Painting the ESB if you are not "Steve the Swede"

  1. #1
    Boomer Fett's Avatar
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    Painting the ESB if you are not "Steve the Swede"

    I have only been coming to this site for a few months and I am amazed and VERY appreciative of the information compiled by TDH members. Let me first say thanks...Thanks. Okay, I recently purchased my first Helmet (ESB/ROTJ epoxy resin "Mystery" recast) Based on what I recieved from a "no longer a registered user" on Ebay, all I can say is it's a 15 lbs bucket that has been a blast to cut and work on. I have finally come to the paint job and decided on ESB as for some reason it really holds more appeal to me. I have read NUMEROUS tutorials on painting techniques and would love to shake the hand of Steve The Swede as his work is beautiful. However, I am NOT Steve (nor do I play him on TV). So, with endless amount of time but limits on patience I ask. "What is the best method to paint the ESB helmet?" I have spray paint, an airbrush, liquid masking, exacto knives and access to just about everything Hobby Lobby can offer up. I am interested in experienced oppinions on this subject. I want accurate but not Hyper-Accurate for my helmet. I want to troop with this not just sit it on a shelf. I am wondering about painting, clear-coats weathering (I have read some really good threads on here so far) padding and even ventilation and any other tid bits that this site occupants can offer up. Good links are also welcome. I want to extend my appreciation in advance for any and all words of wisdom that you can throw my way. Cheers!

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    Rimshot's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the ESB if you are not "Steve the Swede"

    Well, Im no expert at painting either, but my suggestion would be to get a Rubies or something similar, and do lots of practicing. Try out airbrushing an area, spray painting an area, topical weathering, layered weathering, etc. Find the method that you think is easiest for you, and that provides a good enough result for the level of accuracy you are wanting to achieve, and then start on your real bucket.

  3. #3
    Boomer Fett's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the ESB if you are not "Steve the Swede"

    Rimshot said: View Post
    Well, Im no expert at painting either, but my suggestion would be to get a Rubies or something similar, and do lots of practicing. Try out airbrushing an area, spray painting an area, topical weathering, layered weathering, etc. Find the method that you think is easiest for you, and that provides a good enough result for the level of accuracy you are wanting to achieve, and then start on your real bucket.
    You are wise. This is probably what I should do, unfortunately I am short on patience. Honestly, my wife already thinks I am a total nerd but if I mentioned purchasing a practice helmet I might be typing funny for a while if you get my drift. GREAT advise though.

  4. #4
    Rimshot's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the ESB if you are not "Steve the Swede"

    Well it wouldnt even necessarily have to be a helmet, you could practice on pretty much anything. Its more the application technique that you would be practicing, so what youre applying it to wouldnt matter all that much.

  5. #5
    Boomer Fett's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the ESB if you are not "Steve the Swede"

    Rimshot said: View Post
    Well it wouldnt even necessarily have to be a helmet, you could practice on pretty much anything. Its more the application technique that you would be practicing, so what youre applying it to wouldnt matter all that much.
    Good call. What has been your experience? What have you had the most luck with?

  6. #6
    Boomer Fett's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the ESB if you are not "Steve the Swede"

    I was actually trying to "short-cut" the practice portion and benefit from others trials and tribulations. Basically saying that I am wanting to avoid exploring the depths of dispair and try milking you guys for information.
    Last edited by Boomer Fett; May 19, 2008 at 3:36 PM.

  7. #7
    Rimshot's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the ESB if you are not "Steve the Swede"

    Well, the practice is essential. Even with someone else telling you how to do it, you are going to have to practice until you can actually accomplish what they tell you.

    I also saw you mentioned you are short on patience. You must learn patience (I know its hard, but it is possible. I was once impatient too). You have to have a lot of patience to be able to complete a nice looking helmet paint job. You have to let paint cure between colors, which can mean days of waiting. You have to keep from losing your patience and rushing things, never do too much in one day no matter how bad you want to get it done, you will regret it in the end.

    It may be best for you to start painting the armor first, to get used to and comfortable with painting, and then try tackling the bucket.

  8. #8
    superjedi's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the ESB if you are not "Steve the Swede"

    There are basically 2 main methods for painting a complicated damage scheme like on the ESB helmet:

    1) Layered, which means you are actually painting the damaged areas first, then building up to the topcoat.
    IE: You would begin by painting the silver, then use liquid mask/tape to mask the areas to remain silver, then paint the gray. Mask off the gray, then paint the green, etc.

    2) Topical, which begins with the topcoat, with damage applied (usually by a fine brush) over it.
    IE: Paint the helmet in its "base colors" first (greens, reds), then use a small brush to paint the silver/gray damage.

    I'm a "topical" guy myself, and I have several threads in the helmet section showing a few ESB helmets as they progress.
    For great "layered" examples, search for threads by Spideyfett, or TerminalFettler just to name a couple that spring to mind.

  9. #9
    Boomer Fett's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the ESB if you are not "Steve the Swede"

    superjedi said: View Post
    There are basically 2 main methods for painting a complicated damage scheme like on the ESB helmet:

    1) Layered, which means you are actually painting the damaged areas first, then building up to the topcoat.
    IE: You would begin by painting the silver, then use liquid mask/tape to mask the areas to remain silver, then paint the gray. Mask off the gray, then paint the green, etc.

    2) Topical, which begins with the topcoat, with damage applied (usually by a fine brush) over it.
    IE: Paint the helmet in its "base colors" first (greens, reds), then use a small brush to paint the silver/gray damage.

    I'm a "topical" guy myself, and I have several threads in the helmet section showing a few ESB helmets as they progress.
    For great "layered" examples, search for threads by Spideyfett, or TerminalFettler just to name a couple that spring to mind.
    I will look them up. Have you seen first hand examples of both? Which would you say looks more accurate. I ask because unless you are a master of the brush and mixing paints then it will look somewhat forced instead of natural. I am pretty experienced with painting cars as my wife and I restore old muscle cars but this project is far from the gleam and polish of a 1971 Mach 1. The only reason I would tend to lean towards the former would be to see what would appear to be battle damage progression. I also don't want to take months to do an overly eggressive job for fear of damaging it while trooping. In a nut shell, do you have photos of both types and a decent comparrison? I would kill to see your work.
    Last edited by Boomer Fett; May 19, 2008 at 3:58 PM.

  10. #10
    I helped at SDCC '08 MandalorFett's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the ESB if you are not "Steve the Swede"

    Check out superjedi's paint-up threads, lots of progress pics there.

    If you're going for some screen accuracy, the originals used layered and topical methods both. Use the reference cd sold on the TDH opening page and use super's threads too. Also, use the templates found in this thread. http://www.thedentedhelmet.com/showt...=esb+templates

    Good luck.

  11. #11
    superjedi's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the ESB if you are not "Steve the Swede"

    Well, this was my latest thread on painting my FPH fiberglass helmet:

    http://www.thedentedhelmet.com/showthread.php?t=22530

    It was all done topically, except for the 2 main colors on the back panels, which were masked and layered.

    The only "custom" colors I used were the blue green on the back panels, and a slightly darker mix of SP Lark Dark Gray for the damage on the dome/lower cheeks. Everything else was Floquil or Polly Scale or Testors right outta the bottles.

  12. #12
    AFettFullofDollars's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the ESB if you are not "Steve the Swede"

    [quote=Boomer Fett;340894 unfortunately I am short on patience. [/quote]

    Unfortunately, THAT and painting Fett helmets don't mix too well. However if you are painting an ESB Fett you might also want to check out Count Dookie's ESB Fett Helmet Stencil thread. You can print them up and cut them out. They are a great guide to getting the size and spacing of the scratches correct.

    I have painted helmets both layered and topically, and in my opinion, there isn't enough of a difference in the end result to put up with the headache of the layered method. Once the final coat of clear was put on the helmet, it evened the layers out so much that it was barely discernable which layer was on top of which. Plus the masking tape tends to pull the base coat colors off the silver undercoat when you try to remove it. Even the low tac stuff does. But that's just my opinion, I mean there is the cool psychological effect of knowing that the damage is real and not just painted on.

  13. #13
    Boomer Fett's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the ESB if you are not "Steve the Swede"

    AFettFullofDollars said: View Post
    Unfortunately, THAT and painting Fett helmets don't mix too well. However if you are painting an ESB Fett you might also want to check out Count Dookie's ESB Fett Helmet Stencil thread. You can print them up and cut them out. They are a great guide to getting the size and spacing of the scratches correct.

    I have painted helmets both layered and topically, and in my opinion, there isn't enough of a difference in the end result to put up with the headache of the layered method. Once the final coat of clear was put on the helmet, it evened the layers out so much that it was barely discernable which layer was on top of which. Plus the masking tape tends to pull the base coat colors off the silver undercoat when you try to remove it. Even the low tac stuff does. But that's just my opinion, I mean there is the cool psychological effect of knowing that the damage is real and not just painted on.
    Thanks dollars, that is exactly the kind of information I am looking for. I will try the templates out. I had already applied a few High fill primer layers and buffed it back down. I had then shot it with two coats of metalic silver. I was just about half way through free-handing the silver damage when I thought..."I want advice!" you guys have really hit the nail on the head of what I am looking for. I can't seem to get SuperJedi's pics to come up. I can read his thread but I see no pics posted.

  14. #14
    Boomer Fett's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the ESB if you are not "Steve the Swede"

    Another side bar question. I know you guys know the answer. What is the rectangle cut out on the right mandable? How deep is it suposed to be? Mine was filled in by the re-caster and when I cleaned it up I went down about 1mm and I need to know where I should stop.

  15. #15
    superjedi's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the ESB if you are not "Steve the Swede"

    Hmm. . . not sure why the pics aren't showing. Unless there's a filter on the computer you're using. My files are linked from photobucket and when I'm on a computer at work, it blocks any images stored on image sharing sites.

    The little rectangle isn't really deep at all. It doesn't go all the way thru. Maybe 2 mm or so.

  16. #16
    Boomer Fett's Avatar
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    Re: Painting the ESB if you are not "Steve the Swede"

    I am sure that is it. I am on my "work" PC. I say that because I don't do "work" on it...

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