Star-Lord Helmet

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Introduction: Star-Lord Helmet

In this tutorial I will be showing you how to make a Star-Lord helmet from Guardians of the Galaxy using a pre-existing pepakura template (see step 1).

I encourage you to play with different techniques in this process.

This helmet is not meant to be 100% movie accurate.

Tools

  • Hot glue gun
  • Cutting board
  • Mat Knife
  • Small Putty Knife
  • Small Paint Brush
  • Hair Dryer (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

Materials

  • Thick Cardboard (shipping box)
  • Thin Cardboard (cereal box)
  • 1/4" Eva Foam
  • 1/16" Eva Foam
  • Paper Towel
  • Wallpaper Paste
  • 12 Gage Wire
  • Cardstock
  • Spot Putty
  • Mat Card
  • Filler Primer
  • Dark Steel Spray Paint (Rustoleum)
  • Gold Spray Paint (Krylon)
  • Silver Model Paint (Testors)
  • Flexible Plastic Straws (bendy straws)
  • 3/8" Dowel
  • Red Lighting Gel or Red Lenses
  • Spray Adhesive

Step 1: Source Material, Template and Print Settings

Source Material

Before moving to the template it is important to grab some images from the internet to better understand what the helmet looks like outside of the template.

Template

I have attached the template I used for my build.

I did not create this template and have used it as a guide. I picked up this specific template from JFcustom on www.therpf.com

Print Settings and Adjustments

Once the template is downloaded you will need to print it. The file size is larger than a standard printer page, using the poster setting on your printer will solve this problem.

The circumference of my head is 22 1/2" (570mm) and printing the template at 100% made a snug, but perfect fit. If you head is bigger/smaller than 22 1/2" (570mm) you can use this formula to determine what percentage your print size should be.

100 x (your head measurement in mm) = Value

Then...

Value/570mm = Print percentage

For example...

If you have a 600mm circumference your print percentage would be 105%

Once the template is printed you will need to tape or glue the seams together before you cut out your pieces.

*** As you build try on your helmet to ensure that it fits!

Step 2: Tracing and Preliminary Build

Helmet Shell

Before you begin remember that if you see a - - - - - - line on the template that indicates a mountain fold. A -- - -- - -- line indicates a valley fold. The best way to utilize these folds is to score them with a knife in the direction the fold will be.

Trace the template onto thick cardboard (an old shipping box will be sufficient) and use either a mat knife or scissors to cut each of the pieces out. Using hot glue and tape piece the helmet together leaving out the ears and brow portions of the mask. Once the shell of the helmet is complete test the fit on your head. If the helmet is too big trim the back pieces, if it is too small add cardboard spacers in the back. It is easiest to make both of these adjustments in the back. Once the shell was complete attach a 1/4" strip around the top edge of the helmet.

*** I used eva foam to reinforce a number of my helmet connections. This is optional and can be substituted with cardboard or tape.

Helmet Ears

Trace the ear template on to mat card and mount them onto 1/4" eva foam. To attach the ear cut a piece of cardboard that is slightly bigger than the mat card and attach to the inside of the helmet.

Helmet Brow

Trace the brow template onto 1/4" eva foam and cut it out. The brow and the side burn pieces should be separated. Test the brow to see if it fits and trim the edge to round it before hot glueing it down.

Step 3: Vents and Paper Maché

Paper Maché

Before attaching the tube vents to the helmet, paper maché the entire helmet with wallpaper paste and paper towel. Be sure to make the maché sit as close to the helmet as possible being careful to saturate the paper towel with wallpaper paste using a brush. Once this is dry connect the tubes to the helmet and the tubes to the vent connection with the flexible part of a drinking straw. *** I use wallpaper paste instead of a PVA or wood glue/water solution because it is more flexible.

Vent Pannel

Before attaching the vents the mouth piece needs to be solidified. Using paper towel and wall paper paste, paper maché the front portion of the mask. Once the maché is dry attach the vent pieces with hot glue.

Vent Connection

Build the front portion of the vent out of the thinner eva foam.

Helmet Tube Vents

*** I chose to not use the vent templates for my helmet build. I felt they were too small and decided to make the large vents 1 1/4" in diameter and the smaller vents 1".

To make the vents I cut two 1 1/4" diameter circles and two 1" circles out of thick cardboard. Using the circles as caps wrap the circles in the thinner cardboard to make a four tubes in total (two big and two small). Wrap the tubes in the thinner eva foam attaching them with spray adhesive to smooth them out.

Step 4: Primer, Panels, Eyes and Filler

Primer

I primed the helmet using a Rustoleum fill primer. This primer gets into all of the scratches and imperfections and builds up. This eliminate a lot of the sanding I had to do. When the maché is dry coat the helmet in two coats of primer.

Helmet Panels

The paper maché greatly alters the panels on the helmet making them less distinct, the primer will highlight this. The solution is to put new panels on top of the old ones.

The panels can be made from cardstock or thin cardboard and can be made from the same helmet shell templates. You will have to trim these new pieces to get as close a fit as possible. Before attaching the panels make sure to do a preliminary sand of the whole helmet.

Attach these panels with hot glue and paper maché the edges. The edges will be cleaned up with filler, primer and more sanding.

Primer, Filler and Sanding

Once the panels are attached coat the helmet in primer. When the primer dries you will be able to see and imperfections on the helmet. Using thin layers of spot putty cover any imperfections. Once the putty is dry sand the areas with heavy to fine sandpaper, prime and repeat as necessary.

Eyes

Once the panels are attached the eyes of the helmet can be attached. They are made from the thin cardboard and are attached with hot glue.

Step 5: Side Pieces and Connection Tubes

Side Pieces

The side pieces are made from flexible drinking straws. Use the lines on the straw to cut it in half. Cut the flexible part of the straw in a triangle shape and put the two flexible ends together using hot glue. Evenly space the side pieces on the helmet and coat them in primer.

Connection Tubes

The connection tubes are also made of flexible drinking straws. The connection between the ventilation tubes was made by cutting 1" length of 3/8" dowel at 45 degrees. Once these components are attached coat them in primer.

Step 6: Stripes, Front Tube and Details

Side and Back Stripes

The stripes are made from the thinner eva foam and are attached E6000 and then coated with primer.

*** I chose to use E6000 over hot glue because the adhesive was not sticking to the primer.

Front Tube

The tubes in the front of the mask are made from 12 gage electrical wire. following the edge of the mask bend the wire to fit. When the wire is the correct shape and size wrap card stock around the top end making it thicker. Hot glue this piece in place.

Details

Using Eva Foam cardstock and bits of lighter weight card create the details of the helmet. These details will give the helmet more visual impact.

Step 7: Paint

Paint

I decided to paint the helmet in a backwards order.

Once the helmet is primed spray the entire helmet gold. Using painters tape cover the pieces by the eyes and cheeks that would remain the gold colour. Once dry spray the helmet with dark steel coloured paint. Remove the tape once everything has completely dried.

Outline the stripe portions on the sides and back in tape, covering the remainder of the helmet in newspaper. Spray the strips with gold and remove the tape when the paint is dry.

The final step is to take silver model paint (for model cars etc...) and use a small brush to paint in the silver details.

Step 8: Lenses

Lenses (lighting gel version)

I had some red lighting gel (Rosco colour R26) that I cut into small circles and hot glued on the inside of the helmet. Working in theatre gives me access to this material at little to no cost. I would suggest if you can't find red gel to use red tinted sunglass lenses instead.

Lenses (Sunglass version)

I found a pair of red round sunglasses today and I thought I would try to use them instead.

Take the lenses out of the sunglass frames and lay the lense on a table making sure the curve of the concave is upright. Cover the front and back of the lenses with painters tape to protect the lense. Use the old gel lense as a template and trace the shape onto the tape.

Using a disk sander slowly shape the lense. Test the fit of the lenses until you are satisfied with how they look. Remove the tape and glue the lenses in with E6000, making sure to keep the glue off the visible part of the lense.

*** I prefer the sunglass version. They are brighter and clearer.

Step 9: The Finished Product

Once the lenses are in, your Star-Lord helmet is complete!

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Participated in the
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2 People Made This Project!

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83 Comments

0
alfredomerida6937
alfredomerida6937

3 months ago on Step 9

Hello! It's me again with yet another stupid question. I stress again that it truly is my very first time doing anything at all like this so I'm definitely taking my time to make it as good as it can possibly be (progress is incredibly slow for this reason but I'm proud of how it's turning out), so I had some questions regarding the primer and the paint. I repeat that I know this may be very stupid but I just want to know what I'm doing: so I'm finally adding the cardstock panels post-paper mache, and when I finish that then of course it's on to priming the helmet and eventually painting. As I'm adding these panels, there's of course little crevices and lines here and there that are supposed to be there such as all the gaps in between the grills in the mouth area. And Im just wondering if there's a risk, primarily with the primer since we're using it as a filler but I also would like to know for the paint, that using these sprays would fill in these lines and crevices and if there is then what is the most recommended method of applying these sprays?

0
designsbyleon
designsbyleon

Reply 3 months ago

You want to avoid two things if you are worried about erasing fine details with spray paint.

1. Applying too many coats. Spray paint does add thickness to an object and that is multiplied by how many coats you put on. You would need to apply a ridiculous amount of spray paint for this to happen.

2. Spraying too close to the object. The paint can ‘puddle’ which can muddle details.

In terms of actual spray procedure I would just follow the directions on the spray can. Make sure you shake the can really well and lots of light coats are always better than a few thick coats.

0
alfredomerida6937
alfredomerida6937

Question 3 months ago on Step 2

I sure hope this can be answered, i know im over 6 years too late to the party lol, but i was wondering how exactly you made the brow. i see from your images that you used foam and you achieved ( at least as it looks in the pictures) a sort of curve effect above and below the blue foam. I hope that makes sense how i described it and if it does i was wondering how it is you achieved that effect since as of right now i only have a fully flatly surfaced foam brow, thank you

0
designsbyleon
designsbyleon

Answer 3 months ago

Hey!

The brow is a combination of a few things.

1. The main layer is essentially 1/2” EVA foam that I carved with scissors. 6+ years later I would recommend using a deremel or rotary tool for a more consistent finish. I just eyeballed the shape I made... I believe I attempted this piece 2 or 3 times before I was happy with it.

2. Because the foam wasn’t 100% smooth I sealed the foam with some wood glue and then did a layer of paper mache on top.

3. I used spot filler to smooth out anything inconsistencies.

Hope this helps!

0
alfredomerida6937
alfredomerida6937

Reply 3 months ago

yes, i cant believe you actually answered hahaha! it actually does thanks so much!

0
alfredomerida6937
alfredomerida6937

Reply 3 months ago

im barely starting the paper mache, but i want to have things as clear as possible so i dont screw up when its harder to correct later down the line so i wanted to ask just a couple more questions if at all possible:
1) This one might be kind of stupid lol but as i said i just want to know exactly what im doing, this is the first time ive ever done something like this lol. But i noticed in this page and also the pdf of instructions, the paper mache step is mentioned twice in a way; first it is stated that "before attaching the vents, the mouthpiece needs to be solidified". what exactly do you mean by the mouthpiece? does it refer to the row of grills on the mouth area, or is it referring to piece #11? and (this is the stupid question lol) since in the instructions its said to paper mache the "front portion of the mask" AND in another part its stated "before attaching the tube vents paper mache the whole helmet" does that mean we have to paper mache the mouth area (the "front portion") twice or just to paper mache the whole helmet once (I know we're supposed to do more paper mache later on for details and such but im referring to the first time we're supposed to paper mache the whole helmet)?

2) i saw below in this comment thread someone asked about piece #11 and how yours looks different (more similar to the source material) to how it comes out with the template. I too am having that issue. I've freelanced a bit of the steps thus far to adapt some stuff and make them look a certain way so if it comes down to it i think i can figure something out for this piece, but if theres anything you did that could help i would greatly appreciate it :)

0
designsbyleon
designsbyleon

Reply 3 months ago

Definitley should think about going over this instructable and seeing if I can make the instructions clearer overall, maybe even make a 2021 version of the helmet. If I had the original I would be attaching reference photos to these responses.

1. I believe what I meant by ‘mouth piece’ was the grill area - plus everything in the general ‘mouth area’. I papier-mâchéd everything to stiffen up the cardboard and glue seams. You should try to make things as smooth as possible in this step, but the thin card you put on top redefines the details lost in the papier-mâché. The mâché is just giving you a good and solid base to then add details.

2. I believe I ended up making piece #11 out of 3mm EVA foam. You can probably go the cardboard route, I just found the material was less than ideal for that one detail.

If I could go back in time I would have probably made the whole thing out of EVA foam. I’ve learned a lot about the material since then and it would have probably saved me a lot of time and headaches.

Hope this helps.

0
alfredomerida6937
alfredomerida6937

Reply 3 months ago

indeed it does thanks again!

0
designsbyleon
designsbyleon

Reply 3 months ago

Always here to help.

0
mo.nicholas
mo.nicholas

4 years ago

can you do it without the paper mache? Or go into more depth please.

0
designsbyleon
designsbyleon

Reply 4 years ago

You could just use cardboard. I used the mache to firm up the piece and act as a better base for for filling and smoothing out the helmet. I also find it evens out irregularities.

0
KillaHydra
KillaHydra

4 years ago

im just wondering how did you get the paper mache so smooth as im having trouble

0
designsbyleon
designsbyleon

Reply 4 years ago

I actually put very thin cardboard/foam over the paper mache parts. I used spot filler (a bondo product) on the brow to get it smooth. You can do this will the other parts if you don't want to use the cardboard method.

0
theREDsniper
theREDsniper

4 years ago

Very Nice! I am going to comic con in september, and I am wanting to go as star lord, so I think I am going to try to build this. It is one of the best tutorials I have found, and I am excited to see if I can get mine to look as good as yours! Just one question though; where did you get the eva foam from, and how much did it cost? I have been having a hard time finding any.

0
designsbyleon
designsbyleon

Reply 4 years ago

Thanks for the compliment!

I get all of my foam from craft stores, specifically Michaels in Canada. If you are really stuck you can always check out TNT Costume Supply online: http://tntcosplaysupply.com/index.html

Hope this helps!

0
justind147
justind147

4 years ago

how much did this all cost?

0
designsbyleon
designsbyleon

Reply 4 years ago

The spray paint was actually the most expensive part. I mostly used recycled cardboard.

If I had to crunch the numbers I would say it didn't cost more than $50.

0
JoeF43
JoeF43

5 years ago

nice