i really suck at taking progress pictures while i'm working on these now, but if you go and look at my helmet paint-up thread and the thread for the helmet i did for verbal21 you can kind of fill in the gaps of the steps i forgot to document. so let's get on to the pictures that i do have of this helmet.
here it is, fresh out the box. i haven't done anything with it yet except open it up find all the parts and set them on the stairs to take a pretty picture.
this next shot is one i always seem to remember to take, here is the helmet with the flash trimmed off from the opening. i haven't started any sanding yet other than to smooth out the bottom edge of the helmet after cutting off the extra resin.
now from there i went through the process of sanding, sanding, sanding. there were about eight 220 grit pads used up on the mouse sander. a few hours of 400 grit sanding by hand (and a sore arm from that), and then some more sanding with 800 grit. that's where i pause to tape the entire helmet (i've found that taping at 800 grit makes it easier to remove any tape residue when i unmask it after painting than if i sanded to 1000 grit and then taped it off), and get ready to paint.
painting is pretty much a multi-layer process, i liken it to dante's inferno. layer 1 -filler primer, once that's set i look for imperfections and fill them with bondo spot filler. then i spot sand the filler down with 400 grit then go over all the primer with 800 and then move on to... layer 2 - automotive primer, then look for any remaining pin holes and spots that may need a little more filling. again with the 400 to 800 grit sandings. layer 3 - automotive primer again, by this point i should have gotten pretty much all the little bobs and bits taken care of and there's no more spot filling required (if there are any that have escaped my notice at this point, they've earned the right to be there). sand it down with 800 grit so it's smooth at freshly shaved leg. from there i can begin layer 4 - this is two layers in one, more like two coats, i get the little can of krylon ocean blue and get the brow, the mandibles, and the area around the ears (i make it a point not to get too much ocean blue on the cheeks, since it's not necessary because that's going to be painted rustoleum royal blue). set aside and let dry. layer 5 - more tape. i mask off everything that needs to be ocean blue, i.e. the brow, the mandibles, and the area around the ears. layer 6 - rustoleum royal blue, the big can. time to go to town on the upper cheeks, the ears, and the right upper ear mount. layer 7 - this is more of a stage of development instead of layer, but it's the unmasking stage. i let the royal blue set for about 20-30 minutes, and it's still tacky when i start to remove all the tape so i have to be careful where i'm holding and peeling from. i peel it off at this point because if i let the second blue set up all the way it gets too hard and can peel away at the ocean blue when i unmask. so i just tear off all the tape while it's still pretty wet. once i get all the tape off i set the helmet on my handy stand and let it dry while i go to bed.
so that brings us to where i'm at with this helmet so far. i've unmasked it this morning and now it's sitting on the stand drying. but i did manage to get a couple good pics of what it looks like right now.
p.s. i forgot to mention that i've already installed the keyslots (it doesn't affect the painting process, and it makes the next stage of sanding easier since i won't have to worry about accidentally messing up the 1000 grit finish if i mis-glue.), and i've also installed two of the chicago screws and the base of the mandibles. i also fashioned a stay for them out of a piece of aluminum so they can't flex as much as i'm working on it with the visor area cut out. i'm thinking of painting the stay black and leaving it in after i install the visor just to give it all a little more stability than the welding visor can provide.