Monday, April 25, 2016

Captain America Helmet 2

A few years ago I made a pretty cool Captain America helmet, seen below.

To see the blog entry for that build, click here.  Unfortunately when I moved from NY to AZ, this helmet did not come with me.  So one day when I was bored I started remaking this helmet using the pepakura file I had originally used.

My original helmet was made using crafting foam as a base.  For this build I'll use cardboard as a base.

Once all the pieces were traced, I cut them out.

Next I used my Mannequin head to help me tape together the helmet.

The mannequin head is a lot smaller than my own head, so I was sure to tape it up loosely.

With that part complete I broke out some water and plaster wrap.

I then covered the insides and outsides with the plaster wrap.

Then I let it dry.  Once it was dry I put it on and played around with it until it fit rather well.

Next I decided to harden everything with some fiberglass resin.

Even though I'm not using fiberglass, the resin will do a good job hardening the plaster wrap.

I was using my helmet stand on a different helmet, so I clamped a 2x4 to the base of another piece of wood and used that as a stand while the resin cured.

When the resin was dry I sanded the inside to make it more comfortable for the wearer.

Next it was time to add some Bondo.

Since this is a fairly small and simple helmet, applying the first coat was easy.

After the Bondo hardened I began sanding.  I started with my random orbital sander, but the mouse sander was better equipped for all the curves.

After cleaning I would normally add a layer of primer.  This fills small holes and lets me better see what areas need work.  But I can clearly see that the whole thing needs another layer.

So onto more Bondo we go!

Then more sanding!

...and some more detail work with my dremel and sandpaper.

It was at this point that I decided to try it on and see how it fits - which it didn't.  It was way too tight.  I'm not sure exactly where and when it shrunk, so I thought I could probably cut the helmet in half and adjust it to fit better.

Since the new Captain America helmet has some complex designs I made pencil markings to match.

But then I thought that I'd rather build up those designs in the helmet with some cardboard or foam on top of the helmet.  So the best way was to simply do a straight cut across.

Normally I'd use a cut off wheel on my dremel to cut it in half, but I decided to use my new ocilating multipurpose tool with a saw attached.

This new tool did the trick a lot better than my dremel would have.

Next I brought the 2 halves inside and using hot glue, I temporarily attached the front to my head mannequin...

...followed by the back of the helmet.

The hot glue won't hold too long, so I used some duct tape to hold it in place...

...while I began cutting some strips of plaster wrap.

I then covered the seam with the plaster wrap.

It's not too pretty, but I promise it'll look better soon enough.

Once the plaster dried and hardened I removed the helmet and applied more plaster wrap to the inside seam.

When the inside was dry I applied some more fiberglass resin to the outside of the helmet...

...and the inside.

Resin normally doesn't take too long to harden, but for some reason the resin hadn't hardened in hours.  I used the right amount of activator when mixing the resin, so my guess is that the plaster wrap hasn't fully dried.  I used a heat gun to try and speed up the process...

...but that seemed to make it fall apart.

So I worked on removing all the plaster wrap and starting all over again.

This time I decided to use some crafting foam and contact cement.

Contact cement sticks to everything.

So the helmet was back together again... it's time to fill in the gaps.  For this I decided to use some plumbers putty.

Plumbers putty is a 2-part clay mixture which hardens in about 5 minutes.  

When the putty hardened I was able to sand it smooth.

Then I thought the whole helmet could use another layer of Bondo to help hide the previous mistakes.

Once the Bondo hardened I sanded once more.

There's a slight crack in the Bondo on the seam of the left side of the helmet, but it should hold well enough.

Then I gave the helmet it's first coat of primer.

When dry I brought it back inside and reprinted the original pep file and cut out the pieces.

I then drew on those pieces with a pencil to start building up the helmet.

I cut them out...

...and traced them onto thin crafting foam.

And then cut them out.

Next I applied contact cement onto both the helmet and the pieces...

...and then attached the two when both sides were tacky.

I remade the sides, and below is the front/top of the helmet.

The front/top did not go on as straight as I would have liked...

...but using an X-acto knife I was able to easily cut away and straighten the front and top.

I then repeated the process for the back of the helmet...

...and the big A on the front.

When everything was attached I brought the whole thing back into my workshop.  I then found my bottle of Alex Ultra - a sealer and filler.

I added beads of the Alex Ultra to all the edges of the crafting foam.

I then used water to thin it out and smooth it all.

Then I let it dry for a few hours.

Next, more primer.

The Alex Ultra did a good job with the edges of the foam.

But there still are a few rough spots.

For one - I had forgotten to seal the foam before painting.  This is causing a lot of air bubbled on the surface of the foam parts.

So when the primer dried I applied some plastidip to seal everything up better.

When the plastidip dried I decided to test a dark blue spray paint I had to see it if would work well with this helmet.

I think it looks pretty good!

When that dried I brought the helmet back inside and began cutting more thin foam pieces and gluing them on.

These pieces aren't screen-accurate...

...but they cover some mistakes and make the helmet look better to me.

Next more plastidip and then primer.

And then I sprayed on that blue spray paint again.

When that dried I brought the helmet inside and mixed a blue gray color that was slightly lighter than the color of the helmet.  I then painted it onto various areas of the helmet.

The lighter areas may be hard to see since my camera sucks.

Next I added silver to the big A on the front and the side "wings".

I also added various scrapes and scratches with the silver paint.

Then I brushed on some black paint to create a little more wear and tear.

After all the paint dried I brought it back into the workshop and sprayed on a few coats of clear coat.

And I'm done!

I'm very pleased with how this turned out.

I think it's much better than my first one.

Again, it's not very movie-accurate, but it's obviously Captain America.

Thanks for reading!

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