I have had a good response to my writing competition. Seems like there are a lot of writers happy for an excuse to create a short steampunk story.
The final piece of the undeground explorer helmet is the oxygen canister which connects to the leather snout. Pictured below is the antiqued canister with rubber tubing and the connection at the other end.
Still to construct is the leather strapping which will allow the canister to be worn on the back or over the shoulder. Brownie points to anyone who can identify the original item from which the canister was made.
I leave for Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA exactly one week from today, and the finished helmet will be the centerpiece of my display.