Sunday, March 10, 2013
For my next project I decided to make a Snowtrooper Helmet from Empire Strikes Back. My initial thoughts on this helmet is that it should be a fairly simple helmet to make....but I can be wrong.
To start off with I printed out a standard stormtrooper pepakura file and assembled only the dome.
Next, I used a large piece of cardboard to form the back and sides.
After I completed this step I found a useful website with plans for the snowtrooper helmet (http://www.studiocreations.com/howto/snowtrooper/thehelmet.html).
Luckily my helmet is fairly close in size and shape as the one shown on that site, so I continued on my merry way. I did however use their template for making the eyes area of the helmet.
At this point I was unhappy with how inflexible the cardboard was, so I remade the back using 2 sheets of thick crafting foam.
I noticed from the plans that there were 6 squares in the very back of the helmet, so I created a template out of paper.
and marked the areas on the crafting foam for the square cut outs.
...and cut them out.
I used another piece of crafting foam, glued behind to fill the back of the squares.
Then I glued the sides/back onto the dome.
For the face plate I used my cut out as a template and traced the shape on more crafting foam. I was out of white foam, so I used a piece of black foam.
Then I glued that on.
Again using the template, I created the 'glasses' shape around the eye holes.
and lastly I made a 'nose' and glued it on. This nose is simply there to make the fabric push out a little from the face.
At this point it's hard to tell how well my helmet is coming out. Since the fabric is not present, the helmet looks wide and squat. I took a plastic bag and taped it on to see how it might look.
The bag doesn't look great, but the helmet does look pretty good. So next I set out to find some white vinyl to use for the cowl. I tried to find a very glossy, reflective piece of vinyl, but I couldn't. But I did find a duller white vinyl which will be fine.
Next I covered the dome of the helmet in plaster wrap. I did this on the insides and outsides.
And I also covered the face plate in plaster wrap.
Once it dried I gave it a coating of wood filler.
And then sanded it once the filler dried. I then glued on the face plate to the helmet.
Next I painted everything black.
The reason for painting it black was so I could apply layers of white glue. White glue will stiffen the sides of the helmet which are made of the white crafting foam. With the helmet painted black I can know what and where I've painted with white glue.
Once the glue dried, the sides were a lot stronger and more sturdier, but still a little too flexible. Since no one will be seeing the insides, I decided to apply some plaster wrap.
That definitely did the trick! Once it dried, I gave the whole helmet a brushing of spackling paste.
Once the paste dried I decided to try and attach the front cowl and see how the helmet fits. So I pressed the cowl material against the face plate and traced the shape so that the cowl will fit correctly.
Then I cut that shape out.
Then I hot glued it onto the face plate and the sides.
It definitely looks cool but there are a few problems:
You can't see it in the image above, but the image below kind of shows that the sides of the helmet were resting on my shoulders.
So I trimmed the length of the sides.
The other problem was that my nose was mushed against the face plate. So I cut away part of the face plate near my nose so that I was comfortable.
Next I added more spackling paste to the dome to smooth it more, and did some touch up on the face plate.
While that dried I cut the fabric to better fit the helmet, plus I cut it in sections to better fit on my head without bunching.
When the spackle dried I gave it a good sanding.
And then I gave it another coat of black pain.
When the paint dried I added some wood filler to fill in the many small holes and pits left over from the spackling paste.
When the filler dried I sanded it and then cleaned it up for painting.
Then I gave the helmet it's first coat of white paint.
When the paint dried and the weather warmed up, I took the helmet outside and gave it a few coats of clear glossy enamel.
Than I glued them into the helmet.
Finally I glued on the cowl and I am done!
The area around the nose isn't as nice as I would have liked it, but it's ok for now. For all my fans who love seeing me wear my helmets, this is for you.
Thanks for reading!!!