Stormtrooper pepakura build by first-time costumer - still alive!

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Korban

Member
Howdy!

I've been lurking around here for a while, soaking up everything I can about the different costuming techniques - in particular, Pepakura. When I first decided I wanted to build a suit of stormtrooper armor a few years ago, I don't remember it ever being mentioned, but I'm glad I discovered it thanks to The RPF. :)

I don't usually post on account of being intimidated by the sheer amount of awesome everyone seems to be churning out, but by posting here and on my site, I hope to receive some value feedback, and it'll only help me reach that same level one day. I've never so much as made any kind of costume before, so I feel like I jumped off the deep end, but I couldn't be more excited about it. Probably could've started with a simpler build for my first time, but, what the heck, I've always been awed by stormtroopers.

Long-ish intro out of the way, here's the start of my build. I used the unfolded ANH stormtrooper PDF template SpaceCowboy generously provided. I jumped in before I read through the entire Pepakura sticky (twice) so I didn't even realize they usually have glue tabs. :lol I started using scotch tape in lieue of tabs, then transitioned to super glue gel to hold it together better (gluing my fingers to things no less than a dozen times in the process).








Last night I got 2/3 of the lower face attached (no pictures yet). I really struggled with that part, and learned my lesson in the difference between mountain and valley folds - derp. So, I'm hoping it comes together nicely. Once that's done, I just have the eyes and probably some overall touch up to do.

I'm not expecting this to be 100% screen accurate, but for my first go at anything like this I think it's coming along reasonably well. I'm also having a blast doing it, and is why I wanted to build my own as opposed to buying one of the (awesome) kits readily available.

Thanks to everyone here for sharing their vast amounts of knowledge! Looking forward to posting more.
 
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Sean Hebein

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer

Looking pretty clean so far. How are you gluing it?
 

terra1

Active Member
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer

hey Korban welcome to the forum!

looking good so far, i used the SpaceCowboy pep for my build also, i think its a far better shape (personal opinion) than the DungBeetle pep.

yeah the lack of glue tabs on this pep makes it for true jedi's only! :)

i added mine manually as i cut out all the sections, took a fair bit of thinking before i cut but all worked out well.

hope to see more soon mate! :cheers
 

hooper

Active Member
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer

i used the SpaceCowboy pep for my build also, i think its a far better shape (personal opinion) than the DungBeetle pep.
lol....tell me about it! mine now bares hardly any resemblence to the original pep (and absolutely no offence is meant there at all to dung0beetle or fierfek)

good luck with the build and welcome to the forum :)
 

rosskow

Well-Known Member
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer

i see you're using loctite glue to put together your pep, the best in my opinion, glue guns are over rated, i used it myself, glueing my fingers to other fingers, scrap paper, the table and everything else near to me.

good progress so far, hope you enjoy your build
 

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Korban

Member
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer

Looking pretty clean so far. How are you gluing it?
Loctite Brush-On Super Glue Gel :)

i see you're using loctite glue to put together your pep, the best in my opinion, glue guns are over rated, i used it myself, glueing my fingers to other fingers, scrap paper, the table and everything else near to me.
Given my track record, I have a strong feeling I'd meet a similar fate. :lol

Thanks to everyone for the welcome and kind words! I'll post more later.
 

SpaceCowboy

Active Member
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer

Hi Korban,

Looking good -- I'm looking forward to how your build goes! Sorry about the lack of tabs, it seems to be an ongoing problem. I was inspired by the Boba Fett helmet template at DentedHelmet.com, so my idea was to just use the print-outs as templates and cut it out of heavy newsboard instead of paper, so the tabs wouldn't have worked in that case. If I get around to it I may re-import it from Metasequoia to Pepakura and create a tab version.

I'm glad to see you made the "base" for the helmet... hopefully that will help keep the shape!

Good luck!
 

Korban

Member
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer

Hi Korban,

Looking good -- I'm looking forward to how your build goes! Sorry about the lack of tabs, it seems to be an ongoing problem. I was inspired by the Boba Fett helmet template at DentedHelmet.com, so my idea was to just use the print-outs as templates and cut it out of heavy newsboard instead of paper, so the tabs wouldn't have worked in that case. If I get around to it I may re-import it from Metasequoia to Pepakura and create a tab version.

I'm glad to see you made the "base" for the helmet... hopefully that will help keep the shape!

Good luck!
Yes, how dare you take the time to share the file with those of us less versed in the skill of unfolding! :darnkids

Hehe, I kid. Seriously, you have nothing to apologize for. Folks like you let folks like me hit the ground running before diving deeper into Pepakura. The lack of tabs have only become a real issue because I've overzealously glued together more edges than I believe needed glueing, so the lower face by the mics is more rigid than I'd like, making some of the final edges tough to get together. But hey, challenges keep things fun. :)

I meant to have the template completed by now, but it's been a little slow going in the final stages. Hopefully in the next two days I'll have it finished and can share some progress.
 

Prosta

Member
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer

Good luck with the build. I'm trying Fierfek's new bucket but think the scale is too big.
Check out Terra1 and Hooper's - they're fantastic.

I use this stuff slightly diluted

 
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Atlanthia

Sr Member
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer

Good luck with the build. I'm trying Fierfek's new bucket but think the scale is too big.
Check out Terra1 and Hooper's - they're fantastic.

I use this stuff slightly diluted

You can cut it back to 50/50 dilution and still get a good bond in 5 or 6 seconds.
 

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Korban

Member
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer

Whew! That took a lot of finagling, but I finally completed the helmet pep, and it feels great. :)



Okay, so it's rougher than I'd like in some areas, but I think I should be able to smooth out those spots during the bondo stage. Then again, I've never worked with bondo, so that'll be a new challenge.





I had a particular amount of trouble with the mid-upper face. Next time, I'll build it more logically - from the bottom-up. This time around, I built the dome, then the back and sides, followed by the lower face, then middle, and lastly the eyes. Not really sure why I did it that way, but it made it a bit challenging maneuvering everything to fit together. Oops, lesson learned. :angel



I'm going to go through and tighten some of the gaps and try to plug as many as I can, in addition to reinforcing the Scotch tape with super glue so it will survive the resin stage. Which segues into my next step...

I learned about Smooth-Coat 320, et. al., today, and was curious if it'd be a better hardener than resin. I watched a number of videos about it today, but being new to this, I didn't want to spend $100 outright and order a gallon online without knowing it was what I wanted. I ended up picking up a quart of Bondo Fiberglass Resin tonight for $13, which I thought would be a good first-step in the learning process. I figure, if I really hate working with the resin, I can always go for the Smooth-Coat for future pieces, but this had a lower barrier to entry in terms of cost, and I didn't have to wait upwards of a week to start using it.

For a face mask I already had the 3M 8511 Particulate Sanding Respirator N95 with Valve. The packaging says woodworking, sanding, and fiberglass, but if it'd be far superior to get a respirator, I can go that route.

 

terra1

Active Member
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer

looking good Korban! after all the time putting it together it does give a great sense of achievement when you finally finish it.

if your making a one off helmet id smooth-cast the inners as fibreglass is really messy and untidy if you new to it. the smooth-cast would give a nicer finish inside if it is a one off helmet.

the fibreglass route is a pain as its really toxic and very messy. once its over its over tho and it does the job perfectly. just make sure you do a few tests on a bit of card to get your mix ratio correct.

i was wearing 2 dust masks when fibreglassing and i found myself still getting high from the fumes, its really nasty stuff that can make you pretty ill, i had a good few sore stomach's/headaches so i switched to a 3M vapour mask my uncle had, since then i haven't had any problems what so ever :)

id say pick up a vapour mask, its the difference between being able to spend a whole day working happily on your helmet or just an hour before you start feeling sick.


safety tip

be sure to work outdoors or in your garage with the doors open.

do not bring the helmet indoors for at least 24 hours after fibreglassing.

don't sleep with it in the same room. (sounds silly but the toxicity of that stuff kills!)


hope to see more soon.
 
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Korban

Member
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer

Thanks, terra1! Your build thread was a huge help when I'd get stuck with mine. I've seen people resin THEN put the ears on, and others who have attached the ears, then applied the resin. Having completed your build now, would you still do the ears after the fact again?

I'm actually hoping to use this bucket as a base and cast (pull?) a few for some interested friends. Nothing serious, but we'd like to pull off a few molds if we can. So far I've poured most of my reading into Pepakura, so I don't know much about the molding and casting stage yet. From what I understand, I still need to resin, fiberglass, and bondo the piece before being able to make a mold from it, so I think I'm on the right track.

Since this won't be a one-off, would you still recommend smooth-cast, or is fiberglass better if it's being used to create a mold? If I understand correctly, the fiberglass is a pain to work with, but will be a bit harder than smooth-cast. And you've definitely convinced me to get a respirator. :lol

I saw videos of people using Smooth-Cast inside, which would be a definitely plus in its favor over fiberglass, but we're lucky to have a garage and balcony so it doesn't really matter much.
 

Korban

Member
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer



Sure, my "armor" clashes. What of it? :lol
 

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rosskow

Well-Known Member
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer

i may be called an idiot or stupid for doing so but i only used a dust mask when i fiber glassed my bucket, i was in a garage with the door fully open and didnt get any feeling of a headache or any other bad thing.

im doing my first build and used fiber glass for my first time, it is a bit annoying to work with but its rock hard once done, you just need be careful you give it a good soaking of resin so it stick down with any corners or edges left dry and poke it down with business end of your brush or your dont get any air pockets, i sadly got a couple but nothing serious.

if you're moulding it you dont need care about the inside as i've learnt from terra1 when i asked :) fiber glass and resin is cheaper method as well

hope that aids you in someway but terra1 feel free to add to it as you might be better to do so.

bucket looks good so far though
 

Korban

Member
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer

Thanks, rosskow! I definitely value your feedback. I'll likely just pick up a respirator and be done with it. At least I'll have it for the future; I'm sure it'll come in handy again.

Good to know about only needing to do the exterior if I'm just molding it. I was thinking... is there any reason not to turn your base model into a finished bucket after you've created your mold? Now that I write it, I suppose if your mold wears out after X uses you'll want to be able to create a new one from the original.

I had a hard time getting the flaps by the top-inside corners of the mic area to connect, so there's a small gap on each side. I think I'm going to resin it as-is, and work with sanding and bondo to smooth it down and fill in the gaps with bondo and milliput as needed. Might take a picture tonight if I think of it to show what I mean (it's not super visible in the photos above).
 

rosskow

Well-Known Member
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer

i had little holes and gaps in mine but as long as it's excessive then you've nothing to worry about, you might get a bit of resin leak through but it really doesn't matter once you come to adding the bondo/filler and sanding it.

as for making the original into a wearable helmet i'll be doing something similar but just smooth and clean it so its not dusty/dirty on the inside but keep it just primer-edm, dont think i'll want paint it so then i can keep it as my new pride and glory to show (by the end of my build) 150+ hours of hard work.
 

Korban

Member
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer

I just applied my first coat of resin to the exterior. Holy crap that stuff sucks! :D It has to be one of the stickier substances I've had to work with, and I made a bit of a mess with it, no less. Tomorrow I'm going to set up a bigger working area on the balcony, or clear out a spot in the garage, and have more light. I didn't start on it until it got dark and, well, that made it rough.

Is there some trick to measuring it? Will its consistency change as soon as I mix in the hardener, or do you just wait two hours and see if you got the proportions right? :p

I'm glad I went with a half-face respirator. Our place is on the second floor, and I was on the balcony when my girlfriend walked up from the driveway and said how much the stuff stank. I honestly couldn't smell a thing! :)
 

dabiddabird

Well-Known Member
Re: Stormtrooper helmet Pepakura build by first-time costumer

Nice work so far Korban. I to an working on my first pepakura build but its just a one off piece for myself. Working with fiberglass resin is a pain and not ideal for me as I live in an apartment and don't think the neighbors would be to happy with the smell. I ended up using epoxy resin. Pretty much has the same results as fiberglass resin but far less toxic (no respirator needed). I wasn't sure if it would work but it did. Everything dried nice and hard and worked well laying fiberglass cloth.

Keep up the good work.
 

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