This original TV prop latex Babylon 5 Narn mask arrived to our studio in very good condition but it did not have any sort of support. Over time this lack of support can be very damaging to rubber and latex, so we created a custom shaped insert to help the mask keep its shape over time and help minimize the effects of gravity. The insert also contained custom glass eyes to look like the contacts worn by the actor in the TV series.
Unlike a standard head form or mannequin head, we needed to make sure that our insert would fit the mask perfectly without causing undue stress or stretching. Using a generic face for the insert does not give us the same ability to really support the piece (especially extended areas like the nose or chin). We started with a resin facial structure, which gave us the framework to add eyes to the display. A custom pair of eyes were created to match the style for the original series and the eyelid areas were sculpted around those.
Working in soft foam, archival batting and fabric, we created a completely customized head form that could be inserted in several pieces so as not to overly stress the neck of the foam latex mask. In addition to supporting the face and head, we also created a form to fit beneath the “bib” of the mask, which is an often overlooked area. The weight of this bib could’ve caused damage over time, as its weight would’ve tugged on the face and pulled at fragile areas like the corners of the mouth or bridge of the nose.
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