Evan1701's Newbie ESB Fett Helmet Paint-Up

Evan1701

Hunter
Finally finished the silver masking... holy CRAP what a process. Took me 2 and a half weeks and probably close to 40 hours to get it all masked up.

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Tomorrow, I'll most likely be spraying the light gray layer and spending the following week masking that up! Then, dark gray, masking, and on to the main colors. Not sure yet what order. Need to do more research.
 

Evan1701

Hunter
Any more progress?
Heck yeah there is! I put down the dark gray layer (actually it's 2 colors- the dome, cheeks, and RH ear are dark with the mandibles, trim, and keyslots a hair lighter) last week. I've spent the rest of the time stenciling and masking, ye old never ending cycle...

This was night 1. The finish was pretty spotty, so I hit it again the next night.

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After touch up. I also realized I missed some silver on the ears and on the resin borden I have, so I did those as well.

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Evan1701

Hunter
Looking good man!
Thanks :D I'm really not a great painter so the finish is a little uneven and I have spots of orange peel here and there where I think I didn't do good enough prep on the helmet. They're mostly on the very top and on the upper cheeks- since I'm 6 ft, not a lot of people are going to be able to see the top unless we're trooping with Chewie that day. And since the upper cheeks are black, it'll effectively mask any poor finish it ends up with.

I have a buddy who's a professional photographer and also a major Fett-head, I'm going to have him take professional pictures when it's all said and done. I'm hoping for my paint-up thread to be the ultimate thread for noobs and people deficient in any craft skills. That's why I'm documenting every little step- the good, bad, and even the ugly.
 

Evan1701

Hunter
That's awesome man! This thread will definitely be alot of help once I start on my bucket!
Glad to help my friend. I've noticed a lot of differing methods the top painters use. I think my methods are best for beginners, though. My mind is 100% process-oriented, so I don't really deviate from: paint, stencil, mask, repeat. I don't unmask until everything is done. I work in specific sections- after the back panels it's mostly been rotating from lower cheeks to upper cheeks to mandibles to trim & keyslots to dome. I paint, stencil, and mask in that rotation as well. Just getting a rhythm down and really getting a feel just for your next set of steps. If I'm deep in a stenciling phase, I'm not even thinking about what paint color comes next. Rinse and repeat!
 

Evan1701

Hunter
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.

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Next up is the dome! Gonna give myself another week to do this.
 

Evan1701

Hunter
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).

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Evan1701

Hunter
I think it looks fine(y) keep up the good work. I think on the 2 I’m doing they’re slightly different.
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!!!
 

Grimstuff

Hunter
Looks a tad high and up-angled to me, iirc it's a bit more of a horizontal scorch. But yeah I agree, stuff like that is fine enough unless you're goin for 100% archival quality.
 

Evan1701

Hunter
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.

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Evan1701

Hunter
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.

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Evan1701

Hunter
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.

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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.

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