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 Brother and Sister-in-law's helmets PIC HEAVY [FINISHED]

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Ran


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Hey ner'vode!

So I've already got a helmet WIP on the back burner, and now I've decided to take on two more. :P :laugh:

My brother and his fiancee are going to get married in two months. They're both Star Wars fans, so I decided it would be cool to make them each a personal helmet as a wedding present. I doubt they'll ever become OMs and go trooping, but it's something cool and unique to put on the shelf. ;)

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So, I'm starting off with my soon to be sister-in-law's bucket. I'm using an old J2P that I've had lying around forever as the base. Originally I was gonna turn this into my little sister's helmet, but that and my own will have to wait until after the wedding. :laugh:



I cut the old face off with my dremel and cut a new one out of a bucket. I could have left it the way it was, but I wanted the helmet to have a more Night Owl/ Sabine-ish look. Plus I just wanted to chop stuff up. :P I figured I'd learn new stuff and gain experience if I customized it a lil'.





So I threw some epoxy on the brow and clamped the face on, aligning it with the forehead arrows to make sure it was straight.



Next I cut some strips of plastic from the bucket and began to make the inner cheek. This has been the most difficult part so far. I drew several templates on various sheets of paper, trying to get the right shape, then transferred them to the plastic. I trashed several pieces of plastic trying to get it to fit right, and trimmed and cut and modified them until I got one the fit decent. It had the shape and curve that I wanted, but I had no way to hold the thing in place to glue it in. :laugh: So I recruited my cousin to hot glue it in place while I held it there. Worked out pretty well, he didn't even burn me. :P





The cheeks were also hard to cut to shape and install, especially trying to get them symmetrical, but after several re-cuts I got it pretty good. There are some gaps where the meeting pieces of plastic aren't perfectly flush, but they'll be filled in with Apoxie Sculpt.

At this point everything was just held together with hot glue, but that was just to keep it together long enough for me to fiberglass the inside. Did that and now it's nice and sturdy.




Working with fiberglass in messy and nasty.  :P

But it made a wobbly J2P sturdy and strong, definitely recommend its use to anyone who is working with one of these helmets. ;)



Modified the T-visor design a lil'.




Apoxie Sculpt applied to fill in the gaps and smooth out the cheeks.

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And that's where I'm at now! :D

Should be updating it shortly. Probably gonna need some more Apoxie sculpt/bondo touch ups around the face after I sand it.



« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 11:28 PM by Ran » Logged
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Re: Brother and Sister-in-law's helmets WIP
« Reply #1 on: Jan 27, 2017, 05:59 PM »
That's some nice work, vod.

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Re: Brother and Sister-in-law's helmets WIP
« Reply #2 on: Jan 29, 2017, 08:59 PM »
Good start.

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Re: Brother and Sister-in-law's helmets WIP
« Reply #3 on: Jan 30, 2017, 04:32 AM »
Looking pretty good vod

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Ran


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Re: Brother and Sister-in-law's helmets WIP
« Reply #4 on: Feb 08, 2017, 07:12 PM »
That's some nice work, vod.
Good start.
Looking pretty good vod

Thanks ner'vode! It means alot. :D

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So, sorry for the lack of updates.

I sanded down the Apoxie on the cheeks, then added more to the low spots and sanded again. It'll probably need one more coat and sanding till I'm happy with it. Forgot to take pics of that.

I ordered a blank helmet from Lonewolf for my brothers helmet, as well as an extra set of earcaps for this one. Lonewolf is ridiculously easy to work with, fully recommend. ;D I don't think I'll get to working on the bro's helmet 'till I'm farther along with this one. I'm not a good multi-tasker. cX




Glued in the ears using epoxy. Both helmets are gonna have mirrored earcaps. Problem with this helmet is that the sides are actually flat, they're convex meaning that the earcaps don't sit flush. As you can see in the picture, the front side of the caps sits nice and flush, with pretty much no gap, while the back had to be filled in.

The gap was very wide and deep. I thought about just filling it all in with Apoxie-sculpt, but thought it'd be a better bet to fill it with something stronger. Apoxie-sculpt is way stronger than bondo, but it's still brittle, and I didn't want it to crack. So I filled in the gap with epoxy. It was kinda tricky getting the glue in there, first I tried to use toothpicks but it quickly became clear that that wasn't gonna work. :laugh: So I got a small syringe that I had lying around and fill it up with epoxy and squeezed into the gaps. It worked better than I ever expected! The epoxy went perfectly into place and filled all the little gaps. I washed the syringe with hot water and dish soap while the epoxy was still wet and most of it came out, so even the syringe survived! Then I just added some Apoxie-culpt to the outside and sanded it smooth. ;)



I also filled the gap that was between the face plastic and the dome and sanded it smooth.



Touched up the seam line with a combination of Apoxy-sculpt and bondo. The stronger Apoxy-sculpt sits directly on the seam line, while the easier to apply bondo feathers out the edges. Not quite at baby-butt smoothness, but a few more rounds of higher grit will straighten that out. :P

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Re: Brother and Sister-in-law's helmets PIC HEAVY
« Reply #5 on: Mar 07, 2017, 09:44 PM »
Long time, no update.

I'm terrible at keeping WIPs up to date.
I'll try harder I promise! Just... just gimme another chance!



. . . :l

Anyhoo, progress has been made. (You better have made progress kid, the wedding's two weeks away!)


T-visor has been cut out and, if I do say so myself, I think it looks gorgeous! :kiss:
The seams in the cheeks have been filled in, sanded, filled again, sanded again... You see where this is going? This has been the most time consuming, tedious, frustrating part of this build so far. Seems like you're making no progress. Not to mention all the ingenious ways of holding the helmet in between my legs that I've had to invent in order to properly sand all the stubborn nooks and crannies. I'm sure alotta you guys can relate. :P And while performing said gymnastic sanding, I sometimes end up pushing a seam too hard and it cracks, meaning I've got to epoxy that sucker again and re-bondo. Again. cX


Think I'm getting carpal tunnel. Still, means that it's made with love... right? :laugh:

BUT! Finally got all the junk smooth that needs to be smooth. :D And I threw on a Boba style connector/mic on the cheek. ;)




Also got the bro's helmet buttered up and ready to bake.




So, fully of excitement and optimism I threw on some primer, ready to knock these helmets outta the park, pull them straight outta the movie screen and watch my brother's face as he sees his stunned reflection stare back at him in the dark reflection of his brand new, glossy T-visor!

Instead the primer revealed all kinds of scratches all over the face of the helmet, ugly rough spots on the inner cheeks, and a very visible seam line. 3X

The scratches and rough spots I had already been working on for forever now, but now matter how much I sand, some of the deep scratches always persisted. The areas with bondo on them sanded down to buttery smoothness, while the plastic, especially the parts made out of the bucket, stubbornly resisted smoothing out. So I sanded down the bad areas once again, scrubbing my best to get everything as uniform as possible. Did the same with the seam, added more bondo, then smoothed that out. You can see all the layers and different colors of bondo and Apoxie Sculpt trying to work together to make a smooth finish. XD




Everything's sanded down and smoothed out to the best that my sane mind could take, but a few of those stubborn areas still persisted, like they had a personal vendetta against me. So I switched to a filler primer (hence the color change) and sprayed on many coats. Luckilly, it did it's job! It filled in what was left of the scratches and junk, and now the whole helmet is uniform and looks much more professional!

The other bucket gave me far less problems, because I basically just had to glue the ears on, fill 'em and paint.




Next step is to wet sand a 'lil bit to take out the orange peel, then I can proceed with my metallic coat! Finally starting to look like something! ;D

Comments and advice muy appreciated. ;)





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UPDATE


So last night I wet sanded and sprayed on the glorious metallic undrcoat and let it dry overnight. (Brought 'em inside to snuggle up in my room. (It's so dang cold in the garage who knows if they'd ever have cured. (And my brother live in the same house, so I hid the lids in my closet. (Genius.))))





And now they're shiny and beautiful. Exciting to see some color finally hit the helmets!




But, like a true di'kut I made the wise decision to start painting without cutting out the visor of the Boba. So, invenitably, as I cut it out there were some minor blemishes to the metalloc coat. No problem right? Just spray another layer on there and pretend like nothing happened.

Unless of course you have a useless trigger finger and you spray a huge ugly pool right on the face.



Gahh! I'm so irritated with myself!

I've gotta wait overnight for it to dry again, just so I can sand it right of and spray again and let that dry.

I guess it's not really the end of the world, but it's like two steps forward and one step back. (-̩̩-̩̩͡_-̩̩-̩̩͡)

Such is the life of a costumer I suppose. Cx










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ENCORE UPDATE!

Went and applied Instant Liquid Intimidation Fluoride (Now with patent pending BreathSaverŽ technology) to the helmets as well as a black base coat.



I think I got a 'lil carried away with the Night Owl, but I'm just gonna roll with it.

If I had to do it again, I think I would buy a teeny tiny paint brush, and use real masking fluid instead of toothpaste. The finish on this so far looks pretty splotchy, and I think it's because of the toothpaste beading up with itself. Any tips? Oh well, hopefully with all the layers of weathering and after going over it with sandpaper and blackwash it'll turn out.

« Last Edit: Mar 09, 2017, 09:20 PM by Ran » Logged
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Re: Brother and Sister-in-law's helmets PIC HEAVY
« Reply #6 on: Mar 10, 2017, 02:41 AM »
Looking cool.

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Ran


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Re: Brother and Sister-in-law's helmets PIC HEAVY
« Reply #7 on: Mar 14, 2017, 02:01 AM »
Looking cool.

Thanks ner'vod! :D


So I've been doing lots of painting and LOTS of masking. And, of course, not a whole lot of picture taking. :-X I think my problem is that my phone is plugged into my speakers the whole time, and taking a picture requires pausing my music and disconnecting it, and that's just not worth it. :laugh:

But I've got a couple.



The weathering on the night owl is ridiculously more than I orignally intended, and I thought about sanding it off and starting over, but I just don't have enough time. But as I've put on more layers of paint and see the colors mingle with each other, I'm starting to like it more and more! My bro's helmet on the other hand has much more reserved weathering in comparison, which actually matches their personalities because he's a reserved person. :laugh:

I think the blue turned out really cool on the standard helmet. ;D Have to wait and see how the face turns out.

The night owl, like I said, is very weathered, especially in the  face, and all the different colors of paint coming almost give it a splattered paint effect, which is actually pretty cool. Don't have any pictures of that yet though, sorry. :-\

I've since upgraded from toothpick application to an actual brush and the difference is astounding. It is so much easier to apply and I have much more control. Still using toothpaste as masking fluid and will definately invest in the real stuff next time. It makes my whole work station and clothes and body a horrible, sticky, minty mess. It can be runny, and when you wipe it off in order to apply masking tape to tape off sections for different colors, it leaves behind a greasy film that tape will not stick to, no matter how much you scream beg or pray.

So if there's a lesson in here, it's that toothpaste is cheap, but it creates much more work than it's worth.

There's room for improvement in my weathering skills, and being on a tight deadline makes it really stressful, but other than that I'm relatively happy with my build so far.  ;)

« Last Edit: Mar 14, 2017, 02:11 AM by Ran » Logged
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Re: Brother and Sister-in-law's helmets PIC HEAVY
« Reply #8 on: Mar 14, 2017, 09:29 PM »
Nice work! I imagine this is good practice for your own helmet, too, huh?

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Ran


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Re: Brother and Sister-in-law's helmets PIC HEAVY
« Reply #9 on: Mar 14, 2017, 10:11 PM »
Nice work! I imagine this is good practice for your own helmet, too, huh?

Oh yeah. Despite being on this forum for years and trying to absorb as much knowledge as possible, nothing beats experience. I've learned alot already, and have made many mistakes which I'll try not to repeat. :laugh:

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Scratch Build WIP
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"Can your science explain the magic of rainbows?"
"Light defraction through moisture in the atmosphere."
"... It's a sad world you live in."

Ran


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  • Not the crown makes the king.
Re: Brother and Sister-in-law's helmets PIC HEAVY
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2017, 11:27 PM »
Apologies for the absence of updates guys.

But I've got good news! The helmets are done! Complete with padding! cX And I was even able to finish them before the wedding!
That was two months ago, I know, just have been too busy (translated: lazy) to upload pics and write this post. :laugh:

It was a close one, was working on it literally the night before the wedding, sweating bullets and wanting to just smash the things and be done with it. XD It was stressful, but definitely worth it. They loved their helmets and I learned alot, and made something cool. :D













It was a difficult project, but I'm so glad it's done! I had plenty of hiccups, and rarely did things go according to plan, but it worked out, in its own infuriating kind of war. :P
Hard to imagine from where it started out to what it became, at least for me.

They aren't perfect by any means. They came out way more weathered than I originally intended, but I made it work. ;) Plus, in my sleep deprived, caffeine fueled, frustrated, night-before-wedding state I kinda screwed up the visors. They were installed with copious amounts of hot glue, and I managed to both scratch and get glue on the visors. They look fine from the outside, but inside they're smudgy and blurry. I'll replace them eventually (hopefully) but for now, it's suits them fine for their lives on display on my brother's shelf.

Learned so much and had a good time building these, time to kick out my own bucket! 8)

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"Can your science explain the magic of rainbows?"
"Light defraction through moisture in the atmosphere."
"... It's a sad world you live in."

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Re: Brother and Sister-in-law's helmets PIC HEAVY [FINISHED]
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2017, 01:02 PM »
Oya! Great job!

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