Wow! What an amazing day! Our 2021 queue slots have been filled. This year’s first queue opening was a bit late in the year, but we managed to open up before summer was out. We will work with these orders (and take care of some work behind the scenes). So, for now, we can say that we cannot take on any new orders at this time.
We do realize there were many who did not get a slot and we apologize. Wild Gasmasks is done alongside our respective full-time jobs and so we just cant take on any more orders, lest we overwhelm ourselves. For now, please be patient about contacting us about new orders. We will not be providing quotes to people at this time. Thank you.
The Santa Anna Winds whip around our lab making for strange thuds, as pine needles and branches slap against the window. It breaks the calm of this lab, almost challenges the peace. While our queue is empty, there has been decompression from the previous workload. Usually in these months, we try and not take on too much work. As the dinosaur returns to the lab from work travel, he is happy to have some time available (like, whole days) to do some mask work. However, there is one matter which has made us stop in our tracks.
Some of our previous customers will still contact us long after their purchase, acquiring parts to maintain their mask. Sometimes, someone needs a repair that requires us to take the mask back into our care. However, with a customer that contacted us back in fall, they had a matter of one very sick jackal god. Latex (as a material) has properties and attributes which affect how well it holds up over time. With proper care (and storage) for latex garments one can enjoy their gear for a long time. Once the mask arrived, and we were able to take a look, we could confirm with the customer that there was latex rot present on an area of the mask. It had been obvious to the both us and the customer, that we were in a race against time.
Latex does have a desire to return to a form more like what comes from the rubber tree. Looking at this pale jackal god, and touching the affected area, we could feel the latex was more yielding and thin. There was a tacky and “gummy” feel. Stego quickly worked to excise it, as if to prevent a tumor or cancer’s spread. He took an area from the hood, well beyond the exact area where the latex starts to feel “weird”.
Taking this precious mask into our hands, it tells a story. This mask has been well loved, and we can only hope all of our early pieces can get this vibe when its captured player walks into the room of a convention or event. For this person, of course they would want to see if they could rescue something that is more than a mask, but rather an experience.
We were already taking in one or two masks (at a time) in times when we could fit in a refurbishment, or take care of a warrantied customer. While the latex rot is always a tragic thing to have happen to latex, we know that we can bring this mask back to a stable state. Currently pouring a new “skin” for them, and surgery has begun in earnest.
Kind of an interesting mix of activity levels around here. The lab has been interspersed with sounds of work. On the cusp of 2021, it was often quiet work. You know, not as much of sound coming from the workbench area of the house. Its been that quiet “doing taxes”, some cleaning binges, and those other “necessary for a business but not much result” actions. With the usual January/February lull in the lab behind us, we now March on with some form of an update.
Its easy to sum up 2020 as a year that was “slower” than usual. We still got some stuff done, but it probably didn’t look like it. Our work<–>Wildgasmasks life balance got a bit tipped, as Stego’s full-time job veers on the side of “essential”. Working through our queue had some delays and then some of the typical sidetracks. One of our orders involved some experimentation in how we can change airflow and allow for a slightly different choice for dragons muzzles. We are always grateful for some helpful lessons (even the kind that don’t feel helpful in the heat of the moment or are time-consuming), because it lets us do better. We even had the opportunity to provide a re-coat on a mask from days before a “Wild Gasmasks customer” was even really a thing. It was amazing to see how far we had come, renewing an old jackal god by placing it underneath the latex waterfall.
Balancing some overnight work calls, I have been hearing more of the grinding wheel. We are pretty much “on time” for a March or April opening. Stego is creating stackles of jackals, as well as popping out a few horse/dragon shells and KG1s. You know what that means. (Yes! Yes!)
All while that is going on, revamps to WildGasmasks.com are coming. My winter has been spent balancing the job hunt and building a whole new website for us. Im already very much aware of how slow our website is to respond, even though people are just doing simple browsing of pages.
There will be some checking and revising of some of the things behind the scenes, and that will be reflected in some of our information and product pages. With some of the changes in the world for logistics, there is some need to review the current situation. I know the website has been lagging hard so chances are, some may be seeing this update again after seeing it on our social media.
Im doing all of this behind the scenes, and then the site will be formally switched. Still, things on this live website may go a bit funny. If we have any major downtime (or issues as I switch things over), than our social feed will be used. (Feel free to just bookmark it, if you dont have an account). Dont mind us …. just working in the background.
As always, when January comes its time prep for two things that we can always expect — a convention and taxes. First, its time to head off to Further Confusion. I tend to be the one at the controls for the weekend, so there is no better time to write some sort of update here. (I mean really… do you want to keep looking at last year’s convention post?)
Typically, we are home for the Holidays and aren’t involved in many plans. Still, we decided not to open the queue again after we officially cleared our list in early December. (For those of you who probably feel the pang of more wait, we do apologize but we also appreciate your patience in us being so careful not to take on too much.) Stego had some… ideas and also wanted to work on improving effort on some stuff we used to do here at the jackal lab. Our creation area/den had a steady stack of things were were touching back upon.
In the end, it will make for a bit of a change for this weekend. Although Stego and meddle wont be going up to the Bay completely rubber-less, there is nothing that is going to be entered into Further Confusion’s art show. We just didn’t have anything to put in this time. However, they will be in attendance of a panel on Saturday. Also, starting Friday night, keep your eyes out for one of Stego’s ideas that is gonna be out on the loose Friday night! o.O
Once Stego and shop pony return from the convention, we will work towards the other less-fun part that comes with managing our part time business. While that is going on, we will begin to take on new orders, but we will try and open up ASAP. Sadly, it just doesn’t work for our demand to open one slot at a time, so we want to make sure we can open up for at least three, if not the usual 9 we opened up for around springtime of last year.
Looking forward to a productive year and maybe even a few more unexpected squeaky-based scenarios…
With a hectic 2017 in the distant past, its time to look towards the next year. No shortage of fun events related to gear, masks or costuming in general. For Stego, it has been quite a while since he has attended a convention, since 2017 did compel us to slow down and deal with any of the unpleasant challenges.
Stego will enjoy meeting with fellow scalies and fuzzies hanging out at Further Confusion 2018. Despite all the orders we are finishing up, he managed to finish a jackal just in time for the art show. It will come with some extra hookups for this year’s art show, which might appeal to those who like to add on gear. Our mask offering is located in the FC 2018 Art Show, Table A4
Scaleworx Resin and Rubber sergal mask. With the quintessential wedge shape, those around you will be met with the blue mirrored gaze. Each side port fits 40MM NATO threaded accessories.
Our JG 1.5 wont be alone on the table, as our table area will also offer some designs from Scaleworx. Taku Dragon has been working hard in the lab, perfecting his craft and has come up with some items special for the art show. Squeaky sergals and rabbits can rejoice, knowing that there is a gasmask design just for them.
While enjoying ‘labcon’ on a weekend of my own, I am going to be working on more gallery updates. Been slowly working on some cleanup with the website galleries. Hope you have enjoyed what has been shared thus far, but we may tweet more in real time as the art show continues.
Once our dino has returned we will be working through the rest of the month on end-of-year stuff alongside finishing up our current orders. Wild Gasmasks will soon be changing gears and no shortage on things to begin this year with.
Sadly, taxes took a bit longer this year and we were having a hard time fitting mask work into our schedules. We have transitioned out of that in the last week or so. Progression will still be a bit slow now that our ledger has essentially been taken back to zero. We are restocking our supply and accessory shelves, and getting back into a rhythm.
We do admit that this site has been neglected, so it is nice to have an update here. In fact, we can now tell you about some trials (experiments) which we have been keeping quiet about until now…..
For those of you who went to Further Confusion, you may have seen this character walking around in the evening. Taku Dragon, a Bay Area costume creator, was one of our first guinea pigs….err dragon, for what is now known as our DG1 and DG2 masks. Over the holidays, while we prepared for convention and taxes, Stego put this mask together. Although Taku makes his own rubber costumes and fursuits, the DG2 mask seen in this photo became a welcome alternative head/mask for his character.
While we are still working on handling our waiting lists (backlog), we have started a list for people interested in our new(ish) fantasy creature. DG1 and DG2 masks are based off of the molds that we create our HG1 and HG2 masks from. So, this does mean that people ordering a dragon will be queued in line with any horse orders that are in the queue at that same time.
We are still only taking on as many orders as we can reasonably do with our team’s current work (employment) schedule and around our Spring Season. Id say we are about 65% through our backlog from 2015 so we are getting close to a time when we can start working with new orders. With these site revisions, this is your chance to review the product of your choice, and maybe bring out your inner dragon.
Back from Further Confusion and now reality sets in — tax season.
While not a full time business, Wildgasmasks still operates as a legitimate business. Part of running such a company means the time has come for Uncle Sam and the state of California to collect taxes. So, for the next 2 weeks there will be no progress on orders, while we ensure we meet deadline and are compliant with all state and federal tax policies. Stego has been working long hours at his job but, when he gets home, he wont get to jackal. He will have to focus on taxes.
This might be unfortunate for all of you guys who are in our backlog or have been trying to get on our queue for this winter season. It is my hope you can wait just a bit longer…While you wait out the Tax Blackout, here is a gloved and leatherclad jackal…
Stego departed from the mountain yesterday afternoon, ready for some furry fun. First trip of the new year, and the boys have worked hard enough to enjoy some fun for the convention weekend. Stego arrived last night but rose early this morning (early for a convention anyway) and has gotten our items placed on the convention floor. So, if you are looking to pick up something nice and squeaky, here is our inventory of items for this year’s art show…
Special Item : Wild Mask A feline that allows you to breathe (and drink) easy. Wildgasmask products are usually designed around enclosure of some kind, but we never run out of alternative suggestions that might veer us away from the status quo. We created a hybrid of something that encases but that is less restrictive than our typical hoods. The hood was used to our advantage to keep the chin covered up from those who may be standing nearby. The area of exposed skin is minimal, leaving an opening just large enough to accommodate a straw and give the wearer a clearer breathing passage. You can consider this a ‘wild mask’ (vs a ‘wild gasmask’). The internal components were not added to this mask, but upon purchase, this mask will come with a set of our standard smoke lenses.
Stego will be around the convention til Sunday. If you own one of our masks and have any light repair needs, we can help you. Please contact us through our Twitter account or through Stego’s public account – @stego_s_aurus_p. we have brought a compact collection of tools with us. This will allow us to address any simple repair jobs for people who have brought their masks to the convention.
We look forward to seeing some of you again this year….