Mr. Destructoid helmet remake

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Volpin, May 12, 2012.

  1. Volpin

    Volpin Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    966
    About three years ago when I was first getting started in the whole propmaking thing, the guys from Destructoid.com asked me to make a big mascot head for them to wear at conventions and such. I had no idea what I was doing, but the finished piece looked pretty good despite weighing 10lbs and being made from masonite and polyester resin.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This thing has been all over the world and has had the crap kicked out of it. The eyes were knocked out, battery cable torn out, at some point someone installed a speaker system inside it attached to an iPod. Its on its last legs after three years of game conventions and parties, so they're after a replacement.

    Re-imagined plans:

    [​IMG]

    My plan is to make the new one out of all vacuum formed parts, and incorporate each element into the main buck so things won't snap off. Ears will be connected to the sides, and the mouth/eyebrows will be connected to the faceplate. This helmet will also have LED eyes with 20 sequenced patterns.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    First step, oddly, was building a vacuumformer! I based mine off the Workshop Publishing plans with some modifications due to budget and my own shop capacities. The plans are worth every penny of the $65 and will furnish you with an amazing machine. This one took about 2 weeks for me to build. I may have to add a second vac tank, but I'm getting the house rewired to run the machine soon so I'll make that call a bit later.

    [​IMG]

    The work so far has been just building the bucks from MDF and sorting out the electronics. All the panels will screw together so this big box can be disassembled for transport. So far I've got the front, top and side largely finished.

    Top section is an assortment of MDF spines filled in with expanding foam. I've spent a lot of time smoothing this one out.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Side panel has a HUGE ear puck. I've test pulled this on my smaller vac machine and even with just a shop vac it works well. I'd like to pull this as one part, but we'll see if the big vacformer can handle that.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Front panel isn't anything terribly exciting just yet. I have a bunch of holes drilled in order to dimple the plastic where the assembly screws will go. I'll need to do this for where the eye cutouts will be as well.

    [​IMG]

    Hope you guys enjoy following the build! I should have pieces ready for forming in a few days, then I'll be testing it out with green acrylic as well as PET plastic and styrene to see what yields the best results.
     
  2. senomar

    senomar New Member

    Trophy Points:
    2
    Gotta love Mr. Dtoid.
     
  3. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    2,455
    New Volpin thread! Woo hoo!

    Nick
     
  4. Crank729

    Crank729 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,355
    I know right? It's like Christmas Morning.
     
  5. DarkJedi1500

    DarkJedi1500 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    685
    How did you get your landlord to upgrade the wiring?
     
  6. chinbeard

    chinbeard Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    211
    Looking pretty spiffy so far!
     
  7. OzDean

    OzDean Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    341
    Following this - I've just about finished my vacformer so it will be interesting to see the tests you do with each material.
     
  8. Ford W Maverick

    Ford W Maverick Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    567
    Like a day or two after I first found this thread, which was my introduction to Mr Destructoid, I was at a party someone put in the anime movie 'Paprika'. I noticed the distinctive robot in one of the parade scenes and I was all "Hey! I know that guy!"
     
  9. EZBSVS

    EZBSVS Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    341
    This looks awesome. Love seeing an artist revisit a previous piece, it's a neat process. Can't wait to see more!
     
  10. Volpin

    Volpin Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    966
    I'm paying for it, and it was under the stipulation that I used their licensed electrician. They're essentially getting a free garage re-wire out of it, so its a solid deal for them.

    Speaking of which, the electrician is currently running the new lines for the shop as I type this out, should be pulling plastic by this evening!
     
  11. Volpin

    Volpin Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    966
    Self bump, but the machine works wonders! Video here

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Volpin

    Volpin Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    966
    More self-bumpage!

    I've been busy the past couple of weeks with the As You Wish Helmet Project, but having recently shipped that bucket out, I can turn my attention back to Mr. Destructoid.

    Did some work on the LEDs for the eye areas. Got my boards printed at BatchPCB.com, and set about filling the components. The LEDs are 360º frosted red bulbs, lower intensity than stuff I've used in the past but the diffused case makes the light much more even.

    [​IMG]

    These got a whole mess of wiring. There are 8 banks per eye which will be controlled by an LED sequencing board.

    [​IMG]

    Laser cut the holders for the boards. Unlike the last helmet, you'll be able to look through these in the aperture-shaped gaps between the boards. Should make wearing it and walking around a much nicer experience.

    [​IMG]

    Assembled pieces. Boards are epoxied in place, and all the wires are held in place with zip ties around the perimeter. I love having a laser for stuff like this, hand cutting these would have taken ages.

    [​IMG]

    Testing with the controller. Here's a quick vid of how it looks so far. I've wired the eyes so that the sequences will mirror one another left to right. Should look pretty cool when they're both up and running!

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Volpin

    Volpin Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    966
    Seems like I'm just shouting into the ether here, but one more update before I'll just let the thread die...

    Pulled all the parts out of some .060" styrene. The end result is actually really sturdy, despite being just taped together at this point. Made up some drafts from scrap MDF to help with the pulls. These make things a million times easier when removing the plastic.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Letters above were laser cut from some scrap acrylic then glued onto the master. Results are pretty cool!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    All mocked up. Need to pull the eye lenses out of some PETG then start gluing things together and filling in the seams.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. zanderwitaz

    zanderwitaz Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    586
    Dude. Nice. Those are some exceptionally clean pulls.
     
  15. TheNickFox

    TheNickFox Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    2,285
    Looking great. Those pulls are a great testament to the vacuformer you built...and I'm sure the wearer/model will appreciate how much lighter the revised helmet will be.

    Quick question though: with all the electronics (presumably) up front, have you given any thought to having to counterbalance the helmet in the back, or are the components light enough/the head rig strong enough to make this a non-issue?

    -Nick
     
  16. Crank729

    Crank729 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,355
    Looks great, how much do you think the final product will weigh?
     
  17. castlegardener

    castlegardener New Member

    Trophy Points:
    2
    the vacu forms looks terrific
     
  18. propnoob74

    propnoob74 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    557
    Man those pulls are amazing, would be awesome to have one of those machines!!!!
     
  19. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

    Trophy Points:
    5,550
    Awesome! I am loving watching you work!
     
  20. Volpin

    Volpin Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    966
    The eyes are a bit weighty, so I'll be putting the battery pack and the "brain box" on the backside of the helmet to hopefully balance things out a bit. There's also a pretty big sintra block at the bottom (pics below) which should lower the CG a bit to make things less wobbly.

    I'm aiming for under 2lbs. The first one weighed about 10, so anything under that will be a plus!



    Pulled the eye lenses out of PET on the little former. I cut a ring out of acrylic for the base so that the pulls would have drill holes lined up with the LED holders and the faceplate of the helmet

    [​IMG]

    These are in the process of being dyed red. The one in this shot is a test piece and only got one dip in the dye bath, but it works as a proof of theory. Also got a nice little lip around the eye lenses as a result of the vacforming, which I think is a nice detail.

    [​IMG]

    This is the plate I mentioned above. Its cut from 10mm sintra and will be the main mounting board for the electronics and battery pack. It also weighs as much as the rest of the helmet combined right now, so hopefully it will serve as a counterbalance to everything above it.

    [​IMG]

    Shot of everything glued up. The holes along the perimeter are for rivets which will be added after paint, which will add some rigidity and also look more "robot-ish" - still need to cast some resin bolt heads for the eyebrow section as well, but making good progress!

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Volpin

    Volpin Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    966
    Helmet is ready for paint! The weather has finally cleared up here so I can get on that section of the build. Here's the stuff I've done in the interim:

    The "eyebrow" section called for some super big bolt heads. I was originally going to mold a bolt and cast resin copies, but I decided to cut some scrap acrylic on the laser cutter instead. I use this thing for everything now... to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    There's a countersunk screw glued between 2 halves that secures the bolt to the eyebrow.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Wiring... fun times. The original Destructoid helmet only had three wires. This one has... well, more.

    [​IMG]

    All cleaned up.

    [​IMG]

    These follow the center of the helmet all the way to the back and the bottom mounting plate, where the "brain box" and batteries are mounted. These are placed back here to counterbalance the weight of the eye LEDs.

    [​IMG]

    The "brain" unit. This is a little chaser circuit with a whole bunch of patterns hard coded into it. 8 channel, really neat and affordable little chips! You can buy them here.

    [​IMG]

    I noticed that while the helmet was set on a stand for priming, the top section started to bow slightly. I decided to add a cross brace, cut from 8mm sintra to reinforce the top of the helmet.

    [​IMG]

    All primed up! Should be painting today.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  22. GDCarlyle

    GDCarlyle New Member

    Trophy Points:
    2
    Amazing work! I'm excited to see the finished part.
     
  23. Amish Trooper

    Amish Trooper Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,495
    Your work is so * clean......Nice
     
  24. Itsanonsense

    Itsanonsense New Member

    Trophy Points:
    16
    Very good work! :D Too bad destructoid is a pretty ****ty site.
     
  25. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    2,455
    What trick did you use to cut the eye holes out so cleanly? Nice and even with no wobble along the edge at all!

    [​IMG]

    Nick
     
  26. welshwarrior123

    welshwarrior123 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    566
    Fantastic work as usual mate, I've been following on this on Facebook. Great stuff.
     
  27. MrPinski

    MrPinski Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    867
    Could be wrong but... Looks like a big hole saw...
     
  28. Volpin

    Volpin Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    966
    Nothing special really. Rough trimmed to about 1/4" from the edge with a pair of tin snips, then followed up with a dremel and a sanding drum. Cleaned that up with 120 then 220 grit sandpaper. The raised lip that the vacformer gave to this section really helped out though.
     
  29. PrimoOptimoso

    PrimoOptimoso Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    866
    Jeez, Volp, I am blown away - I am going to end up needing a laser cutter and vac former just to play with.

    I like the Dtoid web show on Revision3, but haven't ever really gone to the website.

    The show has Tara Long. So there's that.
     
  30. MadMike

    MadMike Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    566
    How could I miss this thread here? The last time I saw it it had ten posts or something.
    Anyway, gread work as always Mr Krix. Saw this from time to time on facebook and can't wait to see it finished
     
  31. Volpin

    Volpin Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    966
    Lots has been happening here! Helmet has been painted and buffed, all the electronics are in, and only a few more bits remain before its final.

    Dyed the eye lenses. At first I was using RIT, but tried some iDye Poly to see about getting a darker color. On the left is one dye bath in RIT, the right is iDye Poly. There's a bunch of crud on this piece; since its just a test I wasn't overly concerned with keeping it clean. Also, the plastic touched the bottom of the pot it was sitting in, which caused some deformation. The color is great though!

    [​IMG]

    I could hope for a bit better clarity. The resulting pieces had a sort of film that dried to them, i had to buff this off to make the lenses more transparent again. The dye here did cloud them somewhat, but the wearer of this helmet will mostly be looking through the mouth holes anyways.

    This was before buffing clean:

    [​IMG]

    The helmet itself was painted...

    [​IMG]

    ...wetsanded...

    [​IMG]

    ...buffed...

    [​IMG]

    ...and given 5 coats of wax.

    [​IMG]

    The results are super shiny!

    [​IMG]

    I've mounted most of the electronics and also started putting the rivets in the joint areas. I'm three rivets shy (dammit) so not quite done yet. Still need to add the padding and chin strap, then we're done!

    Things around the eyes are plastic screw covers. Once the eye bolts are tightened down to their final position, I'll close those up.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  32. Crank729

    Crank729 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,355
    Beautiful end result!
     

Share This Page