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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. 


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.






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




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




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:




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. 




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




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.






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:




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! 






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)




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




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. 




I'm open to suggestions on this part:




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.




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.







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, 



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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.




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:




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:




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.




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




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






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.










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







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). 










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.








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:




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

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