ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

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superjedi

Sr Member
Hi all,
I recently picked up a Richie's Armor X-Wing helmet. I ordered it assembled
but unpainted, and I'm finishing it as Gold Leader from Star Wars (no "Episode IV. . . A New Hope. . . blah blah blah :lol).

The helmet is really nice! Very crisp detail and it looks like Richie has changed the visor mounting method from the last time I got one of his helmets. It sort of pivots up and down rather than sliding. But it works great, and it's secured with four rivets.
This is the third RA X-Wing helmet I've had in my hands and he makes great stuff!

I began prep by peeling off the black trim around the bottom opening, and then simply removing the chin cup and microphone, which are held on with velcro. Easy peasy.
I masked the visor on the outside AND inside to prevent any overspray, and masked off the remainder of the helmet interior. Richie puts in some nice custom shaped foam padding and I didn't want to get any paint on it.

The photos show 2 steps in one. I gave the entire helmet a base coat of Rustoleum satin white. Just a couple of light/medium coats to give the color coats something to bite into rather than painting on bare white plastic.



On the forehead panels, I used some MM Acryl Panzer Dunkelgelb. I just used a dense foam sponge to apply it. I wasn't concerned with the edges as most of this will be covered with dark green.



The Dunkelgelb will wind up being the color of the grid lines on Gold Leader's helmet. I'll mask off the grid and spray my dark green over it. When I remove the masking tape, voila! Grid-ness. :)



This isn't really a complex paint job. The main colors are the Dunkelgelb, and the dark green that will cover the ram's horn areas and the small squares further down on the cheeks.
I picked up a set of vinyl decals from DeLucks Designs, and I can't wait to get them on the helmet. They should really make the design come to life. Thanks, Scott! Your decals are top quality as always.

More to come.
 

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tictoc

Well-Known Member
The Richies helmet looks like a nice sharp pull! It looks like a good size helmet too. Can I ask how wide the face opening is? I have a helmet but the opening is a narrow 6 inches.

Just a couple of more questions if you have a moment. I was going to choose Tamiya fieldgray as the "green" top color. What were you going to choose? Also, MM= model masters?

Watching with interest...
 

superjedi

Sr Member
Scott, I know you have! :)

Tictoc, I just measured the opening, and it looks like it's 7 1/2 inches at the very front of the ram's horns.
MM = Model Master.
The green I chose is MM Dark Green. I can't remember the color number, the can is upstairs in my hobby room. But I'll try to remember to post the exact color on my next update.
The Tamiya Field Gray is a nice color, but I think it's not quite 'rich' enough in tone for this helmet.
From various ref pics, Gold Leader's helmet is a nice deep olive/military green and I think the MM Dark Green comes very close.
I lost my local source for Floquils, so trial and error with those becomes a very expensive proposition. :unsure
 

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superjedi

Sr Member
It seems I do what I usually do. . . forget to stop between steps and take pics.

Anyway, here are a few more combined steps.

Got the helmet and grid masked off for the dark green top coat. I used MM Dark Green (1910) for this step. I like the "military green" look of the color.

*TIP* I had sprayed some Krylon flat onto the helmet to protect the white and grid base color before spraying on the green. I do not recommend this! It made it very difficult to apply the painter's tape. Not sure if it's specific to the Krylon brand or not. . . but holy cow, I've never had so much trouble keeping painter's tape on a surface. :lol



Above, you can see the primary green areas. Basically the entire ram's horn area. As the photos show, there are several other stages represented.
I did the darker blue-green details on the grid areas, and those slanted markings on the sides of the mohawk.



I also got the decals applied. I still need to paint the stripe running down the mohawk, but I had to get the decals in position to make sure the stripe was the right length.
The little "speedball" decals beneath the curve of the ram's horns are just black outlines. I painted in the center areas using a craft acrylic paint called "Blue Wisp." It's a really pale blue gray.



Since my tape wasn't sticking very well (as noted above) the grid required some touch up with my trusty size 0 brush. No big deal. I also used some flat white to touch up around some of the edges of the dark green.



Delucks Designs' decals included the cat eye markings, but I couldn't get them to lay down right over that convex area of the cheeks. So I painted the marking on by hand. Using reference pics, I tried to match the asymmetry of the shapes as best I could. I have traced the right side cat eye but haven't painted it on yet.

I also did some chipping type weathering on the dark green areas using flat white and a size 000 brush.



So that's where I am right now! I just have to finish the right side cat eye, and then mask and paint the mohawk stripe. Then it's on to weathering! :)
 

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superjedi

Sr Member
Does Richie's list prices, or do you send them an email about that?
Richie is a member here, so you can PM him regarding prices for his kits.

Thanks for following along so far. Here are the final 2 stages. :)

I finished up the basic color application by finishing the other cat eye and adding the red stripe down the mohawk.



I also added some red at the very bottom of the mohawk strip, where it curves in. It was hard to tell from screencaps, but it seemed that there was something going on down there, and it looked to be a very similar tone to the red stripe, so that's what I went with.
There also appeared to be a dark green marking over the front section of the red stripe. So once the red was dry, I masked and sponged on the rectangle using the same dark blue green as the markings on the mohawk sides.



Here's where the fun begins! :love

I used a black acrylic wash for the first stage of my weathering process. This just toned down the stark white areas and aged the helmet a little. After the wash, I used gray and black pigment powders to really dirty up the helmet.



From what little reference I had, the weathering appeared to have some distinct patterning to it. I tried to match those patterns as closely as I could.



I applied the gray powder first, using a very stiff bristled brush, and "pounced" it into the surface. When I use pastels or pigment powders, I usually go a little heavy because the clear coat will absorb a little of the powder when it's applied.



The black powder came next, really darkening some of the crevices and the forward areas on the sides of the mohawk. The ref pics show these areas as really grimy.





After the powder was applied, I wanted to replicate some of those broken patterns where some lighter basecoat comes through. I used some crumpled up masking tape to get that effect. I balled up a piece of tape with the sticky side out, and just dabbed it in some areas, picking up the powder. I really like the effect!



Here's that red area at the rear of the mohawk strip.



So now it's all done, and I'll put it on display with my Red Leader, Red 4, and Red 5 helmets. :cool
 

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DeLucks Designs

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
WOW, LOVE this. That weathering is amazing. I actually never saw the details on the back before. REALLY REALLY sweet bucket bro....
 

tictoc

Well-Known Member
I love this thread.

I have been looking for the 'right' Gold Leader green for a while. I have tried some colors but was never satisfied. I made some mods to the helmet but ended up shelving it until Superjedi came along.

I followed his generous thread and gave it my best effort (sorry for the obvious accuracy errors). I am still trying to figure out the weathering thing.

Thanks superjedi!
 

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