ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

  1. #1
    superjedi's Avatar
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    ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    Hi all,
    Picked up another cool Richie's Armor X-Wing helmet to work on.
    I'll be doing this one as Gold Leader from ANH, and even though he was a Y-Wing pilot, they all used
    the same style helmets in that film.

    This is the third RA helmet I've worked on, and it looks like Richie has made this helmet from a newer
    vac-forming master than my other ones. It's really nice! Very crisp detail, and it's assembled very
    sturdily, using rivets to make the inner shell, and to hold the visor onto the pivoting mechanism.
    I ordered the helmet from him assembled but unpainted, and it was a very quick process to get it
    prepped for paint. I simply peeled off the self-stick black trim from around the bottom opening, and
    removed the chin cup/strap and microphone, which are held on with velcro. I masked off the visor
    on the inside AND the outside to prevent any possibility of overspray, and masked off the whole
    interior of the helmet. Richie puts in some nice custom formed foam padding and I don't want to
    get any overspray on that either.

    The photos show 2 steps in one. First I gave the entire helmet 2 light/medium coats of Rustoleum
    satin white. The color of the plastic was just a little uneven, and even though this helmet will
    be very weathered when it's done, I wanted to start with a nice even base coat.

    Then I sponged on some MM Acryl Panzer Dunkelgelb (dark yellow) on the forehead panels. I
    wasn't too concerned about the edges, as most of this is going to be covered up.



    The Dunkelgelb will form the grid lines that appear on Gold Leader's helmet. I'll mask off the grid when I
    mask the helmet for some dark green. Once I remove the taped off grid lines, the Dunkelgelb will show
    through. That's the theory anyway!



    Gold Leader really doesn't have a very complex paint scheme. It's mainly the Dunkelgelb, and the dark
    green on the ram's horn areas, and the small raised squares further down on the cheeks.



    I picked up a set of vinyl decals from Lucksy31, and they look great! Can't wait to apply them. The details
    always make these helmets come to life.

    More to come!

  2. #2

    Member Since
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    Cool Helmet! I like this paint sheme.Had a set of decals for this to.Not sure if you see a picture of the original but it had a red stripe on the Mohawk.

  3. #3
    superjedi's Avatar
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    Hi Ywing,
    Yes, I have several reference pics and I'll be doing the mohawk stripe.

    I would love to do a whole collection of Red and Gold Squadron helmets! But there is not enough good
    reference on most of the helmets. We get to see a few shots of the front, or one side, but never all
    the way around. Gold Leader is one of the few helmets where it is seen from many angles.

  4. #4
    superjedi's Avatar
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    It seems I do what I usually do. . . forget to stop between steps and take pics.

    Anyway, here are a few more combined steps.

    Got the helmet and grid masked off for the dark green top coat. I used MM Dark Green (1910) for this step. I like the "military green" look of the color.

    *TIP* I had sprayed some Krylon flat onto the helmet to protect the white and grid base color before spraying on the green.
    I do not recommend this! It made it very difficult to apply the painter's tape. Not sure if it's specific to the Krylon brand or not. . . but holy cow,
    I've never had so much trouble keeping painter's tape on a surface.



    Above, you can see the primary green areas. Basically the entire ram's horn area. As the photos show, there are several other stages represented.
    I did the darker blue-green details on the grid areas, and those slanted markings on the sides of the mohawk.



    I also got the decals applied. I still need to paint the stripe running down the mohawk, but I had to get the decals in position
    to make sure the stripe was the right length.
    The little "speedball" decals beneath the curve of the ram's horns are just black outlines. I painted in the center areas using a
    craft acrylic paint called "Blue Wisp." It's a really pale blue gray.



    Since my tape wasn't sticking very well (as noted above) the grid required some touch up with my trusty size 0 brush.
    No big deal. I also used some flat white to touch up around some of the edges of the dark green.



    Lucksy31's decals included the cat eye markings, but I couldn't get them to lay down right over that convex area of the cheeks.
    So I painted the marking on by hand. Using reference pics, I tried to match the asymmetry of the shapes as best I could.
    I have traced the right side cat eye but haven't painted it on yet.

    I also did some chipping type weathering on the dark green areas using flat white and a size 000 brush.



    So that's where I am right now! I just have to finish the right side cat eye, and then mask and paint the mohawk stripe. Then it's on to weathering!

  5. #5

    Member Since
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    Germany
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    I love this helmet....great paint job!

  6. #6
    superjedi's Avatar
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    Thanks for following along so far. Here are the final 2 stages.

    I finished up the basic color application by finishing the other cat eye and adding the red stripe down the mohawk.



    I also added some red at the very bottom of the mohawk strip, where it curves in. It was hard to tell from screencaps,
    but it seemed that there was something going on down there, and it looked to be a very similar tone to the red stripe,
    so that's what I went with.
    There also appeared to be a dark green marking over the front section of the red stripe. So once the red was dry, I
    masked and sponged on the rectangle using the same dark blue green as the markings on the mohawk sides.



    Here's where the fun begins!

    I used a black acrylic wash for the first stage of my weathering process. This just toned down the stark white areas
    and aged the helmet a little. After the wash, I used gray and black pigment powders to really dirty up the helmet.



    From what little reference I had, the weathering appeared to have some distinct patterning to it. I tried to match
    those patterns as closely as I could.



    I applied the gray powder first, using a very stiff bristled brush, and "pounced" it into the surface. When I use pastels
    or pigment powders, I usually go a little heavy because the clear coat will absorb a little of the powder when it's applied.



    The black powder came next, really darkening some of the crevices and the forward areas on the sides of the mohawk.
    The ref pics show these areas as really grimy.





    After the powder was applied, I wanted to replicate some of those broken patterns where some lighter basecoat comes
    through. I used some crumpled up masking tape to get that effect. I balled up a piece of tape with the sticky side out,
    and just dabbed it in some areas, picking up the powder. I really like the effect!



    Here's that red area at the rear of the mohawk strip.



    So now it's all done, and I'll put it on display with my Red Leader, Red 4, and Red 5 helmets.

  7. #7

    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    Excellent job!
    more information please.

  8. #8
    redkraytdragon's Avatar
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    Amazing paint job! wow!
    Love the black powder and tape effect, what a fantastically effective and simple way to get such a cool and random effect. Definitely gonna use that method on my next paint job. Thanks for sharing!

  9. #9
    superjedi's Avatar
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    Thanks. I love finding simple ways to do things. But then again, I'm lazy.

    bojaGun said: View Post
    Excellent job!
    more information please.
    Boja, what else would you like to know?

  10. #10
    High Speed Low Drag Fett 4 Real's Avatar
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    looks great i need an xwing helmet

  11. #11
    Lucksy31's Avatar
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    Eric,
    Can you post a current shot of your x-wing bucket collection?

  12. #12
    superjedi's Avatar
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    Thanks F4R!

    Scott, happy to.

    Here are 2 shots of my growing Rebel pilot collection.



    From left to right we have:
    Red 4 from a Richie's Armor kit,
    Red Leader from a Wilco kit,
    Red 5 (eFX),
    Gold Leader from a Richie's Armor kit,
    ROTJ Y-Wing helmet from a Richie's Armor kit.



    Here are some closer views of Gold Leader and the Y-Wing bucket.





    Some closer shots of Red 4 and Red Leader.





    Just for fun, the Squadron Leaders; Garvin "I just lost my starboard engine!" Dreis and Dutch "Almost there!" Vander .





    If I can get better reference shots of some of the other Battle of Yavin pilots, I'd love to do some more!

  13. #13

    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    How sick would it be if these were DOT approved. I'd wear one on the road. Great work man.

  14. #14
    Dex's Avatar
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    Good work with some lovely looking paint jobs bud!

  15. #15
    superjedi's Avatar
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    Thanks, guys!
    Anyone happen to have any good reference shots of any other Rebel helmets?
    I think the only good "wraparound" screen shots are of Biggs' helmet, and I just don't
    think I'm ready to take on a masking job like that!! Those crazy checkerboard patterns. . .

  16. #16

    Member Since
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet


  17. #17
    superjedi's Avatar
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    HOLY CAT SOUP!
    Thank you!!! Those are some amazing pics. My eyeballs fell out of my head when I opened your gallery.
    Definitely a lot of angles I had never seen before, especially of Porkins' helmet and the redone blast shield helmet.

    Man, I hope that exhibition comes somewhere close to where I live.

    Did I already say thank you?? Yes, I did. Well. . . thank you again!!

  18. #18

    Member Since
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    Germany
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    superjedi said: View Post
    HOLY CAT SOUP!
    Thank you!!! Those are some amazing pics. My eyeballs fell out of my head when I opened your gallery.
    Definitely a lot of angles I had never seen before, especially of Porkins' helmet and the redone blast shield helmet.

    Man, I hope that exhibition comes somewhere close to where I live.

    Did I already say thank you?? Yes, I did. Well. . . thank you again!!
    No problem,the honor for the pictures goes to Rebellegion member JediXXL!
    Last edited by ywingfighter; Apr 29, 2012 at 9:46 AM.

  19. #19
    superjedi's Avatar
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    Well, JediXXL got some great shots! But thanks for sharing the link.

    They are great pictures, but it looks like those helmets have been banged around quite a bit since
    the end of filming. It looks like someone put them into a dryer with 10 pounds of gravel!

  20. #20
    Lucksy31's Avatar
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    So which ones next Eric? Tiree perhaps?

  21. #21
    superjedi's Avatar
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    I dunno. Gotta watch my hobby funds for a little while.
    There still isn't a whole lot of great reference material on Tiree's helmet.
    Based on the pic gallery that ywingfighter just shared, I'd say Porkins might be a good bet.
    Some nice all-around angles that just didn't exist in the screen caps.

  22. #22
    avianoguitarist's Avatar
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    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    Nice work!
    I've got a kit waiting to be built, so it's great to find threads like this to get me going.
    Thanks for sharing!

  23. #23

    Re: ANH Gold Leader pilot helmet

    wow those are some great helmets!

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