Evan1701's Newbie ESB Fett Helmet Paint-Up

Grimstuff

Hunter
Yeah, generally higher psi = more paint atomization, which helps avoid orange-peel. Of course too much atomization can also cause the paint to dry before it reaches the piece, creating a sandy effect. It's a pretty careful balance. Also, sometimes high humidity can cause similar problems, even when you're doing everything else right. Airbrush troubleshooting can be a real bitch.

And yeah you'll probably need to wet sand it, wool is more for just scuffing things up, but def be cautious with it.
 

Evan1701

Hunter
Yeah, I ended up shooting another coat of green on it. It's still a little orange peel-y, but it's on the back and I need to weather it anyway so oh well. Ya live and learn. I'm just glad I learned on the part that no one looks at... :D
 

Evan1701

Hunter
Wow, so unmasking... what a process. I've been bouncing back and forth between being mad at myself for leaving all the masking on, and being glad I left it all on. Really there's pros and cons to either way.

I haven't quite finished unmasking the back panels yet, and afterwards I still need to do a lot of clean up to get those edges down and make everything look nice and flat. But we have this new tropical storm system passing through this week, so it's going to be rainy and gross which means no airbrushing. In the mean time, I got the correct hardware for the ears, so I can get that all glued in and start primering them, as well as complete the clean up for the back panels.

Here's some pics of the unmasking process!

Left panel: this guy is just about done, and just needs the edges cleaned up. There might be a small amount of extra paint in the form of scratches to add as well.

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Right panel: this still needs a lot of work (you can still see what I haven't pulled up yet on the right side), but the masking fluid came off waaaay easier since it was essentially all one huge sheet. So satisfying.

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Mix

Hunter
Looking great!

You weren't kidding when you mentioned recently going through the back panel process!
 

Evan1701

Hunter
Looking great!

You weren't kidding when you mentioned recently going through the back panel process!
Yep, no joke! At the end of the day, unmasking all of those paint layers could be a major PITA in some areas, but others areas were soooo satisfying. Like peeling dried glue off your fingers. It also saved me just a ridiculous amount of time not having to go back and remask. So I think I'm going to stick with that technique, to the shock of a lot of the more seasoned painters on these boards!

This weekend I'm really going to try and bondo and sand the ears and get the hardware attached and primer down so we're ready to rock there. I need a new air fitting on my airbrush since the hose is leaking air like crazy and turned out to be the primary cause of my orange peel.

That being said, anyone have any ideas of sealing up a leaky crimped fitting on an airbrush hose? I tried electrical tape to no avail. I think some sort of caulking or anything that expands to fill gaps would work, but I'm not sure what I should go for.
 

hvacdon

Hunter
The hose is probably slipped over some kind of barb connection. If you could remove the crimp sleeve you might be able to put a small hose clamp on it and tighten it down. The clamp I'm referring to is the same as a radiator hose clamp only smaller.
 

Evan1701

Hunter
I was putting off doing this forever, I don't really like having to break out the dremel or drill and put holes or anything into my very expensive helmet pieces. But... gotta do it. So I did it. Bondo and sanded all the ear and RF bits and got them ready for paint, and wallowed out some holes on the back of the main ear pieces to attach some countersunk screws I bought at Lowe's. (Does everyone use the word "wallowed" or is it just a Southwest Virginia thing?)

Had a couple neighbors walk by as I worked, felt a little like Walter White...

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And then after getting the screw holes in the right place, testing the fit-up!

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Tomorrow I'll be slapping some primer on everything and getting ready to start painting the rest of the helmet. I believe I'll be going silver all over, then a couple shades of gray, before having to branch back into individual sections for the greens and blacks and reds.

Excited to get some more momentum on this bad boy!
 

hvacdon

Hunter
Hey Evan, Looking good there. The term I always used was Wallering. I was working in New Orleans on a construction job downtown. I mentioned the Wallering word and was immediately corrected. Evidently they made sure I knew that the correct terminology that I should be using was "Reamed" not Wallering !!
I sure am glad I learned that when I was there. As soon as I made it back to Texas, I started using Wallering again. Habits are hard to break !!
As far as your next paint layers you're getting ready to apply. I was thinking that the last layer you put down before the colors was the silver to mask off for the damaged areas to be visible. Unless you add the silver topically?
 

Evan1701

Hunter
Hey Evan, Looking good there. The term I always used was Wallering. I was working in New Orleans on a construction job downtown. I mentioned the Wallering word and was immediately corrected. Evidently they made sure I knew that the correct terminology that I should be using was "Reamed" not Wallering !!
I sure am glad I learned that when I was there. As soon as I made it back to Texas, I started using Wallering again. Habits are hard to break !!
As far as your next paint layers you're getting ready to apply. I was thinking that the last layer you put down before the colors was the silver to mask off for the damaged areas to be visible. Unless you add the silver topically?
I think all of the areas besides the ears have silver, light gray, and dark gray, but I could be wrong. It's been a couple weeks since I've looked at any of my many bookmarked paint threads... :D If that is true, I'll start with finishing the dome after that, adding the kill stripes, etc. I'm pretty nervous about adding the kill stripes since in the welshwarrior YouTube series he freehanded them, but once I get there I'll probably be fine.

After the dome, I'll do the green on the lower cheeks and then the black on the upper cheeks, and then everyone's favorite... the mandibles! I'm probably gonna paint the ears and RF somewhere in there, or maybe I'll wait to the end, who knows. I also still need to paint and install the borden, but that will probably wait till the end since I don't want to try and mask it off while I'm painting the cheeks.
 

Evan1701

Hunter
Oh my God, I hate this silver, hate it hate it hate! I could not get an even coat of it no matter what I did. I should have listened to welshwarrior in his Youtube videos, he was very specific in saying it was a "finicky" color and he preferred to use rattlecans. Well, let me tell ya, this is the last time I'll be using this silver color. My jetpack and gaunts will definitely be rattlecanned in the small details areas.

Anyway, here's some pics. Thank the lord this is the base coat, otherwise I'd be painting until my hair was the same color as the paint!!!

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Gonna mask up the silver damage tomorrow and lay down the light gray color sometime later in the week or this weekend.
 

Fettastic

Active Hunter
That doesn't even look like silver. It looks like a light grey. Does it reflect light at all? I would lay down a different silver all together as your base.
 

Evan1701

Hunter
That doesn't even look like silver. It looks like a light grey. Does it reflect light at all? I would lay down a different silver all together as your base.
Yeah, reflects it quite a bit. I just have really crappy lighting in my garage. The only issue is that the finish is not the same across the helmet. I'm guessing this is just a quirk of metallic paints, because I don't have this problem with any other colors. It depends on how close the nozzle is to the surface and the speed of the passes. It seems to do best in that moment just before the paint gets thick enough to run, but any thinner and it just looks "sparkly".

It's also because of the weird shape of the helmet and how hard it is to get a smooth pass. I had almost zero problems with it going onto the ear pieces- worked like a dream, actually!

Regardless, it's all done now (thank God) and I've started the stenciling process. It's going to be a loooooooooooooooong one. I'm going to stencil up the whole helmet and then do the light gray layer. I don't plan to do a full coverage since the light gray layer is so similar in color to the silver (just minus that metallic sheen, really). Thankfully almost all of the light gray is right around the silver damage so it should be easy to spray only where it's needed. The dark gray will need to be a full coat, though.
 

hvacdon

Hunter
Evan, you might want to get a can of this and see how it looks...Rust-Oleum 245220 Universal All Surface Spray Paint, 11 oz, Metallic Titanium Silver
This is easy to use and it's a good metallic silver color......
 

Evan1701

Hunter
Evan, you might want to get a can of this and see how it looks...Rust-Oleum 245220 Universal All Surface Spray Paint, 11 oz, Metallic Titanium Silver
This is easy to use and it's a good metallic silver color......
Thanks for the suggestion, I'm sure they have this at my local Lowe's. I'll definitely be using it for the jetpack and gaunts!
 

Evan1701

Hunter
Holy crap... this silver stenciling is INSANE. So far I have the cheeks and mandibles done. Ears are about 75%, been working on those at work for a nice wind-down during lunch.

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Does it take everyone else this long to do the stenciling and masking? It's taken me a week to knock out these parts, and I still have the trim, keyslots, and of course the dome to go. Am I just a perfectionist?

I'm hoping I can finish up the silver masking and shoot the light gray color. I tracked my progress in a spreadsheet today and it looks like I'm on track to finish by December 10th.
 

Grimstuff

Hunter
It would take me about a day per layer, but I was pretty loose with it. I kinda just put the stencil over the piece and dabbed the latex over it with a small roughed up brush. Then I'd do another pass by hand to get any fine details and gaps. You don't get exact replication of every little micro point of damage detail, but it does give a very organic appearance to the layers, which was more important to me. The brush bristles being dabbed gives everything that nice rough uneven edging that you usually have to use a toothpick or something for if you hand-paint it all on.
 

Evan1701

Hunter
It would take me about a day per layer, but I was pretty loose with it. I kinda just put the stencil over the piece and dabbed the latex over it with a small roughed up brush. Then I'd do another pass by hand to get any fine details and gaps. You don't get exact replication of every little micro point of damage detail, but it does give a very organic appearance to the layers, which was more important to me. The brush bristles being dabbed gives everything that nice rough uneven edging that you usually have to use a toothpick or something for if you hand-paint it all on.
Yeah, I got these little metal tools at Michael's which are perfect for applying the masking really cleanly, but it's easy to blob it over top of the stencil if you aren't being careful. I'm just not very flexible with my masking, I follow the stencils more or less to a tee and only deviate if I applied the stencil slightly in the wrong place.
 
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