Armor plated DP helmet?

  1. #1

    Armor plated DP helmet?

    As some of you may already know, I had a DP95 FG recast and the bastardly thing barely fit on my head. Then, I had to sell it and downgrade to a DP95 Vinyl which should be coming in the mail next week. The FG bucket fits but just barely and I had to rotate it 15 degrees to get my head in.

    Now, I know how prone to warping and how light the DP will be so I thought about reinforcing it. The problem again is size. The recast was tight front to back but had lots of room on the sides. My idea was to glue in Sintra "plates" in all the areas where there was some extra room. I would put in a hard PLAM ring around the top of the dome and connect the plates with Sintra strips where room allowed. This would give the helmet more rigidity and weight. HOPEFULLY!!!

    Has anyone tried this sectional approach to helmet reinforcement?

    I'm a good idea man but my follow through can sometimes suck when it comes to my own projects. Despite this handicap, I'll try to post update pics once the helmet comes in the mail and I get started on the reinforcement.


  2. #2

    Member Since
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    334

    Re: Armor plated DP helmet?

    I have seen people correct the shape of the plastic dp helmets with a low heat sorce(hairdryer) let cool so it will hold that shape and then mop in a few layers of fiberglass matting on the inside this will be thinner than using the sintra plates and will maintain the shape of your bucket for the long run and giving you that extra front to back room you need.I have tried this method as well on a newer rotocast rubies jango helmet for someone and it works well.

  3. #3

    Re: Armor plated DP helmet?

    Hey Skygunbro,
    Thanks for the advice. My concern is mainly for the smell and the fact that I know squat about fibreglass. What about just brushing on a few layers of gelcoat without the fibre? Or would that be too "shatterable"?

    Bottom line is I'm trying to keep this to what I can do in my basement.

  4. #4
    BOUNTY HAUNTER's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2002
    From
    Castle Rock, CO
    Posts
    299

    Re: Armor plated DP helmet?

    Ok, 2 things...

    First off...if a 95 recast doesn't fit your big ol' noggin...what makes you think a 95 vinyl will fit any better?

    If your head is that large, it sounds like you'd do better to just spend your money on one of the many and various larger and nicer helmets offered here on the TDH.

    Personally, I've never understood why anyone here would bother with the DP vinyl helmets. I guess I can understand if you're on an extremely tight budget...but a Fett costume is an expensive and labor intensive project now matter how you do it. If you're serious about your costume, you can do much better than a DP.

    Just my .02


    However! In the interests of community and helpfulness...I do have a suggestion.

    If you're intent on using your DP, you might try using a spray in-liner on the inside of the helmet. RA does this on his vinyl conversions. I believe its the same spray that is used on pickup truck beds. You spray it on, and it hardens, thus reinforcing the inside of the helmet.

    So you might wanna check your local automotive shops.

    Hope that helps.


  5. #5

    Re: Armor plated DP helmet?

    Thanks for the insight Haunter. I guess I'm just hoping that the regular DP95 fits better due to a number of factors:
    1. The fibreglass and gelcoat on the recast were pretty thick (It was a really well done helmet and it pained me to sell it) whereas the vinyl will hopefully be a little thinner all around.
    2. The recast had been stretched a bit (I'm guessing) to give it more flare which should have taken away from the front to back space. The recast had lots of space side to side but the cheek areas came up short on my forehead.
    3. I am hoping that by reinforcing the areas with lots of space and leaving the tight areas clear, I can have both space and support.

    and lastly, the regular DP was all I could afford right now and should be decent for a "in the meantime" bucket. Besides, when i upgrade I'll sell the painted bucket on Ebay for more than I paid for it. ($50 for a DOP 95 was too sweet a deal to pass up)

    Wish me luck!!!


  6. #6

    Member Since
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    334

    Re: Armor plated DP helmet?


    Jodo_Kast wrote:

    Hey Skygunbro,
    Thanks for the advice. My concern is mainly for the smell and the fact that I know squat about fibreglass. What about just brushing on a few layers of gelcoat without the fibre? Or would that be too "shatterable"?

    Bottom line is I'm trying to keep this to what I can do in my basement.
    The problem with just gelcoating your would have to brush in a significant amount to acheive a thickness without using the matting. The matting once wet with fiberglass resin isnt thick at all and helps hold the resin together. If you just brush in a thin layer of gelcoat with no mat then Im afraid it will be to brittle. If you brush in to much then your gonna lose the space you need. I would brush in a thin layer of fiberglass resin and lay in one layer of matting in. Youll get the stiffness you need without compromising head room ...one layer of matting is going to be roughly the thickness of a few sheets of paper.
    I think the problem you had with my helmet you got was because of the mods made the rounder dome and the wider flair it took away that little bit of extra space you needed to be comfy from your nose to the back of your head.
    A standard dp helmet is gonna give you a little more front to back room as the helmets in their original shape are a little narrower and dont have as much flair as the one you got from me.
    Also you dont nessecarily need to do the whole interior of the helmet with fg just the more problematic areas like the lower back area and the lower cheek panels. Reinforcing just these areas will result in minimal loss of space.
    As far as the smell of fg it does stink but cures quick enough where you can just do it in front of a fan that is exhausting out the window. Geltime depending on room temp. is usually about 10 minutes. The more catalyst used will speed up the process but i dont recommend over doing the catalyst as if it cures to fast you may get some cracking of the fg because of the heat generated during the curing process. If your room temp is between 60-80 degrees youll acheive a gel time in about 10 minutes the cooler the room the longer it will take but not by much.
    You can buy a quart of fiberglass resin and a yard of matting at your local automotive store for about $10-$15 for both products..the catalyst comes with the resin and just follow the direction on the can.
    I also recommend buying "acid" brushes to do it with these can also be picked up at the parts store usually about a 1.00 for a dozen. If you need anymore info on how to do this lmk ill make my number available to you.-Jason

  7. #7
    Jodo Kast 3's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2002
    From
    Chicago, South Suburbs
    Posts
    2,166

    Re: Armor plated DP helmet?

    Jodo,

    Let us know what method you go with. I def. want to see the end result.


  8. #8
    Gilmortar's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2002
    From
    Denver
    Posts
    1,740

    Re: Armor plated DP helmet?

    Well Jodo, I know on my DP95 when I did my jango was warped in the back, so I put it in my car during the summer, and stuck towels in it, then put it in the fridge for a little.

    Now Bounty Haunter, as with me, My friend TimAllen just sent me a DP95 cuz, if I got the MSH, or MSH2 I would not be propotioned right. Im doin an ESB now, but since im 5'11" I would just look like a bobble head doll with any MSH. The DP can have its advantages. Now as much as I would LOVE to have the MSH or anythin like that, it just would make me look funny.

    Back to the reinforcement, Jodo, you could try getting the normal 24 hr cure JB Weld, and place alot of that around the mandables and cheeks, and ear pieces...that will help to strengthin the integrity of the helmet.

  9. #9

    Re: Armor plated DP helmet?

    How about a layer of bondo inside the helmet? I just thought of this yesterday. don't know if it would work but it sounds like it mite. I formed my 97DP by laying it on its back for about a week. Worked vary well. Now in order to keep it that way I keep a plastic tube wedged inside.

  10. #10
    Jango_Wes's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2002
    From
    Wiesbaden, Germany
    Posts
    1,432

    Re: Armor plated DP helmet?

    For my wife's DP97, I used the Bondo brand fiberglass cloth and fiberglass mix. First, I ran really hot water in it while it was upside down to get the plastic soft and get the form I wanted. Then ran cold water in it to displace the hot and cool it off to retain the form. Once that was done, I cut the cloth into strips, coated them with the mix and laid them in the helmet. Once it dried... Presto. The helmet is solid, not brittle and light enough for my little wife.

    Wes

  11. #11

    Re: Armor plated DP helmet?

    Well, I had an interesting convergence of accuracy, size and strength. The back "keyslot" section of Jodo's helmet in Twin Engines of Destruction is made of rectangular sections rather than the upside down T's that fett has. Almost like 4 or 5 buttons. As well, the keyslot section on the DP95 is sunken in a fair bit and takes up almost a centimeter of headroom. Add to this my desire to reinforce the helmet and minimize the warp in the back.

    What I ended up doing was cutting the entire key slot section out and then cutting a 2mm thick section of Sintra backed by another 8" wide and about 4" tall strip. I superglued the small section onto the wider piece, formed it to the contour of my bucket and then superglued the whole thing in from the inside.

    The end result is that I saved at least 1/8" of space in the helmet (front to back) which isn't much but is the difference between wearing my glasses in the helmet or having to go without. The back of the helmet is now twice as strong as before and I have a flat key slot area to attach some rectagular pads to for increased accuracy.




    Well, at least something worked out for a change.


  12. #12
    Jodo Kast 3's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2002
    From
    Chicago, South Suburbs
    Posts
    2,166

    Re: Armor plated DP helmet?

    Looking good!!!!



    JK3


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