Sorry for the radio silence y'all. I've been under the new image curse and I didn’t want to put out an update without pictures. If you’re lucky enough to not know what I'm talking about, basically a lot of users recently have been unable to enlarge or open any images on the site, aren't able to see thumbnails of most images, and get error messages when trying to upload a photo to a thread. Trust me, I've been hard at work, but I can't show you any of it. I'll be sure to load y'all with pics once this bug is fixed.
Anyway, here's what I've been up to...
First, I took some steel wool to the helmet, but the lint was so cemented into the surface that by the time I had buffed it out, there was damage to the paint. No big deal. I just gave it a quick sand and repainted it gray.
Then, I took the lower part of the ear and masked the gray off before painting it Khaki like the upper ear. Super simple stuff.
I also got some machined aluminum in a can, otherwise known as Rustoleum Mettalic (there's like 20 different "mettalic" paints from Rustoleum so I got the one in the plain white can with the chrome lid). Seriously, this stuff was a game changer! I wish I could show you guys so bad. I sprayed that on the exposed metal parts and the inside of the earcap before lightly scratching it one way to emulate not only wear but the directional patterns you see on machined aluminum parts. I think I could have done a bit better job on that, but it's okay.
I also forgot to clear coat the earcap before painting the silver onto it, but I was surprised to see that the satin clear coat had no affect on the shine of the silver paint. Even after buffing it matte, the silver was just as shiny. I think I might try the clear coat on the mettalic paint as well since that stuff definitely needs sealing.
Then, I painted on the Letraset Decals by hand, and since I was painting with matte black on the slick, shiny surface of the mettalic paint, I was actually able to scratch off bits of the "decals" with my fingernail. I probably should have used a toothpick or something but it certainly was easier than trying to paint already scratched up symbols.
Finally, I gave the ears some weathering, following the Celebration VI photos as reference. I believe the weathering on the ears (reddish-brown splatter included) that we see at Celebration VI is also present in ESB. There's no really good photos where you can clearly make it out, but the shifts in color point in the direction that it was present from the beginning. Plus they just looked weird without weathering.
Next thing up for painting is the dome. I'm still extremely scared to go about painting the dome, but it's not like I can back out now.