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  1. clmayfield's Avatar
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    Dec 4, 2016, 3:35 PM - First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #1

    First time for a helmet paintup. Please be gentle. This is an FPH2.



    It went smoothly the first time around and I decided I didn't like the colors. I used the Humbrol color map found here:

    http://www.thedentedhelmet.com/f23/p...ht=humbrol+map



    but I quickly found that the concrete recommendation of Grey 28 misted with Beige 103 did not have enough brown (after I had finished the whole job). So I went back and hand painted over the Beige with Testors Concrete Flat, which is a much better color.

    I also realized that the grey (Grey 79) was too dark, so I masked off the entire helmet except for the grey and painted over with Grey 106. The colors are now right with the exception of a few areas that need touching up and a but of weathering. What do you think? How tough is it to sand the whole thing down and start over again? I am guessing that would have been less work than correcting two layers of coloring like I did and will look better (I don't like the hand painted concrete... which I had blinded off and sprayed it on).
    Last edited by clmayfield; Dec 5, 2016 at 10:08 PM.
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  3. rubio95's Avatar
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    Dec 4, 2016, 7:13 PM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #2

    I don't know what there is to be gentle about...it looks good!

    If you decide to redo it, as long as it's fiberglass (FPH2 should be), then don't mess with sandpaper. Just rub it down gently with acetone. The paint will come right off.

    Make sure to update this thread. Looking sharp so far.
  4. clmayfield's Avatar
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    Dec 5, 2016, 8:43 AM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #3

    Thanks for the pro tip! I just might do that. The shapes are all right, but because of all of the layers, the lines are less defined and I feel like the concrete layer is uneven. On the other hand, I can chalk that up to actual battle scarring...
  5. rubio95's Avatar
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    Dec 6, 2016, 12:56 AM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #4

    Quote clmayfield said: View Post
    Thanks for the pro tip! I just might do that. The shapes are all right, but because of all of the layers, the lines are less defined and I feel like the concrete layer is uneven. On the other hand, I can chalk that up to actual battle scarring...
    Trust me, I've been there. And, like clockwork, the second go is ALWAYS superior!
  6. clmayfield's Avatar
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    Dec 6, 2016, 9:36 AM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #5

    Already done. That acetone makes fast, clean work of a paint job. Thanks! I now have much better strategies to handle issues that might come up.
  7. clmayfield's Avatar
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    Dec 14, 2016, 9:59 AM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #6

    Second try... well, maybe more like third try, I had a false start. Color scheme is much better. Layers are flat except that I have some crinkling of the silver layer.







    Does anyone know why I got crinkling on the metal layer? Is it perhaps the masking fluid attacking the metal? It seemed to be happening every time I laid mask down. I am not redoing it again, though. If anyone has any ideas how to fix, I am all ears.

    Obviously, I still need to do some scratching and minor detail work, but looks like I am on to the dome and cheeks.
  8. Dec 14, 2016, 2:22 PM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #7

    What kind of primer did you put down before applying the silver? Could be couple of issues. Different brands of paints will sometimes react with each other. If the primer hadn't dried all the way,it could have caused the crinkling. And if you put a clear coat on top of the silver before it had dried all the way, that could cause it too.
  9. clmayfield's Avatar
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    Dec 14, 2016, 4:40 PM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #8

    Interesting story... so I put down a self etching primer and then hit it with a titanium silver primer and then did Valspar metallic over the titanium silver primer (which was basically a primer with sparkles in it). I didn't like how that came out, so I sanded it back down to the primer and sprayed silver over it. It had cured for a good week at that point. I put the humbrol grey layer down about 2 days after laying down the silver. I noticed with even my last layer that the silver appeared to be liquefying and leaching out, which is why I was wondering about a reaction. I also used an acryclic paint for the concrete layer... maybe there is a reaction there?

    Or maybe I did too many coats of silver? I did 3 or 4 coats. The Instructions say the recoat at any time, but I gave it a few hours between coats.

    OR the crinkling could be because I had a hard time getting the color to show on the metallic layer for the tracing paper, so I pressed down hard enough to see an indention. I don't know.

    The real question is whether or not it is reparable. I don't see how...
  10. formerly buda741 rnbuda's Avatar
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    Dec 14, 2016, 8:21 PM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #9

    Yeah, I also believe you don't want to sand down the helmet. I would try stripping the paint and maybe starting over? Make sure the primer is dry?
  11. clmayfield's Avatar
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    Jan 16, 2017, 9:59 AM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #10

    After doing more of the helmet, I think that I have pinpointed the issue, which is that the metallic takes 2 - 3 weeks to dry even though the can says dry in 24 hours. It really needs to cure. I had wondered for a while why it was so easy to make finger prints in the paint. That was because I had never worked with it fully cured.

    The crinkling is minor and actually looks pretty good. Since it only appears in certain places, it gives a bit of a weathered/ damaged effect.
  12. jonbenm's Avatar
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    Jan 16, 2017, 10:39 AM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #11

    Looks great man


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  13. Grimstuff's Avatar
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    Jan 16, 2017, 3:40 PM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #12

    Yeah, every Valspar paint I've worked with have all had extremely long cure times. I try to avoid them completely now. You can accelerate it by placing it in a hot dry environment, but otherwise you're looking at that nearly month long cure. Most other enamel sprays are layerable in just 2 days, and full cured in under a week.

    Also yeah, as for the enamel and acrylic, you shouldn't run into too much a problem if both are allowed to fully dry before being layered over one another, but the bond between them will never be as strong as enamel on enamel or acrylic on acrylic though. Their names are sorta misleading as they're actually oil vs water based paints, and both sorta rely on their respective solvent mediums to dissolve a bit into the paint below them to chemically bond. Oil and Water of course don't mix too well though, so bonding them relies on the solvents of the base paint being completely cured-off, and is mainly just a mechanical bond rather than chemical (ie, just the grippyness of the paint itself).
  14. BobaFett1313's Avatar
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    Jan 16, 2017, 4:43 PM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #13

    Good luck man, it's looking great


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. clmayfield's Avatar
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    Jan 16, 2017, 5:12 PM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #14

    Quote Grimstuff said: View Post
    Yeah, every Valspar paint I've worked with have all had extremely long cure times. I try to avoid them completely now. You can accelerate it by placing it in a hot dry environment, but otherwise you're looking at that nearly month long cure. Most other enamel sprays are layerable in just 2 days, and full cured in under a week.

    Also yeah, as for the enamel and acrylic, you shouldn't run into too much a problem if both are allowed to fully dry before being layered over one another, but the bond between them will never be as strong as enamel on enamel or acrylic on acrylic though. Their names are sorta misleading as they're actually oil vs water based paints, and both sorta rely on their respective solvent mediums to dissolve a bit into the paint below them to chemically bond. Oil and Water of course don't mix too well though, so bonding them relies on the solvents of the base paint being completely cured-off, and is mainly just a mechanical bond rather than chemical (ie, just the grippyness of the paint itself).
    I have finally given up on spray paint except for metallic. I love the Valspar Brilliant Silver. It really does a smooth consistent looking metallic as opposed to some paints that just look glittery. But the downside is cure time.

    I finally gave up on Rustoleum Hunter Green after I badly crinkled a layer that had dried for 48 hours. It has a bit of acetone in it and that (along with incomplete drying) badly and irreversibly crinkled the paint. I went to mixing Humbrol black, 76, and 78 to get there. Color mixing is tough and it sucks having to come up with a color that comes out of the can pretty nice, but I can't wait that long.
  16. clmayfield's Avatar
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    Jan 18, 2017, 12:55 AM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #15

    Now for an update. Sorry to hit it all at once.

    This is a little trick I used. I haven't seen anyone else do it, but maybe there are other out there doing it and I just don't know. I paint using stencils to trace down patterns and then layer up as opposed to topical application. My hat is off to the topical application guys, because no way could I do that free hand. The main problem with this method is that the silver layer is very slippery and won't take a trace down. I have tried carbon paper and non carbon white paper. I have tried tracing down really hard to create a a pencil indentation, but that creates a separate set of problems. So here is what I do.

    I print out a stencil and take an exacto knife and cut out the silver layer.



    Then I take a crayon (of a weathering color such as gray, brown, or black), I lay the stencil over and I color the inside.



    And voila... my grey layer.





    The other advantage to this method is that when you need to line up the stencil for future trace downs, you can use the silver layer as a guide to line up your stencil because of the holes in the stencil. It works really well.
    Last edited by clmayfield; Jan 18, 2017 at 1:21 AM. Reason: Typo
  17. clmayfield's Avatar
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    Jan 18, 2017, 1:18 AM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #16

    I had a devil of a time getting the color mix right for the green layer. I wanted it to be just right and I mixed up the perfect color. The problem? I didn't mix enough. I created a nice layer but you could still see the grey peeking through in some places. I was out of blue, so I had to put it up and go to the store the next day to add the final layer. And then... I couldn't mix up the same color again. It was so frustrating. I ended up with a lighter color... and then my brush was clogging up but I had already mixed about 15 dollars worth of paints.

    I should have just stopped and cleaned my brush, but I didn't. I tried shaking it up and using a bunch of thinner, but I could get it to function a little bit at a time. The enamel was settling out and spitting out uneven colors. It was a disaster. So I ended up with this:


    and Mr. Business in the Front, Party in the Rear right here...



    But the wonderful thing about Fett is how forgiving it is of painting screw ups. After peeling off the damage and hitting it with some steel wool, there isn't that much splotchiness and it just looks pre-weathered. I am actually pretty happy with the way it turned out.



    I was concerned at first that I did not have enough contrast between the green and the grey, especially around the borden area, but I looked at the reference photos and it is spot on. This Humbrol Grey 106 is pretty much a dead ringer to my eye (at least based on some photos). And some other angles:



    and...



    and a little cat scratch fever (I am going to have to fill out the gray "scratches" by hand):



    My biggest complaint about the paint job is not so much the color as it is the thickness of the final green layer. You can see how thick it is. It is a problem because the damage didn't pull up as finely as I would have liked and the thickness is visually noticeable. But overall, I am happy for a guy who didn't own an air brush a couple of months ago and now I am mixing up colors like a pro.
  18. RealMatix's Avatar
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    Jan 18, 2017, 2:49 AM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #17

    I thing with the thick green layer the damage looks like it's real chipped. Nice work...
  19. BobaZane's Avatar
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    Jan 18, 2017, 5:22 AM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #18

    That green looks dead on. Nice scratches.
  20. Jan 18, 2017, 5:27 AM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #19

    rub a bit of wire wool over the edges...should take the thickness down if you are worried about it, but looks authentic like that anyway
  21. Mullreel's Avatar
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    Jan 18, 2017, 8:57 AM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #20

    Quote Silverstalker said: View Post
    rub a bit of wire wool over the edges...should take the thickness down if you are worried about it, but looks authentic like that anyway
    Yes I would definitely use some 0000 wire wool or some 1000-2000 grit sand paper to take down the edges a bit. If the paint is too think at the edges like that you will eventually snag it and peel off a section.............and then once you stop crying, you will have to fix it. (not that it ever happened to me, that was just dust in my eyes......)

    Very light sanding or light wet sanding will blend everything incredibly well.

    Good work so far.
  22. clmayfield's Avatar
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    Jan 18, 2017, 9:36 AM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #21

    Thanks, guys, I think I will try to hit it with some high grit sand paper at the particularly egregious edges. My paint got especially thick up top. I have to be careful as I have already rubbed some of the grey down to the silver with my steel wool job. I still have some more scratching to do as well as some touch up painting. You can't see it really well, but I did lift up some black to reveal some green, and I find that most inauthentic. I also need to touch up the cat scratch and the dent. I think I will do that after laying down the kill stripes. Or maybe I should do it now before the green layer cures completely...

    It is starting too look like a Fett helmet. I can't wait to hit it with the red. And I need to start on the ears soon so I can run them in parallel. The 2-3 weeks off waiting for the silver to cure is kind of a drag. I did not silver the entire helmet because I don't like the idea of taping over the metallic layer. The silver comes up way too easily leaving it darkened.
  23. jonbenm's Avatar
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    Jan 18, 2017, 9:57 AM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #22

    Looks awesome man!!!! And I like your idea... making stencils with the templates keep up the good work man ... I'm painting one too we're at the same point just about lol


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  24. Mullreel's Avatar
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    Jan 18, 2017, 10:14 AM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #23

    Wet sanding is a great way to take down the edges a bit without the sanding getting out of control. If you have never used wet sanding I would highly recommend it. It is great for smoothing and finish work.
  25. clmayfield's Avatar
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    4 Weeks Ago - Jan 20, 2017, 4:12 PM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #24

    And you see what I'm doing here...
  26. clmayfield's Avatar
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    4 Weeks Ago - Jan 20, 2017, 4:18 PM - Re: First Time Helmet Paintup - clmayfield #25

    And time to peel the tape off for the big reveal...

    and...

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    Now I have to either a) learn how to paint with a brush and color match my impossible-to-create green or b) start all over again. The joy of painting Fett. I should have been way more careful when removing the tape. It pulled the grey layer right off of the metallic layer.

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