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  1. Drewski's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2013
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    18
    Dec 14, 2013, 11:15 AM - How I reshaped a DP 97 helmet #1

    I found TDH after wasting a few dollars on a DP 97 helmet. I thought it would be an acceptable display piece, *** what a mistake. After searching here I found enough good ideas to start salvaging this POS.
    I want to thank all the smart people that posted their work, so I'm adding my 2 cents here. Hopefully this will help others working on a budget. This helmet will end up as a Jango display when all is done.
    First item of repair was the lack of flair at the bottom and the general shape problem. I saw numerous references to using hot water to soften the vinyl. While washing the helmet i found that my tap water was hot enough to make it pliable but it heated up too large of an area. I spent $20 at Home Depot for a heat gun so I could focus on smaller areas individually. The common solution to retaining the shape by using a Craft Ring looked like a great idea. I purchased 2 10 inch rings from Hobby Lobby, So far I've only installed one at the bottom, that should be sufficient. I cut the ring so its just long enough to reach from ear to ear and squeezed it down to fit comfortably inside the lower lip. With the heat gun i was able to form it to follow the curve nicely and let the ring push out the bottom to what looked good. I ended up being 9 inches wide from ear to ear and 9.5 inches from front to back. I purposely did not cut out visor area yet because it helped hold the front together and spread the cheeks apart. I purchased a visor from
    T-Visor.com that will fit very well when i clean up the inside surfaces. Now I was able to straighten each ear separately with heat gun so they looked even. Next problem was the warped/curved lower cheeks.
    I made a template out of scrap plywood to match the shape of outer lower cheek, used a piece of soft packaging foam on the inside so it would conform to bumpy surface and backed that with another piece of wood. After heating entire cheek i clamped the area flat until it cooled. Now just a little bondo and sanding will make the cheek areas look good. The final big problem was the flat dome, after sitting in a box for 15 years it looked quite stupid. I didnt include any before pics, im sure you all know how bad it looked. I saw a member said a guy used a mannequin head to reshape the dome but the inside was so bumpy and uneven that would just transfer those bumps outward. (and i couldn't talk my roommate into letting me use his head !) Im using a 6 inch diameter shipping tube as a work stand so i needed a formable object to push the dome onto. What worked for me was a bag of rice inside a ziploc bag sitting on top of the closed end of tube, it allowed me to heat the whole dome and push it over the rice bag while forming the roundness with my hands. As far as i can see the main shaping is done minus a little bondo sanding, then its ready for some paint. Thanks again to all here at TDH for the info. I'll post more when i can get more done.

    EDIT..I had to make front not look so flat, mandibles needed to flair out more at the bottom. New size of bottom skirt is 8.5 ear to ear and 10 front to back.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Drewski; Dec 17, 2013 at 9:00 AM.
  2. Dec 14, 2013, 11:57 AM - Re: How I reshaped a DP 97 helmet #2

    Not bad....not bad at all
  3. Member Since
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,094
    Dec 14, 2013, 9:16 PM - Re: How I reshaped a DP 97 helmet #3

    Good job man!
    Last edited by GrottyFurball; Dec 14, 2013 at 9:17 PM. Reason: I didn't read the OP well enough before asking questions.
  4. ikinaceous's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 2012
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    55
    Dec 14, 2013, 9:32 PM - Re: How I reshaped a DP 97 helmet #4

    Nice save! Very inventive.
  5. Drewski's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2013
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    18
    Dec 15, 2013, 8:17 AM - Re: How I reshaped a DP 97 helmet #5

    Thanks guys, its looking like this time spent is going to be worth it. I spent most of Saturday fixing little blemishes, modding RF to be jango style and LOTS of bondo, sand, bondo, sand and then bondo, sand again.
  6. Drewski's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2013
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    18
    Dec 16, 2013, 7:02 AM - Re: How I reshaped a DP 97 helmet #6

    Today I finished bondo and sanding, then applied the Rub & Buff. This is my first time using such a product, not as easy as it seemed but it looks nice. I also finished modding the right ear to make RF Jango style.
    I removed the plastic pin attached to outer piece so i could lower it and drilled a hole to mount the stalk. I needed to grind down the original mount thats part of helmet so outer piece wont stick out so far but if i did I would break through plastic and have a big hole. I filled inside cavity with JB Plastic Weld, (same thing I used to fill dent) then I removed about 1/4 inch from mount surface. I also cut a slot above to hold stalk in the upright position. This slot also allowed me to adjust the stalk that was leaning in towards dome. Now I can cut out visor area and do some painting finally.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Drewski; Dec 17, 2013 at 9:01 AM.
  7. Drewski's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
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    Dec 17, 2013, 9:14 AM - Re: How I reshaped a DP 97 helmet #7

    Today I noticed there was too much flair out from side to side making front look flat. I squeezed sides in to 8.5 wide making front to back 10 in. side view looks better now. Masked off silver and cut out for visor.
    Now that extra wide vertical visor area is gone and mandibles moved in naturally to make front view look much better. Visor from T-Visor fits perfectly, I only have to clean up inside surfaces to make fit flush.
    The visor to get for this helmet is the standard size, comes with the correct curve and fits perfect. Also finished tweeking RF and right ear piece. I made a little RF lense out of plexiglass, painted it with chrome on the inside and colored edges with a magic marker.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. Drewski's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
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    Dec 22, 2013, 10:27 AM - Re: How I reshaped a DP 97 helmet #8

    OK all done finally, appears to have been worth a little work. At least I ended up with a decent display piece. Now i'm inspired to tackle a real helmet.

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  9. thebeans's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2012
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    459
    Dec 22, 2013, 12:55 PM - Re: How I reshaped a DP 97 helmet #9

    This makes want to do the same with my DP 97, excellent work.
  10. syllander's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 2013
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    854
    Dec 22, 2013, 1:43 PM - Re: How I reshaped a DP 97 helmet #10

    You turned that piece of **** into that? Definitely earned some bragging rights here. That Jango lid looks top notch!
  11. Dec 22, 2013, 3:21 PM - Re: How I reshaped a DP 97 helmet #11

    NICE work!
  12. Drewski's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2013
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    18
    Dec 22, 2013, 3:47 PM - Re: How I reshaped a DP 97 helmet #12

    Thank you for the kind words, I'm glad the phone camera disguises the minor mistakes ! Next work bonus check will be looking for a real helmet to paint. An ASOK CC would be nice
  13. Whoey's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2011
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    13
    Jan 15, 2014, 11:17 AM - Re: How I reshaped a DP 97 helmet #13

    nice job! I have a 1995 DP that I was planning to do a custom mando with, it will be my first, and unfortunately I don't have a workshop to work in... so everything but hoarding bits has been impossible.

    I'm not sure what you mean by flair at the bottom. What is it you've corrected?
  14. ShadowWolf's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    22
    Jan 16, 2014, 2:58 PM - Re: How I reshaped a DP 97 helmet #14

    Great job. I think my DP is now in serious danger of finding its way to the workshop.
  15. Drewski's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    18
    Jan 18, 2014, 4:52 AM - Re: How I reshaped a DP 97 helmet #15

    Quote Whoey said: View Post
    nice job! I have a 1995 DP that I was planning to do a custom mando with, it will be my first, and unfortunately I don't have a workshop to work in... so everything but hoarding bits has been impossible.

    I'm not sure what you mean by flair at the bottom. What is it you've corrected?
    When I started, the DP ears were parallel from top to bottom when viewing from the front. The addition of the craft ring at the bottom pushed it outward giving the correct "flair"

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