Jango Fett Jr’s MCR hero helmet - ESB Style

Jango Fett Jr

Well-Known Hunter
Hey TDH, it’s been at least a decade since I posted a thread here, but news of the ESB hero helmet castings brought me out of my slumber, and I’m the proud owner of a gorgeous helmet from MachineCraft


After many weeks staring at this helmet and running my fingers along all of the paint markings and surface imperfections, I proceeded to begin undoing some of the post-filming damage on the casting. I know this is a piece of history and there are other options for sanitized, later-generation castings that I could use for an ESB-era helmet, but I don’t need an extra helmet in order to preserve this one. I want an ESB hero helmet and this is the best possible starting point, and I’d prefer to have control over which imperfections are cleaned up.

I didn’t take a lot of photos of this process, but basically I used Tamiya surface filler to file in some of the cracks cast into the gel-coat, and a few spots that don’t appear in ESB reference photos. But the big one is obviously the crack in the left side of the visor...

Because of how the helmet cracked there is an offset in the surface, which means it’s not just a matter of using Bondo to smooth it out. If you look at the inside of the visor you can see it doesn’t line up properly. So in order to properly repair this spot, I shaved off the “putty” and I used a boxcutter and exacto knife to slowly re-open the crack. I then used a heat gun to carefully heat up the area, and then align the surfaces to meet. Because I only heated up a few square inches I didn’t have to worry about deforming the entire helmet, and I’m much happier with how it lines up.


From there I just filled in the gap from the back with 2-part epoxy putty and smoothed the surface out. On the dome I simply sanded and surface filled since there weren’t any edges to drastically re-align.

Jumping ahead, I’ve started my paint job using ArchiveX enamels. The work that Guy and his team have done is incredible and I’m really looking forward to working with these paints.

I primed the back with Tamiya fine surface primer, and then layered with of a mix of SP Lettering Grey, with a few drops of a random blue enamel, and even fewer drops of LT Green. Meant to replicate the bluish-grey surface that peeks through the silver. Here’s the first layer masked off, waiting to be sprayed with silver (Tamiya X11 silver chrome)


The next update will be once I’ve got the first couple layers down. Until then here’s the interior in progress, huge thanks to intwenothor for all his research in his thread. Chin cup casting from Darth Voorhees, modified vintage Joe Brown helmet liner, homemade chin strap, kit-bashed electronics board, visor clips from Sidewinder, Borden replica from MachineCraft. Casio MQ1 circuit is on its way.


Can't wait to share more as it progresses!
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Ord Mantell

Active Hunter
I was just getting ready to do the same thing to my MCR. Great to see this! I no longer have to hypothesize how that corner crack will respond to reopening it. Well done.

Jango Fett Jr

Well-Known Hunter
I was just getting ready to do the same thing to my MCR. Great to see this! I no longer have to hypothesize how that corner crack will respond to reopening it. Well done.
I figured I might be the first one attempting this mod and was expecting to get roasted for massacring this work of art! It was a little scary to re-open the crack, and when I first looked at re-aligning I was worried it was going to mess up the shape of the entire helmet. But hitting it with the heatgun for maybe 20-30 seconds softened that area up just enough to close the gap back up without any undesired warping.
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Jango Fett Jr

Well-Known Hunter
Laid down a few coats of Dark Grime earlier today, and I just peeled off the layers of Maskol to reveal the SP Lark DK Grey, silver, and base blue-grey layer.

Now to touch up all the details, and then liquid mask and apply some thin coats of DK Green + Engine Black.
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Jango Fett Jr

Well-Known Hunter
Freshly peeled the final green layer on the back panels. DK Green mixed by eye with Engine Black. Not quite 1:1, maybe 2:1? Added more black after the first couple coats.

Next I’ll be going into to do some detail, and then top it off with some misting


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Jango Fett Jr

Well-Known Hunter
Feeling pretty happy with the back so far! I’ll come back to it at the end when I’m doing final weathering. Onto the dome!

I now understand why so many people start with these back panels. After all of that tedious detailing work, I feel like the worst is over and I can take on anything :)


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Jango Fett Jr

Well-Known Hunter
Thanks! Since those photos I did some work with steel wool to bring out the Grime layer, and I’m sure to find some areas to touch up later.

I’ve been studying reference photos and the surface of my casting to determine the order in which the layers were painted on the original helmet. There are signs of both topical and layered methods being used, and while the consensus of others seems to be that it is primarily layered silver > grey > green with liquid masking on each layer, I’ve decided to go silver > green > grey, unmasking the silver at the end.

The first reason is that while you can clearly see a ridge around the silver layered damage on the hero casting, even after some layers of paint, the same can’t be said for the grey, which disappears after a thin coat of primer. This leads me to believe the grey is a thin layer on top.

Second is is lack of grey around many of the incidental scratches like the tape pulls around the killstripes (pic of PP3 helmet)

I’m not saying this is how the original was definitely painted - I could be partly or completely wrong - I just believe that this method matches the evidence as I interpret it. And after rubbing the surface with fine steel wool to blend down the grey, I feel it matches what I see on my hero casting.

So after masking the silver I painted Archive X Lt Green and Lt Grey, combined about 3:1 for the first couple coats, then with a few extra drops of Grey to darken and desaturate ever so slightly. Also a slight misting of Earth, as suggested by Jon Bird who has been incredibly helpful with sharing his painting techniques.



I also have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by how well the original scratches show up through the primer and silver coat. For the most part I was referring to reference photos and RafalFett stencils to locate the real scratches and literally paint masking fluid inside the lines!

Up next, hand painting the grey...
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Active Hunter
I admire your dedication to this project its so fun to watch! I don't think I would ever have the balls to mess with the hero cast myself though but to get that true ESB you have to unfortunately.

Jango Fett Jr

Well-Known Hunter
It’s been a minute since my last update, I’ve just been plugging away whenever I can and I’m nearly done with all the layers.

Once I finished outlining the grey I laid down the killstripes. I started from the back side with a heavy coat of Reefer Orange, tapering off towards the middle. Then UP Armour Yellow from the front, tapering off towards the middle. There’s lots of misting visible on the original and I think that includes some green, so I hit it with a very light mist of the dome green from the front.


Then I moved onto the mandibles, starting with Lark DK Grey, then a mix of D&H Caboose Red + Engine Black, and finally D&H Caboose Red.



As always I’ll be going back in to refine lots of details with a brush. Then I’ll paint the cheeks with Engine Black, probably by hand to avoid any peeling from masking tape.
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This looks fantastic! I had been wondering if it'd be considered a cardinal sin to undo the post TESB damage so I'm glad to see someone has done it! Honestly, I would want the same thing as well though I understand some like the particular gnarliness of the "SE helmet".

Jango Fett Jr

Well-Known Hunter
Life’s been getting in the way of Fett but I’m nearing completion on this helmet. Currently going over all the ultra-fine scratches, comparing the the ESB photos and frame grabs with the exhibit photos to weed out the ones that occurred after filming. Next will be the final stages of washes / mists / rust spatters / white paint streaks.

After seeing what an amazing job Ord Mantell did reshaping his helmet I’m strongly considering doing the same...


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