X-Wing helmet conversion

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superjedi

Sr Member
Merry. . . December 26th! :)
About 2 1/2 years ago, my Red 9 X-Wing helmet was damaged beyond repair during a move. At that time, it was my third X-Wing helmet. I also had a Richie's Armor Luke ANH helmet, and a Red Leader helmet that I built up and painted from the Wilco kit.
Since my wife got me the eFX Luke ANH for Christmas :)love), that gave me the opportunity to redo my RA Luke into something else. I really like the Red 9 helmet, so I decided that I'll convert the RA Luke.
For those not as familiar with the Red Squadron helmets, this is the one I'm talking about.



Here are a couple of "before" pics of the Richie's Armor helmet.







This helmet is actually kind of special to me, as it was also purchased by my wife almost a decade ago. It was the very first full-size prop replica in my collection! I always tease her that she's the reason for my crazy hobby. :cool

I painted my first Red 9 helmet with Floquil Zinc Chromate Primer, and I have some on order. Once it arrives, I'll add to this thread to show some in-progress shots as I go.
 

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superjedi

Sr Member
Conversion Stage 1:

Spent a few minutes prepping the helmet last night. I removed the visor, which is attached with some small machine screws, washers, and nuts.
I also peeled off the black trim from around the bottom and scraped the stickers off using a very high-tech piece of equipment; my fingernail. :)





My Floquil paint arrived earlier today, so the next stage will be to sand the helmet and prep it for paint. I don't plan to sand it completely down to white styrene. That would be extraordinarily difficult. I just plan to sand it until there are no raised lines or areas where the original paint scheme was masked off.
More to come.
 

cayman shen

Master Member
I don't think that red 9 helmet has ever blipped on my radar: do you have any other views of it? Can't wait to see your conversion!
 

superjedi

Sr Member
Hi Markus! I've done this helmet once before, so hopefully it will go smoothly.

I don't think that red 9 helmet has ever blipped on my radar: do you have any other views of it? Can't wait to see your conversion!
Well, he eats it pretty early in the battle, but here are a couple more screen caps.





And the dramatic death scene!! :eek

 

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superjedi

Sr Member
Hi all!
Been working on this on and off during the past week or so. Here's a quick update to show where I am with this helmet.

Once the old decals were removed, I sanded the whole helmet just to smooth out the
slight raised lines where the original colors were masked off. I didn't attempt to sand
the whole helmet down to bare white. That would have taken forever and my arms
probably would have fallen off.





Once I had gotten everything smooth, I sprayed the helmet with some
Rustoleum white primer. I gave it a couple of good medium coats,
focusing on the areas that would remain white in the new color scheme.





After the primer had dried for 36 hours or so, I masked off everything
that would remain white and sprayed on a couple of coats of
Floquil Zinc Chromate Primer.





It's a nice rich looking color, and it will darken up slightly once
I do some weathering. Here's the opposite side.





I'll let everything cure up for a couple of days before I begin
the weathering. I'm also waiting on a set of vinyl decals
from Lucksy31. Thanks, Scott! :thumbsup

More to come.
 

Mole

Well-Known Member
I've seen Star Wars a hundred times and I never really paid much attention to the pilot helmets other than Luke's. Really liking the Red 9 version though. Can't wait to see how this turns out.
 

Treadwell

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That's not Red 9, that's Red 4 "John D."
Great job on the helmet. Looking forward to watching the progress!
 

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superjedi

Sr Member
Thanks! I love the overall design of the X-Wing helmets and something about this particular one just strikes me as cool.

That's not Red 9, that's Red 4 "John D."
Great job on the helmet. Looking forward to watching the progress!
Hmm. . . the resources I've seen indicate that this pilot was either Red 7, 9, or 11. *shrug*
 

superjedi

Sr Member
Here's some more progress.

I got a set of decals from DeLucks Designs. He does great work! There are several sets of decals for various Rebel pilots.

Here are some pics of the decals applied, pre-weathering.



This decal set consists of: 2 sets of 3 tiger stripes; 2 "sliced onion" symbols for the front and back of the mohawk strip; 4 small V markings for the ram's horns; 2 "flying meatballs" for the white areas below the ram's horns; and the 2 cat eyes that sit low on the helmet's sides.
NOTE: At the time I requested the decal set, I didn't realize that the cat eye decals were provided, so I stenciled and painted them on myself.



I also added the small black squares from some sign vinyl I had left over from a prior project, and masked and painted the red/yellow mohawk stripe.



At this point, the helmet is ready for final weathering!
 

superjedi

Sr Member
Final progress update:

With the decals and detail painting complete, I did a black acrylic wash over the entire helmet to grunge it up some. This also reduced the contrast in those blank white areas nicely.



Once I applied the wash, I went back with an X-acto blade and did some scraping to try and match some of the scratches in the white areas.



I sprayed the entire helmet with Krylon matte clear to equalize the sheen between the different types of paint and the decals.



I did a bit of additional pastel weathering on the white areas and the mohawk cap, again trying to match the reference as much as possible.



When everything was dry, I placed the edge trim back onto the bottom opening, and reattached the visor using the 2 small machine screws and nuts.





So now it's on display alongside my eFX Luke and Wilco Red Leader helmets!
Thanks for reading.
 

Madeye

Active Member
Wow I am constantly astounded by the amazing artistic talent (let's face it this is art) of the people here. Bravo!
 

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Amish Trooper

Sr Member
I have a question. I noticed that the detail on the ear area is different on each side. Is that due to them flipping the image or was it a mistake in the making of the helmet? I ask because I see you did both the same.
 

STEVE THE SWEDE

Sr Member
That looks sweet! You've been able to nail a lot of cool details on a helmet with very little reference availible!

Oh, btw! Don't forget to look for it in Rotj as well!

Cheer,
Steve
 

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