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My budget Jason Voorhees inspired mask

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Hey there everyone!

I love horror movies, they remind me of being a kid and staying up late to watch them on TV or trick or treating with a few buddies. Now I want to state that I have watched all of the Friday the 13th movies and while I enjoyed them, I really didn't watch them religiously. So I'm sure that what I'm about to start will probably not be 100% accurate by fan standards. I plan on overhauling this find and probably wear it a few Halloweens and then pass it on to my son when he's old enough to wear it. This is a long build post I did over on the RPF last year. I changed some of the text to make it past tense.

So I was helping my mother move last year and while cleaning out the shed, I found an old Rubies hockey mask (copyrite1987) that my brother and I used throughout our teenage years. This mask brought back a lot of fun memories, so I shoved it in my "to take home" pile. Here's what the mask looked like from years of use. As you can see there are scratches on it. I considered sanding them out, since the plastic is thick but was up in the air about doing that as it gives it character and I wasn't really trying to make the mask look 100% screen accurate. Just recognizable enough to scare the pee out of the high school girls (and a few boys). I don't know why the mask looks so slender, it must be my camera. If you'll note the second picture it actually wider.

After I got home I started to inspect the mask and the first thing I noted was that I needs a bath, really bad. Years of play, grime, fake blood, and what looks like motor oil and probably rodent pee were caked on the inside of the mask. After I got the proper vent holes drilled in the mask, I planed on giving it a good scrubbing and a bleach water bath (along with a top rack dish washer bath).

Pretty disgusting, huh? I wouldn't want to put this up on my face, would you?

So, before I start working on this project I needed to know what direction I need to go into. I started looking over images of different versions of Jason's mask and started taking measurements. Since my mask is not a licensed replica and was probably marketed as a "Killer's Hockey Mask", that they could skimp on it's construction. As you can see in the picture above, the mask had, at one time, a standard black elastic nylon strap that all Halloween masks come with. So I'll need to come up with a good alternative for a head strap. I wanted something in leather and thought about using dog collars or a dog harness. I knew I could buy leather straps on eBay, but I want to keep this project dirt cheap.

After a few hours of scouring "the google", I amassed a good photo folder with front and side shots of Jason's mask, I was then ready to start working on a vector blueprint of the mask. Having found a suitable base example to use, I started masking the paper outline over the current holes. Knowing that the vent holes that were previously cut in the mask were not going to line up, I made notes, got out my calipers, and started to work on a representation that was closer to my mask and worked backwards from there.

Doesn't he look happy?

There was another reason why I wanted to drill more vent holes Where I live, our Halloweens can be uncomfortably warm. Combined that with a heavy costume, running/stalking, and being a big guy, I was going to sweat a lot and extra vent holes would help me out. As you can see in the picture above, I chose the "Part: 3" style mask pattern. While I like the blue paint scheme as seen in Part 5, I'm just it too obscure for the regular victims....I mean Trick-or-Treaters. LOL I thought about the paint and was unsure If I would leave it plastic white or attempt to paint and stain the mask to give it that yellow look like I've seen in closer replicas.

Here's a progress shot of drilling the holes:

So as you can see I got the holes plotted out and marked on the mask. The second pic is a halfway pic and then we see a completely drilled mask. Again, this mask is not going to be screen accurate, but I'm cool with it as I'm going for more of a "inspired" look to the mask. The next step was to sand the mask down. I picked out some 150 and 220 grit paper from my stash pile and started to go to town on the mask. I first cleaned out the holes of all the plastic debris and smoothed out around the eye holes and edge of the mask. I will admit that some of the holes chipped on me while I drilled them out. I'm thinking it might have been a combination of technique and age of the plastic. But I'm okay with them as it gives it more character. Again, this is only inspired and not identical to the movie version.

I got to thinking about the previous scratches and thought that they just didn't really have that "defensive" look to them. So I figured that if they get sanded out then painted over, they wouldn't be deep enough to be seen. While I was sanding I decided that I wanted to paint it, but keep the paint light on mask. At first I thought about doing a light wash with some tea, I was right and those scratches didn't show up. So I had to think on what i was going to do to make them more defined. Luckily I had a weekend that was perfect in timing and weather, so I was able to go out and paint. But I ended up running into a dilemma.

So, as you can see above, I worked on cracks, scratches, and any missed rough areas. The first two photos are the final appearance before I shot the first coat over the mask. The third shot in this sample pic is with the first coat. I spent the day going outside and spraying coat after coat of white on this mask so I could rough it up with some sandpaper.

The next day was windy, so I was glad to be done with the base coat and ready to start weathering the mask with paints and sand paper in the comfort of my house. After a few hours of dry brushing and rubbing with a damp cloth I came up with what you see above. I was pretty happy with the progress of the project and was giddy thinking about using it this Halloween. Then I went and did the most idiotic thing, I grabbed my can of acrylic sealer to make sure my work didn't get any damage from water or anything. I should have known better to stop and double checked, but after a few sprits from the can I should have stopped, but I figured the damage was done. Take a look:

Just in case you wanted to see the detail before I screwed it up, here's a sample:

So after a few days, I couldn't stand the look of the gloss coat. I sanded down the paint and scraped out the cuts. I shot the mask with a couple coats of the white paint I had and I let it sit all day to cure before I started to work on my paint wash. I tell you, I learned a lesson from that mistake. After I repeated my steps from the previous try, I shot the last coat of sealer on it and took a step back and liked what I saw.

Here is where I stopped. Yes, the project is actually incomplete. I'm not a leather worker, so I ditched the plans for making a harness out of dollar store dog collars or old belts. I found a website that sells the type of harness, but it's been out of my budget. I missed an auction for a dirt cheap set made for a replica, but I keep looking from time to time. I'm not happy with using vinyl for the chevrons, so I might tape them off, remove them and lightly paint them the chevrons back on. But like I said, this is for actually wearing for costume, not sitting in a case as a replica. I did a few beauty shots and photos with me wearing the mask to get a feel of what future ToT'ers where going to see jumping out at them. I hope you enjoyed my build. It was a lot of fun to do, especially since it was a cheap build to do. I mean, yeah I could have bought a cheap one off of eBay, but I wanted to do something to honor my past frights and give an old mask a new lease on life. Thanks!

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