Rocketeer Helmet Color

Forbidden Zone

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hey folks,

I have a resin Rocketeer helmet that I want to paint soon. Anyone have a recommendation for a good base color to use? Will anything "off the shelf" work? Or will it need to be custom mixed?

Thanks,
Mike
 

dualedge

Sr Member
I generally use just plain Testor's gold spray paint as a base. It kind of also depends on what you're going for. If I'm really going to weather it, I cover the Testor's gold with antique gold rub n' buff and then weather it with kind of a grayish mushroom colored acrylic which I make by just mixing black, white, green and brown acrylics. Weathering is tricky though... afterwards I spray it with a some clear coat. If you use a gloss coat, best to only put one thin layer on so it isn't too glossy. You can also try a dullcote. It helps even out the weathering IMHO.

The inside should be painted black.

This is a pic of one I painted last year if memory serves...

[attachmentid=8990]
 

dualedge

Sr Member
<div class='quotetop'>(Forbidden Zone @ Jul 10 2006, 01:04 PM) [snapback]1277990[/snapback]</div>
Dualedge...that looks great. Thanks for the info.

One question...how did you apply the weathering?

Thanks,
Mike
[/b]

It's kind of hard to describe but I'll try... Basically, I just try to layer the rub-n-buff and the acrylics. I go over the helmet with thinned out acrylics, just dabbing it on and brushing it out, trying to simulate a mottled appearance. After I do that, I start dabbing on the rub-n-buff to bring back the gold. The rub-n-buff is tough to use because it tends to go on very opaque or not at all. I've found that if I get just a tiny bit on a paper towel, it'll let me spread it a bit thinner but it's tough to do.

I layer the acrylics around the welds, rivets and in some patches on the body of the helmet. Then go back with the rub-n-buff. There's not really a 1, 2, 3 approach to it... I just eyeball it. If you cover too much of the gold, go back and add rub-n-buff. If you add too much rub-n-buff, go back and add acrylics. Once you get it where you're happy with it, give it a good coat of dull cote or use a thin coat of gloss cote.

Depending on which kit you have, the toughest part can be forming the eye lenses. Took me finishing about 4 helmets before I figured out how to do it right. Also, if you want a more accurate look, be sure to spend a lot of time thinning out the eye holes, mouth and air vents. It's a lot more work than what folks think but it makes for a much nicer helmet.

Here's a few more pics. You can kinda see how lighting can affect the appearance of the weathering. Under bright lights like those used in filming, the weathering can disappear.

[attachmentid=8997]
[attachmentid=8996]
[attachmentid=9001]
 

Forbidden Zone

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks for all the great info. And for posting the great pics.

I'm curious...have you ever done the rocket pack? :D

Mike
 

Houston Robocop

Well-Known Member
<div class='quotetop'>(Forbidden Zone @ Jul 11 2006, 03:00 AM) [snapback]1278386[/snapback]</div>
Thanks for all the great info. And for posting the great pics.

I'm curious...have you ever done the rocket pack? :D

Mike
[/b]

Mike,

Here's a very nice tutorial on the backpack.... http://www.evan.org/jetpack/

BTY, I build a Rocketeer helmet a while back. Dremeling out the openings on the forehead airvents is a pain in the a$$.
And be careful heat forming the eye lens, I burned it on the very first try. Luckly the kit gave you 3 lenses.


Nick
 

Forbidden Zone

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Nick...thanks for the suggestion. I have seen that tutorial...it's awesome.

So, did you use a heat gun to form the lenses?

Mike
 

irishjedi

Well-Known Member
I use a technique that was inspired by DualEdge's own:

A base coat of gold (just a generic gold - nothing special), then I sponge on a layer of Testor's burnt metal paint (I think that's what it's called). This paint is very thin and very sticky, so it behaves like grease in the way it smudges. Once I've mottled on a good layer of that, I let it dry slightly and then go back in with paper towels and paint brushes that are dipped in paint thinner - not too much, more like a dry brush. This removes the weathering, and gives it more of a natural look.

I use more gold spray if needed, then more weathering, etc. As a final touch, I hit the raised areas (rivets, weld lines, etc) with Rub-n-buff gold. Finally, I spray on a coat of satin clear.

Base coat:


Layers of weathering:




Todd
 

dualedge

Sr Member
Yeah, I still do the burnt metal thing a bit as well but have been relying on the acylics a little more just because it's a little less messy and I can do it inside the house :p

Dremeling the air vents definitely is a huge pain. The kit comes too thick (which is a good thing.) around the eyes and mouth so thinning those down is also a very good idea. It should be about 1/8th of an inch thick.

With the weathering, it's kind of a weather 'to taste' kinda thing. Some of the original helmets were pretty heavily weathered but you don't see some of that in the movie because of the bright lights used in filming so it's kind of a personal preference. I don't think of it as a truely 'accurate' thing or not because they had a half-dozen hero helmets and all had different characteristics depending on their use. You can either replicate one incarnation (I think the dirtier version looks best personally) or just do an amalgam of what you see on screen. I think as long as you've got SOME weathering on it and have the right lense shape and thicknesses on the eye and mouth openings, it'll look far better than the average replica. Using the enamel paints might wind up being an easier technique depending on what you're looking for. Just make sure you've got adequate ventilation ;)

The eye lenses can be a real b.tch the first time you do them. Here's the secret I learned after doing it about a half dozen times... you need a heat gun, a block of foam probably about 7 or 8 inches cubed (just buy a remnant from a local fabric store) and a pair of needle nose pliers. You'll use the pliers to hold the flat lense. Put the heat gun on high and a few inches away from the lense. KEEP IT MOVING ALWAYS. Just move it in a circular pattern around the lense and let the lense heat up SLOWLY. It might take 4-5 minutes. You'll see the lense start to get soft - wait until it's definitely a little limp but not so limp that it's flopping around like crazy. Try to gently but quickly get the lense in place, grab the foam and mash on the lense from inside the helmet. You should get a fairly nice curve that way. You can heat the lense and do it a second time if necessary - it'll retain the curve from the first try and then you can 'add' to it. You don't wan the lense bowed out too far though as it'll give the helmet a bug eyed look which is wrong. It should look basically like it follows the same shape of the helmet.

I've never done a rocketpack though I *want* to do one eventually, just don't have the time or money at the moment. Rocketbob has a great tutorial he's posted before. I believe he recommends using a chrome spray paint and then gently using steel wool to 'brush' the paint to give it that brushed aluminum look. He uses transparent paints to great effect to get the burned look on the engine flaps.
 

dualedge

Sr Member
Yeah, there's a couple of ways I've seen it done. If you want to do it fairly easy you can either try glueing the straps inside the helmet or you can use a strong epoxy to attach a couple of snap fittings on the inside of the helmet and use the snaps to attach it to the helmet as well as at the chin connection.

Once you get it attached inside, you can custom fit it to yourself and put the chin snap where you want it. Instead of trying to mess with raw leather, I'd honestly just go to Wal-mart, find an inexpensive but reasonably supple/flexible brown leather belt (you'd want something that's kind of a light to mid-brown color ideally) and just cut it out of that. You'll just need two strips about 3/4th to 7/8th of an inch wide and probably about a foot long which you can cut to suit your preference.

You can either cut the exterior ends of the leather flat or round it to follow the shape of the button if you want. It probably looks best to round them but I don't think they were very particular when making the originals.
 

Talisen

Sr Member
Looks round to me. :D



I did the interior snaps thing myself, then cut up some med brown leather from Michael's.
 

dualedge

Sr Member
Keep in mind, that's just one of the helmets used in the movie. :) The straps on most of the helmets were rounded I think but definitely not all of them.

You can't tell in the pic below but the strap behind the front one is actually rough side out while the one with the visible snap is rough side in.

[attachmentid=9043]
 

Rocketbobs

Well-Known Member
Good to see a Rocketeer post that doesnt have to do with the MR helmet disaster.

I met with one of the guys who made the helmets for the film and he said they used Krylon gold paint and olive, bronze wash to weather it. Now I am not sure what "olive bronze wash" is. I am assuming it is olive rub-n-buff and then bronze rub-n-buff. He was trying to remember the process from 13 years ago- so who knows if this was the whole treatment or not.

The treatment Rob does to them looks spot on to me and he has some pretty good reference....
 

dualedge

Sr Member
<div class='quotetop'>(Rocketbobs @ Jul 12 2006, 12:46 PM) [snapback]1279392[/snapback]</div>
Good to see a Rocketeer post that doesnt have to do with the MR helmet disaster.

I met with one of the guys who made the helmets for the film and he said they used Krylon gold paint and olive, bronze wash to weather it. Now I am not sure what "olive bronze wash" is. I am assuming it is olive rub-n-buff and then bronze rub-n-buff. He was trying to remember the process from 13 years ago- so who knows if this was the whole treatment or not.

The treatment Rob does to them looks spot on to me and he has some pretty good reference....
[/b]

Good to see you Bob. :) Hope all is going well.

Yeah, I had heard a couple of things on how they weathered them but I've never been able to nail it 100% which is definitely frustrating. I've gotten kinda close in faking it but I'm hoping to eventually either find out more specifically or at least figure out something closer than where I'm at. Ah, well... the quest is half the fun I suppose. ;)
 

Forbidden Zone

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well...you guy's have definitely gotten me pumped up about doing mine. I eventually want to do a pack as well.

Speaking of the pack, beautiful work Bob.

Mike
 
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