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AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch BuildSubscribe
  1. AntMan's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2007
    Mar 28, 2008, 4:28 PM - AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #1

    Hi there!

    I haven't finished the paint job on my first scratch build yet, but I already started on my second build of which I might be tempted to make a casting .... if I figure out how to do that!

    Anyway, since I got so many inquiries about how to actually deal with Alan's templates, here's is my approach. With plenty pics o'course.

    First of all, I start out by taping the biggest parts of the W:thumbupF templates (pages 15+19 and 16+20) together as shown in these pics:

    Then I transfer them onto the cardboard (2 mm thickness here in metric Europe) and cut out one big piece which forms the "Outer Layer".
    I do the same for the 4 parts ( pages 13+17 and 14+18 ) forming the "Inner Surface" and bend this large piece into shape very slowly and carefully.

    I do this by moistening the cardboard first with a misting bottle (for spraying plants) or wet spunge. Don't soak it though!
    I bend it around the shape that is formed by pages 9 and 10 called the "Dome Base Right/Left side":

    I join the two ends of the cylinder shape by glueing them together with an extra piece of cardboard, as such:

    Phew! Let's leave that to dry for like 12 hours at least.

    Back soon. Now I'm going to check out that HOT thread about the 1986 Fett helmet by Banzai88! Very exciting stuff!


    "With great power comes great responsibility"
    Last edited by AntMan; Apr 23, 2008 at 2:41 PM.
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  3. Member Since
    Sep 2006
    Mar 29, 2008, 8:30 AM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #2

    Well done AntMan! I will see your progress on this cardboard helmet
  4. Mojo Fett's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2007
    Mar 29, 2008, 9:16 AM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #3

    Peter this is gonna rock for all those wanting to attempt their own scratch builds!

    Well done bruv! now finish that paint job of yours...
  5. Formerly saint nasty Mike M.'s Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2006
    Mar 29, 2008, 3:36 PM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #4

    i'm going to watching this with a bowl of popcorn.
  6. Gypsyboy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2007
    Mar 30, 2008, 6:45 AM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #5

    I wish I didn't have so many projects on the go. Seeing you start another bucket makes me really want to do another Mando lid from scratch. Oh, well. I guess I'll just be happy to mod a casting. Looking forward to seeing progress here.
  7. AntMan's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2007
    Mar 30, 2008, 10:50 AM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #6

    Let's cut right to the chase and continue where I left off:

    Next, I cut out most of the "Dome Base" from the bucket, leaving an inner supportive ring of about 10 mm wide.

    This ring will keep the bucket in shape and will support the "Dome Form" rings ( pages 5+6 ) which I transfer to cardboard and cut out next:

    Also for these I cut out most, leaving a structure of about 10 mm wide and connect them to the bucket rim like this:

    I cut out a piece of the center top half to interlock into the other piece (with a drop of white glue)

    This is the glue I used:

    Hmpff! Now I have to go and prepare dinner since it is already a quarter to six. Darn DST!

    Oh well.... back soon! 8)


    "With great power comes great responsibility"
  8. stormtrooperguy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2004
    Mar 30, 2008, 12:27 PM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #7

    great job so far. i love the glue holder
  9. Member Since
    Sep 2006
    Mar 30, 2008, 12:44 PM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #8

    Quote tk7602 said: View Post
    great job so far. i love the glue holder
    Me too Great Job!
  10. AntMan's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2007
    Mar 30, 2008, 1:57 PM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #9

    This just in:

    The first big shape which I cut out, I have bent into shape. All the excess material has also been cut resulting in this "Mask":

    What we have thus far, the Bucket and the Mask:

    Now for the ears to properly attach to the sides of the bucket, I need to flatten the surface on those sides. So what I did was I moistened the sides of both the Bucket and the Mask and squeezed them together between two flat pieces of wood, like this:

    I did NOT glue them together just yet, since the cardboard is too wet for that.
    This I left to set in for at least 12 hours for each side. The picture only shows one side but I did both sides simultaneously, ofcourse.

    In the mean time I prepared the dome pieces by transfering the templates onto cardboard and cutting them out with a fresh hobby knife.

    Once cut out (including the lower support section which is to be cut off later on) I bend these into shape the same way as mentioned before.

    All three parts bent into shape:

    After shaping they need to dry for a few hours. Which gives me the opportunity to catch some z's.

    I hope I am sort of making sense with this instructorial. If not, LMK.

    Stay tuned for more.


    "With great power comes great responsibility"
  11. samlynn79's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2007
    Mar 30, 2008, 2:42 PM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #10

    Yeah. I'm definitely making my next bucket out of cardboard, rather than Garage Sale signs. The lines are SO much cleaner! Also, I didn't make the two separate buckets, inner and outer surface... but I'm definitely going to for the next one!
  12. TehEl1te's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2008
    Mar 30, 2008, 4:14 PM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #11

    This is incredible craftsmanship!!!

  13. Member Since
    May 2006
    Mar 30, 2008, 8:20 PM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #12

    Great tutorial Antman! I love the step by step instructions. It will make it easy for anyone to interpret the WOF templates and apply it to their own scratchbuilds. I'll be watching this one anxiously. Great craftsmanship.
  14. wizardofflight's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2004
    Apr 2, 2008, 1:01 PM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #13

    This will be a great help!! Thank you for creating the tutorial. Your work is simply incredible, just the way I envisioned the assembly when I created the templates.

    Keep up the great work! I'll be saving this thread.

  15. Ronin677's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2005
    Apr 3, 2008, 4:32 PM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #14

    this thread is superb

    well done mate
  16. AntMan's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2007
    Apr 6, 2008, 10:32 AM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #15

    Hey everyone!

    I've read all your replies thus far and THANKS guys for the positive encouragements! It's a big part of what gives me my "drive", IYKWIM.

    Work is in progress, but before I continue with that, I thought it would be interesting to provide a list of materials and tools I use in the process. So here it is:

    1. Quick drying white glue (glue for wood type of materials)
    2. A couple of clothes pins
    3. Sanding paper, rough to fine grade (180 to about 400 grade)
    4. Hot glue gun, as an alternative for 1
    5. Hot glue sticks
    6. Gesso primer for sealing/primering the finished bucket; US: Minwax Polycrylic Sealer
    7. A fine tip ink pen, for drawing templates onto the cardboard
    8. A hobby knife with plenty of re-fills
    9. Sculpting knifes, for applying filler
    10. Filler! This particular type is for filling holes in walls; US: Bondo Car Body Filler
    11. Two pieces of flat-surface wooden planks, for flattening the ear areas (see described in post #9 above)
    12. An old-fashioned glue clamp, preferably a couple of these
    13. A misting bottle, for spraying the cardboard moist
    14. Blue painter's masking tape; the tape is blue, not the painter
    15. A ruler of some sort
    16. A good camera as your best witness, share the progress!
    17. An acrylics paintroller
    18. A big piece of linoleum to protect your wife's (or mother's) kitchen table from cutting pieces of cardboard

    19. A big sheet (70 x 100 cm) of 2 mm thick grey cardboard, paperboard or whatever it's called; I bought this in a store where they use this to seal off the back side of a framed painting or photograph; don't use corrugated cardboard though!; US: Single Layered Mat Board
    20. Wizardofflight templates! Available for US Legal and Euro A4 paper
    21. An example lid, to set yourself a goal of how you want it to look like

    These are the most important materials and tools I use and came up with 'till now.
    So go ahead and fabricate that lid! Show your progress with as many pics as you can! But most important of all: HAVE FUN doing it!


    "With great power comes great responsibility"
    Last edited by AntMan; Apr 9, 2008 at 7:21 AM.
  17. TB1184's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2005
    Apr 6, 2008, 12:27 PM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #16

    19. A big sheet (70 x 100 cm) of 2 mm thick grey cardboard, paperboard or whatever it's called; I bought this in a store where they use this to seal off the back side of a framed painting or photograph; don't use corrugated cardboard though!
    It's probably a thinner "mat board" here in the US. I'm a fine arts student (printmaker), so I'm no stranger to the different kinds of paper and cardboards. Careful, though, there is the really nice double-layered mat board... I wouldn't recommend that because 1) it's too thick, and 2) it's double-layered so there is glue in it that will cause you problems later. Just look for the single-layered stuff. If you have a Hobby Lobby nearby, they are having a 1/2 off sale on mat board.
  18. AntMan's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2007
    Apr 6, 2008, 1:07 PM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #17

    Hi David!

    Thanks for pointing that out. Things here across the pond are sometimes (called) different(ly). Although I think a glue gun has the same functionality here as it does in the U.S.
    Tips like these are VERY welcome! Please, anyone reply with any comparative info you might have on the various differences between materials or tools. This way we can share info and knowledge for all of TDH's members to enjoy.

    Greetz from Delft,

    "With great power comes great responsibility"
  19. AntMan's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2007
    Apr 22, 2008, 6:03 PM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #18

    Now let's continue with the bucket.
    While the dome triangles are left to dry, I'll put the mask on the bucket shape. Be sure to spread white glue all over the inside surface of the mask piece equally and let it settle for about 2 minutes:

    Then carefully apply it to the bucket shape and press to make sure that all of the surface makes contact. Then I again use the pieces of wood and the glue clamps (see items 11 and 12) to secure the sides and the rest of the bucket until it dries.

    Once dried (leave it overnight), I remove the clamps and start to cut away the cheek area's, as obvious from this pic:

    The cutting of these parts is pretty easy since it's guided by the mask part. Notice how flat the ear area is. That will help a lot in connecting the still to be constructed ear pieces almost seamlessly. Cutting the cheek on the other side as well results in this:

    Time to prepare the cheekbones. I cut out the printed paper templates as precise as I can:

    I transfer them onto a piece of cardboard by drawing the outlines, in an efficient way.

    Next step is to cut out the transferred shapes. Be sure to use a sharp knife and don't cut through the cardboard in one cut. Take your time and follow the drawn lines carefully with the knife. Don't apply too much pressure to the blade, but go over each line/cut about 3 or 4 times to cut through the material and get a perfect shape. The better the shape, the easier it will be to assemble the helmet pieces together.

    Now it may seem impossible to fit the upper cheekbones into the cheek area of the bucket, but that is only perception. Even from the look of the template printout it looks strange, but it will fit!:

    In order to fit the cheekbones properly into the cheeck area I make a diagonal and very superficial cut on the inside of the cheekbone and spray it with water (misting bottle):

    If the cardboard is moist enough (not completely soaked!) I start bending it into the required shape and make a test-fitting on the bucket:

    Don't worry about the undersides of the cheekbone sticking out from the bucket. That can be corrected later on. Just make sure that the outside of the cheekbone curves and connects with the inner line of the bucket's cheek area.

    Bending the cheekbone into shape is almost like modelling a piece of clay. Use the tips of you fingers and do it slowly to keep the cardboard from cracking or tearing.

    Once the optimal shape had been acquired, I left the cheekbone to dry and did the same procedure for the other one.
    After thourough drying, I cut a 45 degree (metric) angle to the inside of the cheekbones. Like this:

    This leaves a better and bigger surface to adhere to when glueing it to the bucket. Maybe this crude drawing helps explain it a bit:

    Obviously, the surfaces in the left part of above pic make better contact than the surfaces in the right part of the pic.

    Then it's time to glue it together. I start with the straight part of the cheekbone and glue it to the bucket:

    At this point I don't glue the curved part to the bucket just yet, but leave this connection to dry. The same goes for the opposite cheekbone:

    The view on the inside of the bucket is is now this:

    When the straight connection has fully dried I start to glue the curved section to the bucket inch by inch (actually centimeter by centimeter, but that's just a figure of speech).

    Inside view:

    The next step is to glue in the cheekplates. Before I do so, I am making a slight correction/adjustment to the already cut out piece by placing it behind the glued-in cheekbone. Because of the bent shape, the curve of the cheekbone is slightly different from the plate. Therefore I draw the cheekbone curve onto the cheekplate:

    At this point you might have noticed from above pic that I have cut off the excess material from the bottom of the cheekbone to equal to the length of the bucket. Also take the angles into account when doing this.

    This is what needs to be cut away in order to have a perfect fit, without having to squeeze in the plate which will create tension in the structure.

    After cutting the excess:

    The plate now fits nice and snug!:

    Here is where the cheekbone BACKplate comes in:

    I cut out the template, transfer it and cut a cardboard piece which is to be glued to the cheekplate:

    This is the result (left and right). Not only does it create a stronger and sturdier cheekplate as a whole, but is also gives the plate an area to adhere to the cheekbone:

    I put glue on that little ridge and snap it to the cheekbone from the inside. I use some Scotch tape to secure the plate while drying. This will be removed afterwards:

    And this is what it looks like front view.

    Starting to look like something already! Phew! Now go and take a break, cuz eye no eye need 1!



    "With great power comes great responsibility"
  20. Admin Staff obi sean kenobi's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2003
    Apr 22, 2008, 6:25 PM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #19

    These are my favorite threads on TDH!
    Awesome work!!
  21. coennie's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2008
    Apr 23, 2008, 12:42 AM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #20

    Amazing that you still have time to take your Cat-Cat out. You make it all look sooo simple.
  22. I helped at SDCC '08 GCNgamer128's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2006
    Apr 23, 2008, 2:59 AM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #21

    This is turning out great! I love the use of thicker cardboard.
  23. Fettenstein01's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2007
    Apr 23, 2008, 8:55 AM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #22

    You make it look sooooo easy! Nice job.

    After seeing your threads, I've been inspired. I had the idea of building my helmet the same way (cardboard), but brushing fiberglass resin over the entire mask/dome. I figure the resin will soak into the cardboard and give it some extra strength.

    Has anyone tried this?
  24. andy fett's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2008
    Apr 23, 2008, 12:36 PM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #23

    Hey guys,

    I'm new to the site and just want to thank antman!!! This helps me out tremendously!!!! I am going to start my own cardboard soon!!! Thanks so much!!!!

  25. AntMan's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2007
    Apr 23, 2008, 4:58 PM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #24

    Thanks for the comments guys, much appreciated!

    As for covering cardboard with fiberglass resin, I have no experience in doing that. I guess it could work. But I would do it on the inside of the bucket to gain more structural rigidness. Just my 2 cents.

    Now let's get on with the show. 8)

    All glued parts should have now dried sufficiently. Let's do a little inspection of what we have already. Remember that I cut an angle to the cheekbones before glueing them in? This pic shows why:

    It definitely paid off. You can also see the mask layer on top of the bucket. This makes quite a rigid composition.

    And as you also might remember (if not, just scroll up) I used the "Inner Surface" template for the bucket which is a bit smaller in height compared to the mask template. And that is apparent from this picture:

    When glued on correctly, it creates sort of a rim or ledge (red circle). Now this is makes it easy for the base of the dome triangles to adhere to, as will be apparent later on.

    For practical reasons I took off the dome frame arches previously. Now it's time to glue them back on:

    So now it is time to get busy on the dome triangles! They had plenty of time to dry up so let's use those babies.

    I start off with the cardboard piece I made from this template:

    This one forms the back of the dome, and I split it up half (three sections each) and glued them on the inner ledge of the mask:

    Inside view:

    As can be seen from above photograph, I left just a little more length on the bottom part of the triangles. This exactly compensates for the aforementioned rim/ledge. So the actual length (arched area in the WOF template) which I leave on the triangle bottom, is the same distance from the dome base ring to the top of the mask edge.
    To illustrate, this is where I cut the bottom (red line):

    This excess material is covered by and glued to the inner mask edge. That same extra length I also incorporated for the dome form rings:

    I hope I made that clear . Most of the time, trying to explain what I did is the hardest part of posting. But if anything is not obvious, please LMK as usual.

    Okay, let's proceed to glue the triangles to one another; start by glueing both triangles marked number 10 (see WOF template) to the dome frame ring. Then the adjacent triangle number 9 gets glued to number 10, and number 8 to number 9. But take the time to let each part dry thouroughly before you glue it to the next. Use your fingers to mold and shape the triangle in the required curve when glueing. Again, patience is the key here.

    Next up are these two parts which connect to the glued-in back section and form the side and front of the dome:

    Here's a close-up of them pointy bits stuck together:

    I just continue in the same fashion for the rest of the triangles; start to glue from the dome frame rings and then connect to adjacent triangle parts.

    The pre-shaping with the misting bottle paid off nicely . It makes it easier to glue the parts together:

    By this time I always seem to remember the template part which I forgot to incorporate earlier!:o
    Here it is:

    Taped together as depicted, WOF template pages 11 and 12 form the "Helmet Base". This particular template helps in determining the bottom shape of the bucket, as does the "Dome Base" (pages 9 and 10) for the top shape. During the shaping of the wet cardboard Inner Surface, the main form of the bucket is somehow automagically created. So now let's test to see if it makes the correct fit:

    It duz, it duz!!

    If it wouldn't have, just use the misting bottle and spray the bucket a tiny bit moist and shape it accordingly.

    Only a few more triangles to go:

    Almost there....

    And shazam! The dome is complete!

    The basic shape looks okay to me:

    Here you can see that (even) I messed up a bit . Some triangles where not glued symmetrically, so I had to compensate but cutting excess material away. But this should not be a big showstopper since the dome will receive a thick coat of filler anyway.

    The areas marked red are to be corrected by either cutting away or by filling up. Keep confidence. It will work out okay.

    Inside view:

    Looks nice!
    And here's the last one for today:

    That's it for the cardboard part of the dome. To make it nice and smooth I'll have do some cutting and basic sanding and to apply filler. But first I think I will focus on creating the "ears". But that is for next time.

    Thanks for looking!

    "With great power comes great responsibility"
  26. Jaiden's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2005
    Apr 23, 2008, 6:05 PM - Re: AntMan's Second Cardboard Scratch Build #25

    Dude, you rock with the cardboard! Great job! I love the detailed pictures. You bring a whole new dimension to the Scratch-Built world.

    I'm doing the same thing with an Imperial Guard helmet (my V.2 found here). I haven't updated it in a few days, though. I really don't know what kind of cardboard I have either.

    But, I do like seeing what you have here. Rock on!


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