Tusken Raider Build

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merkava74

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
UPDATE: Completed photos post #21

Decided to build a Tusken Raider helmet for display. I have not decided if it will only be a helmet, or a bust with the bandoliers. I was inspired by the half bust made by starwarshelmets. I'll decide that later. I figured I will build the helmet fist, but I did order the neck respirator from Godzilla too.

So, received a package from Godzilla (Adam), and I must say Adam has taken great pains to produce this kit.



The helmet is made of strong latex, with the positions of all the machined parts marked out for easy cutting. The machined parts are perfect, and the leather bits are of high quality. I was worried that the mouth leather was going to be difficult to crease into shape around the mouth, but the material is soft and I foresee it is not going to be a problem. The fabric for the head covering comes in a big piece, leaving me to decide on the width of each piece for randomness, and I will see later how this works out.

So first, I used an X-acto (new blade) to cut the 4 holes on the top of the helmet where the horns will be positioned. It doesn't have to be a perfect circle, just enough for the screw to go through.



Next, it was a simple procedure of screwing on the horns with a screwdriver from the inside. No glue needed.



In 5 minutes, all 4 horns completed.



Next up, I started on the holes on the front of the helmet. Remember to position both machined eyes over the marked eyeholes together with the leather piece #4 in between the eyes BEFORE you cut the holes. This is to ensure that the leather piece fits snugly between the 2 machined eye pieces with no gaps, and that the marked circles are exactly in the middle of the eye pieces so you can cut them out with peace of mind. When cutting the cheek holes, I cut in an angle to better accommodate the conical shape of the machined parts. According to the instructions, they are meant to be fixed by sliding from the inside, with a bit left on the inside of the helmet, and not glued on the surface of the helmet.



All the holes cut, and the machined eye pieces with the leather piece placed to confirm their positioning.





Next, I used E6000 to glue the eye pieces on the helmet. and let cure. As this helmet is for display and not trooping, I did not bother to drill holes into the eye pieces and helmet to further secure with screws like the top 4 horns. Your call if you are not confident of the glue keeping everything together during trooping. I'll see after the glue cures if I need to do that step.



Till the next update...
 
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Beetroot

Member
After building mine from scratch, I think this is definitely the way to go. Looking good. Can't wait to see it finished.
 

merkava74

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Godzilla by Adam...the absolute best in tusken! Good choice!
After building mine from scratch, I think this is definitely the way to go. Looking good. Can't wait to see it finished.
Yes it is a breeze to build! Apart from the time taken for the glue to set, I think this is effectively a one-day job!

- - - Updated - - -

So while waiting for the glue on the eye pieces to cure, I started to tackle the fabric. As per the very clear instructions, I cut pieces varying from 2.5" to 3.25", with 1 piece of 1.75" for the first wrap around the front of the face. The frays are looking the part now! I can't wait to see this weathered.



All the strips torn and waiting!

 

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merkava74

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Wow! You make me wanna get one of these
Can't go wrong with a Godzilla!

So, the eye pieces have somewhat cured, so I moved on to the tusks, noting that they protrude longer than the eye-pieces, and are angled somewhat downwards. I used E6000 glue on the inside, and might apply a layer on the outside around the tusk just to seal it. Waiting for it to dry again!







I am posting this as I am building, realtime! This goes to show how easy the kit is to build!
 

merkava74

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Glue on the tusks are drying nicely, and I have now added the 2 soft leather pieces covering the eye-pieces and the tusks. After trying to stretch the leather a little to go around the tusks, there is still a tiny gap on the outside of the tusks where the leather joins. This will not be a problem as later, when the fabric wraps go around the face, it will be hidden. I used E6000 for this too and it is an amazing glue.

 

merkava74

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Next up, the mouth. I wanted to be careful about this part as I feel that the mouth is the signature of how the whole Raider will look like... menacing or goofy...

The initial bit surrounding the mouth must be smooth and stretched, as leather will be applied around that later. As they enter the mouth, then it just bunched up and creased. To achieve that, I did it in stages:

1. Glue only the bottom (chin) part which is straight:



2. Continue on both sides:



3: End at the top, taking care to create a little inward fold so that no leather ends can be seen:



4: Apply glue on the rest of the inside of the mouth, and stuff the leather in randomly, pulling from the inside of the mouth. Shape your creases as desired:



5: The final step is to glue the remaining leather around the inside of the helmet, and we're done!



Pretty satisfied with the result, I must say!
 
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merkava74

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Up till this stage, I must say that the cowhide wrapping for the mouth is the hardest part of the build. Using 2-part epoxy putty, it was challenging to glue the tough cowhide and hold it in position till the glue sets. Tried hard not to make a mess. Some putty did spill over the edges. Will have to sort that out during weathering later. Some staining and dry-brushing should do the trick.

Mouth piece glued in place. This piece had very little to sit on, considering it's weight. But once the other cowhide layers are glued onto it, it will have a good balanced contact with its surroundings.



Each cowhide piece took a long time to position and glue, with the help of rubber bands, clamps and fingers holding them in place.



Finally. Complete. Looks ok, but will need weathering to enhance it more later. Now the whole weight of the helmet is on the front.

 
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merkava74

Sr Member
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The last step of the build (before weathering) is of course the fabric wrap. After tearing them to strips in the previous step, it's now time to have fun draping them any old way you like over the helmet!

WRONG! I had to look at several reference photos to get the "look". Started with the broader pieces at the base, criss crossing front left to rear right etc. Also added some almost horizontal ones to break the shape. Then I added thinner ones, and this time, twisted them onto themselves, as seen in some screen captures. I also did not tuck in any of the strips under the helmet. I prefer the "overhand" look.

After what I felt was adequate (I still had strips leftover) without going overboard, I gave the whole head a good scrub with a wire brush to pull out the frays and strands and generally give it a beat up look. I think I'm gonna say this is it before I start weathering. Maybe a couple more strips... ;)







Gonna call it a night. At least I was right about the build taking only 1 day. Probably weather this bad boy over the weekend.
 
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merkava74

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks guys! It was a really fun build!

Trooper_trent, that's an amazing Raider! Love the weathering! You even have the fabric exactly replicated! Awesome!

And nice collection!
 

merkava74

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
So the weathering process begins.

First up, I dry-brushed the mouth and surrounding leather wraps with dark yellow, and washed them with Raw Umber oils. Pretty straightforward.



Next, the metals were all given a thick coating of Raw Umber oil direct from the tube. I let it settle for a while for the oils to dry a little on the parts, before using a cloth to remove most of the oils, leaving areas which I felt would be dirtier.





Tusks done.



I particularly like how the teeth came out:





This is how it all looks so far. Next up, the wraps!

 

merkava74

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The final step of my weathering is to wash the entire fabric with a Raw Umber wash, to blend all the previous streaks caused by the dry brushing together.

 

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