Beginning the New Year With A Mix of Usual and Unusual

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.

Low resolution photograph of a rubber mask creation. It has been cropped for providing a teaser image.
Low-res render of what’s to come for Further Confusion 2019

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…

The Dragon Age

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…..

Taku Dragon at Further Confusion 2016For 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.

 

Wildgasmasks…Version 4.0

Yes, its finally here…. the new Wildgasmasks website. Its been a long time coming (and long overdue) but finally we have something a little (*ahem*) better than before. For over a year, I have given much thought into what I wanted our website to be (vs what was thrown up years ago, when we were just starting). With a vast improvement in the information we can provide, Wildgasmasks Version 4.0 features:

  • Options List for every product
  • Link to product Manuals
  • Order Queue with Email Notification (for those who were already on our queue, you may be getting a few test emails in the next few days)
  • Listing of all our accessories, including lens colors some of our customers may not have seen before.
  • Fantastic new Header Graphic, courtesy of Iron Raptor Studios. Its the Year of the Horse, afterall.
  • Galleries showing everything from custom one-off work to rough WIP photos shot around our busy lab.
  • Responsive design – you dont have to be at a computer to peruse our wares and check out reference photos

In the next few weeks, there will be daily updates as we process the backlog of great photos of custom work, inspiring customer photos and more. Although I spent a lot of time ensuring accessibility, I do expect a few site kinks to pop up. So, feel free to drop us a line if you notice anything that seems amiss.

I do apologize if responses to order inquires have been a bit slow as of late but as you can see, it was all for a good cause.  Stego just got home from the land of the large cowboy hats (Texas) and shall be doing his best to catch up on his duties around the jackal lab. He is going to have quite a surprise once he sees that Wildgasmasks has now been brought current.

 

The Jackal Rises from its Pyre

On a random day in July, Wildgasmasks found itself faced with a heavy reality when it came to our signature design. While fulfilling the last JG1 in a 3-jackal order, the impermanence of our creations was obvious. The mold had been used far longer than its expected life. With a heavy heart, we left those 6 broken pieces to rest.

….but that hiatus was never meant to be permanent. Stego and meddle (our newest addition to the jackal lab) had enough interest (not to mention interest from our customer base) to set upon a new-but-familiar path. Over a year later, the original jackal gasmask has been rebuilt, and with a few subtle changes.

  • The JG-1 has been corrected from a slight misalignment at the eyes.  It might not be noticeable to anyone else but us, but our new design has corrected the asymmetry.
  • The Face Seal is now an integral part of the mask, built in to the shell itself. Our JG1 mold required us to create the seal separately and attach it later. No longer!
  • The addition of lens clamps. Following the designs used in our HG1 and HG2 (horse) masks, jackal mask lenses are now clamped into place rather than being held by the rubber alone.
  • Improvements made to the mold, especially in regard to how it goes together. Sure, many of our customers wont see this but it is was definitely worth Stego and meddle’s efforts, now allowing for a faster turnaround time

I cant tell you how happy we are that this day has finally come– the day that sweat, tears, and frustration turns into joy and opportunity. meddlesome pony and Stego have birthed a new era of jackal gasmasks, and the day has come when we can open up for orders.

Currently, from viewing our queue page, we look a bit full while we take care of our normal workload.  In addition, we have been taking on a few orders from those “left behind” when our mold broke all that time ago. So, we want to start compiling a waiting list, creating the first big wave of JG 1.5s that will be released into the world.

While hooded mask orders are being accepted, they will be placed on a separate waiting list, due to the longer turnaround time and needing to space them out a bit. Placement on either of the two lists will be in chronological order and we will send out another email when we are ready to put you on the queue.  If that wait doesn’t bother you, please contact us, and we will get you started.