Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Rhino Gas Mask: Eyepieces

I wanted to do something new with the eyepieces for this mask, different from what I'd done before. In the past I've used camera lenses, and several fabricated eyepieces, but they have all been circular. The rubber German gas mask that I pulled the pattern from also has round eyes, but after taping and making the 2D pattern, then cutting it out of leather and reassembling it as a 3D mask, the eye openings were no longer round. I could have easily inserted round eyes into the leather mask and it would have conformed seamlessly, but I felt that I had already done enough round eyes, and in this mask they even made it look a little goofy.

Thus I decided to go with the organic shape that the mask naturally took (seen in the shape of the clear lens above). Then I thought "Why leave the perimeter smooth?" and opted instead for a mishapen octagon. And one more innovation: Adding brass crossbars to protect the lens from breakage.

Above are the individual pieces: The base part cast in black resin, the clear acrylic lens, the cold cast aluminum cap, and the five brass rods.

And here is the assembled eyepiece for the left eye. The right eyepiece is a mirrored image. I fabricated both the base and the cap out of sheet acrylic. To the cap I added eyelets and machine screws, then molded it and poured it in cold cast aluminum. Now that is a different looking eyepiece!


  1. Tom,
    Up definately because it keeps with the rhino, but if you do it the other way, it just looks like a long nose mask (from a theater). I know there are Rhino's that have two horns, but I don't know if you need a second horn, but I vote for up ^

  2. The eyepieces are incredible! Great stuff, as always.

  3. The Eye pieces are definately a throw back to some kind of Subterranean Porthole. I really love the reflective aspect, whether its just the light or a property of the lens, its very cool.
    I do enjoy your posts.

  4. Paul, that's just the flourescent ceiling light being reflected.