Introduction: Iron Man Helmet

Ok basically i wanted to make an iron man helmet similar to the one from the new movie! so thats what i did, i tried to take as many pictures along the way as i could showing the details and the changes that i made, as i went through trial and error to get the shape and size right. i've used light weight air drying clay and car spray paints thats about it i think?

Step 1: Equipment

OK these are the things you will need:

EberhardFaber light weight air drying clay
Plaskti-kote super enamel 686 gold
Ford Jupiter red metalic spray paint
Clear lacquer
Craft knife
sand paper
wet and dry paper
A pair of old sunglasses
4 bright white LEDs (sold in car shops)
12v Battery

Step 2: Getting a Base Shape

ok i started this project with a casted version of my head that i made back when i was in school, but you could use a polystyrene head or a balloon or something.

If your going to make a cast of your head i would suggest asking a friend or two to help. fist off your going to need plaster bandages cut up into 2 inch sqaures. Have your friend cover your entire face with vaseline and either use clingfilm over your hair or a shower cap.
now get your friend to cover the whole of your head with about 3 to 4 layers of plaster bandages, leaving a gap over the top of your head from ear to ear so that you can get back out of it,
Once dry which takes about 20mins remove and then place both pieces together and join with more plaster bandages.

Once you have your basic head shape its time to start making a base for the helmet. i used plastercine to get a basic shape, extending the chin slightly and the forehead. all done by eye, i never had a template or measured anything, but you could try drawing out a template to help guide you.

Then i covered the whole thing with light weight air drying clay, and then waited for it to dry out before starting to shape it. I used light weight air drying clay in the past and found it very easy to mold and sand after it is dry, you can get a really smooth finish on it using wet and dry paper. but use the paper dry cause it shapes it easier.

Step 3: Cutting Out and Taking Shape

After letting the clay dry for a day i decided to start cutting out the eyes using just a normal craft knife and sanding it back using some course wet and dry paper to try getting the basic shape of the helmet.

I then took the helmet off the model head and realised that i had done the eyes the wrong shape so cut them a little more and shaped it again. the eyes were probably the worse part to try and get right and symetrical but in the end i think they look ok.
you could try using a template for the eyes draw them out on a piece of paper, then cut them out, put them on the clay where you want the eyes to be and cut around them with a craft knife. this way you get them lookin symetrical.

Step 4: Building It Up and Checking It Fits!

when the helmet has dried out you can slowly remove it from your head cast. check that it fits ok and then place back onto your head cast to prevent shrinking.

Step 5: Reshaping

After trying on the helmet i realised that the shape was slightly wrong and because of the light weight clay drying out the helmet was shrinking a little.
So i decided to put the helmet back onto the model head so it would keep its size, then i added some more clay to the top and the chin to try and get the shape right.
At this point its all about shaping and creating it the way you want it, so look at my example pictures and the way i added the clay. As the added parts dry out you can cut and sand to the desired shape and look.

Step 6: Detailing

after letting the helmet dry out for a few days i decided to start putting details in! instead of creating seperate parts for the ears i simply carved them into the base helmet which still looks ok. To make the round ears i drew round the bottom of a cup then used the craft knife to cut the detail in, making a smaller circle within the outer circle.

to make the mouth i simply cut a 1mm gap using a craft knife, then removed the excess clay. To cut the holes in the cheeks i used a ruler and cut a line from the mouth to 1cm away from the curve at the top of the cheek bone. The curved part was all done by eye but you could use templates to get them equal on both sides.

to get all the details into the mask i used the craft knife and cut the lines into it but not too deep and wiggled the knife to make the gaps a little wider.

To create the screw looking parts i simply used the end of a biro pen and as long as the helmet hasn't dried solid you should be able to push the end into it and leave a perminant dent that looks just like a screw.

Step 7: Spraying and Finishing?

The last step is to spray it up!

For the gold part i used gold enamel spray from halfords and for the red i used Jupiter red car spray paint.

first i sprayed the gold (about 5 layers) about ten mins in between layers once done leave to dry for about an hour or 2.

Mask off the gold area with masking tape and then spray about 5 layers of red, also this takes a little longer between coats about half hour so give yourself a day to do this! then leave for 24 hours.

once the red is lookin good and thick and shiny then remove the masking tape.

then spray coats of laquer all over both colours untill the gold and red are both looking shiny. leave to dry and then its ready to wear.

Step 8: Suit Preview

just some pics to show the rest of the suit i'm working on.

Step 9: Lighting Up the Eyes

to make your iron man helmet look even more impressive you can add lights to the eyes, to start your going to put two sunglass lenses inside. I've chosen a light blue faded pair of lenses that i got from a pair of cheap glasses from a market stall, but you can use what ever colour you want. you need to stick these to the inside of the mask with the lighter part of the lense showing, so they don't look too blue. I chose to do this with super glue but you could do it with a glue gun.

then add two LED's either side of the eye, i used super glue to put these in too but you could also use a glue gun on these aswell. next add a switch to the cables and hook up the 12v battery then you should have glowing eyes!

hope you enjoying this instructable!

Step 10: Other Masks

here are some pictures of other masks that i made in the same way but didn't document, but used the same technique!

Let It Glow!

Finalist in the
Let It Glow!

The Instructables Book Contest

First Prize in the
The Instructables Book Contest