In reading this guide, you may think that the only end result is an identical Draugr helmet from the game Skyrim. In fact, there are many methods here which are useful for creating any sort of 3D shape from shoulder pauldrons to other game helmets.
Note that this process involves some potentially dangerous chemicals and tools, so if you're looking to replicate the things seen here than please exercise caution. A respirator is mandatory for almost all steps outside of the molding process, and in some instances gloves and safety glasses are a good thing to use as well. Be careful!
The methods that follow will furnish you with not only a replica helmet or armor, but also molds from which to produce copies for sale or outfit other friends in similar costumes. Moldmaking is somewhat tricky and expensive however, so if this is your first attempt at such an endeavor, I recommend starting with smaller pieces than a helmet first.
Onto the process!
Step 1: Blueprinting and Scaling
For this project I'll be building the female "Ancient Nord Helmet" (also called the female Draugr helmet) from Skyrim. The models for this helmet were provided to me by a gent who mods these games, and I used the perspective screenshots in order to make 2D blueprints of the top, sides, bottom, and front/back of the helmet. (Pic 3)
There is a rather large community of costumers who also employ a method called Pepakura (essentially complex paper folding and cutting) in order to achieve very similar results using game files as a base. While this is an excellent method, I personally suck at it, hence this Instructable!
One of the questions I have received the most concerns how to scale blueprints. Recently I've found a great method for this: Print off a 1" grid onto a sheet of plotter paper, then trim out a space for your subject to stand. Photograph this as close to perpendicular as possible, then import the photograph into an image editor such as Adobe Illustrator. By scaling the image so that the 1" squares are indeed 1" in size, you can then import your blueprints over the image and find all the dimensions of your finished part! (Pic 4)
Once your blueprints are scaled, print them at full scale on a plotter. A local print shop can assist here if you don't have access to one of your own.