I detached the brass hingework for now, but took the opportunity to add the gas mask hose connectors and sub-piping. That sub-piping is actually made of very thick electrical copper wire – couldn’t tell you the gauge, I just eyeballed something close to right while I was at the hardware store. I could have done copper pipe instead, but hollow pipe tends to crimp and fold easily as you’re trying to bend it, whereas a solid-core wire won’t do that. I’m a little sad I can’t bend the copper wiring a bit more precisely, but it is thick and stubborn and requires a mallet to bend in any meaningful way, so I’m just glad I got something that looks good from the outside of the mask done. It thankfully doesn’t get in the way of either my face or the brass mouth assembly.
The tan plugs are only loosely superglued on – I’ll snap them off when time comes to paint so that I can finish the whole mask easier.
The holes through the gas mask hose connectors were drilled open pretty easily. I have a minor pipe dream (pun… intended?) about making the mask ventilated for comfortable wear. Something involving a quiet air compressor in the bellows in the back behind my head pumping cool air through the hoses and into the mask to keep me from sweating to death in what is almost certainly going to be a miserably hot getup. I don’t know if it’s really a feasible option, but it’s something I’m going to consider. I actually hooked all the gas mask hoses up and had my girlfriend blow in the other end, and you get a pretty solid breeze coming through. I can only imagine what the neighbors would think if they saw us testing that, though.