Most of you have seen some of the super cool batman helmets for motorcyclists (Inspiration: Batman helmet - Helmet dawg), which look super sharp yet are quite expensive. Moreover for europeans shipping costs for such baby would equal to almost full price of the helmet itself, thus why not to make one on your own?
This instructable will guide you step by step on material needed to produce road worthy and aerodynamic batman helmet from scratch. You don't even need advanced skills, studio or proper workshop to make this one happen.
What you will need (or anything along the lines, I tried to make this on a strict budget in case experiment happens to be fruitless):
- Black full face motorcycle helmet (if EU it has to have a standard sticker on the back of it to be road worthy). Used: Shox fullface helmet for around £30
- Tinted visor. Used: Shox for around £12
- Bat 'ears' - parts of moto helmet kit which we will customise to fit the helmet shape later. You can 3D print these or buy sharp pieces of plastic and simply cut it out. Used: Motorcycle helmet fin kits for around £ 5 each (ebay it)
- Matte or any other colour paint. Used Plastikote for around £9
- Exacto knife, super sharp scissors or related cutting instruments
- Super glue
- Sanding paper
- Tape to prevent paint leaks
- Batman decals/stickers. These can be found anywhere for £1-2 each
- Bottle of flammable substance or general intoxication
Time: around 4-5 hours in total (two weekends)
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Step 1: Preparation
Prepare the helmet base itself. That includes taking off all the decals, making sure visor is detached to avoid any scratchings etc. In my particular case helmet came with printed on marks and not simple stickers/decals, which left me with only option of sanding it off.
Step 2: Batman 'ears'
This one is probably what really makes the helmet as batman as it can be. Moreover might take a while to find the correct fin kits (they are super rare, especially in Europe). In this particular case shark like fins which only come by one and should be fitted on very center top of the helmet were bought.
If you buy these you will need to sand them, cut with Exacto knife till they fit the curvature of the helmet. Believe me they are not flexible at all and take quite a bit of time to match perfectly with no gaps. Remember that we are trying to make as aerodynamic of a helmet as possible, thus try making the ears to create a natural curve extending backwards. This should add less resistance and should not rip your head off on high speeds (joke).
The most important part here is sanding, sanding and sanding till the right and consistent shape is created (for both ears). Try adding ears as you sand to check the progress, people sometimes don't feel how much sanding takes off and the process results in ruined materials. Once that done all what is left to do is to mark exact locations of ears to be fixed. Add some super glue and sand off any residue once it is fully dry.
Note: 3D printing enthusiasts out there would probably be able to print out the batman ears easily and then sand it and cover with primer paint cover.
Step 3: Preparing the Helmet for Painting and Knowing the Regulations
As you can see I did a bit of sloppy job adding too much glue, which resulted in glue flowing throw and burning marks in the plastic. Add just enough of it to stick the ears safely. Otherwise, just like in my case, sand off as much as possible.
Next step is to simply cover all sensitive spots with painting tape. Take your time on this one, for preparing the surfaces is probably the most important part in any painting job - ask any pro painter. As you can see I covered areas around visor, top and bottom face vent bits, and most importantly the sticker which signifies that helmet is safe and road-worthy, this for sure applies at least to UK/EU riders:
"All helmets worn on UK roads must either:
- meet British Standard BS 6658:1985 and carry the BSI Kitemarkmeet UNECE Regulation 22.05
- meet a European Economic Area member standard offering at least the same safety and protection as BS 6658:1985,
- and carry a mark equivalent to the BSI Kitemark"
Helmet is by far the only mandatory equipment required and being checked by road police. Don't dismiss it just because it's in a way or just does not look good enough. Some of standard stickers come as decals, others are printed on. I had the latter case thus it got covered by painting tape as well.
Step 4: Painting - the Fun Part
This is by far my favourite part in any project. Find a good ventilated place (back garden works best for me).
I'm using black matte plastikote spray. General rules are to shake well before spraying, to apply a few coats and let it dry for 20minutes in between. Be sure to spray it evenly.
Once paint coat is fully dry (after some hours depended on type of paint) and you are happy with an outcome, remove all the paint tape and do a happy dance.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
Lastly purely cosmetic elements...
Put on a tinted black visor if original helmet came with a transparent one (keep both and switch depended on time of a day. Do not drive with tinted at night time, ever). For some extra bat points add a decal or two on the front/back sides. Personally I fitted only batman beyond red sticker on the back of the helmet, trying to keep the whole body minimal and more mysterious.
If you are happy go ahead and test it out (i'll do it once sober).
Hope this instructable gave some new ideas and/or inspired you to do something related.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me, will be happy to help out!