So my search began. What on earth could I use to make something so hard? For reference, a person's face is supposed to be centered in the mouth. Eep! One of my other fellow prop-makers actually came to my rescue with an idea. Get ready, it's a funny -- the head is actually the acrylic globe of a street lamp. Yep. A 14 inch diameter, 5 inch opening lamp globe. So! First things first, the opening was too small to get one's head through. So I began by cutting into the opening to make it 8 inches wide.
One fast cut with the dremel later, I had a perfect opening.
Here, you can see a few things. One, I bought two different styles and sizes of lights to go into the head. The client ended up chosing the smaller but brighter light, on the left. With the lights out, it lit up the entire room with just one! In this picture, you can also see the lines I've drawn on the globe. They mark the center going around in all directions, including where the top of the mouth would be.
Here's the mouth cut out. It looks so big on the head, but the cut out piece looks smaller. Odd!
Hi? This is me with the helmet on. My head and the client's head are almost exactly the same size, so I was showing him where the head sat on me. You can see my face is nicely framed in this really blurry picture I tried to get with no flash.
After some quick research, I discovered that the material used in mascot's eyes is called Buckram. It's a very densely weaved material that, as we discovered at the craft store, only hints at the outline of the face behind it and lets me see through. The picture above is the shot in a dim room through the buckram. My client will be DJing with this head on, so I wanted to show what he would be dealing with as far as visibility, and offered that there was a second material of a less dense weave that would show his face more, but offer more visibility. He went with option A, the buckram.
This is the helmet I picked up at Walmart. I removed the outer shell and am going to be working with the hard inner shell. Once on my head, the whole big head no longer tipped forward (due to the slant of the human shoulders) and sat with my face perfectly frammed in the mouth without me having to hold it. I'll be soon attaching the helmet to the inside of the head so that the head sits comfortably at all times and doesn't move too much.
Last picture for this update - a simple shot of the beginning of one of the ears. The ears are a somewhat large oval shape, 13 inches wide and 13 inches tall. I'll be cutting these out and attaching them helmet probably on Wednesday. I noted that I'll need to insert something into the ears to make sure they stand upright instead of bending over... I'll need to ponder that over today and tomorrow!