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CableGuy

Creating a troopable, replica style ANH Stunt Helmet

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Hey troopers,

 

Today, I’d like to run through some tips on ways to make a troopable replica Stunt TK helmet. The aim of my build was to make a helmet that looks closer to those seen in ANH back in ‘77, rather than how those helmets look now, over 40 years later.

 

As we all know, the helmets on screen were used and abused by the actors/stunt team and this is clearly evident in ANH.

 

756d2082362c65a6e6b38e90e77a925a.jpg

 

 

Highlighted below, the helmets showed signs of cracked paint and usage markings.

 

279231cda07654aa6d1ff297d3fc72d8.png

 

For those that don’t know, the original Stunt helmets were not white ABS (as many helmets are sold today). They were made of a khaki coloured material called HDPE. This was primed and then spray painted to get the final white appearance. This is why the helmets, when studied in closeups, have chips in the white paint showing the khaki plastic below. According to a trusted source, the process went something like this;

 

1. HDPE helmet primed oxide red

2. White primer added

3. Ears attached (unpainted) and helmet sprayed gloss white

 

So, if one is looking for the closest appearance to screen used stunt helmets, the helmet has to be spray painted.

 

This leaves a couple of options;

 

Option 1; find a good quality HDPE helmet and follow the original methods

 

Option 2; purchase an ABS helmet and fake the HDPE part

 

For this project, I chose option two.

 

 

Firstly, creating a “replica” helmet means studying the original helmets, such as how they were constructed and how they were finished. I’ve posted various threads about helmet alignment, brow heights, tubestripes and vocoders (which I’ll link at the end) as all of these elements help create a helmet that shouts ANH.

 

For this build, I used a Troopermaster Stunt kit, 1.5mm ABS (not acrylic capped). After a rough trim, I could use magnets to hold the faceplate and back & cal together to start working on alignment. (More info on alignment https://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/48293-anh-helmet-alignment/)

 

At every stage, I use a free smartphone app to compare my progress with movie screen shots. (FISD gallery: https://www.whitearmor.net/forum/gallery/)

 

92bc978920c83bccbb43bb81eb235f69.jpg

 

 

With the basics of alignment in place, the helmet can be fixed together.

 

51698ffb3852675b7d8c53b7f0ccc4e2.jpg

 

 

Let’s take a second to look at the eyes. As below, the screen used helmets appear to have had the eye sockets cut out with a sharp knife. Unlike many “idealised” builds, they were not finely tuned with sand paper or Dremels - they had nice, sharp cut lines.

 

b7fe8b5be27189e3c7c9a43dcc7361e0.jpg

 

 

Once the construction is done, the undercoat that will give the appearance of the khaki HDPE plastic can be applied. I was recommended Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch Fossil.

 

8853f98f373d9a620e4f2f766261c554.jpg

 

 

4292e655a5baecf82383ffc47ff63d83.jpg

 

 

 

Now, whilst the original Stunt HDPE helmet were primed oxide red, I haven’t used that part of the process - this is because, in this build, the Fossil colour acts as the primer. So, for this build the process would be;

 

1. Helmet sprayed Fossil green

2. Apply liquid mask

3. Ears added and helmet primed white*

4. Gloss white

5. Clear lacquer applied

 

 

IMPORTANT STEP

 

To give the appearance of paint chips later on, time to apply liquid mask.

 

This was applied with a paint brush to areas where the screen used helmets showed chips or weathering. As below, you can see that the liquid mask has been carefully applied. This dries to a latex finish and is removed after the gloss coat has cured later in the process.

 

 

a113af2c62d001e54fb0098bbfa81802.jpg

 

 

 

White primer;

 

1a182b41ed0017587971f5246acd8606.jpg

 

 

* to get the masking fluid correctly applied around the ears, the ear caps had to be added before the white primer, otherwise, creating the screen used look around the ear caps wouldn’t be possible.

 

Gloss white;

 

515d617aaaa0e11ea8f5f8a7ca20593d.plist

 

 

 

Helmet now ready for hand painted details. :-)

 

21f3c1b4eda6c15b2784d4be92b66944.jpg

 

 

 

So, now the helmet is shiny white, spray painted just like the originals, we can move on to the hand painted details.

 

As always, I used screen shots throughout to be as accurate as possible.

 

e2acfe6b7701931d92776b304308612c.jpg

 

Videos part 7 through 10 cover the helmet detail painting; Hand painted details

 

More details on the vocoder can be found here:

 

https://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/48252-anh-tk-vocoder-examples/

 

 

 

 

For the tubestripes, I followed the process used by Troopermaster. Essentially, using masking tape (set 15mm apart), starting approximately a pencil width from the cheek, then using a curved template (made from offcuts of ABS) to mark the pencil lines.

Each stripe should be approximately 3mm thick.

 

ea6a8d59e1e53484354837fbca08f964.jpg

 

 

 

Note the angle of the front few stripes - more details on that here; https://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/44755-tube-stripes-anh-stunt-dave-m/

 

 

With the tubestripes complete, some gentle weathering can be applied. I used an off cut of rubber s-trim to mark the helmet, then used damp newspaper to give it a slightly used look.

 

And there we are - a helmet built using original construction methods, painting processes similar to the originals, and hand painted details, with realistic weathering.

 

16c23c52c128f6e59372c1e1b9fc54ac.jpg

 

 

The completed helmet can be seen here;

 

Also, the build can be seen throughout this playlist of videos;

 

 

Thanks for stopping by. Any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

 

Best wishes

 

Dan

 

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Amazing. congratulations. :jc_doublethumbup:

Thanks, Mario. :-)

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Brilliant Dan, thank you for adding.

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Weekend bump. Enjoy. :-)

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Very, very, very good job... You are an artist... :th_AnimatedBravoSmiley:

 

 

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Very, very, very good job... You are an artist... :th_AnimatedBravoSmiley:
 
 

Thank you, Chemi. That’s very kind. :-)

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Hey troopers,

 

With RS Prop Masters now offering completed HDPE lids for their 10th anniversary celebrations, I'm guessing that the desire for painted, screen accurate helmets will like rise in the coming weeks and months. RS are only offering them as complete helmets, but I know many troppers/artists would rather build and paint their own. As such, I wanted to bump this thread for anyone looking to build a super replica helmet. :-)

 

Stay safe,

Dan

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Hi Dan,

 

I'm looking for a recommendation of which liquid mask product to buy/use to replicate what you have done on your build?

 

Cheers,

 

Bryan

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4 minutes ago, TK3645 said:

Hi Dan,

 

I'm looking for a recommendation of which liquid mask product to buy/use to replicate what you have done on your build?

 

Cheers,

 

Bryan

I've just added some chips and weathering to a droid build using toothpaste, worked great and is cheap. I see a few others using liquid latex or vaseline. Some great tutorials can be found on YouTube.

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2 minutes ago, TK3645 said:

Hi Dan,

 

I'm looking for a recommendation of which liquid mask product to buy/use to replicate what you have done on your build?

 

Cheers,

 

Bryan

I use the Vallejo liquid mask. 

 

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Hi Dan,
 
I'm looking for a recommendation of which liquid mask product to buy/use to replicate what you have done on your build?
 
Cheers,
 
Bryan

Hi Bryan,

Just like Greg (Wook), I used Vallejo liquid mask. It worked really well. Just applied it with a thin paint brush. :-)

fcc3008288da6b66967a72735c19c13d.jpg


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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2 minutes ago, CableGuy said:


Hi Bryan,

Just like Greg (Wook), I used Vallejo liquid mask. It worked really well. Just applied it with a thin paint brush. :-)

fcc3008288da6b66967a72735c19c13d.jpg


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks for the info. Might give toothpaste a go....genius idea! 

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16 minutes ago, gmrhodes13 said:

I've just added some chips and weathering to a droid build using toothpaste, worked great and is cheap. I see a few others using liquid latex or vaseline. Some great tutorials can be found on YouTube.

Toothpaste...Genius idea! Thanks Glen.

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UPDATE.

 

I had a brainwave this morning!

 

I remembered I had some liquid rubber left over from when I spot repaired and assembled my FOTK rubber gaskets.

 

Works a treat when applying...should be a good result when I spray the topcoat (hopefully).

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