I had an enormous amount of fun working out how to make a gas mask from World War One. This is junk modelling at its best. I used what we had on hand (I always have a box of junk to use for such a thing as this). I try not to plan what we will do in advance because then I’d spend ages trying to collect everything I think I’ll need. It’s far better to simply use what I’ve got and make it work. After all, models are just that – models meant to represent in some way, shape or form that which it is trying to be.
How to Make a Gas Mask
Choosing the Model you Wish to Copy
I did a search online until I found a simple enough version of a gas mask from World War One. There are many versions, ranging from simple to more complex, as well as differences depending on which country they came from. I chose a British one:
Finding the Junk
I went hunting in my junk store to see if I had anything which might resemble any part of the mask above. This is what I came up with:
I stole a pair of Abigail’s science goggles, but I think you could probably use any old glasses you might have or even an old pair of binoculars or perhaps make some from card and cling film? There were many loo rolls, kitchen rolls, food canisters and some black gaffa tape. I always have gaffa tape in the house, because I don’t believe anything exists which can not be made better with a piece of gaffa tape! I also stole some army coloured material from my youngest daughter.
Making the Respirator box
First I made the respirator box, which was used to purify the air the soldiers breathed. I taped together two gravy canisters, covering them with the black tape. I also covered a loo roll with the tape and fixed that onto the top of one of the canisters. Using the material, I covered the box with it, leaving the tube black:
Making the Head Mask
Using various sized containers and tubes, I taped together a sort of hard tube which was attached to the mask. I tried to cover everything I could with the black tape to give it a unified look. Using some scrap fabric, I fashioned a material hood and attached it to the mask and tube:
Making the breathing tube
Next, I created a tube of material, sewing up the edge with a wide stitch. I then pulled the stitches tighter until I achieved a concertina effect. I attached one end of the tube to the mask tube and one end to the box respirator tube:
Make a Gas Mask: The Final Product
Here is the final product. A not very accurate, but huge amount of fun model of a gas mask from World War One:
Make a Gas Mask…and Model It!
I had Abigail dress up in her soldier’s uniform that we have made so far, including the gas mask. The front view:
The side view:
A view of the respirator box:
Another side view:
And the mask on its own:
After wards, Abigail asked if she could wear it out the next time we socialised…I’m concerned we’ve been in lockdown so long that she doesn’t know what appropriate attire is anymore. I said no. She replied that we had always told her that so long as she was modest she could wear anything she chose. Um. Sure. Well, there’s not much to say in reply to that! So, if you are out and see an otherwise regular looking girl wearing a home made World War One mask, feel free to tell her she looks ridiculous 🤣
For more World War One post click onto my History page and scroll down