A Mission to Save This Jackal God

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.

Two people dressed in head-to-toe rubber carry a gurney. There is a person in rubber with a jackal mask on. Illustration by James Newland, copyright 2021.
You could absolutely call this a jackal emergency. Artwork by Spacepup Silver: (spacepupsilver.com)

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.

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.

Endangered Jackals / Angled Hose Set

Looks like our misfortunes with mold continue.  As of November, we found another irreversible breakage that we had to deal with.  In an equally unfortunate manner, our JG2 mold broke at the ears.  The breakage is definitely significant and, given the specifics of where it broke, its non-salvageable at this point.  So, with that, jackals have met the end of 2012 with tragedy.

I guess we cant say its fully end-game for these jackals.  Before the breakage of the JG1 had even happened, we were considering (and in the process of finding time) reviving the masks  with new versions of our molds.  Now, its become a must and we have no jackals to offer in the meantime.

Please note that, we still need BUSTS.  Read this post (if you havent already) and it may explain about what we are looking for specifically.  First order of business is these new JG 1.5 and JG 3.0 molds, but we still need a solution that will enable us to take hooded orders again.

In the meantime, we have one object of “new-ness” in the lab — a set of double hoses which uses an angled entry points instead of the usual hoses that we carry. This setup is designed for any of our double-port masks (including all our non-muzzle-mount HG1s and HG2s).   This set up is available for $80USD, and includes the pictured rubber cover for your wye hose.

Time continues to be fleeting and we shall be on holiday around 12/20/2012.  We will still be taking and handling orders, but at a slower pace.  So, for now, we work hard.  Morale continues to be good….

…our sanity on the other hand….