Advice for First Time Painting ESB

boba87fett

Hunter
Hi everyone,

I have spent hours over the past year looking through ESB paint up threads from various painters (ranging from the pre-2010's to current) and the Boba Fett Helmet Consolidated Paint Up Threads in order to try to decide what techniques I should use to paint my helmet. Honestly, sorting through all the photos and styles is overwhelming and so there it sits primered on my workbench begging me to start.

I recently painted a The Mandalorian helmet with rattle cans for my son and will be painting my The Mandalorian helmet with my airbrush to get better at using it before advancing onto my ESB.

I will be painting with acrylic air brush paints, mostly Humbrol, some Tamiya and a couple random paints from other brands where I couldn't find the specific acrylic colors with Humbrol or Tamiya.

My question for you all is this, in the interest of simplifying my first ESB paint job and reducing how overwhelming it is... which technique should I go with in order to simplify this process where I can, without compromising on an entry level 501st helmet?

Topical?
Layered?
Combo?

Is there any specific thread that is the BEST at walking a new painter through the whole paint job? This will be my first time painting with an airbrush BTW. I also still have to paint my armor and jetpack, which I have. So, I can work on my airbrushing techniques with those components before starting my helmet.

I appreciate any input you have. Please don't just tell me to search and read more though. I've spent a ton of time finding info - at this point I am asking for your advice on which path will be most manageable and help me to be the most successful.

Thanks everyone!!

-Steven
 

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Grimstuff

Hunter
With airbrushing, you'll probably want to do most or all of it layered. Very easy to just liquid mask what you want chipped, then airbrush coat it all over. Also the original prop was layered, so that's a bonus for that method too.

The one thing people generally combo though is the metallic. Most all metallic rattlecans can be kinda problematic to topcoat, very dusty and poor adhesion, takes a lot of steel wooling and washing to get it them to work well. So commonly people just apply the metallic topically after the layers are done. This can also be advantageous in that you can put it in after the cloarcoat, which dulls metallics some. But definitely don't feel like you have to, for a fully layered approach just use an airbrushable enamel metallic, which takes topcoats much better.

Also it's helpful to apply the little micro detail chips via topical brushing too, especially on that big metallic island on the back panel which has a ton of tiny little paint chip inside of it. You'll find that sorta stuff as you do it, things that seem too small/impossible to stencil that you know will be easier to just do with a brush.

But really what matters most is just carefully made stencils, and a slow patient approach. Also, it's always just a quick sanding away from resetting it, so don't worry too much.

BlaidonProps has a great old series he did on painting fetts that'll probably help you a lot too. How to paint a Boba Fett helmet - YouTube
 

mainst69

Active Hunter
I agree with everything Grimstuff said right down to his example of a really cool multi part paint up on Youtube that I watched probably 3 times all the way through when preparing to do and when doing mine. I will say this, as one guy who was as worried as you seem to be about painting your first lid, don't worry so much. As far as "airbrushing technique", you don't need much. It's mainly a vehicle for paint delivery, you're not going to do a lot of preshading or dropshadows. You need to worry about stencils, masking, etc. You're not going to be doing hard airbrush things. The main thing is to pull your masking fluid after your paint has had enough time to set up and not leave it on "too long" so as not to accidentally pull any paint off that your don't intend to. But I will say this, if you make a mistake don't sweat it. You can usually topically touch it up with pretty good results, and if not, like Grimstuff mentioned, just sand the blemish a bit and reshoot it with the airbrush. The thing I'd do is try to break it down into a "to-do" list. I'm a little OCD that way. For example most people start on the rear panels (see SuperJedi's paintups, he's very consistent in his method and workflow). So on a given day, set a goal to paint your concrete/tan-ish color and do that. Set little goals and take your time. It's a huge project and it can be overwhelming, but when you get into it you'll enjoy the process and each new layer you unmask, it just keeps looking cooler and cooler!!!
When I did mine, I started with AnimeFan's premium fiberglass in coldcast. And then I never even masked the cold cast, I decided to go topically on the silver like so many others seemed to do. SO I did a combo of layered and topical. Mainst's ESB paint up on Animefan Premium FP lid That's the link to my little paint up.
I guess my best advice is to just jump in and get started. While waiting for paint to dry, pour over reference images of whatever version you're doing and get very familiar with specific areas of damage, scratches, smudges, spatter. Find a painter or two that you like (their write up style, their workflow or what have you) and read every one of their paint-ups. Learn their nomenclature for the different areas of the helmet. If you get in trouble or have a question send a PM to them. I've never had someone not answer an honest question or tell me to go search through pages and pages of a forum to answer something they know the answer to.
Hope some of this helps!
Good luck to you!
 

boba87fett

Hunter
I agree with everything Grimstuff said right down to his example of a really cool multi part paint up on Youtube that I watched probably 3 times all the way through when preparing to do and when doing mine. I will say this, as one guy who was as worried as you seem to be about painting your first lid, don't worry so much. As far as "airbrushing technique", you don't need much. It's mainly a vehicle for paint delivery, you're not going to do a lot of preshading or dropshadows. You need to worry about stencils, masking, etc. You're not going to be doing hard airbrush things. The main thing is to pull your masking fluid after your paint has had enough time to set up and not leave it on "too long" so as not to accidentally pull any paint off that your don't intend to. But I will say this, if you make a mistake don't sweat it. You can usually topically touch it up with pretty good results, and if not, like Grimstuff mentioned, just sand the blemish a bit and reshoot it with the airbrush. The thing I'd do is try to break it down into a "to-do" list. I'm a little OCD that way. For example most people start on the rear panels (see SuperJedi's paintups, he's very consistent in his method and workflow). So on a given day, set a goal to paint your concrete/tan-ish color and do that. Set little goals and take your time. It's a huge project and it can be overwhelming, but when you get into it you'll enjoy the process and each new layer you unmask, it just keeps looking cooler and cooler!!!
When I did mine, I started with AnimeFan's premium fiberglass in coldcast. And then I never even masked the cold cast, I decided to go topically on the silver like so many others seemed to do. SO I did a combo of layered and topical. Mainst's ESB paint up on Animefan Premium FP lid That's the link to my little paint up.
I guess my best advice is to just jump in and get started. While waiting for paint to dry, pour over reference images of whatever version you're doing and get very familiar with specific areas of damage, scratches, smudges, spatter. Find a painter or two that you like (their write up style, their workflow or what have you) and read every one of their paint-ups. Learn their nomenclature for the different areas of the helmet. If you get in trouble or have a question send a PM to them. I've never had someone not answer an honest question or tell me to go search through pages and pages of a forum to answer something they know the answer to.
Hope some of this helps!
Good luck to you!
Thanks man that’s very helpful and encouraging!
 
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