Top Gun Moto Helmet - Part 2: VIPER

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Monster Dave, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Hey Everyone,

    Well FINALLY I can join the lower ranks of replica builders here on the forum because today I actually started work on my first replica prop!! After months and months of seeing how talented others are who make props here, I'm uber excited to share my first project with you!! While I welcome criticism - please be kind - I've NEVER done this before, and I'm no artist - but I'm going to give this my very best effort. That being said, I welcome any pointers and advice that anyone has to offer!! :thumbsup

    [​IMG]

    So, about 3 years ago a buddy of mine moved out of the country and gave me his nearly new motorcycle helmet. As some of you may know, I ride myself. I had/have 2 really nice helmets already, but I figured that his would be a good back-up if I ever needed it.

    As time passed, the helmet just sat looking very sad in the closet with my other gear - and being 3rd in line to be worn meant that it rarely (if ever) saw the light of day.

    So recently while watching Top Gun, it occurred to me that this helmet might really make a good base from which to build a replica of Mave's helmet!! So I started doing my homework and after finding a similar replica thread here on the RPF, I broke ground on the project today!

    I'm using Jorge Lorenzo's MotoGP helmet loosely as my visual inspiration since it's similar in shape to what I'm working with.

    Here's my helmet before I started:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's an Icon Alliance helmet, not a bad base to start with. As you can see, it had a matte finish that had no clear coat to deal with which helped reduce the prep time.

    The vents (from front to back) are going to be interesting to work with/around when it comes to striping the helmet, but I've got some good ideas for working with them and highlighting them at the same time.

    Moving along, a quick trip to Home Depot yielded the supplies that I needed to get started:

    [​IMG]

    First I ripped out the guts:



    I also removed the mounting hardware for the visor after I took that picture.

    Then I took to scuffing up the surface and with the 3M Pro Grade Sanding Block:

    [​IMG]

    Then, after it was scuffed really well, I taped up the areas that either I intend to keep black, or don't want over spray to get into:

    [​IMG]

    I've never done this before, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I got everything taped tightly and that the lines around the taped areas are crisp after I remove the tape!!

    It was then time for the first prime/base coat!! Yay! This was a big step! For the base coat, I used good old Rust-Oleum Automotive Primer. Here's the 1st coat:

    [​IMG]

    I was surprised at how evenly the paint went on. I remember having a terrible time with spray paint as a kid when I'd make models!! Fortunately there were no runs in the paint.

    It was a bit challenging though because I had to apply the primer outside and it was WINDY today. So I was worried about dust and crud getting stuck to the wet paint. So as soon as the wind died down, I'd run outside with my helmet on a pizza pan wrapped in brown paper bags, apply the coating, and run my helmet back inside!!

    Here's the result after 3 coats:

    X

    ^the semi-circular shape on the back side of the helmet is actually reflection from something and isn't on the paint.

    And here's what I've come to call the 'bowling ball' back side of my helmet:

    X

    That's going to be all the progress for the first day since the wind is just crazy. But I'm really excited about this project.

    A few things that I need to get:

    A dark/smoke shield -

    X

    Side covers for the shield (which I've yet to decide if they should be ultimately painted to match the blue that the helmet will be or not) -

    X

    And I think rather than paying someone to airbrush the work that I'm going to purchase the decals and apply them myself so that I can be sure about the location, placement, angles, etc...:

    X


    If the weather's good in the morning or tomorrow evening I'll try and get the first layer of the trademark blue that Mave's helmet has!
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  2. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Update:

    I got up this morning and had time to apply 2 light coats of the Navy blue paint

    I like how dark it looks in lower light conditions as well as how much lighter it is with a flash. I figure after 4-5 coats, it'll be nice and even and darker than it looks with the flash in daylight.

    I'll let it dry all day while I'm at work and maybe do another coat tonight if it's not too late. I also want this to turn out great so I may wait until tomorrow morning to do the next coat - I don't want any runs to buff out!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  3. Keyser

    Keyser Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    For a first build, looks great to me!!!

    Def look forward to seeing the final result.

    Did you find the decals online or do you know someone?
     
  4. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Hey Keyser! Thanks!

    I found 2 people on Ebay who sell the decals - they are slightly different so I'm trying to decide which ones to goes with. I printed out a mock-up of the bird/eagle for the side and will need to modify the striping to work with what I've got, but I'm very pleased after seeing the mock-up (pictures to come soon) that it will fit where I envisioned it to go - more forward and lower towards than high and back.

    Where I want the bird to go should create a sweeping look forward on the helmet. The vents are definitely in the way of where the two birds would meet in the back, so I'm going to have to do something about that...but I'm not sure yet. I may just stop each one where they meet the vent on each side.

    Suggestions?
     
  5. Keyser

    Keyser Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Would take some time but want about using a razor to trim/cut the decal? Trim it to fit over the vent....I hope that thought came out right. LOL
     
  6. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    I may do that - fortunately I have a template to toy with before making cuts to the graphics.

    :thumbsup
     
  7. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Evening Update:

    I got home from work with plenty of daylight left to get another heavier coat on and here's the result:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's definitely smoothing out and looking more even now.

    -color comparison:

    [​IMG]

    It's a great color and is looking far more uniform now, but I'm not entirely sure about the hue...which doesn't seem to match the color of the bottle cap...

    ...I wish it were darker...

    Can anyone give me any suggestions about how to remove little airborne crud that gets stuck to the paint?

    Oh, and I ordered the graphics pack today -

    [​IMG]

    100% UV resistant vinyl, so I should get a long life out of them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  8. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Can anyone give me any tips on how to get the nice glossy look that doesn't scream that I did it myself with a spray can? I want people to see my helmet and wonder where I got it not how I made it.

    I plan on doing clear coat when I'm done applying with the color and graphics, but is there any need to do sanding or anything like that to get a similar look to the pilot helmet that I'm using for reference?
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  9. Darth Mawr

    Darth Mawr Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Wet sanding is the best way to polish it up before clear coating. It's looking good so far, good luck on the decals.
     
  10. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Morning Update - just over 24 hours into the project

    After getting the 3rd coat on last night and letting it set over night, I awoke to a properly dark color that made me really happy!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Color comparison:

    [​IMG]


    Now that's more like it! It was also suggested that to some degree, the flash from my camera was probably washing out the color to some degree too. But it really was a much lighter hue even without the washout of the flash. Either way, it's MUCH better now!!
     
  11. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    I know it's probably too late, but I think the correct color is either FS35045 or FS35044. Could be either, depending on the lighting.

    But to get a high gloss finish, you should wet sand between each layer of paint. A flaw in the first layer, will carry through to the final layer. The clear coat is going to be the most difficult. In order to avoid the orange peel effect, you need to go slow, but too slow can lead to runs. Practice on something else, first.

    -Fred
     
  12. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Hey Fred,

    Thanks for the tip - I'll do some research before applying the clear coat. The last thing I want is to ruin my work!!

    As for the wet sanding, well...I'm 3 coats in now so I guess it's too late to do it with each coat!! But with that being said, I was really pleased with the prime coats and how well they took - they were very even. So when inspecting for imperfections (with my novice eye), I'm hard pressed to find any. What I am finding are little areas along seems into which I need to be sure to get a bit more color.

    I know nothing about wet sanding, and I do want my helmet to have that 'pro' look to it when it's done, so I need to read up on that and maybe try between this layer and the next.

    Your advice is much appreciated!!! (y)thumbsup
     
  13. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Hey guys/gals,

    I've got a question - since I'm new to painting - is the 'texture' that can be seen in following picture what's considered 'orange peel'??

    [​IMG]

    Also, aside from what I found on Google - any recommendations on what grit of sand paper to use for wet sanding??
     
  14. bustermedic

    bustermedic Active Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    I use really fine grit for my sanding to wet sand...800 grit
     
  15. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    I'm torn - do I need to wet sand in order to get the polished shine or should I do that after I put on the graphics and clear coat my helmet?

    I've got two 3m sanding sponges that are Exta Fine and Fine. I used the 'fine' one when I first was scuffing it up - I wouldn't want to use that for fine tuning my helmet. Problem is, these don't say what grit they are...

    I really don't want to mess up at this point, but I do want that glassy gloss look when I'm done...

    What should I do??
     
  16. Superkrates

    Superkrates Active Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    sand now. Use at least a 400 grit, but bustermedic is correct to use an 800 grit for final sanding (same grit we used to polish glass, back in the day). Wet sanding works better by keeping the grit washed off the surface of both the helmet and the paper, but it is messy and not recommended if the liner of the helmet cannot be removed.
     
  17. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    I removed all the guts (save the internal stryo structure), but the liner was the first thing to get taken out.

    I'll give my helmet one more night to totally dry, then I'll see about sanding it. Any tips??

    Once it's sanded, does it get another coat of paint or is that when it gets buffed??
     
  18. Mara Jade's Father

    Mara Jade's Father Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Probably too late but what i would have recommended is to wet sand between each coat with wet sand paper increasing grit as you go. Such as 320, 600, 1000, 1500. Higher grit if you want but I've done well with ending on 1500 but 2000 if you can. You want to use the highest grit on you last paint coat. Then buff in some fine rubbing compound to bring back the shine. Clean thoroughly and apply clear coat.
     
  19. Jay1138

    Jay1138 Active Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Good luck on your project man! It's coming along great so far.
     
  20. Superkrates

    Superkrates Active Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Um, wow, that's gonna take some time and will look better than the movie helmet - I bet they didn't do all that to create the prop for the film. :)

    The most important thing is to make it smooth. 'How smooth' is a matter of preference, as the clear coat will flow out minor imperfections if applied correctly. The above mentioned steps are excellent for finishing after the clear has been applied in multiple coats and cured.

    A note on clear coat, don't go 'cheap' (krylon) - you'll regret it. A good automotive grade clear (House of Kolor) is best and has excellent UV protection. Tamiya and Testors spray gloss would work in this application, too. You want it to look wet when sprayed, but take extreme care to not spray heavy or too quickly between coats.
     
  21. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Maybe a little, it's hard for me to tell from that picture. Orange peel means that the texture will literally look like an orange peel, with little bumps and dips. You can see a good picture about half way down this article: Orange Peel - Forums - FineScale Modeler: Online Community, Forums, Blogs, Galleries
     
  22. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Awesom Norman - thanks!

    So, today was a really neat learning expierence for me. I admit that I've been fully enthused about this project, and having said that I've never done this before, I really hope that none of my replies seemed....arrogant. The reason that I say that is because I took the advice of those who said that it was necessary to wet sand my helmet even though I had done several color layers already - so, heeding the advice of those with experience, I did just that!

    Here are some pics I took after I had finished:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I have to admit that I was surprised at how the whole experience turned out. As I started I was hesitant, but once I got a feel for what I was doing, I began to uncover all sorts of little imperfections and raised spots in the paint that needed smoothing out. I'm so glad that I listened to you guys because I feel like 1) I learned something really neat, and 2) now my next coat will go on MUCH nicer.

    Thank you guys for your advice!!

    Now, appealing again to those of you with expertise, after my next coat (lets say it's the last before I plan to apply graphics), should I do this again??

    If so, should I buff the surface to a shine at that point as well (before applying the graphics and the clear coat)??

    I also took the template of the eagle, modified it and I think this is the positioning that I want:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  23. Superkrates

    Superkrates Active Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Don't forget to shoot some primer on that spot in the back before hitting it with color or it'll never blend in.

    Sand - yes, only enough to de-gloss and give the clear something to 'bite' into.
    Buff - personally I never buff until the last coat of clear is cured.
     
  24. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    ...oops... :facepalm


    Like I said, I'm learning a lot from this project!
     
  25. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    Before applying your clear coat, you'll want to finish with 2 applications of polishing compound. First use something like Scratch Out, which is finer than wet sanding, but will still remove micro blemishes. Then you want to find a high quality swirl remover, for clear coats. This will give the helmet base a high-sheen finish. You really don't want to rely on the clear coat to make the helmet shiny. It's really more for protecting the underlying paint.

    Your last few steps should be like this:

    1) paint
    2) wet sand
    3) paint
    3A) if your paint isn't blemish free at this point, wet sand again
    3B) paint, if you needed to follow 3A
    4) Scratch Out
    5) swirl remover
    6) clear coat

    Now, I don't know what your plans for the decals are. Are they vinyl or something else? Do you have a spare piece which you can use to check adhesion? I know on actual flight helmets, the decals are just applied as the last step - they don't get clear coated. But if you're not using professional grade vinyl decals, you may need to clear coat over them, just to protect them. If that's the case, I would apply the decals after step 6, then apply another clear coat on top. But this is all dependent on your plan of attack.

    -Fred
     
  26. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Also, I do not know if you were planning to, but do not use any wax on this for the first month or to. I don't know why, but, I was told that once when I had a car painted and they mentioned that in one of the articles I saw when I was looking for an example of orange peel.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  27. Superkrates

    Superkrates Active Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Curious... then why do manufacturers produce clears in matte, satin and gloss finishes?
     
  28. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    Because it's for protecting the paint underneath.

    It's main function is too keep your paint job from getting scratched, dinged and oxidized. A high quality clear coat will offer UV-A and UV-B protection to keep your paint from fading from sun exposure, as well.

    Now granted, most people who are using a clear coat, want the high gloss finish. But, to make everyone happy, there are options for people who don't, hence the matte and satin finishes. They may not be glossy, but they still offer damage protection.

    If all someone is interested in is a high gloss (albeit non-protective) finish, I'd suggest a good application of Pledge Future Floor wax. It's comparitively priced, goes on much more easily and is easier to correct goofs, as it cleans up with windex (with ammonia). It'll offer oxidation protection, but nothing from scatches or the UV band.

    -Fred
     
  29. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    My thoughts are two-fold with regards to my expectations of a clear coat. Since I'll be applying vinyl decals, I want them to be protected (along with the rest of the finish). Additionally, I want a really nice glossy finish - I want it to look as professional as possible.

    I really don't want to leave the decals exposed without a protective coating over them even though they are made from UV resistant vinyl.

    The tips that you guys are giving me are priceless and I really am beginning to have a new appreciation for what it takes to get a good clean finish.

    Last night I applied 1 light layer that went on beautifully...except for right in the front something got stuck in the paint (must have been in the air when I was spraying), and that really hacked me off.

    So...tonight, I'll be wet sanding again and starting again. I'm really concerned about what this sort of problem once I apply the clear coat over the graphics. I won't be able to sand very much without causing irreparable damage to them...
     
  30. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Evening update -

    Hey everyone! So I've been doing the whole wet sanding, coating, wet sanding coating...process which has taken some time since I really want the paint to set fully before I mess with it. But I'm really pleased with the progress. I should be able to get 2 coats of color on tomorrow if the weather holds.

    I worked it out with a local shop to let me come in and buff/polish my helmet once I'm happy with the coats that I've applied! I'm excited about that and my graphics should be here soon.

    I'll post updates soon!
     
  31. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Alright, this is turning into a long and repeated prime, paint, wetsand, paint, wetsand, paint, wetsand...process. That's testing my patience.

    I'm trying to achieve the very best result, I'm finding it hard not be get inpatient. It seems like every time I go to wet sand, I find new imperfections. This time, I had to take one area all the way down to the first time layer because of a crack that had occured somewhere under all the layers that made the top coat look like the paint had run when in fact it hadn't run at all. Here's the pic:

    [​IMG]

    And now it's nice and smooth:

    [​IMG]

    The best part though is that aside from this one significant problem area, I'd say my helmet is getting ever closer to the buffing stage! My graphics should arrive early next week and the guy who sold them to me gave me an open line to call him if I need any guidance in applying them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  32. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Big Day!!! My graphics arrived!!

    [​IMG]

    The best part is that they are nearly spot on for the template that I used for mock-up after I had shrink it down! That means that they'll fit perfectly and I won't have to worry about cutting them at all to get them to fit!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  33. GeneralFROSTY

    GeneralFROSTY Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Great progress on your first build.
    I learn something new with every project I take on and that is part of the fun.
     
  34. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    He now knows more about painting than most of the planet.
     
  35. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    :lol

    Thanks for the compliments guys!! Though I've learned a lot, I still feel like I've got a lot more to learn - but as Frosty said (and I agree) that's part of the fun!
     
  36. Leigh

    Leigh Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I do things a little differently with painting. I'm a trained pannel beater/sprayer & I was tought back when cellulose paints were just being phased out for 2k. So I may be a little out of touch with modern techniques but I'll have a go anyway :)

    Firstly I'd have keyed the surface of the helmet with something like a 320 grit, dry, assuming theres are no significant surface imperfections.

    Degrease & prime, a few coats to build up a fairly thick primer coat & since its rattle can paint I'd have left it at room temp for a week to sink.

    Then I'd have used a matt or satin black guide coat lightly dusted over the whole surface, it drys in a few minutes. For something as curved as the helmet I'd have used a soft block, basicly a rolled up lint free cloth, wrap it in 800 grit, dip it in water & flat the whole thing down. You can use a loose rubber squeegee to check your progress. If there are any surface imperfections the guide coat will show these up.

    Assuming theres no imperfections I'd make sure its fully dry & again degreased.
    Heres a free tip: at this stage & also for those wanting to check your filler work visually, you can use the degreaser to give the surface a temporary gloss finish by filling an old plastic milk bottle & making a small hole in the top, you then pour it on over the work area & visually check in the light.

    Next I'd apply the colour coat, if its metallic you need to hold the can sighly further away & almost dust it on. If you go too heavy you'll cancel out the fleck & it'll look dull.
    At this stage I would usually let the colour coat just flash off & then apply the clear coat straight to it.

    Personally I would definately not put the decals on before the clear coat & would definately not polish the colour coat as the clear will have nothing to key too & may start to peel after a while.
    With the clear coat I'd build up a few coats wet on wet (10 minute in between coats) & then let it dry. I'd then flat it all over with 1000 grit wet, degrease & clear coat again with a couple more coats.

    I wouldn't worrie too much about a little orange peel its alot better than runs. Once the clear is fully dry I'd wet flat it with 1500 grit & then very lightly but evenly with 2000 grit. With a helmet I'd then polish it by hand using a soft compound like Farecla g10. I would recommend using a good quality wax polish like Autoglym super resin polish to help protect the polished clear coat as a cut painted finish can be vunerable to damage & staining. Then I'd apply the decals.

    As far as the comment on the polish contaminating the paint, its fine to polish a freshly finished surface but you must not get any polish or any other material containing silicones any where near the job during paint & prep.
    It causes whats called fish eyes in your paint. Fish eyes are a tiny spec or particle of silicone (usually airborn) that lands on your job during prep & paint doesnt stick to it so it leaves a small crater in the paint.

    This is just the way I'd do it, I hope its some use :)
     
  37. Coop

    Coop Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Very cool idea! :thumbsup
     
  38. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Whoa Leigh!! That's some info!! Thanks!

    Some of what you suggested is exactly what I did. As far as doing a different color (black) base coat, it's too late for that, but I don't really think that it's going to impact my overall project. I like the color that I've got even though it's a little lighter than the film color. The colored graphics look great with the blue hue that I'm applying.

    I am concerned with not doing a clear coat over the graphics though because I do want to have a smooth and protective layer over them. I don't want to run my hands over the surface of the helmet and feel the edge lines of the decals.
     
  39. Leigh

    Leigh Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The black is for a guide coat. A guide coat is dusted on purely to be sanded off again during the flatting of the primer. The advatage of a guide coat is that it will stay in scratches, low spots & any other imperfections showing you where they are. You can then address those area's with either a stopper, more sanding over the whole area or more primer.

    The decals thing is just How I would personally do it. If your using vinal decals they're quite thick & you'll need a very thick coat of clear to bring the surrounding area's up to the same level & then more on top of that to put a coat over everything. If you were using water slide decals there would be no problem clear coating over them other than any potential reactions between the clear & the decal. Theres also the slight possibility that if you were to degrease the colour coat prior to clear as you should having let it dry, the degreaser may wash the decals making the colours run. Hope that makes more sense :)
     
  40. Leigh

    Leigh Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Whats happening with this, Any updates???
    For some reason I feel my contribution to this thread may have brought it to a stand still :confused I'm always dubious about offering paint advise on forums.
    Is everything going OK??
     
  41. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Hey! No worries!

    I welcome any/all advice that anyone is willing to share! This is a HUGE learning expierence for me. Updates have slowed to some degree due to recent weather hampering my painting progress. Since I don't have a good indoor location to paint, I'm at the mercy of the weather, and the last few days have been pretty windy.

    I've been working to balance out the color on the front chin bar where I sanded down to work out the crack that had appeared. Last night, I was able to get the third layer on and as soon as it's light enough this morning, hopefully I'll see that the color is now even and I can move on to the next step!

    Having the graphics here is REALLY motivating me to get to that step, but I don't want to rush it!

    - Snapped a few pics this morning after the sun came up.

    Here's the true color and the side that I've been working on:

    [​IMG]

    And here's one with the flash (washed out the color) but you can see that there are not uneven or missed areas that need more to even out:

    [​IMG]

    ^the line that you see in that one on the chin bar is actually a reflection and not actually in the paint.

    I'm stoked that it dried so nicely over night!

    So - what to do next? Wet sand and buff?? or leave as is apply graphics and clear coat?? Humm...decisions decisions!
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  42. Darth Mawr

    Darth Mawr Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Hey that's looking good. Can't wait to see the finished results.
     
  43. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Thanks! I'm getting excited about the next step!
     
  44. Leigh

    Leigh Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Your doing a grand job there :) (y)thumbsup:thumbsup
     
  45. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Thanks Leigh!

    Saturday Update:

    Well, recent weather here has been less than prime for painting outside (30mph winds on and off all day), but it's been sunny. So I spent some of the afternoon wet sanding the the area of recent focus. I really appreciate the value of wet sanding - it's amazing how many little imperfections become apparent with a little sanding. And while I was hesitant to try and do any spraying today, I was able to get a light coat on over what I sanded without any crud getting stuck in the paint.

    In the interim, I've been watching every video available on painting and clear coating. The next big step (stage 3) will be to apply the graphics, and then clear coat everything (stage 4). I'm nervous about stage 4 though because if I don't get it right...well, lets just say that I need to get it right the first time!! LOL!!

    I'm really jazzed about getting to the graphics application, but I don't want to rush it - all in due time! Once the paint evens out from today's spray, I'll do some graphics mock-up and get an idea of exactly how I'm going to run the stripes.

    Often, I look to my Akuma helmet for inspiration:



    While it's a tribute to the Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 103 (the Jolly Rogers), I do love the subtle details that it has - especially the 'Ghost Rider' reference to Top Gun!

    Top Gun-flyby - YouTube

    :cool

    "Sorry Goose, it's time to buzz the tower."
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  46. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Do you have something else you can practice clear coating on?
     
  47. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    The one project related thing that I can think of that I could practice with are these side pieces (which I have yet to acquire:

    [​IMG]

    Either that or I guess that I could always clear coat my mop bucket!! LOL!!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  48. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Hey Guys/Gals,

    I need some advice

    For the next step:

    -Should I clear coat now, then apply the graphics. Or apply graphics then clear?

    Secondly,

    -Anyone have tips for striping a helmet??

    I'm trying to figure out how to do this and have it turn out as symmetrical as possible, but mock-up today (working with painters tape) showed me just how difficult it can be.
     
  49. Leigh

    Leigh Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    I'd say you wanted your graphics under the clear, So go for it. If they're not too thick it should'nt be problem. As for your striping I'd start by using masking tape & marking a center line in pencil on the tape. From the center line work one side using tiny peices of tape to position your decals untill your happy. Then use more tape to build a template. Mark the template with reference to shapes in the helmet that are on both sides & obviously your decals, Then peel the template off & re-attach on the other side. It sounds complicated but its not :)

    HTH
     
  50. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    Re: My First Build!! Top Gun Moto Helmet!!

    Since tomorrow's Friday, I should have a chance to work on it some and into the weekend. I really REALLY want to get the graphics laid on in the correct locations. From doing a quick mock-up with painters tape, I discovered that it's a lot harder than it looks!!

    I agree, I think the next stage is to apply the graphics and then clear. They really are not very thick, so I don't think it will be a problem. I'll take some pics as I work on the mock-up this weekend!

    Thanks for the advice!
     

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