germans as "SehZahrr") wears a pasty white greasepaint. Open to interpretation since his character may be theatrical as the Somnambulist, or he may be truly pale. For a greasepaint effect, thick white drybrusing after coating the face will help give a good effect. Leave some untouched flesh areas in the ears and neck. A lighter dusting of make-up on the hands works well. "Chalk" in his geometric eye make-up. Thin black lips may not look as good as deep dark red lips do. The piercing Blue eyes should not be overly bloodshot. On his black body stocking, chalk in the triangular patterns in pale pastel green, blue or even pink. There may be more than just that "V" on his chest if you look at a good print of the film.
Jane wears a pale gown. Blue, lavender, green, or pink can all work well depending on your preferences. A natural pale flesh, understated red lips and subtle eyeshadow help the contrast between the stark Cesare and victim.
Nosferatu: Count Orlock has a very pale flesh. Bluish and purple veiny tints
work well, as does chalky white. He wears a nobleman's frock of heavy wool; probably
green, blue or brown. Maroon or red seem to have become popular from two high profile commercial releases, but for accuracy to the film this does not seem to have an authentic feel. The cuffs could be worn velvet, and generally appear to be of a darker tone than the body and collar of the frock. My personal preference is German Army Field Grey with bottle green trim; similar to a huntsman's coat of the last century. Pants would be dark navy blue, dark brown or black. His hat is probably black, though it could also match the cuffs of his coat. Worn velvet is likely as the material for the hat.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Red hair, as described in the novel is evidenced
by Chaney's pursuit of accuracy. His complexion is ruddy. Laughton's hair
was red as well, but the complexion is more sallow. Based on photos, LC
wore brownish or rust coloured tights with a green frock. Lobby cards
portray CL in an olive outfit, with no change in colour on tights. For both
actors, pale blue, grey, and amber shirts are plausible under the frock.
Shoes-brown, or even a rusty maroon.
The Phantom of the Opera: Brown hair and a sallow complexion are described in the Gaston Lereaux novel. In keeping with the spirit of costumed "opera," green
burgundy and purple hued evening clothes are viable. All would look black on
film. In the masked ball colour sequence of the Chaney film, his gown
appears as red and washed out pink. The "puffs" contrast the flowing robes.
His staff is dark wood with a gold snake. For the 1943 all colour film, Rains
wears a scarlet lined cape over his black evening clothes and vest. A pale
blue mask hides his face. His hair is a mousy brown on top, and where it is
cut short on the sides and back, it is grey.
Mr. Hyde: Barrymore. This is a kit worthy of many takes. The lighting used in 1920 made natural colours look odd on film. Actors wore green, lavender and yellow-based makeup to look natural on film. Therefore, what you presume to
be red lips may in fact have been yellow! As this character appears on film,
these colours are suggested: Dark brown hair. Complexion is a sort of mocha
brown, but retains ruddiness. Cloak-brown over a black base, and a foxy fur
collar. Blue for the suit adds some colour while still being a "dark suit."
The 1932 Fredric March Hyde is a misshapen Neanderthal, and a healthy flesh over a
tanned base flesh works very well. Hyde's hair is brown, and he retains
Jekyll's black evening clothes. The cape, with black tie-cord, is lined
white, and his silver handled cane holds a milk glass orb.
The Penalty: Blizzard, portrayed by Lon Chaney, is a fairly straight-forward Lon Chaney portrait. Chaney is a little dark complected by the looks of the film--a healthy outdoorsman colour. The costume is on display at the California Museum of Natural History, and is almost the colour of a WWII era USMC officer's uniform. Use a greyish forest green colour with wool gabardine texture. The leather cups worn by the "amputee" Chaney are russet brown leather. The natural wood crutches have dark brown arm rests. The cap is black. As it is held crumpled in the hand of this rare model kit, it is easy to overlook as a rag. There was a second suit worn as well, in blue. In the Kino DVD extras you can see the actual grey-green costume in review!
Island of Lost Souls: Dr. Moreau has greasy black hair and a sweaty porcine
face. His tie is red with fine golden spiral shapes (not paisley). He wears
all white, but some lobby card art tints the shirt light blue.
Woman, with her raven hair, has a relatively pale Polynesian complexion. Her
sarong, like her halter-top, is red with blue flowers. A more challenging
painting task would be the geometric deco patterned version worn mid-film.
This appears to be red, yellow, and blue. Use green or blue shadow around
Kathleen Burke's brown eyes. Her claw-nails are red.
The Werewolf of London: Hull's werewolf has brown fur and darker flesh. Dark
claws. Hull wears a heather tweed coat and dark (red, green, blue, brown...)
muffler. His "college professor" look carries to his pants and brown
oxfords. Hat is dark tweed. For the robed, "lab transformation" kit, a
dark robe-purple, red, black, or hunter green-is worn. Pyjama legs are tannish,
yellow, light blue, or some pale shade.
Man Made Monster: Chaney's "glow-in-the-dark" man is unhealthy looking in the
daylight, and can have a glow paint mixed in to pull off the look. His
rubber outfit is a sort of rusty red-primer colour. There are still many items
made of this colour rubber, like gaskets and heavy-duty hoses.
Vampira: Maila Nurmi's own creation, a Vamp based on the Charles Addams cartoon mother (later called Morticia), fetish elements and some Hollywood leading ladies, wears all black, although some publicity shots in colour show a red belt. She should be pale and have a hint of lavender eyeshadow at the inner corners of her eyes. Her nails are red (cut from tupperware and glued on with model cement!). Consider a set of scratches on her left shoulder/breast, made by her own hand. Finding images of this can be tricky, but I have seen this in some in old magazines when she was a Horror Hostess before 1955. (Her couch is burgundy with a light painted wood frame) For the stockings, consider a mix of brown and black, as deep black can be too stark on a resin model kit. For the Plan 9 Vampira, her old torn dress may show some wear.
London After Midnight: Lon Chaney, Sr.'s toothy "Man in the Beaver Hat"
looks great with blue-green undertones on his pale flesh. He wears reddish
brown hair under his dark hat. The cloak is perhaps dark blue/grey, and the
suit is dark brown.
BELA "DRACULA" LUGOSI: Flesh; his pale face was achieved using green undertones. Max Factor made makeup especially for Lugosi. Green flesh is a tell-tale sign something is wrong with the Count-I prefer a natural pale, maybe offset by a greyish base coat, which is more believable. Lugosi wore dark lip rouge-a deep
burgundy. His black evening clothes are offset with an off-white vest and
tie, and a white handkerchief. The ribbon on his gold medallion is debated as blue or red (Forest Ackerman recalls either one. The medallion was stolen from him.) The
black neck cord seen in most of the stills leads to a monocle. It is silken with
a copper clasp. The monocle itself is a dark tortoise-shell with brass
eyelet for the cord. He wore a ring that is likely gold or silver with a
Here's where it gets interesting-the cape lining; Purple, worn
on stage in the play 1927; Grey, as worn in the 1931 film.
In 1948 for "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein" he wore a shiny black satin with Golden-yellow lining. At this time he wore
the now famous "Uncle Forry" ring, used previously by Chaney, Jr. and
Carradine in Son of Dracula and House of Dracula.
Geraldine Dvorak portrays Dracula's blond bride, in the 1931 film. This
blue-eyed actress also worked as Greta Garbo's double. She wears an off
white gown in the film. A lobby card shows her gown as green, but this is
just a hand-tinted effect.
Mark of the Vampire: Lugosi's "fake" vampire differs little from his Dracula
in costume. For Mark of the Vampire, the production stills show a satiny lined cape, greyish in look, but in the film itself a dark lined (probably the purple Stage Play cape)is used. His son recalls a salmon-satin lined cape, which appears to be the one used in the publicity stills.
His ruffled shirt could be an off white or very light blue. Black tie.
Luna, his "bat-girl" companion, wears a gown with an unusual hue. It is a
pale purple, grey, blue mix-often interpreted as off white. Carroll
Borland's character had nearly black hair. (Personal Interview, 1993)
^*^ At some point Lugosi may have used a red
lined cape, but if he truly did use one it was likely worn in late 1930's to 1950's stock tours of the play, and not one he owned. For the 1943 film Return of the Vampire, Lugosi's cape appears to
be lined in grey . It may also have been his Mark of the Vampire cape.
Lon Chaney, Jr.: Son of Dracula. Alucard has pale flesh with greying brown
moustache and temples. His evening clothes follow the colour scheme Lugosi
wore. The now famous Dracula ring debuted in this film. Cape lining is
intended to be red.
John Carradine: House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula. Pale flesh with
grey hair and moustache. His evening clothes are in the same scheme as
Lugosi's, but more "lived in," if you'll excuse the expression. Cape is
lined red, which photographed as black, and the ring is the one LC Jr. wore
in Son of...
The FRANKENSTEIN MONSTER:
Karloff: all three films. His blue green flesh, closer to green, is
suggested by the make-up. Sallow, undead flesh is a very common
interpretation of what his "real" flesh would look like. Black hair. Matched
pants and jacket in brown or faded black in the 1931 film, with a darker
shirt in contrast. Burgundy or blue could work well as a means of injecting
colour to the piece. In Bride of..., though it is technically the same suit,
the jacket is a touch darker and shows grey lining where it is tattered. The
boots, which are a commercial asphalt spreader knee high boot, are
brown/black. In "Son of Frankenstein" the jacket is made of sheepskin and stiff hide,
with leather strips tying down the open seams on the arms. The woolly,
reddish "vest" has a few spots where the wool is out in clumps-notably on
the mid-back and over the left breast. Sulphur dust and scuffs would be
appropriate for Karloff's last venture as The Monster.
The Monster was
intended to be green in all films, as frame tinting was considered, but left
all actors green! Colour home movies exist on Son of... For the remaining
films, the basic scheme was followed, with minor variations in clothing
colour; LC wore a very dark shirt in contrast to Karloff. Lugosi's monster
is similar to LC, and Strange had a darker suit.
The Bride of Frankenstein: Elsa. This strange beauty is a mix of two sciences--those of Frankenstein and Praetorious. Unlike the grave-borrowed flesh of the Monster, The Bride has perhaps more natural pale flesh. And remember most importantly that her hair is NOT black! The actress speaks of her own red auburn hair being teased over a wire frame.
Frankenstein supporting actors: Fritz, Frye's hunchbacked dwarf, wears dark
clothes-likely blue, brown and black, darker than the Monster's suit. Dirty
flesh is in character. The lab coats worn in the films by Colin Clive and
Ernest Thesiger are not white, and either pale grey or blue grey are
appropriate. Do not try to duplicate modern "hospital scrub" colours, as
they are too bright.
THE WOLF MAN:
Lon Chaney (he dropped the Jr.) had variations in his makeup for each film.
A russet brown with darker canine markings was evident in the early films.
His flesh, where it is seen on his face and palms, is darker, arabesque. In
the Abbott and Costello film, his fur takes on a lighter, redder,
appearance. Shirts can be maroon, loden green, dark grey, blue, or brown.
Pants were a peppered charcoal tweed, olive, brown; or tan, as worn in
A&CMF. Blue is an option as well. It is not too likely that shirt and pants
are the exact same colour, but could be in the same hues.
Base eyes on the actor's own colour. Karloff's Im-Ho-Tep wears a red fez
and khaki/mustard coloured gowns. The bandaged Karloff was also painted a
blue/green like the Frankenstein Monster . In The Mummy's Hand, Tom Tyler's
eyes were solid black--both the iris and whites were hand tinted in the editing room. Chaney's "pot bellied" Mummy incarnations had mud caked on his head. Mark McGovern adds:In researching the Mummy's paint scheme - i.e., viewing The Mummy's Hand (1940) - I learned that Kharis left "gray" colored marks on his victims' throats. The gray marks, this time identified as mold, were also mentioned in The Mummy's Ghost (1944). So it would appear to me that, no matter what color of makeup Jack Pierce may have applied to whomever happened to be playing Kharis, it was intended that Kharis' wrinkled hide was supposed to be gray.Thanks Mark!
The High Priest of Karnak: George Zucco's simple dark suit is navy blue or black. He wears a red fez and dark tie. For an Egyptian Priest, Zucco is not too tan, but a natural fesh tone works best.
This list is far from complete, and revisions are made as more information
comes to light. While I claim that much of this is accurate, unfortunately,
there is a lot of "lost" information. Where I suggest a few options for costume colour I've taken a "scientific guess" rather
than omit information, and have taken artistic and historical approaches to
accomplishing plausible colour schemes with others. I hope this information
is useful in your modeling endeavours.
I am a full-time Dad to an amazing son, born June 1st 2005; This is a hobby I fit in when I can. Check for kit related items on my main page.