Shaw/Magneto Helmet

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Hey guys!

It’s been a while since I’ve been on here, but I wanted to share the making of the Magneto/Shaw helmet from X-Men first class. I searched the internet for plans where I stumbled upon this fine gentleman's blog:

In addition to his suggested shopping list, I already had the following:

Thin foam sheets
Tissue (Gift tissue)
Modge Podge

Black Krylon spray paint
Krylon Clear coat
Chrome acrylic paints
Joint compound

After tracing out the patterns, gluing them to cardboard, cutting them out and shaping them, I added tissue paper soaked in a 50/50 mix of water and Modge Podge. Also, I took Dali’s advice on measuring out a piece of cardboard and tacking in in place around the base of the helmet so it would keep its shape (trust me, you don’t want the headaches):


After two more layers of the tissue and the 50/50, I traced out the helmet trim with a fresh piece of tissue. Once I tweaked it to my liking, I very carefully cut it out with an exacto knife and glued the shapes to a thin foam sheet. I found mine at Hobby Lobby for around a dollar each.

Ok, here’s where I made a mistake. When I tacked the trim in place and decided to put another layer of tissue over it to seal it in, I noticed that the center trim above the eyes didn’t match up. GGRRRR!! Not having awesome magnetic powers that would allow me to crush a truck in a rage fit, I decided to carefully peel the foam back off and re-cut it.

Now, here’s the redone foam and tissue layer:


Ok, now that I’d done two more complete tissue layers (Mind the edges of the trim! Those pointy parts can disappear under that tissue, trust me), I decided to smooth it over with some joint compound (the pink stuff that dries white) instead of Bondo. After two coats of application, drying, and sanding to my liking, I hit the helmet with three coats of Modge. I then decided to paint, but after just one coat, I discovered to my horror that the helmet was pockmarked from stem to stern! GUUUUGGHHHH!! After a long ‘why-are-you-like-this’ moment, I busted out the sander and went to work:

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After smoothing it on down, I did the whole apply, dry, and sand deal with joint compound over the spotty places three more times. After all that, I saw sanded joint compound patches in my sleep that night. I learned a valuable mantra that day: PAINT REVEALS ALL. When in doubt, do it again, folks.

After I was 1000% sure that I was done with the layers, I hit it again with some more Modge. After two coats, I decided to hit the works with three coats of Plasti-Dip spray:

After that, it was officially paint time. The helmet got two coats of Krylon (the Plasti-Dip provides a great rubbery/plasticky surface for this). After that, it was time to bust out the acrylics to paint the trim. Had I thought it through a little more, model paint would have been the idea choice. If you go with acrylics though, be patient!

Once all the painting was done, I hit it with four coats of clear coat to make it nice ‘n’ shiny. Of course there are imperfections and such, but at the end of the day, if your customer is happy, that’s all that matters:

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Honestly, I really did all this for my brother, who has been wanting this helmet since he first saw the flick. Yeah, no client or customer, just a very happy comic book fan brother:

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