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

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.

<p>This is Awesome!</p>
<p>Unless I am doing something wrong it appears that the PEP file is no longer available on 4Shared.</p>
<p>Nevermind. I located it. Once you hit the small Download button (Small white/gray button) You have to hit the &quot;Free Download button on the next page to start the countdown. After the countdown the file will download.</p>
<p>Awesome, it makes me wonder how much a real stainless steel casting would set me back. You made such quality moldings ... at least it looks to me that way.</p>
You are flipping amazing!
<p>I'm building my own helmet at the moment - the mould lol i dont have the money neither access to some of the products. I cant for the life of me find the big rubber tubes you used on yours. Could you please tell me what tubes you used and maybe where you got it from? thanks :)</p>
<p>it almost gives you the idea of the gaiters on a motorcycle however thats very expensive and far too short. I'm close to surrendering and using pool piping but it struggles to get the bend and look i need. some rubber ducting pipes are similar to yours and gets a better bend than pool pipes maybe i can find some off-cuts somewhere.</p>
<p>I know this post is 10 months old but I had the same issue. What you want to find are WW2 Czech gas masks, also labeled under ww2 russian gas masks. They also sell the hoses themselves on Ebay from time to time but the cost is similar to just buying the whole WW2 mask, expect to pay around $10-20 a hose.</p>
Hey thanks for sharing the pep model you created. This is the first of several fallout props of plan to make. Next on my list I'd planning the tesla armor patterns. I'm a bit of a larger guy so modifying the model into wearable patterns is going to be a challenge.
Can you please email me at billyjbrixey@Gmail.com
<p>Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to post your work! You saved me a ton of grief on my build! Here is to Fallout 4....</p>
<p>Make another one and sell it to me! I'll work up the money! How much to you want for it????</p>
<p>DAMN the Russians!</p>
<p>how to scale prepakura model to my head dimension ?</p>
So beautiful. So wonderful.
<p>Really enjoyed your post. Would like to learn more about how to use the file you provided and the software. I found both of them but am struggling how to make them work. </p>
<p>This is awesome, thanks for sharing your excellent work with us.</p>
<p>It's absolutely amazing, I wish I had your skills!</p>
Man! You work is FU#$&amp;%* PERFECT !!! almost cry when I saw...AHIUAEHSIEHaishE <br> <br>Perfect, really...
That is soo bad ass man
Hay Man, Amazing Work, Fallout 3 is my all time favorite game and i feel &quot;required&quot; 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! <br>Thanks for your time and work!
awesome work. <br>
no no good work thank you
your link doesn't work
In this way, the body and the legs do I create? <br> <br>We want to hear from you
Did you measure the circumference of the head in any way?
Do you think you can email me the helmet base if possible.
dude <br>freakin awsome
can i just buy one from you?
Wow! Some day, I'm going to make this and never take it off.
<br>bos_helmet.pdo <br> <br>this is all i get it won't download like the file is gone !
Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween contest!!! Can&rsquo;t wait to see if you win! Good luck!
I absolutely love this mask! It's incredible how much detail you put into this.
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. <br> <br>Thanks, <br> <br>P.S.: Nice instructable :p
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.
Hi Josh, <br>It is Realllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy <br>ROCKINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG G G G G GG G G <br> <br>great job done man. <br>
Pretty awesome all we need now is a field to play LARP with.
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 &quot;dot&quot; out of the URL but 4share.com is saying that the link is invalid or that &quot;The file has been deleted because it was violating our Terms of user <br>Read more at.&quot; Can you upload the file to another source? like dropbox or something of that nature? THANKS!
Would it be better if I just email it to you later tonight when I get home from work? <br>You can send me a message at Instructables with your address.
You are a genius!
great work. I don't make props, but this made me add it to my to do list!
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, <br>I have never seen anything this impressive! The Force is obviously with you and you have many talents. Congratulations!
Fallout is probably my favorite universe in all of gaming so I really wanted to get this one right. Thanks again!
awesome tip! hope you win the contest! <br>+1vote

About This Instructable


818 favorites


Bio: I am a video game environment designer by day. I am a prop builder by night.
More by Josh Jay: The "Highwayman Inn" (from Sketchup and 3DS to Reality) The Engagement Box (from 3DS and ZBrush to Reality) Fallout 3- Brotherhood of Steel Helmet
Add instructable to: