Introduction: Wooden Aku Aku & Uka Uka Masks

Hello everyone! Today we're sculpting two icons of my childhood, whose names I just recently discovered (I used to make up their names based on their spawning sound)... Aku aku and Uka uka! They are just decorations that can be hanged on the wall but with simple modifications, you could easily wear them (they don't make you invincible though, I've tested it).


- Soft wood (I used one which is called "samba" or sometimes "obeche", I'm not sure if it has other names. I bought a single board which had a section of 10x1cm and ended up using around 60cm of it);

- Optional: Acrylic Paint (looking back at some pictures, I thought that the unpainted masks looked cool too, even if different from their respective characters, so I made one extra uka uka for my brother, check step 4);

- Optional: MDF or plywood (I used it for feathers and eyebags, just because I didn't have a thinner piece of samba).

Step 1: Drawing a Sketch

First of all, draw a sketch of the masks on paper, just to guess proportions. There are plenty of reference photos on the internet, each one slightly different depending on the videogame they're taken from: I based my models on the ones from CTR because I liked them the most.

I made 4 feathers for aku aku out of scrap MDF and glued a stick in the middle just to give them a bit of depth. Note that due to the limited width of the wooden board I used, I had to make uka uka's beard in two separate halves, while aku aku's nose was made of three small pieces glued together. Moreover, I glued MDF on the back of a few elements (like aku aku's mouth) for added thickness.

The final sketch might not look exactly like the video game, because you can twist each element's proportions until you're satisfied with the overall look, don't be scared of this step!

When you're ready, transfer the sketch onto the wood using copy paper or cutting your template, then cut a rough shape for each piece.

Step 2: Sculpting

You're ready to sculpt the wood. I used a scalpel knife because that's the only tool I have for sculpting wood (I'm a first timer!) and started with the beard, just to pick up the hang of it. I tested the beard on the mask and I liked it :D

Then I went for aku aku's mouth and made it nice and round (even though it should be polygonal, to be faithful to the videogame!). The same applies for all the other pieces. Keep sculpting and sculpting each one of them until you're satisfied

Step 3: Adding Details and Sanding

I decided to scult the front face of the masks too, giving them a few vertical grooves to make them look like bark.

I then sanded each element of the masks while keeping the aforementioned grooves nice and rough.

Step 4: Painting (optional)

I then painted both masks using acrylic paint. To make the job easier, I painted each element separately and then glued everything together. You can add a few details with a sharpie if you want, or cover the masks with glossy paint after you're done.

You can even skip this step if you like the look of natural wood! In the last picture you can see an extra uka uka mask I made for my brother, in which I only darkened a few of the elements of the mask, so it would look better with the rest of the furniture in his house :)

Step 5: Hanging the Masks

After you've glued everything together (and maybe reinforced a few joints, like the feathers on the back), you can hang the masks by screwing a picture frame hanger on the back. Make sure that the screw doesn't come out on the front side of the mask or you'll ruin it!

Step 6: Done!

The masks are finished. The pictures on top shows them in more detail.

I hope you liked this instructable, let me know if you build one too <3

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Sculpting Challenge