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Modifying a Cheap Mask for Approval

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Bacca9 ()
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:29 am    Post subject: Modifying a Cheap Mask for Approval Reply with quote

Recently we've seen a lot of folks purchasing this particular mask from a seller on Etsy. The LCJ team has been unable to approve it as is due to incorrect size, shape, and features. We've discussed as a team the best way to modify the mask to get it closer to approval and thought we'd share a little "How To" in case anyone wanted to make the attempt.

Here are a few comparison photos when the Etsy mask first arrived:

The Etsy mask, upon inspection, is about the size of a youngling.

And it appears to be constructed of great stuff expanding insulation foam coated in flex seal or plastidip. It also has a fairly hard rubber skin with teeth and palette made of the same rubber. This makes articulation difficult.

Aside from the size and materials, the biggest issue is the wide, flat muzzle. The skin must be removed from the entire muzzle and nose in order to build out those areas and strengthen the skull. Be very careful when removing the skin as this type of expanding foam is quite fragile.

After cleaning up the foam base and removing the teeth and palette, I used Apoxiesculpt to build up the muzzle and secure a larger set of dental acrylic teeth. I also extended the chin down and lengthened the nose bridge to increase the overall size of the mask. Here is a view from the inside:

There was also elastic strap holding the upper and lower jaw together. You will want to cut that to allow for articulation.

I cast a completely new skin from Ecoflex 00-20 (you can also use Dragonskin FX-Pro or Ecoflex 00-30 depending on your preference). The new skin was then trimmed to fit.

Sil-poxy is used to adhere the new skin over the structure while short pins hold it in place to cure. Two of the 3oz tubes should be enough to get you through the entire process. I usually allow the skin to cure overnight before removing th pins, especially in colder weather.

Once cured, test the articulation before moving on to the hairwork.

At this point, it's time to consider the hair. The grey is a bit too brown for original trilogy, Chewie, but we feel it's passable, so I let it be. That said, if it does not match the grey on your suit, you will have to remove the existing mesh and hair and replace it. Black Utility Mesh can be sourced from Joann Fabrics:

In this case, only the reddish blonde needed to be replaced. It appears to be only #27 Kanekalon and not a blend, but again, you'll want to match your suit. It is punched in fairly large clumps and thus a bit easier to remove at the "root."

You'll need two different lengths of the reddish blonde hair depending upon the area you're hairing. Around the eyes, cheeks, and nose, the hair is about 3" long while the chin and fringes are closer to 7-8" I use more Sil-poxy applied with a small oil painting knife to lay most of the hair, then punch around the chin, moustache, and nose. For the stache, I like to use dyed yak hair, but synthetic Kanekalon in a 27, 4, 44 1:1:1 blend is more than fine.

Here's the mask before styling:

As you can see, the forehead is still a bit short, but there is little to attach to in order to remedy that situation. One possible solution is adding a small, smooth hardhat dome. That would also solve the issue of this particular mask missing the back half of the skull.

The last step is styling. If you've been careful about the grain of the hair, the mask shouldn't require much style or product. I spray it with water, then hide mini bobby-pins under the top layer of hair. Then finish with a small amount of hairspray just on the face. The finished product isn't perfect, but it fits the proportions of an adult Wookiee a little better and has a more accurate shape.

And a few Before and After shots:


1 x ApoxieSculpt Black

1 x set of Teeth

2 x 3oz Sil-Poxy

1 x Oil Painting Knife

2 x Hair

1 x EcoFlex 00-20 trial unit (If you have a mold for skin) plus Silc-Pig pigments for skin and nose

1 x Hair Punch Tool

1 x Pack of Mini Bobby-pins

1 x Water Spray Bottle

1 x Hairspray (look for one that will work specifically with synthetic hair)
"Let the Wookiee Win!" Dance Chewie

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