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  1. Frenzy's Avatar
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    Mar 9, 2012, 6:27 PM - Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #1

    As promised in the original costume build thread, I'll report my new helmet's assembly and painting process here. You can find my ESB Fett project thread in the Costume subforum.

    The helmet is often the most important part of the suit and people tend to put a lot of effort, time and money to their costume "faces". My helmet came as a part of a larger package from a retiring collector a couple years back and back then I really didn't notice any faults in it. However the Don Post Deluxe helmet is not known for precise features or very accurate paintjob. It's more like a nice collector's piece, something to display and of course an important part of Fett helmet history.

    This was the reason I didn't want to do any modifications to it, because of it's collectable value. No one really knows how many unmodified and fine-condition Deluxes exist anymore. The helmet was good sized for me and even the paintjob could've been "good enough" but the visor inaccuracy made the upgrade clear as I finally realized what was wrong with the helmet. It creates a whole another kind of look and effect when the visor is deeper in the helmet.

    A new helmet then. I recently purchased a Bobamaker helmet from Cargo Hold. This one was in mint condition and the important Dent detail had been exchanged into a Fettpride Dent. I love the BM's durable finish and the opportunity of getting prepping and painting it immediately without need to do a whole lot of cleaning first. I was very happy with the acquisition. Just a tiny flaw; the other cheek and mandible courve seem to be warped a tiny bit, I need to figure out a way to straighten it somehow or then just leave it as it is.

    I have to admit, I'm scared sithless to start painting this helmet!! The armor was child's play compared to the complexity of a layered ESB paintjob. For the painting project I hunted every template I could get and then compared these to each other and some pro paintjobs I had seen. Now that I have already started painting I can't believe how skilled and precise you master painters are, as it seems impossible to replicate every little scratch and chipping detail, yet you guys do. Hats off to the amazingly skilled painters here in TDH, you're crazy.

    This is my newbie first go at painting a helmet and I'll try to do it as well as I possibly can, with the time and resources at hand.



    This is how the helmet was pictured in it's original sales thread. Mine!



    First stage, silver basecoat completed. As you can see, the right-hand side mandbile is a bit higher than the other one, creating an uneven look. I think it might work if I just bent them at the same level when hotgluing or bolting the visor inside and it would hold them at place. Any opinions if this would work?



    Here's some of the tools I'm using. Winsor & Newton's liquid masking will be used for covering weathering details as new paint layers are applied. I chose Vallejo's Model Air series because of their availability. I can get these from the local hobby store without any external hassle. Ordering paints from webstores has proved to be a hit and miss gamble and personally I'm not doing it anymore.



    Aaaaiee, first coat! Even from the Rafal's great templates it's pretty **** hard to determine in what exact order the different coloured paint layers should be on top of each other. This is the first, light layer upon masked silver battle damage. By the way, all colour hues in these pictures will be off, as my camera was made long long time ago (and probably in some other galaxy as well)!



    Peeling off masking, laying down a new one, another layer of paint and peeling off the mask again. It's like the most rewarding feeling in the world to rip off the masking coat to reveal the chipping details underneath! This is how it slowly starts to resemble a finished product.



    Some people do the paintjob in a "topical" way, meaning that they lay down the green base color of the helmet and then paint all the scratches and damage on top of it as it's easier and if the layers are thin, no one will see the difference. I wanted to do a layered paintjob however, as it's more realistic and that's how it was done in the movie as well.

    Let's continue from here. Thanks for interest!
  2. Frenzy's Avatar
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    Mar 9, 2012, 6:30 PM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #2



    Going greenside!



    Side angle.



    Peeling of the masking, best part!



    Another shot with a bit different camera settings.
  3. Frenzy's Avatar
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    Mar 9, 2012, 6:31 PM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #3

    With this stage I just kept running into problems with the paintjob. It seems that either the basecoat was too thin (should've used spraycan) or the liquid masking sticks really hard if left dry for a longer period, because when removing the masking it peeled every paint layer, including the silver basecoat off at places. I ended up redoing much of the mandible red because masking left wide unpainted areas here and there. There's still some paint layer edges peeling off and though it looks realistic and cool, I hope the clearcoat varnish will seal it all in place.

    I used Vallejo Model Air Rust color as basecoat and Fire red as the highlight color. I then shaded it with 20-80% mix of Games Workshop's Devlan mud and Leviathan purple. I'm going to scrape some sharper details with a sculpting tool later, to make those tiny scratches convincing.



    The menacing leer... It's there even without the visor.



    Still looks so wrong without the black cheeks. ESB all the way!



    Detail shot, even though I swear the camera doesn't make justice.

    We're not nearly finished but I think I might consider putting DP deluxe aside after we're done. Thanks for looking everyone!
  4. Frenzy's Avatar
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    Mar 9, 2012, 6:32 PM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #4

    Today after lessons I headed downtown to get a black and white airbrush colors that I forgot to but on the first time. Today was a cheek day and I masked the already painted, surrounding areas with tape and liquid masking. I didn't figure any smooth and convenient way to trace the cheek curve between black and green areas so I just did it freehand. Before starting with grey and black colors, I redid the silver base as there was some red areas that had spilled out from mandibles.



    Time to hit the grey. After the grey coat I removed the silver damage masking to get the grey color surroundings right and then masked the silver parts again. I was a bit worried that I'd accidentally peel off the masking separating green zones from the black cheeks when removing the silver damage masking, but fortunately it stayed in place.



    When doing multiple layers with silver underneath I usually sketch the damage shape a bit bigger than that it actually is and shape it better just before the last coat (in this case black).



    Hit it with black and BOOM, bad-*** ESB look achieved! Still miles to go with the finishing but now it's already visible where we're going.



    Cheeks are still unweathered, some darker shading will blend the green and black cheek areas better into each other. I think when everything else is ready, I'll give the helmet a couple of thin, dark washes to tone everything down a bit.



    More scratches still need to be scraped to achieve the final look. The grey areas on the green cheeks need to be added topically as I missed them on the first go.

    Cheers,
    -Frenzy
  5. Jayvee's Avatar
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    Mar 9, 2012, 6:42 PM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #5

    Lovely work bro! Looks like you have done lotsa research, and are on a really good track. Keep the shots coming my friend!
    Last edited by Jayvee; Mar 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM.
  6. Frenzy's Avatar
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    Mar 9, 2012, 6:45 PM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #6

    Thanks for the reply bro! You're one of the masters I constantly worship as I browse threads waiting paint layers and masking to dry.

    I appreciate the comment and thank you so much for the inspiration and guidance. Let's keep at it!

    Cheers,
    -Frenzy
  7. deadland's Avatar
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    Mar 9, 2012, 7:00 PM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #7

    Nothing beats seeing a good paint up on a BM lid. Keep up the good work and keep the pictures coming!!!
  8. Jayvee's Avatar
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    Mar 9, 2012, 7:00 PM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #8

    Very welcome mate, and thanks for the kind words. I just slightly edited my post, as we were obviously postinh at the same time, and I hadnt seen all the pics. You should really be rapt with your job mate, looking a treat! :-)
  9. locitus's Avatar
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    Mar 9, 2012, 7:17 PM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #9

    Looking good buddy!
  10. clonecollector's Avatar
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    Mar 9, 2012, 7:35 PM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #10

    WOW! Nice helmet! And great looking paintjob!
  11. Frenzy's Avatar
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    Mar 11, 2012, 4:03 PM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #11

    Managed to do some work with the other ear piece today. By this achievement the project grinds to a short halt because of exam week and the fact that applying liquid masking has destroyed all of my brushes. Red and silver chipping didn't work out as well as I would've wanted but luckily it's not the most iconic part of the helmet.



    After I had carefully covered the surrounding areas I painted the ear piece with Vallejo Fire red. Then I did the red damage masking.



    Silver coat and new masking.



    Green shade is Vallejo's Pale Green, that I shaded with Devlan mud in places.



    The look with liquid masking removed. I then masked the ear piece to paint the white logo detail on.



    Two layers of airbrush white and we're set.



    Some more Devlan mud weathering and then I got to remove the rest of the masking. I'll paint the small rune detail later when I have acquired some new brushes. The back panels need to be finished as well. Here's a bonus shot of the helmet on a bust, with slightly better camera adjustments. Note that the visor has not been attached yet.



    Thanks for looking!
    Last edited by Frenzy; Mar 11, 2012 at 5:52 PM.
  12. NoahFett's Avatar
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    Mar 26, 2012, 11:05 AM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #12

    Looks amazing man!
  13. Frenzy's Avatar
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    Apr 2, 2012, 2:32 AM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #13

    Some progress pics. I added the build-up story to my blog as well and there's some additional pics too. Check it out at

    WAR HEAD: The Dented Helmet



    Another ear piece, another silver undercoat.



    Model Air bone color and some Gryphonne Sepia and Devlan Mud shading.



    The Black & White details I did freehand with a brush.



    Finally I got to do the kill stripes. I masked the surrounding areas with tape and plastic bags and then cut even pieces out of some stickers to cover the spaces between the stripes. Unfortunately I kinda broke the aibrush compressor before I got to apply the fading into orange... I guess I need to do that later somehow.





    A test fitting on a bust. Getting there.

    Cheers,
    -Frenzy
  14. Member Since
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    Apr 3, 2012, 4:17 PM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #14

    Great job Frenzy, that bust is just amazing, I love the green on your helmet cheeks, dome and armor...
  15. jakefox24's Avatar
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    Apr 3, 2012, 4:57 PM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #15

    nice job
  16. Archaster777's Avatar
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    Apr 3, 2012, 5:22 PM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #16

    Great job man! I really like how it turned out! The damage looks great and the hues you got with the greens and the back of the helmet are well executed.

    One note I would make is that the red on the visor frame looks too vibrant to me (IMO). I remember the ESB helmet having a more dulled out red-maroonish feel to it. If you could go back and touch that up a bit you'll have a helmet any Fett-fan would envy!

    Can' wait to see the finished product! Keep on Fettin!
  17. Frenzy's Avatar
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    Apr 4, 2012, 7:01 AM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #17

    Big thanks everyone! Means a lot.

    @Archaster777, you're absolutely right about the red. As I proceed with the weathering and some shading I'll make sure to apply some dark washes on the red to dull it down a bit. I hope this doesn't affect the silver parts too much but perhaps I'm able to target just the red areas. Good eye and thanks for the reminder.

    Cheers,
    -Frenzy
  18. Archaster777's Avatar
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    Apr 4, 2012, 9:16 AM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #18

    you could always just put liquid masking or even tooth paste over the silver areas if you're worried about tarnishing the silver!
  19. Jayvee's Avatar
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    Apr 4, 2012, 10:23 AM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #19

    I dunno, I think from those pics, your red actually looks pretty good, I wouldn't change it too much. If you look at the high res images in the celebration iv folder, it is a deep red, but also quite vibrant in certain lights - I think yours matches this well. If anything, maybe knock it back a fraction with some steel wool - but I personally wouldn't modify it too much..
  20. locitus's Avatar
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    Apr 4, 2012, 12:29 PM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #20

    Just don't forget that v-shape on the cheek.

    Awesome work Frenzy.
  21. dynamic1's Avatar
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    Apr 10, 2012, 1:15 AM - Re: Helmet upgrade workshop, ESB paintjob in progress #21

    Great job!!! Love the weathering man!

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