Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thor Helmet

As soon as I finish and posted the final images of my Loki helmet (seen here) my friend Jay asked for me to make a Thor helmet.....and I said "ok".  

Looking online for reference images, I found that there are a lot of various Thor helmets.  Like the Loki helmet, I am not going to make it exactly as seen in the movies.  I'm going to add my own twist to it.

For the most part, all the Thor helmets have the same dome helmet with wings attached to it.  The wings are what is mostly different about each helmet.  So my first step will be to make a basic dome shaped helmet.

To start, I'm going to use the Featherweight method for making the main part of the helmet.  This method involves cutting strips of cardboard to form the basis of the helmet.  I also like to add that I started making this helmet at my job when there was no power.  So the images may be dark.  Also, since there was no power for my hot glue gun, I had to assemble this helmet using pieces of clear tape.

Once the main dome of the helmet was complete, I added more to the back so that it sits lower on my neck.

I also added pieces of cardboard on the sides - mainly as reinforcements for the wings that will be added later.

I have to say, this is probably my worst-looking pre-helmet I've made.  But considering I have no power and minimal light, it's not too terrible.

At this point I was done with the dome helmet.  The next step will be to apply plaster wrap to strengthen and solidify it, but I will have to wait until I get home to do that.  So while I was still at work I began cutting interesting shapes that could make up the wings.

I started cutting out the shapes and laying them on top of each other, but it wasn't working well.  This is what happens when you don't plan ahead.  So next I started making sketches of possible wing designs.

The second image above is the design that I liked the best, mostly because I added the filigree designs that were present on the Loki helmet.  

When I got home from my powerless day at work, I applied some plaster wrap onto my helmet.  I ran out of wrap during this progress so it is not completely covered yet.  But the inside and outside of the dome were covered, so when it dries I can work on it.

While the plaster dried I went to work on the wings.  I cut out a template I liked from some card stock.

I used the template on a sheet of insulation foam.

And cut out the basis for the wings.

When the plaster wrap had dried, I added some wood filler to the 4 quadrants of the dome to even them out a bit.

Then while that dried, I started to bevel the edges of the wings.

After the edges were beveled, I then sanded them smooth.

Next I cut pieces of cardboard to start layering the different levels of the wings.

I then used the cardboard pieces as templates for the other side.

Then I glued the cardboard to the foam.  Once the glue dried, I created cardboard shapes for the 'bottom' side of the wings.

I glued them on too, and added a few more shapes to build up the look and weight.

Next I took sheets of paper and trimmed them down to fit onto each cardboard panel of the wings.  

When the size and shape of the paper was right, I started to draw the filigree designs.

I traced the filigrees onto crafting foam sheets and cut them out.

When the wood filler on the helmet dried I gave the helmet another covering of plaster wrap.

Then I gave the wings a covering of plaster wrap.

Everything is covered in plaster wrap now.  It looks like it's going to be a good looking helmet.

When the plaster dried I gave the helmet some wood filler to smooth the surface and to round it out.

While that dried I grabbed my original paper template for the wings and started drawing out filigree designs for the insides of the wings.

And then cut it out...

...and traced it onto crafting foam....

...and cut it out.

Next, I went back to my Helmet and wings and gave them some more wood filler.

While that dried, I folded some card stock in half and began to create shapes that will eventually go on the helmet top.

Then I traced those shapes onto crafting foam and cut them out.

The orange foam is the normal thin foam I get.  The white foam is a lot thicker, and this is the first time I am using it.  I hope it works out well.

Once the helmet and wings were dry, I gave them a sanding.

Next, I drilled holes in the sides of the helmet where the wings will connect to the helmet.

And I places some bolts in the holes.

I then drilled holes on the wings and bolted them to the helmet.

Together at last.

Since the cardboard and plaster on the helmet, and the foam of the wings are hardly substantial for keeping the bolts in place for long, I used a lot of glue to keep everything in place.  This is only temporary - I will be building up and strengthening the area later.

I put on the helmet and it feels good.

Since the helmet with all the wood filler is way heavier than the wings, the helmet sat well on my head and did not shift.

After a little more reinforcement of glue in the space between the wings and the helmet, I left it alone to dry.

I wonder how the Thor and Loki helmets feel being in such close proximity to each other :P

Next, I cut some pieces of insulation foam and shaped them to fit into the chin guard areas of the wings and helmet. This will eventually become one solid piece and thus strengthen the bond between helmet and wing...but I didn't connect them yet.

First I started to add of the foam shapes around the helmet.

And started to glue on the filigrees.

Then I added the foam.  I cut and sanded the foam to fit the space as best I could.

For the inner filigrees I trimmed my original foam cut outs since they didn't fit too well.

But it still looks pretty good!

Then I covered the foam chin areas with plaster wrap.

And also the orange foam parts on the helmet.

Now everything has to dry.

Next I added wood filler to the parts of the helmet with the plaster wrap.

When the wood filler dried I added more wood filler, covering some of the foam on the front.

I also added white glue around all the foam filigrees to better keep them in place and to fill in the edges.

Next I started to cut out more foam shapes to add to the front and sides of the helmet.

Next I added wood filler to fill in various spaces between the foam and the helmet.

Next came sanding...

This was not easy to sand.  I added too many filigrees and details - a lot of them too small to get in there and sand.  But I am not overly worried.  This helmet is going to look banged up like Loki's, so having a lot of grit in between might be helpful.

So I added a few more filigrees before I gave it it's first coat of primer.
The first coat was light gray.

The second coat was black primer.

I'll be honest here.  I was not feeling too great about this helmet at first.  I didn't give the helmet decent enough sanding and a lot of my wood filler applications were less than stellar.  Also I had several different colored foam on it and to me it was looking a bit silly.  But now that it has some priming and some of the surfaces have been smoothed out it's looking a lot better.

...but I feel like adding more filigrees and other small elements....

And then it's primer time again.

Next it gets it's first coat of silver paint.

I usually don't show me spray painting the insides or bottoms my helmets.  To do this I usually layer the ground in cardboard and lay the helmet on top of it.  While I was doing that to this helmet, I decided to spray paint the helmet stand black.

I sprayed protective enamel on the top of the stand so that paint doesn't wear off on the insides of the helmet.  When the stand and insides were top dried, I put them aside to fully dry.  

The next step is turning out to be one of my favorites - weathering!

Just like the Loki helmet, I used black acrylic paint to create a weathered, dirty look.

Then I took it outside for some blood splattering.

I used red acrylic paint on a brush and flung it at the helmet to create the look of being in a very bloody battle.

Then using a piece of plaster wrap as a filter, I spray painted more red paint to create a misty blood effect.

Once the blood dried I coated the helmet in a few coats of glossy enamel.

Next I added strips of foam to make the interior of the helmet more comfortable.

Then I tried it on.

It's pretty comfortable but it still wiggled around on my head a little so then added a few strips of furniture foam to make sure the helmet fits snugly on my head.

And I'm done!

This has been a fun helmet to work on.  Thanks again to my friend Jay for suggesting I make it, and thank you for reading!!!


  1. Where do you get all your free time? Inspiring and humbling. Great stuff as always.

  2. Thanks Phil. The reason I think I get a lot done is this: I have a creative job, so I can cut and glue things at work without people thinking I'm fooling around. I also have no kids at home and a girlfriend who is supportive of my art endeavors. So those 2 things add up to a decent amount of progress.

  3. Hi, Timbo! My friend and I are planning to make Thor and Loki helmets for Halloween. We've never tried to do anything like this before, so we're kind of lost as far as materials go. I have a few questions for you...

    1. What kind of foam did you use? What was the thickness?
    2. What kind of wood filler did you use?
    3. What kind of primer did you use? And what is filler primer?
    4. How much plaster wrap (about) did you use for the Loki helmet?
    5. We know absolutely nothing about sanding or sandpaper. What should we do about that?
    6. What kind of spray paint did you use? What was the brand and color name?
    7. What kind of clay did you use for the Loki helmet?


  4. Hello Rachel! Thanks for your request. I am happy to help. As for your questions....
    1. I used various foams for both helmets, but the primary foam I used for Loki's helmet was Insulation foam. This you can buy at home depot or lowes for relatively cheap. At those stores the foam is either pink or Light Blue and they feel like styrofoam only a lot more dense and not so easy to break. I believe the thickness was .5" I also used crafting foam sheets which can be bought at Michaels or Walmart. This stuff is usually found in the kid's crafting section and comes in a variety of colors. This stuff is easy to cut with a knife or scissors and east to glue onto your piece.
    2. Wood filler - I usually use Elmers brand wood filler which you can buy at home depot, lowes or walmart. I'd get the biggest batch you can. It's not overly expensive and you might use a lot of it.
    3. Primer/filler primer - I usually use Rustoleum Automotive Primer & filler primer. Filler primer helps seal and fill in small holes and gaps. This is especially good after applying and sanding wood filler since it tends to leave small holes and imperfections. The more primer you use, the smoother your piece becomes. I buy mine at home depot, lowes, walmart or almost any auto store. Be sure to fully cover any exposed insulation foam before spray painting. The spray paint will eat away at the foam.
    4. Plaster wrap - I usually buy mine at Michael's art store. They only have one brand, but the name escapes me. This stuff is great, so buy plenty of it.
    5. Sanding/Sandpaper - There are various grits of sandpaper from course to fine. The course sandpaper will remove and shape material better, but will leave a lot of scratches. Fine sandpaper is good for finishing and getting a very smooth finish. You can buy sandpaper almost anywhere. A pack of 80-grit sandpaper (course) is good to start with. 120-grit sandpaper is a good medium grit, and 220 grit is very fine and good for doing your final sandings.
    6. Spray paint - I used various brands and colors. I tend to shy away from cheaper, generic brands. Again, rustoleum makes some pretty decent colors. That part is all up to you. Whatever brand or color you do decide to use, just read the directions on the can for applications and drying times.
    7. Clay - I used an air-drying clay I bought at Michaels. Again, the name escapes me, but I know there are not many brands of it. There are a ton of non-drying clay, so be sure to get the right one.

    Feel free to email me if you need further assistance. I'm happy to help and I'd love to see how yours come out.
    Good Luck!