Introduction: Make a Cyborg Mask
In my first 'Ible I demonstrated how to sculpt a custom mask. I had one of the base masks http://www.amazon.co.uk/Adjustable-Black-Elastic-P... left over and no more putty to sculpt with.
Luckily I had a load of old computer bits left over from times in the past where I'd pulled them apart, so I decided to make a mask with them.
You probably won't be able to make an exact replica of this mask, as it uses parts from 3 old PC's, 1 robot dog toy and 1 old radio. Still, I'd encourage you to get creative with what you have!
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Step 1: Materials
1. Blank mask, such as the one here:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Adjustable-Black-Elastic-P...
2. Black spray paint
3. Lots and lots of scrap electronics components that you think may look good on the mask (the main bits of my mask all came from CD and floppy disk readers). Go down to the local tip/dump and have a rummage
4. LED lights. You may find these among the parts you've scavenged, alternatively go to radio shack or maplin and pick some up. The colour is completely down to you, you may go for terminator red, or like me, Lockdown (transformers 4) green
5. Blutak. This will help put all the parts in place for you to see what they look like before you glue them down. If you're lazy like me then you can leave the tak in place when you do the gluing, and then remove it with pliers or paint over any exposed bits afterwards
6. Super glue or epoxy glue. You can't go wrong with a bit of epoxy glue, I use it to fix everything. However for my mask I used super glue as it would flow into the tight spaces of the mask where I couldn't reach with epoxy (this is if you decide to not take your blutak out, otherwise I'd recommend epoxy, it's more friendly to work with)
7. Wires. Again these can be found in the computers etc. that you're scavenging from. Make sure they're relatively thin but long, as you can use them to join the lights to the battery
8. AA Battery pack. I got mine from a coke can robot kit, the advantage being that there was a switch already incorporated into the pack (saves extra soldering)
9. Soldering iron and solder. Obviously this is to link the battery pack to the lights
10. Ductape. I used this to tape down wires inside the mask so they didn't flap around or rub my face
Step 2: Starting
I used the mask on the left in the photo above. It had been sitting around for ages not doing much. I thought the spay painting I had done looked cool but not as cool as I'd like.
The paint effect was generated by spraying heavily around the eye sockets until the paint accumulated enough to drip down. I held the can further away to give the extra speckled effect. Experimentation is key, you might come up with a cooler paint job.
Remember though, don't spend ages perfecting the paint, the mask is supposed to look a bit rough, and plus it's gonna be covered in parts in the next stage! This is just to give the mask a bit of depth.
At first I figured that I wanted a half face mask, so my mouth and jaw was visible. I used a stanley knife to hack it off.
Step 3: Get Creative!
This is the bit that is down to you. Use the parts you've collected together to form structures and layers on the mask. Let wires trail around and hang loose. Use your blutak to secure any parts in place.
Remember, if you're not happy with it, feel free to move stuff around. Nothing is fixed at this point. Try to use small bits of tak as it makes removing it later less of a task.
Remember to tak any wires down that you want fixed later
Step 4: Add Your Little Details
Once you've added the bigger bits to determine the distinctive shape of the mask, see if you can find some smaller components to add a little more.
I used the small lenses from the CD readers and put them over one eyebrow. There were a few magnetised bits and bobs that I added too.
Step 5: Gluing
Here you can either use the easy way or the hard way:
The easy way- leave the bits of blutak on the mask and drop super glue into the places where components join the mask. Any exposed tak can be removed with needle nose pliers or painted over later
The hard way- remove all the components, clean off all the blutak and then reglue all of the pieces again (the problem being that you may not be able to recreate what you made first time, if you do this, make sure you take reference photos beforehand).
At this stage I thought the half face mask looked a bit weird when I wore it, so I reattached the jaw at an angle with ductape, I then applied superglue to where it joined to make the join permanent.
Step 6: Electronics
There are no complex electronics in this project, if you can't solder then you can use crock clips to make the connections (although it won't look as good).
If you're going with one light, then a simple series circuit will suffice. Connect the battery, light and switch (if separate to the battery pack) together.
Remember: TEST YOUR CONNECTIONS! Make sure your electronics work before you glue them in, there'd be nothing worse than gluing in duff electronics (although in a way that's what the mask is made of ;) )
Later on I decided to add more bulbs, I added these in series so they were all equal brightness. I will try to add diagrams at some point for any non-electronics people.
Use any features to try and emphasise the lights. There was a piece of glass on one of the reader parts that, when light caught it, illuminated other parts of the mask.
I found a small foam ring to fit over the main bulb so it made it easier to attach in the eye socket. The eye is so far forward that when I wear the mask the wires don't poke me in the (actual) eyes. Once you've checked the electronics work, solder all the connections together. You can then start to glue stuff in.
Tape the lose wires to the inside of the mask. I left some loose for effect. The battery pack had holes in the bottom so I sewed it on to the head band. Thinking afterwards I could've used a coin cell battery instead and put it inside the mask itself, but I don't think it would be as bright as 2 AA's.
Step 7: Finish!
Your mask should be done! You can add more to it in the form of extra tech and lights. Too much and your mask might end up looking like a Christmas tree! I added extra glue under the tape on the inside of the mask to fix it and the wires in place.
Again, this project is about having fun and being creative. Have no expectations, when I started this I had no plan at all. Watch a few movies or read a few comics for inspiration. The main inspiration behind this was Lockdown from TF4 (with a bit of Hollywood Undead thrown in). The mask can either be worn as it is or with hats etc.
So grab a hoodie, and go scare some kids!!!!
If I haven't explained anything clearly then please drop me a message in the comments section :)
Participated in the
Halloween Costume Contest