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Frank the bunny mask

 

This documents my creation of a Frank the Bunny mask for Halloween. Frank is the pooka-like 'spirit-guide' from the exceptional film Donnie Darko.

The armature is a $2.50 "Jason" hockey mask purchased from CVS. The molding material is Sculptamold, some really interesting stuff. It starts as a papier mache consistency but it dries almost as a plaster.


first layer on armature


tinfoil ears


The armature for the ears was tinfoil since it easy to sculpt into the desired shape. Then it can be covered with the Sculptamold in stages (you can place the pieces in an oven set to 200 degrees to make it dry faster, which is a good idea, since I found that mold will grow on the material if it is left to air-dry). The key here is to gradually build around the tinfoil and let each layer dry completely before adding an additional layer. Once dry, the shape is surprisingly strong.


template for teeth


all the teeth, all lined up


Here is a sketch for the teeth. After cutting a length of wood to about a 3/16 inch depth, I cut the basic shapes and then used a Dremel rotary tool to sculpt the pieces. By the way, a Dremel rotary tool (or 'Dremel' for short - the brand name seems to have taken over the descriptive name, like Band-Aid, Kleenex, etc. etc.) is one of the most useful tools you will ever purchase. You should own one. Trust me.


teeth affixed

Once I sanded out areas for the teeth to be affixed (using the Dremel), I attached them to the mask with contact cement and painted them appropriately. It takes some time to hollow out the indentations for the teeth, but it can be achieved with patient, creative sanding and cutting.


After a few more layers of Sculptamold, which affixed the ears, and much more sanding and shaping, I had a desirable mask. The eyes are actually clear plastic, sanded on the inside so that they are still reflective (you cannot see through them unfortunately). I realized too late that this plastic will melt at 200 degrees, therefore, the eyes are a bit concave instead of convex. Definitely something I would change in the future.


I painted the entire mask in a flat gray primer and used silver nail polish for the highlights, black paint for the shadows and white for the teeth (should actually be a bit yellower). There is also a fair amount of glitter thrown on to give it a 'moist' glistening look.

With more time and attention to detail, I could easily have continued sculpting and sanding. The Sculptamold is surprisingly strong when completely set. The bottom part with the teeth should really protrude a bit more and come more to a sharp curve, and the ears definitely need more detail, but overall I think it turned out well.

Did I mention how useful a Dremel is?

To answer some questions of late - no, I won't make one for you, but I do have a gallery of Frank masks created by people that have followed these directions.