First Helmet Build

  1. #1

    First Helmet Build

    Before I post the details of my build I wanted to thank the dented helmet’s contributors for the wealth of source material that has been made available (free of cost) to an amateur hobbyist like myself. I respect the time and hard work that has gone into the creation of this source material and will in no way attempt to benefit from it financially. Any build I undertake is done solely for my own personal use and enjoyment.

    hobby experience: Painting of miniatures (specifically world war 2), Model Making, Woodworking, fabrication, and I have created a Luke ANH lightsaber using a vintage Graflex 3 cell.

    Professional experience: United States Army Veteran, Military Police Gunner/Driver, Technical Writer/Editor, Ground Tactical Vehicle Equipment Specialist/Subject Matter Expert.

    I have been browsing various postings for a few days now and have gathered a lot of ideas and techniques from member contributions. If I post any information that should be rightfully credited to another member please let me know I will make sure to credit the content creator appropriately. Also, any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    The tools and resources I have at my disposal are:
    Outdoor shop with general tools
    Dremel Rotary Tool with press and routing table
    Power Drill
    Grinder
    Various small project hobby tools

    I will be using WoL’s templates to create an aluminum sheet metal helmet. I haven’t decided on a final paint scheme yet but being an army veteran I am partial to the “OD Green” appearance of the ROTJ Helmet.

    I have already started on the build by forming the helmet liner and fixing it together using JB Weld. My plan is to use three sheets of aluminum the first layer being the liner, the second layer and third layer will be using the mandible and earpiece template. Each layer will be fixed together using locktight epoxy.

    Cutouts for the cheek bones won’t be attempted until the base of the helmet is formed and cutting out the visor will be the last step.

    When I am ready to fix the cheek bones my plan is to have tabs that I will sandwich between the first and third sheets. The second sheet will be cut to provide clearance for the tabs.

    I am still trying to decide whether I want to track down resin casts of the earpieces or if I want to attempt to fabricate them using sheet metal.

    For the dome I am open to any ideas, I am leaving that bit for the end until inspiration finds me.

    I will provide images later today on the projects progress.

  2. #2

    Re: First Helmet Build

    Progress so far.... Last night I formed the first layer into the general shape and I am already seeing that JB probably wont cut it.... if it looks like its going to separate i will probably fold back both sides so they interlock and try again.

    Today I attached the second layer with notched cut out around the mandible to accommodate the cheek bones which I will attempt tomorrow once the lock-tight cures.

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    Last edited by Wardog2a; Apr 13, 2014 at 11:33 PM.

  3. #3

    Re: First Helmet Build

    Ok did some more work on the helmet. Cut out the templates and used a mixture of Jb weld or lock-tight epoxy to bond the sheets together. As you can tell in the picture I am having a little bit of difficulty with the left cheekbone. I either messed up on cutting or my fold but hopefully I can fit it into place correctly once everything dries. despite that set back in happy with the results so far. hopefully by tomorrow i will have the cheekbone backplates in place and JB applied to all the seams to finish out the helmet base. I have been looking at a few different methods for the dome. One use the template to cut out the segments and form a dome using sheet metal (this could be difficult without actually
    welding the segments together due to the fact that every time the sheet metal flexes it compromises the epoxy). Or, find a bike helmet big enough for my dome but small enough for the helmets diameter.



    helmetday3-3-jpghelmetday3-2-jpghelmetday3-jpg

  4. #4

    Re: First Helmet Build

    Forgot to mention.... Due to the fact that i'm still new and can't participate in the cargo hold I picked up some resin ears on a known auction site. I am hoping that the seller is a regular of this board. I don't want to violate any of the forums rules so I won't be posting information about the auction or images from it but once the pieces arrive I will post an image of them fixed to my bucket. The whole purpose of this build is to find out if it is possible for the average joe (myself) to create a quality bucket while on a budget. As right now my material costs have not exceeded $50 and the only tools/materials i've needed are WoL's templates, a 36x36 sheet of aluminum, tin snips, clamps, epoxy and my mitts.

  5. #5

    Re: First Helmet Build

    Got home from work today and what did I find? The ears I purchased! I didn't expect them to show up so quickly. Opened the box and they looked great! I didn't even bother to free my dog from his kennel and ran outside to test fit em....... And thats when it happened..... for the first time I have been crushed by a certain auction site. The ears are way too small. Interestingly they are "almost" the correct width but about an inch and a half to short. Well thats what I get for trying to take a short cut and trusting seedy strangers. Helmets been in the shed curing while i've been catching up on work and school. I'll post an update once I get myself out of this mess.

  6. #6

    Re: First Helmet Build

    I have a correction to my earilier comment, it seems i'm the one whose jacked up..... I did some research and came across RafalFett's V2 template and printed it and the ears matched up perfectly. I think what I did was print the original WoF templates on A4 which would explain why the difference in ear sizes was so drastic. Unfortunately this means the whole helmet up to this point is probably off....... time to start from scratch... so much for an economical build!!

  7. #7

    Re: First Helmet Build

    Looking really excellent so far!

  8. #8
    evnltr's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2014
    From
    Colorado
    Posts
    28

    Re: First Helmet Build

    This is a really interesting build. Sorry to see about the ear piece result. Regardless, you've got a great start!

  9. #9

    Re: First Helmet Build

    Sheet metal! Yes! So manly! Ill be subscribing to this one!

  10. #10

    Re: First Helmet Build

    Thanks for the words of encouragement! I decided to go with Rafal Works V2 helmet template for my second attempt. Not much to show off yet just put together the frame today. I get off work pretty early tomorrow so i'm planning on spending most of the day snippin and gluein. I'll take photos of my progress and post them in the evening. I'm expecting it to come along quite nicely with the lessons learned from the first attempt.

  11. #11

    Re: First Helmet Build

    I am closing out this thread technically because the project failed and had to be restarted! Please follow my progress on attempt # 2 at http://www.thedentedhelmet.com/f23/s...33/#post629622
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