"Dutch" Halo ODST-HS Combat Helmet

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by Sean Bradley, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. Sean Bradley

    Sean Bradley Well-Known Member

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    New alternate ODST helmet made for Child's Play and Laird MacLean.

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    "Corporal Taylor Miles. 'Dutch'... Death's head slapped right on his helmet. Heavy weapons specialist. Time on Mars tends to give a man... perspective."

    - Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck


    So it's been a long, strange journey since making my first ODST helmet back in 2009. I've made a lot of costumes but haven't made a totally new ODST bucket since that first rushed Pepakura helmet. I've always felt I could do better, so when my old buddy Laird MacLean asked if I could make a new helmet for his Child's Play fundraiser this year, I thought I'd have another go at it.

    I started with a pepakura base for the helmet, but ended up chopping and re-configuring the helmet almost completely. I downloaded a nice early version of the helmet modeled by Rundown from the 405th wiki and scaled it to the approximate size of my other helmet. When it comes to scaling, I take an educated guess, fold it, and if it's too small or too big, I scale up or down by 10% and try again. I made about 3 different attempts to find the right size for this helmet. The standard helmet I made was fairly oversized. When comparing it closely against the live action ODST suits made by Legacy Effects Studios last summer at HaloFest, I felt strongly that I needed to find a new scale just slightly smaller than before, but not as confining as the Legacy helmets.

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    Once I had the basic helmet scaled and folded, I followed typical pepakura procedure, carefully brushing the paper with polyester resin in light layers until it had enough strength for thicker coats of resin/bondo mix, then alternating layers of fiberglass and 'rondo' inside the helmet. Once the helmet was structurally sound, I began the process of sanding and rounding the corners, filling in low areas, and making changes to the model. The pep helmet was a great base to build over, and comparison with the in-game character model showed where I needed to make changes. The jawline of the helmet was narrowed, rounded, and the chin was cut out, and moved forward and down. The crest was ground down, filled, then relocated. The raised sections on the top of the helmet were redone in thicker relief based on references. I used foam window insulation tape of various thicknesses to help guide the areas I was filling in with Bondo. Before long, every inch of the helmet was ground down or cut out, filled, re-mastered, and replaced. The final lines were cut with files, and the final details were hand cut from styrene plastic or sealed MDF. To see the extent of all the work done to alter the base model check the gallery here: Dutch Helmet Process pictures by ScaryMonkey75 - Photobucket

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    Once the helmet model was completed it was coated with a final layer of primer that once dry was buffed to 600 grit. Polishing the model was intended to make the rubber mold less porous, and to reduce the amount of finish sanding after casting. Once the helmet was prepped for molding, I proceeded to trip and fall flat on my face. :O The first attempt at molding was a failure on two accounts; seasonal material curing problems and a complicated mold design. I was inspired by the mold tooling of the ODST action figure helmets and attempted to move the parting line to minimize sanding/filling the castings. The design might have worked, but it slowed down the molding process by making the mold more complicated than necessary. Though I properly prepared the mold materials (silicone rubber can sometimes separate in the winter months) the temperature in my shop was low enough to prevent the print coat from fully curing. The result was a complicated mold with bubbles and uncured areas throughout the surface I so painstakingly detailed and polished. I've never encountered this problem with the print coat before, but with some phone calls to Smooth-On's tech dept. we sorted out a solution.. I usually keep my shop around 60 - 65 degrees and never had any problems before, but their recommendation is that the material should be used at no less than 73 degrees. I've recently remade the flawed molds in a temperature controlled cabinet, kept it all above 73 and everything cured perfectly. Since the mold for the helmet would have to be remade I had no choice but to finish a less than perfect casting for my deadline. More filler. more sanding a few more late nights later got me back on track to paint and assembly of the helmet.

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    The paint application I use for my ODST helmets begins with a nickel silver basecoat. Over the silver I paint a resist over corners and to simulate scratches on the surface. I've taken to using toothpaste for my resist... y'know because it's minty fresh and prevents cavities. ;) This resist is scrubbed and scratched off later after the topcoat of Duplicolor Gunmental Gray dries. The rest of the painting is a mixture of airbrushing and handpainting, adding the black visor/vent areas, red/orange stripe, the skull face, and weathering and grime.

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    The visors were vacuumformed in clear .060 PETG, then hot bath dyed with Jaquard iPoly fabric dye to cobalt blue. The backside of the visors were lightly misted with an ultra chrome paint airbrushed in a very fine mist. Admittedly, the visors came out much darker than desired, but I'm so accustomed to people wanting them as dark as possible! I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the pre-existing visors I make fit the 'Dutch' helmet even better than the old standard helmet. Installation only required a couple of short screws (for centering and adjusting) and a little hot glue to secure the visor in place. The hoses from the ear holes to the forward sensors were made with plastic tubing, pinstripe tape and heat shrink wrap and then glued in place. The vent holes were covered in loose mesh fabric, then the fan system and interior lights were installed inside the helmet. To complete the presentation I made a Halo-styled helmet display stand with handpainted logos and nameplate.

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    The finished helmet and stand were then whisked away to Emerald City Comicon by Laird, along with a beautiful prop recreation of Dutch's 'Vera' M6C Socom Automag pistol made by Ben Streeper. The set were signed by Adam Baldwin, the actor known best for his roles as Animal Mother in Full Metal Jacket, Jayne Cobb in Firefly, who also happens to be the voice of 'Dutch' in the Halo 3: ODST game! The signed props will be auctioned off with Laird's items for Child's Play starting May 20th on eBay.

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    Thanks to Laird for this great project, thanks to Rundown for that Dutch helmet file, and thanks to you for reading. :)

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    For more photos from this project: Dutch Helmet References pictures by ScaryMonkey75 - Photobucket , Dutch Helmet Process pictures by ScaryMonkey75 - Photobucket , Dutch Helmet Finished pictures by ScaryMonkey75 - Photobucket
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  2. JBetts97

    JBetts97 New Member

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    Beautiful job Sean! You once again didn't cease to impress me! Beautiful stand as well . Great job once again!

    -Jacob
     
  3. BLACKULA727

    BLACKULA727 Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Really glad you showed all the progress shots in this. I've been following your work for quite some time and I'm always impressed by the end result. Anyways, It came out awesome and its for a wonderful cause. Again, great job!

    Tony
     
  4. Qui-Gonzalez

    Qui-Gonzalez Master Member

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    Great Googah Moogah! That looks incredible. I usually think "Meh, you have seen one pep helmet, you have seen them all" and then you show me this. Well done, young sir!
     
  5. BoozeBeGood

    BoozeBeGood Sr Member

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    Holy cow! That is just....sensational!!!
     
  6. SqueekinOrka

    SqueekinOrka Well-Known Member

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    That is awesome! Great helmet and paint work and i love the visor :)
     
  7. Aus Askar

    Aus Askar New Member

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    Wow, * that's a sweet helmet, awesome paint job.
     
  8. Sean Bradley

    Sean Bradley Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys! Now to make the full set of ODST squad helmets! I want to see all of them lined up on stands one day.

    For reference; I've been hearing some tips about the curing trouble with rebound 25. Some have said that the curing issue is a reaction to Bondo degassing, and others have reported the same problems. I'm not convinced because I had the same curing issue with the MDF pieces I cast. Is it plausible that theres an issue with Rustoleum primer, or should I just accept the temperature explanation?

    Well, thanks guys. Can't wait to share more. :)
     
  9. BLACKULA727

    BLACKULA727 Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I've heard the rustoleum issue from several people. But I've also heard from members on the RPF that it's an old wives tale. However, I personally avoid using it for any model I intend to mold. I just use krylon. I do remember a thread bak on the 405 where I believe Volpin (dif screen name there) had some curing problems and I believe Ithica recommended that he change his primer from the rustoleum he was using.
     
  10. Sean Bradley

    Sean Bradley Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Harrison tagged me in a discussion with a friend about curing problems. It sounds like his friend was experiencing the same problems, but he did mention that he now waxes his models before molding. I'm guessing Sonite Wax. Not a bad idea. With so many companies changing formulations all the time, you never know when something is going to interfere with your material curing. Better to seal it, than deal with the aftermath of uncured rubber. ;)
     
  11. CadetTK2386

    CadetTK2386 Well-Known Member

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    Looks awesome as always, Sean!
     
  12. BLACKULA727

    BLACKULA727 Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    True. Well, I'm sure you'll figure it out, or maybe you already have. Either way, this helm is tight. With that said, I do recommend one thing to bring it to that next level. Ok, two things. It needs Pyrotechnics and 80's glam rock for a proper introduction. Just something to think about when you unveil your next creation...lol

    Be good,

    Tony
     
  13. 466

    466 New Member

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    Thats some real nice work!
    Thanx especially for the "documentation" pics :)
    I wonder what that red stuff is youre using on the helmet. Makes it much more easy to locate dents and scratches.


    Thx 4 sharing,

    Michael
     
  14. law0080

    law0080 New Member

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    oh my god ur my hero!
    mad luv odst n reach
     
  15. penutbuttrbandt

    penutbuttrbandt New Member

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    Sean it came out beautiful, can't wait for a run if one is planned.
     
  16. Sean Bradley

    Sean Bradley Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the wait guys... took on a museum job that has had me very busy.

    @Michael '466' - The red stuff is spot putty/glazing compound.. It useful for filling small, shallow voids, air bubbles.... and I had A LOT in that bad casting I had to finish. ;)

    @penutbuttrbandt: Thanks. :) A run is coming.. just need to do some minor time management first. I'm casting ahead of the run to prepare for it.
     
  17. 466

    466 New Member

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    @Sean
    Thanx 4 reply :)
     
  18. Aeronnz

    Aeronnz New Member

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    This is awesome. Thanks for taking all that time to take those progress pictures!
     
  19. Halo_1

    Halo_1 Well-Known Member

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    Holy Crap Sean! Fracking awesome work....as usual!
     
  20. SirNedKingsly

    SirNedKingsly Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The helmet looks amazing! Cant wait to get mine Sean!
     
  21. Tron Paul

    Tron Paul New Member

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    As usual, excellent job Sean.
     

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