Awhile back, Wes (my oldest son) got really into the Power Rangers. Luckily for me, he was watching Power Rangers on Netflix, so he wasn’t watching the latest reboot of Power Rangers… he was watching the ORIGINAL, MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS.
I had just started making cardboard masks at the time, and he asked if I would make him a MegaZord mask.
Dad Law states that if your son asks you to make him something, and you have the resources to make said thing, you have to do it. So I did.
Here’s how I made it
I started by taking a picture of a MegaZord toy so I could see what the head looked like. I took several angles, but here’s the front one:
I started by building the foundation of the mask. Beneath the horns and the mohawk and the sideburn-looking things, the basic shape is just a cylinder with a dome on the top. So that’s what I started with. This was a unique mask, because I was building it for my son, who is four. So it’s much smaller than the masks I’d been building up to that point.
Once I had the basic shape in place, I started building the horn shapes for the side of the mask.
One thing to note: when I built this mask, I was doing everything with cardboard and tape. Later, I met the artist Wayne White, and he suggested I switch to hot glue, which I’ve done on subsequent masks. If I had to do this again, I’d do it with hot glue. It saves SO MUCH TIME, because you don’t have to paper-mache the whole thing to cover the tape at the end.
Anyways, here are the horn shapes.
Next I attached the horns and started sketching out where the rest of the features would go.
Then I went ahead and built these features up. I started with the eyes, the brow area, the mouth area, and the sideburn-esque bits…
Then finished up by adding the mohawk. Here’s my lovely wife modeling the final product before paper-mache and paint.
Next up was paper-mache. Like I said, if I had to do this again, I would’ve used hot glue instead of masking tape, and that would’ve eliminated this step altogether. But I didn’t know that at the time.
Wes had been asking if he could help with the mask all along, but there hadn’t been much for him to do up til now, since he’s not strong enough to cut cardboard with scissors (especially not with any sort of accuracy). But I figured he could help with paper-mache. Let me just point out: doing paper-mache with a four-year old is frustrating and messy and will probably lead to a lot of flaws in the end product. But for the four-year old, it’s the best thing ever. Sometimes you gotta be okay with your kids messing stuff up, because it shows your kids what you really value, which is spending time with them.
Another thing I learned through this: don’t use whole wheat flour for paper-mache . I didn’t do this on purpose, but I found out too late that my wife had mixed the regular, white, processed flour that I’d bought for paper-mache with her healthy, whole wheat flour. This meant that when I mixed it with water to make the paste, it had all of these little lumps of healthiness in it. When they dried, they gave the whole thing a sort of sandpapery texture, which was unfortunate. But oh well.
Once the paper-mache dried, Wes and I got to painting. There were five colors (black, white, red, yellow and silver) to paint. The lines were a little less crisp than I would’ve liked, due to the bumpy whole-wheat paper-mache stuff
Finally, all five colors were on. Here’s the final product!
And here it is on Wes. He loved it, despite the fact that the sandpapery whole-wheat texture kept poking him in the neck. Haha!
All in all, this was a really fun project to do with my son, and hopefully it showed him how much I love him.