Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Shredder

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was another cartoon I watched in the 90's.  Even though he constantly lost, I always thought the Shredder looked cool.

So I am going to attempt to make a stylized Shredder helmet and armor.  However, this project did not start off the way you might think.

I was attempting to make a Star Wars Rebel soldier's helmet out of some EVA foam.  I used a pepakura file my friend Phil gave me as a template for the foam.

I cut out the foam and glued the pieces together.

But it was definitely not shaping up to look like a Rebel helmet.  The foam I used was way too thick.

But it was cool looking nonetheless.  I decided to turn it into a stylized version of the Shredder's helmet.  So for my next step I decided to put some tiles on the helmet.  These tiles were made from strips of thin crafting foam.

I then cut the strips into smaller strips.

And I cut the bottoms to make a point.

Then one by one I started gluing the tiles onto the back of the helmet.

After the first layer was done, I added another layer overlapping the first.

...and so on..

Now that the back of the helmet was done, I began work on the rest of the helmet.  And after quite a while and a lot of crafting foam...

My girlfriend says it looks like a big Easter egg.  But this reminds me of the Dragon egg I had made.

Next, I cut the points off the edges of the helmet to make a cleaner look.

But before I go any further, I painted the helmet black so that I didn't feel like I'm working with an Easter egg.

Since I had a lot of end pieces to my interlocking EVA foam floor tiles....

.....I decided to use some on the helmet.

I then took the helmet outside and sprayed the whole thing with black primer.

I wound up not liking the interlocking strips I added, so I removed them.

And I cut strips of thick crafting foam to recreate the border around the helmet.

And glued them to the edges of the helmet.

Next I used wood filler to clean the gaps between the new edges.

Then sanded the filler when it dried.

And painted the new areas with black acrylic paint.

Since all the scales are made out of thin foam, I needed to make them more rigid. So I applied some Mod Podge to the whole thing.

I let the helmet dry overnight. The next morning I checked the helmet and the Mod Podge did it's job.  All the thin foam scales are quite stiff and difficult to move now.

Next I decided to work on the face mask part.  To do this I folded a piece of 12x18 paper in half and drew the shape I wanted.

Then I cut the shape out.

I traced the shape on to another piece of foam and then cut that out.  The picture below shows the back of the face plate - which is textured.  The front is smooth.

Then I cut out more foam to fill in the cut outs of the face plate.  Here the textured side will be showing.

I glued the pieces onto the back of the face plate, and scored the foam to make it bend easier.

When I put the face plate next to the helmet I noticed that the face plate was too large.

So I did some trimming.

I glued everything back together and then added a strip of crafting foam to the top of the face plate.

Now the size looks correct.

Using some screws and glue I attached the face plate to the helmet.

Next I added wood filler to fill in a lot of gaps.

Then I sanded and painted.

Next I glued on various thicknesses of foam to form the 3-point crest on the front and sides of the helmet.

Next I painted over the new foam pieces.

Once the helmet was dry and the weather cleared up I took it outside for a few coats of primer.

On the second coat of primer, the spray paint nozzle got clogged, and sprayed clumps of primer.  This gave some parts of the helmet a very rough texture.  I can either sand it smooth once the primer dries, or I can leave it and give the helmet a worn look (as I often do).

Next I gave the whole helmet some coats of black paint in preparation for silver paint.

To 'help out' the rough texture from the clogged primer, I decided to use some hammered silver paint.

When the silver dried I brought the helmet back in and began the weathering process with some black washes.

Then I added some more browns and blacks to really get the helmet looking gritty.

Next I decided to add some slime to the helmet.  I mixed up a very slimy yellow/green and started dabbing it on.

Then I took the helmet outside for some clear protective coats.

And I'm done!

This has been an interesting project to work on.  Most because it started off as a different helmet.  But it is super light and cost almost nothing to make (since I already had the material handy). One day soon I will have to make his point armor to go with the helmet - but that is a post for another day!

Thanks for reading!


  1. Great post - I loved watching the project evolve through the various stages.

  2. Thanks Phil - and thank you for sending me the files for both the Rebel trooper and shredder helmets!

  3. This really turned out, would love to see what it looked like when worn.

    1. Thanks Justen. I unfortunately no longer have this helmet, as I gave it to a friend, but it fit reasonable well.