My Captain America Helmet...

Gimpdiggity

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi everyone.

I'm calling this my Captain America Mark 4 helmet, because it's my fourth one that I've built. The first was a very rough draft to see if I could even do it. The second was a full build with paint, Plasti Dip, and everything just to see how that went. The third one I made a bit larger to see if I liked the fit better. This is the one I will be using with the outfit that I'm working on, though.

It's made from 5mm EVA foam. I then used four coats of PVA to seal and strengthen the foam a bit. I then coated it in Plasti Dip to give it more strength and to make sure that the PVA didn't crack and show through. After that, I used acrylic paint and used a foam roller to apply it. I was going for a look that would make it appear to be made out of leather, and I think I achieved that pretty well. The blue is a bit darker in a few spots than others, and it makes it look really good to me.

I'm really happy with how this one has turned out so far. I'm actually going to have the wings and the "A" for it made out of vinyl, because I don't trust my ability to make a stencil and paint them on there. I'm getting two sets, so I'll put the first set on the other finished helmet just to make sure that they look good, then when I confirm that they will work, the second set will go on this helmet.

Here is the helmet after the final coat of matte clear.







I think you can see the "leather" look that I was going for pretty well in those photos.

Here the helmet is on me. It fits pretty well!!





I will be putting my sewing skills to the test to make a leather "under helmet" to go around the bottom of this one...however, I'm not sure that I'll worry too much about making ear cups. I might just end up getting some webbing and making some nice straps and a chin guard to finish the look.

I am not going for any specific version of the helmet...more just a generic Captain America helmet...and I think it's come out pretty well, considering I've never really done this stuff before.

Comments are welcome, and thanks for looking!!!

Jeff
 

Gimpdiggity

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I got the vinyl for the "A" and the wings ordered today. They should be here in a few days.

After those arrive, the helmet will basically at least LOOK complete.
 

Gimpdiggity

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I got the helmet to the point where I've just got to put the straps and leather under helmet on it. I've got the under helmet designed, but I haven't sewn it together yet. I'll probably do that over this coming weekend.

I also will be pulling some of the vinyl off of one of the sides and reapplying with a second set. The reason is the angle of the wings is off enough on the opposite sides of the helmet that I notice it. I doubt anyone else would really notice it unless they REALLY looked, but I notice it, so I'm going to pull the vinyl and put another one on there.







The replacement vinyl should be here Wednesday or Thursday, and hopefully I can get it put on right away. I need to order some stuff to make the straps with, but the leather I have laying around.
 

Gimpdiggity

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks guys.

I was planning on using vinyl for the under helmet, but I just found an old leather jacket laying around that I might be able to cut up. It's my wife's, though...so I'm going to have to ask permission first!!! :D
 

SMP Designs

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I like this helmet a lot! I'm a huge fan of simplifying shapes when possible with foam since you can heat shape it and seams are buggery to deal with if not perfect. I also like the way you trimmed it. The color, texture and fit are all very nice. Looking forward to seeing the under helmet progress.

Cheers!
 

Gimpdiggity

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thank you!!!

I started cutting up the leather jacket tonight. I also have some leather dye...we'll see how it works. The leather is a very light brown, but I wanted the under helmet to be a darker color...so we'll see how that goes.

I spent yesterday getting the whole outfit put onto the mannequin I bought so that I can have it displayed in my hobby room instead of just sitting on tables and in the closet. I think it looks pretty cool...and only slightly creepy...:lol

 

Gimpdiggity

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Got the new vinyl on the one side of the helmet. It looks MUCH more even now...I'm happy with it.

I also have several of the "wings" left, as my vinyl maker sent me two pairs instead of just one. I'm trying to figure out where I should put them...hmmmm...
 

Gimpdiggity

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well, I've run into a couple of snags.

First of all, I tried to dye some leather. I knew it probably wouldn't work, but I gave it a shot. At first it looked like it had worked pretty well, but once I started working with it, it was clear that it wasn't really working...so, back to the drawing board.

I ordered a few pieces of leather, and that should be here soon.

My next issue is that all the testing I've done, even with the leather that wasn't dyed, I haven't been able to find any kind of glue that works really well at holding the leather to foam. I've tried contact cement, hot glue, ShoeGoo, and two part epoxy. The two part epoxy seemed to work the best...but even that didn't seem that great.

So, I went ahead and made an "aviator" hat out of fleece. I used fleece because I didn't have enough leather to try to make one out of leather yet. This idea worked pretty well. It basically ended up having the ear flaps on it and those were the only things that were visible. The rest of the aviator hat ends up being hidden from view underneath the helmet.

The problem with this is that the fleece is very warm. I imagine that having a fleece hat on under the foam helmet will be bordering on unbearable.

So, my plan is to end up making another fleece aviator hat out of t-shirt material (probably a cotton/poly blend) and along the spots where the ear flaps come down, I'll just trim out the poly blend and sew in the leather.

All of this, of course, is if the new leather that I've ordered won't glue into place. I'm not sure if the leather that I have that I was trying to glue wasn't working because it was treated with something. It was just from a jacket that I cut up...so it's possible it had some kind of waterproofing chemical or something on it.

I'm not sure how in love with the idea of having the under helmet not actually be attached to the helmet...but if it ends up being the only way for me to have everything work out really well, then I guess that's what I'll have to do.
 

Gimpdiggity

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The more I thought about it...the more I didn't like the idea of the under helmet being a separate piece. The main reason is this...I wear glasses, and don't do contact lenses...so when I'm using the costume, I'm going to spend a lot of time carrying the helmet...which means that I want it to LOOK like the helmet when it's being carried. Having it be two pieces wouldn't make that very easy.

I ended up using some vinyl that I had purchased. I was planning on using actual leather, but the vinyl in my testing actually worked with the glue...and, seeing as the helmet doesn't "breathe" anyways, having a material that breathes be part of it doesn't seem necessary.

This is where I'm at with the under helmet right now...





I will be adding some more details to the "leather," such as a fitted piece that matches the arches on the helmet itself. I'll actually stitch that together, so the visible stitching will be there. I'll also add a few other little details.

For the strap, I plan on having it snap to each side of the helmet, with a buckle under the chin. I know it won't be movie accurate, but I think it will still look pretty good. My whole costume isn't really movie accurate, anyways...I'm just putting together a generic Cap costume!!
 

SMP Designs

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I only just saw these last two posts. Why not use the actual leather and perhaps bind off the edges with bias tape and glue that to the foam? Or contact cement muslin to the leather and then glue that to the foam. Sometimes you need a middle man - something that will adhere to both by different methods and will hold them together.
 

Gimpdiggity

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well, the main reason was that the leather I had wasn't doing very well with the dye. It was peeling off with pretty much any amount of pressure...and I didn't have any other leather on hand that would have worked. I've already gone way over my budget on this project...sometimes I feel like I could have just bought a finished helmet and been done with it...but what's the fun in that, right??? :lol

I canceled the order for the couple of pieces of leather, and ended up trying to do it with stuff I had laying around or that I had already purchased. The vinyl actually worked pretty well, and it fits well enough to still allow good airflow to my ears, so it's not overly hot on the side of my head when I wear it. With all that said...if I had any idea what bias tape was before I moved on to the vinyl, I probably would have gone that route!!! Oh well, live and learn. :lol

Right now, I'm trying to figure out what I want to do to dress up the sides of it so that it's not just hanging vinyl. I was originally planning on making some hexagons to go into the ear arches, but now I'm thinking I might just use the real estate there to make sure that the strap doesn't just look like it's kind of tacked onto the bottom of the vinyl. I have a few ideas in my head on how to do it.

The hexagons...I ended up making some, but I ultimately didn't really like the way that they looked in the ear arches. Mainly because the arches are very slightly different...and with the hexagons inside them, you can really see how the angle on one is kind of off. It's not really noticeable when there's nothing in the arch, but as soon as I put a piece in there it really kind of stood out.

I've got some stuff on the way from Strapworks...it was the last order I needed to make for the helmet, in order to get the chin strap done. I got enough to do the strap under the chin, and then also something on the side of the helmet that I have in mind to dress it up a bit. I'm confident that I will like the end result when it's finished.
 
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