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 WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?

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WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« on: Sep 28, 2015, 07:18 AM »
I started with a helmet pattern I found on the "scratch built helmet" tutorial.  I used the overall vertical pieces to measure and shape, then customized my own more angular cheek bones to be consistent with the rest of my armor styling.  The dome, I pulled from 3mm Celtec (Sintra, but a different brand), but unfortunately with the stretching and deformation, I came up short on materials even though I measured an extra inch all the way around.  Lesson learned, but since I put so much time into just getting the dome to where it is now, I'd like to find out if this piece can be salvaged.

For the time being, I'm going to post just the current status shots so that I can seek feedback from the app team on whether this could be brought up to standard for approval.  I'll update with my technique and progress pics later if there is potential for approval.  Keep in mind none of the seams have yet been permanently glued.  Nothing has been filled or sanded.  This is truly a WIP.

Thanks for looking!

Left side view, before bowing:

I've been trying to bow out the forehead for a natural curve to the dome from front to back, but you can see there is still a bit of flatness at the front in this current shot:

The problem is even less obvious in the right side view:


Front view:
I haven't worked as much on evening out the side to side dome, but I'm confident I can get that part shaped properly.  The squareness will go away once I do my final trim and glue, but I wanted the form to be a little more flexible while I worked on it.  I plan to cover the gap with a brow band around the entire circumference of the helmet.  This will also provide a strong gluing surface for stability.  Is this acceptable?
Another concern I have is the mismatch in left to right check angle.  I don't care for the way the back of the cheek seems to jut out on the right side of the photo.  Also, the plane of the vertical part is disrupted at the rear cheek seam.  How much of this needs to be addressed for approval?


Top view:
I still have some evening out to do to make the seams match up at the edges, but as you can see, the dome is mostly pretty smooth.  Some of the dents will be accentuated and painted as battle damage while others will be worked out to smooth.  Rather than follow the circular helmet base and helmet dome base pattern, I elongated from front to back to narrow the helmet for my shoulder proportions and more importantly, allowed just enough room in the back to put in a ponytail. Is this acceptable?


Head shot:
For perspective of my shoulder width, here's how it looks on.  Does it sit too high?  It will be even higher once I put some padding in.  That's not something I can fix.


Somehow I failed to get a rear shot.  The gap in the back is larger than in front.  I plan to stop the brow band at the keyhole piece that will come up a little higher than standard.  I am planning for it to be in a shield-shaped hexagon such that the brow band and keyhole outline will match my chest plate sub-collar and my knees:


Thank you for your feedback.  I appreciate it very much!

Reyn Vok'chi


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Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #1 on: Sep 28, 2015, 08:00 AM »
I commend you for going the route of scratch building a bucket and I must say you have done as well as anyone given the circumstances. I really hate to be negative but the problem is two fold as I see it. I've built many buckets but would never contemplate using sintra. It's not impossible but very unforgiving, especially on complex curves. As I said, you've done really well but that leads me to the second issue. In order to get a nice finish you will need to use an awful lot of filler and this will probably cost a lot of time and money leaving you with a bucket that weighs a ton (yep, I've been there) End result being a bucket you hate trooping in that cost as much if not more than one from a vendor.
If you have your heart set on a scratch build, I'd love to see you have a go using cardstock and a skate helmet, I'm positive you'll find it easier and do a good job.
I started a tutorial a while ago, have a look and maybe search out a few others just to see what you think. If you need any more help, just ask.

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Adenn'Kal


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Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #2 on: Sep 28, 2015, 08:13 AM »
Hi vod,

Making a scrstch built helmet may be a bit frustrating vut also rewarding when you succeed. I'm currently scratch building mine. For the to i suggest you to use a skate helmet, it's cheap and save you a lot of trouble. For the cheek and cheek bones use 1 or 2 mm sintra or cardboard and resin/bondo/fiberglass. It'seasier to do the curves with these than 3 mm. when you use 3 mm you must take your time when heating and bending it. If you heat too much it's will deform and not bend well.

Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #3 on: Sep 28, 2015, 11:07 AM »
Thanks for your honest feedback.  Though disappointing to hear that approval is likely impractical, I'm still pretty proud of my work.

Regarding the finish, are you talking about all the texture to the surface? Or the undulations where the plastic did not take the exact intended form? 
The biggest reason for my choosing the sintra was I had the impression it would involve minimal sanding- ie, only at the seams and/or major imperfections.  I hate sanding, which is why I avoided the fiberglass build.

I'm not dead-set on a scratch build, but everything seems SO EXPENSIVE.  On the other hand, I've already spent an awful lot of time on this one component.  I need to be fair to my kids (I'm a single mom) and balance cost versus time invested, too.

Unfortunately for the time being, my best solution may be to finish out this project as a B-grade helmet, and wait til I have more time AND money to start over, probably with a kit. :(

Raestin Ke'Varek


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Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #4 on: Sep 28, 2015, 11:43 AM »
You should definitely be proud of what you've done.  I would commend anyone willing to try a scratch build.  I'm in the middle of one myself, and it definitely had it's challenges.  Try not to get too discouraged, there are still a lot of options for you, even if you're on a budget. 

- Lots of people have made REALLY nice helmets with just basic card stock, resin and some bondo.

- Try some pepakura.  Download the software from: http://www.tamasoft.co.jp/pepakura-en/download/viewer/ and find you some pep files.  There are several helmet files out there.  Look on www.therpf.com for lots of different ones.  Print them out on card stock, fold them up appropriately and put it all together with some hot glue.  Then resin the outside, resin/fiberglass the inside, bondo the outside a bit, then Bob's your uncle. 

- Or you can use a bike/skate helmet with some plastic 5gal buckets.  There are a TON of WIP's on here using this method.

- Or if you're persistent and lucky, you can find of the new Deluxe Boba Fett helmets in the halloween section of Target for $30. They tend to be out of stock in many places, so you may have to do some searching.  It's a GREAT platform for a good helmet at a really cheap price.  Plus it's been officially approved.  See this thread for approval requirements: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=99338.0

If you're interested in doing another "full" scratch build, print out the WOF templates and cut them out of the sintra. Then just piece them all together. 

You can find the templates on this page: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?action=ezportal;sa=page;p=1

I hope some of this helps, please don't get discouraged.  Hang in there and we'll help any way we can.  :)

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Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #5 on: Sep 28, 2015, 12:44 PM »
Any chance the boy's deluxe costume has a helmet of comparable quality?  I'll be swimming in the deluxe adult version!

Raestin Ke'Varek


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Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #6 on: Sep 28, 2015, 12:49 PM »
Not that I know of.  I know that the full sized Target helmet is big...but it only has to be roughly 1/2 the width of your shoulders **including** your shoulder armor.  So in reality, it may not be too big, just food for thought. My wife has a Jango 2PC helmet that we got from Amazon.  It needs a similar amount of work to get it passable.  It's a bit smaller, especially in the dome, but from what I hear the price has gone up on them a little, and they're a little harder to find now.

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Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #7 on: Sep 29, 2015, 10:40 PM »
Because I am hopelessly stubborn, I continued working on getting the pieces trimmed and shaped properly.



I feel like I'm still making steady progress, and this last round of improvements makes me feel like the helmet still has a chance to work.  Where does all the sanding come in with the sintra?  I know the texture isn't perfectly smooth, but metal isn't necessarily smooth, either.  Is it just when someone doesn't take the time to even out the undulations, or do I need to raise my expectations for a smoother texture?

Am I still chasing rainbows here?

Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #8 on: Sep 30, 2015, 09:39 AM »
I think it's more that you went a more hand drawn template, as opposed to using something like the WOF templates. I'd suggest at least going with a bike helmet, at least for the dome, since that will make the dome perfectly shaped, and you could probably just attach the rest of the helmet to it. You will need to fill in the holes with body filler, and all the seams of your helmet template, to smooth them out. I mean, it looks salvageable, but it might require more work than you'd want to spend on it?

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Jes'la Rozlyn (MandOC)
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Raestin Ke'Varek


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Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #9 on: Sep 30, 2015, 10:32 AM »
Honestly, almost anything can be salvaged, but it may take more work than you're willing to put into it... 

I do agree with IWantToBelieve, I think some of the design elements might be off because it looks as if it was drawn by hand. If you really want to keep the sintra helmet, then I think it would at least be worth printing out the WOF templates and using them as a guide to make sure that things are lining up like they need to.  On the plus side, Sintra is pretty awesome to work with because you can layer it using some good cement/epoxy.  I think it would really help if you at least printed out the "outer layer" of the templates.  That will help thicken things up on the t-visor section, give you a good base for the earcaps and create the ridge going around the helmet.

Also, the sanding that everyone is talking about will come from the bondo/filler work that something like this will need in order to get all of the nooks and crannies filled in and smoothed out.  It's not hard to work with, just takes a bit of elbow grease.  :)

Hope all of that helps!!  Keep us updated!

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Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #10 on: Sep 30, 2015, 03:58 PM »
I actually DID start with a template for the visor portion for a Boba Fett. :/ 

I then measured and drew a new cheek piece to be more angular so it would match my custom armor better.  I had it mocked up in paper, and it all fit and was symmetrical and all.    Maybe I should have stuck with the standard helmet for the first build, but I think I know where I went wrong a few different places:
1. I didn't trace out the fit of the cheeks into the visor until it was a curved surface, because a. I was afraid it wouldn't translate properly going from flat to curved and b. the template would NOT cooperate and print on legal size no matter what I tried, so I had to piece together the face and basically guess how wide the cheek opening was supposed to be
2. One of the cheek pieces deformed considerably while I was cutting it out.

Do you think it would be a reasonable fix for the asymmetry of the visor to use the three dents as damage points, so that the deformation is justified by battle blows?  I'm not sure how much I can 'get away with' so to speak in terms of what will look realistic once painted versus what is going to end up looking like I was compensating for my beginner work.

Raestin Ke'Varek


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Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #11 on: Sep 30, 2015, 04:29 PM »
I know exactly what you mean regarding the square cut cheeks on a curved surface.  My helmet had the same issue.  You have to get really creative when you start trying to fit the upper cheek section on.  You can see on mine that I had a bit of a gap that I had to fill with apoxie sculpt. 


And now that they're filled in, I have some sanding to do in order to square everything up.


Do you have a heat gun?  (If not, I recommend one)  If so, my suggestion would be to cut all of the cheeks back out, then use the heat gun to warm the front up so you can shape it to be more symmetrical.  Work on getting the cut-out for the cheeks square and symmetrical also.  Then make some new paper templates for the cheeks.  Mock it all up with some hot glue so you know it's all good, then use those as templates to make new cheek pieces.  Also It's hard to tell, but it looks like you did the upper cheek section as one piece.  I think you'll find it a lot easier if you cut it into three pieces, then use one flat piece as the lower cheek section.  See my picture above.  Just use a dab of hot glue to tack each piece in place.


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Adenn'Kal


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Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #12 on: Oct 01, 2015, 07:45 AM »
Because I am hopelessly stubborn, I continued working on getting the pieces trimmed and shaped properly.



I feel like I'm still making steady progress, and this last round of improvements makes me feel like the helmet still has a chance to work.  Where does all the sanding come in with the sintra?  I know the texture isn't perfectly smooth, but metal isn't necessarily smooth, either.  Is it just when someone doesn't take the time to even out the undulations, or do I need to raise my expectations for a smoother texture?

Am I still chasing rainbows here?

No you're nit chasung a rainbow. Stubborness gives birth to great project. You should not let diwn because you received criticisism. You should use them to improve and that's what you did. Your top is alresdy much better than in the first picts. Keep at it and don't let doen. You'll learn from this. I feel with what i see that you can still make it with the helmet.

You have to be patient and take your time. I can't stress this enough. With a scratch built helmet if you rush you will make mistakes. With mine i tale my time and sometimes i want to work on it but i don't because i don't feel confidant with what i'll do. So i put it aside and think more until i'm sure of what i'll do. Don't let down. Next one will be much more easier ;).

Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #13 on: Oct 01, 2015, 08:33 AM »
^^^ This exactly.

Don't feel like you're obligated to do anything anyone tells you to do on here, just take it as it is, a suggestion, or an idea that might blossom into something else. In the end your helmet is just that, yours, and how you get there is up to you. Everything we've said in here are just ideas, or suggestions we can make using what pictures you've supplied. In the end, you have the final say on what to and not to do with your helmet, especially since you're the one who's looking at it from every angle possible, and has the best view of what it looks like.

That being said, Raestin has the right idea. It's similar to what I did with my helmet's angular cheeks. I used the WOF Templates, and just stenciled in a more angular mandible, then made the inward slope and cheek 1 piece, which I changed to 2 separate pieces, and then 4 pieces before bondoing. After I had glued it in, I also had a gap where the top of the cheek meets it. I just filled it in with some more sintra scraps and bondo, and sanded it to kingdom come, and it came out nice and angled. Just keep it up, and you'll have it in no time!

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WIP Threads:
Sabine Master List

Jes'la Rozlyn (MandOC)
- Planning
- Helmet
- Soft Bits
- Hard Bits
Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #14 on: Oct 01, 2015, 08:54 AM »
Raestin, thanks for the reference photos and suggestions.  I think it will really help to trim the front of the mask to get it symmetrical again.  I've only hot glued the plates in place so far (phew!!!) so it'll be simple to pull the cheek pieces back out.  Yes, they're each 2 pieces whereas I see yours are four, so that will be an improvement as well.  I am using a heat gun.
I'm curious, are you leaving the ridge from the visor to the dome?  I think I'm going to need to make a wider band to add some space vertically. 

WarSpirit and IWantToBelieve, thanks for the encouragement.  I'm really glad to hear there is still hope yet.

I do have a skate helmet on hand in case I have to abandon my handmade dome, and fortunately they're just about the same shape in circumference.  I worked more on the rounding out the top where there was some lumpiness, and I have just three major spots left that need work.  My biggest concern at the moment is the dome not being tall enough.

It wouldn't be a total loss if I had to abandon the dome.  I have three kids' masks (1 Vader/2 TK) that I'd love to convert to actual helmets just for fun, so that's actually not an awful option.

Raestin Ke'Varek


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Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #15 on: Oct 01, 2015, 09:26 AM »
I'll second what the others have said, don't get discouraged.  It's definitely NOT a lost cause, and it's not too late to turn this into a masterpiece. 

As for the ridge, most scratch builds have the ridge (as well as most production helmets).  When you make one from scratch, generally you'll start with a dome (from scratch or premade), then you'll add the "inner layer" onto the bottom of the dome with a bit of overlap.  This gives you something to secure the dome to the bottom of the dome using screws or rivets.  After that's secure, you'll add the "outer" layer onto that.  So if you're using 3mm sintra, you'd have a 6mm ridge from the visor to the dome.  That's pretty thick, but it is what it is.  :P 

I made a crude drawing with each of the layers, I hope this helps (and makes sense).  I really want this to work out for you!!

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UPDATED 10/12: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #16 on: Oct 01, 2015, 11:15 AM »
I lost some momentum while getting ready for a Halloween party, but I'm back on it.  I'll be a little slow while I focus on the rest of my build for a party THIS WEEKEND, but I want to finish this out with an approvable helmet, eventually.


I didn't take mayn photos this phase because, well, it's tough to see the improvements in black plastic with my crappy lighting.  I added a band to create some stability for the dome to mask seam, but it still needs smoothing and shaping.  I also applied bondo to the two seams in the dome.

I took the advice to cut out the cheek and improve the lines/symmetry on the T, and while it looks a lot better, I didn't quite get it to where I wanted.  I can't decide if it's worth taking back out again this time.  I'm thinking no.  I did cut out ear pieces; the back piece will be similar but wider and taller-not cut yet; photo showing that is just an ear piece for the general gist.
[URL=http://s359.photobucket.com/user/vluvski/media/IMAG0851_zpssrerux9h.jpg.html][URL=http://s359.photobucket.com/user/vluvski/media/IMAG0856_zpsmt1jhfez.jpg.html]


Kjeldo


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Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #17 on: Nov 11, 2015, 06:51 AM »
The scratch built buy'ce is a great undertaking!  Our Clan Alor'ad has a great tutorial that I'd like to share with you.  The components are quite reasonable and I've seen quite a few done in this manner.  Here's the link for your consideration...

http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=76655.0

Oya, Vod!


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Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #18 on: Nov 11, 2015, 09:06 AM »
Definitely - I think what made life easier for us was using the existing dome from a Skate Helmet - that gives you a solid base that you know will fit your head.
I'd recommend following up on Kjeldo's link and Raestin's WIP - both show excellent examples.

We've built two from scratch using skateboard helmets for domes...



Here's the link to our WIP that details how we did it, pretty much step-by-step: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=93907.15

I will say that building a form out of cardboard makes all the difference when shaping...


And having a second pair of hands to help is a big bonus.  If you're having trouble forming the cheeks - have a look at Raestin's WIP - his method of breaking it down into smaller sections makes the process a lot more controllable.

But don't give up - you might have to backtrack and start afresh, but you'll be doing that with all the knowledge and skills you've built up so far.
Best of luck!

Re: WIP: Scratch-built Sintra helmet?
« Reply #19 on: Jan 26, 2016, 02:12 PM »
I had to put things on hold for awhile, but I have made some pictured progress.  I think the overall helmet is beginning to take shape now. 

Frontal:

This photos shows what I feel are the two biggest challenges-
1. These dang cheeks!  Every time I try to work one spot, another gets wonky on me, or the circumerferencial shape goes out.  Right now, I'm going to try gluing it all up, painting it solid, and see if I can get away with (gulp) sanding around the seams to make it look nice and clean with my paint.  I'm hoping it looks worse than it is.  I don't like the way that right cheek is flaring out.
2. The headband stretched differently when I shaped it to the ridge, so my perfectly cut 2" strip is no longer so perfectly 2".  You might be able to make out the pencil line above the right brow where I need to sand down.

Right side:

It's a little tall in the center, but overall as smooth a curve as I can achieve.  What say you?
With the ear in place, the tallness isn't quite so obvious.


Back:

The right side (from the back) looks higher than the left.  I will adjust for this when I permanently glue the band in place.  Right now, I just have skinny shims keeping it spaced high enough for a good fit.
I'm pleased with how well the rear plate fits.  Haven't decided on my design for the key holes.


Left:
Nothing here that isn't really noted from the right view.






 


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