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Dan Laws ANH "Move Along" Trooper WIP


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I think I am almost finished with the construction and shaping of my latest trooper helmet build. It took a bit of tweaking and maneuvering of the face plate and head piece but I think I got the resemblance pretty close. What do you all think? I am hoping to start the painting process this weekend. 

 

 

post-22852-0-98696700-1431997408_thumb.jpg  

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Looking great, if you really wanted to pick the only thing I would say would be the gap and thickness on the ear

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What a showpiece!!

 

Thanks. 

 

Looking great, if you really wanted to pick the only thing I would say would be the gap and thickness on the ear

 

Yeah, I see what you are talking about. It isn't really that noticeable until compared to the original screen capture. Maybe I can get another set of ears from Dan. I'll contact him and see. Thanks for the feedback.

Edited by BobasBounty
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Looking great, if you really wanted to pick the only thing I would say would be the gap and thickness on the ear

 

I think the ears are 98% correct!  the angle of the photo is slightly different.  The ear on the right side of the photo (left ear) seems to be turned because of the angle

of your comparison photos.  getting the tension right, and the spacing right on those ears shows your expertise.  The hovie tip placement seems to be stellar!

only thing I notice is the 4th tooth on the left side, (right side of helmet) seems a little large!

 

the shape comparisons on the brow and eyes again show your great attention to detail!

Edited by TK Bondservnt 2392
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Thank you all for the feedback. One can get a sort of tunnel vision working on one of these. Outside advise and critiques are always welcome.

 

I think the ears are 98% correct!  the angle of the photo is slightly different.  The ear on the right side of the photo (left ear) seems to be turned because of the angle

of your comparison photos.  getting the tension right, and the spacing right on those ears shows your expertise.  The hovie tip placement seems to be stellar!

only thing I notice is the 4th tooth on the left side, (right side of helmet) seems a little large!

 

the shape comparisons on the brow and eyes again show your great attention to detail!

 

I am thinking you are correct. It may be the angle of my helmet compared to the screen capture may be contributing to the slight differences. Most likely the fact that I am using an iPad to take the photo doesn't help much either. :P

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Excellent work!  I've got a couple of Dan Laws kits I've been sitting on for a while as I contemplate which screen helmets to mimic.  Some complain that the DL helmet is too wide, but I think it's just a matter of how you orient the pairing of the faceplate to the dome as you have done here to recreate the Move Along look.  It takes some fiddling to get it to look just how you want (trust me, I've spent hours doing it - and it's fun actually).  One of the good traits of HDPE is its flexibility and not needing to be concerned about it cracking the plastic it as you might with harder plastics if you apply stress in your assembly to coerce it into the shape you want.  I've implemented subtle shape change by having the ears stretch or compress the tubes to be higher or flatter.  I've also applied a removable spacer held in place by velcro at the seam between the faceplate and dome behind the forehead to increase the height/width ratio in the front view.

 

How did you accomplish your shape changes to this helmet, and what will be your paint / paint technique?

 

I'm using spray adhesion promoter followed by Rustoleum Protective Enamel.  I find this basic Rustoleum topcoat works better than some of the paints specifically made for plastic in terms of uniformity and adhesion.

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Thanks. I think the main issue with the wide face or as I call it the fathead look, is the way it's assembled. The flexible HDPE face is being pulled into the hollow ABS ears by the screws being over tightened. Carefully studying photos of the screen used helmets on starwarshelmets.com I noticed that the ABS ears are actually only screwed onto the back piece which is riveted to the face. Below is a pic of what I am talking about. 

 

post-22852-0-04581400-1432164429_thumb.jpg

 

By doing this I noticed that the face doesn't get pulled into the ears warping it and giving it the fathead look. After that you can heat up the plastic with a blow dryer and shape it as you want. I also lay it on it's side and place a pillow on it. This adds weight but not too much, which will push the ears into the face and back giving it the more desired look. It takes a bit of finagling but totally worth it. I have also added styrofoam to fill the space between the ears and sides of the helmet. It is a lot of trial and error I admit but I think I almost have the process nailed.

 

I am still experimenting with spray paint to see what works best for adhesion to the finicky HDPE. Do you have the exact name of the Rustoleum product and where I can find some? I am currently testing Krylon Fusion spray paint on the scrap HDPE that was trimmed away. It seems to be working so far.

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HDPE has a high oil content, so that's what makes the process of painting more difficult.  usually I would want to use the plastic primer, then the latex for chips and finally a topcoat that is designed to match the primer.

 

remember to leave paint runs and cracks in all the right places!

 

great job of explaining the ears tension placements.  can you show in photos in detail how you made the attachments? and adjustments?

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I am testing a couple primer/paint combos to see what will work best. One that seems to do pretty well is Rustoleum Plastic Primer and Krylon Fusion Gloss White. 

 

Unfortunately I am allergic to latex which completely bites. I tried to use liquid latex once but that was followed up with epinephrine shot. No fun at all. I may try the white glue technique though. I will decide later.

 

I am not used to taking progress photos but I will see what I can do.

Edited by BobasBounty
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Yep that too. I may just use the old toothpick method. I did just pick up some Dupli-Color adhesion promoter at the auto parts store today. I am testing it right now. So far though Krylon Fusion Gloss White without a primer coat is working the best. 

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My first try painting a white HDPE helmet, I used a Rustoleum Primer for Plastic followed by Krylon Paint for Plastic.  I didn't get good results with the Krylon; the spray splattered, the paint rippled, and tended to run easily.  It may have been a bad can or a consequence of mixing brands with incompatible ingredients; I'm sure it wasn't the lack of skills of the painter :huh: .  But a good thing was the paint was easily removed so I could start over, using the combination of adhesion promoter followed by gloss protective enamel, the same as I did the for the beige helmet shown below.

 

For the painted helmet here I used Rustoleum Adhesion Promoter in 2 light coats followed within 10 minutes by 1 light coat of Rustoleum Gloss Protective Enamel and about 10 minutes later another light coat of the Enamel.  If the paint coats are applied too close together the gloss look is reduced (thinners in the paint not allowed sufficient time to evaporate, so I read),  I found that this paint gave the best long term results in terms of adhesion and look than either of the other two shown even though they were specifically formulated for plastics.  Lower left is 1 day after painting; lower right is the "finished" helmet 1 month later.  This I hope is useful to see the gloss level, color, and overall look of using this particular paint.  To me the gloss and color is very close to an unpainted ABS helmet.

 

------

 

And this is after 2 months when I decided I wanted to change the assembly and reposition the ear.  This is what can happen if you don't paint the faceplate and cap&back separately.  Lesson learned!  I've since retrimmed and repainted it, noting also what you saw inside the ESB patch helmet.  I was bewildered by that picture, and still am to a degree, wondering what is that upside-down V trim near the top of the ear.  It almost looks like a notch to assist in connecting the faceplate and dome at that point.

 

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One additional note - the adhesion promoter can only be applied to the plastic and can't be applied to paint.  I tried it anyway to see what it does on a test piece, and sure enough the paint curled up after applying the adhesion promoter on top of it.

 

Anyway, good luck with the painting.  Looking forward to seeing the results!

Edited by gmrhodes13
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Thanks for the info. I got some Dupli-Coat Adhesion Promoter yesterday and tried it out on a scrap piece of HDPE (before applying the spray paint :P). It works pretty well under the Krylon. Not sure if it works better than the paint alone but I will see later tonight. I am giving it 24 hours to cure. 

 

Nice job on the DL TK helmet by the way. I have those pics saved in my reference photo files. You are definitely better than I am at documenting your progress. I need to take notes. :)

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Ok so I painted another Dan Laws stormtrooper helmet that I was working on. It is going to be an ESB version. I can say that if you want a super glossy sheen than Krylon Fusion Gloss White is not the way to go. It has more of a plaster sheen to it (that is the only way I can explain it). I am positive it can be made glossy with maybe a gloss coat or another type of gloss white enamel spray paint after it cures completely. I will post pics of the helmet later. 

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