Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed...

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Warren Colvett

New Member
Hi All,

Ok, so I have been considering trying to make a helmet for a bit, but think I am going to try to dive in within the next couple of months and give it a shot. I've read all the various methods (pepakura, building forms for paper mache, foam, etc.), but wanted to get opinions on what would be the best route to jump into this. It's a Power Rangers helmet, I would like it ridged (so no foam) and be able to sand/shape it to a perfectly even surface for painting, and to be able to stand the test of time with showing the proper amount of care to it. I was looking at the Instructable about building a form and using paper mache to fill it out, but wasn't sure about how fine a surface you can get with it, and if you can get flat straight surfaces like around the visor portion (the example on the page was a little uneven) and am not sure how durable the mache option can be. So anyway, I would love some opinions on the best way for a noob to try this out of the gate without spending a fortune... Also, I don't want to buy a pre-made helmet or a kit, want to learn how to do it myself properly.

Any help appreciated...
 
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Warren Colvett

New Member
Re: Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed

Over 170 views and not a comment... I was hoping not to get detailed instructions on how to build one, just some advice from those that have already been down this road as far as what might be best to start with or what to avoid as a noob at this stuff... I figure there was no point in reinventing the wheel when there are many of you that have already had these experiences and just had some words of wisdom...
 

Warren Colvett

New Member
Re: Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed

Okaaay... Well, guess I'll just go through the same trial and errors that others have already worked through. Decided to ask on here after a Comic Con cosplay panel spoke of all the help you could get (been a member for a while but just mainly lurked), but I'm starting to feel as though I don't know the secret handshake.
 

Gogo

New Member
Re: Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed

I've never tried a helmet, so I can't help much. I can only suggest looking for threads about Iron Man helmets and armor helmets. Maybe the same skills can be used for that?
 

Turtlespoon

New Member
Re: Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed

I'm starting to feel as though I don't know the secret handshake.
Welcome to the club. I recently joined and despite this being a massive forum with very high activity, I've only spoken to about 2 individuals while here.

Back in my lurking days I made a few projects, 2 helmets, but sadly none of them got completed, still my two cents:

Pep & Fibreglass will give you a heavy, but strong helmet. It's messy, toxic, and not cheap either. The final layer will be any kind of filler, so how smooth the piece is depends on how much you sand it. It's usually used for helmets due to the fact that it's incredibly tough, but can also be layered very thin. A helmet made of 1cm thick foam will give you both fitting & overheating issues. Having a flexible helmet is not really necessary.

That being said, foam helmets are not totally implausible. By taking a basic BMX helmet and adding to it using a combination of foam & greyboard/plastic sheet you can get just as good results, with a hard exterior and an already padded inside. I've been making a few props with EVA foam, but then coating it with paper mache, then filler, then foam/greyboard details so it loses its flexibility, but in turn I get filler that can be shaped however I like, and the piece still remains fairly lightweight.

If you're not a fan of foam for detailing, look into this stuff called greyboard, Most displays and poster boards in stores are made from it, whenever a store changes their deals and posters ask if you can take their scraps. If not you can just buy it, it's like a tonne of paper or cardboard that's been condensed into solid 1-2mm sheets. It's lightweight, can be sanded and almost has the strength of wood. My new favourite material.

While foam may not be the perfect material for a helmet, I find it much more satisfying to make something freehand with foam than it is to follow direct guidelines on pepakura templates. Doing pepakura for a few hours makes me want to kill myself, but I can sit here and freehand with foam all day and not get bored.

If you have any pictures of the helmet you have in mind that you could share it would be useful, so I can get a better idea of what you're trying to replicate.
 

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Warren Colvett

New Member
Re: Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed

Thanks for the replies... I must say I'm a bit dismayed at how seemingly "closed" the society is... Everyone here was just starting out at one point or another and most likely tried to seek advice, but feels like once they have some experience the "noobs" are overlooked. Like I said previously, there was a cosplay panel at Comic Con that I went to that mentioned the RPF specifically for a great place to get help when you are starting out...

What I was targeting, at least for my first helmet is the original White Power Ranger... I figure at least in some aspects the shape wouldn't be as complicated as some of the others, and was my favorite ranger as well, so I figured he might be my first attempt at a cosplay at some point... :) (already have the legacy Power Morpher and his sword Saba).

I would like to build it so that it's durable and could be a display piece later on with my other Rangers stuff... I'm just concerned about jumping into something that might be a much bigger and more complicated project than I can tackle, hence my post to get a little perspective from others such as cautionary tales or whatnot...
 

BobbyFromBUF

Active Member
Re: Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed

I wish I could offer advice, but being 36 I was a little 'old' for Power Rangers as a kid, and never got into it. I have built a Mark VI Iron Man and a Mandalorian. Maybe my threads could offer some insight? I hope you get some good leads :)


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Warren Colvett

New Member
Re: Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed

I wish I could offer advice, but being 36 I was a little 'old' for Power Rangers as a kid, and never got into it. I have built a Mark VI Iron Man and a Mandalorian. Maybe my threads could offer some insight? I hope you get some good leads :)


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Too old for Power Rangers? What is this odd language you speak? ;)

Let's just say I'm older than you are, but I love the cheesy escapism of the Power Rangers...
 

BobbyFromBUF

Active Member
Re: Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed

My friend Bryan is using my original sculpted Mando armor parts to build a 'Mighty Mando'. Since our local clan is arctic themed he went with the White Ranger to fit both concepts. He didn't make a build thread on the RPF, but it's looking super cool.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

BobbyFromBUF

Active Member
Re: Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed

uploadfromtaptalk1435874244193.jpg

He still needs to assemble the helmet and do more painting, but this should be awesome when he's done. He's using #MightyMando on instagram if you'd like to see some of his updates.
 

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Wheeljack

Member
Re: Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed

Hey Warren!

It's always good to see another PR fan here on the RPF. I think that you are not getting many responses because you are not asking specific enough questions. I've made a couple of MMPR helmets and I've tried different techniques and worked on kits etc. The deciding factor for me was how accurate do I want to make the helmet? Do you want to make one that is super show accurate and precise or are you comfortable with a more hand crafted look? How much time and money do you want to sink into the job and do you have any experience working with Bondo? These will all factor into the method that you choose. Personally, I hate Pep. Some talented folks here on the RPF make it look easy but it can be quite challenging and very time consuming just to make the paper model. Then you can either fibreglass it or I've even seen one technique were the artist back filled it with clay and sculpted ontop of that. There are kits and then there are kits. I've seen dozens and the quality varies right across the board. If you average what I've seen out, if you go with a kit, you still would have a ton of bondo and finishing work ahead of you which can be pretty challenging too. Once you pick a method and start up a build thread I'm sure that more in the rpf community will chime in and offer their 2 cents. If you got any other questions feel free to PM me and I'll try to help.
Cheers!
 

Warren Colvett

New Member
Re: Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed

Thanks for responding Big Mike... I'm not really looking for something "super accurate"... I've never been one to sweat if a prop/model is super screen accurate, just so long as it looks good. I just want to end up with something that I can hang up later and admire and will stand the test of time and looks nice (smooth, straight lines, looks good up close and not just something that will be passable at a distance.). I'm not afraid of putting in the work (frankly, kind of looking for a distraction after some stuff that's happened over the past few months). In regards to cost, I'm not even really sure because I'm not really sure of the price ranges of a project like this for the various methods. The only "prop" work I've done so far is building sink tube lightsabers, plus I've built a fair amount of model kits (standard retail styrene kits). So I know how to use a dremel, using modeling putty and such...

So anyway, I just want to build one that is sturdy and looks sharp, not concerned with ultimate accuracy...
 

Wheeljack

Member
Re: Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed

No worries. Lol. Straight lines, smooth surface, looks good up close... That sounds screen accurate to me then. ;) Most of the kits out there are hand sculpts or recasts of stunt helmets so once you get one in your hands you will notice that they are not all that symetrical and pretty lumpy. When you get a PR kit, you at least have the basic forms and all the major details worked out, your main job is making it look pretty and functional, IE smoothing surfaces,filling dents/gaps, straightening lines,cutting, visors, paint,clasp, magnets and padding. It would still take you a week or so just to get it finished assuming you have the time. If you build it from scratch, you will still have to do all the finishing work on top of having to build,carve,sculpt the helmet base etc. In my estimation, that would be double to triple the work. I'm not trying to discourage you about doing that. I'm just trying to give you a heads up from a guy who already went down that road. Building props is about the journey as much as the final result so as long as you are having fun, "Give er"!

Costs vary. Some kits are super cheap and come from dubious sources and generally require more work. More expensive kits are generally better quality and easier to work on. Price ranges from $80-90 shipped to $400 shipped. You will need bondo,sandpaper and paint for any method of finishing and that stuff is relatively inexpensive.

Looking forward to seeing your build man.

Cheers!
 

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Warren Colvett

New Member
Re: Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed

Big Mike, thanks for all the info... Perhaps I can relate what I mean about "screen accurate" not being important... I like to build model kits, specifically have some Star Wars and Star Trek I will be working on. Take the Enterprise (1701-A) with it's complex aztek patterns and some of the hull details not being right. Or maybe the MPC Millennium Falcon, side walls are too tall and surface details aren't correct. When I build them, I want to make sure that everything is straight and even, the surface is prepped right and the paint looks good... But I'm not going to worry about correcting the inaccuracies or trying to replicate the pain job for the azteking or anything of the nature. I simply want them to look well built and look good sitting on my shelf. Same thing with the helmet, just want it to look like a nice piece, not so much concerned if it's 1:1 with the helmet on my TV screen... :)

Yes, I have been looking at the kits, I can see why it would be appealing especially for $80-$90 for the bare kit. I would imagine just getting all the materials and stuff together to do a helmet from scratch would be approaching that price, not to mention the many hours of work. So sounds like a kit may be a good way to go, especially for my first venture into this type of stuff.
 

Wheeljack

Member
Re: Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed

Well that is a level of accuracy ( referring to your model kits) takes a special amount of attention and dedication that I guess I over looked. ;) To me, a screen accurate power rangers helmet looks like it should and from 5 feet away no one would know the difference. Go with a kit and you'll have enough work on your hands but at least the foundation will be there for you to expand upon. I've been casually finishing a White Ranger Helmet in my spare time and they are notoriously small so you might want to get one and cut it first and try it on to test the fit. If it is too small, you can work on modifying it at an earlier stage in the finishing cycle. I've seen that work for some guys.
 

Warren Colvett

New Member
Re: Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed

Thanks Big Mike... I ended up ordering a kit to work on (happened upon a sale)... Supposedly it'll fit up to around a 24" head, had my daughter measure and if that's the case it will JUST fit... But I will certainly cut and try it on first before doing anything else.

Yeah, that level of detail is fine for people that are really into it, but I'm just not compulsive enough to hype-detail anything, I just want them to look good (which I guess is all relative anyway).

If the kit IS too small, what would you do to build it up to be a slightly larger size?
 

Wheeljack

Member
Re: Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed

Well for resizing the helmet it would depend on your head shape. If you have a wide head then there is not much you can do except maybe dremel out some material and minimize/ omit any padding. If you head is longer but narrow lengthwise then you can extend the body of the helmet and add another 1/2" to 3/4" of material along the seams to stretch it out. Aniki offers that service for an extra fee if you order a custom one through him. Luckily, the white ranger's seam is easy to work with and right in the middle of the helmet so it will be easy to work with. Some other helmets have more complicated seam lines and can be way more difficult to work with.

Start up a thread when you get your kit.
 

Warren Colvett

New Member
Re: Considering trying to learn how to make my own Power Ranger helmet, advice needed

link below is a group of pro pr helmet makers talk to them. jason is a good friend of mine


https://www.facebook.com/groups/840581369314395/914931925212672/?notif_t=group_activity
Hey Arkham, I ended up getting that kit from him but now when I go back to that page it seems like he just suddenly removed himself from FB. Any info as to why?

And to anyone else regarding this build; I will start my own thread as Big Mike suggested once I get into it but I have a question on the initial steps if someone would be so kind... What should I use to cut it in half and cut out the visor? I have a dremel with flexi shaft on my workbench, but I am wondering if I should use a standard cut-off wheel, steel sawblade, saw attachment, etc? Just want to make sure I choose something that won't tear up the material of the helmet and will afford me a straight cut.

White Ranger Helmet kit.jpg
 

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