Dex's Y-Wing Helmet Scratch build

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DexJay

Member
Hello all,
I’ve been slowly adding to my build over on thedentedhelmet for a while now and I really should have started a thread over here sooner, but there you go! This won’t be a complete reposting (no point in that) so I’ll add more detail and use some pics that you won’t have seen before.

I’ve always found the Y-Wing ROTJ helmet a cool shaped piece and wanted one for a while. I almost went for a RA kit, but thought, well as I’m doing a Fine Art Masters Degree and am reasonable with my hands I’d try my first sculpt and see how it goes… I started with the best reference pics I could find over on Flickr and made a few friends over there in the process. Hi Frank! (y-wingfighter) and Uncle HeMan! With some good reference shots side on ¾’s and front I thought I’d draw up in Adobe Illustrator as good a reference as I could to start me off. I started a build using 3DSMax model to help me get familiar with the shapes and see how close I could get it really. I was never going down the 3D prototyping route, but might have been nice!

My Y-Wing Helmet Plans | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
3D render | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

After collecting about 5 motorcycle helmets at Car boot sales (Junkyard/Flea Market sales to my American friends!) I went with Medium in size and something that in profile at least might help me build the buck with as little trouble as possible. I removed all the junk – visor, internals and made some reference points to try to make sure I didn’t get too lost on the way! Then with Photoshop, photos and more reference I planned as to roughly where the cuts were going. Then it was out with a cutting disc and start slicing the helmet up. With the chin section now loose I could see where the chunk would go, tape it into place and go from there….

Novak | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Novak planned cuts | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Novak Cut up | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Rich
To be continued!
 

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DexJay

Member
Hi!
Have I linked the images correctly? Is there any reason I can't see the images and only see the links? Do let me know if this needs editing!
 

DexJay

Member
Hi all,
Using tubes of mastic from a caulking gun, the chin section now bonded into placed and the gap filled with offcuts. Once cured, it was time to get it a bit closer.

Jaw modified | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Brow & more chin mods | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Side view | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

The brow needed both pinching in and the chin section had too large a gap (the internal opening).With more cutting the brow was moved back the internal area closed up. In profile view it was heading in the right direction!

Next after a decent sanding back, to make sure the filler/paste would adhere properly, I filled all gaps left by the cutting. Using fibreglass bumper (fender) repair paste I concentrated on the lower area of the helmet.

filling step 1 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Sanding Step 1 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Remember I’m just after as good a buck as I can make for casting so the insides of the helmet really didn’t matter. It’s a good job too and with the addition of all the filler & fibreglass it was starting to get heavy!

Until next time!
 

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DexJay

Member
Hi all,
Using tubes of mastic from a caulking gun, the chin section now bonded into placed and the gap filled with offcuts. Once cured, it was time to get it a bit closer.

The brow needed both pinching in and the chin section had too large a gap (the internal opening).With more cutting the brow was moved back the internal area closed up. In profile view it was heading in the right direction!

Next after a decent sanding back, to make sure the filler/paste would adhere properly, I filled all gaps left by the cutting. Using fibreglass bumper (fender) repair paste I concentrated on the lower area of the helmet.

Remember I’m just after as good a buck as I can make for casting so the insides of the helmet really didn’t matter. It’s a good job too and with the addition of all the filler & fibreglass it was starting to get heavy!

Until next time!
 

DaddyfromNaboo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi Dex,

interesting build, keep on truckin ;)

My first X-Wing helmet was built using a very similar method, we did not have a lot of ref back in the days in 1997. People were still assuming that the helmets were built with football helmets as a basis, so we went with the next best thing, motorcycle helmets as well. It definitely works ;)
 

DexJay

Member
Hi,
Thanks! The build is all done finished, so I know this is all a little backwards!

After the fibreglass paste I added a good few fills of automotive body filler. Also I started to work on getting a nice even return around the edge of the helmet.

After much of this I trimmed a strip of styrene for the brow section and trial clamped it into place. To give it some added strength I used expanding foam underneath this.

Once all bonded and cured I sanded and began filling the brow and blending the shape, whilst keeping the step behind the brow where it drops down.

I looked like it might be OK after all! :)

Dex
 

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DexJay

Member
With most of the big sculpting done around the front, I started looking at the back. The Y-Wing ROTJ helmet is quite long here and the only way to fill such a large area was to cut the back lower section off. I was going to reattach the cut section, but instead decided on putting in a piece off another scrap helmet. Once this was spaced back and bonded I added a styrene strip horizontally and added expanding foam (for the rear band section) and filled.

After much sanding and filling the general shape was getting there! It still needed some tweaking, a pinching in of the frontal top area, more adding to the rear band and general symmetry. By this state I was beginning to feel it was definitely heading in the right direction!

Here's comparison for scale with another Medium sized motorcycle helmet.
 

DexJay

Member
Right, where did I get up to?

I didn't realise that I'd neglected this build up documentation for too long!:facepalm

After the previous stage I added a good dose of primer (hi-build) to help get a better idea of where I was with the shaping...

View attachment 109951

Not looking too bad, I still had to address the rear lip (which flips up) and the lower return section. That I did next.

View attachment 109952

You can see on the lower section of the next photo the angled chamfer that I was after. A little triangular section which I had to get right.

View attachment 109953

With that about done I started mocking up the button positions on the rear section. Also the audio control (?) at the front where the Yamaha engine cover was used....

View attachment 109954
View attachment 109955

After taking a hole saw through the neck section (sweaty palm moment that one! Don't mess it up! Don't mess it up!) I bonded some MDF onto the inside.
The inside really didn't matter how messy it got as long as it was solid.

..and boy was this thing putting on weight! :lol

View attachment 109956

More updates real soon!

Rich
 

DexJay

Member
With the buck really looking to be getting somewhere it was time to fine tune the moulding line at the rear, greeblie indents and other details.

View attachment 110687

The rear (spoiler) flip-up section needed some work, getting it symmetrical and getting the curve like it should be in reference pics.

View attachment 110688

The hole for the top Molex connector is being roughed out for position in this photo and the grade of paper is getting ever finer.

View attachment 110689

At this stage the Yamaha engine cover and disc section is being worked with a piece of MDF on the inside and a blending of the chamfer. Trial fitting the buttons/catches too and they seem about right.

View attachment 110690

By this point the big work is almost done! Just a case of getting picky and adding another coat of primer

View attachment 110691

Offered up on a dummy head suggests the scale is close. The Y-wing helmet is a large lid, but still only about the size of an X-Wing one...

Until next update which is more primer & Wet n Dry time!

Rich
 

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DexJay

Member
Hi again,
With the lid all near ready for more primer after the cellulose primer it was time for some 2K Automotive paint. Nasty, but rather that spray it and put it in the air you can get away with applying with a roller.

View attachment 122650
View attachment 122651
After 2-3 coats you need to let it harden - wet and dry with 1200 and 2000 and reprime in areas you may have rubbed through. So with some luck you'll have something that resembles this -

View attachment 122652

After a good polish I made a box to place the lower half in and made a crude cardboard template, followed by one in MDF.

View attachment 122653
View attachment 122654

Almost ready for casting now! With a trusty glue gun and yet more cardboard it was time to shutter it all up - after all you don't want the Silicone everywhere!

View attachment 122655
Until next time!

Rich
 

DexJay

Member
Thankyou Artman!

With the buck all ready to go I mixed up the Silicone for the 1st pour with no thixotropic.
View attachment 125334

...add a 2nd... and a third pour...
View attachment 125335

..then a touch of thixotropic for a 4th pour.
View attachment 125336

I made some locating blocks (that were a little too big really) and added those after the 5th pour.
View attachment 125337

Then a 2 piece (to make 4 in all) fibreglass mother mould that would bolt together all the way round.
View attachment 125338

(Missing are the repeated steps for the other side, making sure to add a Silicone release agent to stop the 2 silicone sides sticking together!)

Although I wasn't going to slush cast this I figured I'd leave it open as a possibility if the GRP didn't go well!
View attachment 125340

..and there it was, ready for action!
View attachment 125341

Thanks to Nate (Heatshock) for his email support!

Next time, gelcoat!
Rich
 

practicecactus

Active Member
Oh wow. From the first set of pics I could tell this was gonna be good. Looks like it's gonna be a damn fine helmet. Nice work.
 

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