Tron: Legacy CLU helmet build

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Crimson490

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi all,
i am in the process of building a CLU and Rinzler helmet for my two boys for Halloween (albeit, a little bit late getting started!)

I thought i'd share my process, since i couldn't find much here for TRON helmets. The kids love them even now, looking like crap. I can't wait to show them the finished product!

I'm about halfway there, and i'm considering using these as masters and making clear, lightweight molds. Not sure yet...

So here's how i'm doing it:
1) starting with a bike helmet as a base
2) spraying expandable foam to build out the sides and back
3) shaving the foam to the desired shape
4) covering the foam in bondo - 2 coats
5) sanding!
6) smoothing out the uneven spots with drywall compound - 2-3 coats with sanding inbetween
7) primer, and light touchups/sanding
8) embed LED circuitry and light piping
9) paint helmet

If these become masters, i'll have to do step 8 & 9 on the castings.
Here's pics of the progress so far...
 
Last edited:

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Canobi

Sr Member
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Re: CLU and Rinzler Helmet

I am watching this with much interest. Very good idea:thumbsup Keep up the fine work.:cool
 

Crimson490

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: CLU and Rinzler Helmet

i'm feeling a bit sheepish...i did a bit of searching and found some spectacular examples of tron helmets. well...here's one more then!
 

Canobi

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: CLU and Rinzler Helmet

i'm feeling a bit sheepish...i did a bit of searching and found some spectacular examples of tron helmets. well...here's one more then!

Actually, as far as I can tell, the other builds have started with pep files and not built around an existing helmet. I just don't have the time to mess about with pepacura, so this is ideal for me. Don't get down hearted about it, you already have one build fan:) Not only that, but it's also a cool idea for those who own motorbikes that want a usable Rinzler helmet on the road. If you wanted to offer these for sale, I have a link somewhere for a company that supplies proper visor meterial by the sheet.

By the way, what are you intending to use for the illuminated parts?
 

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Crimson490

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Re: CLU and Rinzler Helmet

Greetings Users!
Sorry i wasn't clear - i'm using a bicycle helmet as a base. And it's only used as a structure to build the foam off of. but that would be cool to make a helmet that would be DOT road-worthy!!

I didn't like the side contours of my CLU helmet, so last night i did some big-time carving and reshaping. this looks much better now.

If i have the time before halloween, i'm seriously considering casting this and vacuforming the front section. it's really the only comfortable way to wear something like this.

the LEDs shown in the pics above are what i plan to use (from radio shack). i'm planning to nest them in some hot glue to help eliminate hot spots. I'm thinking about 16 LEDs (4 daisy chains of 4 in parallel) running off of 9v (6 AA batteries) should do the trick for a night out rectifying some candy.
 

padme911

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: CLU and Rinzler Helmet

Any particular kind of bike helmets that you are using? My son wants a Tron costume for Halloween and I am going to need to build one quickly :p
 

Crimson490

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: CLU and Rinzler Helmet

Any kids helmet will do though it's best if it fits your child's head. Still, you're just using it as a platform for the spray foam. I had to hog out a bunch of the helmet interior to get their heads to fit just right.

This method is quick and dirty, but you'll have to compromise on comfort and visibility.

For these reasons, i've decided to take the helmet and use it as a master mold for some clear epoxy resin castings. i won't have time to do this to both helmets before halloween, but oh well. Thus far, CLU's helmet has been enlarged to fit an adult's head, and i've spent a lot of time trying to get the shape movie-accurate. still lots to be done, but i think it'll look awesome when finished.

Here's where i am now...still have some lines to clean up a little. any insights or critiques are welcome!!
 

Crimson490

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: CLU and Rinzler Helmet

Greetings Users!
It took me countless hours of sanding, spot filling, and primer to get where i am now. I know it's not a perfect match to the movie, but in the spirit of Kevin Flynn, i'm not going to keep chasing after the unattainable. Halloween is quickly approaching!

The CLU helmet is nice and shiny and almost ready for the silicon mold. I just got my casting materials last night from Smooth-On and Alumilite, and can't wait!!

My fear with using the clear resin is that without a pressure/vacuum tank the cured resin may leave visible bubbles. I'm not sure how badly these will show up after the interior is sprayed with VHT NiteShades. If it looks really bad, i'll have to see about having a local molding vendor lend some time to help me out.
 

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Crimson490

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Re: CLU and Rinzler Helmet

thanks!

The silicon base layer went on today...It's thicker than i expected, even with the thinner added (somewhat less than 10%). But in the end, it does give a nice thin coating over everything. As you can see in the pics, this is going to be a 1-pc silicon jacket. Because i plan to cast this in a clear plastic, i don't want to fuss with cleaning up flash on a highly visible part of the helmet. Plus, there aren't really any serious undercuts to the helmet that would require i make it a two piece mold. I'm hoping the silicon is stretchy enough that it will peel back from under the chin, then the rest should pull off.
 

Crimson490

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: CLU and Rinzler Helmet

Greetings, Users! Thanks for the encouragement!

Status update:
> Finished the silicon mold. 4 layers of Smooth-On's Rebound 25 platinum cure silicon. The stuff is fantastic to work with. Either thinning it up for the base layer, or thickening up for the inbetween layers so it doesn't drip, or using as-is for the final smooth coat. It's odorless, and has enough pot life that i can work with it for a good bit.

> Performed a test run using Alumilite's 2-part clear resin. As i feared, without any equipment, a lot of little bubbles appeared as it was curing. Thankfully, a molding acquaintence will let me borrow his vacuum tank to degas the resin before pouring. Otherwise, the resin seemed good: short pot life so i don't have to slush it around for too long (7-10 minutes), and it hardened up good overnight.

Next steps:
> make mother mold using Smooth-On's Plasti-Paste II.
> do another trial run using the vacuum pump.
> test VHT NiteShade on the clear resin to see if it sticks.

End of line
 

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j0wE

Well-Known Member
Re: CLU and Rinzler Helmet

niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice!! will you be doing a run of these? if so I'd be in for a Rinzler
 

Crimson490

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: CLU and Rinzler Helmet

Thanks!
I have enough resin to make 2 extra CLU helmets. If there is interest in them i will do more, and it may spurr me on to doing this to my rinzler helmet...later.

Status Update:
> Finished mother mold
> First casting is curing as i type. i'm not that impressed - even with the vac. degas. there are stil a lot of bubbles. This will force me to paint the exterior of the helmet to cover these up. And it will require a lot more finishing work than i was hoping for. Still, i'm hopeful it will ROCK.
> VHT NiteShade does stick well. Yay!
> Tried a bunch of contraptions and came up with a nice little home-made LED diffuser for the glowing band on CLU's helmet (pic only shows front section). it's just a thin layer of white semi-opaque plastic. the LEDs are shining down off at an angle to the plastic to avoid hot spots. When inverted, on the inside of the helmet, it should look very TRON ish.

Next Steps:
> Prep and paint 1st lid
> Wire up LED diffuser and attach
 

Crimson490

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: CLU and Rinzler Helmet

Hey all - I think i'm at a place where it's worth posting progress: I've had to spend some time preping and painting the first cast part. Put simply, it is not what I was expecting, but I'm quite happy with the results thus far. The clear resin didn't give me the clarity I want for good visibility, so i had to scab in a piece of clear plastic. I've had to abandon the LED diffuser idea because it just wasn't working inside the helmet, so I just use the clear resin as my diffuser. A slight scuffing with the 600 grit paper does a dang good job. Sometimes it's the simple tricks that get you good results...

So the one picture below shows the light band crudely roughed out so I can test the lighting. It's pretty even and bright with the house lights on. The other picture shows the masked off area where the actual band will be. Just a few more passes with the black, then gloss, then final tidbits like light blocking the interior, foam pads, clean up the wire routing... The end is in sight!!!
 

Canobi

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: CLU and Rinzler Helmet

Hey all - I think i'm at a place where it's worth posting progress: I've had to spend some time preping and painting the first cast part. Put simply, it is not what I was expecting, but I'm quite happy with the results thus far. The clear resin didn't give me the clarity I want for good visibility, so i had to scab in a piece of clear plastic. I've had to abandon the LED diffuser idea because it just wasn't working inside the helmet, so I just use the clear resin as my diffuser. A slight scuffing with the 600 grit paper does a dang good job. Sometimes it's the simple tricks that get you good results...

So the one picture below shows the light band crudely roughed out so I can test the lighting. It's pretty even and bright with the house lights on. The other picture shows the masked off area where the actual band will be. Just a few more passes with the black, then gloss, then final tidbits like light blocking the interior, foam pads, clean up the wire routing... The end is in sight!!!



That is awsome work dude!!:cool my son has asked me for a Tron costume so I might use his old bike helmet for that, and I'm going to use the bike helmet method for my Abraxas costume now too (from the Tron evolution game).
 

Crimson490

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: CLU and Rinzler Helmet

Thanks! and good luck to you!

Honestly, if i had to do it over again, i might just start with a huge ball of foam. Starting with the bike helmet was good in theory, but after awhile its shape got in the way. The helmet foam is very dense and much harder to cut through than the expandable foam.
 

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