Thing Helmet From Ice Cream Bucket

This smiling Thing "helmet" was made using a 5 gallon Ice cream container thrown out from a local 39 flavors location and extra styrofoam containers. Sorry but I don't have pictures of the process, but I will try and describe the steps as clearly as possible.

Materials: 5 gallon Ice cream container, styrofoam containers, hot glue gun and sticks, carpet cutter and or X-acto knife, orange acrylic paint, hole punch, metal fasteners (light weight, gold colored school type), elastic band (for jaw opening mechanism), stapler/staples

Step one: Obtain 5 gallon Ice cream container thrown out from a local 39 flavors location. They usually just throw them out into their trash bin as they empty them of the ice cream. Take a large plastic garbage bag to carry several containers (usually a good idea to have spares for parts, etc.). You will have to wash out the sticky ice cream left over. Be carefull, although the container is coated to keep it water proof, it is cardboard and should not be left in or full of standing water as it will begin to break down your container.

Step Two: While letting your containers dry thoroughly before beginning process of build you can begin preparing your brick skin pieces. This consists of taking your styrofoam containers and tearing them into usable pieces. Use your imagination as to how the piec es will overlap and create the Thing's look. Once I had a suitable shape, I proceeded to crumple it into the smallest ball I could get, letting it unfurl and repeating this several times until I was happy with the wrinkles this would create. After several pieces were gathered I scratched them with further lines using the back point of the X-acto knife. The carpet cutter can be used here if you prefer.

Step Three: Now with a dry container, pencil in where your eyes, nose and mouth should be. To get your facial porportions as close as possible you can take a piece of regular copying paper and press over face. Rub (taking care not to poke too hard) out the shape of your face and then pencil out the eyes. You can then use this as a guide to where your eyes will need to be on your helmet. Place the paper over the area you determined for the eyes and using your X-acto knife cut a small hole in the center of the eyes for later enlarging in the container. For the mouth piece simply pencil out the area of the mouth in and half moon arc, cut it out and replaced later upside down to create an under bite effect (more on this later).

Step Four: Begin gluing "skin" pieces. I just went with feel but I recomend starting with the center of the face at the nose and glue out in a circlular manner. Smaller piece are used when you have tight corners or want to create areas of detail like cheek bones. When in dought, place pieces with scotch tape before using hot glue. Continue until both head and mouth pieces are complete.

Step Five: Articulating jaw. What you don't see in the pictures is the fact that this "helmet" allows you to smile. I placed nice big teeth on the upper lip, carefully placing them under the lip area like real teeth. Over these "teeth" I placed the upside down mouth cut out earlier. Placing appropriate holes (using the paper punch) on either side of the jawline, I attached the "jaw" and added elastic band across the underside of the jaw (where my own jaw would be able to open the Thing's jaw. To close, I stapled small pieces of elastic on either end and inside of the innerjaw (to pull the jaw shut after a smile).

Step Six: Painting. Once I was happy with the way the "helmet" looked and operated I painted it orange. As you can see in the pictures, the wrinkles and grooves of the styofoam made for a cool look. I added some pin holes throughout to add to the brick look. Have fun with your own build, I did.



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