Dinosaur mask 1.0

This year I went to Burning Man for the first time. Why not make a mask?

I started with this blank from Crystumes. It is all one piece.

I thought it would be cool to give it some eyeballs and an articulated jaw so that’s what I did!

I cut off the jaw with a dremel and sanded off the sculpted-on teeth. I also cut some hinges out of a scrap piece of clear acrylic. They’re hard to see, but they are four kidney-shaped bits with holes on the ends. The two halves of each hinge are held together with some small bolts and wingnuts.

I roughed up the inside surface with sandpaper and hot glued the hinges on.

I also glued on this piece of styrene (i.e. For Sale sign) to go under my chin. I needed something for my chin to press on to make the jaw move.

The eyes are acrylic half-spheres. I painted the color on the flat surface.

Before and after. Tiny veins and texture was created by pressing frayed red threads into the wet paint. It didn’t show up well in these photos but it looked nice in person.

I made an extra small pupil and pale iris because I like a very intense — perhaps psychotic — expression on my dinosaurs.

Made a bunch of teeth out of Sculpey UltraLight. This polymer clay bakes like normal sculpey but the end result is soft and foam-like, with a bit of flexibility. It can also be carved and sanded, which I took advantage of later.

[mask intensifies]

I stuck the eyes on with a blob of Magic Sculpt epoxy and hot-glued all the upper teeth in there.

I sculpted some eyelids with more epoxy and glued in the bottom teeth.

Now for painting! Horray! I made it up as I went along. The dark color/high contrast makes the eye look even crazier, plus helps hide the eye hole.  The color scheme was inspired by ostrich chicks.

Between coats of paint I cut a tongue out of scrap foam, painted it black, and covered it with varnish until it was shiny. After painting this I hit it with some varnish to seal it all.

I forgot to mention this part again. When I had extra epoxy I covered up the seam between the mask and the styrene and gave it a little texture by pressing in some crumpled aluminum foil. It’s not perfect but nobody can see under there anyway.

Not shown: I glued small bits of elastic in the corners of the mouth to keep the jaw closed, then draped a little pink spandex around the elastic to disguise it a bit. I glued sheer black fabric over the eyeholes to hide my eyes.  I lined the inside with foam and cardboard to get a very close fit to my face so the jaw was very responsive. It moved even when I was just talking. I feel like there’s still a lot more to do with this mask but this is all I could do in the two days I had available. The rest of the costume is stuff left over from other costume projects.

GALLERY                                                                (click to full view)