Fiberglass - Pros and Cons?


Well-Known Hunter
In my search for a fiberglass cast helmet (larger, movie-style), I was wondering. What are the pros and cons to getting one, with reference to weight, durability, etc.?

Those of you that own them, comments?
Pros: More durable (as long as you don't drop it), and normally better shaped (since almost all of the vinyl helmets are too small and lack the proper flare).:)

Cons: Cost and availability of good ones.:(
Ditto...also accuracy depending om which suit you are doing. You would want vac-formed for an ESB bucket, but otherwise F'glass will do for ROTJ.

Also vinyl helmets tend to lose their shape quite easily. With F'glass you will have much more sturdy helmet.
not to open the can of worms on Fett helmets and whether they can be made in abs etc... but here's my .02

Pros: Durable, better shape than vinyl, just as stated.

Cons: $$ and Hazardous to work with. Depending on the piece you're using and how you work with it you can have problems. When sanding the shards can get on your skin and it's very irritating. Also improperly venting your work area can lead to inhalation and possible lung/throat damage.

Also on a side note, my new movie helmet SMELLS! lol. Is it the fiberglass or the gelcoat? It's not a bad smell but it's a more 'shop' like smell that I'm not sure I want to be breathing in. I'm hoping the paint will take it away :)


Not to burst your bubble, but . . . I've put on 3 coats of truck bed liner INSIDE my MSH, and 2 coats of primer on the OUTSIDE of my MSH . . . and STILL every night when I come home, all I smell is that smell.

And I've had my helmet for probably 2 months now! :)


journeymanprotector wrote:

Also on a side note, my new movie helmet SMELLS! lol. Is it the fiberglass or the gelcoat? It's not a bad smell but it's a more 'shop' like smell that I'm not sure I want to be breathing in. I'm hoping the paint will take it away :)

ah crap, thanks Ego :)

I mean it's not a BAD smell, just not normal, y'know?

I'm just not sure what it'll be like IN the helmet when the time comes.

Thanks for the info,
Do you guys think that fan(s) might help? Especially w/ the keyholes cut out, my lone fan sure moves air around.

Don't know if it would help, and you guys probably thought of it...

Well . . . it's just that the helmet OVERALL has a smell to it. I've had windows open, left it outside to dry and . . . one entire half of my apartment smells like this! hehe

Like Phil said, it's not THAT bad, it's just . . distinctive! hehe And . . . a VERY small price to pay for the most incredible piece of work done . . . I appreciate mine today even more now! :)

Since this topic has been slighty sidetracked already, I'll tell you how I got the shop smell out of my helmet: shampoo. In between wet sandings, I would rinse it off in my bathtub with raspberry scented shampoo. It a) helped keep the sandpaper clean, and b) killed the smell. It still has a faint scent to it, but for the most part it is gone.

Now back on the original subject, another benefit to fiberglass is that it tends to be easier to paint than vinyl. Certain paints react funny with vinyl helmets and leave them tacky.
From now on we shall refer to you as raspberry fett. :p

Cost is the major con, but the accuracy is darn near spot on, also be careful with the temptation to put it on before lining it the glass can give the ole cheeks a good working over.

Helpful tip:
Whatever you do don't work on it in your home or without ventalation you will get a nice coat of fiberglass dust all over the house not good.
Thanks, Fett14. This forum beats TUBFC hands down.

Well, all of this feedback is about what I had heard or considered. Except for the smell factor. But I never really liked the vinyl smell of my '95 either. Oh if I could just FIND a fiberglass helm...
I just got my first Fiberglass Fett helmet. With Resin pieces. Cost me about $200 on ebay. I've been fiberglassing like crazy for the last week. I cut out the WARPED cast (vinyl original- probably a 96 or...GASP.. 97) cheeks and made new flat ones on a foil-covered cookie sheet, moved the back detail out 1/4", cut out the visor, and added about 3/4" to the entire bottom length. It's much better now.:)

The flare is pretty good- almost up to deluxe dimensions now.

I'm going to send it off to be painted, about $150. So that puts the grand total at $350+. Not bad.

I bought a VINYL one last year, for $75 on ebay. I think. It was from HK, so the shipping hiked it up, too. But I sold it. I think it was a 96.
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