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Ezra Bridger Cadet Helmet WIP

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Jgoldmanhall (Jason Goldman-Hall)
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Joined: 11 Jan 2016
Posts: 140

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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 4:50 pm    Post subject: Ezra Bridger Cadet Helmet WIP Reply with quote

Hey folks. My uncle and fellow Endorian has been knocking out Ezra costumes (his WIP is at, and I volunteered my meager helmet skills to help with making his cadet helmet. I'm decent with masking tape and rustoleum spray, and I thought this would be a fun challenge.
To introduce myself, as I've not done a WIP on here, I'm a proud member of the Rebel Legion (RC-1309), 501st Legion (RC 30413) and Mandalorian Mercs (#1348) in San Jose, CA. My wife and I are both MMCC members, and one of my personal favorite parts of this whole costuming biz is helmet work.

My first armor taping/painting was my Mandalorian armor.

But since then, I've gone significantly more mono-color. This is my bucket for both the Rebel and 501st Legions.

I bounced back and forth between spraying this and hand painting it (with masking still) and elected to spray for a few reasons:
1) I'm not that confident in my hand painting
2) I think most of the paint in Rebels is supposed to be Star Wars-y airbrushing.
3) I like the smoothness of the spray verses the brush strokes of hand-painting.

Alright, here we go!

Here's the base helmet, from Fiernock Base Designs on Facebook. It's a BEAUTIFUL cast, super smooth, super clean, and the decals for the black details are so nice, I thought they were painted on at first.
The one thing I'd fix/change is the securing method. The hard velcro tabs inside are a little wonky to use, and don't hold that well. If I were building one for myself, I think I'd actually use tabs of ABS or sintra and join it as one piece. Or use magnets and a piece of elastic to keep it all together.

The paints I used. Nothing crazy.

The tapes I purchased. The teal artist's tape is a lifesaver, and I will be using it for everything I paint from now on.

Gathered lots of visual references. The issue with Ezra, other than him being a cartoon so the proportions are weird, is that his helmet is very often lit by either blue or green. The helmet's colors are a lot more basic and simple than they appear on screen a lot of the time. I also referred to this build video for a lot of images..

Started by taping off the broadest white sections. They were out the outsides, so it made sense, and it also shrunk the work area down to make it more manageable.

Here's the front, with my ugly mug. This is why I only do costumes with helmets (Mandalorian and Republic Commando specifically)

Lots of tape, lots of scrap paper. Painted the grey sections first.

Taping off the rest of the details. Notice how I did not use the cool artist's tape for the edges. I should have. It resulted in a lot of bleed (even after burnishing the tape) and needed a lot of white paint touch-up. I did use it on the round sections on the top. The circles were traced using a pile of patches that I had.
You can see the shadows where the tape bunched, and it resulted in the paint bleed. Ugh, this photo makes me want to scream "STOP!!! Use that darn tape you bought! Burnish it better!"

Taped off the red sections.

Also taped off the teeth. Again, didn't use the fancy tape, lots of bleed as a result. I ended up putting more tape and paper on here, this is just an in-progress taping shot.

Red layer painted.
Pro-tip: I do all my painting on a large traffic cone. It's nice and tall, the top has a wide opening to provide a solid base, and it's heavy so nothing moves it.

Broad parts painted. Notice all the bleed that requires touch-up.
I actually went back and did a lot of that touch-up right after this dried, because I had to apply tape to parts of it again (for the yellow lines and the circle logo detail) so I made sure to touch it up and then let it dry/set for a full day, so the tape would not pull up the paint.

Here is it before the yellow details were done, you can see all the parts I needed to touch-up.
Note on touch-up, for convenience sake, I had the white paint already, and a bunch of brushes, so I just sprayed the white spray paint on a flat sheet of white sintra and used that as my brushed-on paint. I had to paint faster because it dried quicker, but the thinness of the paint helped it blend in relatively well. And it prevented me from having to go buy white paint. If you do this, use a LOT of paint thinner in between rounds to clean your brush.

I apparently didn't take a photo of the yellow striping, but I just taped it off with the fancy tape then covered the rest in paper and more tape. Here's the finished product.
The only part I brush-painted was the little snake-head front of the yellow stripes on the jaw line

Here's Ezra!

Overall, it was a challenging tape/paint job, but I took my time and redid tape when I needed to if I was unsatisfied with the taping job.

Moving forward:
1) I'd use the fancy tape for EVERY edge, and then just mask off the rest with the cheap blue tape.
2) Burnish more. I used an old driver's license and the rounded cap of a pen to rub the tape down, removing air bubbles and preventing bleed. Where I did it well, it was super clean. Where I didn't, I had to do touch-up.
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