Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Captain America Helmet

My Girlfriend commented that since I've made several Iron Man helmets, a Loki helmet and a Thor helmet, I ought to complete the Avengers and make a Captain America Helmet.
I can never say no to my Girlfriend :)

To start off with, I grabbed the dome of a helmet I made a long time ago but never went further with it.

Using strips of cardboard I created the eyes and nose area of the helmet.  I bent the cardboard around my own face to get this shape.

Then I glued those pieces to the dome.

Using more strips of cardboard I wrapped the eye pieces around the entirety of the helmet and glued in place.

Next I took a piece of cardboard and began shaping the eye/nose area to better match reference material.

When the shape was right, I used the cardboard as a template and made a second piece to mirror the first.

And then I glued them in place.

Next, I cut out the ear areas.

And I added another piece of cardboard to the back at an angle to created the flared back seen in reference photos.

Lastly, I cut more from the eye area to match reference photos.

Next, I took a few small pieces of crafting foam and created a brow shape to go above the eye holes.

The purpose of this unibrow is to make that area push forward a little bit.  The profile image below better illustrates this.

When I got home I tried the helmet on.  It was a bit on the big sides, so I did some trimming so it fit better.

I also made some freehand wings out of insulation foam and crafting foam.

...but I won't be attaching these to the helmet just yet.
Next, we apply plaster wrap.

I held up the wings next to the helmet to see how it would look...

...and I think it will look good!
Next, I painted the foam wings with acrylic paint.  This will protect the wings when I apply spray on primer.

Then it went outside for some primer.

Unfortunately the acrylic base did not do a good job sealing the foam.

So I threw those wings away and made new ones - this time out of 1/25" crafting foam.

I used some thin orange crafting foam to cover the edges and make it look cleaner.

Next I added wood filler to the helmet.

While that dried, I made a tracing of the front of the helmet on some card stock.  Then I drew lines around the tracing for where I want the under fabric to show.  This under fabric is the leather-looking material you see in the very first image on this posting.

Then I took that template and copied it onto crafting foam.

I cut it out and some other elements, including the "A" on the front of the helmet.

After some sanding of the helmet I decided to glue everything together.

I even added the chin strap.

But the helmet was not coming along as nicely as I wanted.  I tried the helmet on and I honestly looked like a bug.  I know some of my readers love it when I take pictures of me wearing my helmets, but you're out of luck today.  So, I scrapped the helmet and found a Pepakura file to work off of.

I found the pep file online quite easily, and printed and assembled it in about an hour using blue crafting foam.  And for all the readers who feel ripped-off  for not seeing the last helmet on my head, here is a treat for you...

Yes, I look silly, but the important thing is the helmet fits.
Next I added brown foam to create the leather underside and ear cover.

Eventually everything here will be covered with plaster and filler, but I had fun making this out of the blue and brown foam.  It gives me a slight hint as to how it will look when done and colorized.  But now it is time to make this more of my own style.

I used some thicker foam to create a rim around the ear areas.

And more thick foam to build up the pentagon shape of the ears.

And also added a rim to the back of the helmet.

Then I started adding to the ear/straps area.

I layered strips of foam to create an overlapping leather strip look.

Then I used 2 strips to create the chin strap.

Next I gave the outer helmet a coating of plaster wrap.  I left the inside of the helmet intact so that it remained somewhat comfortable to wear.

The chin straps did not hold up well, so I cut them off.

And then began covering the helmet in wood filler.

Unfortunately I used thin foam and it is not staying as ridged as I would have liked.  It flexes easily and thus cracks my wood filler.

I wound up cutting off the brown "leather" areas to try and ease the flexing of the helmet.

Hopefully with a little more plaster wrap, this helmet may still come to fruition. 

When it dried I was quite happy to find that the helmet was quite strong now.  So I gave it a coating of blue acrylic paint.

and I also started to apply paint to the wings.

when everything dried I started the process of shaping the helmet better using wood filler.

After some sanding and cleaning, I gave it a coat of black paint.

It still needs some more shaping to get rid of the hard angles, so back to wood filler.

And back to sanding.

And another coating of black paint.

While that dried, I started painting the wings white.

Next, I used spackling paste to smooth out the helmet some more.

The paste dries quickly and sands very easily.

When I finished sanding and cleaning the helmet I gave it another coat of black paint.

When it dried I decided to glue on the big "A".

Next I gave the helmet it's first coat of blue paint.

The first application was very streaky and dark, so when it dried I gave it a second coat which turned out much better.

When the second coat dried I painted the "A" and the sides white.

Then I gave the insides a coat of black paint.

When the insides dried I started the weathering process with black paint and a sponge.

When the black dried I then added silver paint to continue the weathering effect.

Then I finally glued on the wings.

And for all those people who enjoy seeing me wear my helmets, here are a few funny shots for you.

The next and final step is to add clear enamel to protect it.

And I'm done!!!

I now have all the Avenger helmets!

This was a fun project to work on, and I hope you have enjoyed reading!

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