Post-Thanksgiving update. The dark gray masking has been slooooow going, but steadily proceeding. I finished up the mandibles a few days ago and spent another 2 or 3 days on the trim and keyslots. The toughest part about it is trying to leave holes for the "islands of damage" of purple, bright red, and dark red between all of the dark gray.
Even though the stencils are almost impossible to line up on the helmet at this point, I'm still using them to trace out the damage on the helmet as a guide so I'm not having to look at the stencil, then mask a little, then look back at the stencil, etc etc ad nauseum.
Next up is the dome! Gonna give myself another week to do this.
Alright folks, I'm getting close to the finish line on this set of masking. Can you believe it took 4 hours to get to this point? This just refers to the masking on the dome, above the trim. One more hour tomorrow should do it, and then I'll be ready to paint the ears, dome, cheeks, and RF.
The only thing I'm afraid I screwed up is the scorch that goes across the dome from the dent. Does the angle look okay to you guys? It's a curved surface so the stencils are almost impossible to line up, and the reference pictures really don't show it much. I've seen different angles from different painters, too. I'm probably overthinking it, and I'm not going to change it anyway since it's too late (had to mask between the silver and gray that I already put down).
Thanks man. I drive myself crazy over the tiny details. Every time I mask, I say to myself, "Listen Evan, you don't have to get every tiny little detail. There's a lot of colors on this helmet, and a lot of weathering, and no one will notice."
And then you know what I do? The exact opposite!!!
Finally finished the dark gray masking! Next up, the sand color on RH ears, custom green on LH ear, main green on dome and lower cheeks, and black on upper cheeks and RF topper (as well as some weathering while I still have the masking fluid down).
After that, I'll be masking everything up so that I can do the purple on the mandibles, trim, and keyslots. I'll use the liquid masking on what will remain purple, then shoot the bright red from the LH ear, mask that up, then shoot the final main red color.
THEN!!! I will paint the horseshoes on the ears as well as apply the small details via transfer decals, assemble the RF and borden, hit the helmet with miscellaneous weathering details, and that'll be that!
So as you can see, lots of work left to do, but I'm well over what I would consider "the hill", as the bulk of difficult work is now behind me.
Ears are painted, as well as the raised areas on the helmet where the ears are bolted to. I'm gonna have a tough time masking this up tomorrow, since those raised areas are sooo small in places. I didn't want to use a whole pot of my main green 78 just for the ear, so to get a 1:1 ratio I filled up a water bottle cap with 78, dumped it into the mixing dish, then filled the same cap up with green 159 and dumped that into the mixing dish. Then I dumped in the thinner and mixed it all up. I'm not sure if it's perfectly 1:1, but it's about as close as I can get without a better method of measuring the paint.
Green is down!!! Looks a little funny because it was still wet when I took the pics. I may try and touch it up tomorrow night if it needs it, but I felt pretty confident in my coverage.
And... I'm excited to reveal... the (almost) final product for the ears. Couldn't help myself after I finished spraying, I had to peel that masking fluid up and take a look. I still need to add the horseshoes and the small details. Easy stuff.
if you look closely you might notice that the damage on the green LH ear on the bottom face is upside down! That's the only part I screwed up. Realized it after the second go-round of masking and just decided to leave it. I call it my personal signature...
Black is down on the upper cheeks and the ear decals are painted... sort of! I had trouble with the paint being too thin so it was just too watery to get a good solid coat. Gonna give it another try tomorrow. Bonus picture of my setup as I was getting started!
I gave the upper cheeks a quick sanding pass to clear off some of the orange peel buildup. I must have prepped those areas especially bad, it was just sandpaper in and of itself! I really didn't see any after the black was down, thankfully.
Time for today's update! Got the purple down on the mandibles, trim, and keyslots, put the black down on my RF topper, and did a couple more coats of paint with the brush on both ears. The ears look pretty much the same as yesterday so I didn't take any pics.
I kept having problems with the purple where the airbrush was spitting out specks of red and blue- what the heck! No matter how much I stirred or how much thinner I added, it just kept doing it, so I figured- screw it, the only one who might ever notice is me. Most of it gets painted over anyway. I also had some tape come loose on the RH ear, so I'll need to fix that before painting again.
This weekend, I plan to mask up the purple, potentially spray the bright red, assemble the RF (as long as I can get my butt over to Lowe's and buy some LEDs), and finish up the paint on the ear cap.
The red 73 is down, which means that it's time to start peeling away the masking to see all of my hard work!
I also put the beautiful superjedi transfer decals on the ears, which means they are 100% complete (besides weathering of course):
I also painted the smaller lens for the rangefinder and ordered the LEDs I need, so I should be able to finish that up this week:
After all of my masking is removed, I'll be doing the kill stripes. After that, I need to add the "caboose" (red 60), black scorch marks, white fingerprint, and the light green "tape residue" underneath the kill stripes. I'm actually not sure what color that is supposed to be.
Then, it's just weathering, visor and borden installation, and bolting up the ears and RF for the final product! So excited! The finish line is RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!!
So I've been peeling up the masking all over the helmet, and let me tell y'all, it looks so good. But you don't get to see that just yet...
I got to a point where I had enough masking up to confidently mark out the kill stripes. I did a reverse masking process from what I've been doing, where everything *except* the kill stripes are masked. Took a little time, but I'm not sure of a better way to do it so there ya go!
Had to get a little creative with the location, they didn't line up perfectly with the damage, but with a curved surface that's just bound to happen.
Tomorrow, as long as I can keep the temp up in the garage with my little heater, I'll be laying down the yellow and orange gradient. After all the TLJ troops this week and into this weekend, I won't be able to work on the helmet again till Sunday. But I should be able to finish it up between this coming Sunday and Monday! Very excited.
Kill stripes are down! Unfortunately with TLJ coming out tomorrow night, I won't get the chance to see how the turned out until SUNDAY!!! Ugh! Also, the LEDs for my rangefinder came in today so I drilled holes and glued those in. It was a little late by the time I got to this, though, so I didn't get the chance to fully assembly the RF. When I do, I'll be sure to take pics.
Hehehe... well it's funny you should ask... I've been pulling random bits of masking off the past few days, but let me tell you. These kill stripes turned out A-MA-ZING. Even though the yellow was total garbage to put down. Like watered down mustard... awful!
And a progress pic of course.
This was a few days ago, as of today I've pulled up as much masking as I can find, as well as hit it with some wire wool to blend to colors and take down the green and red to a much more washed out, screen-accurate color scheme. Tomorrow (well, today I guess), I'll be doing the black weathering on the lower cheeks and the dome, the light red bits on the mandibles and trim (topical), the tape residue (also topical), and the rusty weathering on the stalk and the rest of the silver. Then, I'll glue in the visor and call it complete. I need to take a week off so my wife doesn't kill me, but after Christmas we'll be back at it starting with the armor.