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Joined: 03 Sep 2018
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
|Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:39 am Post subject: Rogue One Rebel Trooper Helmet
|A relatively inexpensive way to make a Rogue One Rebel Trooper's Helmet. All in all it cost me about $35 give or take.
This was a 2 day build not counting drying time. One day spent cutting and shaping and one day spent painting essentially.
If you spend a little more time on the detail work and not try and rush it like I did I'm sure yours will come out better.
- Army M-1 Helmet Vietnam era. (~$12)
You can get a shell replica at a party or costume store. I got mine from Party City. The size and shape are correct and since they are made of plastic they are lighter. Since the price is low for them you don't have to go shopping at an Army Navy store and spend hundreds on a surplus.
- PVC Foam mats (~$10) 18" x 18" x 11mm
Their thickness is right for the armor shell/donut that will go around the helmet.
- Poster Board (~$4) Only need a small piece but might want a larger one if you choose a different method that will be covered further down when making the grill/grate for the back.
- Plastic hose connector (~$0.50) For the light or camera on the left side. Found mine at Ace Hardware in the plumbing and piping section. Came in both screw on and slip over style.
- Grifiti Band Joes X Cross Style 12" Black (~$3 each)
- Khaki material ($0) ((For me since I had some))
I used the material from an old pair of khakis I cut up.
- Mesh screen, like window or screen door screen (~$2) I picked up a few screen door patches at my local hardware store.
*Lets assume you have the rest of this stuff already*
- Dremil or file or sandpaper makes rounding and shaping easier
- Hot glue or some type of epoxy
- Heat gun or mini torch to form the foam
- Large blade/Box Cutter for cutting the foam
- Exacto knife for fine cuts
- Soldering iron or similar for details
- Paints, spray and acrylic
- Plastidip (Seals the foam so you don't need to use 3 cans to get a smooth surface)
- Stiff paper board (Such as a comic book back board) For detail work such as the grill/grate at the back of the helmet
- Clear, thin plastic, like from the top of a Pringles can.
- Small rubber or plastic tubes about 1" long, 1/2" diameter and 1/4" diameter (I used an old tape role center and some rubber hose for a fish tank aerator/filter I had sitting around)
Fist you need a template of you armor. Take tinfoil and cover the helmet with it trying to keep everything smooth. Once everything is covered, take a sharpie and trace out the outline of where the armor/ring/donut should be.
Take the foil off and cut out the shape. I put mine on a thin card stock board backing to give it support.
Put on the PVC foam mat and trace out the pattern. then cut out using the large box cutter blade.
Connect the two ends using hot glue or the adhesive of your choice
Using your heat gun or mini torch, first pass it quickly over the smooth outside of the ring to seal the pores. Then lightly start heating the inside and forming the ring to the desired shape around the helmet. Heating it and putting it on the helmet will work some but it will take some time to get the shape and curve right.
Once that is done you can make the power pack or death stick box if so desired using the remaining foam. Just cut out a rectangle about 2" x 1 1/2".
You can glue a piece of the poster board on the back to make it smooth and the right thickness. Round the edges of the side you did not put the poster board on. (I chose to do this to give it a smooth look and to give it strength since it was going to be held in place by a big rubber band basically. You don't have to use the foam poster board or even make the box if you don't desire to.)
Paint it silver.
Add a red line on one end 2/3" or less in width all the way around the box.
Weather and age the box to your liking and set it aside till later.
Making the helmet cloth cover.
I cut up khaki pants for material because it is the same type material used on an M-1 helmet and the color is easy to match.
Get a large piece and cover the helmet with it, tucking the extra bits under the helmet. Sometimes wetting the material will help this but it's not necessary. You can tack down some edges with hot glue.
Slip the armor ring over the helmet with the material on it and check the fit. Use this to adjust the material if needed and to further shape the fabric and the ring to the helmet.
*Note: My power pack was too long and thin in that pic, I just taped it on for the pic for reference.
Once the material is in place, tack it down better with hot glue.
To make the top helmet ribbed pad (sorry I'm not sure of the actual name) I took the same khaki material and laid it out flat. A long piece about 3 foot long and 5" wide so I would have some room for error. I then took a thin stick (Chopstick actually) and used it to fold the fabric over it and keep a straight line, making an "S" in the material or a series of waves. at the top folding point I tacked it down with hot glue and proceeded to the next fold or wave I continued this until I was sure I had enough to cover the helmet from front to back. I then took advantage of the source material and used the khaki pants seams and cut those to then glue then to the sides to give it the sewn in look.
Then put some padding under where the ripping will go on top of the helmet to make it puff out a little more. I used more of the knaki's material such as a pockets. When I had the ripping in the right position I glued it down with hot glue and put the armor ring around it.
The material can then be weathered using a variety of techniques. To darken the fabric a little and add weathering at the same time I used a coffee wash.
Simply put I get a cup of strong black coffee and some grounds and "Painted" or stained the fabric. Rubbing in grounds, all with a chip brush and letting it dry.
I repeated the process once to darken it just a little more than I had it and to let it dry in the opposite position. (I hung it upside down first and then let it dry right side up so the stains soaked into all the folds and creases giving it a very lived in and worn look.)
Take off the chin strap that came with the helmet as it is not the right color or style.
I used more of the seams and folded then over and glued them making 2 long strips about 1 foot long. Then paint them using acrylic paints making them a muddy brown. It's OK to make them too dark at first because you will then start brushing on light brown, like dry brushing it, over the strips to lighten parts of it up. Then take some black and do the same to put some detail in the straps.
Take a can of clear gloss and spray down both sides of the strips while they are still wet. This will make some of the paint run a little but not much. Then hang the strips out to start drying. After about 20 minutes, while they are still damp, brush on some more brown and black like before and let them dry more. When they are almost dry or dry take the gloss and spray them down again and let them dry.
This method will give them the look, feel and characteristics of leather straps.
Reattach the connecting parts to the straps, the clips and clamps. I attached a D ring to one side of mine because I was using a WWII picture as a reference instead of the Vietnam era so I made the wrong style clips. (Will be fixed in the future) But it still looked good and fit with the style and theme. Plus other helmets had similar style chin straps.
For the Communications piece on the strap, use the helmet's connecting pieces and buckles as a base. It should hang on the right side just below the rim of the helmet.
Use the poster board and cut a small square about 1" wide by 1 1/4" long.
Glue the tubes to it with the smaller tube on top and the larger right under it.
Use the thick back board or card stock paper to put a rectangle below them. Cut some notches in the card stock and the foam poster board so they match the ones in the reference images. (This may be a little hard since there are several and not all are the same that I saw. After more searching I'm sure the correct number and positions will be posted)
Time to put the grill/grate on the back of the armor ring.
This is where I know I need to improve the process but bear with me and please comment below if you have a better way.
I took the card stock back board and measured out a rectange 7" x 2"
Cut it out and then cut the two corners off leaving a 45 degree angle.
Then measure out 1/2" in from the edges and cut out the inside making an elongated "U" (Flip it around and it's the border piece for the grate.
Using the border piece, trace it and cut out another one but do not cut out the inside this time.
Measure, starting from either side, 1/4" intervals and make lines going to the top with that. After they are all made out you will be using those to make the actual grate piece.
Cut out every other segment, making sure not to cut to the very top.
Glue the hanging segments piece to the back of the border piece and then position it on the armor ring at the back. When you have it centered, glue it down.
If you accidently tack it down off center it's fine. Peel it back up and reposition it. The little cruffs and spots the glue made will be fine as they will be turned into weathering and damage when we paint it.
Adding in the holes, lines and detail pieces
This is where the Exacto knife and the soldering iron come in.
First there are 4 lines from top to bottom on the front in pairs.
Mine are located from the base of the top arch curve from left to right at 2", 2 1/4", 6" and 6 1/4".
I used string to mark out the spots and then traced lines down with a pen to put slight indents in the foam.
Using those indents I heated up my soldering iron and then traced the indents only enough to make a line in the foam.
Once that is done you can make the 4 vertical holes on the right hand side of the helmet.
Start by measuring out the first hole. It should be about a quarter inch from the base of the dome curve and go down about 1/2". have it burn into the foam about twice as deep as the lines on the front. Once that line/hole is made repeat the process 3 more times trying to make the holes about 1/8" apart. (Sorry I don't have the correct measurements for this part, I actually messed mine up my drawing the holes on first and not taking into account the soldering iron distorting the distances. So better to do one at a time and go from there.)
You can also cut them out using an Exacto knife. (Wish I had thought of that)
Next there is a small hole on the left side of the helmet. You can push a cold soldering iron in the foam to make this hole.
The next holes are the two in the front and the two on the right hand side.
Trace out two ovals 1 1/4" x 1/2" that are about 1" from the bottom and about 2/3" apart.
On the Right hand side trace out two half circles or "D's" that are back to back from each other and 1/2" high by 1/2" wide and 1/2" apart, approximately 1/2" or less from the bottom with the center of the two holes right under the base of where the curved dome would start.
Cut these out using an Exacto knife.
You can use your heat gun or torch to lightly heat up the inside of the holes and smooth them out. (Not much or it will distort the holes)
Painting and Coloring
Take the armor ring and spray it down with black colored Plastidip. This will fill in many of the little ruff edges and make a better surface to paint.
Let it dry and then put a primer coat on. I use black but a silver will work as well depending on how you like to weather and age things.
After the primer dries you can put a base color on. It should be a dark military green. Mix green with a little bit of black until the desired color is achieved. (Make sure you have enough for the entire ring)
Once the base coat is on and dry take black acrylic paint and cover the insides of the holes and down the lines. This will make them pop more and add depth and texture to it.
Once everything is dry you can start to detail, weather and age your armor ring to your liking. (Personally I like mine to tell a story and like to make it look like my stuff has been to hell and back but that's me)
Take your hose connector/tube and paint it black.
Then weather it to your liking.
Use a clear piece of thin plastic like a Pringles cover and cut a small circle out with the Exacto knife. Put that circle in one end of the tube as a lens and put a single drop of glue in to keep it in place.
Take a small square of foam poster board, About 1 1/2" x 1 2/3" and flatten it as much as you can. Curve it and in the center drill or punch a small hole.
Glue this piece to the end of the hose piece that doesn't have the lens in it.
Cover the back end, without the lens in it, with a piece of foam poster board or you can buy a plug for the tube at the same hardware store for less than a dollar.
Glue the tube to the left hand side of the ring, on the bottom, so that the back is just touching the back part of the ring and the tube will face forward where you might be looking.
Take the screens and spray them with black spray paint.
Overlay two pieces so they each cover more area and let less light through and place them on the back side of the ring , over the holes you made with the Exacto knife. (This will blacken the back so you don't see khaki material through the hole)
Glue them down.
Make the camera
In the lower hole on the front you can add in a little camera. This is really easy.
Cut a small piece of the 1/2" diameter hose so it barely gets to the edge of the bottom oval.
Paint it black, weather it.
Cut another small circle from the thin clear plastic and put it in the hose to make a lens,
Position the "camera" so it is to one side of the hole and glue it down so it faces straight ahead.
Putting everything together
Put the armor ring on the helmet.
Take the 12" Joes X Cross Style Grifiti Band (Or other black band you may have. I found the Grifiti X style bands match the source material really well myself) and put it around the ring.
Slip the power box/death stick box under the band. Either side is acceptable.
Position the band so it lays right on the ring to your liking, such as not covering the camera and folding and crossing around itself.
The symbols I put on while detailing and weathering the helmet. I made simple stencils from pictures and designs I printed out.
Covered them in clear packing tape.
Cut them out using my Exacto knife.
Then taped them to the desired location and then stippled paint on it to give the worn, desired look.
Every word in that sentence was wrong.
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