First Time Beginner Paints an ESB


New Hunter
So as Fett 4 Real predicted, the killstripe stencil was hilariously over-sized for my helmet.
Luckily, my girlfriend and I bought a Cricut vinyl / paper cutter for crafts last week :p

I decided to take a chance making my own stencil. I used reference pics of the ESB hero helmet to determine the relative size it needed to be for my bucket and then scaled down the stencil and printed it on vinyl.

I had a little trouble getting it to curve... and it's a little crooked.. but good enough for me!! The cricut cutter did an amazing job of cutting out the "damage" and the vinyl stuck nicely to the helmet with no bleed.


After battling with a dying airbrush (I cleaned the dickens out of it, but it's barely feeding) I layed down the orange to yellow fade and then did the detail around the killstripe by hand with a micro brush



I've been thinking that someone really skilled could create vinyl stencils/templates for every color and essentially "mass produce" screen-accurate paint jobs. Those kill stripes look awesome!!! That is the part I still have left that I am most nervous about.


New Hunter
Having some difficulty with my masking tape I tried to brush on the black cheeks, unfortunately I wasn't happy with it. Even though the paint was thin I could still see brush strokes.

Some 0000 steel wool took it down smooth but It needed to be repainted. So I tried my best to mask the lower cheeks (Tried all sorts of tape I had on hand, was difficult to curve)
Aibrushed some Humbrol matte black and I'm satisfied with it now. Didn't worry too much about bleed onto the mandibles as it will get covered.



That curve looks awesome. I didn't get quite a nice curve on mine, but when you add all the other damage areas you can't even really tell. Fett helmets are so friggen busy that you can screw up pretty majorly and not have anyone notice :lol:


New Hunter
Yea that curve was tough, I had some 1/8" Tamiya model tape but it kept ripping. I somehow was able to tape it off with regular 3/4" blue scotch painters tape lol there's a tiny bit of bleed in certain sections but nothing that cant be scraped / covered. After all this is just a personal project for display so as long as it's 90% there I'm happy with it :)

Fett 4 Real

Sr Hunter
Community Staff
Theyre still a little off but looks good. Theyre too far to the back. If you look at the strips and where they line up to the parts like the Visor opening and the rear panels youll see what I mean. But for a first time paint up. Well done


New Hunter
I've had some time to keep progressing on this project.

I did all the cheek and mandible details by hand with a micro brush, just doing small sections at a time.
It's not perfect, I just eyeballed most of it from the stencils here. Some of the damage is a little out of place and over sized.
I may go back and try and cover up some of the super over sized parts.



At this point I'm just happy that I'm going to have a "good enough" looking replica that I painted all myself :)

I have lot of respect for you guys that get it totally right!


Hey, good job. I think there's something to be said for having your own helmet that you painted yourself. It means a lot more. I finished mine last month, should get some photos up of it.


New Hunter
Wow looks Great! Nice job! What helmet did you use?
It was an impulse buy off Ebay (Unknowingly before I found this forum). Unfortunately it seems to be a re-cast of the GMF helmet.
I should have known better as I've had experiences with re-casters in other replica fandoms, and I don't like to support re-casters.

Did some light airbrush weathering on the cheeks and dent. I just have to finish up the silver on the back and do some micro detailing / scratches here and there and I'm going to call the main helmet finished!


Up next will be the ears and rangefinder!


New Hunter
I purchased a Standard visor from T-Visor, and while it is amazing quality unfortunately it did not fit :(
I thought I measured correctly but the cheeks pushed it up too far, I even tried cutting it down to sit lower but in the end it was about 1/8-1/4" too short for my helmet.
Shame on me for not measuring with a paper template, oh well!

Fortunately I had a plan B. My helmet kit came with what looks to be a welding visor. I used the T-Visor as a template and made some small adjustments.


I cut it out easily with some metal sheers.

It's thin but it will work for now until I get a quality one. It's also a little less dark than the T-Visor but from reference pics it looks like the Hero one was a little transparent too so :rolleyes:



Also worth mentioning, when I first started this paintjob I was nervous about the colors, but everybody told me to follow the guides here and assured me it will come together nicely. It's amazing how different the helmet colors looks in different lighting. Under bright florescent lights it looks more "mint" green like ESB, but in natural light it looks darker. I'm very happy with it :)