NEW ZAM HELMET ! ...More new pics!

judz dwedd

Well-Known Hunter
OK, Friday I decide, "what the heck" I'm gonna make a Zam helmet this weekend. Saturday morning, at 10:30 a.m., I start by marking and cutting an old fiberglass army helmet liner.


I taped the "openings" closed, and glassed the inside, using the liner as a mold. Well, with the help of bondo, black tooling gel-coat, fiberglass, and good old-fasion elbow grease, this is what I have as of 2:00 p.m. Sunday.




I'm not gonna try to compete with DCB and his ultimate Zam helmet, but it's not a bad start for a day-and-a-half.
I used Wookie's method, and added the brim in fiberglass. It can have the leather glued over it after the helmet is painted. This way, it won't deform if it's packed in a trunk. Besides, I'm no expert at forming leather.
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That looks pretty darned good to me!

No... not bad for a day and a half's worth of work... not bad at all!
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Thanks guys. :D

Now I just need to seal the surface with some automotive paint, add the two round details, and drop it into a bucket of silicone.

Once I get my first raw casting, I'll use it to construct the under-section and ear-pieces. :love
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i don't quite understand why you made the brim in fiberglass. That is not how the real one was made. You don't really have to do any difficult steps to get a leather brim to work. The most difficult part is just cutting it right so it would fit nicely around the helmet - and you'd have to do that step anyway if just putting it on a glass brim.

There is not any problem w/ a leather brim getting distorted when putting the helmet away - the leather used is pretty thick... and unless you store it with piles of stuff on top, thus crushing it - i don't see how this is a problem.

I don't want to rip apart your hard work here... but you asked for critique - so I'm giving it :) So, I must know, how accurate do you want itÀ If you're going for 100% - here are some suggestions:

-brim is WAY too long and too horizontal - on the sides it should only angle out slightly from the angle of the helmet. (also - really needs to be leather as stated above). If you keep the brim as is - you will never get the armature for the binoculars to connect to the ears w/o looking silly and sticking out way too far.

-helmet is a bit too tall and round. Her helmet slants down more in the front and is almost flat from the top of her head to her forehead. (not totally flat - but flatter than in the back). It also fits tight on her head - with not a lot of space between her head and the top of the helmet - yours looks like it would have a lot of extra space there - try reducing that.

-I can't tell in your pix if you did this or not - but the side panels should not be perfectly straight back... they are closer to the head in the front - then angle out as they go towards the back.

- Overall - the whole thing looks disproportionately too big. I think it was because of the found helmet you used as a base - it was off from the beginning - thus throwing everything else off.

Again - not trying to rip your work apart... I just try to give honest opinions and suggestions... so, might I suggest you start over before you spend lots of money on silicone...(my mold cost me over $100 and many hours - so i made damn sure I was happy w/ the prototype before molding ;) )I don't think you'll get a good look out of this and you'll be much happier if you redo it - i know it's a pain in the ass - but trust me - it's worth it :)
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I agree on many of your points. The brim is too large - done by design. I never stop the mold where the part ends. There's always exess for ease in removal. That way you can pry on a surface that will be cut away, rather than directly on the surface of the part. The helmet IS wider in the back, than the front, and as far as too big, it was molded from the INSIDE of the liner + some of that was ground off to shape it. If it were any smaller, It wouldn't fit on a head. The exess brim is decieving, but required for my mold. Once trimmed back, it won't look like a big sun bonnet. As I stated above, It may not match your perfect helmet, But there's a certian feeling you get when you do it yourself. I may go ahead and make a few of the changes you mentioned, but overall, I'm quite happy with the results so far. :)

And by the way, When I asked for your opinion, I DID say to go easy on me. :lol:
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I know it's hard to hear critique w/o taking it as "critisism"... I was not intending to be harsh - just honest. I don't think we get anywhere by constantly being patted on our backs and told we're doing a great job ;)

I do totally commened you for even attempting this helmet... it is a HUGE pain to make. Mine took me over a year from begining to finished product (well, not a year working on it straight through - but a year calendar time).. and I'm still not 100% happy with it...:(

I just see some things on yours that can cause headaches if not addressed right now in the early stages - better to get them now before you go farther into the project... because I know from experience - the LAST thing you want to hear when you are 99% done is that such n' such is wrong.

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You know, Dustin Crops Boy, in reviewing his post, I didn't see him ask for a critique so maybe you could just give him a pat on the back for his really great effort. I think it looks great despite how much you say its off from what it should be. I also want mine to look accurate when I get my Zam helmet made eventually, but I can at least look at his work and commend it. I realize you're trying to be helpful but I think that long list of items was a bit much to start off with.
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judz dwedd, Really great work. Really great start. Yah, costuming constructive critisism hurts. Unfortuneately, comming from DCB- someone who has worked on that specific item for over a year, pouring over every nook and cranny. Ya probably pm'ed him that question, didn't ya? IE...The one where ya ask DCB to critique your work? :lol: Just look at my Zam comparison shots thread. Now that's harsher critism. It only took ya a week for the preliminary helm. I have spent over a year on my other parts, and they're still not 100%. And, I got the same type of critism. But! It's for the good of your accuracy, if that is what you are trying to achieve. If you are not, then so be it, it is really up to your discretion, no matter what anyone else says anyways. Remember, DCB only did it so that your question about accuracy could be answered. He is not trying to be mean spirited. In fact, it's meant to be helpful.
It is VERY TRUE, that if you don't fix certain things from the outset, you will have waisted TONS of money trying to recast the stinker, because it was shaped wrong in the first place. Just my 2 pence. He's right,molded brim isnt needed. If you wetform leather, it's hard enough for the brim to stay.

Great start, and happy zamming! It's a really tough and awesome road when you get to the next part. (notice I haven't gotten to the end of the tunnel yet)...
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iycis wrote:

You know, Dustin Crops Boy, in reviewing his post, I didn't see him ask for a critique so maybe you could just give him a pat on the back for his really great effort.

Actually - yes - he DID pm me and asked me to look at this thread and critique his work.

Sorry - i'm just not a 'back patter'... i don't feel it really contributes much - especially in a forum dedicated to über-accurate costumes and all - if i see something is off or could use an improvement - i WILL point it out... I feel this will help the creator much more and s/he will be much happier in the end.

all that being said - I DID say that I totally commend him for even attempting this project. :D
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Agreed! :) I made a few changes in the shape, and did some work on the underside this week. I'll put some new pics up on sunday. Eight days into this project so far. (y).
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Sorry I didn't post these yesterday, but I was going to see LOTR.

Anyway, since last weekend, I reshaped the helmet a bit, sealed it with gunmetal automotive paint. I'm pretty happy with it at this point, although I know it's probably grossly inaccurate, and some are going to dive on me for it.

Just after finishing the main helmet, it accidently got covered in this gooey blue silicone stuff, Fortunately, after drying, it just peeled right off.

I made the lower section to fall right into place with the upper. Here's a shot of the lower, at least where I'm at with it now.


here are a couple pics of the upper on the lower. These are not attached, they just fit perfectly together. The alignment is built into the parts, to fit like pieces to a puzzle.



It's a bit small for me, but it fits my wife perfectly, and that's what matters.

I need to do the round and oval greeblies for the dome, and a few other details yet, but this is only eight days into this project.

Now for the comment that will cause the most uproar.
I'm keeping the brim as is, and going to PAINT it to look leather. (duck)
This is called "creative liberty"
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wow... that is actually starting to look dang sharp (pat pat ;) )...

interesting method for the two parts - (main helmet and back w/ ears) That's where I had the most trouble - getting the back brims to cast up - since I did them as part of the main helmet. Yer idea looks like it would solve that problem :D

I'm impressed (really)...


How are you going to attach the bolt for the armature¿ Looks like you'll need to remove some material on the inside of the ear - since it's so solid. You don't want to have a nut going right into wifey's ear... Any thought on that yet¿
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The lower is just a model right now, and still needs some details.. When it's molded and cast, it'll only be about 1/8 - 3/16 inch thick. The ears will be hollow inside. :)
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That's coming along nicely judz!!
and in such a short time....I am not familiar with that sort of time frame ;) WEll at least not yet. Hopefully as soon as I get my work area set up again and also get somewhat settled in our new house I can get back in gear :D

Again, good job so far on the helmet!
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