Monday, May 9, 2016

Star Lord Helmet and Gun

A friend of mine asked if I could build him a Star Lord helmet from Guardians of the Galaxy. 

...Intrigued, I searched for a good Star Lord Pepakura file.

I was able to find one on, and so I printed it...

...and attached the printouts to thin cardboard using spray mount.

Next I cut out the pieces and assembled the base of the helmet, with the help of my mannequin head.

As far as pep files go, this one is not very good.  I had tremendous trouble getting all the pieces to line up correctly.  But it will do since right now I just need the base shape of the helmet.  I'll build upon this later.

Next I cut some plaster wrap and fetched some water.

Plaster wrap works by dunking strips into water and then smoothing those strips on the form.  Since this helmet is made out of thin cardboard, the weight of the water being absorbed by the cardboard was seriously deforming this helmet.  I couldn't even keep it on the mannequin.

So I brought it into the workshop and used a heat gun to dry it out a little.

This worked, and thus I was able to reform the shape of the helmet and get it to sit on the mannequin head.  I then let it thoroughly dry for 24 hours.

While it dried I reprinted the pep file and cut out pieces of the helmet in cardboard.  Since all the details were lost when I added the plaster wrap, these templates will help me rebuild the helmet. 

I then transferred all the templates to foam...

...and began cutting them out.

These pieces of foam are still very rough, but later I will form them better.  The next day when the plaster and cardboard were dry I applied some resin to really harden the whole helmet.

Then I applied Bondo...


...applied more Bondo...

...and did more sanding.

With the base pretty smooth now I decided to just clamp on some of the foam pieces to see how well they fit.

I think it'll work!

I traced each shape before removing so I know where they go when it's time to glue them on.

Next it was time to start sanding the edges of the foam pieces with my dremel and some sandpaper.

This gives all the edges a nice rounded, smooth look.

When all the foam pieces were done sanding I applied contact cement to both the foam and the helmet.

Then I attached each piece...

...and held pieces with spring clamps over night.

The next day I removed the clamps.

Everything is holding in place well.

Next I trimmed some of the foam that was sticking over the edges of the base.

Next I used a drill to start knocking out holes in the eyes.

Unfortunately it was a little too early in the morning when I started drilling, so I put that off until later.  Instead I started cutting and gluing more pieces of foam onto the helmet.

Once I could make some noise, I went back into my workshop...

...and knocked out the eye holes.

Then back to adding foam to the helmet.

At this point I decided to try it on and I couldn't get it around my head.  I also tried it on the mannequin head I have, but it was too tight for that as well.

So I needed to make it bigger.  Using my multipurpose tool with a saw attachment I cut the back off.

Now I have plenty of room to fit my large noggin.

Next I cut some strips of crafting foam...

...and began covering the edges.

Then I used some wood clothes line pins to create the 3 shapes on each side of the helmet.  I think the movie version has these shapes as being rounded, but I'm deviating from that a bit.

For the breathing tanks on the helmet I'm using some PVC pipe fittings I have...

...along with some wood dowels that fit nicely inside.

I glued these to the sides of the helmet...

...and then glued on some extra foam srips to hold it better in place.

Using some paper straws I created the 2 pipes that run from the corner of the eye area down to the chin.

Now it's time to connect the 2 halves of the helmet again.  This time I'm gluing 4 elastic straps so that the helmet stretches.

I reinforced the straps with screws, that way the glue won't give.

And the helmet is whole again!

A little stretching gets the helmet on the mannequin and then it retracts to hold in place.

This thing is looking cool!

Next I brought the helmet into my workshop and gave it several coats of plastidip to start sealing the foam.

Since there's no top to this helmet I can't use it on my helmet stand to paint.

To get the undersides I simply turned it upside-down once the top was dry.

Then when the whole thing was dry I applied primer.

Then I applied silver spray paint.

Then I let it dry overnight.

It's looking pretty good...

...but I forgot to add some more stuff before spray painting.

The first being the eyes.  These I made using the pep file and cardboard.

Then I glued them to the helmet.

Next I used more crafting foam and paper straws to make the breathing tubes from earlier connect to behind the ear areas.

Then I used my dremel tool to make some round indentations in the foam in various areas.  This gives the look of having bolts.

I also used some furniture tacks to create a similar look.

Then it was time to add more silver to the new areas.

Unfortunately I didn't add the plastidip first to totally seal the foam.

But the new areas don't look too bad.

...especially after a few more coats of silver.

Once the silver was dry I brought it inside and began setting up for some additional painting.

I started by adding some gold to areas on the front...

...and back.

Then I added a pewter color to various parts all over.

Then I used a dry paper towel to wipe off some areas, creating a slightly weathered look.

With that done I let the paint dry and then set up for my airbrush.

Then I airbrushed black all over.

The black really makes this piece whole.

Next I used some silver Rub n' Buff to create a little weathering.

And now this thing looks awesome!

Then I gave it a try-on.

Looks and fits good, but now it needs lenses.  For this I removed the lenses off a crappy pair of sunglasses I had.

Then I traced the shape of the lense with marker and cut it out using a sharp pair of scissors.

Then I glued it on.

And I'm done!

Now before I pack this up and ship it to my friend I thought that I should attempt to make Star Lord's gun.

For this I'll use some of the leftover EVA foam mat I used for the helmet.

Looking at photos of the gun for reference, I traced a (BB) gun I had onto the foam.

Then I began to expand upon that tracing until I more-or-less had the shape I was looking for.

Then, using sharp knives, I cut the shape out.

I traced the mirror image of the shape onto more foam...

...and then cut that out as well.

The 2 pieces of foam make a nice sized grip.

Then I used some contact cement on both pieces, waited it to become dry & tacky...

...and then attached the 2 halves.

Next I began marking up more pieces for the top and bottom...

...and cut them out as well.

These pieces will help thicken and shape the top and bottom of the gun.

I also cut 2 pieces of PVC pipe for parts that look like they go with the gun.

Next, I attached the top and bottom pieces, as well as the PVC.

The extra foam has made the look and feel more stable.  It still flexes as foam does, but not as much.

Next I used a knife to start shaping the edges of the top and bottom.

I also added little pieces of foam, and some crafting foam to better stabilize the PVC pipes.

Next I smoothed the cuts I made with a sander.

For the areas that the sander couldn't reach, I used my dremel tool.

Next I began gluing on some thin crafting foam to make the gun look more like Star Lords.

I also found a bunch of random hardware from my workshop and attached them.

And I also added some screws.

Now it looks a lot like his gun!

Next step was to coat the gun in plastidip to seal up the foam.

I gave it a few coats to really smooth the surfaces.

When that dried I added primer...

...and then coats of silver.

When the silver dried I began painting it, using the same colors I did for the helmet.

Then airbrushed, like the helmet.

And lastly an application of clear coat and I'm done!

Pew Pew!

And here are some pics of both the helmet and the gun before I ship them off to my friend.

After playing with both the helmet and gun for a few days I sadly packed them up to mail to my friend.  I'll have to make this helmet and gun for myself soon.

As sad as I was to see them go, I was delighted when my friend sent me some photos of him wearing the helmet after receiving the package.

He then took the helmet and gun on a trip to Monauk, New York.

...and even made a short, slo-mo video.

Making this helmet and gun took about 9 days.  6 Days for the helmet and 3 days for the gun.  I think they turned out really nice - so nice I have to make them again, but this time for my own collection.

Thanks for reading!

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