Clone Trooper Mod

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im a fixer,hacker,maker and shaker

Intro: Clone Trooper Mod

Hello!
If you know my work you know I do a lot of lids, if not welcome! In this instructable I'll show you how to mod a cheap Star Wars clone trooper helmet to make on more screen accurate and pleasing to have,

Normally I would make a helmet from scratch but I've not had a lot of time lately and was itching to do something, anything to keep my creative juices flowing,
Being a big Star Wars fan I'm always on the look out for bit and bobs retailed to Star Wars, I found this plastic cheap helmet on eBay , it was cheap (about £10 or $15 ish) so I thought why not! There's lots on there so if you feel you want to do this mod you'll have no problem getting your hands on one, anyways on with the mod!

Step 1: The First Step

As you can see there's many joins and bits to the lid, but the main thing is that big stupid ugly visor, I guess as a toy they have to make sure they don't restrict vision, this needs sorting if I want it to look more realistic,
The first thing I did was to strip the helmet down, pull out the electric voice thing( I choice not to use this but if you want to put it Back in it shouldn't be to hard,) and get the front from the helmet ready to change the visor first, I plan on cutting out the inside of the lid so I can put it back together without the visor in, so I can work on the helmet and put it back in at a later date, as in the picture I've marked what I need to cut off it make that work.

Step 2: Starting the Mooooood

So I got the front off and started on the mod, now, after some research I found out you can get a template you can print out and use, I didn't do this but you might want too, ( I found it to late! ) also I found out the hard way that bondo doesn't like to stick to plastic very well,
Anyways the first thing I did was tape card to the inside where the visor would be and draw the line I wanted, then slap a load of bondo in that gap as neat as possible, it doesn't have to be perfect but close is better, take it up to your line, now, sand the lip of the plastic first, it'll help a bit,
When it's dry, it's sanding time, ( I also put duct tape behind the bondo just to give it a bit more support while I was ragging it about sanding )
Once it was somewhere close, I used a finer bondo along the edges

Step 3: Reassemble Assembled Assembly

Once I had the visor somewhere close, I reassembled the helmet with the newly cut out inside ( for the visor later) and glued and taped ( on the inside) all the joins, I just used duct tape again on the inside( again just to help it while I sand later) as well as all the original screws etc, for the joins I sanded them before putting them back together then I used a good super glue filling all the joins as best I could,
Once everything was dry it was bondo time again, as with the front, slap it into the joins and gaps and let it go off, then a butt load of sanding then a finer bondo for edges of the other bondo and any little imperfections, sand and repeat as many times as needed

Step 4: Primer

Sand sand sand sand sand! Do your best sanding ever here, because it'll make the final out come look much better, done sanding? Right let's primer!

Thin coats of a plastic friendly primer, I think I did 3 coats in all, sanding in between with a fine grit paper

Step 5: Yup, More Sanding!

As you can see in the picture if you look close you can see where the bondo meets and some scratches from the sand paper, time to fix this with fine bondo stuff and more sanding!


That's looking better!!

Step 6: Time to Paint!

Well done you've made it through the bondo and sanding! It's all primed and ready for paint!
This is really up to you what and how you want to paint it up, I'll show you the way I did it and you can copy that or modify it to suit you!
The first thing I did was 4 coats of a steel silver spray, ( THIN COATS! More coats of thin is better than a few heavy coats! You get less drips and clumping)

( also I did a test fit on the visor to make sure it still fit! )

Step 7: Paint and Tips!

Once the steel silver has cured, it's time to start base coating the while,
Now if like me you like stuff to look used or battle damaged, here's a little tip for you, instead of masking off random shapes with tape before painting the white, use Vasaline instead, it's easy to apply and you can make some good random shapes that look more natural than tape,also try and think where the chips and bits of paint would be most damaged,like on edges and stuff like that.
When the paint is fully dry,( give it a few coats like the silver, thin and more is better than thick and clumpy) clean off the Vasaline with a damp cloth, and you should have something like the last picture!

Step 8: Paint Ting!

Looking good, now it's up to you if you want your lid to have a colour like in the clone wars or be a basic trooper, I googled a few different images and decided I was gonna go with a blue stripe kind of like captain Rex's lid but a bit different, there's loads of choice or just make up your own like I did,

To get the stripe I masked off most of the helmet with masking tape, leaving a small bit on the front and around the eyes and across the fun, where I had taped it off some of the silver was showing so I re did the Vasaline trick and set about my blue spray can! Once it's all dry, clean off again.

Step 9: Weathering,

All paint is dry, large cuppa and headphones on, that's how I roll when weathering,
I use:-
Black matt paint
Brown enamel
Yellows and white for toning
Big brush (10mm)
Small brush (2mm)
Rags
Thinners

Paint on the black and then rub in to the corners and wipe off as much as you want, I then use thinners to even it out a bit, just a dab on a rag and wipe it in, then off, keep going till you've been round the full helmet!

Step 10: Finished!

Once your happy with your weathering, let it all dry, then a few coats of clear coat and your done!
Screw in the visor in the newly easer gap ( don't do what I did and tightened it to much and crack the bondo, but it's a five minute fix if you do. Haha!)
Thanks for having a look, good luck with your projects!

Any questions or comments please feel free!

Later maker! :)

3 People Made This Project!

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45 Discussions

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revan546

1 year ago

Can you go into more detail about what you did on Step 2? I'm a little confused, you line where the visor should be with card stock, and then put Bondo over it in the shape you want? What happens to the rest of the card stock? Does the Bondo stay in place? Thanks!

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matson23revan546

Reply 1 year ago

Hi,
Yeah this was a long time ago so I think what I did was:
Stick card on the inside with tape, so you can draw your new line.
Then bondo up to that line, maybe just a touch over so you can sand it back smooth
The card can be removed if you want, but I've done a few now and I find if you glue in some support on the inside before the card it helps, maybe a lolly pop stick on each side or something along them lines, just to help it stay on when the bondo drys,
Anyways then when it's dry sand it smooth to match the helmet, then go onto step 3 ?

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revan546matson23

Reply 1 year ago

Gotcha, good idea with the lolly pop stick supports. Thanks for the reply!!

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mcatnova

2 years ago

Would love to try this just found ome of these at a garage sale. Where would i look for the template, what brand of bondo and plastic friendly spraypaint do you recommend, and are there certain joints i shouldnt bondo?

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mcatnovamcatnova

Reply 2 years ago

Oh and lastly, how did you get the blackend aged look?

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mcatnovamcatnova

Reply 2 years ago

Disregard last message... I am sometimes a blind rat lol

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ZRS2001

3 years ago

Where can you print the templates if you did find some

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SlapY

3 years ago

I'm new to this stuff so don't really know what to do just yet

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SlapY

3 years ago

I just got this helmet and took it apart got the voice changer out,can I use cardboard for the visor part or no kinda low on funds

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matson23BenKenobi98

Reply 3 years ago

Stuff like the bondo and sandpaper paints and thing like that? Hardware store, diy stores, anywhere that sells tools should have some sandpaper and fillers etc

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jupton2

4 years ago

Okay so I've started but I've gone and mucked it up pretty badly. The filler I used is horrible to work with and I've realised that a couple of details I smoothed out with filler are in fact needed. any advice? :(

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matson23jupton2

Reply 4 years ago

Well you could try pulling it all off and starting again, or sanding it off with a dremel tool and redo the bondo, it's hard to say without seeing it to be honest, chances are the bondo should scrape off with a bit of elbow grease, which bit have you covered the detail you need?

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jupton2

4 years ago

finally got my hands on the plastic helmet base. found it on eBay, turns out its a guy down my street selling it! Gonna do mine Old Republic style, so bit of work to do on the mouth and fin thingy first

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reddevved

4 years ago on Step 10

It looks great but in my own opinion there is a little too much black weathering, kinda looks unnatural to me.

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matson23reddevved

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Agreed, well kind of, I don't mind the black weathering, it was the silver bits that bothered me, it's been repainted since this instructable, but using the same methods, a lot less is a lot more :)

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i've done similar to this, i can't afford the bondo so i used electrical tape.

White Clone Helmet 1.jpg2014-01-16 17.59.17.jpg