X-Wing helmet conversion

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by superjedi, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. superjedi

    superjedi Sr Member

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    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.

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

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    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.
     
  2. superjedi

    superjedi Sr Member

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    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. :)

    [​IMG]

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    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.
     
  3. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    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!
     
  4. OdiWan72

    OdiWan72 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey ERic

    curious what you come up with :thumbsup

    Markus :)
     
  5. superjedi

    superjedi Sr Member

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

    Well, he eats it pretty early in the battle, but here are a couple more screen caps.

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    And the dramatic death scene!! :eek

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Supa troop

    Supa troop Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    il take my hat of to you for converting an RA's Helmet
     
  7. superjedi

    superjedi Sr Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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.

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    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.

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

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    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.
     
  8. JoeLuna33

    JoeLuna33 New Member

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    I like what you've got going on here. Luke helmets are nice but i really like seeing other schemes.
     
  9. Mole

    Mole Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  10. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That's not Red 9, that's Red 4 "John D."
    Great job on the helmet. Looking forward to watching the progress!
     
  11. superjedi

    superjedi Sr Member

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

    Hmm. . . the resources I've seen indicate that this pilot was either Red 7, 9, or 11. *shrug*
     
  12. superjedi

    superjedi Sr Member

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

    [​IMG]

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

    superjedi Sr Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

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

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    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.

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    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.

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

    Madeye Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Fantastic! I've always wanted to see this helmet done. Great work.
     
  16. Barrister

    Barrister New Member

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    How many different versions of the rebel fighter helmets are there?
     
  17. JMANTAM

    JMANTAM Member

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    Awesome...
     
  18. mrclaybo

    mrclaybo Member

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    Great job. If you want work edges to look mettalic. look into "Rub & Buff" it works awesome.
     
  19. Amish Trooper

    Amish Trooper Sr Member

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    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.
     
  20. STEVE THE SWEDE

    STEVE THE SWEDE Sr Member

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    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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