Wednesday, September 4, 2013

So you want to be a Gorilla Man...Part 2...Me and my BIG mouth !!

Hiya gang !
 Old Bongo is back with more Gorilla building madness! After Chris Walas's brilliant series (which I urge you to read!) I thought it best to take a breather in the suit building tutorials.
Now that we've caught our respective breaths, We will return to the series I started here :

That first part covered modifying an off the shelf mask to fit your eyes nearly seamlessly.

Now we turn our attention to the next most dynamic feature...the mouth !
I must first state the following; this is a very individual process.
Each mask has it's own contours, and sizes, and shapes that determine the outcome of this tutorial.
Some masks may not work as well as others, and that's a matter of the original sculpture.

The mask I am using is fairly "middle of the road" in terms of shape.......But it was still a phenomenal pain in the ass.
This  is difficult from the standpoint of...You don't build OUT from the wearers face..You build IN from the mask face. If the mask is fairly small and tight to your face, you way be extremely limited in how for you can take this.

OK...Enough sniveling. Lets get this ugly monkey some molars ! After part one of the series we left off with this warped lower faced mess.
In order to determine the shape it needed to be, I cut a strip of EVA foam about 1/2" wide in an arc.
( EVA is the same foam those gray floor mats are made of. It is also the same stuff you get from craft supply stores called Craft Foam. You can get it in many colors and thicknesses.)
Using a Q-tip or throw away brush, put a coating of contact cement on the outer edge of the foam and inside the upper lip of the mask.
Let this dry a few minutes and working from the center,carefully press the foam into the inside of the upper lip.
Now the main distortion should be pulled out by the tension of the EVA foam, and it looks like this...more or less.
OK, moving on...Now take a piece of paper of any type. Put the paper into the mouth as far as you can. Trace the opening of the upper lip onto the paper. This will be your pattern for cutting out the lower jaw.
Trace the pattern onto the EVA and carefully cut it out with sharp scissors.
With your scissors, trim away the edges on one side of the foam to make the rubber skin of the mask snug against the foam.
Test fit the foam to see how it looks.
Make any adjustment necessary to make the lips look the way you want them to.
Now using your sharpest scissors, cut the mouth along the crease line in the lips and continue past the mouth about 2" and then straight down to remove the jaw.
With the lower jaw removed, brush in contact cement, inside the lower jaw, and the surface of the foam that contacts it. let stand 15 minutes and then carefully press together, once again starting from the center.
Follow this up with more contact cement to tack down any loose edges.

 This is the main construction part of this mod, and it's an important one. This will be the staging point for all the work to come. Now to continue...Take a few cotton balls and push on the centers to make them unroll into narrow strips.
Take the lower jaw piece, and using a Q-tip dab a good wet coat of liquid latex along the edge of the rubber lip you just glued down.
Take the cotton strips and lay them into the wet latex to cover the seam line between the EVA foam and the rubber lip.
Wet your Q-tip, and with it VERY wet, roll the Q-tip down from the center of the cotton piece towards the outer edges. This keeps the Q-tip from lifting the cotton back off.
As you can see, at this stage the cotton looks a bit rough. To smooth this out, tear (don't cut) small pieces of bathroom tissue into small irregular shapes.
 Wetting the surface again Lay down the tissue into the latex. Apply latex as you did with the cotton , then add the next piece.  Overlap the pieces as you go.
It should start to be looking quite a bit smoother, but maybe a little wrinkled. This  is OK. Just let the latex dry overnight then it will smooth out quite nicely with more tissue. Since this ape is supposed to be ancient, I left the wrinkles.
 This is the end of part one. Anywhere along the line, keep checking the fit against the upper half of the mouth.
Next time, we will start detailing the teeth and get this bad boy's mouth in order !

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