Instructables

Fallout 3- Brotherhood of Steel Helmet

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Picture of Fallout 3- Brotherhood of Steel Helmet
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In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a helmet based on the Brotherhood of Steel from Fallout 3
The finished helmet is comprised of a main body and a series of numerous attached accessories.
This guide will take you through the process of:
  1. Planning
  2. Helmet Modeling
  3. Helmet Molding
  4. Helmet Casting
  5. Accessories
  6. Painting
  7. Assembly
  8. Recycling your silicone
Please note that the Materials and Tools listed at the beginning of each chapter will only pertain to that particular phase of the project.  Keep this in mind as you budget your expenses since this can become very expensive if you buy too much at once.


 
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Step 1: Chapter 1- Planning- 1: Measurements


Tools and Materials
OPTIONAL
  • Fallout 3 (PC) w/ G.E.C.K.
  • NifSkope
  • 3D software package of choice *

* I used 3DStudio Max 2010 (which can be expensive) but there are cheaper and even free software options like Blender

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To begin, you are going to need to know how big your head is. 
Get a friend with a ruler to measure your general dimensions.
You will want to add about half of an inch to each side to allow for some padding and space. 


Step 2: Chapter 1- Planning- 2: Source Art

Picture of Chapter 1- Planning- 2: Source Art

NOTE- you can skip this step if you do not have 3D experience or do not wish to modify the design.
The Pepakura file that I've built is available here (simply remove the "dot" from the address below):

http://www.4shared.dot.com/file/PGIzojP_/BoS_Helmet.html

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The paper model that I built was derived from the 3D model in the game.  You can build your own from scratch or use the model from the game as a guide.  The PC edition of Fallout 3 includes the G.E.C.K. (Garden of Eden Creation Kit) which gives you access to the different model assets used in the game.  To extract the helmet you are going to need to download a free program called Nifskope. Fallout features a massive library of assets.  The model you will want can be found under: meshes\armor\powerarmor\helmet.nif

Export this helmet mesh as an .obj.  We will need to edit the mesh in another 3D package before we can make the paper model.


Step 3: Chapter 1- Planning- 3: Preparation for Pepakura

Picture of Chapter 1- Planning- 3: Preparation for Pepakura
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NOTE- you can skip this step if you do not have 3D experience or do not wish to modify the design.
The Pepakura file that I've built is available here (simply remove the "dot" from the address below):

http://www.4shared.dot.com/file/PGIzojP_/BoS_Helmet.html

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Import the .obj of the helmet into your 3D package.  First we will need first to remove all of the details (hoses, lamps, scopes, etc) until nothing remains but the main body of the helmet.  All of those other details will be built, but with different methods.

Once this is done we will need to rebuild the mesh to remove as many triangular polygons (or "tris") as possible.  Triangular polygons are fine for a low-resolution, in-game asset, but the paper model we'll make needs clean quadrangular polygons ( or "quads").  Clean loops and strips of Quads will unfold into flat paper shapes better than the Tris and just look better too.  It will really help your model stand out from hobbyists who are making papercraft models from raw in-game models.  Unfortunately, what looks good animating in a game doesn't always translate to a static sculpture that you can closely examine, so it's best to refine it and add a little more definition. 

Export your quaded model as a new .obj.

Step 4: Chapter 1- Planning- 4: Pepakura

Picture of Chapter 1- Planning- 4: Pepakura

NOTE- the Pepakura file that I've built is available here (simply remove the "dot" from the address):

http://www.4shared.dot.com/file/PGIzojP_/BoS_Helmet.html

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Open Pepakura Designer and import the quaded helmet .obj.  You will need Pepakura to arrange the polygons into sheets of paper that you can later print out, cut up, and assemble into a model.  This works best when you arrange the polys into groups of strips.  As you can see in the picture, Pepakura will arrange these groups onto as many sheets of paper as you need to complete the model.   In this case, there were enough polygons to fill 12 sheets of 8.5x11.

Paper however is not ideal for your model since it is too flimsy.  I would recommend printing onto card stock, which is sturdier.  If you don't have a printer that can handle card stock (or you just don't have any) you can print this on regular paper and then have them copied onto card stock at any print shop for only a few cents apiece.

I used Kinkos (?)....Fed Ex/Kinkos (?)....Fed-Ex Office (?)....or whatever it's called now....Printy McPrintertons?

Step 5: Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 1: Card Stock Assembly

Picture of Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 1: Card Stock Assembly
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Tools and Materials

OPTIONAL
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At this stage, you should have the Pepakura schematic of your model copied/printed onto card stock. 

We will begin by cutting out the designs, folding them along the dotted lines, and piecing them together.  The card stock will fold more easily if you score the surface along the dotted lines.  This should be done very lightly so you do not cut through the card stock or make it too weak to support the shape.  Simply drag the Xacto blade across the dotted line exerting as little pressure as possible.

You will notice too that the patterns feature numbered edges and tabs.  The numbers indicate the points where the pieces are designed to fit together.  Find the number on the edge of one piece and match it to the same number on another piece.  Each edge will have a number so fold the card stock until each edge meets flush against the other.  Adhesive is applied to the tab and then applied to the underside of the adjoining piece.  Some people use glue sticks on the tabs but I wasn't very impressed with the adhesive quality or work time.  I strongly suggest using a heavy acrylic molding gel and applying it with a small flat-end brush.  The heavy gel adheres quickly and can be brushed along entire edges.  The edges will be nicely sealed and the gel retains a decent amount of flexibility after drying.

It's helpful to hold the tabs together with blue painters tape until you can apply the acrylic gel.  The painters tape is relatively low tack and can be removed without tearing the card stock.   You can leave the tape on the tab and simply apply the gel over top. 

Continue this process and you will see the helmet begin to take shape.

As you work, you can add additional details with foam core or scrap pieces of card stock.  I added a ridge down the the center of the face plate and a plate above the eyes with pieces cut from foam core.  I also cut a 3 inch diameter circle of foam core to fill the "mouth hole" and keep the surrounding card stock from sagging inward.  You'll need this flat surface of foam core to later attach the respirator Base that we model later.  Again, I used the acrylic gel as a glue.  Be sure to affix  these details before moving on to the next step. 

Step 6: Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 2: Reinforcing the Card Stock

Picture of Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 2: Reinforcing the Card Stock
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While the Pepakura method of sculpting can be very exact it can also result in models that appear too "low poly".  I've found that applying layers of cheese cloth will smooth out the polygonal look and add some non-rigid surface strength.  The practice is not unlike laying-up fiber glass (although far less toxic and can be done indoors).  Cut strips of cheesecloth, lay them against the surface of the model, and brush the acrylic gel into the weave of the cloth.  You'll want to to dilute the gel with just a little bit of water to allow the gel to better saturate the weave.  Too much water will soak and warp the underlying card stock (thus defeating the purpose of reinforcing the surface).   Continue this process by overlapping pieces of cloth until you've covered the sculpt.

Another nice side effect of this technique is that it unifies any underlying details you may have added with an acrylic "skin" of cloth.


Step 7: Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 3: Surfacing

Picture of Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 3: Surfacing
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Now that the helmet has been skinned with cheese cloth, it's time to begin refining and smoothing the surface. For this we will use the DAP DryDex spackle.  It can be used safely indoors (unlike Bondo) and sands to a glassy finish.  Use a pallet knife to apply the DryDex and steel scraper clay tool to blend it in.  The compound goes on pink but turns white as it dries.  Once it everything is dry you can begin sanding down.  Start with coarse paper (120 grit) to get rid of the sharper bits and continue to refine the surface with 240 and 320 grit paper.  You can take it a step further with 600 grit paper to get to that glassy finish.

I built some extra details like the rear hose attachment and the rim base from foam core and card stock.  I also refined the respirator hose attachments and ear setting in 3D and prepared them in Pepakura.  All of these extra details are blended into the rest of the helmet with DryDex and sanded smooth.

The file for the ear setting and hose attachments are available here if you don't want to sculpt the refinements:

http://www.4shared.dot.com/file/YdQ-isco/Nozzles_Pep.html

Step 8: Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 4: Surface Refinements I

Picture of Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 4: Surface Refinements I
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At this point we're going to add some accents to the brows and center ridge.  I used red electrical wire (as pictured) for my helmet but the better option is half-round styrene rods.  Styrene is more flexible, easier to cut, and easier to affix with super glue.  Use the .125 half-round rods where you see the red wire used in my example.

Cutting styrene can be rather easy because it isn't always necessary to cut all the way through.  The plastic has no grain, so you can cut or score the surface and then bend it until it snaps clean.

Step 9: Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 5: Modeling the Base

Picture of Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 5: Modeling the Base
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We now begin the Base model that will serve as the foundation for the mouth respirator and ear knobs.  Cut a circle of foam core with a 3 inch diameter.  Draw a 2 inch circle at the center to indicate the space we need to leave open.  Cut a 2 inch circle of foam core and glue it into that center area.  The middle area needs to open in the final shape but we need a starting point for wrapping the strips of styrene. 

Cut numerous strips of styrene at varying widths (wide to narrow). 
These strips should be long enough to be wrapped  around your shape.

Start by laminating the widest strips to the 2 inch piece of foam core at the center.  Work your way to the perimeter by wrapping and laminating narrower strips until you reach the edge of the part.  This should result in a sloping profile shape.  Once that's finished, apply Squadron modelling putty to smooth the edges between the strips.  This will create a nice tapering profile.  After the putty is dry, sand away the excess taking care to use even motions all the way around the shape.  Consistency is crucial for maintaining roundness.  Too much putty or too much sanding in one spot can result in a lopsided shape.


Step 10: Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 6: Molding the Base

Picture of Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 6: Molding the Base

We're going to take a bit of a break from the modeling to touch on some simple mold making.  We need to make some copies of the Base to which we will affix the the mouth respirator and ear knobs. Luckily, this first mold is a 1-part mold, which is pretty easy.  We won't be concerning ourselves with parting lines, pouring holes, or air holes.

We begin by fixing the part you just made to a flat, clean surface with some Klean Klay and building some walls around it from foam core.  What we're doing is building a container around the part so we can pour in the silicone rubber.  Take care to glue everything so there are no cracks in your container.  We don't want the liquid rubber to leak.  Silicone rubber can be expensive, so you don't want to waste it on a shoddy, leaky mold*.

I prefer using Legos to build my mold walls (as you can see in the picture).  The blocks interlock tightly, do not leak, and are easier to assemble than cutting and gluing the walls and base from foam core.

The silicone rubber is a 2-part mixture that consists of liquid rubber and catalyst (or hardener).  There should be directions on the package for how to mix them but the ratio is typically 10 to 1.  That is, to catalyze 100 ml of liquid rubber you will need to use 10 ml of catalyst.  Pour the liquid silicone into a measured mixing cup like the one in the picture.  Then pour in the proper amount of catalyst.  Using a craft stick, mix the rubber and catalyst slowly and thoroughly to make sure there are no air bubbles.  The rubber takes about 8 hours to completely set so take your time.  Once you are ready you can pour it into your mold.  Do not pour the rubber directly onto your part.  Pour it around the deepest part of mold and allow it to rise around your part until it fills the container.  Pour it slowly in an even stream to prevent any air bubbles from forming.  Air bubbles can result in flawed casts that need to be filled or sanded.  Once the mold is filled you can tap the side of it to shake free any bubbles that might be clinging to the part.  They should float to the surface and dissipate.

Once this is all done you will need to leave the mold to set.  Put it some place where it will not be bumped while it cures otherwise your mold will warp and create distorted casts.

Let the mold set for 8 hours.  I like to prepare my molds in the morning before I leave for work, that way there is no temptation on my part to hover over it and poke at it (I'm impatient like that).

* Do not throw away the cured silicone of a bad mold.  You can recycle it, which we will discuss later.

Step 11: Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 7: Casting the Base

Picture of Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 7: Casting the Base

Once the mold has fully cured, you can begin the process of demolding your part (separating the mold from the original piece) and preparing for casting.  Dismantle the walls around your mold until the cured silicone is fully exposed and then (gently) begin peeling away the mold from the base.  Take care while doing this so you do not tear and thin parts of rubber and ruin a perfectly good mold.

Now that your mold is free, you can prepare it for casting your 3 copies.  Spray the mold (in a well ventilated area) with the Ease Release spray and let it set for a few minutes.  The Release spray prevents the casts from when you demold them and will extend the life of your mold.

The casting resin is a 2-part mixture with a 1:1 ratio consisting of Part A and Part B chemicals.  That is, if you need to use 50 ml of resin to fill a mold, you would use 25 ml of Part A and 25 ml of Part B.  Nice and Easy.  Pour even amounts of Parts A and B into their own measuring cups.  You'll notice that each chemical is clear and colored.  They will become an opaque white (or off-white) after they are mixed, begin to catalyze, and harden.  Unlike the silicone rubber, most casting resins will harden in minutes rather than hours.  There are casting resins that take hours to harden (like Feather Lite), but we're not using them here.

Once you are ready, you can then pour them together into a third mixing cup.  Stir the mixture slowly to remove any air bubbles but be aware that (once mixed) the resin is already beginning to catalyze and harden.  Do not stir too quickly because it will only hasten the cured.  You may feel some warmth in the mixing while stirring the mixture.  This is due to the chemical reaction of mixture.  Large enough mixtures can get very hot so be careful not to spill any of it on yourself.

Slowly pour the mixture into the mold.  Again, you'll want to try to pour mix into the deepest part of the mold and let it fill.  Do not pour it on the wall of the mold where it will run "downhill" before filling.  Once the mold is filled you can watch in real time as the clear mixture will become frosty and opaque.  You'll feel the heat from the reaction if you hold your palm over the mold (do not touch it).  The mixture will cool as the chemicals complete the reaction completes.  Your part should be ready for demolding in about 10 minutes.  Again, take care in removing the cast so you don't tear the mold.  Also, I suggest leaving your parts in the mold until they are cool to the touch.

Repeat this 2 more times until you have your 3 Base casts.  Once you have the 3 pieces it's a good idea to rinse them off with warm, soapy water.  This will remove the oily film of the Ease Release and make it easier to glue to the helmet and later prime.

Once your parts are rinsed and dried you can then glue them to the flat areas of the mouth and ears.

Step 12: Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 8: Ears

Picture of Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 8: Ears
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The next part that we need to mold and cast are the ear pieces.  You can see in the highlighted area of the photo how the cast of the ear piece fits into the base part(s) we just made.  This part will be easy to model since we will be making a mold of a found-item rather than scratch building one.  I found that the top of an old spray can is the perfect size and shape for the ear.  It's not safe to go sawing into a pressurized spray can, so we're just going to use silicone rubber to make a mold of one instead and copy the casts to each side of the head.

Find an old spray can that you don't need , remove the nib, and plug it with some Klean Klay.  We'll want to build a foam core container around the top the spray can to hold in the silicone. We'll begin by making the "floor" of the mold container.  It needs a hole in the center of it to allow the spray can to poke through the floor.  Set the spray can on a piece of foam core and trace around the base of the can with a pen to find your circumference.  Cut this circle away with an Xacto knife.  Then glue the walls of the container to the four edges of the floor.  What you should have now is a container with a hole in the floor big enough to slide over the spray can.  Slide this container over the can (as pictured in the Photoshop mock up) and seal the gaps with Klean Klay to prevent leakage.  Add clay to the underside of the container to support the weight of the mold.

As instructed previously, mix a batch of silicone rubber, pour it in, and allow it to set for 8 hours.

After 8 hours have passed you can remove the mold from the spray can.  Treat the mold with a quick spritz of Ease Release.  Mix a small batch of resin (you shouldn't need much) and fill the mold.  Repeat this twice and you will have both ear parts.  The ear piece protrudes quite a bit so you will need to use a hobby saw to remove about half an inch from the tops of each cast.  Sand away any burs and nest them with super glue into the Base casts that you've attached to each ear area. 

Step 13: Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 9: Respirator

Picture of Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 9: Respirator
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This step covers the building of the respirator on the "mouth" of the mask.  This part was challenging and I went through two iterations before I got it right but it still managed to be one of my favorite parts to make.  Pure scratch building fun.

The respirator will be built onto the remaining Base casting. As you'll recall, we used the other two Bases as foundations for the ear parts.  We're going to be using a sheets of the .040 styrene to make the respirator.  To make it fit we'll need to trace the upper part of the Base part onto the sheet of styrene.  Flip the Base face down onto the sheet and trace the circumference with a pen.  You should have a circular shape that fits the inset top of the Base.  Then we'll draw a radial design of 6 elongated air holes inside of that circle.  Take your time and try to make them as even as possible to retain that mechanical look.  Cut out the circle and cut out the air holes.  Trace the design of this piece onto your remaining styrene sheets and then cut it out so you have two identical parts.  Laminate the two cut-outs onto your Base.  Stacking them will create some depth in the air holes to nest the last details. 

Take some half-round styrene rods and wrap them around the circumference to hide any gap between respirator cut-outs and the Base cast.  Use the alligator clamps to keep them in place while the super glue sets.

The last step of this portion will be to add small open nozzles.  Use your hobby saw to cut short portions of tube (about 1/8 of an inch) like you see in the picture.  Set these short segments of tube into the open air holes of the respirator with just a dab of super glue apiece.

Step 14: Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 10: Surface Refinements II


The modeling phase of the helmet is close to finished (treat yourself to something nice if you made it this far).  There are only a few more details to go before the helmet is ready for molding and casting.

First off, we need to add the bolts that give the helmet that heavy, riveted look.  Craft stores like AC Moore and Michaels carry buttons of fake pearls in their jewelry and scrap-booking sections that make very convincing bolts (see the pictures).  While these buttons have sticky backs, you'll still need to use some super glue and putty to affix and blend them.  The photos feature high lighted spots on the helmet where the button-bolts will need to go.  You'll no doubt notice that the helmet has been painted black.  When I made this particular helmet, I had forgotten to add the buttons until after the priming stage when I should have done them at this stage.

You'll need to add two details that are not decorative.  The first is a 1 inch circular shape beneath the left eye (left if you're looking out) and the second is a ring snap button on the "cheek bone" just beneath the right eye.  You can build the first shape with foam core or kit bash it from a wheel in a model kit (I used a wheel from a mobile Scud launcher).  It doesn't really matter if it's detailed since it's really only going to serve as a mounting surface for an accessory that we'll build later.

You can buy ring snap buttons from just about any clothing or craft store.   This is another important detail that we will be using as an attachment point for a future accessory.

Until this point, the eyes had been left open to the interior of the helmet.  We'll need to close them so we can make absolutely sure that the final cast will have an even surface that can accommodate the interior visor.  Simply cut a piece of card stock and apply it to the interior of the helmet where your eyes would be.  Seal any gaps between the visor and helmet with spackle or putty.

Now we'll finish any surface refinements before we seal it up and prime it for molding.  Use the spackle or putty to fill any inconsistencies and imperfections on the rest of the helmet.  I also added some strips of styrene the center ridges of the helmet to make them more mechanically even. 

Spot fill and sand down any trouble spots until you feel comfortable that you got it all.  There's really no right or wrong level of polish at this stage. It's entirely up to you.

Step 15: Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 11: Adding the Pour Hole

Picture of Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 11: Adding the Pour Hole
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The mold we make will require that the helmet be completely sealed on all sides and that it features a pouring hole for the resin.

Until now, the bottom of the helmet had been left open for portability but now we must seal it up.  You'll need to first situate a 1 inch dowel in the very center of the helmet.  This will not only serve as a stand of the helmet once it's right side up but will also serve as the pour hole for your resin.  You'll need to get this in position before you fill it and seal it because the filler and sealer will hold it in place.

Now we're going to fill it and seal it off.

You can do this two different ways.  You can fill the helmet with tightly crumpled newspaper or use something more rigid like liquid foam.  I used (and suggest) the AeroMarine flotation foam.  It's a very simple 1:1 mixture that expands and cures extremely fast.  The cured foam can then be cut with a saw until it's a little even.  If you do decide to use the liquid foam then be aware that it expands as it cures and requires very little to fill a space.  It's very tenacious and likes to stick to things so you don't want to overdo it and allow it to overflow onto the exterior of the helmet.  After the excess foam has been cut away, use the DryDex spackle to fill in any air bubble cavities and sand it down.

The helmet needs to be able to rest in an upright position.  Cut a wide wood plank (exact measures are not important) into 3 even lengths and sandwich them together.  Then drill a hole with a 1 inch hole saw into the center of the plank.  This should accommodate the dowel and provide a stable base for the helmet.

Step 16: Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 12: Priming and Sanding

Picture of Chapter 2- Helmet Modeling- 12: Priming and Sanding
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It helps to prime the surface of your model before you make a mold of it.  Scratch built models (and especially kit bashed models) are often made from many different materials with varying surface qualities which can make it tough to identify surface blemishes.

Spray your model with a coat of glossy black.  This unifies the surface appearance and the gloss reveals the remaining irregularities and imperfections.  Let the paint dry for at least a day before you begin to putty and sand the blemishes.  Give your model another coat once you are satisfied to double check your repairs.  Repeat this process until you are satisfied.

This process may sound laborious but it was recommended by fabricators who build custom car bodies. 
It's how they get all those custom panels so darn smooth.

Step 17: Chapter 3- Helmet Molding 1: Preparation and Clay Walls

Picture of Chapter 3- Helmet Molding 1: Preparation and Clay Walls
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Tools and Materials
OPTIONAL
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We now begin the process of making the mold from which you pull a light-weight wearable cast.

The shape of your model will determine the complexity of your mold.  The simple shapes that we've made so far were easily replicated with simple, 1-part molds.  A shape as complex as your helmet would be impossible to replicate with a single mold.  You could coat the entire helmet in a thick coat of silicone but then you'd never be able to remove the model without destroying the mold and you could never pull cast from it either.  In this instance, it will require a 3-piece set that consists of a mold of the front, a mold of the back, and a mold of the bottom.  The molds are intended to join where they can part most easily from the original model and subsequent casts.  You can find many videos on Youtube that elaborate on the basics of mold making if you need more information.  I am only going to focus on the specifics of molding this particular project.

We begin by creating the parting wall that divides the front from the back and the bottom.  I determined that the ear-line and the "lower jaw" were the best places to build a dividing wall of Klean Klay.  This dividing wall prevents the silicone from leaking into the areas we want to keep free of rubber.  You'll want to create "key shapes" in your clay.  These shapes will allow the different parts of your mold to register with one another and interlock.  In this instance, I used a long, narrow strip of clay and some simple wood pegs I had lying around. 

Build up the sides of the dividing wall to keep the silicone from spilling over the edge of the dividing wall.  Now you're ready to mix and apply the silicone.


Step 18: Chapter 3- Helmet Molding 2: Silicone Molding the Front

Picture of Chapter 3- Helmet Molding 2: Silicone Molding the Front
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We begin this stage by mixing our first batch of Rebound 25 silicone, which I recommend because it is formulated to adhere to large vertical surfaces and can either be poured onto your model or applied with a brush . The mixture ratio of Rebound is different (and easier) from the silicone we used to make the Base parts.  Rebound 25 mixes at 1:1 (unlike the previous 10:1) much like the casting resin.  The silicone will be applied in phases.  We'll begin with an impression coat that insures that all of the detail is captured by the rubber.  I recommend using a small amount of silicone thinner to insure that the rubber runs into every area of detail.  You'll want to make sure that your model is also airtight.  The diluted silicone will be fluid enough to run into any cracks you make have on your model.  The last thing you'll want is rubber curing inside of your model.  Apply this with a disposable chip brush until the entire surface is covered.  Don't worry if the rubber is filmy and only semi-opaque, since we will reinforce and thicken the coat.  Allow this to cure for a minimum of 8 hours without touching the rubber. 

Mix another batch of silicone and pour small portions into little cups or a painting tray.  We'll use these for the registration keys that' allow the mold to interlock with the jacket mold (see the circled areas in the image).  Allow these to cure and apply the rest of your batch with a brush to cover your impression coat.  Allow this to cure for 8 hours.

Mix a third and last batch and have your registration keys ready.  I highly recommend using a thickener * at this stage so your registration keys will stay in place and your final coat is reinforced.  You want to make sure you have a uniform thickness across the surface of about half an inch so the mold doesn't tear.

Once the silicone is cured and you've removed your retaining walls of clay you will notice that excess silicone almost always strays from the mold.  Cut that silicone away and hang onto to it to recycle later.

* thickened silicone may be difficult to mix so use a heavy paint stirring stick

Step 19: Chapter 3- Helmet Molding 3: Jacket Molding the Front

Picture of Chapter 3- Helmet Molding 3: Jacket Molding the Front
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Now that you've finished the silicone mold of the front, you'll need to make what is called a jacket mold (or mother mold).  The jacket mold provides rigid support for the flexible silicone mold inside.  This will prevent the mold from flopping around during the casting process (which creates warped or broken models).  The size and weight of the finished mold calls for a light weight solution that is still strong and rigid, so we're going to use fiberglass.

First some safety things to get out of the way....READ THIS.

Before we get started you should know that the fiberglass resin is highly toxic and should only be used in well ventilated areas.  The fiberglass mat cloth is also unsafe to handle with unprotected skin. I use disposable vinyl gloves. It is quite literally fibrous glass and can irritate the skin and damage the eyes and the lungs.  Make sure you use a respirator and not a dust mask.  A simple dust mask is not adequate.  You do not want fiberglass in your lungs, in your eyes, on your skin, or in your hair.  I like to wear a ball cap and hoodie to keep it out of my hair and use goggles instead of safety glasses to keep it out of my eyes.  I've had flakes of fiber float over the edge of my glasses while cutting cured fiberglass with a Dremel.  Rinsing glass particles out of your eyes is NOT fun.

Also, do not try using fiberglass resin in the cold, since low temperatures will impede curing.
As a rule, I do not ever work with fiberglass in temperatures below 60 degrees. Anymore.

Okay. So.

The nozzles shapes on the front of the helmet do not allow for a single part jacket mold. The underlying silicone mold is flexible enough to be pulled around.  The cured fiberglass is not.  The fiberglass jacket would be mechanically locked around the nozzles and be unable to be pulled away from the back.  What we will need to do instead is build the front jacket mold in two pieces that screw together.  To do this, you'll need to create a parting wall of clay down the center of the face (as pictured) with key shapes that allow the two shells to interlock. 

Begin cutting your fiberglass mat into a pile of 4x4 inch squares.  Cut enough squares to cover your mold and allow for about an inch of overlap on each side.  Once you have finished, you will need to mix the fiberglass resin that you will use to laminate the fiberglass mat.  Fiberglass resin must be mixed with a catalyst (or hardener) before it will cure.  You can make a mixture that is anywhere from 4:1 (four parts resin, one part catalyst) or 10:1.  The working time for a mixture of resin is different from the cure time and is somewhat short.  It will begin to congeal into an unusable goo after about 5 minutes so you will need to work quickly.  It will not completely cure however for another few hours.  You can extend the working time of your resin by using less catalyst and by using a wide and shallow container.  Containers that are tall and narrow will cause the resin to catalyze faster because it has less surface area to vent the heat of the reaction.  A 10:1 mixture will take a long time to cure and will be sticky for quite awhile.  This can be good if this is your first time using fiberglass or are working on a large area.

Place the fiberglass cloth and use a chip brush* to soak the cloth with resin.  You will notice the fiberglass mat go from opaque to clear as the resin catalyzes the cloth.  Overlap and laminate your pieces of fiber cloth and continue working in your resin until you've covered the entire work space.  Work the cloth and resin snugly around the silicone key shapes that you imbedded in your rubber mold.  This will allow the silicone to register with the fiberglass jacket.  Allow this to cure for 2-4 hours.  Fiberglass will cure faster when using more catalyst (and in warmer temperatures).  The result should be a hard, glassy shell.  Remove the clay wall and use a Dremel and cutting wheel to cut away the rough, fibrous edges.  Use some sand paper to blunt the edge so you do not cut yourself while handling the finished shell (cured fiberglass is very sharp).

Apply a coat of parting wax to the part of the fiberglass shell that will interlock with the surface of the other half of the finished shell.  Allow it to dry for 5 minutes and then brush on (or spray) a coat of the PVA solution.  You'll need to apply these both to insure that the fiberglass shells do not cure together.  You only want the shells to interlock- not cure together.  Think of the parting wax and PVA as the mold release spray that you used earlier.

Once this is done, follow the same steps on the other side. Apply your glass cloth and brush in the resin until the other half of the front is covered and resin has cured into a completely rigid shell.  Take special care again to laminate the fiberglass around the silicone key shapes.  Using the edge of other half of the shell as a guide, cut away the fibrous edges and sand it down.  Once you have finished, drill several holes along the seams of the interlocking shells, and thread the holes with screws and wing nuts.  These will hold your shells together while you are casting.

*   Do not spend too much money on chip brushes since they will be ruined by the resin after it cures.

Step 20: Chapter 3- Helmet Molding 4: Silicone Molding the Back

Picture of Chapter 3- Helmet Molding 4: Silicone Molding the Back
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It's time to make a silicone mold of the back now.   Remove the clay walls to expose the silicone on the front of the helmet so you see the seam.  Build a new clay wall on the exposed edge of the 2 fiberglass shells to keep the silicone contained.  Build another clay wall that covers the bottom of the helmet since that area will get it's own mold. Spray the exposed silicone of the front mold with Ease Release to prevent the Front and Back molds from curing together.

The process is just like the front.mold:
  • Mix and apply a diluted mix of silicone for the impression coat and allow it to cure. 
  • Mix and apply a second coat of undiluted silicone*. Allow it to cure.
  • Mix and apply a third and final coat of thickened silicone and allow it to cure.

Cut away and save excess silicone before you begin the back jacket mold.

* Registration keys were not required for the rear of the helmet since the helmet already features shapes that act as keys.

Step 21: Chapter 3- Helmet Molding 5: Jacket Molding the Back

Picture of Chapter 3- Helmet Molding 5: Jacket Molding the Back
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The rear jacket mold will be a little easier than the front since it can all be built as a single piece. 
There are no undercut shapes for the rigid fiberglass to get stuck on.

Follow the same steps from the other fiberglass pieces:
  • Safety gear!
  • Coat the exposed fiberglass with parting wax and PVA so they don't stick
  • Cut the required patches of fiberglass cloth
  • Mix a batch of resin
  • Begin laying up your glass fabric with the resin and allow it to cure. Make sure the pieces overlap
  • Trim the rough edges of your cured shell and sand down the edges.
  • Drill registration holes that connect the 2 front shells to the rear shell and thread them with screws and wing nuts.

Step 22: Chapter 3- Helmet Molding 6: Silicone Molding the Bottom

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The bottom of the helmet is the last area we will need to mold.  Again, the process will be almost identical.

Turn the helmet over so the bottom is facing up and removing the remaining clay walls that divided the front of the helmet from the back.  Build a new clay containing wall upon the exposed fiberglass.
  •     Mix and apply a diluted mix of silicone for the impression coat and allow it to cure.
  •     Mix and apply a second coat of undiluted silicone*. Allow it to cure.
  •     Mix and apply a third and final coat of thickened silicone and allow it to cure.
Once all of the silicone is cured you will want to cut away any silicone that may have cured near the top of the dowel.  This will be our spout for pouring in the casting resin later on.  Cut away and save excess silicone before you begin the bottom jacket mold.

* Registration keys were not required for the bottom of the helmet since this area already features shapes that act as keys.


Step 23: Chapter 3- Helmet Molding 7: Jacket Molding the Bottom

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This process should be getting easier for you now.  Like the rear jacket, the bottom jacket mold will be built as a single piece. There are no undercut shapes for the rigid fiberglass to get stuck on.  Remove the clay retaining wall and you will see that the silicone here is thick enough to act as a large oval key.  The other shells should also feature registration parts from where they rested against the clay divider that will allow the bottom jacket to lock neatly in.

Follow the same steps from the other fiberglass pieces:
  • Safety gear!
  • Coat the exposed fiberglass with parting wax and PVA so they don't stick
  • Cut the required patches of fiberglass cloth
  • Mix a batch of resin
  • Begin laying up your glass fabric with the resin and allow it to cure. Make sure the pieces overlap
  • Trim the rough edges of your cured shell and sand down the edges.
  • Drill registration holes that connect the 2 front shells to the rear shell and thread them with screws and wing nuts.
Make sure that there is no cured fiberglass covering the silicone pour spot.  Cut it away and sand it down if you covered it like I did in my example.


Step 24: Chapter 3- Helmet Molding 8: Demolding

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Now that all of your silicone and jacket molds are done, now comes the process of demolding your model.  After all, you can't pull a cast if your model is still in your mold right?

We'll need to remove the jacket molds first, which we do by unscrewing all of the wing nuts and setting them aside.  Remove the bottom jacket first.  Try prying it off with your hands but don't worry if they stick a little.  More often than not you may have to use a screwdriver and rubber mallet as a wedge to pop them free.  Don't use too much force or you'll break the shell.  Pry apart the the two shells on the front and then remove the shell on the back.  Your shells will reassemble and interlock without any trouble once you've separated them a first time.  Set your jacket shells aside.

Now you need to remove the silicone from the model.  Be gentle but firm when removing the rubber since you do not want any snagging pieces to tear.  Take your time.  The molds should separate easily enough if you used enough Ease Release spray.  Use a clean knife blade to cut and separate any spots that may cured together.

Step 25: Chapter 4- Helmet Casting 1: Reassembling the Mold

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Tools and Materials
Now that we've removed the model from the mold, it's now time to reassemble the molds in preparation for casting.
Fit each rubber mold back into their respective jacket molds.  Spray each assembly with Ease Release before screwing them back together.  That way you are sure that all of the rubber surfaces have been sprayed.  Assemble the front jacket and affix the front rubber silicone mold.  Screw the front assembly to the rear assembly.  Make sure they are snugly interlocked and screw on the bottom assembly.

Step 26: Chapter 4- Helmet Casting 2: Casting, Demolding, and Priming

Picture of Chapter 4- Helmet Casting 2: Casting, Demolding, and Priming
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Now that the molds have been assembled it is time to begin the casting process.  You want the helmet to be hollow so you can get it on your head so what we're going to do is what is known as rotational casting or slush casting.  This entails pouring mixtures of casting resin into your mold and rotating the mold by hand until the interior of the mold is coated with liquid plastic.  You want to the resin to "slush" around inside of the mold and fill all of the cavities.

We'll be using the Smooth Cast 65D resin because it is formulated for slush casting and will adhere to the vertical interiors of a mold.  The 65D resin is a 1:1 part mixture that cures in 10-20 minutes.  You do not want to pour in one big single mixture.  Instead, it's best to mix and pour several smaller batches and slush them around one area of the helmet at a time.  Start with the face area, then pour in some more and slush the mixture around one of the ears.  Continue to pour in small mixtures and slush them around the different areas of the helmet until you are confident that all of it has been coated to some degree.  You can't see through your mold of course so it will take some practice in controlling the flow of the resin around your mold.  Use gentle rocking motions when rotating your cast around.  You want the resin to run gently around the molds interior instead of splashing.  Splashing the resin will cause it to dry in hard webs that can be very difficult to cut out and makes wearing the helmet uncomfortable. 

Save the bottom of the helmet for last and use a bigger batch of resin for this final pass.  You'll need to pour the resin into the pour spot and then quickly plug it with some silicone (I filled a little mixing cup with silicone and used it as my plug after it cured).  Turn the mold right side up and slush this last batch of resin around until you are sure that it has completely coated the bottom of the mold.   You will feel some heat through the mold as the resin catalyzes and hardens.  Make sure that the plug is secure and that none of the resin splashes out onto you. It can get very hot as it catalyzes and pulling hot and hardened liquid plastic out of your arm hair isn't all that fun.  Let the mold rest for 20 minutes after you finish the bottom slush.

Demold the cast the same way you demolded your model.  If all goes well then you should have a fully enclosed cast of your helmet with no holes in it.  Soak a rag with warm soapy water and wipe down the cast to remove any residue of the Ease Release spray.  Use a Dremel cutting wheel and grinding bits to remove the bottom of the helmet, the eye holes, and the nozzle holes.  Sand these cuts free of any burs.  Hold the cast up to a bright light to see if you have any thin or weak walls.  These weak spots can be reinforced with some fiberglass if you are worried about it breaking.

Spray the helmet with gray Plastikote primer to prepare it for painting.  The resin has an unusual quality that doesn't agree with most paints or primers but I've never had problems with Plastikote.


Step 27: Chapter 5- Accesories

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Now it's time to begin building all of the accessories that attach to the helmet.  In all there are about 20 different attachments of varying levels of detail and complexity ranging from fully scratch-built parts to found or kit-bashed pieces.  How you build most of these pieces is largely up to you but I will show you each accessory and how they were used.  The listed tools and materials of this chapter are more  recommended than required since this phase is more subjective than the construction of the helmet. 

You may want to build in greater detail...or perhaps less.

Tools and Materials

Step 28: Chapter 5- Accesories 1: Hose Hatch

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This is the hatch that is designed to fit over the hoses that connect to the rear of the helmet.  It was built from simple foam core and sheets of styrene.  All of the trims were made from an assortment of styrene strips and rods.  The additional knobby details were cut from the wheels of a tank model kit. 

Step 29: Chapter 5- Accesories 2: Infrared Scope

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  The infrared scope is attached to a crossbar that connects the brow of the helmet to the right ear.  The scope will be lit up in its final form although we not discuss rigging the lights until the assembly phase.  The body of the scope began as a simple 5 Hour Energy bottle.  The size and proportions were just right.  All of the details were made from various strips and rods of styrene.  The button and bolt shapes were made from the fake pearls we used in building the bolts on the helmet.  Additional round details were added from the wheels of a tank model kit.  As a rule of thumb, I try to stick to using the same scale of model kits when kit bashing to keep the detail proportions consistent.  Kit bashing can look very sloppy if overdone or inconsistently applied.

Drill a 1/4 inch hole into each end of the bottle and then use a Dremel or band saw to carefully cut through the bottom of the bottle (as pictured with the red line).  The drilled holes be used to thread the light and wires.  The bottom part will be lit end of the scope and it will need to be detached to be wired later. 

The lens of the scope will be made from clear casting resin.  Simply mix a small batch of resin and add a few drops of red tinting.  After it cures, cut it into a circle and sand the edges smooth.  Glue it to the bottle bottom with a just a little bit of super glue.

Lastly, we will need to add the plates that connect the scope to the helmet crossbar.  Cut two small pieces of 1/8 inch styrene into the outlined shape in the last picture.   Sand away any burs and glue them to the bottom side of the bottle, leaving an 1/8 of space between them.  This space will allow for the crossbar to fit between the two plates.


Step 30: Chapter 5- Accesories 3: Head Lamp


The head lamp is one of the more complex and work intensive scratch-built accessories. 
The Pepakura file is available here (simply remove the "dot" from the address):

http://www.4shared.dot.com/file/BG5slGsU/HeadLamp_00.html

Assemble the lamp from card stock like we did when building the helmet.  You should be familiar with the process by now.  Once you are finished you can add a narrow shade around the rim from a piece of PVC pipe (it's the purple colored part in the photo).  Then you will want to begin smoothing out the shape of the "polys" with an application of Squadron modeling putty.  Sand it down and repeat as necessary until the lamp shape is nice and smooth.  Once you are done you can begin adding styrene trim and small kit-bashed details. Prime the lamp to insure that everything is even and fill in any open gaps that may remain.  We will need to mold and slush cast the lamp since the card stock model is too flimsy to hold up to the cutting we will be doing.  The lamp must be completely sealed before we do this however.

The mold for the head lamp is made in 3 parts.  Reference the diagram image to to see how the mold will be divided  (note the position of the pour spout).  This mold will not require an air hole since we are slush casting it to be hollow.  Just make sure you have a piece of clay or a plug of silicone to stop the pour spout.   The mold should be thick and rigid enough that you will not need a jacket mold.  The mold will just require some rubber bands to keep it together during the casting process.

Once you have pulled your cast from the mold you will need to prepare it for the wiring that is to come later.  Drill 9 holes into the bowl of the lamp (as shown in the image) and then cut the lamp in half.  This will allow you to thread the LEDs through the underside of the bowl.

The last part we need to build is the "glass" over the lamp.  For this we will use some Apoxy Sculpt and styrene.  Apoxy Sculpt is a 2-part modeling clay with a 1:1 ratio that will harden after you combine them.  Mix together a dollop big enough to cover the lamp bowl.  Shape it and smooth it into a shallow dome.   You can use water to smooth out the bumps.  You can even sand it once it is completely cured in a few hours.  Once you have a hard dome shape you can begin super gluing half-round styrene strips onto the surface of the dome.  These strips will form the ridges in the "glass".

To make the final glass shape, we will need to do a little vacuum forming*.  You can find small vacuum formers for a (relatively) low cost online.  The one that I used was designed for dental work and was bought for about $90.  Cut a piece of clear plastic styrene and mount it in your vacuum former.  Place your dome shape on the vacuum surface and begin heating your plastic.  The plastic will be warm enough to vacuum over your shape once it begins to warp under the heating element.  Lower the plastic and switch on the vacuum.  The sheet of warm plastic will be sucked down and "shrink wrapped" over the dome shape.  Switch off the former and let the plastic cool for a minute.  Pull the plastic sheet off and you will have the ridged shape that will form the "glass" of your lamp.  Cut the dome shape free from the rest of the sheet and spray the inside of the glass shape with a frosting paint and you're finished.

* There are plenty of instructional videos on youtube if you are unfamiliar with the concept of vacuum forming.


Step 31: Chapter 5- Accesories 4: Ear Knob

Picture of Chapter 5- Accesories 4: Ear Knob
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The Ear Knob accessory is a relatively easy part to make.  I started by mounting a simple, large, rounded, metal button from a fabric store to a 1 inch circle of foam core.  I then wrapped a thin trim of rounded styrene around the perimeter.  To make the "grip" I began cutting a half-round rod of styrene into small 1/4 inch lengths and gluing them next to each other all the way around the knob.  I then found a little hatch shape from a model kit and added it as a small visual accent.

Once this model was finished, I made a 2-part mold so I could have a knob for each ear.  I needed to include an air hole in addition to the pour spout for this mold because the casts are intended to be solid.  You need to have a small vent to allow air to escape the mold as you pour the resin into it, otherwise your casts will be ruined by air bubbles.



Step 32: Chapter 5- Accesories 5: Air Nozzle

Picture of Chapter 5- Accesories 5: Air Nozzle
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The Air Nozzle was another quick fix, much like Ear Knobs.  The elbow shape was made from an old "Right Angle A/V Elbow Adapter".  The rest of it was a sheet of styrene cut to shape and attached to a styrene tube.  The trims were narrow styrene strips and the small bolt shape was made from a fake flat-backed pearl.

OPTIONAL

I prefer shapes to be made from a single uniform material whenever possible, so in this case I made a simple 2-part mold from which to cast a more solid part.  Remember, when molding parts intended to be solid casts you to include parts that will create air holes in your mold as well as building a pour spout.

Step 33: Chapter 5- Accesories 6: Handles

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The Handles that attach to the sides of the face are very easy.  You can go to any DIY store and find a metal drawer handle in the shape that you like and made a mold of it.  Then you can cast them for both sides of the head.  In my example the casts needed to be shortened a little and glued back together but this was an otherwise easy part to make.


Step 34: Chapter 5- Accesories 7: Radar

Picture of Chapter 5- Accesories 7: Radar
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The Radar accessory is also extremely easy.  You can start by cutting a 1/8 inch sheet of styrene into an oblong pear-shape and then drill a 1/4 inch hole in the wide end.  The round shapes in my example were made of wooden spools found in a craft store round and more wheel shapes from model kits.  You'll need to thread a solid 1/4 inch rod of styrene or wooden dowel through the hole that you drilled and glue it to the back side.  This will serve as a mounting peg that you will later thread through the Cross Bar and glue inside the helmet during the assembly phase.

Step 35: Chapter 5- Accesories 8: Moisture Removal Nozzle


The Moisture Removal Nozzle is a bit trickier because it needs to conform to the surface of the helmet.  We'll use Silicone Putty to make mold of the face of the helmet to create the underside of the moisture removal nozzle.  This will capture the helmets contours and insure a snug fit.  Silicone Putty is a simple, 2-part, 1:1 ratio mix that you roll together by hand.  Once you've kneaded the 2 parts together you can begin pressing it against the pictured area of the helmet where the nozzle will attach.  You should add a small fiberglass jacket to the putty after it's cured so it will keep its shape after you remove the putty from the helmet. 

You'll need to make a mold of this mold to create a reverse-impression that conforms to the surface.  Prepare a small mold corral around your jacketed putty.  Spray it down with Ease Release, pour in a mixture of silicone to create your reverse mold, and let it cure for 8 hours.  Use this reverse-impression of silicone as the mold for the foundation of your nozzle.  Fill this mold with casting resin and let it cure.  Demold it and you have the base for nozzle sculpt.

Cut away the excess resin until you have a shape that approximates the final nozzle in my pictures.  Build onto it with small applications of Apoxy Sculpt until you have something that you can sand down to a smooth flat surface.  Detail that surface however you like (I used parts from an old Mir Space Station kit) but make sure your final piece has a 1 inch length of styrene rod that we can later use to attach the yellow latex hose that runs around the right side of the helmet.

Step 36: Chapter 5- Accesories 9: Comm Port

Picture of Chapter 5- Accesories 9: Comm Port
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The Comm Port part was built rather quickly after I came across an interesting cable for a car battery, which you can find in any Auto Zone or Advance Auto Parts. It looked the part and was glued to another part from the Mir Space Station model kit I had been using.

Again, I was unsure about how well these parts would hold together in the long run (being made from different materials) so I made a simple 2-part mold and cast the part.  I added a 1/4 inch styrene rod to the base (where it connects to the helmet) and drilled a hole at the end where the cable was later connected.

Step 37: Chapter 5- Accesories 10: Cross Bar

Picture of Chapter 5- Accesories 10: Cross Bar
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The Cross Bar connects from the right ear to the brow of the helmet.  The Cross Bar supports the infra red scope and  is held in place by the right Ear Knob and the Radar.   It's built from a simple 1/8 inch sheet of styrene that has been bent into shape with the aid of a heat gun.  Decorative holes were drilled in afterwards and the two 1/4 inch holes were drilled in the spots to allow the Radar and Ear Knob to thread through and hold it in position.  I've enclosed a schematic image that you can use to create your own crossbar to scale.

Step 38: Chapter 5- Accesories 11: Nose Vent

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The Nose Vent is a very easy part.  You don't even have to make it.  They can be purchased online and set into the cavities on the front of the mask.

Step 39: Chapter 5- Accesories 12: Rear Hose Housing

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The Rear Hose Housing is a simple plumbing pipe with two screw-on caps.  There's really nothing to build for this piece. You can find such pipes at major DIY stores such as Lowes or Home Depot.

Step 40: Chapter 5- Accesories 13: Hoses

Picture of Chapter 5- Accesories 13: Hoses

  There are 3 types of hoses and tubes used on helmet.  The yellow latex hose that attaches to the Moisture Removal Nozzles and the black tube that connects to the Comm Port were both purchased at Lowes DIY store.  The two large hoses that attach to the front and back of the helmet are actually hoses from Russian gas masks that I purchased online.  The gas mask hoses are equipped with threaded male and female ends.  Before you begin the assembly phase you will want to saw off the female end so you can fit the hose into the PVC pipes at the rear of the helmet.

Step 41: Chapter 6- Painting

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  The painting and weathering of a model is almost always my favorite.  I've made 3 fully finished helmets by now and these are the techniques that have worked best for me.


If you've never painted a model before or just want to refine your technique I can recommend no better guide than the Forgeworld Imperial Armour Masterclass.  I have tons of hobby magazines and a few Citadel books on painting but this is easily my favorite.



Step 42: Chapter 6- Painting 1: Base Coating the Helmet

Picture of Chapter 6- Painting 1: Base Coating the Helmet

The cast of your helmet will need to be primed with a paint that will best adhere to the resin before you can begin you base coats.  Plastikote paint will be your best option.  I used gray because my local supplier didn't have black available.  I would recommend starting with black if you can get it.  If not, you can paint it on next.

You'll want to start your paint job as dark a possible to allow the undercoats to do some of the shading for you.  Give your helmet a complete coat of matte black (If you didn't prime your helmet with black).  Build up your mid-tones with Testors Gun Metal spray paint and then complete the highlights with the Testors Titanium.  Try to limit your highlights to the most elevated points on your model.  Light will of course naturally shade your model but it never hurts to subtly accentuate these elements yourself.

Step 43: Chapter 6- Painting 2: Washes and Highlights

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Now that you've got your basic shading down you can begin to wash some dark paint in the recesses and highlight the edges. 

Load a broad brush with a thin mixture of diluted black acrylic paint* and lightly dab it around the recessed areas of the helmet.  The capillary action of the water will carry the thin paint into the cavities.  Wipe excess black paint away from the raised edges with a cloth before it dries.  For the highlights, I found that the Run-N-Buff tube of silver leaf worked best because you can quickly apply it with your finger along the raised edges of the helmet.  This effect looks best on areas that would be worn from contact.  Don't make the highlights too sharp since we will add final, sharper highlights towards the end.

* You'll want to hold off on using oil paints until you are done with all of your acrylic painting.  Acrylics are water based and oils are, well, oil based.  You can paint oil paints on top of acrylics but you cannot paint water based paints onto oil painted surfaces since the oil repels the water adhesion.


Step 44: Chapter 6- Painting 3: Weathering 1

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This first stage of weathering will entail breaking up some the flatness in the base coat and adding some irregularity.  I used an Aztek airbrush for this portion of the project.  I've been using this particular model since 1993 and it's always been reliable and affordable brush that's easy to use.  I've since learned however, that despite being water soluble, acrylics flow best through the brush best when diluted with an acrylic thinner.  With the right mixture, the brush will never clog, never spatter (unless your compressor hiccups), and the paint maintains a nice and even consistency. Also, it's better to use a cleaner formulated for airbrushing rather than relying on warm soapy water. The cleaning fluid is also really abrasive so you should take care to wear some sort of mask.

Remember, you'll want this phase to add irregularity, not patchiness.  Too many odd patches of weathering will detract from your other details or make the entire assembly look cluttered.  Using my airbrush, I began to spray very light applications of Citadels "BoltGun Metal" and "Mithril Silver" metallic paints.  Be measured in your use of the Mithril Silver since we'll use it later to add the brighter and final nicks and highlights.

I also introduced some water damage by spraying India Ink through a stencil that featured really random and organic edges.  You can vary the effect depending on how close you hold the stencil to the piece.  Hard edges result from keeping it close. You'll get more subtle and softer shapes by holding it a little further away from the surface.  You can create a layered effect with overlapping spray passes with varying edge hardness.

Step 45: Chapter 6- Painting 4: Weathering 2

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This step involves refining the weathering and targeting certain areas around the helmet.  We'll be applying the last of our acrylics with a small sponge.  I prefer using Citadels Charadon Granite but Raw and Burnt Umber will work just as well.  Lightly sponging this onto the surface will give the appearance of flecks of mud.  It is best to apply this in areas where dirt would collect so be measured in your use.

 Afterward, mix some of the Faded Blue weathering powder (in the Doc O'Brien set) with some burnt sienna oil and mineral spirits.  The resulting concoction makes a beautiful wash for tarnished steel.  Dilute this so the mixture is more of a glaze and begin washing it onto the broad areas of the helmet.  Try to avoid the ridges and high points because we want to keep those spots free of oil for our final highlights later.

You can use a clean sponge that is damp with mineral spirits or turpentine to further dilute the effect of the wash.  This will really give the metal a cool, tarnished look.

Lastly, mix a small portion of thin black and burnt sienna oil paint and do one final wash around the helmet.  Go very lightly and allow your paint to dry for at least a day.

OPTIONAL

After your oils have dried for a day or two you can take advantage of its water-repellent quality.  Using a large soft brush, apply a very light dusting of the Dirty Brown, Rusty Brown, and a bit of the Rusty Red weathering powder.  Then, fill a spray bottle with some water and spritz the surface of the helmet.  Allow the water to bead on the oil and run off.  This will result in convincing rivulets of grime if you are careful.  This is optional because you are adding at least another day or two of drying.

Step 46: Chapter 6- Painting 5: Weathering 3

Picture of Chapter 6- Painting 5: Weathering 3

This is something of a repetition of Chapter 6- Painting 2: Washes and Highlights, however we will only concern ourselves with restoring some of the highlights that may have been dulled by the subsequent weathering, airbrushing, and powders.  Now we just want to add a few flecks of highlights on the sharper edges of the surface.  You can either use your finger to apply more Rub-N-Buff silver leaf or you can use a small brush to paint on the Mithril Silver.

I actually prefer the Rub-N-Buff because you can use a cloth to buff it to a neat metallic shine.

Step 47: Chapter 6- Painting 6: Accessory Painting


Luckily, the small scale of the accessories makes them easy to paint together which will keep things consistent.  The process will be a little simpler than painting the helmet since there is less surface area to agonize over.

I was able to quickly paint them together after priming them.
  1. black base coat (preferably as your primer)
  2. airbrushed metallic primary coat (BoltGun Metal)
  3. sponged-on grime for surface diffusion (Charadon Granite)
  4. rusty oil wash (thinned Burnt Sienna)
  5. silver highlights (Rub-N-Buff or Mithril Silver)
You can skip the use of weathering powders when painting your accessories since the effect only tends to be visible on larger surfaces.  Save them for another project or for another helmet.

Step 48: Chapter 7- Assembly

Picture of Chapter 7- Assembly

....now comes the part where you get to see all of your hard work and patience pay off as you put it all together.

Tools and Materials
  • Dremel w/ cutting wheel and drill bits
  • Xacto knife
  • blue painters tape
  • plumbers epoxy putty
  • 5 minute epoxy
  • super glue
  • 1/4 inch styrene rods
  • black electrical zip ties
  • paper/wire kitchen twist ties
  • small crimp clamp
  • crimping tool
  • green foam or carpet padding
  • clean plastic sheet
  • automotive tinting film
  • wood ash
  • compressed air can
  • wreath light
  • fixative spray

Step 49: Chapter 7- Assembly 1: Attaching the Gas Mask Hoses

Picture of Chapter 7- Assembly 1: Attaching the Gas Mask Hoses
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Before we attach the hoses, it would be helpful to make room for some additional support.  Drill 2 small holes, one above the other, separated by an inch, below each ear.  Thread a black electrical zip tie through each but don't fasten them yet.  Cut holes into the recessed centers of the two large nozzles on the front of the mask.  This is where we will thread the gas mask hoses.  Apply the 5 minute epoxy to the metallic male ends of the hose and thread the glued metal end through the holes.  Allow the epoxy to cure for at least 20 minutes to insure that it's locked in good.

Run the hoses back along the sides of the helmet and use the zip ties to hold them snug against the side.  Fasten the zip ties tight and trim away the lengths sticking out.

Epoxy the Rear Hose Housing pipe into the indentation at the rear of the helmet without the caps screwed on.  Allow the pipe and epoxy to cure.  Pull the loose ends of the gas mask hose through the ringed ends of the pipe and then screw them onto the ends of the pipe.  Once these are secure you can fit the Hose Hatch accessory over the assembly and epoxy that it into place to cover the Rear Hose Housing.

Step 50: Chapter 7- Assembly 2: Attaching the Comm Port

Picture of Chapter 7- Assembly 2: Attaching the Comm Port
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  Drill a hole into the left side of the face as indicated on the diagram.  This will serve as an attachment point for the Comm Port accessory.  Epoxy the Comm Port to this point and let it cure.  Drill a hole in rear of the helmet as shown in the other diagram near the Hose Housing.  Insert a 1/4 inch rod of styrene into the hole and secure it with super glue.  Slide a piece of latex tubing over the rod and run it up to the Comm Port and slot it into the hole of the Port.

Step 51: Chapter 7- Assembly 3: Attaching the Moisture Removal Nozzle

Picture of Chapter 7- Assembly 3: Attaching the Moisture Removal Nozzle
Wiring_1_small.jpg
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  The Moisture Removal Nozzle can be attached to the spot that you molded with the epoxy putty.  Secure it with super glue or 5 minute epoxy.  Drill a hole in rear of the helmet as shown in the other diagram near the Hose Housing.  Insert a 1/4 inch rod of styrene into the hole and secure it with super glue.  Slide a piece of latex tubing over the rod and run it up to the Moisture Removal Nozzle and slot it through a crimp clamp and over slide it over the peg on the end of the Nozzle.  Secure the clamp with a crimping tool.

Step 52: Chapter 7- Assembly 4: Attaching the Air Nozzle

Picture of Chapter 7- Assembly 4: Attaching the Air Nozzle
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  This part is easy.  Simply drill a hole into the spot as indicated on the diagram and glue the Air Nozzle into the hole.

Step 53: Chapter 7- Assembly 5: Attaching the Left Ear Knob

Picture of Chapter 7- Assembly 5: Attaching the Left Ear Knob
left ear knob.jpg

  Another easy one.  Drill a hole in the Left Ear knob, apply some super glue,. and then slot in the Ear Knob. Done.

Step 54: Chapter 7- Assembly 6: Attaching the Right Ear Knob, Crossbar, and Radar

Picture of Chapter 7- Assembly 6: Attaching the Right Ear Knob, Crossbar, and Radar
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This step is a bit trickier because it entails securing one accessory (the Crossbar) with two others (the Right Ear Knob and the Radar).  Position the crossbar as seen in the photos and eyeball in where you feel it will attach best against the brow and the right ear.  The styrene composition of the Crossbar will allow it some flexibility but don't force it to the point where it snaps.  Mark the points of contact and drill two holes that will allow you to slot the Ear Knob and Radar through the Crossbar and into the helmet.  Drill holes into the helmet for the Radar and Ear Knob.  Check to make sure that the holes in the helmet register with the holes in the Crossbar.  Slot the styrene rod peg on the back of the Radar through the hole in the Crossbar and into the hole in the helmet.  Apply some epoxy to the rod on interior of the helmet and let it cure.

The Crossbar should be secured to the Radar on the front of the helmet.  Apply some super glue to the hole you drilled into the helmet for the Ear Knob.  Slot the Ear Knob through the hole in the Crossbar and secure it to the helmet.

Step 55: Chapter 7- Assembly 7: Attaching the Infrared Scope and Lamp


The attachment and assembly of the Lamp and Infrared Scope is probably the most challenging of the Assembly process but the most rewarding once you see it lit up.  Begin by drilling holes in the helmet for the wiring of Infrared Scope and the Lamp as shown on the diagram.  Position the LED battery box inside of the helmet as shown in the other diagram and epoxy it into place.  There are 10 lights attached to the battery box.  Bundle 9 of them together with twist ties (the small paper/wire ones used in the kitchen) and snake them around the interior of the helmet and fix them into place with wads of plumbers putty.  Leave enough of the bundle free to pull it though the hole and into the Lamp.  There should be one wire and light left.  Snake this around and fix it into place with putty and pull it out through the hole you drilled for the Infrared Scope.

Take the Infrared Scope accessory and fix it into place on the Crossbar and secure it with super glue or epoxy.  Thread the single LED you pulled through the helmet through the drilled hole at the rear of the scope.  Pull it through the scope (which should be open) and plug it into the back of the cap with the red resin lens.  Fix the light with some plumbing putty and let it cure.  Then glue the wired cap back onto the main body of the scope.

Take the Lamp accessory and fix into place over the hole you drilled into the left side of the helmet.  Secure it with epoxy and plumbers putty and let it cure.  Pull the bundle of 9 lights through the drilled hole and the open part of the Lamp assembly.  Plug each light into the 9 holes through the back part of the "bowl" as pictured.  Secure each LED stem with a bit of putty and let them cure.  Glue the "light bowl" back onto the lamp assembly.  Take the piece of "glass" that you made with the vacuum former and glue it over assembly so it covers the lights.

Use a sponge and dab some Charadon Granite onto the rim of the glass to give it some grime and cover the seams.


Step 56: Chapter 7- Assembly 8: Visor

Picture of Chapter 7- Assembly 8: Visor

We come now to the end of the assembly and one of the trickiest parts (if only because it seems like it should be so easy); the Visor.  Begin by positioning a strip of clear plastic around the eye holes and trace a rough outline of the eyes with a marker.  Cut that shape out with an Xacto blade.  Be very careful not to leave any finger prints on the plastic if you can help it since the plastic smudges easily.

Cut a piece of automotive tinting film about the size of your visor plastic.  Peel away the back side of the film that you expose the adhesive and carefully apply it to the visor plastic.  Make sure there is no dust or dirt on the visor plastic and work carefully to insure that no air bubbles are trapped under the tinting film.  This can be a real pain and requires a lot of practice.  I've ruined at least 4 visors trying to get it right.

Once this is done you can super glue the visor to the inside of the helmet. 
Do not however apply glue to the side that has the tinting film. 

Step 57: Chapter 7- Assembly 9: Fallout

Picture of Chapter 7- Assembly 9: Fallout

Now that you've assembled your helmet, it might be a good idea to add one last little accent that really ties it all together and what else better than fallout?  You probably don't have any fallout (I know I couldn't lay my hands on any) but you can use wood or paper instead.  Make sure you mask of the visor with some painters tape before you go throwing ash all over the place.

I used some wood ash from my patio fire pit and sprinkled it onto the helmet with a can used for confectioner sugar.  It simulated fallout quite well.  Once it was on I blew it back off with a can of compressed air and used to a spray can of workable fixative to keep the traces of ash that remained.  You really only want to keep the lightest dusting. 

Step 58: Chapter 7- Assembly 10: Document and Enjoy


You've just finished a big job and put in a lot of effort.  Don't settle for a cell phone picture or something that washes it out with a flash.  Beg, borrow, or steal a decent digital SLR and take some good shots.  Nothing makes me crazier than prop makers who knock themselves out building an amazing model and then only take lousy cell photos.  The pictures you post online are what 99.99% percent of the people who know what you are doing will see. Unless you wear it everywhere you go...which I wholeheartedly endorse.

Step 59: Chapter 8- Recycling Your Silicone

Picture of Chapter 8- Recycling Your Silicone


If you did in fact finish this build then you must know how expensive silicone can get.  Recycle it.  It will save you a ton of money in the future.  Invest in an electric meat grinder (because grinding silicone by hand really sucks) and use it to grind down your scrap.  You'll need to cut it up first with scissors or a knife so it won't jam your grinder.  You can mix the ground up rubber into the liquid silicone of another mix.  This is a great and cheap way to add volume to your molds.

Really enjoyed your post. Would like to learn more about how to use the file you provided and the software. I found both of them but am struggling how to make them work.

KingKefir2 months ago

This is awesome, thanks for sharing your excellent work with us.

elisecv2 months ago

It's absolutely amazing, I wish I had your skills!

ajmalok3 months ago
Man! You work is FU#$&%* PERFECT !!! almost cry when I saw...AHIUAEHSIEHaishE

Perfect, really...
jackmaster4 months ago
THIS IS AWESOME!!!!
Lucas T5 months ago
Hay Man, Amazing Work, Fallout 3 is my all time favorite game and i feel "required" to try my hand at crafting one of these things! I have gone through the tutorial and and added everything i think i will need for the project into my amazon cart and i guess my big concern is the amount! you never really specify on a what a good amount of a given material should be purchased. Is there any way you could add a list in the beginning of your guide with an approximate estimation on each material for one complete helmet!
Thanks for your time and work!
novelchip6 months ago
awesome work.
no no good work thank you
your link doesn't work
In this way, the body and the legs do I create?

We want to hear from you
Did you measure the circumference of the head in any way?
rchastain8 months ago
Do you think you can email me the helmet base if possible.
Xlanar11 months ago
I really like your design, but since I am on a mac, I have no way to acces the Pepakura PDO file you provided. Is there a way to convert it on a mac or are you able to upload a PDF version?

Anyway, keep up the good work.
agm8811 months ago
dude
freakin awsome
can i just buy one from you?
Wow! Some day, I'm going to make this and never take it off.
fretted1 year ago

bos_helmet.pdo

this is all i get it won't download like the file is gone !
poofrabbit1 year ago
Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween contest!!! Can’t wait to see if you win! Good luck!
TygrFr3d1 year ago
I absolutely love this mask! It's incredible how much detail you put into this.
oliver5201 year ago
Great Job, were you planning on ever seling one of these??
Ok Thanks. Like i said my helmet paper model is too flimsy and i guess i wont be able to do something with it. Its not looking like your model mine is more round. =/
what thickness of card stock did you use because i used a card stock that was too thin and now i have to re-do all the paper helmet model.

Thanks,

P.S.: Nice instructable :p
Josh Jay (author)  frankiboi891 year ago
I'm not sure which brand of card stock it was. I went to Fed Office/Kinkos and picked out a card stock from the selection they had the counter.
azreen1 year ago
Hi Josh,
It is Realllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
ROCKINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG G G G G GG G G

great job done man.
aokona1 year ago
Pretty awesome all we need now is a field to play LARP with.
Jayjlow1 year ago
Hey Josh! Your helmet is bad ass!! I wanted to take a look at the pepakura file so I can make a helmet for myself, but your link for the file is not working. I already took "dot" out of the URL but 4share.com is saying that the link is invalid or that "The file has been deleted because it was violating our Terms of user
Read more at." Can you upload the file to another source? like dropbox or something of that nature? THANKS!
Josh Jay (author)  Jayjlow1 year ago
Would it be better if I just email it to you later tonight when I get home from work?
You can send me a message at Instructables with your address.
You are a genius!
JoeMurphy1 year ago
great work. I don't make props, but this made me add it to my to do list!
polerix1 year ago
Amazing work and great tips! I don't game but iconic props like this are pure geek gold. Incredible details, and you kept me guessing about the fallout grunge until the end. Great! 10/10 would shoot at first sight again!
Josh,
I have never seen anything this impressive! The Force is obviously with you and you have many talents. Congratulations!
Josh Jay (author)  IconSpring6111 year ago
Fallout is probably my favorite universe in all of gaming so I really wanted to get this one right. Thanks again!
crispycat1 year ago
awesome tip! hope you win the contest!
+1vote
Josh Jay (author)  crispycat1 year ago
Thank You! That technique has saved me hundreds of dollars in the last 3 years.
tech dawg1 year ago
one question.....how long did it take you to right this ible' ?
Josh Jay (author)  tech dawg1 year ago
It took about 2 weeks in all. I already had a ton of documentation on Facebook that was more note-like in form. I had to rewrite it all into something more of an instructive narrative and make all of the diagrams in Photoshop.
wow thats a lot of work i congratulate you for being able to do something like this fantastic job!
Josh Jay (author)  tech dawg1 year ago
haha, thank you! I really wanted that Ms Pac Man table ;)
Outstanding!
breumer1 year ago
Congratulations!
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