Ever since Evolution Masks came out with their "Chemist" - I've wanted to purchase one. Badly.
And thanks to filing my taxes early, I did. At last.
For those of you unfamiliar with "The Chemist", the mask is a homage to Bryan Cranston's character "Heisenberg" on the series "Breaking Bad".
I tend to avoid monsters and "older age" masks, but I do have a few of each. I'm very particular when it comes to these two categories, and Jeffery Gardner's mask was something that definitely is worth owning. I do NOT have any "old fart" masks or zombies - those two types just strike the wrong chord with me.
First off, the design and paintjob on the mask is excellent. There is a dimensionality to the coloration that really makes it stand out. Earholes are well designed as well and very natural looking. I did find that the mask was slightly stiffer than than equivalent CFX, Realflesh or Studio135 masks, but not terribly so. There is no neck wrinkling at all.
Eye fitment is very good and very comfortable. The eyeholes almost go up to the lower lids; if I was to order this again, I would probably ask to have the eyeholes shrunk by about 1mm.
Lip fitment is a very good, but unique. In most other vendors, the lips try to "cup" around your own to provide the best fit. The "Chemist" lips tend to lay snugly on top of your own. Again, I can understand the reasoning behind this as Evolution is trying to provide the closest approximation to the Cranston character as possible vs. the best lip grip.
My one initial disappointment was the finish of the mask. Unlike almost all of my other masks (the exception being my classic SPFX Player), the Chemist was a semi-gloss finish versus the matte finish I have come to expect. However, the concerns vanished once I put it on, as the finish actually complemented the paintjob and made it appear more realistic, than less so.
The Chemist bib is on the small end of the spectrum. I've grown to appreciate the full and muscular coverage afforded by Realflesh and Studio135; the "Chemist" bib is even smaller than the CFX bib. With that said, however, I wouldn't expect a guy in this age group to be wearing a half-open shirt and flashing his pecs and washboard abs.
Having this mask would not be complete without a few accessories in line with the TV series - the hat, the sunglasses and the regular glasses.
Glasses are available on Amazon:
The hat was a little harder to come by. The style is a "Porkpie", but it is extremely difficult to find the hat in an XL or XXL size. Remember, once you put on the mask, the circumference of your head gets a lot larger. I was able to find one at a reasonable price at Village Hat Shop.
Crushable Wool Porkpie Fedora: http://www.villagehatshop.com/show_product/451139-3052
Overall, I'm extremely happy with the mask, and look forward to seeing what other masks Evolution will develop!