I started this in late June, and have been working on it whenever there is a break in the hot weather. I thought I would post the progress pics as thumbnails as I go along, but if you guys prefer plain links, just let me know and I will change them to plain links.
This is my first pepakura project. I found the file on Rangerprops.com and thought it would be a good way to start out. Just a single helmet. I've been reading about pepakura for years, but never found a model I thought I would commit to. Anywho, I printed out the files (yes, on red and yellow cardstock :P) and it was pretty intimidating at first. It took about four hours to cut out all the pieces with an exacto knife, and about ten hours to glue together. I popped in some DVDs and just went with it, ya know? I ended up with an interesting, Ronald McDonald kind of helmet.
I didn't glue the back and front together completely because I wanted to see how it fit. It was about an inch too short. In the pics where I am wearing it, it looks like it fits alright, snug, but alright. I'm actually tipping my head back so my chin will fit. That was incredibly uncomfortable. On top of the height issue, the visor is also way too small.
At that point I figured I would glue the back, and forget about the visor piece that came with the file. I started painting on layers of fiberglass resin to make the cardstock rigid. In the first photos, I think I had two or three complete layers on, in the later ones I kind of got sloppy when I wanted to go a tad thicker. As you can see, there is a chunk of washcloth that got stuck accidentally while it was drying. It must have fallen onto the model. There are also runs and whatnot, but I'm not concerned since it will have to be sanded and detailed anyway.
So once it was rigid enough I made a line from one corner of the visor hole to another. I don't know why I used the string to make the guideline, I should have just used a Sharpie. It was like 8 AM though, so my brain wasn't going at full speed yet. Once it was cut, I used cardboard strips and evenly spaced the two halves by an inch. I think I ended up using about six strips total, and it was strong enough to begin working. I used strips of fiberglass matting about two inches wide and six or seven inches long and laid them on the inside over the seam and the visor hole. The cardboard strips and duct tape peeled off easily enough, leaving only a bit of cardboard stuck to the fresh resin.
Personally, I think that one inch made all the difference. It doesn't look so 'squatty' anymore, and it opened up the visor quite a bit. It has a nice, sleek, elongated look to it now, closer to the helmet on the show.
Next I will begin layering more matting on the inside of the helmet, giving it some bulk to work with in case I end up sanding through the layer of cardstock. I will be rough grit sanding it hopefully tomorrow as well as bondo filling and rough detail work.
Overall, this style of helmet making is enjoyable. I attempted sculpting the helmet with clay once before, and it's still sitting in my basement. I have an easier time working with hard materials that can't easily be messed up, so if you are the same way, you may want to give pepakura a try.
I will keep everyone updated on this as I go. Any comments or constructive criticisms would be appreciated.