I'm not a frequent poster on this board but I lurk around here almost every day. Anyway, as some of you might know I have a progress/tutorial thread over att the RPF showing the progress of a MSH-1 I'm doing for a friend. A member here sugested that some of you might get a kick out the thread so I decided to share it here too. I hope you'll find it interesting!
This project started out with a MSH-1 that I got from a friend in England. We agreed that the goal of this project should be to make the most accurate ESB helmet that was possible. After going thru a ton of ref material I quickly learnt that this was going to be a VERY time consuming project!
Starting up. The first thing I did was to decide that I was going to handle all the weathering topical. This was how I did my ROTJ helmet a couple of years back and I quickly fell in love with the technique. The next step was to try and track down all the paints listed by Lee, this was pretty hard here in Sweden which is basicly "Humbrol country". After I found a source and got the surply I went to work!
The entire helmet had been cleaned up by the owner so I could start painting right away. The helmet was primed white and then the colors were airbrushed on. I stuck with acrylics and these are the colors I used: Dome and cheeks: "Model masters Panzer olive Grun". Mandibles: "Polly scale Box car red" mixed with some bright red (I didn't like the the tone of the Box car straight from the bottle). Upper cheeks: "Polly scale Brunswick green".
I painted the back with a mix of "Humbrols Egg blue" mixed with Khaki. I then traced the light colored scratches with a pencil. This was the only part that I didn't wanna go topical. I was affraid that the light color would bleed if they were a applied topical over dark green. When the scratches had been traced I masked them with "Windsor & Newtons masking fluid" which is a dream to work with.
The green was then airbrushed on, the colors used was "Polly scale Euro green" mixed "Polly scale Bar blue" and "Polly scale Brunswick green". The masking latex was then removed.
The kill stripes been added. They were masked with air brush film and liquid latex. The color used was "Polly scale UP Armor yellow". Then the entire helmet was dusted with black pastel powder to make the colors "deeper". Some preffer washes but I've always loved to work with pastel. The kill stripes was also dusted with red pastel powder and they will recieve a second dusting later on.
I decided that before I went on with the helmet I would complete the "green ear". The reason I wanted to do this was because the ear incorperates all the different weathering techniques used on the helmet, in other words it would be the perfect training before attacking the helmet.
I painted the ear white a custom mix of "Humbrol" paints. Then I masked the "arch" and sprayed it white and applied the decal. I traced all the scratches with a pencil and painted them on topical with 0 sized brush. The ear was "smudged" with different colored pastel powders and then the entire ear was misted with black and grey spray. When everything was dry I locked it with "Citadels satin Varnish".
I decided to start with the back just because it appeard to be the most "chaotic" part of the entie helmet! Better to start with that when energy was high and not save it to the last. I really recomend that you weather the helmet in sections rather then going wild all over, it's so much easier to keep track this way.
I started with tracing every singel scratch. Then I painted all the silver ones (using a 0 sized brush) with "Humbrols Silver metal coat". It's a fast drying enamel paint which is perfect for this! Then I did all the grey scratches with "Polly scale Lark grey" straight from the bottle. Finally came the purple scratches, they were done with a mix of "Polly scale AT SF Red" "Polly scale Bar blue" and a couple of drops of "Polly scale Brunswick green".
The small scratches was made with a needle revealing the white primer. Finally I did the small "yellow glue blobs!?" with "cidatel inks" applied with a make up sponge.
Another view of the finished back. The "thumb" print was done with white acrylic thinned with water. It was painted on in layers and then sanded down until it looked right.
As you can see in this pic I didn't set out to make the silver super bright and clean. I always thought it looked scratched and dull on the real helmet so that's the look I tried to achive. The Kill stripe have also been given a second dusting with red pastel.
Moving on to the mandibles.
Just like before everything was traced first. Then silver was applied.
Then the Lark grey was painted on and finally the purple mix.
Close up. When all the scratches were done I continued with the details such as "paint streaks" and the "crack repair". The crack was done with a screw driver, the groove was then filled with different colored "Citadels inks". The "putty streaks" was made with a "Humbrol grey/tan" mix and applied with a broad brush.
The finished mandibles! All that's missing now is the tan paint splatter that goes all over them. Work have also begun on the cheek.
Moving on to the cheeks. Nothing new here, trace, then paint.
The cheeks have been finished! I discovered that the "lark grey" was far to close to the "Panzer green" in it's tone so I had to mix it with quite a lot of "Brunswick green" in order to make the scratches appear. The entire front have also recieved the tan paint splatter. This was applied with an airbrush and then the heavier areas was "splattered" with paint on a tooth brush. It gave the exact effect that I was looking for!
Here's a pic of the real deal which you can compare to the helmet I'm working on (the pic below).
The finished cheek area.
The only new thing that's going on here are the tiny black scrathces. These were done with "Citadels Black ink" applied with a needle.
That's it for now. So far I've been working on this thing for two months off and on and I just started on the dome.
The helmet is now completly finished! There's still work to do on the range finder ear and it's setup but bucket itself is done! Here's what's been done since last time.
The main scratches has been put on color by color.
The other side.
After the "colored" scratches was in place I contined with the other details like hair fine scratches, scuff marks and the yellow staines. Most of these details were painted on with "Citadel inks"
A closer look of the "kill stripe" side. This was probably the most time consuming part of the helmet! Lot's of details here.
A side by side comparison with the real helmet. Please note though that I've adjusted the light and exposure in Photoshop to get a better lighting match, other then that nothings been tampered with.
I chosen not to show any full pics of the helmet until I've finished range finder ear. Yeah, some of you might think I'm a jerk but I think it would ruin the magic a bit and I rather show it all off when it's 100% finished. I hope you'll forgive me for this.
Well I guess that's it! I hope you have enjoyed the tutorial! I sure did...both making the helmet and writing down this stuff for you! As soon as I have the completed pics I'll make sure you'll get to see them A.S.A.P!
Most of you have probably seen it already over at the RPF. For those of you who haven't, here's the finished result! Now it's off to it's new owner Jez "www.Starwarshelmets.com" Hill in England. I hope you like the finished item!
THANKS for your interest!