How to Make a Borderlands Bandit Thug Helmet




About: Disabled stay at home dad, boardgamer and maker

Hello, Here I will show you how to make your very own Bandit thug Helmet from borderlands for a convention or Halloween or just to display. When making this project you will need to make sure you print the pieces out to a scale that is correct for you. In the file The neck pieces do not need to be assembled if you are going to be making this as an actual helmet to wear.

If you need help with using the resin/bodyfiller/fiberglass ask a parent or someone responsible to help. It can be a very dangerous medium to work with.

What you will need:
X-Acto Knife and a pack or two of fresh #11 Blades (USE WITH CAUTION, YOU CAN LOSE A FINGER VERY FAST!)
110lb Cardstock
Pepakura - HERE (a program for unfolding 3D models to be printed out on paper and re-assembled)
Bandit Thug File - HERE
 Various bits of plastic, colored foam sheets and styrene for the mouth piece and other details
2 Flashlight Ends with lenses
Paints and brushes (I used acrylics)
Body Filler
Fiberglass with proper mask if you want to go full safety (NOT the same mask as resin)
Resin with proper mask for full safety (NOT the same mask as fiberglass)
Dremel or other rotory tool with proper cutting attachments
Hot Glue and Glue Gun

Here's a screenshot of the game showing the helmet we will be making HERE

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Step 1: Step 1

Open the file up in Pepakura and resize it accordingly. It will not be easy and you will probably not get it on the first try. I would upload a pre-scaled file for you but my pc crashed and the file was unfortunately lost. You will probably need the pay version to re-scale or edit the file but I'm not sure because I own the pay version.

Once you get it to the correct size for your head then you assemble the helmet using superglue as it will make this process go a lot faster. On the red lines you fold a mountain "^" and on the blue lines you fold a valley "V". cut on dotted lines.

Step 2: Step 2

After a correct re-sizing and about 5 or 6 hours of folding/gluing you should end up with something close to the photo's.

At this stage it's sturdy for being nothing but cardstock but it will still be flimsy on the planes.

Step 3: Step 3

Next you need to prepare a spot outdoors or in a well ventilated area to put some resin on the outside. You want to work kind of fast depending on what resin you're using and the temperature your working in. I suggest working in small areas and letting it cure then go to another area and apply more. During the curing process the cardstock will become flimsy because you're getting it wet so take care in handling it. I would suggest leaving it sit where you do the resin stage. You will also want to pay attention to your surroundings as getting this on a floor will NOT be a good thing. Be sure to lay some newspaper/cardboard or drop cloth of some sort down before applying the resin. I suggest cardboard as it's thick and wont react to the resin.

Apply with a brush to get into all cracks and crevasses but be sure the brushes you use are either resin safe or ones you can throw away.

After the entire helmet has been covered and cured you should have something that is a lot more sturdy but still flimsy to a point and a shiny look to it..

Step 4: Step 4

Now that the outside is covered in resin, it's time to take on the pain in the butt task of fiberglassing the interior of the helmet. This will be a painstaking step and a messy one too. Even if you've never done fiberglassing (This helmet was my first time) It's not as intimidating as you may think. Just remember, Work in small areas at a time.

When doing the fiberglass step it helps to use strips of fiberglass in the same manner as paper mache. First apply some resin to the inside of the helmet where you are wanting to apply the strip of glass. Then lay the glass down in the area. Now use another brush and dip it into the resin. Start dabbing the glass from the straight up position if possible making sure to coax the glass into corners as best as possible.

The glass will slide around in the resin. This is normal and a pain. Just try to work through this as carefully as possible and all should be ok.

This step does not give the helmet it's "final look", it's just a reinforcement step. I would be sure to put glass on the ENTIRE inside planes and cracks and you may want a second layer of glass once the first is cured for added strength. I've only got one layer on mine because it's only used for conventions but If I could go back I would have added a second layer so I could go without the worry of punching a possible hole in a weak spot.

When finished you should have something similar to the photos

Step 5: Step 5

Now that we have let the glass fully cure it's time to start cleaning it up and marking holes. Take your dremel tool with a cutting disc and start cutting off any access glass or resin drops that may be unsightly. Keep in mind you're really just working with paper so don't cut too much and too deep!

Also go ahead and using the Flashlight end piece mark out where the eye holes will be.

After about 30 minutes or so (depending on how much there is to cut off and sand down) you should end up with something like the photo.

Step 6: Step 6

Now that we've got it all cleaned up and the marks for our eyes and mouth vent on there it's time to cut them out. Take your time cutting them out using a combination of the cutting disc and a sanding drum to get the curves. When done cutting the holes it's now time to try it on and see what we've got! Be careful when putting it on incase you've got any jagged edges of glass that still need sanded. Now would be the time to take care of those.

Step 7: Step 7

Now it's time to start the Body filler process. This step will take HOURS to get it just how you want it. Find a ventilated area and Start applying the filler to the outside of the helmet. The smoother you apply it the less sanding you will have to do afterwords. Once the first layer of filler is applied and cured sand it smooth and wipe it with a damp cloth to remove any dust from the sanding.

Once it's dry, apply a second layer of filler and repeat the process above. Do this for a total of 3 - 4 layers of filler.

After it's all sanded how you want or are happy with install the flashlight parts into the eyelets and whatever pieces you chose for the mouth vent (rims only not lenses!) with some hotglue around them. Don't worry about the hotglue looking messy as long as you keep it around them.

Step 8: Step 8


Once you've gone through a few hours or days of sanding it's finally time to paint this puppy. Take the helmet to a well ventilated area and spray on some flat black primer. This will serve as the base coat of the helmet. Be sure to put about 2 - 3 coats on it to ensure a nice even color.

Alternate paint step. You can also paint it with a red primer (2 - 3 coats). Then silver (2 coats) and finally flat black (2 - 3 coats). When painting like this you can then take some 60 grit sandpaper and scrape some corners or other spots on the helmet and it will give an effect of paint scratched off of a metal helmet. the red primer would serve as the deepest part of a scrape where the metal is rusting.

Once you've got your base color(s) down just take your acrylic paints/brushes and paint on the details. Be sure to use a silver paint and paint the hot glue gobs. It will give the effect of being welded into place.

Once painted it should look something like this

Step 9: Step 9

Now that you've got this bad boy all painted up it's time to add some details with foam. Just cut out pieces to resemble straps and superglue them into place and then use a black pen to make the lines for shadowing on them and a black sharpie to use on the goggles to make the lines as well. When finished install the lenses and you should be the proud new owner of this:

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    15 Discussions


    5 years ago on Step 6

    Looks like a smiley Face xD


    5 years ago on Step 4

    You think Polyurethane would work well as a replacement for the resin?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween contest!!! Can’t wait to see if you win! Good luck!

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you :) I hope it's my time to place in a contest, So many great projects!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Hey Tim, mask looks realistic, awesome job as always, got you a vote. Keep plugging away. :)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Ever seen The Legend of Korra? This looks almost exactly like the equalists' mask!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you very much! It's surprisingly easy to complete with just some common sense and patience. This was my first attempt at anything like this and I was REALLY happy with the outcome. :)

    Hey My friends and I really love this project we are just wondering if you'll make a guide for a Bandit Raider-(Steve the bandit), Killer and Psycho mask. I know it's a lot to ask but it would be really awesome.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for the comments folks. I'm sorry I haven't been very responsive, I just got internet turned back on today because our small town was destroyed by tornadoes on march 2nd/3rd.

    @ anibioman, you are 100% correct on using some black and a small brush over a sharpie but I was going for the inked in comic look from the game. even though you may not be familiar with borderlands you still do bring a valid point in getting a stronger opaque look and I recommend anyone else try your suggestion as it will have a very different effect as opposed to what I was going for. :)


    7 years ago on Step 9

    hi im not familiar with border lands but this looked like good steps for making other helmets and armor i think it came out really good only problem i have with it is in this step you used sharpie i just think sharpie tends to not work as well as a small brush and black acrylic for me sharpie tends to streak a ton and isnt as opaque as compared to paint.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is actually a very accurate and amazing structure and I love Borderlands. I may end up creating a similar structure for cons and such. I love it and continue the good work!

    Borderlands 2 comes out soon, prepare for the fan comments here XD


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is really well done! I wish I could get my hands on some 110lb cardstock and make myself one :D