Finishing a Vader Helmet, beginning to end.

Atarian

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I am new to fiberglass and sanding/filling/etc. And I thought it would be a good idea to get advice from the pros every step of the way. This will help me, and possibly other people who have never done this sort of thing before.

I have sanded things with a dremel before, but I'm afraid of ruining my pretty new helmet. I have to cut the eyes, triangles, and grill slots out of the helmet. Is there a hand tool I can get so I can go at it that way?


 

ob1al

Sr Member
I used my dremel and a set of small model makers hand files of various shapes and sizes. The dremel is great, just go slowly and very carefully and leave the edge finishing for the hand tools.

You can see some pics of my WIP here: http://p083.ezboard.com/ftheukproppartyfrm...icID=1403.topic

If you need to know anything specific, please feel free to PM me if you think I can help.

Great cast you have there, really very nice. You're starting from a much better base than I did. I bet it'll turn out to be bobby-dazzler when you are done. :thumbsup

Regards.

Al
 

sithlord23

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hey there, well, hopefully this helps....I've been completely redoing my Rubies Supreme Vader, I got inspired after seeing a couple of people getting to work on this helmet, and making it look good. I was definitely nervous starting on it, and the Rubies sucks compared to the bucket you have, but once I actually started, the work is pretty mellow. Just take it slow, area by area. I am by no means a Vader expert, but I'm just offering what I've been doing so far, and it worked.

The grill teeth area, I used a dremel with a drill bit, and made a bunch of small holes in the area I was wanting to get rid of material. Then I knocked the area out(carefully), and then took my time filing it with a smaller single file, and then the bigger double edged file to smooth over the areas. (The Rubies Supreme teeth area, sits higher, and is rounded at the bottom, thus the teeth work on the Rubies).

The eyes, I cut out most of the area when I took out the lenses(the Rubies lenses are mounted from the front), with a dremel tool. I then used the same files, and then a couple of sand papers( med. grit, then fine).

After that, I primered it lightly to see if I missed any areas that needed work or smoothing. And that helped big time, and there were only a few areas that needed work, after I primered it.

I'll be posting a thread, and pics with my work, and my helmet, after its finished. I hope this helps for now. Good luck.:)
 

dcarty

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi there.
I've been working on a fiberglass Vader helmet myself recently. If I suggest anything that you already know, please bear with me :) The first thing I'd do, if you haven't already is head to Home Depot or Lowes and get a filtered facemask--you don't want to breathe the dust from fiberglass and those paper masks are useless. (and use safety goggles of course--I know you're not an idiot but I thought I'd mention it anyway) Then on the way home drop by your nearest Wal-Mart or Walgreens and head to the cosmetics section and pick up a couple of foam sanding boards if you don't already have any (my favorites are the red and blue ones that have 4 different sanding grits on them-cheap and enormously useful). I also try to keep a shop vacuum cleaner handy to get rid of the dust fairly often--makes it much easier to see your work.

Make your cuts from the inside of the mask--mistakes are a lot less tragic that way. I began with a cutting disc--I prefer the fiber cutting discs, just a personal preference-- then switched to a sanding drum. Start far from the edges and work your way toward them gradually. I try to get within a hairs breadth of the edge so I don't have a lot left for fine sanding with the boards. You might even want to start the eye sockets by drilling them out.

For the "mouth" I went after it with the cutting disc first to chop it down to size then switched to a wide flat stone disc to get the slots closer to the correct depth using the top edge of the disc to do the work. I took some thin cardboard and made a template for a sanding block then cut out a small piece of shim wood to match it. Then I wrapped the block with some rough sanding paper (about 120 grit I think) and evened everything out and followed roughly the same steps for the chin.

Again, as I'm sure you know, work slow. Sand for a few seconds and check your progress. You should have a very fun afternoon.

Hope any of this helps.

Cheers,

Dave C
 

vaderfanforever

Active Member
Hey there creamedgeezer. So far, so good. If you plan on makeing several of these CT style helmets, please count me infor one. I really like the look of the helmet...especially the way it sits on your head. It look really comfortable.

I too am no Vader expert, but have fun with the project. Take your time so it comes out the way you want, and you don't feel rushed.

We will be watching this one with great interest.

:cheers

Elijah
 

Atarian

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm not making helmets, the member "celtic touch" made this one. I'm just finishing/painting it.

Thanks for all the advice, guys. I'm gonna try to get to Home Depot after work tonight for a mask and goggles and stuff.

I'm excited.
 

bowjunkie35

Well-Known Member
Originally posted by vaderfanforever@Jun 24 2005, 09:42 AM
Do you knos how I can get ahold of Celtic Touch? I love his helmets, and would like to get one.

Does he even still make them??
[snapback]1019936[/snapback]​

Search under "members"
 

FON

Well-Known Member
Thats REAL NICE creamedgeezer. someday i'll have to get around to obtaining a 20th'c vader... someday :)

Take your time with that one, it will be worth it.

Cheers
 

Atarian

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I worked on the helmet today. I was a bit nervous with the dremel at first, but it got easier. I was terrified of doing the mouth slots. but the fiberglass was so thick, I was able to just grind it out from the inside, without damaging the outside.
I also found a neat little x-acto file at the local hobby shop, so I used that to sharpen the edges and corners.

I'm gonna start filling the very few pin holes tomorrow, i think. I got "Bondo body filler" is that the right stuff?

Thanks.

 

Xeno Kenobi

New Member
Wow Jeff,
Looks so good so far. I am impressed for a first timer. When I tried trimming a fiberglass DP Deluxe kit a year or 2 ago, I messed up at the flashing at the neck area. The rest is rather easy. Just get used to it. You seem to have gotten a very good casting. Shouldn't be a problem for you. ;) Yeah, it's Bondo Body filler.
 

KevVader

Sr Member
...wow, nice job so far.....yeah, the first time using that Dremel spinning at a million miles an hour is a little nerve-racking...but you've done a great job....can't wait to see how this turns out.. :thumbsup
 

Atarian

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks for all the kind words, guys.

How thick should the dome be? I've heard that people build theirs up with bondo to get the right thickness.

Thanks,
Jeff
 

dcarty

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Looking good creamedgeezer great work. I wouldn't go wild with the bondo. If you can apply a small amount then wipe it off quickly with a paper towel so that it only fills the hole even better. Apply it in two or three very thin applications to build it up with a light sanding in between. The dome of my helmet had about 2" of bondo in it where someone had tried to build it up for a mounting system-yuck. It took me about 3 hours of grinding over several evenings to cut it all out.

If I remember correctly the walls of the dome on my DP Deluxe were around 1/4" think but franky I don't know if I would even attempt it. That much bondo is going to make the helmet very top-heavy. If you really want to you might fill in the first 3-4" around the edges and feather it out as you reach the interior of the dome. You'll only be able to get a clear look at that much of the inside of the dome anyway once it's in place and it'll be even harder to tell once it's painted.

My $.02.

Dave C.
 

KevVader

Sr Member
.....my JB ESB is 1/4" thick at the edges but slims down in the body of the helmet....my ANh is probably about 3/16" thick......I would agree with the above not too go too crazy with the Bondo...otherwise you'd have days of sanding/shaping...
 

Atarian

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
ok, the helmet is now sanded and cleaned and sanded some more. I'm just waiting for it to dry so I can put the primer on. Anyone know of a place online I can order Plastikote gunmetal grey and gloss black spraypaints? They are nowhere to be found locally.
 
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