I need a place to store this and get feedback on my second helmet, and it appears facebook isn't the best option
Anyway, I'l be updating this a fair amount with the Bangalter 2.0 helmet, as the first was more of a learning experience than anything, and has some very obvious mistakes. (see photo below)
My goal with this is to illustrate my learning experiences, as well as expend as little money as possible, while using as little skill as possible to achieve the best results. (Or at least satisfactory ones). You should be able to do all that I do without any power tools, molds, or heavy machinery. Every tool or material start to end should be able to be picked up at a local hardware store for $20 or less.
For those that are looking for a quick halloween costume, I'd suggest following this build, and it's a lot less complex, and a lot easier to follow.
Required time = a leisurely 20 -25 hours across a couple week or so.
So this helmet is my first great endeavor into making my own costume from scratch, and I really wish I hadmore in depth details on how to create the helmet before I started. And so, here's a list of instructions based on my experiences from the start to the end.
Baseball / Skatboarding Helmet
ExactoKnife (with a few spare blades in case one or two snap)
Sharpie / Pen
Unbent Cardboard box
Paper (card stock)
Bondo Fiberglass Resin
Face Shield (with clear plastic visor)
Window tint (5%)
Various grit sandpaper.
Power Sander (not required, but helps a ton)
Step 1: Face Assembly. estimated Time = 2-4 hours dedicated
From the PDFs available at Free File Hosting Made Simple - MediaFire, print all of these out. From there, take your cardboard, and gluestick the paper to the cardboard. Gluesticks work much better than liquid glue. Learned that one the hard way. Place the cardboard with the taped paper onto a stack of newspapers or something of this sort, as you will be cutting through the cardboard, and you don't want to cut your desk. Learned that one the hard way too. Using your ExactoKnife, trace an outline of where you will be cutting, and progressively make deeper and deeper cuts into the cardboard until you can feel the blade hitting the newspaper below, or if you feel the piece pop out. More than likely, the piece will not pop out, so just flip the cardboard over, and you should see an cutting line that you can trace over with your Exacto and pop the piece out. During this step, be sure to not force anything, as if you rip the cardboard, it's going to be a nightmare for you later. Repeat this will all the pieces, and place them to a side. Now comes the biggest pain of the entire construction, putting these pieces together. Start withthe mouth piece, and the two sides of the jaw. Start by taking the mouth piece and cutting out a little of the 'middle' part of the cardboard. That is, the corrugated part in between the two cardboard pieces. Clear out a little so that the tab from the jaw can intersect this part. Using a little glue on the tab, intersect it in the mouth piece, and then masking tape it together. Repeat this for the mouth and jaw pieces. When 'bending' the jaw piece, using your Exacto, cut a small line into the red lin part on both sides of the jaw, as this creates a much easier way to fold the cardboard. Don't worry about it being too flimsy, as long as it's together, as the fiberglsas step will solidify everything. Now, repeat with all the cardboard pieces. There is no step-by-step direction here, you will just have to follow based on the photos you see below:
Step 2: Assembly of the face piece onto the helmet.
This part is trickier than it sounds. I would highly suggest using a skateboarding helmet, as if you use a baseball helmet, you will have to fit it like in this photo, and then have to cut it down: Daft Punk Casco | Flickr - Photo Sharing!. It is a lot easier with the skateboarding helmet, and aligning it like in these photos:
Masking tape the face piece on, and make sure it's fairly secure. Cut off the straps on the helmet and anything else you don't want on it. Using the masking tape, cover the air holes on the helmet. For me, the helmet was very difficult to tape onto, so I sanded down some areas to make the grip better.
Step 3: Resin the bugger together.
Pour about a tenth of the resin and the hardener (comes with the resin) in to a paperbowl, and mix it with your bondo paintbrush. I would suggest taking a large paper box and unfolding it onto the ground, and then placing a 2liter bottle filled with water in the middle. By placing your helmet on this, it can rotate, is perfectly balanced, and is much easier to work on. Then, using your paint, start painting away at the helmet, hitting all areas to harden it down. Pay particular attention to the face piece, holes that have been covered, and wherever you have tape. Once this is down, pour the resin over the top of the helmet, and make sure it flows downward smoothly. Make sure that it does not overhang the visor piece, or the bottom of the helmet, as these are annoying to get rid of later. Now, wait an hour or so while it dries. You will need to discard and use another paint brush, as getting the resin off is just too difficult for a 50 cent item. It should be dried by an hour or two later. Sand down any parts that are sticking up / out (WEAR A FACEMASK), and reapply some resin to reinforce all the non-sturdy parts. Bear in mind that the resin hardens quickly, so make small amounts at a time, and apply as necessary. Also, the fumes from this are quite strong, and are disputedly dangerous. Be sure to apply this outside, in a ventilated garage, or somewhere where fresh air can come in easily. Wearing a face mask is highly recommended.
Step 4: Bondo Putty.
Now that the entire thing is resined and dried, the puttying is going to begin. Start by once again working outdoors and with a face mask. Like with the fiberglass resin, you will need to apply small amounts, except this time, you will want to apply it with a bondo applyer, which is almost like a spackle knife. Work slowly through this, and with small amounts of bondo, as it want it as smooth as possible, and with as few bubbles as possible, as the more imperfect it is, the more trouble you're going to have later. Now that you have it all applied, use a large grit sandpaper, such as 50 or 60. Sand it down OUTSIDE WITH A FACEMASK ON. I wish this was better conveyed to me, as sanding this is highly dangerous. Imagine breathing in glass. This is basically what you're doing without a facemask on.
Step 5. Spot filling and sanding.
Now for the extra fun part. Using whatever material you choose (Bondo spot filler, bondo putty, spackle), fill the holes or areas that need touchup, and keep sanding down. Progressively use a smaller grit sandpaper until the entire thing is smooth. Keep doing this until the entire thing is smooth. You can always spray areas with primer to see where you should be sanding down more. This is going to take a long time, so keep at it, and get used to breathing through a mask.
Step 6. Primer
Simply stuff the inside with newspaper, then spray the entire thing with primer. Once again check for rough patches, putty them in, sand down, and re-primer. Wait for it to dry.
Step 7. Painting
This part's by far the easiest. Grab a can of chrome spray paint form your local hardware store, as well a gloss spray. Spray on the chrome, wait for it to dry, and spray on another coat or two. After drying, repeat with the gloss to give it more of a chrome finish. You can always ship it off to a chromer in order to give it a better finish, but that shoots the cost up to a much higher level than I was looking for.
Step 8. Applying the visor.
There's no real secret to this part. Just using a safety visor/face mask. Cut it progressively down, and stick it in the helmet. Making sure that it's the right size, cut off a piece of 95% tint, and apply to the plastic. Stick it in the helmet, and you're all set.
Done with the helmet! Now show it off to the world.
As for the gloves, they're pretty self-explanatory. All I did was spray down some note cards with chrome paint, cut them to the appropriate shape and size, and super glued them onto the glove. I started by putting the glove and applying small amounts so that it wouldn't stick to my hand, but it still burned me quite a bit, so I stuck a dowel in there, and superlgued the plates on. Putting them on and off was a problem though, as the cards would rip as the material stretched.
New innovations to encounter for helmet 2.0 = glove plates, EL wiring, leather instead of suit.
If I had to do it again / Notes for 2.0:
I'd spend more time sanding it down, using bondo better
I'd use a baseball helmet and cut the helmet down
I'd use a different kind of paper stock instead of thick corrugated cardboard for the facepiece
I'd refit the tinting so that it doesn't overlap over
I'd find some other way to make sure the face piece is in the correct position.
I'd find some other material for the hand plates. Cardstock ripped and bent too easily.
I'd find some other sort of adhesive for the hand plates, and superglue
I'd find some way that I can use my iPhone with the gloves on
I'd find some way to keep the neck cowl(?) down, as it always rode up, and find a better source of it.
I'd use longer gloves (like forearm gloves or something like that)
Feedback is much appreciated, be it positive or negative!