Over the summer, I was turned on to some of the most excellent, and varied music group's I have ever heard; Daft Punk.
With their hidden identities, which basically launched their world-wide success in the music business, many have attempted to re-create Thomas Bangalter's and Guy-Manuel's uber-sweet looking helmets.
Starting in early August 2008, I went out and searched teh_intarwebz far and wide for instructions on how to make one. No such luck. However I did find a Pepakura File of both Guy's and Thomas' helmets. Along with some fan-created helmets. I found it, I found my 'End-of-Summer-To-Late-Fall' project.
Step 1: Pepakura Viewer
I downloaded the files for Thomas' helmet first. After seeing that his looked way easier than Thomas' I went with the intent of re-creating his helmet.
I have made Thomas' helmet, but if you are looking for a challenge, use some of the tips from this instructable to make Thomas' helmet.
First, you will want to download Pepakura Viewer, which is a program that lets you view paper craft items that other users have made.
Once you have downloaded Pepakura Viewer, download Thomas' helmet, here. I didn't build the full helmet, as I knew ahead of time that my head was too big for the paper version. So I improvised, and used a hard-hat as my base, and attached the front of the paper helmet to it with masking tape. I'm sorry that I don't have any build pictures of the paper helmet face part. When cutting out the shapes, each edge has a number, which you tape/glue/attach to the corresponding number.
Step 2: Start Building!
I suggest having a smooth base to start with, I chose a hard-hat, but a baseball helmet would work great! Once I had assembled the front of Guy's helmet, I used masking tape to attach it to the hard-hat. I figured to cover the whole paper front in masking tape for extra rigidity. I cut a soda can in half for the 'ears' of the helmet. They were the hardest to position, as I wanted them as parallel to each other as possible, and held them in place with masking tape.
I used a bit of paper mache to make a shell of sorts, and covered the whole helmet in paper mache. Since it takes about 24 hours for it to completely dry, I decided against it, and changed to using bondo, or body filler.
Once all was taped up and secure, I went ahead and applied a healthy amount of bondo to the front of the mask, to the helmet. When working with bondo, you have a set amount of time before the bondo starts to harden. I usually apply a golf-ball size glob of goop, and a small squirt of the hardening agent to the mass, and mix and apply with an old credit card.
This process takes a long time, but the more time spent doing smooth, uniform strokes, the less time sanding. I wish I would have known that earlier...
Step 3: Sanding/Cutting/Shaping
I looked at many different images of Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter, and his helmet, after a few guesstimates, I had drawn out where the visor would be positioned. It took about 2 hours to cut the hole for the visor, as I applied a wicked amount of bondo to the area..
As I mentioned in the previous step, the more time spent on the bondo-ing process, the less time is needed for sanding. Some people like to sand, I, am not one of those people. First I used my Dremel, with a sanding bit, and went around all the rough edges. I used a 30 grit sanding block to do most of the bulk sanding, shaping, forming, etc. After I did that, I used a 60 grit to smooth the bondo out, and make sure I have a uniform surface. For final sanding touches, I went over the whole helmet with a 180 grit sanding block.
The whole sanding process can be from 5 to a Bajillion hours, depending how much time you have..
Again, I wish I had known this earlier..
Step 4: Painting, and More Sanding, Visor
I gave the helmet a few coats of white primer before adding the chrome-ish finish. While painting, some blemishes that were nowhere to be seen while sanding will arise, at this time you can add a small dab of bondo, and sand smooth. The helmet won't be mirrored as much as Guy's real helmet is, but it will give you a good taste of what it is.
I bought a face shield from my local hardware store, and cut the shape of a visor out of it. This process was strictly trial and error. Once I had a good shape, I put automobile window tint on it, to archive a darker look. I used hot glue to 'tack' the visor into the helmet, and used bondo to make a flush seal along the outer edge of the visor.
Step 5: Inside the Helmet!
I used a bit of 1/2 inch foam applied to the inside of the helmet, and lined it with dark fabric. I wore a crisp white button-up shirt, under a black blazer with some black gloves to complete the look.
If I had more time to work on my costume, and some more electrical sence, I would have definitely added some EL wire to my costume for legitimacy. I hope you liked the instructable, watch out for next year when I tackle Guy-Manuel's helmet! :O
***I know I don't have any pictures, I will have some up tomorrow. I need to get them off a friends camera so I can add them here, I am only publishing the instructable so I can enter the Halloween Contest!***