Rubies Stormtrooper Helmet modification

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by alienbuilder, May 18, 2015.

  1. alienbuilder

    alienbuilder Well-Known Member

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    Hello again,

    after I m nearly done with the clone helmets, I thought I wont do any star wars stuff for a long time, but somehow I was not able to resist the idea of having an OT stormtrooper helmet too. of course, its the classic one. and after a while, I decided to go the cheap way an bought a rubies 4 piece helmet for 60€. I know all the discussion of the rubies stuff, but well, for my plans it was ok. so, I dont want to have an really movie accurate helmet, but one that hits my image of a stormtrooper helmet. for that, and because the fact that I still got some material left from the clone helmets, I should get a good (meaning just like I want it) helmet for under 100 €. so, here is where I started from:

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    for the price, the shape and dimensions on this helmet are not so bad I think. similar to the old don post one in some ways I think. what I m not really happy with are: the 4 piece system especially the cut on the dome of course, the eyes, even if they are not too bad, but they are too bright and you cant see through them because of the material they used. the teeth are also ok, even if the 2 middle holes should have to be cut out, but I like the version with 2 teeth less more, also because its more similar to the clone helmets and shows the evolution a little bit more. I like the teeth to have a little bit more volume too. and finally the hole neck area is too open.

    so the first modifications were to cut out the lenses and the teeth. than I glued all the parts together, glued in new teeth and filled the interior up with some layers of fibre glass and polyester to stabilize the whole helmet and create a solid "neckring". than I resculpted these the neck, the eyes and the cut dome with some filler.

    here are the results... sorry I dont made photos of the process in between...

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    as I said, its not 100% screenaccurate. I wanted a helmet that seems to be one piece (including the ears). the bubble eyes will be changed to flat ones, just like the stunt helmets have it. the neck area is also a little bit different and the opening should be smaller than in the movie, so its not so easy to see the head while wearing it.

    and finally this is where I am now... just primered the whole thing. next step is to sand everything and than I can start the paint job.

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  2. warrenhouck

    warrenhouck Well-Known Member

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    Nice work! I thought that fugly helmet was unfixable, great progress!
     
  3. alienbuilder

    alienbuilder Well-Known Member

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    after sanding the filler, I did already some black and grey coat. today the white and tomorrow I ll add the black brow, some other black details and the blue tube stripes to finish the paint job. for now I m pretty satisfied. sorry for the bad photos, maybe I ll do better tomorrow.

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    mugatu and MAAZ like this.
  4. Country Paul

    Country Paul Sr Member

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    Amazing what you've done with this, looking fantastic
     
  5. Sv3onSA

    Sv3onSA Active Member

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    I'm gonna go ahead and say that given your goal and what you started with, you really took the ball and ran with it!

    However, after a few weeks on FISD, I can't believe I actually thought of buying one of those at some point... It looks so off, the details are soft or very approximated.

    Depends on what you want to do with it but Rubies are obviously in for a quick profit out of unsuspecting fans and it shows!!!

    Edited for a typo...
     
  6. alienbuilder

    alienbuilder Well-Known Member

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    well, cant say anything against it. in my case, it was ok, cause I liked to do some modifications but dont want to start from scratch. I really like the efx helmet, but these days its pretty expansive and I ld have to do some modifications too. so I went the cheap way. the cheap rubies one is still better than the one piece version in case of proportion I d say, but never saw one in real though. anyway, my modificated one is still not sreenaccurate but for me its good. here some better pictures of the finished paintjob:

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    I m not a stormtrooper pro, but what I can see, the whole mouth part might be not really screenaccurate, just like the eyes are. for me its ok this way so I didnt any farther modifications. the tube stripes are also a little more straight than in movie, but more what I like. anyway, I installed some new mictip mesh today and tomorrow I ll build in the teeth mesh and the lenses.
     
  7. Country Paul

    Country Paul Sr Member

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    Stunning, you've done a hell of job there, can't believe it started life as a rubies :lol
     
  8. Kroenen77

    Kroenen77 Sr Member

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    Great work,man.I like it to see when people are modding very bad sources to a nice build!:)
    You should repaint the mouthsection like this:

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    chefhawk likes this.
  9. TazMan2000

    TazMan2000 Sr Member

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    Wow. Something worthy of being displayed, now.

    TazMan2000
     
  10. alienbuilder

    alienbuilder Well-Known Member

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    you are right kroenen77, the mouth piece look much better and more movie accurate this way. maybe I ll repaint that area. Its a little bit tricky though, because it should be resculpted/modified than too.

    I finished the outside view of the helmet today than with gluing in the lenses and the mesh between the teeth. first I tried out the original bubble lenses to see how bubble lenses would work. not so bad on this mod helmet...

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    ...but I decided to go with the flat ones. Its more what I like somehow...

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    matty matt likes this.
  11. Deltaflyer90

    Deltaflyer90 New Member

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    Wow amazing work sir! Are these rubies buckets similar in size to the originals or the replicas? Or is it smaller overall?
     
  12. alienbuilder

    alienbuilder Well-Known Member

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    I cant really tell about the size compared to the original/replica helmets because I dont have one or even saw one life, but I guess its a little bit smaller. should be nearly the size of the don post helmet though. anyway, for my expectations this helmet was bigger than expected and fits me pretty good, but I have a small head and a skinny body. the size of my modified helmet is pretty much 30x30x30 cm now. compared with my clone trooper one, it could be a little bit bigger, what it s supposed to be in the movies imo. in comparison the stormtrooper is a more flat than the clone but also a little bit wider. displayed alone the rubies helmet is looking very nice in size to me though.

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    here s a comparison with a TE helmet I found

    rubies_vs_te_02.jpg
     
  13. alienbuilder

    alienbuilder Well-Known Member

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    to finish these bucket and to make it comfortably wearable I made a padding here just as for the other helmets too, but uses some artifical leather for the neck area. I did not build in some electrics as this is normally just for display. as I said, this is some kind of idealized stormtrooper helmet in my eyes, so absolutely not screenaccurate and this also counts for the interior. I wanted it to look functional and comfortable and soft, really a contrast to what is shown in the official literature. but its how I imaginated these helmets interior as a child. compared with the clone helmets this interior is a little bit more simple, missing the monitores and so on and its really just a padding though. everything soft and flexible easy to put in and out, without any screws, but for me it works nice too...

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    Unfated likes this.
  14. Chicagovader

    Chicagovader Sr Member

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    The interior looks beautiful! Great work Sir!
     
  15. warrenhouck

    warrenhouck Well-Known Member

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    I'm blown away from this transformation! Sad that Rubie's can't put in the work and make something this badass. Instead they rip people off with inaccurate stock photos
     
  16. mugatu

    mugatu Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Once again, great work. The metamorphosis you've executed as well as your finishing skills...it speaks for itself. Great job.
     
  17. artimorty

    artimorty New Member

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    wooooow, that´s awesome
    I did exactly this conversion last christmas as a present to my six years old son, but mine isn´t as great as this. In fact was my first approach to mods an conversions and was a very fun way to start... I also chose flat smoked lenses cause I think they look better on this bucket and make it easier to see through as intended for a little boy´s toy.
    For the frown I used liquid rubber paint in order to get a more "standar frown" look and it worked great, but I never could get that polished shinny white of your final pictures. That´s excellent!
    I used carpert foam pieces to pad the interior but yours is fan-tas-tic... Any chance to get templates for that awesome interior padding? I´m actually plannig to start a conversion for three hasbro clone trooper helmets and having templates for the interior padding to be used as references would help a lot.
    Thanks and again... excellent mod!
     
  18. alienbuilder

    alienbuilder Well-Known Member

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    hi artimorty,
    would like to see your helmet:) the shiny white is pretty easy with a good car paint though. I m not an expert. but anyway, the stunthelmets werent even shiny at all, right? rubber paint for the frown? very nice! never saw this in germany.

    for the stormtrooper helmet padding I dont have tamplates. just made it as it comes and fits step by step. just made a picture of some parts I made for the phase 2 clone helmets, have a look here: http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=228161&page=10

    maybe this could fit for the hasbro one too. well its not really templates, but my pc-drawing skills are not the best. I had a moded hasbro helmet for some years. but I was always frustrated it never looked perfect and was not so stabile, so that was the reason for me to do the aluminum casts though:) the helmet itself is not the worst option to modify I think, but for 100% movie accurate a kit might be easier. but some easy modifications making the hasbro helmet looking much better.
    here are some pictures of mine, I painted it as a commander...

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    that time I used a silver foil under a tinned foil so you ve got the reflecting effect of the cgi clones, but also looks dark. wored not bad, but I dislike foil though. now I always use these welding face shields or motorcycle visors.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
  19. artimorty

    artimorty New Member

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    Hi alienbuilder...
    only 3 aviable pics of my son's bucket. The rest lost in who knows wich computer... In fact, the last two are real time pictures from his bedroom. It's not weathering, it's real dirt and cracks after seven months of heavy service in the front line of playground battles, wich I love, cause it means he is enjoying it a lot.
    I will definetly recomend this conversion for a low cost but good results stormtrooper helmet (ideal for kids to play), and I red somewhere that the molds can be Don Post after Rubies won the license....
    for the smoked lenses I used the cheapest ski mask I could find (about 3'5 $) but I take note of your advice for motorcycle visors.
    I must confess I already had your templates for the interior padding of your aluminium ep3 helmets (what a master piece I must say!) and I will try to adapt them to the hasbro project. That can be easy once you have the hasbro helmet separeted in pieces.
    That conversion for the hasbro helmet is top of the line. Apparently you used the "building up the cheeks" approach instead of the "glue new cheeks on top".... I don't know yet what I'm going to do...
    Probably my rubies mod didn't shine due to poor regular spray paint (general purpose) and bad primer... For the hasbros I already have a rustoleum white spray can... Will see where that takes me...
    thanks for your time!
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  20. alienbuilder

    alienbuilder Well-Known Member

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    very nice helmet. the "used" look is charming I think. ski mask glasses are an option too, of course. I just had the welding mask because I needed a larger scale for the clones. for the stormtrooper I had some rests of these. nice material cause its thick, strong and pretty black, but you can see through good. for the boba fett helmet I might go with a cheap motorcycle visor maybe.

    well, the information that the rubies is made from the don post is what I heard too, just some little modifications. but for the price its not to bad to modify. I m pretty happy with it now. of course its not movie accurate, but a kind of idealized, what I like. for the hasbro, there would be more to do and my modifications were miles away from the movie correct helmets. thats one reason I sold it. well, for the cheap price its still not too bad looking though. but the time I bought it, I had no idea of what I want to do with it and not really experiences with such helmets. so it was a little nightmare. first i tried to repair the visor,.. did nt knew about these templates for new cheeks that time, and it went not so well, but I wanted to finish it fast, so I painted it and than it was laying at home for years. and my anger about it grew and grew and than, one day I decided, I ll fix it all. I than read some tutorials too. so I bought some putty and filled the whole dome and all the slits and holes and so on, and because I was too careful, it took so long till I was finished to paint again. but than the visor was full of scratches and so I tried these foil. did I already said I dont like foil very much?:) so thats my experience with the hasbro helmet:) I think, if I d do it today, I d to it different. and maybe with a neckring too.
     
  21. Mrich25

    Mrich25 New Member

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    Nice work on the interior and exterior. Bet it looks good on display.
     
  22. cueball75

    cueball75 New Member

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    I thought about doing this same thing with a Rubies helmet, and wondered how it would look. So I searched and found this. Your results are impressive with what you had to work with.
     
  23. rohin

    rohin New Member

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  24. alienbuilder

    alienbuilder Well-Known Member

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    hello rohin,

    most of the padding was made step by step and in a kind of "freestyle". I ve made also some (not well done) templates for my clone trooper paddings: http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=228161&page=10
    but in general I started with some foam padding material with 1 and 3 cm thickness. I cut out the separate padding-parts and made them fit into place inside the helmet, maybe also with some tape. you can try the helmet on from time to time ta feel were some more padding should be needed or where it is to thick. for the stormtrooper the main paddings were the neckring, the back, especially the ears an some round dome paddings. but its depending on what style you want to have of course. for the mouth area I wanted the padding to be a reflection of the outer helmet so I made these 2 round paddings where the mictips are. I guess these should look different in a TFA bucket.
    after cutting out all the main paddings, I was sewing "pockets" for these, using the material I wanted. for the neckring it was a cheap artificial leather. but this depends on what you want of course. here we ve got some special shops for sewing were you can find several types of fabric.
    when everything is covered with fabric, you just have to put the pieces together where they touch each other in the helmet. the missing or empty places should be filled with fabric too than. I used an airnet fabric witch is used for backpacks mostly. mine was already 5mm thick so its already a padding. I used this fabric without any foampadding at the nose area and in the middle of the dome.
    I sew everything by hand, but if you ve got a machine, it would be much faster of course.

    in point of the black lining at the lip, I m not sure, what do you mean, might be my bad english. do you mean the (originally) rubber lining around the opening? if so, I just sculpted it with some filling mass and than painted it black.

    hope this as already a little helpful, but if you ve got any questions, just pm me or writhe it here.

    ah, and you may have a look at the earlier sites of the clone trooper helmet tread and also here http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=233851 were the "outside" of the paddings can be seen. this might help also a little bit.

    anyway, I would be very exited to see what a cheap TFA helmet would look like after a modifikation.

    best regards, hinrich
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
  25. rohin

    rohin New Member

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    Hi Hinrich,

    Thanks for the quick reply! I actually love what you did with the inside breather padding. I'm actually looking to replicate what you have done. I love the round dome padding for the ears!!! Your entire design looks so premium! Reminds me of the Master Chief's helmet here: https://youtu.be/1COoIaS_iAs?t=30s

    My head is small for the bucket, so I guess I will go all out with the padding :p

    And yes, I mean the rubber lining around the opening. You gave your helmet a nice round curve in the opening. I was wondering if you could briefly explain the steps you took. Where do you get this rubber lining and how do you put it around the edge?

    Thank you so much!
    Your work is an inspiration :)

    Rohin
     
  26. Kain

    Kain New Member

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    Hey did u use decals on the rubies stormtrooper helmet or paint em on ? If decals where's the best place to get some that fit, or will I have to trim them down, can't find anything about replacement decals that would fit
     
  27. mmhnc

    mmhnc Well-Known Member

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    Wow! So shinny and smooth. I'm working on a rubies Xwing helmet right now and there is nothing smooth about how they come so that's a real testament to your hard work.

    Also I love that interior it's always cool to think about how the "real" helmet would have functioned.
     
  28. alienbuilder

    alienbuilder Well-Known Member

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    thank you guys very much for the compliments.

    depending on the decals: I didnt used decals but painted everything. its not so hard to do so, if its wanted and the color is pretty much robust. in my case, for the black stripes in the gray areas I first painted these black and put some tape stripes at the linings I wanted to stay black, than added gray.

    well, I didnt use any rubber on my helmet. I found some of these rubber material, but didnt used it. the reason is the following. I had to add some material at the opening, because the hole was too large, so you could see too much of my head while wearing it. so I completely laid out the interior with a layer of fiberglass and put in some extra aluminum net into the neck area for more stability. for that reason the neckring is around 5mm thick there. so my rubber lining was not fitting anymore. so, after filling and sanding these part of the helmet, I just put some thick tape around the opening, but circa 5-6mm away from the opening. than I added some new filler there and before it hardened out completely, I put the tape away. than I gust had to sand down these polyester lining a pit, fill some holes in it, sand again and my lining was finished. no rubber, but with some black mat paint on it, its looking pretty well.

    here is a small cut section of my helmet.

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    sorry I have no photos of how I made it, but I forget to make step by step photos at that time.

    best regards, hinrich
     
  29. rohin

    rohin New Member

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    Wow thank you so much for the cross section! The mat finish is looking like rubber (like the efx storm trooper helmets). Good stuff! Thank you so much for all your advice. I'll post pictures as soon as I start work :)

    Regards
    Rohin :)
     
  30. Kain

    Kain New Member

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    Me again with the question's, I'm almost at the filling stage, just wanna know what glue you used on the ears, and did you fill inside the ear pieces before gluing em down, cheers \m/
     
  31. alienbuilder

    alienbuilder Well-Known Member

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    :) I used a 2 component glue to glue them on, but cut in a little hole inside the helmet before gluing. the 2 component glue is epoxy based and ok, but a special PVC glue could be better I guess. after that I filled the slits with polyester filler because I wanted the helmet to look like one piece. But I didnt sand the filler down at that point. first I filled up the whole ears with polyester. the filler and the polyester layer of the inner helmet will be connected that way. but careful: if you do it that way, just give several small portions of polyester into the ear, otherwise its getting very hot and could burn the PVC. after stabilizing everything with fibreglass from the inside, I filled everything else at the outside and sanded all nice and smooth.

    hope this was a little helpful. will you post some pictures of your helmet? I m always interested of how other people are doing things and what a helmet looks like finished.

    best regards, hinrich
     
  32. Kain

    Kain New Member

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    Thanks dude, I've been taking photos at every stage, will upload a few pics when nearing completion, at this point I'm thinking ESB colors for the lid
     
  33. mjohnsimon

    mjohnsimon New Member

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    This is amazing! I have a rubies helmet and I'd love to modify it given the chance. But I have a question though: What filler did you use for the outside of the helmet? I know for the inside, you used a Fibreglass polyester resin, but what about the outside? Thanks for any info in advance!
     
  34. alienbuilder

    alienbuilder Well-Known Member

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    hello mjohnsimon,

    for the outside I used a polyester based filler, just the same I resculpted the helmets entrance with. this is the stuff I used:

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    I m sure its not the best filler you can get.
    But I used a special primer for PVC first, out of a rattlecan. and around the slit between the 2 half pieces I have cut some x shaped slits into the PCV with a dremel so the filler would have some more grip. you can slightly see the filling process on one of the first pictures. the helmet is gray there, that is the primer. the brighter areas (a little bit pinkish) are the ones with the filler on it.
     
  35. Kain

    Kain New Member

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    I'm finished priming and filling, fixed some pinholes with spot putty, how many coats of gloss did you use for the white, and it seems you painted the helmet strap after gloss ? I'm thinking of using satin black for the strap, tips and vocoder, will the satin take to gloss ?
     
  36. alienbuilder

    alienbuilder Well-Known Member

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    I used 2 coats of a high gloss white car paint out of a cattle can. painted one time and did the 2nd coat after one hour though. its not very thick. for the black parts I used a matt black. when using rattle cans I m always using brand named auto k. its a german company and in my opinion very good for the price. but I think each paint would be good thats used for cars normally. I can also highly recommend the mat black paint they use for the bottom of cars. its dry in about 30 minutes.
     
  37. clown3y

    clown3y New Member

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    Hi! Awesome work, i instantly fell in love with it as i saw it!

    One small question: What type of paint did you use for the rubber-look that you have on the eyebrows?
     
  38. alienbuilder

    alienbuilder Well-Known Member

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    just a normal matte paint rattlecan, the one you use for the underside of cars is normally pretty good.
     

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