Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pepakura Rebel Marine Helmet

Star Wars was the first movie I remember seeing. One of my earliest memories is seeing the fight between rebel marines and storm troopers aboard Princess Leia's ship.

2 minutes later....

 Anyway, the rebels didn't do a swell job against Vader and his storm troopers, but I liked those helmets, so I decided to make my own.

Ever since I started to learn about pepakura, I sought out the files to make this helmet.  My first attempt at making this one that I found was a less than perfect representation on the helmets seen on screen.

I nonetheless worked on it.  For this early helmet I used fiberglass and resin along with Bondo.


I eventually got tired of working on the helmet ( it was quite heavy) and instead decided to convert it into a 'Hannah-Barbera' looking robot helmet.

My second attempt - this time using plaster wrap instead of Fiberglass and Resin, and wood filler instead of Bondo.  This helmet used the same pep file, and it also turned out a bit lack-luster.

At this point I had stopped working on the helmet as my friend Phil had made and sent me a pep file for a more accurate helmet.

So I started my third attempt. This time I made the helmet out of cardboard.

Then I covered the insides with fiberglass and resin.

When the resin dried I applied bondo.

Once the bondo hardened I began sanding and shaping the outside of the helmet.

Next I added Bondo to the inside of the 'swoosh'.

Sanding the inside was much more difficult then sanding the outside.

I added more Bondo to the insides and outsides.

and sanded until I was happy with the shape.

Next I added the first coats of primer.

Once the primer dried, I screwed the swoosh and communications box in place temporarily.  This will help keep it in place as I glue them on with epoxy.

Once the glue set I added wood filler to fill in the gaps.

Followed by sanding, more filling and more sanding.

...and more primer.

I removed the screws only to find that I had to screw them back in to hold the pieces in securely.  So I then began covering the screw heads with filler.

I also made a visor out of foam which I glued on and coated with filler...

...but it did not come out nicely, so I removed it.

And I began sanding, priming and filling to fix up that area.

After sanding, I decided to 3D print the parts to the communications box on the side of the helmet.  So I designed the 3D objects...

...and printed them.

I then glued it on.

I then went back to the pep file and printed the front portion of the helmet in order to make a new visor.

Once I attached it to cardboard and shaped it correctly, I glued it onto the helmet.

Then added more filler to the visor and around the communications box.

And then sanded.

Then primer.

And more filler.

More sanding.

More primer.

More filler....

....and more sanding and more priming.  This process has a lot of redundancy.

Fast forward a few more rounds of this to the final priming.

Then I applied some glossy white paint.

I painted the bottom/insides first.  When that dried I flipped it over to paint the rest.

While that paint dried I went out and bought a football chin strap.

To connect the strap to the helmet I decided to use part of a construction helmet I had laying around.

I attached the chin strap it using bolts, washers and nuts.

Despite my penchant for silly faces, it fits well.

Next I had to figure out how to mount the chin strap and head fitting to the helmet.  At this point I would hate to drill holes through the helmet again.

While I thought how to do that I decided to keep working on the outside of the helmet.  I painted the visor black with acrylic paint.

Then I began to add some weathering.

Now this helmet looks like it was in that battle on Princess Leia's ship.

When the paint had dried I applied some glossy clear coat.

My first attempt to attach the head gear was to fit it in using expanding foam.

When the foam dried I tried it on.  Definitely too much foam.

So I cut some away but still had the same problem.

It's a shame it didn't work - the foam and headgear were very difficult to remove.

Instead I used some leftover industrial strength Velcro.  I cut pieces small enough to fit on the straps.

...and put pieces on the inside of the helmet.

This works, and makes the chin strap removable.  

Last thing I did was add some foam on the inside for comfort and for a better fitting.

 and I'm done!

It's hard for me to believe that I started this project over 2 years ago.  But I'm delighted it's finally finished!  A special thanks to my friend Phil who shared his pepakura file with me!

Thanks for reading!


  1. Hi, good job.
    How do you take a drawing? Can you send me to send? I would be very grateful :)

  2. Thanks! I will ask the person who gave me the Pepakura file if it is ok if I share it. If he says it's okay, I will email it to you.

  3. Hello AlexRvi. The person who gave me the files said it is okay to share. Give me your email address and I will send you his files.

  4. Hey, looks great! Must finish mine now... One small comment - the side box was designed to be taller than it needed to be so it could either sit into a rectangle cut out of the side of the helmet, or else trimmed so it could be placed against the side. I think it only sticks out about an inch (25mm) from the side of the helmet. I made it that way so there was a choice of doing the helmet without the comms box - like some of the troopers in the final victory scene.
    Glad to see the file being shared, too. All the best, Phil

  5. Ahhh, I thought it stuck out a bit much. But it's ok, I'm happy how it came out. I'm sure at some point I'll remake it once I get better at making helmets.

  6. Where can I find the pep. File? I am trying to make the same helmet, but with little success

    1. A friend of mine made the pep file that I used.
      He said it's okay to share, so give me your email address and I will share it with you.

  7. I cant seem to find one as well. May I have a copy as well?

  8. Hi Tim!
    I liked a lot your helmet. Can I have the Pepapkure file too?
    Greetings form Ecuador :D