My Darth Vader Helmet Upgrade Rubies Supreme

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SS3000

New Member
Hello guys,
I just finished my upgrade project of Vader helmet. I used Rubies Spreme Helmet that I bought around $50 at ebay. I’m not quite sure about additional cost for upgrading, but probably it’s like $250~ (included heat gun, router and other tools and materials) Therefore, it is close price to buy a fan made prop, but it was so much fun and good for learning.

I answer a question as much as I can, so if you are working on same kind of project or thinking to start, feel free to ask me. (I’m not a professional about modeling and not an expert of props. I’m just a fan of SW, so I can’t take any responsibility, but I’ll be honest to talk about my experiences of the project.)

Thanks for watching,





















 

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Tom1971

Sr Member
Holly Crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is the best Rubies mod I have ever scene. Just Incredible. OMG.

That's just incredible:thumbsup :thumbsup :thumbsup :thumbsup (y)love :love :love :love :love :thumbsup :thumbsup :thumbsup :thumbsup :thumbsup :thumbsup
 

Tom1971

Sr Member
What an awesome first post.

Are you sure you did not cheat and replace it with a great fan made??????? :lol :lol

Incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Yorkie Fett

Sr Member
How did you manage to get such a faultless gloss finish to that paint?
I've never been able to get such a perfect finish.
 

SS3000

New Member
Thanks guys! I’m so glad to read all posts. Absolutely no cheating so just need a rubies helmet. Here is the major materials I used.

Putty
•bondo BODY FILLER_2.5 cans (1lb/each)
•TAMIYA Epoxy Putty (This is more like cray)

Primer
•3M bondo EASY FINISH Primer (This was not really good, but cheap)
•TAMIYA Primer Surfacer Fine (This is for finish and I highly recommend it. You can find this at a store where has Japanese plastic model stuff)

Paint Cans
•Dupli-Color ENGINE ENAMEL DE1651 CAST COAT IRON
•VHT WHEEL PAINT SP187 GLOSS BLACK
•VHT WHEEL PAINT SP184 CLEAR

For finish clear coat, I was planing to use a 2K Polyurethane aerosol, but it seemed little bit hard to handle, so I used a single type WHEEL PAINT and it was actually pretty good, easy and very shiny.

For lens
This is a sun visor for women. Like this.


This was only $1.50 at the DAISO Store in San Francisco. I just took off the plastic sheet and formed by using a heat gun. If your city doesn’t have a DAISO Store (all stuff are $1.50), you can just use a plastic sheet (smoke colored).
 

SS3000

New Member
About Painting

After primer surfacer, just sprayed gun metal and black. After completely dried (at least a week), did wet sanding (#1500, #600 if got some drip).

Then, put VHT WHEEL PAINT SP184 CLEAR 2~3 times.

I recommend puting very thin layer for the first coat. (it seems pretty rough at this time, no gloss, like sand)

10 minutes later, put the second coat. (this time it can be bolder but not too much)

And for the third coat, spay enough to get wet finish.


Here are the mistakes I did

For the first coat, I sprayed little bit too much on some spots and it caused winkles even though I dried the color paint for more than a week. So very very thin layer is needed. However, this is easy to redo. Just sanding again by using #600 grid. (of course after dried, but I waited just 30min) and thin layer again.

Actually, I’ve not done polishing yet, (these pictures) coz I finished this two days ago. I don’t think I need to sand and polish to the face mask, so I’ll do it for only the helmet next week!
 

Citizen Pat

New Member
SS3000, your mod is incredible! I admit seeing your work is about 80% the reason why I bought the helmet a few days ago and I can't wait to modify and paint it. I want to avoid possible disasters that could happen via trial-and-error, so I was hoping to ask you instead:

1. Is it possible to remove the lens, metal tusks and grills without damaging them? Because I want to put them back on after painting, because I don't have the money for aftermarket upgrade parts.

2. I live in the Philippines so it's tough to find the exact paint brand you used (Dupli-Color, VHT) so I'll ask instead what paint types will adhere to the helmet? Lacquer or acrylic? What paint type is strong enough to withstand constant handling since I'll wear the helmet occassionally?

3. Did you cover the helmet with Bondo primer first before you applied the Tamiya primer? Or can Tamiya be sprayed directly on the helmet? I'm wondering if Tamiya color spray cans can be used too, they're made of synthetic lacquer.


Thanks! Sorry for asking too many questions.
 
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Too Much Garlic

Master Member
Awesome looking mod. Just wish that old legend of lengthening the dome flange would just die, so no more would make that inaccurate mod.
 

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Happy13178

Active Member
SS3000, your mod is incredible! I admit seeing your work is about 80% the reason why I bought the helmet a few days ago and I can't wait to modify and paint it. I want to avoid possible disasters that could happen via trial-and-error, so I was hoping to ask you instead:

1. Is it possible to remove the lens, metal tusks and grills without damaging them? Because I want to put them back on after painting, because I don't have the money for aftermarket upgrade parts.
I can answer at least part of that, just starting my own mod. The lenses and tusks come off no problem, without damage. The metal grills I found a little more difficult...the material is very flimsy. I got them off, but if you want them off without damage you need to be a bit patient.

I'm interested in knowing how he did the dome...I like the thickening on the skirt, if not the lengthening, but am curious if he used darkerside's method of reinforcing the inside with fiberglass before reshaping and sanding it all down. I notice he did some work on the grooves in the bridge of the nose, very clean work, and fixed the tearducts, but left the mouth area largely alone. It sort of looks like he did away with the nose, as one of the pics it looks like it was removed and the insert in the back filled in. Really nice work, no doubt about it.
 

Happy13178

Active Member
Just looking at the pics again, and I have to add, especially in the 3rd and second last pics, the paint job is gorgeous. Not sure if the colours are dead on, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter. REALLY nice work, I'm thoroughly impressed.
 

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