Painting an ESB helmet: step by step...

Okay, after being a lurker here for some time and absorbing all the tips and tricks from the paint masters on this forum, I felt confident enough to start for myself. I'll introduce my painting "adventure" first.. (boooring? :p )
About two months ago I bought a Boba bucket from Ebay. It's not thé most accurate version, but it's nearly mystery sized (measured it). So, for me, it's good enough for my first helmet:)

Then began the long "lurking process" here on this great forum where I learnt all kind of super usefull information. Watching the experienced members doing their thing made me want to start for myself too. But I couldn't find the right colours (Testors etc) over here in Belgium. So I looked at Vallejo, Humbrol and Tamiya.
For most of my colours, I used Tamiya paints and spray cans. I'll give the full list with the correct paint names soon, since I'm not at home and I don' know them by heart.

My first idea was to print out all the stencils for the details I found here on some transparent decal paper. I'd make some rough cuts around the outlines of each individual detail piece, stick them one and paint them right there on the helmet. The borders of the decal paper are thin enough so they won't show. Anyway, when I went out to buy some decal paper, I couldn't find any!!:angry

And impatient as I am (yes, yes impatience is the path to the dark side, I know;) ) I can't wait anymore and I'll just trace the details on by hand. the decal project wil have t wait for another helmet then..

Anyway, enough of this. Let's get started, shall we..
First off, here are some pictures of the helmet after being sprayed with Tamiya silver leaf (spray can: TS-30). Mind you, the helmet came with the left ear and the right ear (partly), and the visor attached..

Second step was masking everything off to make it ready for spraying on the green clour.

Boba 1.jpg

Boba 2.jpg

Boba 3.jpg

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I don't even bother taping it off when I do the green layer... I start taping after that layer is dry and done. I never have to worry about taping off difficult sections, and ending up with double seams or gaps between the color, that way. I'm sure others will tell you different, thats just how I do it.

In this order:

1. All green sections, no tape.
2. Tape off the green I want to keep.
3. Paint the back
4. Tape off the back over the paint
5. Paint the inner cheeks
6. Tape off the inner cheaks over the paint
7. Paint the red
8. Tape off around the ears over the paint
9. Paint the ears

I don't know if thats gonna make sense (in text) for anyone, but thats how I do it to avoid double seams, and gaps. Like I said before, thats just how I do it, other folks may have different methods.
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Okay, fase two: spraying on the green on the cheeks and the dome.

I used a Tamiya spray can for this which worked really well. The colour is actually a good green for an ESB Boba, I think, for those who don't have access to the Testors colours and want something right out of the can. It's quite dark in the picture, but the green is a lot ligher in reality. The name of the spray can colour is TS 78: Field Grey.
It went quick and easy and dried quite fast; so, I'm very pleased with my choice (because paint out of a can never comes out the way it's shown on the can.. :facepalm ). I added some pictures of just the green colour so you get a idea how it looks in reality..

(Nex step: visor and band around the dome, inner cheeks and back..)


Boba 4.jpg

Boba 6.jpg

Boba green.JPG
Looking good, can't wait to see your progress. I started as a rattle can kind of guy and now do a mix of rattle cans, air brush and topical application. I do the inner cheeks by hand, just seems easier.
Thanks Copenhagen6! I'm planning to buy an airbrush soon too, so maybe for my next bucket I'll do a mix of techniques too. We 'll see :) Spray cans just seemed the easiest way to paint the larger surfaces; I'll do the rest by hand I think
Okay, fase three: Painting the visor and the band around the helmet + the back of the helmet.

I did this by hand, using Tamiya, Humbrol and GamesWorkshop/Citadel paints:
- visor: red (will check the correct colour name asap)
- back: blue-green (will check the correct colour name asap)

After the paint has dried I also drawed on the details of all the helmet damage by hand, while looking at reference pictures and all the great stencils I found on this forum. So, once again, to everyone who posted their stencils here: I salute you!! (y) (y) (y)

I hope the details will come out nicely once painted and that I drawed them kinda right ? :eek:

My camera isn't that fantastic so excuse me if some pics look a little dark. There are some with and without flash. In those without flash the back of the helmet looks too dark and too green, (in reality it's lighter and more of a blue-green colour), and in those with flash the red comes out too bright :rolleyes Ah, well, maybe it's time I start saving for a better camera instead of more Fett stuff :lol:

Anyway, what do you guys think? Am I on the right track here?

Boba 7.jpg

Boba 8.jpg

Boba 10.jpg

Boba 11.jpg

Boba 12.jpg

Boba 13.jpg
Your stencil work looks good. Most impressed so far. I am no help on the colors b/c I am tragically color blind and it always looks good to me. So if you need a moral boost, just as me about the colors, I'm always here to help.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Is the damage drawn on with a pen, or a pencil? When I did my first Boba helmet I used and pen... And even tho I painted my silver acrylic on top of it, the ink still bled from under it when I did the dull coat. Just thought that I should warn ya, just in case. I ended up having to do some HEAVY weathering on it to cover it up.

BTW, if you choose to keep that shade of red, it can always be toned down a bit when you mist it with the black, near the end of your project.

Looks pretty good so far... Keep up the good work... :)
Thanks for your remarks guys! In the pictures the red indeed looks far too bright and too orange, but that's mostly because of the flash. In reality it's much darker and a more dull colour. But I was planning to tone it down anyway, just in case.
I traced on the details with a pen, but normally the paint covers it pretty well. I've used something like it on an other project in the past. So, I'm hoping my trusty pen won't let me down this time as well. I'm currently working on the back of the helmet. I'll post some progress pics soon..
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I'm sorry that it's been so long since I last posted any progress pictures, but I've been sick in bed with the flu for a few days..
Anyway, I did some topical scratch-painting work on the mandibles of which I'll post some pics when Iget home from work.

Cheers, mates!
Fase four: detailing the mandibles and front (and starting on the back)

First off, I wanted to start on the back: I traced the outline of the details and painted them in with Humbrol Linen-colour (74). But a day later, when it had dried, I actually wanted to start on the front instead :eek: So, ... I did.
I left the rest of the back for later and started on the mandibles, the cat scratch etc...
I put on the silver details with Tamiya Chrome Silver (X-11). I then also used Tamiya Dark Grey (XF-24) and Tamiya Sea Blue (XF-17) mixed with some black.
I also painted the left ear with Tamiya Olive Drab (XF-62) and the right with Chrome Silver and Tamiya Titanium Gold (X-31). I still need to put on the details on the ears, though..

I don't know why, but in every single picture I take, the red on the mandibles always comes out all super bright and almost orange. Again, in reality it's must darker, but I can't seem to prove it with hard photographic evidence, so you'll just have to take my word for it 8)

Anyway, let me know what you think of my progress, but be kind ;)
I know it doesn't look quite how it should, but hey, it's my first try.

Boba 14.jpg

Boba 15.jpg

Boba 16.jpg

Boba 17.jpg
Wow, great work LV, and really interest thread!!! I bought a SgtFang helmet, and i will paint the helmet with STS Tutorial. I think is the same but great work with the reference pics (from the steps). ;)
Maybe taking some pics in natural light will help with the color? Try shooting it outside. Like the detail your doing. Completely topical paint job, huh? Nice. I may mix topical and layered when I get to mine but I'm still months away from getting a helmet. Thanks for posting the progress. It's really helpful.
Wow, great work LV, and really interest thread!!! I bought a SgtFang helmet, and i will paint the helmet with STS Tutorial. I think is the same but great work with the reference pics (from the steps). ;)

Thanks KaanE! This helmet was just a practice helmet to test my skills and to see if I'm up to this kind of hobby :D
The STS tutorial indeed is a gift from heaven! I'm looking forward to seeing your paint job on the Sgt Fang as well!

"Maybe taking some pics in natural light will help with the color? Try shooting it outside."
I'll certainly try it this weekend. Thank you for the tip Rabid Bantha.
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