Ever wanted to be Salem or Rios in real life? I know I have! And now you can when you wear your very own Army of Two Paintball mask. In this project you have a choice of just making it a prop, or you can go the extra mile and make it a paintball mask.
This was a pretty labor intensive build and I suggest if you haven't had any experience with fiberglass and car body filler, then you should probably get some practice with them first.
Glue (super glue or tacky glue)
Fiberglass cloth (or fiberglass mat)
Bondo body filler
Step 1: Pepakura
So it all begins with a computer program called pepakura. It takes a 3-D model and turns it into a bunch of pieces that you print off and then cut out and glue together. You can download pepakura at http://www.tamasoft.co.jp/pepakura-en/ and I suggest that you get pepakura designer not pepakura viewer. If you get viewer you won't be able to size the file to fit you, so get designer.
After you've downloaded the designer you'll need to find an army of two mask file. Just search "army of two pepakura file" on google and I'm sure you'll find it. Once you have the file downloaded play around with the features for a while to know what they do. After you understand everything well you'll need to size the mask to fit you.
Okay, so you have the file sized correctly, now it's time to start the real work. Click print and grab a cup of coffee. I like cutting out one piece at a time so I don't get them mixed up and don't know where they come from, but you can do it however you like.
REMEMBER: ------- line equals mountain fold
_._._._._ line equals valley fold
When you have some pieces cut out, look at the diagram on your computer and fit the pieces together, like a puzzle, and glue them. For you glue I suggest something that dries fast, probably super glue. Then you begin the long, repetitive task of cutting, folding, and gluing for a few hours.
Step 2: Fiberglass
This stage is crucial whether you want the mask to be a prop, or for paintball. In this stage we're applying fiberglass.
WARNING!! Fiberglass resin gives off toxic fumes, wear a respirator during this process.
Okay, to begin cut your fiberglass cloth into strips until you have enough, and it'll take more if you want it to be a paintball mask. After you have the strips cut, mix up a batch of fiberglass resin. To mis fiberglass resin, take a throw away container and pour about one ounce of resin in it, and 10 drops of hardener, then mix thoroughly. Once the resin is ready, apply a thin coat to the inside of the mask by brushing it on with a cheap disposable brush, then take the fiberglass strips and lay them on top of the wet fiberglass, and then cover the strips of fiberglass with more resin. It will look like the fiberglass in kind of melting into the resin.
Continue this process until the entire inside is covered in fiberglass, and thick enough for your liking.
Step 3: Bondo and Sanding
This is a fairly simple step, but probably the most labor intensive part of the whole project. You begin by taking about a golf ball sized amount of bondo and put a pea sized amount of cream hardener and mix it in.
A special technique for mixing the bondo, the bondo, which is a gray color, and the hardener is red. To mix them don't just stir, that will cause air bubbles, you have to fold the hardener in until you get a nice uniform color, and it will turn out to be a salmon color.
After you have it mixed up you need to take it and spread it on the mask. Remember you don't have a whole lot of time to apply the bondo otherwise it will dry before you can put it all on, so try to work quickly.
After about 20 minutes the bondo is dry it's time to begin my least favorite part of the entire project, sanding. Well this part doesn't need much explaining, just sand until everything is nice and smooth.
WARNING! Bondo gives off toxic fumes, wear your respirator.
Step 4: Adding Foam
This is just to add comfort, because quite honestly fiberglass doesn't feel very good. So I just cut some pieces of cheap craft foam (I think it's a dollar at hobby lobby) and glued them in place, simple as that. If you feel the need to, you can add even more foam, or some other cloth because you probably wouldn't enjoy having fiberglass so close to your face.
Step 5: More Resin and Spot Putty
If you don't want to make it a paintball mask you can skip this step. I was looking at my mask after I was done with sanding it and I realized it needed some more strength so I decided to add some fiberglass resin on the outside of the mask.
Just like before, mix up some resin and use a disposable brush to apply it to the outside of the mask, I used 4 coats. After all the resin is all dry there will be some runs. So dust off the old electric sander and get to work, after you're done sanding there will probably still be a few divots. To fix this issue take your bottle of spot putty and cover the entire mask in a thin layer.
After the spot putty is dry do a light sanding, spot putty sands quite easily, so this won't be too difficult. Now it's off to priming and painting!
Step 6: Prime
Another easy step, but crucial to make the end product to look great. I used an automobile primer which isn't necessary but I think it makes the paint look better than if you just use regular primer.
After the primer dries, time for more sanding. The last picture there is what it looks like after you've sanded the primer, spot putty, and fiberglass resin.
Step 7: Test
A good idea before ever wearing your mask is to have a test fire to make sure it doesn't break. It took me 3 tries before my mask was actually strong enough to withstand the blow from a paintball.
If a ball breaks the mask just fix the holes/cracks with fiberglass, bondo, and resin on top of that.
Step 8: Lenses
This is super important! Get strong lenses that will not break when you shoot them, go out and test them to make sure they will not break.
After testing the lenses, you'll need to get them to the shape you need, I used a dremel with a cutting wheel to cut them down to shape. After you have the lenses to the correct shape, glue them to the inside of the mask.
As an extra measure for comfort I added some craft foam around the edges of the lenses just because it was much more comfortable that way.
Step 9: Paint
If you google search army of two mask, you will find 100s of different paint schemes. Choose one that you really like, and can actually do. I went with a simple camo look just because I love camo, and it is for paintball after all.
IMPORTANT!! If you are using spray paint, work in a well ventilated area, breathing in the fumes is not a good thing to do.
Step 10: The Strap
For the strap you will need to take the dremel and make three cuts, one on the top and two on the sides. For the side to side strap I used a piece of elastic and stitched it to where it fit me perfectly. The other strap was from an old back pack, and I sewed it onto the elastic band just for extra support on my head.
Step 11: Show Off
Go out and show off your awesome Army Of Two mask! Wear it for cosplay or go paintball with it, trust me, people will love it!
I was extremely happy with the finished product, it turned out much better than I ever thought it would, and if you pur in the time and hard work I'm sure you'll be surprised at what you can do. Until next time.
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