Introduction: Clone Trooper Mod

Picture of Clone Trooper Mod

If you know my work you know I do a lot of lids, if not welcome! In this instructable I'll show you how to mod a cheap Star Wars clone trooper helmet to make on more screen accurate and pleasing to have,

Normally I would make a helmet from scratch but I've not had a lot of time lately and was itching to do something, anything to keep my creative juices flowing,
Being a big Star Wars fan I'm always on the look out for bit and bobs retailed to Star Wars, I found this plastic cheap helmet on eBay , it was cheap (about £10 or $15 ish) so I thought why not! There's lots on there so if you feel you want to do this mod you'll have no problem getting your hands on one, anyways on with the mod!

Step 1: The First Step

Picture of The First Step

As you can see there's many joins and bits to the lid, but the main thing is that big stupid ugly visor, I guess as a toy they have to make sure they don't restrict vision, this needs sorting if I want it to look more realistic,
The first thing I did was to strip the helmet down, pull out the electric voice thing( I choice not to use this but if you want to put it Back in it shouldn't be to hard,) and get the front from the helmet ready to change the visor first, I plan on cutting out the inside of the lid so I can put it back together without the visor in, so I can work on the helmet and put it back in at a later date, as in the picture I've marked what I need to cut off it make that work.

Step 2: Starting the Mooooood

Picture of Starting the Mooooood

So I got the front off and started on the mod, now, after some research I found out you can get a template you can print out and use, I didn't do this but you might want too, ( I found it to late! ) also I found out the hard way that bondo doesn't like to stick to plastic very well,
Anyways the first thing I did was tape card to the inside where the visor would be and draw the line I wanted, then slap a load of bondo in that gap as neat as possible, it doesn't have to be perfect but close is better, take it up to your line, now, sand the lip of the plastic first, it'll help a bit,
When it's dry, it's sanding time, ( I also put duct tape behind the bondo just to give it a bit more support while I was ragging it about sanding )
Once it was somewhere close, I used a finer bondo along the edges

Step 3: Reassemble Assembled Assembly

Picture of Reassemble Assembled Assembly

Once I had the visor somewhere close, I reassembled the helmet with the newly cut out inside ( for the visor later) and glued and taped ( on the inside) all the joins, I just used duct tape again on the inside( again just to help it while I sand later) as well as all the original screws etc, for the joins I sanded them before putting them back together then I used a good super glue filling all the joins as best I could,
Once everything was dry it was bondo time again, as with the front, slap it into the joins and gaps and let it go off, then a butt load of sanding then a finer bondo for edges of the other bondo and any little imperfections, sand and repeat as many times as needed

Step 4: Primer

Picture of Primer

Sand sand sand sand sand! Do your best sanding ever here, because it'll make the final out come look much better, done sanding? Right let's primer!

Thin coats of a plastic friendly primer, I think I did 3 coats in all, sanding in between with a fine grit paper

Step 5: Yup, More Sanding!

Picture of Yup, More Sanding!

As you can see in the picture if you look close you can see where the bondo meets and some scratches from the sand paper, time to fix this with fine bondo stuff and more sanding!

That's looking better!!

Step 6: Time to Paint!

Picture of Time to Paint!

Well done you've made it through the bondo and sanding! It's all primed and ready for paint!
This is really up to you what and how you want to paint it up, I'll show you the way I did it and you can copy that or modify it to suit you!
The first thing I did was 4 coats of a steel silver spray, ( THIN COATS! More coats of thin is better than a few heavy coats! You get less drips and clumping)

( also I did a test fit on the visor to make sure it still fit! )

Step 7: Paint and Tips!

Picture of Paint and Tips!

Once the steel silver has cured, it's time to start base coating the while,
Now if like me you like stuff to look used or battle damaged, here's a little tip for you, instead of masking off random shapes with tape before painting the white, use Vasaline instead, it's easy to apply and you can make some good random shapes that look more natural than tape,also try and think where the chips and bits of paint would be most damaged,like on edges and stuff like that.
When the paint is fully dry,( give it a few coats like the silver, thin and more is better than thick and clumpy) clean off the Vasaline with a damp cloth, and you should have something like the last picture!

Step 8: Paint Ting!

Picture of Paint Ting!

Looking good, now it's up to you if you want your lid to have a colour like in the clone wars or be a basic trooper, I googled a few different images and decided I was gonna go with a blue stripe kind of like captain Rex's lid but a bit different, there's loads of choice or just make up your own like I did,

To get the stripe I masked off most of the helmet with masking tape, leaving a small bit on the front and around the eyes and across the fun, where I had taped it off some of the silver was showing so I re did the Vasaline trick and set about my blue spray can! Once it's all dry, clean off again.

Step 9: Weathering,

Picture of Weathering,

All paint is dry, large cuppa and headphones on, that's how I roll when weathering,
I use:-
Black matt paint
Brown enamel
Yellows and white for toning
Big brush (10mm)
Small brush (2mm)

Paint on the black and then rub in to the corners and wipe off as much as you want, I then use thinners to even it out a bit, just a dab on a rag and wipe it in, then off, keep going till you've been round the full helmet!

Step 10: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

Once your happy with your weathering, let it all dry, then a few coats of clear coat and your done!
Screw in the visor in the newly easer gap ( don't do what I did and tightened it to much and crack the bondo, but it's a five minute fix if you do. Haha!)
Thanks for having a look, good luck with your projects!

Any questions or comments please feel free!

Later maker! :)


revan546 (author)2016-11-08

Can you go into more detail about what you did on Step 2? I'm a little confused, you line where the visor should be with card stock, and then put Bondo over it in the shape you want? What happens to the rest of the card stock? Does the Bondo stay in place? Thanks!

matson23 (author)revan5462016-11-08

Yeah this was a long time ago so I think what I did was:
Stick card on the inside with tape, so you can draw your new line.
Then bondo up to that line, maybe just a touch over so you can sand it back smooth
The card can be removed if you want, but I've done a few now and I find if you glue in some support on the inside before the card it helps, maybe a lolly pop stick on each side or something along them lines, just to help it stay on when the bondo drys,
Anyways then when it's dry sand it smooth to match the helmet, then go onto step 3 ?

revan546 (author)matson232016-11-08

Gotcha, good idea with the lolly pop stick supports. Thanks for the reply!!

mcatnova (author)2016-08-13

Would love to try this just found ome of these at a garage sale. Where would i look for the template, what brand of bondo and plastic friendly spraypaint do you recommend, and are there certain joints i shouldnt bondo?

mcatnova (author)mcatnova2016-08-13

Oh and lastly, how did you get the blackend aged look?

mcatnova (author)mcatnova2016-08-13

Disregard last message... I am sometimes a blind rat lol

cingr made it! (author)2016-06-26

This one was a little easier to do and more fun to work on!

cingr made it! (author)2016-05-29

Isn't too hard if you take your time, going to do another.

ZRS2001 (author)2015-08-19

Where can you print the templates if you did find some

SlapY (author)2015-07-26

I'm new to this stuff so don't really know what to do just yet

SlapY (author)2015-07-26

I just got this helmet and took it apart got the voice changer out,can I use cardboard for the visor part or no kinda low on funds

BenKenobi98 (author)2014-10-09

What stores did you get the non-helmet equipment at?

matson23 (author)BenKenobi982014-10-09

Stuff like the bondo and sandpaper paints and thing like that? Hardware store, diy stores, anywhere that sells tools should have some sandpaper and fillers etc

jupton2 (author)2014-09-05

Okay so I've started but I've gone and mucked it up pretty badly. The filler I used is horrible to work with and I've realised that a couple of details I smoothed out with filler are in fact needed. any advice? :(

matson23 (author)jupton22014-09-05

Well you could try pulling it all off and starting again, or sanding it off with a dremel tool and redo the bondo, it's hard to say without seeing it to be honest, chances are the bondo should scrape off with a bit of elbow grease, which bit have you covered the detail you need?

jupton2 (author)2014-07-02

finally got my hands on the plastic helmet base. found it on eBay, turns out its a guy down my street selling it! Gonna do mine Old Republic style, so bit of work to do on the mouth and fin thingy first

reddevved (author)2014-05-27

It looks great but in my own opinion there is a little too much black weathering, kinda looks unnatural to me.

matson23 (author)reddevved2014-05-27

Agreed, well kind of, I don't mind the black weathering, it was the silver bits that bothered me, it's been repainted since this instructable, but using the same methods, a lot less is a lot more :)

I love clones

CHCosplay (author)2014-04-08

That right there... beautiful!

Bwilson Props (author)CHCosplay2014-04-12

you can say that again

Bwilson Props (author)2014-04-10

i've done similar to this, i can't afford the bondo so i used electrical tape.

sleeepy2 (author)Bwilson Props2014-04-11

Let's see some detail shots of the Stormtrooper helmet in picture 2!

Bwilson Props (author)sleeepy22014-04-12

it's a WIP

matson23 (author)sleeepy22014-04-11

There you go! Added to step 10 :)

matson23 (author)Bwilson Props2014-04-10

Looking good mate! I like the red trooper
If you can't afford bondo try a card templet, theirs a few on the web that give you the sizes or you can print them out, if you ever want to mod a bit more that is!
Anyways good work! :)

Bwilson Props (author)matson232014-04-11

hmmmmm, i'll look into that. cheers!

smalcolm (author)2014-04-11

One question: wouldn't coating the bondo around the eye shield with epoxy give the bondo more strength to prevent it from cracking?

matson23 (author)smalcolm2014-04-11

You'd think so wouldn't you, as I did that, but it wasn't the bondo that cracked, it was the join to the plastic that broke because I was a bit over enthusiastic with a screwdriver! Haha, I think anything would have broke because I wasn't paying atention, fixed now with a tiny touch up! :)

mchia1 (author)2014-04-10

The end result looks fantastic!

I really appreciated the painting tips, especially about using vaseline for masking random shapes. That's brilliant.

Thanks for the post!

kbrunskill (author)2014-04-09

Dude that's a beautiful piece. I was just wondering about the bondo you were using. Is it just putty that hardens itself or do you have to mix it with a hardener, and if so what brand do you use? I'm looking to get into making masks and things but just trying to do a bit of research first. I've seen a few people user fibre glass strips for pepakura. What would u recommend?

matson23 (author)kbrunskill2014-04-09

The bondo I use is p38, it's a two part bondo, mix with hardener one, it's for cars really but it sands well so it works for me,
I've not seen the fiberglass strips for pepakura to be honest, i use 200msg card then when finished I fiberglass that then bondo etc etc,
If you want to know more on the process or tips and bits and bobs have a look at my profile page, I've done a few helmets and things and I explain how and what I use in more detail on there!
Hope that'll help you get started

blacksmithkid (author)2014-04-09


eyouel (author)2014-04-08

That is awesome

Dr MonkeyMan (author)2014-04-08

I think the silver steel looked cool by itsself.

jupton2 (author)2014-04-08

the bleeding paint round where the masking tape was actually adds to this piece because in the films, these buckets are knocked out a factory so fast that the quality on the paint job is often compromised

matson23 (author)jupton22014-04-08

yep ill buy that! thats exactly what i was going for! (not dodgy tape at all!) haha cheers jupton2, i like your style! :)

ClockworkPheonix (author)2014-04-08

Are you doing anything for Star Wars day next month?

yes, im planning on doing a screen accurate boba fett lid ( 3rd go at it,the first was my first pepakura so its a bit iffy, the second was a play on a medieval fett lid,so this one is going to be the bees!) also my little girl was born may 3rd( i asked my wife to hold it for a few more hours so she could be a star wars baby,but she wasnt game for that, can you believe i got shouted at for that! haha)

KemikalzAreFun (author)2014-04-08

Dude.. That's awesome! I've wanted a Stormtrooper helm, but didn't want to pep the whole thing.... Love this way of doing it, and it looks amazing. I think you could use some better masking tape though.. Or just make sure that the edges are really secure, cuz the blue paint bled a little.

matson23 (author)KemikalzAreFun2014-04-08

unfortunately I only had cheap tape, I've ran out of the good stuff, I must restock my surpluses! But anyways thanks for looking man! Glad you like it!

B_qwerty (author)2014-04-08

Its really nice. Nobody cares about the clone troopers, everything you see on tv when they want to promote or give a hint to Star Wars are storm troopers. Thanks for this.

matson23 (author)B_qwerty2014-04-08

yeah I agree, big up the clone massive! Haha cheers dude

Kiteman (author)2014-04-08

What is the green stuff in several images?

matson23 (author)Kiteman2014-04-08

hi kiteman,

It's a model makers putty, I think it's for model airplanes and boats etc, it's like a apoxy putty that's sand able and really smooth when dry, I can't for the life of me remember the name sorry!

Kiteman (author)matson232014-04-08

Oh, I know the kind of thing. Two parts that you kneed together and then it cures hard?

matson23 (author)Kiteman2014-04-08

no sorry my bad, it's not a apoxy it's just a tube of stuff, just got in from work and found it!

This is the stuff, pretty good stuff too!

About This Instructable




Bio: im a fixer,hacker,maker and shaker
More by matson23:Wooden pixel lampTeddybear Chair ( Arlos Chair )Lego Mini Figures Display
Add instructable to: