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This was always going to be the biggest part of the build so probably the best place to start.

The first task was to create some sort of basic headgear to build on. I took a sheet of paper, taped it around Ashley's head and marked the position of his eyes, nose and mouth. I then cut this out, checked the fit, and used it as a template to make a slightly more sturdy version from cardboard. With this on his head I taped strips over the crown to complete the framework.

The next step was to find something to form the 'muzzle' structure. In a flash of inspiration, I cut off the top of an instant noodle pot and glued it to the base struture. From now on when I refer to gluing I am talking about the hot melt glue. The great thing about this stuff is that it has a fair volume to it and it sets like plastic. This means that the pieces to be joined don't have to be an exact fit and you can get away with minimal contact between the two.

One of the key features of the Tusken Raiders is the strange snout-like protruberance. I knew I would have to sculpt this out of something. But what? Polystyrene probably wouldn't be dense enough. I had a stab a carving down a block of wood but it was too much like hard work. Then I hit upon the idea of florist's oasis block. It's a dense foam they use to stick stems in for arrangements. It's very fragile (you can shape it by rubbing it with your fingers) but I figured a few coats of paint would stiffen it up. After 5 coats it was acceptable, but still quite fragile.

Next came the 'tusks' and eye-pieces. Following Studio Creations' idea of using marker pens I found some felt pens for the tusks. These were pushed through the card, glued into place and the excess cut from the inside.
After experimenting with making my own eye-pieces by rolling cones from cardboard, I noticed one of the squash bottles in the kitchen had a nice slender, conical neck. I got hold of another and cutting the neck to more closely match the contour of the headgear they were glued to the mask. These were then sprayed silver and the snout glued into place.

For the mouth I padded out the noodle pot with some kitchen paper. I then cut a piece from a bin liner and glued it around the outside rear edge of the pot. It was then folded back into the mouth and once again glued around the back edge. I then trimmed off the excess.

The final stage before starting to bandage it up was to bind the muzzle. I wan't going to run to the expense of leather so I just used strips of card and painted them up. I mixed the poster paint with some PVA as this helps to stop it rubbing off once dry. [Note: the background of the logo is a scan of what happened to the mixing tray when I failed to clean it before it dried.] If I'd thought on and realised I was going to be needing leatherette a bit later on I would probably have used this instead.

Now it was time to start covering the whole thing with calico. You can see from the picture above that I'd already covered the crown with triangles of fabric. I then took some fairly broad strips and glued them around the head band. Next, with Ashley wearing the thing, I glued the strips together down the sides. This allowed me to contour the shape to match his head and stop it simply hanging down like a hood. Where the two stips met at the back I sewed in the hook and loop fastener (you can see the stitching) - I thought he might like to be able to take it off every now and then.

From this point it was just a case of tearing strips of calico (tear rather than cut to get those nice ragged edges) and wraping them over the mask to complete it. Before I did this I added the head spikes. These were made from pen tops sprayed silver. I glued them into some scraps of calico before attaching them to the scalp just to make them a little more secure.

That's it. A lot of gluing later (pay careful attention to the area around the eyes and tusks) the mask is complete and sitting atop a mop handle, freaking people out. One thing to mention here is that the calico is really a little too light. I did try and darken it down a bit by soaking it in tea for a while but it really would have been worth spending a couple of extra quid on some dye to get a better color.

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