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JeklynHyde's RS Prop Masters, ANH Stunt Build


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And this is where I left my helmet before going dormant.





What I was working on at the time was the brow trim.


With how I trimmed it, I see that I have an uneven trap going on on the right side of the helmet (left side of the images looking from the front). I will tackle that more directly in a later post.

Additional note!
From what I’ve seen, it actually looks like most brow trims (screen) are cut straight up an down, however, I liked the look of the brow trim cut at an angle to match the trap edge, so that’s what I went with.


I found it somewhere that the point on the helmet where the brow meets the ears ends up being a point for potential tearing. The suggestion was to cut this area as a notch rather than a point. (I have done so much research at this point that it’s difficult to remember where I got the source from. I need to get my references in order..)


I made the horizontal cut line across for the brow based on what seemed to be the general excess material line. This wasn’t quite correct. I’ve seen others (I think Fragarock) who cut a straight line based on certain measurements. That may be the better route.

For the end corners I cut them to be at roughly the same endpoints as the trap lines.

Here's the left side of the helmet with the corner cut as a notch instead of a single point.



Here's the right side. This is where the wonky shows up. We'll come back to that.



After cutting the corners, I put the brow trim in, butted it into one of the corners, and then marked & cut the other side to fit into the other corner.

Initially these cuts were made at a 90 degree angle. I lightly scored the ends to match the angle of the traps.

NOTE: THIS IS NOT MOVIE ACCURATE. I did this as a personal preference thing / test.



I only cut the outside of the brow to match the angle, so I put a block behind it and cut it off with the Exact-Zero






The angles look good at least! With everything how it is, the brow trim stays on easily without any help.




Edited by Jeklynhyde
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Nice work so far.

If you are aiming for out and out accuracy, you could consider cutting the ends of the brow trim straight up and down (not angled like you have them presently).

Here’s some nice examples. :-)


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Forgive that these pictures are a bit out of order. I took a number of pictures that I failed to post updates for.

Also! I realized recently that I bought gloss black, not satin black... I do not know how I managed to make that mistake because I did check out the paint references...
So I will need to get some of that before I dig into the painting.


After removing the masking from the plasti-dip spray, I found some of the spray had leaked out to the other side of the frown. I was able to remove this by gently rubbing / peeling / scraping the excess.




On the inside, I removed the excess gently with an x-acto. The spray missed a couple spots. Just under the little ledge at both ends of the frown, and a little bit underneath one of the hovi-mix recesses. Easy enough to remedy with a brush, or can be left as is. Some parts of the helmet where the plastic is thinner show up darker now on the outside (will include a picture later). I’m not sure if pre-painting the inside with a white base before doing the plasti-dip would have remedied this, but the layer can easily be pulled off and redone. I may end up removing some for the lens mounting and potentially reinforcing the inside of the hovi-mix recesses (the plastic is especially thin there).



Inside of the helmet. Bottom right underneath the hovi-mix recess shows a little spot where the spray missed.








From where I stand, with the brow in place, I’ve got about 2.5cm from the top of the brow to the top trap line on the left side of the helmet.




On the other side, I’ve got about 2.5cm on the front side, but closer to 3cm on the other.

I’m going to do a little more looking about. I can either trim this side, or I can pull the brow down a bit across the board to make it even, or I could leave it a little lop-sided.. It seems some helmets do show this side’s trap being a little asymmetrical.













Ok, ok, I'll put Mr. Hyde away, lol. That's why I only cut the one side at an angle. Flipping it around brings back that straight cut. Looks like that edge could use to have the edge straigtened up (though I know I will likely need to pull in the cut line).


Edited by Jeklynhyde
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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, I've been doing little bits of work here and there, and I've been working on a big long update. I decided to split up the post into sections since I'm covering a lot of material and a lot of pictures.


Going back before I push on ahead...


Let’s go back to the cap and faceplate trimming for a moment since I didn’t cover that well earlier.


For the faceplate, I kept more than what I needed to, (this can be a straight line cut), but ended up trimming off just up to the point where the vertical curvature started curving up into the mould area.

I ended up liking the extra material at the top on the sides as this gave a wider area to magnet the two parts together during assembly.


I failed to get a before picture of the sides of the faceplate, but both sides had a relatively prominent mould line. These areas are completely hidden within the helmet so getting rid of excess material isn’t necessary unless it affects the faceplate’s ability to sit flush with the cap. In other words, it’s better to leave more material unless you know for sure that you want to take it off.

On the right side (left from the front), the mould line was just about straight up and down (if I remember correctly), and I trimmed roughly along that in a straight line. The left side (right from the front) has more curvature to the line. I ended up keeping the entire line, opting for a straight vertical cut.


I already covered the teeth, eyes, and neck edge in a previous post (though the latter two get additional trimming later).


Fresh out of the box:



Current State – I don’t know how much is due to the lighting in here, but it looks like the plastic is already starting to yellow:

Right side:






Left side:





For the cap along the brow, I trimmed just above the mould line, as straight as I could manage. I aimed to trim off just enough to remove the rounding into the mould line. One way or another, this line will be hidden by the brow trim, so it doesn’t need to be perfect.

I do not have good pictures of the ear cap lines before trimming, but I did not trim these back very far, it was only after I had positioned the faceplate and tested the ear cap positioning that I got these trimmed back to their current position.

For the bottom edge, I only trimmed off enough to take away the bit where the curve flattens out.


Best picture I have of the front before trimming:



And the back edge at the bottom, the left side ear is slightly visible here:




Current State:

Left side:






Right side - this trap got trimmed to match the left side. The left side is roughly 4cm from the edge of the plastic to the top of the trap ridge:



Bottom edge (This may end up being trimmed more, not sure yet):





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Ok.. Waffle, waffle, waffle… and Progress!


Here’s the TLDR version:

To figure out what size drill bits to use: Drill test holes in a spare piece to determine the size that works best for what you’re drilling. (I didn’t think of this until later.)

To figure out where to drill out the holes for the rivets:

1. Do not rely on the divots in the cast. For this RS kit, they don’t match up between the cap and the faceplate. Align the faceplate how you want it to look with brow trim installed. Place magnets on the traps and the tubes (the faceplate will not go anywhere).

2. Get the rivet holes positioned before you start drilling the other holes. If you're questioning positioning, use a ruler or trace it on paper instead of drilling holes... (I failed to do this.)

3. Use the ear caps to help you determine the positioning of the lower rivets. (Angle of the ears is important here.)

3. Drill those rivet holes, two per side. You can use screws to keep the faceplate in position while you work on other things (additional trimming / internal electronics / etc) and rivet it in place when you are ready.


Tip: Take lots of pictures, even if you have no intention of posting them anywhere, to help you determine positioning.

Tip: Wait until you’re ready to work on a part to start trimming it / beware of excessive trimming. It is easy to take more off when you know how much needs to come off. It’s quite more difficult to add material back on (though it can be done).




But here’s the journey:



So after I got the brow trim cut to length initially, there were two main things that stopped me.


The first: Faceplate positioning.

My considerations: Should I match up the holes on the sides - (my thoughts: It’s supposed to be cast from original, right? So I should just be able to match up the holes and be done with it, right?) - which ends up resulting in what seems to be a rather large gap between the face and the cap along the brow line.



OR do I aim to get the face butted up as close to the brown line as I can manage and I ignore the existing RS divots?



The visual difference between the two options is actually rather subtle from any other angle, so I won't post the overall comparisons.



In the process of positioning the faceplate, I ran, once again, into the lovely wonkiness that is the screen-used (hand-sculpted) armour. This RS helmet is cast off an original, so it’s got a lot of things going on all over the place that feel a little wrong when you first start to get familiar with the armour. There are lots of places that this shows up on the helmet, but on the right side (left from the front) where the tubes ought to match up, there’s a big gap, almost no matter how you line up the face to the cap.



Going back to the source, there indeed it is. Visible on any bucket without ears. But that’s of course what the ears are for!

(Pictures referenced: http://starwarshelmets.com/original-stormtrooper-move-along-helmet.htm)






At some point, I got a not quite so “brilliant idea” although it did end up helping me a little. I thought, “hey! I can drill out the final ear screw hole locations on the cap (based on the divots) to help me line up the holes underneath!”… After doing this, I realized maybe I should have waited for the ear caps…. Because the final positioning of holes in the cap is based on the holes drilled by the ear caps once they are in position. I was running off the assumption again that the RS holes could be trusted for positioning.

You probably can make the helmet by (some of) their holes, but the truth is, these helmets were all assembled by hand and the slight differences between assembly go a long way in the unique, yet subtle, differences between the helmets. Shall we say, the way you decide to assemble your bucket is the character that you wish to portray. And that choice is totally up to you. Certainly when it comes to Centurion, you’re aiming for kind of the idealized, average, screen-accurate stormtrooper look, but you really do have a lot of wiggle room on these.

There is a balance between “go with what you feel” and, “oh no, that’s not right at all.”




Another point I realized after the fact, I could have traced these points on a piece of paper (or even just used a ruler to measure the space between the divots) and I would have been able to see that the holes on this side do not match between the cap and the faceplate.


Trial and Error... Anyway...

I ended up drilling out the holes in the cap for the ears based on the RS divots. Again, this isn’t necessarily correct or beneficial, but since this is what I’m working with now, I’ll post the pictures and we’ll see what I run into down the line.


I marked the holes with pencil:



Then drilled them out on both sides (For these, I used a 7/64” bit – This is not the final drill size):



After drilling, the holes had some excess on the inside The bump for the rivet kinda looks like its drilled, but it's just the plasti-dip peeled off there:



I removed this with an x-acto knife:



Any time I drill a hole, I’m going to clean up the edges in a similar fashion:



So the point of these holes was to compare the drill holes on the inside to those on the cap. In this aspect I was successful. You can see the light through the holes matches up underneath (Left side).




I was also able to compare the holes locationally, here I can insert the opposite end of the rivet to help me spatially locate the holes on the cap compared to the faceplate:




In this image, I have the lower ear cap hole lined up roughly with the hole from the faceplate, but you can see that the hole in the faceplate does not line up. Going to point out again, I could have done this with a ruler, or by tracing.. but didn’t think of that till after the fact.



After all that, I did end up on aiming for the faceplate to be butted as close to the brow line as I could manage and just get the two pieces aligned correctly (previous post shows the final positioning before drilling holes).

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And the second thing that was stopping me: I wasn’t sure what size to drill the holes at.


This is the easier one: I have seen 3mm & 4mm and for whatever reason, the less popular “standard” measurements seemed to elude me. Not wanting to rely directly on sizes that were stated without knowing what hardware was being used, eventually I smartened up and researched what drill bits to use based on the hardware you’re drilling for, and for just about everything but wood, you drill it to size. What I don’t yet know, I am more than willing to learn and fold into my repertoire. I am sorely tempted to go buy some calipers so I can have a more exact way of measuring things, but until then, I can compare the drills to the hardware by eye and go with that (pictures are your friend when it comes to this.


Builder’s note: Do you have poor eyesight? Do you have a camera? You can take a picture of things and then go look at the picture to make judgments when your eyes may deceive you. Pictures allow you to zoom in to a much greater extent than what your eyes are capable as well as sometimes offering visual guides in the frame to help with straight-line features, etc.

Big building point here: Don’t be afraid to take pictures - & - Take a lot of pictures. It doesn’t matter if it’s going to be posted or anything, take pictures. You can use pictures to review what you are doing in a more objective sort of manner to make more informed decisions.

Feeling iffy about something: take a picture. Wanna know if that one bit lines up with that other bit: take a picture. I think you get the picture ; )

Ok, I’ll stop, lol


I did a little mathing and came out with the following conversions:

2mm == 0.08” =~ 0.0781” == 5/64”

2.5mm == 0.10” =~ 0.1094” == 7/64”

3mm == 0.12” =~ 0.1250” == 1/8”

3.5mm == 0.14” =~ 0.1406” == 9/64”

4mm == 0.16” =~ 0.1563” == 5/32”


As a side note: You can drill it up by 1/64th” size if you’re not sure, and you should still have a good fit. If you’re really unsure, you can drill test holes in spare pieces to determine the size that works best. I didn’t think about this until after, but it is an option.


Hovi-mix Tips – Correct size 3mm or 1/8” (tight fit. For my purposes, tight means you have to rotate it to screw/unscrew the hardware as opposed to it just sliding in without friction - I may have widened these out to 9/64" eventually):

Picture comparison: 2.5mm ~ 7/64” - you can easily see the threads on both sides = too small



Picture comparison: 3mm ~ 1/8” – Resting the mix tip screw against my drill and holding the drill bit in line. The threads are visible on both sides again here. This is a tight fit for the screws.



Holes marked for drilling at existing divot locations - These guys you can do any time. There's only one place for them, so no waffling:



Right side hole drilled. Zooming in, you can see a slight crack at the bottom. I may need to do some reinforcing here as the plastic is very thin.



And the obligatory “test the fit pic”. I did a number of test fittings like this including putting on the “S” trim and testing fit size comparing the differing faceplate positioning.


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After deciding the faceplate positioning and getting magnets in place in the traps and just under the rivet locations, I was ready to drill the holes for the rivets. Here’s where the ear caps come back into play & time to decide their positioning a bit as well.



In order to determine the position of the lower rivets, I needed to know where the bottom of each ear cap would fall.


I decided that the holes in the caps here were safe to drill out since those definitely won’t change. I was also aiming to line up these holes with the holes I had already drilled in the cap.


Marking the holes with pencil. These were already marked when received, but I remarked the positioning. These are aligned with the divots in the cast with slight deviation to get the upper hole on the left cap just a little closer to center and a little closer to the ear bump. I didn’t think it would have been reasonable to deviate from that positioning too much since doing so would leave a visible divot out of place. The screw heads get countersunk and painted white, so they kinda fade into the background...

As a side note here, I looked around a bit at screw positioning and it seems to vary a lot from being roughly straight up and down kind of in a perpendicular line to the ear bump, as it looks for the right ear cap here, and the screws being at more of an angle to line up with the trap line, as it appears to be for the left ear cap... so screw positioning seems to be up to you for the most part:



Drilled out, Swapped sides just to confuse you!



And a close up on that left ear cap. These will be countersunk before being finalized, so the curve of the divot will kind of slope into that:




Ear Screws – Correct drill size 3.5mm or 9/64” (maybe? - I started with 1/8” but they’re quite tight. I may drill these up a size):


Putting a screw in place, it is indeed a tight fit. At this size, it does best to screw this in with a driver (non-powered), as opposed to by thumb and forefinger. This leaves thread marks in the hole.




So using the holes drilled in the caps and trying to line up to the holes that I drilled in the caps, here’s where those hole alignments may lead you astray again...


Wrong: Right side. As an example of poor placement. This is WRONG, lol. Tilted forward. No-no-no-no-no-no...




Wrong: Here’s another angle that is also wrong, though it doesn’t look as bad. The positioning is too straight up and down. This is actually where the holes line up on this side. You can see the top hole lining up in the picture, but the due to the angle of the camera, you can’t see it, but it is lined up under there:



Optimal: A lot of the times I see the tilt of the ear caps being referred to as being in a line with the end of the trap. What I found to help me out was looking at the original helmets and seeing that the ear bumps are not parallel with the brow trim. The ear bumps are tilted forward, down in the front slightly. This is the optimal alignment. For this picture and the general alignment of the cap, I lined it up with the lower hole. The upper hole no longer aligns with the divots in the cap underneath, so a new hole will be drilled through when it comes time.



Over here on the left side, it’s a different story. Here the holes are lined up and the angle of the ear bump already looks good.




With the ear caps held in position, I marked the bottom of the helmet roughly in the middle of the space where the ear caps end at the bottom. The faceplate was locked in position with the magnets on, so no issues with positional changing when handling the helmet to drill the holes.



Rivets – Correct drill size = 4mm or 5/32” (Maybe? I ended up drilling these at 9/64". This ended up being a good size for the screws, but attempting to push a rivet through yielded no luck - some could, some couldn't. Probably too tight.)



I started with the left side since this side fits more easily together. Marking my spots. Doesn’t matter really where these go since they will be covered by the caps.

Left side - On this side, I actually drilled the lower hole first since its position was restricted somewhat by the available space to drill into on the cap. This hole got pushed to the back side from the midpoint of the ear cap bottom. Gripped the tubes together for an easy fit while drilling:

Note: All magnets were left in place until all holes were drilled and with screws in.



And the grip to drill the upper hole, grabbing through the eye hole to pinch both the cap and the faceplate together. If you have any hesitation in your drilling, you still have time in between the drill going through the cap before it goes through to the faceplate. I drilled it straight through both layers.




Right side: Marked and gripped through the eye:



For the lower hole, screws have been placed in all holes, gripping the tubes together at the peak of their arcs gives a good fit. The pencil mark isn’t visible, but the hole ended up getting nestled right into the little scoop in the plastic there.




After getting all the holes drilled and temp screws tightened in place it was time to check out the ear cap placement and check for areas that needed additional trimming.


Left side still looking good, but there is some of the cap visible on the faceplate side. Getting the ear in position, marked the cap with pencil along the curvature. These ear caps are going to get trimmed a little tighter as well, so these lines will need to be cut in further than the pencil line.




Right side – lots to trim off over here:





Look Ma! No more magnets!




Edited by Jeklynhyde
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Let's keep going!


Now that the faceplate is in place, we can work on those ears... Get ready for some gappiness.



Two main points:

1. I wish I had not trimmed the ears as much to begin with. 

2. I wish I had screwed the ear caps in place earlier while I was in the trimming process.



I started on the left side. This was the side that fit better to begin with, so I figured this would be a good side to get the hang of things before tackling the right side.


I trimmed out the ear caps with what I thought was plenty of excess. Turns out, took a little bit too much off (for the right side at least). And I could have gone easier on the trimming in the process.

But gaps are accurate, so it's ok!



This is a lot of back and forth, so get ready for lots-o-pics.



Note: The initial pencil lines visible are those that were drawn on by RS Prop Masters, all the way to current state.


For the purposes of this thread, I’ll show this one side at a time for the most part. Though in practice, I switched between front and back and between the sides at different points.


Trim process:

1. Put earcap in place (initially by hand, eventually screwed in place)

2. Mark points to be trimmed by visual / dragging my fingernail in between the cap/face and the ear to feel where the ear was pressed firmly in place (can be done with a piece of paper if a fingernail won't do).


3. Remove the earcap (in the later steps, this meant unscrewing all 3 screws.)

4. Use a cylindrical sanding bit with my Dremel to remove the marked areas.



The entire thing, including all the stops to take pictures and bathroom breaks, took roughly 7 and a half hours to complete both ears.


Left Side:

01: Starting Point: The ear caps arrived completely untrimmed. This is after initial trimming. 



02: Initially I started out just trimming out bits by squishing the ear cap in place and eyeballing it since I figured there was a way to go.



03: Holding the ear cap in position, lining up the upper hole that I already have drilled in the cap, there’s still a bit of material that needs to be removed from the cap.






04: After trimming out the excess on the cap, I started marking pencil lines where the curve of the ear was touching the cap. Still just using my hand to squish the ear in place.

When you've got one hand holding the part, and one hand holding the camera, your mouth becomes the third hand, haha. This picture is to illustrate marking the trim areas.





























04: I should have stopped here!



04: Now it's too much.



05: It reached the point where I wanted to get the earcap attached so I would know its final positioning.

Lining up the ear again, on this side I decided to go with the top hole that I already had drilled in the cap below.



6: I drilled out the hole in the earcap to expand it from 1/8" to 9/64". This I was able to do by hand with the drill bit.



07: Drilling out the hole through the cap into the faceplate.



08: Countersinking the holes in the earcap. I started with a 3/8" drill bit, but ran into an issue with this particular bit having cut outs in the tip that may be useful for other things, but caused an uneven countersink with a dig line.









08: Not terribly visible at this angle, but still there. 



08: After that, I switched to a 1/4" drill without cutouts.



09: Screwing the earcap in place. At an angle, I was still able to see the second hole underneath, but it does not line up directly with the hole in the cap 

ACtC-3f-DZP4d3AxhbJMKVqwpBO64FAAp3sL-AKr  ACtC-3cKtVPWsuhjqS0TFnhiCylzq3sELtu9hd_x


09: As a note: with one screw in, I was able to rotate the earcap in place to get it lined up to the correct angle. (Not this angle)



10: Holding position to keep the ear in place while I drilled out the lower hole to size. Released the upper screw a bit to countersink.  Drilling through the cap and faceplate. Then screwing it in place.




ACtC-3eYfe8ayWaJjeo28fMcA0z18p-_Vn3nvdVM  ACtC-3d2On-lt7WxuIAV7I5q1LUhFibBnvVV0Ssz





11: A little more trimming after the top two screws were in place.






12: Removed the bottom screw and stuck a drill bit through the existing holes, I pressed the ear in place and twisted the drill bit by hand to mark the ear for drilling. Initially I tried to do this with a pencil which yielded very poor results. Drill bit worked much better to keep the holes aligned and provided a solid point to mark the hole to be drilled.



12: The drill mark on the inside lined up rather well with the RS hole location.



12: Drilled out and lined up. I drilled it a little small to begin with and widened the hole with the bit by hand.



12: and screwed in place.



12: the gaaaaps


13: Marking the circular upper part of the ear since it seemed the only real way to reduce the gap here was to reduce the height.






13: This is one of the final trims before I did the final sanding to smooth out the edges.






13: Gap actually looks a little bigger after the trim.




14: I popped on the S Trim to see how it lies with the end of the earcap.



14: And trimmed it down to the line that RS had marked.


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Part 2!

The right side:


01: Starting Point: The ear caps arrived completely untrimmed. This is after initial trimming. 



02: On this side, I drilled the holes to install the earcap into place after just one modest trim to get rid of the hard corners. These pictures are actually from after the holes were drilled.












02: Back, the curve actually looked relatively decent, but I mess it up anyway.



03: Holding the ear cap in position, lining up with the lower hole that I already have drilled in the cap, there’s still a bit of material that needs to be removed from the cap.



04: We skip step 4 on this side since I got the ear screwed in place earlier on.


05: For this earcap I wanted to make sure that it covered the bump on the faceplate from the original RS hole location.



05: Lining up the ear again, on this side I decided to go with the bottom hole that I already had drilled in the cap below. Focusing on the rotation of the ear bump on this side for the angle of the earcap.



6: I drilled out the hole in the earcap to expand it from 1/8" to 9/64". This hole I used the drill.






07: Drilling out the hole through the cap into the faceplate.



08: Countersinking the holes in the earcap. Using my finger to plug the hole so the drill could’t go too deep and rotating a 1/4" drill bit _by hand_.












09: Screwing the earcap in place.



09: As a note: with one screw in, I was able to rotate the earcap in place to get it lined up to the correct angle. Here you can see I’ve lined it up with the upper hole that I drilled in the cap below. The angle doesn’t look good in the position. The ear bump is too parallel to the brow.



10: I drilled through the upper hole, then removed the ear once it had punched through the cap since the drill kept wanting to jump into the existing hole location. Drilling through the faceplate. 



10: I ran into an issue with the plasti-dip coating on this side. Maybe my drill wasn’t sharp enough anymore, but the drill grabbed the coating and spun it up after punching through.



10: I backed up the drill to the point where it wanted to start wrapping it around in the other direction



10: Then used a utility blade to cut off the trapped coating. I was able to remove the coating from the drill and pull it back out again.






10: Aaaand then screwing it in place.



11: Skipping step 11 as well since I got the bottom screw in place before additional trimming.


12: The existing bottom holes again lined up very close to the proper location for the bottom screw.



12: Removed the bottom screw and stuck a drill bit through the existing holes, I pressed the ear in place and twisted the drill bit by hand to mark the ear for drilling. Initially I tried to do this with a pencil which yielded very poor results. Drill bit worked much better to keep the holes aligned and provided a solid point to mark the hole to be drilled.

Drill mark visible on the inside.



12: Drilling it out from the inside with a small drill (7/64" to start it)



12: Using the 9/64" drill bit by hand to expand the hole out and put the screw back in after.



13: Step 13 turned into the main trimming step. Marking the circular upper part of the ear since it seemed the only real way to reduce the gap here was to reduce the height.

After the initial cleanup of the edge with the big gap, I made no additional trims to that area. 



13: Kinda looks like I should have left it here, but I kept going.









13: Final trim before sanding (This one may look worse, but it's more likely due to the angle of the picture.















13: Final trim before sanding.


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Part 3: End results


I sanded off all the rough edges with some drywall sandpaper. I was able to use the edge of the counter to assist in getting those curves.




Ear caps final trimmed and sanded







I thinned out the ends slightly by sanding the inside to aim for a tighter fit at the bottoms.




And the end product:


ACtC-3eqM9MZTMY0DKsuZUX_xVccz9sy1lTLibEp  ACtC-3c8HmKF2PazxzdC3WA8-0rowU0E-qApOEtM




ACtC-3ci1Wa6b4I21BYNGDOtVWUwcR80oQF8ycRf  ACtC-3eSuQn51EyPJCSZADGFlxiSgkIOpHzV3UaY




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Next up, they eye lenses.


The RS kit comes with a flimsy - film accurate - piece of green film for the eyes.

I wanted to go with a sturdier option.


I research a number of threads on what to use and a frequent suggestion was to use a welder's shield in "Shade 3.0" which is a dark green.

I looked around at options on the interwebs (hadn't checked out  TrooperBay yet) and I found a replacement shield on Amazon:



The image shown on Amazon is a curved faceshield and I was expecting it to arrive as such, but it came in flat in a plastic bag and with protective film on both sides:






Do _not_ remove that film. Keep it in place as long as you can to help keep the quality of the finish.




I stuck a piece of paper behind the eyes and traced the lines. Just a quick go around, it's going to be expanded.






I drew another line to expand the area by roughly 1/4" (a compass could be used - I made a compass out of my fingers for this).




I made a copy of the templates and cut them out. I moved them around a bit on the faceshield to determine the layout to make the best use of the material and here's what I found. I put the templates in place, traced their outlines, and then moved them to the next position. The shield (I assume) is the same on both sides, so it shouldn't matter what orientation the eyes are placed in.










I didn't draw in the lens in the middle, so that in the - hopefully very unlikely - event that I should need a single lens after using out all the others, I can draw it on at that time. Both eye shapes fit in the spot and I ended up trimming off a bit more material from the shapes that I drew, so there's lots of room.




In this layout, I've got room for 5 sets of eyes and room enough in the middle for one more.
If at any point I should need to replace the lenses, I've got plenty to spare.

For now, I'm only going to cut out one set. This shield cut very easily with my lexan-style scissors. I found the straight scissors did a better job for these.






Once I got the lenses cut, I took another look at the trimming of the eye holes while holding the lenses in place.




Another pencil-in-the-mouth pic for effect.

I marked out the places all around both eyes where the material seemed to bulge out too far so that I could even up the trim lines - aiming for as flat a fit as I could manage.





Looking from the inside, the mould line looks like it's a little further back and there's easy room to safely trim out more.




For these edges, I used the little conical Dremel bit and hit it from both the inside and the outside.

Most of the trims were made from the inside, but more final touches were made from the outside.




Until I had a better fit along the curves (for both eyes all around the edges - I seem to be favouring the top of the right eye in these pictures)




A little gappy, but not bad and I don't want to trim off too much more.




After getting everything trimmed off and sanded out, I gave the entire bucket a bath. Soap on the outside to clean up some smudgies and water everywhere to get rid of all the tiny bits of plastic dust clinging to everything.


I didn't get pics, but you can do an image search for "stormtrooper in a bath" and you'll get the idea.



Here's where the Sugru came into play.
This method is detailed by @justjoseph63 and I actually purchased the packets via PM here (Thanks Joseph!)






The packets arrived quickly, signed, and with a collector's card! (Ok, it's more of a business card, but I'm going to start a collection now XD).




I did some searches into other people's experience with Sugru and at least one post said that they had difficulty getting the (flat) lenses to stick to the Sugru, so I figured I was going to need a little pressure to keep them in place while it cured.

My tools: A couple of C-Clamps with blocks of wood taped to one side.




Testing out the fit before I get involved with the Sugru, I put the blocks on the outside to rest against the cheek ridge and the area just above the eye. This provides a solid position that has enough structural integrity to withstand the pressure exerted by the clamps without deforming the mask (too much). Putting too much pressure on the clamps does start to bend the faceplate, so don't go too ham on this.






The feet on the inside go right in the middle of the lenses, at least for vertical positioning.




This forces the lens to match the curve of the faceplate. Just enough pressure to curve the lens - not so much pressure that you're deforming the faceplate.




This also reduces the gaps significantly compare to holding the lenses in position by hand.



Hey a picture of the left side finally, hah.




Once I was happy with the setup, time to prepare the inside of the eyes. I sprayed on the plasti-dip early and through my work with the helmet so far I have found that it comes off very easily.

I want a solid base to glue against, so I removed the coating around the eyes.

I used a utility knife to score the coating and then I was able to easily remove a clean section all the way around both eyes.

Where it didn't peel off in strips, I was able to rub it off with my thumb.




One side cleaned up. You can also see the inside view of the final trim lines I have here for the eyes themselves. 

From the top:



From the bottom:




Both cleaned up. I cut out a triangle where I'd scuffed off the coating below the right eye during sanding as well as cleaning up the edges where the drill bit ate up the coating behind the right ear to give a clean area for another coat at a later time.

From the top again:



And the bottom:



Drill went om-nom-nom to my coating. Cleaned up the edges




Now we're ready to open up the Sugru.


I cut off around three of the edges with scissors since tearing things doesn't always work so well. And quickly realized that I would benefit from wearing gloves to do this. Not entirely necessary, but it kept my fingers clean and made the material easy to work with.






Removed from the packet - dragging the glue along the inside of the packet worked well to pick up the bits that clung. Then rolling it into a snake.




Ruler for reference as it was advised not to roll this any longer than 7 inches. If you roll it out too long, you can squish it back down a little length-wise to make it thicker and roll it back to even it out along the length.




Then squished it into place, leaving a gap at the top for anti-fog purposes.

One note: When I was working with it, I found the Sugru kept wanting to peel away from the eye-rim when trying to press it against the lens. For the other side, I pressed the material to the rim with a little more force and squishing it down a little more.




That film protected the lens up until now, but it's going to get in my way, so time to go.




Remove the film from the outer-facing side of the lens. Do _not_ remove from the inside yet!





I then used the round end of the craft stick provided to press the material into place against the lens on the inside. This is where the material kept wanting to come away from the eye-rim, so I put the clamp on and used the craft stick to squish it back into place against both the lens and the rim.

After this was done, checking the outside, there's some cleanup to do. I used the cut end of the craft stick to scrape it away - and it gave no resistance. I should have tried to move the stick along the rim of the plastic rather than along the lens, as dragging it along the lens cause a little scuffing (maybe it can be buffed out? Still, it's not bad as it is).

Overall, not much squished out onto the lens.

I also made the use of a good handful of cotton-swabs to remove excess material from the outer lens side. Rub a bit away, then rotate to a clean section of the swab so I wasn't rubbing the glue into the lens.







Same deal for the right eye, though this one I squished the material into the rim a little more for starters












There was still a fair gap on the inner corner of the eyes that I didn't like, so I improvised a couple more clamps into place to pin those into place as well.





My bar clamps don't have much reach, so I had to find something sturdy, flat, and kinda thin.

Turns out a couple of packs of gum fit the bill.




I was able to get the right amount of pressure in the right way by placing the packs of gum on the inside to give a flat surface to extend the bar clamps' reach with the outside feet pressing against the brow line above the eyes which again had enough structural integrity to withstand the pressure without deforming the faceplate.

This got the inner corners pressed flat into place. For both sides. If you look closely, you can see that minty-fresh clampy-helper goodness at work, haha.






And the final resting position while I wait the 24 hours for this to cure.




*does the Time Warp again*



24 hours later, the clamps come off.


Overall, good results.







The left eye is a little off center, but it's not visible, so it doesn't matter. If I were to do this again, I would remove more material from the lenses. It was a little difficult getting the craft stick in underneath certain angles, especially around the tears. I ended up releasing the clamps a bit while in the process so I could press it in place before clamping it back down.

I'm keeping the protective film on the inside until I get closer to completion. Certainly leaving it on until after I re-coat the white bits.




The curvature is holding very nicely and these lenses aren't going anywhere. If anything, the sections for the air gaps could be expanded, but I'll wait to do some test runs (or just leave it alone) until it seems like it would be beneficial.




Here's some of the slight scuffing I caused by trying to remove the excess with the stick pointed against the lenses:






We're getting close to riveting the faceplate in position. (Though it looks like I could technically get away with just having it screwed in place since all these bits will be hidden. I'm debating it.)



And we're getting REAL close to starting the paint job on this bucket.

I got some goodies from TrooperBay, right now, mainly the Satin Coal Black. Also got a set of snaps (I may revamp the internal strapping to either include these alongside, or replace the original strapping method - but that's for later), some zap-a-gap and zip kicker (though I don't have any direct intent to use these at this time), and a helmet liner. The foam padding star is lovely and all, but I figure a proper liner will allow for better control of helmet movements as well as allowing for a more precise fit. I still have yet to determine how I will be going about attaching that.



I've already started with painting the Hovi tips, but that will be another post.

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Doo doo dooo, ok. what's next?


So while I was working on the other bits of the helmet, I have also been working on the Mix-Tips on the side.

(CRL) Survey Says: ..."with the rim of the mic and the inside white or painted white."

The RS Kit that I got came with the Mix tips painted black on the outside and with the mesh already installed with the inside of the tips being unpainted resin. Considering the comment above, we need to fix that.


There's that HOVI-MIX Pa2. - But the paint job.... It was flaking off right out of the box. 



So these meshes were already glued in place. How to remove without deforming the mesh too much?

The first one I ended up bending a bit getting out, the one on the left in this picture. I think I just tried using my fingernails to pull it up in places. I noticed the bending and switched to a utility knife.




For the other side, I popped a little utility knife under one of the more open edges and kind of popped up the ends of the wires one by one until I could fit the blade underneath and then held the mesh on top with one finger while I pushed up with the flat of the knife on the other side. This way I was able to keep the mesh flat & reduce deformation significantly.




The inside was a bit dirty, and I needed to remove that glue. I used a paper towel to wipe out the inside with my finger.




Used the utility knife to scrape gently around the inside edges of the rim which did a good job of chipping away the glue, being careful not to dig into the resin.




Resulting in nice clean surfaces to paint.




For the meshes, a few times, the little wires would pop out of place or completely off. I was able to put them back into place with my fingers, matching the weave, then used some wide & flat pliers to squish and flatten everything together a little better - I also used this to flatten the mesh that I had bent trying to get out.

Sometimes when handling the mesh, it was loose enough that the shape became more oval and the square gaps of the mesh became more like diamonds, but when putting them back into place, they went back to being square-shaped.

This isn't the greatest picture for silhouette value, but if you look close, you can see one of the wires is out a bit. 

Side note: I have "rediscovered" the timer function on my camera, so maybe I can stop putting pencils in my mouth now.

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I figured for the painting, I could install the tips into the helmet as a place to hold them while I painted and stay there to dry.




This is the first coat, wet.




First coat dried. There's still not a very good consistency, so I'm going for another coat.




I planned to work on the helmet while these dried, so I took the tips out to do the second coat. Once done, I rested them off to the side in the tape roll set at an angle so they wouldn't fall out. Later I upgrade to a piece of cardboard +++.

I used a flat, angular tipped paintbrush and Humbrol Gloss White for this. Using the paint on the cap was enough to coat both the tips. I'll be painting the outside after this, so no precision is needed here. You can see there's paint over the edges. I expanded it to make sure I'm not leaving any more big paint lumps on the outside. Aiming to coat the entirety of the inside and along the rim edge.




This is a half-and-half pic. Coat #3 applied on the left side of the picture, and the result of coat #2 on the right.




Here's the result of coat #3. I used the bottlecap to keep my meshes safe while they were waiting. And hey look! I've got a little helper now!

The paint is pretty decent, though it looks like it could use another coat.




I decided to check out how things looked with the meshes in place before going for another coat. In place, even up close, unless you are trying to look inside, you're not going to notice the slight variation of the white, so I decided it was good enough to reinstall the meshes. This is a test fit.




This is one of those original Lego stormtrooper guys that came with a head, but no face... Because, I mean... Stormtroopers are a faceless foes?

But with helmet on, this guy reminds me of Gomez Addams.

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To get the meshes back in, I aimed to place one corner (one where there were lots of wires converging at the same point) onto the little ledge and held it in place with one finger while I poked in the other edges with my fingernail.



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This process took a while to narrow down because at times, the mesh would fall into the tip, or didn't want to push down past the rim, but I was eventually able to get things situated correctly. Some of this took a little bending and pushing one of the wires that was poking out too far on one side with the help of the pliers.

This is one where the wire is out of place on the left one which prevented the mesh from sitting fully inside the tip. I took it out again and adjusted things.



Now it's sitting correctly.



Both meshes are below the rim & sitting nicely.




I got smarter for the gluing and painting phase. I stuck one of the drill bits though a piece of cardboard (9/64") and screwed the mix tips in place. 




For the gluing here, I used some Gorilla Super Glue Gel. This has a thicker consistency than liquid super glue and allows for the use of a toothpick to apply the glue with precision.




Going all the way around the edges and making sure that I don't create any little windows with the mesh (where the glue completely fills the gap).




I dragged the toothpick across the top to pat down any excess glue that was poking up.




Looking good. I just tested both of these after ~24 hours of cure time (inadvertently - it cures faster than that) - using a toothpick and gently trying to pull on the mesh to see if it would release, there was no movement. These guys aren't going anywhere.




While the glue sets, I moved on to painting. I used the same flat, angle-tipped brush that I used for the inside. This gave me decent control and I was able to get good coverage. I rotated the tip around by spinning the screw from the bottom. This helped me hit the sides of the tip all the way around without running into the other tip.

Using Humbrol 85 Satin Coal Black. Here's the right side started.




And here's the end result. This was done by hand. No masking.

Whenever I blipped the black paint too far up, I wiped it off with a cotton swab. If I feel like it, I can do a lil' touch up later on.



From the top:



Here's more of an edge-on view after they've had plenty of time to dry. Was surprised at how reflective this paint came out, but unless the lid was switched out before being shipped to me, this should be the semi-gloss. 




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Here's my current workstation. I've been using a camera tripod to help with helmet stuff since it's conveniently sized and allows me to position & tilt the helmet as necessary. Dremel is hanging on the key holder. Easy access to an outlet and lights directly above. Overall a decent setup.



This is not really applicable to a clean ANH trooper, but I love the look of those pauldrons, so I got myself one for funsies. I will very likely be making a dirtyboi at some point as well, so we'll just say I'm prepping for that. Purchased from TrooperBay.

This arrived in a folded, but otherwise mostly flat state. When doing test fits, the sides kept popping up...



... so I used an old blown out hairtie to help shape it. I'm guessing the orange part is painted on due to the couple orange smudges on the black parts of this. I'll have to figure out a way to get that stuff off gently.




Moving along to the Vocoder.

Humbrol 85 Satin Coal Black. Using a rounded brush tip this time.



And so we begin! Reference ever present in the background. Going about this again by hand, no masking off. I started off with the helmet on the tripod, but moved along quickly to holding it with one hand or resting in my lap at every varying angle (from the front, from the side & upside down to anywhere in between).



Made the mistake of turning the helmet upside down when there was enough excess paint to run up past my paint lines on the left side.



Used a cotton swab with a little paint thinner to clean up the area. I did this a number of times when the paint went past where I wanted it to go.



Pausing to check reference, where do I put the paintbrush?

Where else but in my mouth, geez.




Oooor I could rest it on those pliers.



More progress pics: 

Initial outline going to the mould edges, then expanding the middle three up.

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Extending the next ones out upward a bit more and painting the middle three through to the neck at the bottom.

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Expanding upwards a bit again.

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This is where I left it since parts were starting to dry and it was getting a little harder to work the edges. Overall shape is looking ok, but there are a couple edges that I will likely clean up, mostly the right side (left from the front)

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That corner looks too squarish. going to even that out next go-round.




Looking at the helmet from a bit of a distance, it actually looks like the vocoder is at an angle to the vertical line of the helmet. Taking a close look at the original helmets, this indeed seems to be the case. I don't think I'd noticed this before!


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