I have always wanted to start building items, but never had enough equipment to start. After a bit of research into the matter i found out that a deadmau5 helmet was fairly easy to build with limited equipment.
Now i am going to show how you can make your own Disco Deadmau5 helmet.
Step 1: Materials
For this project you are going to need to get a hold of these materials.
For the Helmet
- 12-14 inch mirror ball. Mine is the 30cm(12 inch) one from here http://www.maplin.co.uk/mirror-balls-28576 .
- A 4 inch(10cm) plastic ball split in half http://www.craftwiseonline.co.uk/plastball-split-10cm-p-25453.html .
- Some sort of rigid foam. I used polystyrene insulation. http://www.diy.com/nav/build/insulation/constructional-insulation/insulation_boards/Jablite-Premium-Universal-Insulation-Board-Grey-10647758?skuId=11138400
- A Hard hat. Can just be a very cheap one. Mine was like £5 from amazon .
- Aluminium diamond mesh for the mouth.
- Black fabric for the ears. a black velvet 4-way stretch is a good one to go for.http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Black-velvet-velour-4-way-stretch-spandex-lycra-131TK-/400320950072?pt=UK_Crafts_Fabric_Textiles_SM&hash=item5d34fcef38 .
- White shear fabric to cover the mouth. You must be able to see through it.
- White fabric for the eyes.
- steel threaded rods.
- wingnuts matching the threaded rods.
- spray glue
For the electronics
- Battery box. i used a 3 AA battery box.
- Wire around 2m of it
- 2 white Leds. You can use more but i thought 2 was enough
- suitable resistors. I used http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz for help
- shrinkwrap or electrical tape
- on-off switch
- The main one to use is the dremel with a cutting wheel.
- masking tape.
- soldering iron and solder.
- knife. stanley blade is fine.
- hot glue gun
- Eye protection like goggles
- a Dust mask.
These are the materials i used for the project. As it was my first real project i found out that some materials were not the best one to use so i am going to tell you all of the thoughts i had about changes for the materials. These changes have not been tested but should be better materials to use as i ran into a number of problems during the build.
- the polystyrene insulation melts from the spray glue to hold the fabric so foam board may be a better alternative.
- the white fabric for the eyes is hard to bend to the curve of the plastic balls so maybe a white lycra or spray frosting would work better.
Any new ideas I or anyone else has will be added.
Step 2: Measuring Up
Once you have the mirror ball, it is time to start marking out the cuts. Using the pictures as a guide mark out a circle using the edges of the masking tape. Keeping note that a lot of it is personal preference such as the size of the head hole. And also the sizes here are for a 14" helmet and the mirror ball i got was 12".
Some advice here is to put the masking tape on the side of the cut which is going to stay as part of the helmet. that way the glas you are cutting through is less likely to break.
Once the lines are marked it is time to start cutting.
Step 3: Cutting
For this part the Eye protection and the dust mask is essential, glass dust is extremely harmful. Don't say i didn't warn you.
Using the dremel with a cutting wheel (I used some diamond cutting wheels i bought cheap off of amazon makes it much easier) start to follow the tape marks as carefully as possible.
As you can see i used see through tape to mark the lines which wasn't very smart but if you use masking tape it should make it easier.
when removing the masking tape after cutting be careful that some of the mirrors don't fall off. If they do just put a little glue on the back and put them back. You might want to keep the pieces you cut off in case you loose some mirrors and need spares. And defiantly keep the mouth piece as you'll need that later.
To drill the holes for the rods from the ears you just mark out where the ears should go and then pull off a few of the mirror pieces in the location for the holes. then take a drill and drill the holes. You can leave the mirrored pieces of as they will be covered by the ears
Step 4: The Ears
Using the image in Step 2, Mark out the shape you want to cut for the ears. This is all down to personal preference so don't worry about it being exact.
If using the insulation the steel rods can just be cut to size with a hacksaw and then twisted into the ears at the right spots. Some hot glue will hold it into position. Make sure that the rods go in parallel as i said in the image.
Foam board would be alot easier to work with so i would advise working with this. i doesn't change much of the process except you need to laminate three of sheets together. For the steel rods just cut gaps into the middle sheet that fit the rods and hot glue them into place. The foam board can also be laminated with hot glue.
Next cover the ears in the fabric. The image below shows the first fabric i used which was a normal fabric with 2 way stretch which was two pieces glued to both sides and sewn together down the center of the sides. I glued the fabric to the ears using spray glue. if you do this make sure the glue dries a little bit first so as not to soak through the fabric and run it (it happened to me).
I later switched to using 4 way stretch velvet which was cut into two pieces glued on both sides. The front piece was stretch to the back edge and hot glued in place along this edge. a back piece was then hot glued to meet up with it only covering the back of the ear. This looked alot better as the seam was more hidden.
SAFETY NOTE: The spray glue can be toxic if used in a confined space. Make sure you open a couple of windows and get a air flow across the workspace and to the outside.
Step 5: Mouth
Take the the aluminium diamond mesh and cut a piece out that is around 1 inch bigger than the mouth peice. Form the aluminium mesh into a curve matching the mouth piece and bend the edges to that it fits the rough shape. Forming it using your knee might helpful.
I might look better if you keep the visible part of the mouth as a simple curve and only bend the edges so that it can fit into the helmet.
A piece of the white shear fabric should be cut to fit over the aluminium mesh. This is the hot glued onto the mesh keeping the fabric from folding. The whole mouth piece is then placed into the helmet and hot glued into place.
Be very liberal with amount of hot glue used to attach it as it will help strengthen the helmet. This is necessary as there is a very weak piece on the chin which needs to be held into place.
Step 6: Eyes
For the eyes i first covered the two plastic ball halves in the white fabric and hot glued it in position. I then marked out the eyes on the helmet using masking tape. I used the dremel to cut grooves in the glass so the eyes could sit in the grooves. Make sure you don't go through the helmet.
Remember to cut hole in the center of the eyes for the electronics depending on how many LEDs were used.
The eyes were slotted into the grooves and then hot glued into place.
Step 7: Inside
To support you head on the inside a hard hat was used. The one i bought had a large bump on the top which got in the way of it which is why i cut a hole in the top of it. This was strengthened with spare pieces of plastic hot glued into place to stop it flexing. Then holes were drilled into the side. these holes matched up withe two of the holes from the ears and was connected onto the rods from the ears.
Step 8: Electronics
First i measured the distance between each eye, and the location i decided to put the batteries, on the left of the head. This was used to determine the length of wire needed. To each LED i soldered a resistor corresponding to the Supply Voltage and properties of the LED, using the website provided in Step 1 to get the right value.
The LEDs were soldered together in parallel according to the circuit diagram i provided and then to the battery box and switch.
i found a spare bracket which i could attach the switch to to secure it to the side of the helmet.
SAFETY TIP: The first battery box i used short circuited and started melting (still haven't found out what happened) so i would advise checking the battery box both before you solder it into the circuit and after. To do this, put the batteries in and leave for ten minutes or so under constant observation. If there is a problem it should start heating up and then start smoking if you leave it. if this happens at any stage, remove the batteries and get a new battery box. As this is so close to you head you don't want to risk any thing like this happening.
Step 9: Assembly
If you have all of these done you should now have everything you need to assemble your helmet.
First push the LEDs through the holes in the eyes and secure into place with some tape. The battery box was attached to the side helmet on the inside with some hot glue. There should be plenty of space for it to fit and allows easy access to change the batteries. The switch was hot glued next to it.
The hardhat was moved into place and the ears were slotted through the holes in the mirror ball and through the hard hat. The ears were secured into place with wingnuts and nylon washers to make removal easy. I used small pieces of polystyrene insulation at the front and back of the hard hat to stop it from wobbling back and forward. These can either be pushed into place or glued. Its up to you.
As a safety touch I cut a piece black tubing in half through the hole and folded it round the edge of the head hole in the helmet to stop you from cutting yourself. It was just hot glued into place.
Also on a side note. This Helmet is heavy (weighs in at around 2.5kg, 5.5lbs), not heavy enough to be unwearable but still long periods of time might start hurting. I personally don't mind as it looks awesome but this should be kept in mind when building this.
Step 10: Finish
There you have a finished Disco Deadmau5 helmet. Now all you need is a cool suit and you got an awesome Halloween costume.
You can now do what ever you want with it. Personally, I'm going to add some EL wire to the edges of the ears, both to cover the seam lines of the fabric and to make it look alot cooler.
I'll be very interested to see your attempts at making this helmet, and any feedback you have, or additions you've added.