Darth Islander? How Dairn Peters turns pop culture’s famous masks into hockey collectibles

Harrison Mooney

Normally, when people refer to the Canucks' Iron Man, they're talking about Henrik Sedin, who has played 558 consecutive games for the club. But when Dairn Peters enters Rogers Arena in his Iron Man mask, hand-painted in Canucks' colors, he has a legitimate claim to the title.

The mask is one of many that Peters has designed, and while there are several individuals that make a hobby of decorating protective headgear, Peters doesn't exactly work with traditional hockey masks. Unless Iron Man, Snake Eyes or Boba Fett are planning to tend the pipes, these masks probably aren't seeing in-game usage.

Here's that Iron Man man mask again, but for Montreal Canadiens fans:

Sure, he protects us from the Mandarin, but can he speak French?

So what leads one to take up a pastime like this?

"A couple years ago, I didn't have a hobby," Peters said. "I wanted to do something that was kind of a creative outlet, and happened to see a picture of some guy at a Denver Broncos game with a big, full-sized Darth Vader helmet all painted in orange with the Denver logo. I'd seen that a few years back and thought I wanted to do something like that -- that it'd be cool to wear a Canucks one."

It started with those old white goalie masks and grew in a hurry.

"Once I started doing it, I thought it was fun and relaxing and something I could do in the garage and not bug my wife," Peters recalls. "It started getting bigger. I'd see something on sale like a Storm Trooper helmet and think, I'm gonna buy that and paint that."

Or Darth Vader ...

But it's not that simple. The whole thing takes time.

"I'll buy the mask or the helmet, I sand it up, take sandpaper and sand the whole thing so the paint will adhere well," said Peters. "Then I mask it with green painter's tape, then I'll take a logo, print one off, cut it out, draw it on the painter's tape, then I take a knife, cut the logo out, peel off the tape on the area that's gonna be painted, wait for it to dry, do another section. It's kind of a long process but once it's done, it looks pretty sharp. Then I just go over with gloss and lacquer or something."

The hard work is worth it, though. Here's a gallery of some of Peters' masks:

Occasionally, Peters makes space and raises funds for new masks by selling his old masks on eBay. Recently, for instance, he sold a Boba Fett helmet painted in 1980s Canucks colors and signed by former Canucks Kirk Maclean and Dana Murzyn on eBay. Does he have plans to open a store?

I don't think so," Peters said. "I think if I got into it bigger, I'd probably end up having to talk to some teams about copyright laws. So I don't think I want to get big into this at all."

But what if someone wants to be the guy running around in the Canuck-themed Guy Fawkes mask at the next riot? Does he take requests, at least?

"I do for sure," Peters said.

Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney

What to Read Next