First Pepakura build - Boba Fett Helmet

BeachGeekTee

New Member
Hi I’m Tee and I have recently come across this forum as I wanted to start making props and costumes but I have never been very good at crafts so I don’t expect anything amazing. I have done some research and came across Pepakura which I found very interesting and decided to give it a go and if this turns out OK I have a list of other models to do too, eventually.

I decided to start with a Boba Fett helmet and use this as an experimentation piece with regards to how it goes together, gluing, cutting etc. I am also having a play around with ways of hardening the final product and smoothing it out. I live in a small flat in the UK and have a 2 year old running around so after reading about resin and fibreglass with how potent it can be I decided this probably wasn’t a good idea. I have decided to try using wood glue from a post I read and also adding Baby wipes as I have plenty around on the inside instead of fibreglass from another post. I have started with the glue layer so far so will see how this turns out and how many layers are required.
I hope this turns out OK but any tips, tricks or knowledge you have that can help me out would be great to know.

Onto the build, I decided (after much toing and throwing) to start with the top dome which come together quite well but a few mistakes which hopefully I can fix later:
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Now the bottom of the dome has a ridge around the entire helmet which was very fiddly and to be honest looks awful at the moment I am hoping that when I attach the bottom it will shape this out and then can fix it later with the putty/filler:
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Now I decided to do this in a few stages, top dome, front and then sides/back. Started on the front with the main holding structure and now to put the curved pieces on the side:
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One side done and looking OK not the best but again I am hoping to fix this with the putty/filler:
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Pepakura stage is now finished with sides and back complete:
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Time to start wood gluing, I have decided to start with smallish sections at a time starting with the bottom to give it some strength and shape and then work up the outside. I done some experimenting with using small amount of water in the glue and without water at all. With water is much easier to apply and surprisingly had a better, harder finish than the side without water. There is slight warping which I expected but as I am doing small bits at a time until it is fully covered inside and out it hasn’t been an issue so far.
I am really pleased with the way it looks for my first attempt at this at the moment, I am sure I will probably remake this helmet later when I get better at the craft but it’s a good learning piece. I also have 2 other models to create and those will need to be done better as slightly more complex – ANH Stormtrooper helmet and Toothless head from ‘How to train your Dragon’ for my son which I will hopefully have more build pictures as I go. I am hoping my wood glue, baby wipes and water putty/filler will hold up as these models are not really to be worn/carried/used over any length of time but for display for my partner and son. I will keep you up to date with progress and with what works/doesn’t work.

Thanks for reading.
 

DMTDeadpool

Member
Very nice work. For a first time that is very impressive indeed. Those small bits are fiddly, right enough.

I hear you about the resin, you are very right to avoid it, in your circumstances. To quote the old dude in Crusade... "You chose... wisely."

a tip to avoid warping.... For helmets you can brace with card struts, or you can go the super technical method and use a balloon. Simply blow it up to a suitable size stick it in your bucket and it will keep it's shape pretty well, harden the outside, then you will have a stable form to begin on the inside.

What do you plan on using for the T-visor? Do you plan to go the screen accurate welding plastic, or the easier and cheaper option, not to mention providing much better vision, of window black-out sheeting?
 

ProminentProps

New Member
When I do Pepakura builds I used a metal ruler and a very sharp exact knife (with a comfort grip) to cut very nice straight lines, I also pre-bend anything that needs to be pre-bent, when I glue I suggest using super glue or CA glue (same thing). And for the finishing process I would use a resin (such as bondo resin) and than use fiberglass sheet on the inside with bondo fiberglass resin. After that use bondo body filler and sand it down, than mold and cast it! That's the basics of my process, I hope that can maybe give you some tips for the future. If you have any questions feel free to message me too! And the reason I and most people mold and cast the item is not just because you can make a bunch of copies easier but because after you cover it in fiberglass and bondo it will usually be quite brittle so casting it in a nice tough resin is a great idea and you can make as many as your mold can handle!
 

BeachGeekTee

New Member
Thanks for the replies and tips.

a tip to avoid warping.... For helmets you can brace with card struts, or you can go the super technical method and use a balloon. Simply blow it up to a suitable size stick it in your bucket and it will keep it's shape pretty well, harden the outside, then you will have a stable form to begin on the inside.

So simple yet I did not think of the balloon trick, Doh!

What do you plan on using for the T-visor? Do you plan to go the screen accurate welding plastic, or the easier and cheaper option, not to mention providing much better vision, of window black-out sheeting?

I haven't thought about this too much actually, I was looking to maybe use some black thin flexible plexiglass or probably black out sheeting on this one but maybe when/if I rebuild I will go more screen accurate on the whole item.

Prominent Props, I was hoping to steer clear of the resin due to how toxic it is and the fumes it gives out as only have inside space to work. I did look at Aqua Resin / Jesmonite but it's not the easiest to get hold of and due to the starting price / mixed reviews I thought I would test out some alternatives first. So far the helmet has had 1 thin coat of wood glue and is fairly strong, obviously I wouldn't try standing on it like some people do after resin but hopefully after a few layers it will be good enough. I'll get some pictures up soon. I have also bought a new X-acto knife for future projects and I can't believe the difference between that and the cheap hobby knife set I bought in the first place.
 

DMTDeadpool

Member
It's funny how simple things can prove to be good options lol

My dad asked me to make him a boba fett bucket, and for that one I got a roll of black-out film for a little more than a tenner that will do multiple projects. Getting some acetate might help too, as the film is rather thin, having the acetate with the film would make it sturdier. But if you want to go screen accurate, I believe it was grade 5 green welding plastic. But bear in mind, welding plastic is a total female dog to see through, needing a fair bit of light to have decent visibility.

Good luck on your build, hope it turns out like you want :D
 

BeachGeekTee

New Member
I think I will be going for the black-out film and look into the acetate, thanks for that advice. Maybe the welding plastic can be for the next model that will hopefully be better quality and a good display piece.

I have now completed the first layer of wood glue inside and out, all dried and fairly good feel to it but I think after a few layers it should be enough for what I am aiming for. It has a yellow colouring which is nice to see which bits have been missed or had less glue than others. It has warped a little which you can see from pictures below, hopefully get another layer on the inside soon and start with the baby wipes to see how that goes.

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I came across a forum post today which mentioned using Paper Mache Clay(http://www.ultimatepapermache.com/paper-mache-clay) and I was wondering if anyone has used this before? and whether it will be a good option for smoothing over the helmet? Any tips or advice on non-toxic filler would be great as still experimenting and researching. Looking at Durhams water putty, paper mache clay, normal DIY wall filler possibly or car filler, still undecided.

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!
 

BeachGeekTee

New Member
Hope you all had a good Christmas and got some new stuff to play with,

I haven't done much on this for a few days due to the busy Christmas period but I have started adding more wood glue and with a layer of baby wipes which is going quite well but found it to be making the paper quite rubbery and not really what I was expecting. I had a rethink and then remembered some information from an Art Class (a few years ago now and finally something from Art has come in handy for me), Gesso. I remember vaguely that this is used to give a nice base to watercolour paints on canvas so I decided to see if this will work as a barrier to prevent too much moisture hitting the paper.

I decided to buy a pot of Gesso instead of homemade as I didn't know what consistency would be correct, how it should be applied etc etc. So I went to local hobby shop and bought 1 litre tub of Graduate Gesso for a couple of £'s and gave it a go. I have now done 2 layers inside and out and it has given a better feel to the overall texture and rigidity already. I will let this dry over night and see how the wood glue takes to it but first impressions are good and the baby wipes are giving quite a bit of strength now fully dried.
 

BeachGeekTee

New Member
I haven't had much time to work on this recently but starting to get some time back. I have finished the wood glue hardening of 3 layers outside, 1 layer inside plus 2 layers of baby wipes. I changed glue to Gorilla wood glue and honestly this was the best choice as it dries a lot harder and quicker. Can't see a lot but here are a few pictures:
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I was happy with the strength and rigidity so time to start smoothing over. I got some no shrink or crack filler and started on the dome to see how it would go. I found i'm a slow worker with filler and ended up in a mess as it was drying before I could finish. I done 5 mins of sanding after 24 hours to see how it would go and it sanded quite well and the lower layers are quite solid so i'm in high hopes that this will be ok with a few layers of primer after each layer and smoothing. I will have a lot of smoothing to do but it's really nice starting to see the near end product. Here's a few pictures as it stands after the session of filling tonight.

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That's it for now and hopefully get to more sanding and finish first round of filler around whole helmet for primer.

Let me know if you have any tips, tricks or constructive criticism.
 

BeachGeekTee

New Member
I have done some filling on Boba now and basically made a complete mess and required tons of sanding even with a dremel multi tool. As this is my first project and every step I have messed up something so I am not expecting much at the end but it has been a very good test piece and I have been able to experiment with it quite a bit. At the end of the first layer of filler it was quite thick and at some points it was hardening before I was finished so when I went back to some parts to smooth it just didn't do anything. Filling a wall to filling a rounded and shaped object is completely different, I learnt a lot from this. As I am just using Multi Purpose wall filler there is obviously the possibility of cracking, not adhesing properly etc. so on the first layer I lightly sanded the wood glue and this is very solid, I have then used primer on top of this layer to see the holes, dips and bumps a bit better and to provide a base for the second layer.

I done some research on DIY sites about filler cracking and found to put a layer of PVA Wood Glue on top of the filler to give a base for the paint. As I have a new found love for wood glue it was worth a try. For the second layer I used powdered filler so I can mix to my own consistency and used 2 part filler, 1 part water and 1/2 part wood glue and you can make small batches so it doesn't dry out and not wasted but also you can change mixture for what consistency you need but the previous mix was quite nice. This layer went on a lot better, much thinner and easier to work with/smooth but it does touch dry quite quickly so small batches are best but so far I would definitely recommend but I shall see once fully dried. Sanding the first layer of filler took some time and patience so I haven't got much further and will upload pictures of the second layer with own mix filler once complete.

This has definitely been full of experimentation so far and can't wait to get to the painting stage. I hope this helps somebody.

Here are some pictures where you can see my poor filler work and criticise as you see fit :$

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kevin926

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
These pepakura builds are amazing, I can look at these all day!!!

I would really love to build a few of these
Vader
Stormtrooper anh or episode 4
BOBA FETT
Snowtrooper

I have the printouts for boba fett but it's the bucket build that has the other style like on the dented helmet. I also have some plans and specs for the snowtrooper helmet, but I would like to get the plans for boba, vader and stormtrooper pepakura if possible

Great job
 

BeachGeekTee

New Member
Yeah I have a long list of helmets, other armour and models to build as well, also currently working on Boba EE-3 blaster rifle. If you are looking for pep files Fierfek has some really nice files. Star Wars pep files are fairly easy to find and add different detail levels. Pepakura is really great though and oddly relaxing.

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
 

Mottrex

Sr Member
Can't wait to see more of your progress! I've also recently started my first pepakura build and am also iffy with going with the fiberglass resin method, so seeing your progress with the wood glue method really helps.
Same.. I've had mine in paper then foam but never gone further due to a house renovation.
Big push this week to try get something done.

To the OG poster did you get it finished?
 

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