TFA Captain Ithano - red merc helmet

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by inkblot, Aug 16, 2015.

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  1. inkblot

    inkblot Active Member

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    For lack of a better name, has anyone else seen any decent reference for the back of this merc's helmet?
    c0816ac4d54ed358e1f0634f872ab059.jpg bb5b6b4fb000a3ec7dd0f1421e39f156.jpg

    I have done some preliminary modeling in Zbrush and some low-poly reduction but I still lack a good profile shot showing how the back of the helmet should fit with the head. Still tinkering; would like to finalize the actual shape in the back before i tweak/fix up various topographical issues.
    RedHelmet-WIP.png RedMerc-mockup1.jpg RedMerc-mockup2.jpg
    Once i'm done, I am probably going to transfer to paper, then foam, then Worbla & Bondo.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
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  2. inkblot

    inkblot Active Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    Further background - this guy shows up in the Vanity Fair spread that features Maz Kanata's castle folk, as well as the Comic Con 2015 reel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=209&v=CTNJ51ghzdY

    I have as yet not found any other reference for the character.
     
  3. inkblot

    inkblot Active Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    I decided to just jump in. It's been over a month and I still haven't been able to find more reference. Either he just ends up being a background character or he's on the cutting room floor entirely. I took my layout and blew it up 310% (from the very scientific 'fit to page' 8x5x11" print ;) ). After a quick test fitting of the front piece to ensure the distance from the eye to chin was sufficient, I started assembly last night.

    Even though the pieces would fit on paper, there's a bit of bulk to deal with underneath, so getting some pieces to fit together well has been a bit tough - particularly with the piece on the top of the wings, where it fits the side of the head. This layout requires a considerable amount of stretching and heat warping.

    RedPirate-WIP2.jpg

    I'll finish assembly of the other side and once that's done, I'll need to do some more reshaping to push out the nose & mouth as well as to fix angles on the side of the head (so there's more of a straight up/down) and to get the curve on the wings more accurate.

    Due to the stiffness of the EVA, the parts above the eyes are sticking out, but I think that will be less apparent once I drop some Worbla on everything. I may also need to put in some temporary means of keeping them more in line with the rest of the brow, since there is no visible means of connection on the reference.
     
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  4. inkblot

    inkblot Active Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    I found an ebay listing for a toy loosely resembling this character, apparently made by Kenner. The packaging claims his name is En Burtt. There doesn't seem to be any other sources for this toy release though, so I have to wonder about the validity of the listing?

    I found it here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Custom-Card...-7-En-Burtt-red-pirate-4-Figure-/331606702269

    ETA: Okay, the more I look at their listings, the more it seems they are just passing off custom figure hacks as official merchandise? Disappointing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
  5. mugatu

    mugatu Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    I hate "custom" vintage SW toys on eBay, but the absolute worst are repro figures and/or card backs for vintage SW or Uzay figures sold on eBay. There's only one reason someone would make and sell these items and that's to scam poor schlubs that don't know any better.

    Back to your thread: I really like the look of this character. The red is a really eye-catching. If I see any better ref pics, I'll * them and post them in here for you. I can't wait to see your final work!
     
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  6. SmilingOtter

    SmilingOtter Master Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    I'm sure Ben Burtt would be flattered...
     
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  7. CSMacLaren

    CSMacLaren Sr Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    It's a great design. Reminds me of Bomo the Nosaurian!
     
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  8. inkblot

    inkblot Active Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1443039140.421827.jpg Always do a test fit as you work. Particularly before you do anything permanent. Top left: helmet fully covered in Worbla . Seams still need fixing and I am still heat forming certain parts to be more accurate, but it's getting there. HOWEVER - even though the Worbla was cut the same size (even a bit bigger) prior to assembly, it seems getting all the parts to fit together has really shrunk the whole thing. So now, even though there's still plenty of room inside, I can't fit it over my head (the neck hole is too small). Thankfully, I can still heat the worbla around the back, bend it back temporarily and cut out some of the excess foam. Good thing I haven't started the surface prep process though!
     
  9. inkblot

    inkblot Active Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1443309751.403214.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1443309763.219582.jpg
    The last few days have been all about cleaning up bumps on seams as best I can prior to adding any sorts of fillers, then adding dimension on top of the wings and in the cheekbone area. As you might be able to tell, I'm not terribly precious with my thermoplastics and have no problem hacking in to them if I need (although arguably these are all details I could have modeled in before even printing out the pattern).

    Things are getting a bit closer although I still feel the face bulges out a bit too much. I'll keep heat-forming that down a bit; hopefully that will help.
     
  10. inkblot

    inkblot Active Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    It's going to get worse before it gets better.

    Bondo application and sanding has begun. Here it is with maybe three hours of work so far. I need to get this done before ambient temperature drops much more (it's been hovering between 15-20C here this week). The helmet also got some more trimming and burnishing to reduce overall seams and to clean up some curves before this treatment.

    RedPirate-WIP-20151008.jpg
     
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  11. Chrysoprasis

    Chrysoprasis New Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    I am also working on this character, but I am sculpting in clay and doing a mold so I can cast it in Latex. Great to see someone else appreciates this (so far) obscure character. Lets hope he actually gets some screen time or at least a name.

    http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=248475
     
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  12. Chrysoprasis

    Chrysoprasis New Member

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  13. inkblot

    inkblot Active Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    I saw that; the verbiage is almost verbatim from the 'custom' card back I found for the figure discussed above (which appears only on eBay and the seller's Flickr page) and I haven't been able to find any other credible sources for the relevant info.
     
  14. inkblot

    inkblot Active Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    My arms are sore from another Bondo/sanding session yesterday.

    Here's where I'm at:



    Essentially, most of the forms are finally where I want them to be. THere are still some symetry issues to deal with along the back, but the edge shapes along the side of the head are a bit more distinct and bulked up now. I'm also getting to the stage where I'm no longer dealing with potholes in my Bondo and they are a bit more like over-large pinholes. I am really hoping to get this done soon, but having to contend with ambient temperature and overall muscle fatigue. Am itching to get going on fabric, the gloves and boots as well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  15. Vycanthus

    Vycanthus Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    That's looking pretty great! That helmet caught my eye as well.
     
  16. 6 finger wizard

    6 finger wizard Active Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    I found this magazine that had a good reference picture of the vest IMG_20151223_222037653.jpg IMG_20151223_221919055.jpg the visual dictionary had a good shot as well.
     
  17. inkblot

    inkblot Active Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    Thanks! I was also jazzed to see he does at least show up for a few glimpses in the movie; it looks like the back of his helmet is sorta like the back of a conquistador helmet! I'll have to add some bulk to the back and taper it some to match.
     
  18. Cambian

    Cambian New Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    http://amzn.com/1465438165

    There are good pictures of Captain Ithano in that book. Inside and back cover.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
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  19. inkblot

    inkblot Active Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    Thanks! That's the next book on my list.
     
  20. BFLV

    BFLV New Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    To help you

    [​IMG]
     
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  21. RVeldhuyzen

    RVeldhuyzen Active Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    And here is the other side (from the back cover of the book). The helmet seems almost symmetrical, but not quite. The ridges are a bit different on either side.

    IMG_7325.jpg
     
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  22. Gunslinger

    Gunslinger New Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    Definitely subscribing to this build. Captain Ithano is cool even if we only see him briefly in TFA. I look forward to seeing your finished costume inkblot. And if the helmet works out as good as it looks like it might, put me down for one if you do a run!
     
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  23. inkblot

    inkblot Active Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    Thanks! I've been taking a break recently because the outdoor ambient temperature has been a bit low for further Bondo work, but I'll try to pick up on this again soon.
     
  24. Zaan

    Zaan New Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    Will you be selling casts once you are done? :) I am verymuch interested

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
  25. inkblot

    inkblot Active Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    To be honest I haven't done casts before, so if I do, it will be a novel experience. When I get closer to a finished product, I will start looking in to this further. There are some local resources I can invest in to make this happen (if indeed my implementation of the helmet will lend well to casting at all).

    More posts to follow soon hopefully!
     
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  26. Tatooinetako

    Tatooinetako Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    I sculpted my helmet in clay and made a mold to cast mine in reinforced resin. You were part of my inspiration!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  27. Tatooinetako

    Tatooinetako Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    Oops forgot pics

    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  28. inkblot

    inkblot Active Member

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    Re: The Force Awakens - red merc helmet

    It's been a while since i got back to this project due to a number of factors including (but not limited to) weather, but I was able to jump back in on this last weekend.
    https://youtu.be/gtR2PvHep3w


    P5040082.jpg P5040083.jpg P5040085.jpg P5040086.jpg

    May the Fourth Be With You!
     
  29. inkblot

    inkblot Active Member

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    Work has been ongoing on this helm & additional forearm/shin pieces since my last update; I am mostly at the priming/correction/reprime stage now and I'm getting to the point where I wish I could just put things to rest, due to a number of personal external factors. There are various parts of the helmet that I'm not super happy with but will have to clean up soon; I'd just prefer to avoid having to redo the Bondo process over and over for small corrections at this point. Last week, I bulked up the top-left contour (above the eye) to match the right side better and provide a sharper silhouette. I still find the back view looks significantly skewed to the left and I am hoping to make some slight revisions so as to make this less noticeable.

    DET_3485-2.jpg DET_3486-2.jpg DET_3487-2.jpg DET_3491-2.jpg

    I guess I'm nearing the stage where I should start thinking about whether it should be molded and cast. Given I have no experience with doing so, I don't know where i'd start. 2-part? Slush cast? and then there's the expense and whether or not I could do so after I painted or whether i should wait to mold prior to painting?

    Other than this, work has begun on the arm guards using Worbla and I'm mapping out what I'll need for straps, etc.

    Anyhow, your thoughts on directions are welcome. I'll hopefully have some more time to work on this soon.
     
  30. inkblot

    inkblot Active Member

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    DET_3496.jpg PA160178.jpg
    Eyeholes have been sharpened up a bit and reprimed. I've also been investigating ways by which to mold and cast, including modelling a small version in sculpey and running a few tests with Rebound 25.

    I have begun pricing out the materials and overall costs for molding and casting this helmet and would like to move forward with this before the end of the year. I'll continue to post about my personal costume development over here, but you can expect to see a full estimate in the Project Runs section soon.

    In the mean time, I thought I'd also discuss where i'm at with Ithano's rifle, which apparently also is the base for one of the Kanjiklub rifles:

    I decided to just use what materials I have on hand, so that means PVC piping, craft foam, Worbla, Bondo, Kobracast, aluminium foil, etc. I managed to find a grip from an old plywood saw and have fitted it over the pipe with some Worbla. The grip has also been split open and modified to fix the overall angle - it will still need some modification to pull out the butt of the grip, but I'm glad I don't have to fabricate much along that end. Ideally, the spot directly above the grip will get filled in and the split between foam and handle will be less noticable.

    I've also begun modelling out the bone piece - I reused some old scrap Kobracast and aluminium foil to rough out and bulk up the shape and spent some time smoothing it out to make it more cohesive. It still needs a few more passes, but I'm glad that making use of acetone as part of my Bondo mix has made sanding and smoothing a lot faster!

    IMG_3018.JPG IMG_3033.JPG IMG_3037.JPG IMG_3043.JPG IMG_3049.JPG IMG_3038.JPG IMG_3048.JPG
    Eventually, I will probably cover over the craft foam (which is mainly just there for bulk) with black Worbla and do a bit more finishing with Bondo to fix inevitable seams.
     

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