For anyone that was following my Sgt. Fang ESB paintup I did about a year ago, they'll remember it was my very first helmet. My very first time working with stencils, an airbrush, weathering, etc. While many thought I did a decent job, I graded my helmet at a C. Nowhere near perfect, there were a lot of mistakes that were made be it improper stenciling, bad paint mixtures, etc.
One year later, I've had a whole lot of practice on other parts of my armor, as well as working on commissions for other TDH members, and I really think it shows. I'm planning on having this done for Celebration V, and this will hopefully be the helmet I'll be using for quite some time (Unless fettpride comes out with a Super-Ultra Deluxe FPH ). The ultimate goal is to get this helmet as close to the AOSW helmet (minus blue marker) as I possibly can, leaving little room for error. So begins my journey:
Here we have the kit, ready for visor trimming and paint prep:
Using my trust Dremel rotary tool, I neatly cut out the visor area and installed the visor using Chicago screws:
A big thing that I noticed was that the visor on the original ESB hero widens out towards the bottom, and I wanted to replicate that flare to the tee. I used a thin steel ruler that we at the Old Guard use to measure medals and insignia on our uniforms. I scaled the AOSW pictures to what my helmet measured out to be, and proceeded to get accurate measurements of the distance between mandible trims:
And with some patience (and possibly luck) I nailed the measurements exactly when the visor was installed:
Up next came the physical damage that's seen on the AOSW helmet. And of course, being as anal as I am with details, I measured out exactly where the damage would be placed on the helmet:
I then drilled out the holes for the earcaps (sorry I don't have photos for that step) and coated my helmet using Tamiya Fine Surface Primer. I swear by this primer, as it's honestly the best out there for this type of hobby work. Not only does it coat evenly, but the fine particles fill in any minute scratches, giving it a smooth surface.
Next came the base color of Testors Light Gray. I think this color has a bit more of a bluish hue to it as seen in the AOSW pics compared to the Humbrol 147.
To be honest, I'm using a rather custom list of colors here. I borrowed a few of the Humbrol colors from terminal fettler's, Superjedi's railroad colors, some from Rich D.'s list, and a few custom mixes I came up with. I did this because I felt that there needed to be some adjustment based upon the AOSW pics, and I'm really trying to nail everything as close as I can color wise.
The Light Gray is then masked:
Humbrol no. 11 Silver is then sprayed over:
After masking the silver and light gray damage, I sprayed Humbrol 79 and honestly, it's WAY too dark in my opinion, and that's the color you see in the next photo:
It should be Reefer Gray, or at the time a combination of SP Lark Dark Gray lightened up with Light Gray that I mixed. Later on, I used a brush to paint the lightened gray mix over the Humbrol 79.
After the light gray, silver, and gray were masked I sprayed Humbrol 28 followed by a misting of Humbrol 103. I think in the future, I'll use Testors Concrete.
Once the light gray, silver, gray, and beige are masked, I sprayed Humbrol 76 and 96 mixed together at ABOUT a 1:3 ratio. I felt that the 1:1 ratio came out far too green, so I added the 96 blue a drops at a time until I got the desired color.
And here's the final result with some of the fine scratches added in:
Here are a few comparison pics to the AOSW ESB helmet:
I was VERY happy with how the back panels turned out. I still need to implement a few scratches here and there (including the check-mark found of the left panel) and some pigment weathering.
I got my tonsils cut out yesterday, which means I got 2 weeks of convalescent leave from the Army to stay at home and rest...more like, work on my helmet and finish up some commission work.
Stay tuned for updates everyone. It only gets better from here.