Intro: Clone Trooper Mod
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,
Black matt paint
Yellows and white for toning
Big brush (10mm)
Small brush (2mm)
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! :)