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My ATA Helmet Build


maxsteele
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Terry - I see exactly what you're talking about.  Thank you for stopping me from painting the traps too large.

 

 

Steve - Gah, I think I used an incorrect term which is confusing things.

 

I am not going to use the pin striping tape, if that's what you're referring to.  I said pin stripe only as a label for the thin black border that goes around the gray.

 

Mostly on here I have seen people paint the strong black outline first, with the black painted down a bit into the tear / trap first, like so:

 

44423_original.jpg

 

 

 

And in that above pic, you can see them starting to paint the gray over it.  Below shows the gray over the black, leaving a thin black border:

 

44791_original.jpg

 

 

 

I have also seen the other direction, where the gray is painted in first, and then a very steady hand is needed to paint a black outline on the edge of the gray.

 

It seems to me painting the gray first raises the difficulty factor up higher than painting the black first.

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  • 3 months later...

Starting to paint the traps and tears on my helmet, I realized why there are decals that simulate the "hand-painted" look.  That's because hand-painting isn't perfect straight lines and blemish-free.  I want my lines to be a little off and have some imperfections.  That's what makes it hand painted!  When there's some wispy bits around the lines, I can always go back later when the paint is dried and clean those up with a toothpick.  Otherwise, getting the general shape, size, and position is what it's all about.

 

Here are the side and rear traps painted with the black base coat.

 

nyKv978.jpg

 

9zjqdIx.jpg

 

 

aulSsyq.jpg

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I am sorry for the hijack...but if the black is a miniscule outline, why paint SO much black????? Or are you going to mask off the black and airbrush all the gray details?

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No worries Steve!  There is certainly a method in practice here.

 

I'm using the method of painting the black in first, and then going over it with grey to make the black outline.  Here's a pic from Ale's ATA helmet build:

 

44423_original.jpg

 

 

 From other research, I've seen some people prefer to paint the whole trap in black, rather than having some uneven painting, in order to have a uniform cover of the grey that's painted in over it.  Once this black is dry, I'm going to go back and paint in the grey right up next to the black to get the black outline, and then paint grey over the rest of the black.

 

I chose this method over painting all grey first and then trying to paint in the thin black line, as it's easier for me to do an edge on one side where I don't have to worry about how much goes on the other side.  This way I can concentrate on how much grey I'm painting and how close I'm getting to the black, rather than painting the grey first and having to go back over the outer border with black, and risk either painting a little too far away from where I stopped the grey, or making too thick of a black line over the grey.  It also gives my eye something to follow when I'm painting the grey in up to the black, and I can see the size I'm making the black line.

Edited by maxsteele
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And just to allay any fears, here's a test I did where I painted a partially black trapezoid, and then I painted the grey in over it to get the thin black border:

 

hGkE75c.jpg

 

You can see where the black was underneath the grey, and where it was white.  It looks uneven.  Painting it all black will make a uniform coverage of the grey.

Edited by maxsteele
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I backed up a bit thinking maybe you had other plans. I have just seen so many others doing the same thing lately I wondered if I was missing out on something.

Your approach is good. Just make sure not to leave the black edge too thick. Remember, it is a pinstripe outline. Look at the screen used helmet reference pics above to see. Oh...don't drink any coffee or coke prior to painting that edge. A Yanni CD in the background helps, too. ;)

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Haha! Yeah, I'm going to try and get out as thin as I can. I can certainly get it consistently thinner this way than if I painted the grey first and then the black outline. I will try my best.

 

I believe the line thickness in my test there is a good thickness. That's what I'm striving for.

 

Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk

 

Edited by maxsteele
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Everyone's been against me masking on the painting. Maybe I'll try it on a trap and see how it turns out. Couldn't hurt to try!

 

Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk

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Masking tends to bleed more than it is worth cleaning up. You already seem to have steady hands so I would recommend staying on that path. But of course you can try it out on scraps first.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

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Masking and then applying white paint that matches or is close to bucket color will prevent black from bleeding thru and provide a cleaner look( if desired ). It comes down to what you are comfortable doing. I personally draw the shape I want lightly with pencil and then paint to the line.

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You want hand-painted?  You got it!

 

cebNN7D.jpg

 

 

I need a second coat of grey once that dries, but there ya go.  I was trying to see how masking would work, but it just wasn't coming together that way.  I'm happy with the way it looks!  My hand-painted straight lines will never be completely straight or non-bumpy.  Again, that's why it's a 'hand-painted look'.  I'm good with the thickness of the black as well.  

 

I just wanted to stop mid-painting to show how it's looking.

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Boy, if anyone is a poster child for "Yes, you can paint your helmet!" it's me!

 

GM91AVG.jpg

 

 

NLENmgC.jpg

 

 

aFHuaY0.jpg

 

 

Here are some tips I have learned from my first time ever painting something like this:

 

 

1)  Get a number 0 brush.  This is the brush I use to start my black line, and to start my grey line over the black.  I'm holding it like a pencil, gripping really close to the bristles, and I have had a lot of control over it.  I found that it's easier to start further away than I'm wanting the line to be, and gradually paint up into it.  I used a thicker brush to paint in the rest of the black and the rest of the grey, but I used the number 0 brush for the line edges.

 

2)  Keep your paint mixed.  I use toothpicks and stir the jar I'm working with every 10-15 minutes.  It keeps the oil and paint mixed up and 'fresh'.

 

3)  Keep your brush on the painting surface.  When I'm moving my brush, I keep constant pressure so the brush glides along the surface evenly.  When I'm ready for another stroke, I pick up the brush completely, move it to the new location, and then start painting again with a consistent pressure again.  If I drag the brush or move it back and forth, the bristles start getting separated and will start painting where I don't want them to. 

 

4)  Clean your brushes.  And I'm not just talking about after finishing with them.  The work above took me 2 hours to fully complete.  When I'm in the middle of painting the lines, I stop for a moment and clean my brush because the paint is starting to dry on the brush and it makes painting more difficult.

 

4)  Don't be afraid to make a mistake.  When I would paint a line a little too thin in a spot, I could wipe it away quickly without much impact.  Otherwise, the phrase I always tell myself is "It's supposed to look hand-painted!"  There will be little errors and mistakes.  That's what makes it hand-painted.  These lines I have painted are not perfectly straight.  They don't need to be, and I prefer that look over machine-drawn straight lines.

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I think I made my tears too small.  The tape is really preventing me from telling.  When I'm in there painting, it feels like I'm really close to the sloped edge, so I didn't push the black out any further.

 

I'll pull the tape off when I get home tonight and take a look.

Edited by maxsteele
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Good progress Ron! 

I see your work and understand now that no stencils required actually to paint the helmet. The brush #0 and original pictures are the best friends for that moments.

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Now that I have a better look at the helmet, you might want to extend your frown a bit. If you look at the photo references for the ANH frowns, the paint stops at the indent for the fifth tooth then continues past it ending at a fine point. Yours seems to end AT the fifth tooth.

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Now that I have a better look at the helmet, you might want to extend your frown a bit. If you look at the photo references for the ANH frowns, the paint stops at the indent for the fifth tooth then continues past it ending at a fine point. Yours seems to end AT the fifth tooth.

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