Saturday, September 14, 2013

So you want to be a gorilla man ? part 3...Monstrous Monkey Molars !

Hey my fellow monkey minions!
We're back with more suit modifying madness, this time to continue the moving mouth tutorial from part 2. One thing to keep in mind here, is that after EVERY step, and only when each step is fully dry, try the mask on to check the fit! If something won't work, either trim it back till it does fit, or remove it. This happened on this mask, but we'll address that when we come to it. Rather than make this a squeaky clean tutorial were everything is perfect the first time, I'll show you all the missteps and set backs...warts and all. This way you'll know what can happen, and how to address it if it does.
But what ever happens, DON'T GIVE UP !!!
OK, enough of the small print...Lets get back too it !

We left off with the lower jaw piece with latex and cotton blending. We covered that with latex a tissue to smooth it a bit.
Now take the heavy  canvas material we used to fit the eyes, and cut two two strips about 1/2" wide, and 4" long.
Fold it in half length wise and draw a line at the half way mark.(it should be 2")
Add contact cement and cover one half of the canvas strip from the line to the edge.
Now apply contact cement to the lower jaw where indicated so the canvas bonds hard to it.

Once the canvas is glued tight, put a layer of cotton and latex over it to lock it down for good.
 
Now turn the upper part of the head over. If the EVA foam you initially cut to fill out the upper lip does not go all the way to the back of the cut you made to remove the jaw, then cut two more pieces to extend it about an inch beyond the cut.
Be sure to apply contact cement to the parts where the parts of foam join together to form one larger piece.
Now using your sharp smaller scissors, trim the inside edge of the EVA foam until it's about the thickness of your pinky finger tip, and round it off to the back edge of the lip line.( leave the foam beyond the lip line thick and flat to re-assemble the mouth)
 
At this point you can use 100 grit sandpaper to smooth out the foam, followed by 220 grit to get it very smooth. I didn't spend much time doing the sanding because I'm trying to go for a nasty looking critter.
After you get it were you like it use your latex and cotton to smooth and blend it all together again.


 While this is drying, lets turn our attention to the teeth.
for this you can review Chris Walas's tooth step here:
 
For mine, I wanted to get the feel of Corrigan's White Pongo carved wooden teeth. To get the look I was after there was no sanding. I just used the scissores and left all the small facets.
Then I tacked the teeth onto the lower jaw very lightly, and checked it against the upper jaw for fit.
When everything worked correctly I used more contact cement to bond it down hard.
The latex still wasn't dry on the upper face, so I applied paint to the lower teeth.The paint is cheap acrylic paint from the craft store, with a little latex added to keep it flexible and not crack off.. The steps were the same as Chris Walas used, with the addition of a very dark reddish black around the teeth to make it look like there was a recess around the the teeth.



I would normally break here, but because my buddy Hal has his mask all taken apart, we'll keep going so he can finish up. ;)
I did make a full set of upper teeth, but attached to a separate piece of foam, sort of like a denture.






The teeth were made so the large canines would interlock like real teeth. The odd thing here is that on nearly all the classic suits, the lower canines were on the outermost position and the uppers on the inside. This is the opposite of a real gorilla.
In order to fit the upper teeth, we have to permanently attach the lower jaw. Apply a heavy coat of contact cement to the canvas strips we bonded to the lower jaw, and to the remaining exposed EVA upper lip at the back of the jaw.
You may have to make adjustment as I did here in order for the front of the lip to close  properly. I had to raise the rear of the jaw so I glued on an additional piece of foam to get it to fit right.
when all is well, apply your contact cement to the properly fitting EVA and glue the canvas strip down.
if you have a gap at the back of the jaw, don't worry ! This will work to our advantage later on.
Now laminate the cotton and latex over the canvas, mask, and EVA.
Allow to dry for at least a day We'll continue shortly while we get all of this figured out. As stated earlier, each mask is individual and presents it's own set of problems. I'm about to hit a monster setback on this one but we'll leave that til next time !
Don't worry gang, the steps up to here are pretty universal to all the masks and it's a matter of little tweaks along the way. The setback I had, was not caused by any of the assembly steps here so you're in good shape !
 
See you next time !
 
and I'll make it sooner this time Hal !

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