Scratchbuilt helmet - vacforming the faceplate - lotsa pics


Active Hunter
Hi folks!

This is version 5 of my scratchbuilt Mandalorian helmet - none of the others made it this far!. The mould is made out of MDF, with car body filler, sanded down, but not primed. This is a test pull to see if it is feasible. And it worked! What a blast to see it suck down onto the mould! Actually, I was so busy getting it out of the oven and onto the platen, I didn't have time to see it form. It goes real quick.

It's made out of 2mm styrene, which here in NZ is more expensive than ABS, but heaps easier to work with! Big sheet of ABS in my shed if anyone wants to come and get it...

Next thing is to prime and paint the mould and fill in the ends of the squint, plus widen the squint by about 2 or 3 mm. Then I'l make the mould for the back.

I have never ever seen a helmet except in books and on the net, so it is all guesstimation, so please excuse any errors. But I've gotta say - I'm totally thrilled! I hope my son likes it. I'm doing it for his birthday next year - plus one for me, of course. :)

MDF and car body filler, shaped with belt sander and finished off with hand sanding. Plus beer.


Thanks again, Studiocreations! Your design is brilliant!


Sitting on the platen, spaced off the deck by 1/4"


The plastic sheet sucks right down onto the platen and gives a very effective seal. No need for foam stripping or anything like that.


The vacuum sucked a hole in the sheet on the left eye slit, but the plastic had formed by that stage.


Just taped together. I forgot to block off the end of the squint - will get that next time.


No claims to any sort of accuracy, folks! This is the first actual Fett helmet I've ever actually seen, and I'm stoked! (BTW - do you think the fact that it was definitely, absolutely not pulled off an original ESB might give it some sort of rarity value...) ;)


Thanks for looking! Phil :D
Great work Phil. A few people I know were interested in vacu-forming their own Fett helmets. Great to see that it actually would work!

Very cool and interesting pics, Phil!! I love seeing how vacforming works. As far as unique goes, you're right. That is your helmet-- literally. How cool is that. :D
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Nice going Phil. I remember back when you first started this've made excellent progress. Keep at it, you'll have a great helmet in no time :)
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Must be very fulfilling to see a project really take shape and come together like that! Great looking work my friend, you make a hunter proud! (y) Keep up the good work and keep us posted on the outcome.
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Wow that looks awesome...Wish I had the time to build a vacuform setup...Would save me alot of cash!

Hmm, save cash by vacuforming my own pieces, or save my life by not having my wife kill me at the sight of dripping hot plastic in the oven? Wait, my wife's still gonna kill me when she see's this months statement! :)

Again, Great work!
Wow! As one who has built my own helmet, I must say that you did an outstanding job. Thanks for sharing the pics with us.

Now I kept putting off and putting off that trooper costume thinking maybe I would buy one instead of building that table and doing the molds so much work, but seeing it in action, Wow.

Thanks for the pics and inspiration.
Thanks for your comments, guys!

Porkins - making the moulds is only work if you get paid for it - otherwise it's play!

Seriously, though, vacforming is so easy. Studiocreations site is the best there is anywhere and you shouldn't need any more than about $20 in materials.

The only trick about vacforming is to make the plastic sheet area quite a bit larger than what you are forming, so it sucks down onto the table and gives an air seal, plus as it sucks down it contributes to the stretching/thinning and the part that covers the mould surface doesn't get too thin.

pics didn't come through any more, can you send me some so I can see how it turned out, I'm totally intersted in seeing the process.

"Oh...they've encased him in carbonite. He should be quite well-protected... " :D


This is so inspiring. Thanks for sharing your pics and the experience you had with vacuforming. Very nice work, can't wait to see it done!
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that is probably the coolest thing i have seen in awhile. i myself had pushd the idea around to try and build a mold for an abs helmet. i wonder how much a helmet like this would cost once completed.

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