Picture of Creating Helmets and Armor from Videogames for Fun and Profit!
This Instructable will present my somewhat peculiar method for creating replicas of helmets and armor from video games. Admittedly I'm not the world's greatest sculptor, and to make up for my lack of skill in this area, I've devised a way to use 2D templates as guides for making complex forms as easily and symmetrically as possible.

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!
StewartL17 days ago
The best instructable i have ever read. Very well done. Cant wait to try some of this.
jrusso26 months ago

Could Apoxie Sculpt be substituted with paper clay?

This is so beautiful and you have more patience than I ever would omg

kylegilbert9 months ago

This is so amazing! I want to get into casting so badly. One day, when I can afford it, I'm going to make the jump.

mlduffy10 months ago

This is not hyperbole: this is probably the most informative and well done Instructible I've read. So many modeling/casting problems answered! Thanks for posting!

rmckenzie11 months ago

How many helmets do you think you can get out of 1 gallon of urethane?

rmckenzie11 months ago

Would fiberglass work instead of the Plasti-Paste, or would it eat through the silicone?

Hmm this is clearly not your first rodeo. That is stellar work. Kudos.

tanis661 year ago

That is one very cool helment.

Very nice Job-very good instructions---you got talent---congratulations

Any aspiration to get a roto-casting machine, or are you content with slush casting?

EXCELLENT work, I'm going to be starting on a Boba Fett helmet once I get my casting stuff.

What primer did you use on step ten? and for the cuts on the helmet what did you use?
ashannon51 year ago
Thank you so much for the informational tutorials. I actually created an account just because I wanted to leave you a 'Thank You' note. I have many projects coming up and I hope to perfect my skills at this art form. I have many questions that I wish could be answered.
this is a great tutorial! im really looking into expanding my knowledge of costuming. Can you please explain to me the reason for casting/ molding? i usually stop at the master sculpt stage.. i'm still trying to understand why should things be molded. is it to cut down on weight? or to make things 1 piece? or for other reasons? i'm gonna try and pick at this tutorial so i can get an understanding of your thought process. great instructable!
joseluis5cf2 years ago
awesome, the best one!
aazrhael2 years ago
FUSH ROH DAH! very nice, mate!
mvanderdeen2 years ago
this is an amazing build but 2 things are bothering me, firstly what are the pink caps for and secondly if the cast is of a solid object won't the final product be a block of resin aswell??????
The pink caps provide registration marks for the mold jacket (see step 11). The mold is actually two layers, the flexible silicone layer on the inside, and a rigid mold jacket that provides support to the silicone for casting. You could do a one piece mold, but you'd end up using a whole lot of silicone to make a mold thick enough to support itself. Silicone ain't cheap and stiffer mold making materials are (like Plaster of Paris, for example). This method gives you the best of both worlds. The ability to hold small details and tolerate small undercuts of silicone, without a high price tag.

As for your second question, it's not a fill cast, it's a slush cast. You pour in a little resin at a time and roll it around inside the mold to cover all surfaces while it sets. The repeat the process before the resin cures completely so each layer bonds to the one before. This way you can make a helmet that's thick enough to hold together and don't have to make an inner mold (since there's no details we need there)

There's a great example video of this casting process here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bAU3NGI-ZDo) where he uses it to make a calf armor piece for Halo Spartan armor.
Err. Iron Man armor, not Halo armor.
Awesome printer.
inkemu2 years ago
This is absolutely beautiful! I'm working on a much simpler armor project for Halloween - just a chestplate and shoulder guard. I don't have the resources for casting, and was thinking of following your tutorial up to the final of the base model. Will those materials hold up ok if finished with a clear coat and all? Thank you for posting this, it's really amazing :)
tukas3 years ago
Love it!! It looks awesome!
supramp3 years ago
what brand and types of paints do you use during the weathering process?
Your detailing is amazing, I've seen alot of trophy antlers and these have alot of the fine details as the real ones great attention to detail.
GpaSteve3 years ago
Very cool, may have to add something like this to my list I thinks I want to build.
Kaiven3 years ago
Volpin is on Instructables... since when?! I love your builds; always taking some A+ progress photos as well!
FrozenIce3 years ago
r u.... a girl geek?
volpin (author)  FrozenIce3 years ago
Nope! This was a project I made for my wife.
aahhh....is she a girl geek? lol jk, i love this....
SHIFT!3 years ago
Hey Volpin!

Just been reading some of your blog posts about your first Portal gun, fantastic work by the way. Just a question- I know you used wonderflex in the past and I was wondering what you used to harden/smooth it out. Apoxie sculpt seemed like it did the trick but what did you do to give it that glossy effect? Was it just the paint?
Dakaath3 years ago
Is it possible to get a list of the materials needed? This would be my first project of this type, and I'm wondering what supplies I would need to attempt it.
super8ben3 years ago
Careful, that printer looks to be previously owned by Aperture Science...
It's alright, it doesn't look like it's the model with the neuro-toxin addon.
carfur3 years ago
Awesome job,awesome i'ble,awesome helmet.The only thing that I don't really get from your i'ble is the toughness of the final product.Shoudn't it be reinforced with some sort of inner skelleton for cosplay?Because it would really be bad if this piece of work helmet will get damage from a small hit.
volpin (author)  carfur3 years ago
Urethane resin is remarkably resilient. You'd have to take a blow to the head with a baseball pat or similar impact to crack it.
carfur volpin3 years ago
That tough huh?Then I guess when summerbreak finally comes I will begin my Halo costume.Thx :)
I am curious about what kind of suspension system you put on the inside. Do you build a leather harness, or just glue in bits of foam?
volpin (author)  Ludwig Von Mech3 years ago
Just foam padding. The helmet fits very close to the wearer's head, so there isn't much need for a lot of rigging
Very realistic, I think the hammer finish you've created is fine.
volpin (author)  TheFullMetalAlchemist3 years ago
Thanks - admittedly its a bit too regular, but I have another of these (male version) in the works and I'm hoping to improve on the technique with that project.
KontaKt3 years ago
So, where can I find some good polystyrene foam?
volpin (author)  KontaKt3 years ago
Home Depot or LOWES is your best bet
chakra3 years ago
you are awesome!!
i better place orders to you than getting myself a truckload of disaster!!
you have the golden hand for such things!
Silence3 years ago
Seriously !... awesome work although the hammered texture looks more like golf ball divots, the paint job overall and texturing of the horns is nothing less than superb !
Maybe try bumping the next one with the round side of a ball peen hammer, the foam should crush and clay will dent if its still malleable and make an authentic hammering texture for you.
Eirinn3 years ago
I tried making a mold with standard runny silicone and runny resin... the result? Awful. I need to get some of these products but they're not readily available in Denmark.
Eirinn Eirinn3 years ago
Just ordered a cr*apload from a german company... I'll know monday if the order went through. If any danes read this you can send me a PM and I will answer you :)
Very clever, logical, and well thought out.
V1P3 years ago
Amazing :O
JBZG3 years ago
ravenking3 years ago
Wow! This is an excellent helmet! I want one too! :)
paqrat3 years ago
Beautiful. I must echo obax17's sentiments.
Nice work on the cool helmet and the detailed Instructable.
Silver Diva3 years ago
This is a work of art. I don't cosplay or even PLAY online games. However, I KNOW an artist worked this piece. Congrats...you should display this, not wear it!
Awesome job!--

I noticed on your Flickr page, which has a few more pictures of your helmet build that you Dremeled out the hammered in sections instead of using the Apoxie Sculpt.


Which method worked the best?
a dremil would work the best, depending on the dremil and the tip you use.
Roceifin3 years ago
I have skills and knowledge with this kind of stuff, its definitely not as easy as you might believe, but it takes a certain amount of practice and motivation to do something like this. it would be tough to do as your first 'build' and easier to start off with something less complicated, or tone the detail down on what your building. You can check out a prop building forum to get the best tips and info, i suggest http://www.forum.soaringhammer.com/index.php
phildc3 years ago
You did an amazing job with this, and your modeling skills are to be admired. I have to agree with an earlier comment, though. For the time and effort you put into this, you coulda/shoulda made the real thing. You're obviously capable. Good work.
This is such a great 'ible, and such an excellent result. Nice work!
And thanks for taking the time to explain your process in detail.
rb67193 years ago
To call this "impressive" is an understatement to your dedication and craftsmanship but it is none the less impressive and a work of art.
sitearm3 years ago
@Volpin; wow! Sent this to a crafter friend of mine and tweeted it. Cheers! Site
dantistus3 years ago
This is so great! Especially loved the way you sculpted antlers, that one I can actually use in my future project. Thank you for a great idea!
MASKELF3 years ago
Excellent Job, Freaking awesome technique !
obax173 years ago
This is absolutely incredible! Well beyond my skill set, but incredible nonetheless!
mckeephoto3 years ago
Beautiful work and great instructible!
alcurb3 years ago
What an awesome skill. Great project. Ever considered making the real thing out of pounded out metal? You put so much work into this that you might as well have made the real thing.

I like the war marks on the helmet. Nice touch.
Haus Page3 years ago
Very cool!
hammer98763 years ago
Bloody awesome! Congrats on being "Featured."
Dude that's badass. You have my vote.
3ddementor3 years ago
It's as if you have just reached into the game and pulled the helmet straight out of it! Amazing work
owlart1013 years ago
Whoa! How did I not realize that Volpin had an Instructable's account?
Great work as always!
poofrabbit3 years ago
Wow, wow, WOW! This is a wonderful instructable and your craftsmanship is implacable! Very well done!
keynant3 years ago
Not only do you model beautifully, you write coherent and detailed Instructables.
Keep up the good work!
Honus3 years ago
Absolutely beautiful.
Fantastic craftmanship. Amazing work!
avizzone3 years ago