Time to document how I made a bunch of helmets!
So I decided pretty early on that I was going to mold and cast my helmet. As you can see earlier in this thread, the original was 3D printed with some hand sculpted details, such as the welds which I made using milliput.
The molding and casting process was very, very expensive and difficult.
I began by covering the helmet in WED clay to create a barrier between the helmet and what would become the jacket mold. I did one side at a time, using hardboard and plywood as the center-line. Basically; I cut out a hole in the wood which matched the silhouette of the helmet, I then put the helmet in the hole so that the wood went along the center of the helmet. I then put the clay on, and once one side was clayed and fiberglassed, I could remove the wood and flip the whole thing over to repeat the process for the opposite side, minus the wood this time (don't forget to use some release agent to make sure you can pry the fiberglass apart later)
Once both sides were fiberglassed, I could then pry the jacket mold apart and remove the clay from that half of the helmet. I then re-assembled the jacket mold, poured the silicone and once that dried, I flipped it over and did the same thing again on the other side, and then I had a mold!
Once I had the mold (the observant among you may notice some... differences... in the mold between these shots... That's because I failed once and had to do the whole process twice, and some pictures are from mold A and other pictures are from mold B. We learn as we go) I roto cast/slush cast a bunch of helmets, intending to sell a bunch of them to recoup a little bit of the cost of this whole thing. I did sell all of them, but it took a long time and I wasn't able to make back what I spent, but it helped a little bit.
I also made a few helmets in cold cast brass which I sold. Those were an absolute pain to get right and I will never make another one unless it's explicitly for myself or someone is paying A LOT more than I charged for those ones. Some people got one hell of a deal on those helmets, let me tell ya.
And lastly, let me super quickly go over how I made the eye lenses!
I intended to vacuum form them, so I 3D printed bucks for the vacuum forming process, I then cast the bucks in plaster using a mold made from alginate (a one-off mold which is destroyed after a single use)
I made a small vacuum former using MDF, some scrap aluminium profiles, steel wire and my vacuum cleaner. I didn't incorporate a heating element, but heating the frame and plastic in the oven worked fine for my purposes.
Once I had the clear lenses I dyed them using a synthetic fabric dye called iDye Poly. It's the only one I've found which seems to work on PETG plastic.
And in the end... I didn't end up using any of these helmets because they're too big for my head. The helmet I am using is entirely 3D printed with a layer of fiberglass on the inside to reinforce it.
Next I will try to show some of the leather bits I made, like the gloves and the rocket harness.