Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Stormtrooper helmet

Stormtroopers have always been my favorite.  Several years ago I found a rather cheap stormtrooper helmet at a halloween shop.  The armor below is some early pepakura work.

A few years ago when I began learning how to make my own helmets I made a vacuum former (seen here), which helped me spawn several other creations.

Some of these creations included my TIE Pilot helmet,

My Stormtrooper Skull helmet (which is a project still in the works), 

And I vacuformed several stormtrooper masks - some were spot on...

...and some were hilariously botched.

About 2 years ago I started to fix up my helmet to make it better, stronger and more movie accurite, but stopped almost as soon as I started.

Now it's time to fix it up for good.

To start I needed to give the helmet a good cleaning.  In my most recent vacuforming, I filled the helmet with clay.

To remove the leftover clay and various other dirt and debris, I used some Lacquer thinner.

Although the images below doesn't look super clean, believe me - it's a hulluva lot cleaner than it has been in a very long time.

Next I took all the pieces outside and gave them a coat of filler primer.

When everything dried I assembled the helmet.

Next I glued strips of styrene on the insides to hold the helmet together tightly...

....while I apply wood filler to the seam in the center of the dome, and a few other areas.

When it dried I sanded it smooth.

And then gave a new coat of filler primer.

The seam still needs work.

as well as the lower sides.

So when the primer dried, I added more wood filler.

Then I sanded, cleaned and applied some more primer.

The first coat was red.  The second dark gray.

The third coat was light gray.

The dome was still a bit uneven, so I added more wood filler.

Then I sanded, cleaned and gave it a coat of red primer.

...followed by a coat of black primer.

After I applied the primer I walked away for a few minutes only to find that when I came back a very careless and thoughtless landscaper had blown dirt and debris all over my helmet.

I was outraged.  I yelled at him, but he did not seem to understand or care.  So once the primer and dirt dry I will have to sand everything smooth.

So upsetting.

Anyway, I sanded everything nicely and saw a few spots that needed touching up on the dome.  So I used some watered down wood filler to fix those spots.

When it dried I sanded again....

 and applied more primer.

First coat red.

Second coat Gray.
Below you can see the helmet and my sword of omens (entry coming soon) drying outside.

At this point you can no longer see the seam between the 2 halves of the helmet.  There are still some imperfections in the helmet, but I decided to leave them as they will add some good looking wear and tear later on.  So next I sprayed on some white spray paint.

When the paint dried it was time to start detailing.  Using some black acrylic paint, I painted in the nose, mouth, brow and other areas.

The first coat of black was streaky, but subsequent coats fixed that.

When the black dried I added gray paint.

When the gray paint dried I used a black paint marker to add the lines that are in the gray shape below the eyes and on the back.

Next I created a template for the stripes that appear on the bottom sides of the helmet.

Very carefully I cut out the stripes.

Then using my template, I drew in the stripes.  

Using a black paint pen, I cleaned up the lines.

Then it was time to take the helmet outside for some glossy clear enamel.

When the clear coat dried I glued the visors back in.

And I glued furniture foam on the inside so the helmet fits well.

And I'm done!

Below is my stormtrooper helmet next to my shadow trooper helmet.

This helmet served me well during my vacuum forming and I'm happy to say now that I fixed it up, it will continue on as another great piece in my collection.

Thanks for reading!


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