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HOWTO: Convert the Black Series FO Helmet to be More Accurate


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Alright, so before I get started I am going to mention that this HOWTO is being done on the BS captain cardinal helmet. If you are reading this from the future and BS has a standard FO helmet on shelves, I would assume that this HOWTO would still apply, assuming it uses the same molds/form as the captain cardinal helmet. 

 

EDIT: There is now a white version of the hasbro helmet. It does use the same molds, and this howto will still be an accurate guide on how to modify it.

 

I initially started this thread  when I first saw the helmets promotional material to discuss it's accuracy, but I will be summing it up here. While this helmet is extremely good out of the box, it has a few inaccuracies to be corrected for higher level approval (presumably, no one has used this helmet as of yet for an approved build). They are as follows: The tube stripes are not hollow, there is 2 speaker slots on the rear of the helmet, the channel/groove on the chin of the helmet goes around the aerator instead of through it, and there is a missing groove/channel that goes from corner to corner of the lower traps. 

My plans for this thread are to correct all of these issues, as well as making a few adjustments to some of the parts of the helmet (like the teeth) that have some very small gaps that bother me personally.

 

I will also be doing a total repaint on this helmet to convert it to a first order executioner! If one only wishes to correct the speakers, a repaint of the helmet would not be necessary. However for this conversion we are going to cut several of the pieces, fill in some groves with bondo (or a similar fill), and more. This would require a repaint anyways, regardless of what the base color for the plastic is. If you are planning on using this helmet for a full suit of armor, I would also recommend a repaint so that the colors are able to match exactly.

 

So on with the tutorial!

 

Here is what I am using for this build (will be updated as the build progresses)

  • 1 Black Series FO helmet
  • Small Philips screwdriver
  • A flathead screwdriver, butter knife, or equivalent as a wedge
  • Wire-cutters or a strong pair of scissors 
  • 200-250 grit sandpaper
  • Exacto Knife
  • Dremel kit
  • E-6000 or equivalent 
  • Super Glue or equivalent 
  • Light Grey Primer (spray)
  • White paint (spray)
  • Black paint (spray)
  • matte finish clear coat (spray)
  • 1k or 2k Gloss clear coat (up to personal preference)

 

 

 

Step 1: Disassembling the Helmet

 

I initially was not going to do a detailed breakdown on this process, but it proves to actually be quite difficult compared to what I imagined.

 

Remove the strapping from the helmet. I will be replacing this with padding later, as I find it uncomfortable, but it will still be needed to be removed in order to take this apart. 

Next, remover the battery cover (which is also the entire lower edge of the helmet) and unscrew all of the screws along this edge, as well as all of the screws on the inside. I recommend keeping track of which screws go where for the final reassembly later. Once this is done the small faceplate, rubber eye ring, and the black base should come off rather easily. The black base has two electrical wires that are still attaching it to the rest of the helmet, make sure there is no battery inserted in the battery case, and then cut the wires with a wire cutter or scissors.

 

UG2862X.jpg

 

5Vr4NTb.jpg

 

With a small push the aerator should also slide out of place from the faceplate.

 

CVGgBNE.jpg

 

Congrats, that was the easiest part of this whole build. Everything will get significantly harder from here.

 

dCpAFq1.jpg

 

The next step is to remove the inner grey sections from the helmet. You may have noticed that despite taking out the screws earlier, these sections have still held in place, they are secured through a few different methods still. Namely: glue and plastic tabs. For ease of explaining the next few steps, I made a quick diagram above, and numbered the parts 1-5.

Section 1 is at the back of the helmet, and will be the first to be removed. 1 has two tabs, one on each side, that join with 2 and 3 (the sections by the ears). It also has five tabs deep in the helmet that connect 1 to 4 (the cap at the top). You will be able to easily unhook the first two tabs at the sides, the others you are unable to reach. Once the first two are unhooked, place one hand at the top of section 1 where it meets 4, and apply lots of pressure, this will push the tabs to an ideal position for removal; while doing this, take your other hand and pull section 1 out from the bottom. This will take a lot of force, don't worry, nothing should break here. The inside should now look like this:

 

UuE0glU.jpg

 

Sections 2 and 3 have two tabs at their top, securing them to the cap, section 4. There is also a couple spots of glue on their sides that attach them to section 5, the face plate. Take a small butter knife, screwdriver, or other item to use as a wedge, and slip it into the cracks where the glue is. Mess around until you think the glue is separated. 

 

iG1SyVl.jpg

 

Then repeat what you did for the first plate, and remove these two sections.It should now look like this:

 

UzGJnsw.jpg

 

The faceplate (section 5) should be easy to remove, and the lens will fall out with it.

 

The cap (section 4) will take some maneuvering as there are a few tabs holding it in place. Once it is removed, the two clip greeblies at the top of the helmet are no longer held in place and they may be removed also.

 

uia9auU.jpg

 

YRGi6xp.jpg

 

Now we will separate the two large outer sections of the helmet, the faceplate and the cap/back. There's 6 screws total, four at the top and 2 at the rear. At the front where the two meet, there are three tabs glued in place. They are not very hard to bend back and remove the glue with your fingers. her's a better look at them:

 

g4NXRGt.jpg

 

You can set the cap/rear aside as the only parts left to take apart are on the faceplate. On the right side you will see there is some electrical components, take out the screws and throw them away, however save the small red button/greblie. This also is the same for the electrical components on the black base. Make sure that you follow any local recycling and garbage guidelines/proper safety precautions when throwing away electronic components!!!

 

You will also see there are two black strips of plastic underneath the tube stripes. They are glued in place, and easy to remove. These are also to be thrown out, as the tube stripes should be fully hollow. Behind the tube stripes on each side is a single screw and spacer. This holds on the small trap, unscrew them and remember to keep these small parts! 

 

SCNkMGD.jpg

 

Mo3rRur.jpg

 

Finally there's only one thing left to remove, the black sections of the face! this was the trickiest part to figure out, but it should be fairly easy for you if you follow these steps exactly:

 

Use whatever you used for a wedge, and wedge it underneath the tear area (beneath the eye)

 

rmcH6Xc.jpg

 

Push the tear forwards and out, this should pop out the small tab behind it. Repeat for the other side.

 

kFbvjqe.jpg

 

There is a similar but much longer tab at the top of the faceplate, where the large traps are. Theoretically this should also be able to be pushed out like the ones at the tears, but I couldn't get it to move far enough. So I took a small knife and cut the tab in half (only on one side). I was able to pop the tab out after that. The other side at this point slid out really easily, and the whole large piece can be set aside. Finally there is one last small part on the frown, with some jiggling this comes off easy also. 

 

RbONbOx.jpg

 

I'm open to suggestions on this part:

 

Ikgux3r.jpg

 

This is the back of the aerator, it seems the metal part was cast into a hole of the plastic, or jammed in there by a machine. I have tries hammering this out, but because of the shape it can't be done on a vice. I tried without it, but it was putting some strain on the plastic, and only making dents on the metal. I think i might have to drill next to it, but I'm unsure if thats the best bet. Any suggestions would be extremely helpful, as masking it off would be a pain in the butt.

 

 

 

And thats it for the dissasembly!!!!!

 

 

Prepping the helmet for modification and paint

 

Take the four large red pieces, and sand them down using 200-250 grit sandpaper. (I used 150 because thats what I had laying around, but 200-250 would be preferred). You could argue that this is overkill, but I prefer to have a non-slick surface when applying primer, paint, and gloss.

 

atURLTa.jpg

 

Next, in a well ventilated area and with a mask on, spray these parts with the light grey primer, as well as the red greblies and the aerator (once I figure out how to disassemble it). I did 3-4 light coats to ensure that all of the ups and downs and details of the helmet were covered. Feel free to do more, but remember there will be more coats applied later as the modifications are made. I also did one coat on the inside, so it won't be bright red when this is all finished.

 

atP6aKn.jpg

 

 

 

 

I would love to continue this post, however the next steps will be some of the major modifications on the helmet. I am still not finished with them yet, and will continue with it later this evening. Expect this thread to be updated daily-ish from now on until it's completion!

 

Until then, 

 

-Eric

Edited by Ericnathan811
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Part 2!  I was debating holding off on posting for another day, but I figured I had the time to post this tonight, so let's get into it!

 

Modifying The Helmet

Additional Items Needed:

  • Spare sheet of either ABS or HIPS (.25-.5mm)
  • Small File

 

 

I decided to start with what I felt was the hardest part of this build, just to get it over with. This would be the grove that runs from the lower traps and goes around the helmet, parallel to the black strip.

Start by measuring the distance from the bottom of the faceplate to the bottom of the small trap. This was exactly 1/2 inch on my tape measure. Then mark every so often with a pencil, a point where the groove will go (use the measurement to be as accurate as you can).  To help make this guide more visible on the cap/back, I used tape to go between each point.

 

Qc6Lz9z.jpg

 

Attach a medium size cutting disc to your dremel, and secure the faceplate so it will not move at all. Following your guideline, you should make a cut that looks like this on each side:

 

rIGmPrf.jpg

 

Again, secure the cap/back so it will not move. Starting from the center and working your way out, make slots with the dremel, and leave some space between each cut. BE CAREFUL NOT TO CUT THE SCREW SUPPORTS! It should look something like this:

 

qzpkHzE.jpg

 

You will notice that at one point, my hands slipped and it made a cut where it shouldn't have. This is ok as errors like this can easily be fixed in later steps, don't worry too much if this happens to you.

Now, use the dremel to cut the rest of the slots out on the cap/back.

 

BMDBhxt.jpg

 

Now to finish the cut, take an exacto knife and cut the supports by hand, while leaving the screw slots intact:

 

3r21q44.jpg

 

One last time with the dremel, go to the front of the faceplate, and cut the loop around the aerator out

 

MtvCwHM.jpg

 

 

 

This next part take some fiddling,  but you want to cut out as much of the stray supports as you can on the cap/back. You want a clear surface on the edges where the cut was made. Then with some sandpaper, sand down the edges of the main cut to straighten and smooth it out. Start with 200 grit, and work your way up to 250 or higher. Also use the sandpaper and knife to do the same to the small slots on the face plate; this will be harder as you have to work inside of the cut as everything there should still be attached.

 

7rdawa3.jpg

 

CcWiQcB.jpg

 

D79O651.jpg

 

 

 

Now with the spare sheet of plastic, cut out two small rectangles that are a little larger than the cuts on the face plate. Glue them in place

 

w4MIDX1.jpg

 

Ykto3vU.jpg

 

 

Now cut a long strip of the spare plastic, and make sure it has alot to work with. I cut out major slots for the top part of the cut on the cap/back, and carefully made slots for the bottom half of the cut. These slots are for the remaining supports and screw slots. It's better to cut less than more, so slowly make these cuts deeper and wider as needed, bit by bit. you should get to a point when sliding the pieces together, the groove is the same width as the grove on the face plate, and they should line up. Glue the pieces together to finish the cap/back (do not glue it to the faceplate). 

 

GO98Hn9.jpg

 

kDNqjiD.jpg

 

MgHkzeA.jpg

 

 

 

Take the loop cut off from the faceplate earlier, and glue it to the neck/ring. While you are at it, glue the clip greblies and the button greeblie to their original position.

 

7Yehnsg.jpg

 

AC20eCt.jpg

 

 

 

Now Take the faceplate, and a small file. The file should be able to fit inside of the tube stripes. Use the file to shave off the tapered edge of each stripe. Here is a in progress pick to demonstrate what I mean:

 

z52uP1v.jpg

 

Once they are finished, take the file and clean up the edges and corners until they are looking very nice!

 

 

 

Tomorrow's  steps will be filling with Bondo and sanding, as well as a final preparation for painting!!! 

 

Until then, I'm signing out :salute:

 

 

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Man, you are doing an awesome job of this upgrade. very impressed so far. I'm going to pin this thread so it's easier to find.

looking forward to you next post. :popcorn:

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  • Sly11 pinned this topic
  • 1 month later...

I just wanna post a quick update since it has been a while and I feel I should explain myself.  Just before I was able to finish work on the helmet (I probably only have a days worth left) I unfortunately contracted COVID-19 and had to deal with that for 2 weeks, and for obvious reasons was unable to work on the helmet. Immediately after my semester started at uni and I don’t have the available space required for painting. I have finished bondo and the first few coats, I was going to wait till it was done, but I will post later today with the half finished paint job, as it may be a number of weeks until I get the opportunity to finish it up.

 

sorry to keep y’all waiting, it’s just how life winded up being :duimomlaag:

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So sorry to hear you contracted Covid-19 but happy to hear you have come through it ok. I know it's hard leaving projects halfway through, I had a fall before Christmas and injured my shoulder and elbow and I'm biting at the bit to be able to do some building.

 

Looking forward to seeing the updates, hopefully you'll be able to get back to it in the not too distant future.

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Thanks Glen!! 

 

As promised I am going to post what I do have done now.

 

Before going into the bondo and paint process, I did manage to finally get that darn aerator out of the surrounding plastic. It was very messy, but an slowly chipping away with an exacto knife did the trick:

 

nFFLqPu.jpg

 

 

Bondo And Sanding

 

In order to hide some of the modifications, as well as any crimes you made up to this point in the mod, we will be using my favorite smelling resin: Bondo :peace:

 

This stuff is made to repair stuff on cars or something, idk never used it for that. You can find this like everywhere, Walmart, Fleet Farm, Home Depot, Menards, and like any auto shop in existence. Go out sopping and have some fun, collect them all :laugh1:

 

There's lost of different sizes of this stuff, but assuming you didn't slice the helmet in half on accident, any of the smaller sizes will do. 

Bondo is a 2 part resin, meaning there's the gray playdough like stuff, and this other colored (red, blue, whatever) activator. You will notice you get a lot more of the grey than the colored, and thats because you don't need much of the activator for this to work. 

 

SAFTEY NOTICE

Don't get this on your skin. It burns real bad, and water makes it worse. Although some people out there seem to have built up an immunity to it, I'd really recommend not trying it out. Instead, wear a pear of rubber or latex gloves; and rather than touching the bondo directly, use pop-sickle sticks/tongue depressors for large amounts and some flat toothpicks for smaller amounts. 

You may also want to do this in a well ventilated area or with a mask. However as I stated earlier I love the smell so I never do that. I am very much in the minority here.

 

Ok so how do you use this stuff? Well, step one is to prep. Make sure you know exactly where you are applying the bondo:

  • The speaker slots on the black neck ring
  • The seam formed from the previous posts, where we cut and glued the plastic around the aerator 
  • any places where you slipped up and cut where you weren't supposed to

I recommend doing this in separate batches, it'll take more time but bondo is time sensitive so this will make your life easier. The next part of prep is to figure out what you are mixing on/in. DO NOT USE CARDBOARD. This never works. ever. Instead use a hard surface, like a painters pallet, or a very smooth stone plate or something. If you're cheap like me you can just take the lid off of an old ice cream pale or tupperware  container. Get your popsicle sticks ready, its time to mix!

 

Step 2 is to mix and apply

Pour out/scoop out some of the grey part onto the mixing surface. It should be approximately enough to cover the entire surface of what you are filling and then some. My rule of thumb is guess what looks to be 1.5 of what you think you need. With bondo it's always ok to have too much! but you have to do this all over again if you have too little. Then, just take a tiny smidge of the activator (the colored stuff) and put it on the grey. You really do not need much at all, it should roughly be proportional to the amount given per the whole container. So just eyeball it. Too little and the bondo won't cure well and you'll have to sand and start over. Too much and you won't have time to apply it. It sounds way scarier than it actually is. You'll be fine

 

Take you sticks or whatever and mix it until the color of the mix is consistent throughout. You're supposed to have about 5 minutes to work with it at this point, but that will vary. Try to avoid making any air-bubbles, but they are almost inevitable.

 

Now with your sticks, apply it to the surface over what you are filling. Spread it around and try to get it how you like, but remember what really matters is what it is filling in, the rest will be sanded in. Special side note for the speaker slots:

Since these are fully hollow, take a second stick and cover the back of them, it will make your like way easier.

 

Here's how beautifully messy my application turned out:

 

d5kURN7.jpg

 

IOOhzgn.jpg

 

 

Step 3: Sanding

I recommend starting with a course grit sandpaper and work your way up to a fine one. I used 100 grit for knocking off the large rough patches, 250 for leveling off, and 400 for smoothing it out and matching it to the surface. I also went across the entire surface of the helmet with the 400 grit to get everything to match nice and smooth. Be patient. 

 

You may notice there may be some air bubbles you can't get rid of like this:

 

1YGTsDk.jpg

 

Just go through the process again and you should be fine!

Here's what it should look like (including fill ins from mistakes)

 

7wdFUGk.jpg

 

nUSqTIp.jpg

 

XSkNtJw.jpg

 

 

Priming and Painting PT 1

 

Put on 2-3 light coats of the grey primer on the helmet pieces that needed bondo/sanding. You may need more or less, you just want enough so the surface is one uniform shade of grey. This is white paint we are going to work with, everything underneath will show if theres not enough primer.

 

8q4xftW.jpg

 

Wow so nice and smooth right?

 

Ok so now for the paint. I am using rustoleum's gloss white acrylic automotive enamel. or something like that, I don't actually have it with me at the time of writing this post but I'm pretty sure thats its full name. SPRAY IN LIGHT COATS. This is white paint, everything shows. Any pooling or dripping will take 15 minutes of sanding and 12 more coats to hide. Trust me, if you think you sprayed too little, you sprayed too much. Lots of very light coats from multiple angles of approach will do the trick. I lost count of how many I did, but it was close to 15. This will take a long time (20-ish minutes between coats) so plan accordingly. (but look at the pictures below for results)

 

Also remember to paint the black neck ring also. Do this on a different day or in a different location. even if you are care-full, small particles of the paint will float in the air and wind up on the white coat.

 

 

This next step is for executioners only, so you may skip to the next post if you're just doing a plain TK.

Carefully mask around the border of the black stripe, you may do the whole helmet, but i like to wrap everything else with newspaper and seal it with painter's tape. Then take some matte black paint and spray carefully. This will only need 2-3 coats because black is dark. Duh :icon_eek:

 

Ow9TkG6.jpg

 

You may be asking to yourself: "Eric, why are we painting the black stripe before applying the gloss?" The answer is I am impatient, and the gloss was still in amazon's warehouse. Ironically now I have to wait way longer because of my covid encounter and school.

 

Once it is dry remove the paper and tape and you should have something similar to this:

 

1XywY8A.jpg

 

Thats all for now. I actually winded up being the klutz that I am and I dropped parts of the helmet. Nothing too bad happened except the area around the aerator cracked bad and has to be completely re-done in the future for me. It'll be a little while until I post the last update, as stated before I am unfortunately in a crunch on availability to work on this.

 

However I'll still be on the boards, and I am working on a fun post coming up that I promised a long while ago regarding spraying the inside of your armor with truck bed liner???!!

So go ahead and check that out when my little science experiment drops later this week

 

And with that I'm signing out for tonight :salute:

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