The care and feeding of your Fett helmet

superjedi

Sr Hunter
Hi all!
I was recently asked via PM if I had any advice on ways to take care of a helmet. It's not a topic that I can remember seeing in any detail, so I thought I'd offer some tips.
A completed helmet, especially one that someone has had painted and built on commission, can be a significant investment, and protecting that investment is probably high on the owner's priority list. So with that in mind, here are some suggestions, in no particular order of importance...

HANDLE WITH CARE
Most helmets sold nowadays are constructed with fiberglass. This makes for a strong yet flexible piece. But you should still take care when handling your bucket.

First, watch those butterfingers! I've heard of a handful of tragic instances where the owner (or a family member/friend) has had their helmet slip out of their hands and... well, you can imagine the results. :eek: Keep a firm grip on that lid!
Second, be aware that even though the construction is strong, cutting out the visor area creates weak points. Avoid handling the helmet by the visor and cheeks. I always hold my helmets at the sides or rear panels.
Third, when you're carrying the helmet, give walls and doorways a wide berth. We know that Jango and his clones had a history of bonking their heads against stuff, but you don't have to!

GRUBBY LITTLE PAWS
When I complete a helmet I always hit it with a clearcoat. My preferred type is Testors Dullcoat. It's a lacquer spray and it provides for a pretty rugged finish. But it's not impervious to oils and dirt. I always wash my hands before handling my helmets.
I'm not saying you have to use archival cotton gloves or anything, but maybe wash your hands before picking up your helmet if you've just finished a chili dog.
I also handle it around the bottom edge of the rear panels as much as possible, just to minimize the transfer of skin oils to the helmet surface.

STAND AND DELIVER
I highly recommend displaying your helmet on some type of stand. Something that will keep the helmet from resting on its bottom edge. I've made stands from a $3.00 paper towel holder, or used styrofoam heads.
If you leave the helmet resting on its base, eventually (long term) you run the moderate risk of the dreaded "mandible spread."

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
If possible, try to display your helmet out of direct sunlight. Over long periods, UV light can begin to fade or change the appearance of colors.
Also, try to place the helmet away from high traffic areas to avoid any accidental bumps. If you're displaying it on a wall-mounted shelf, make sure it's secure and can handle the helmet's weight.

DUSTING/CLEANING
If your helmet is displayed out in the open, eventually it'll accumulate some dust. I like to use Swiffer cloths to dust my collection. The dry type, not the wet ones. I absolutely do not recommend using any type of cleaning spray or solution on your helmet! Not even water.

That's are what I can think of right now. Hopefully these tips will help you keep your helmet in tip top shape for many years to come! (y)

If you guys have more tips or advice, please add to the list!
Keep on Fettin'!
 

RamSkirata

Hunter
Not a "care" tip per se, but a good preventative measure that I have used before to give a helmet more strenght especially in the mandible area:

glue or putty in a bent to shape metal band that connects the mandibles, far enough away from the visor to still allow for a quick change and obviously close enough so that you can still easily get it past your nose.

The mandibles only look spread on the picture. :D
IMG_20200707_174217556.jpg
 
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joe

Jr Hunter
What does mandible spread look like? I've probably had my helmet sitting with no stand for about 10 months. Prior to that it was on a mannequin or a cushion for awhile.

I just stuck it on some paper towels after reading this.
 

RamSkirata

Hunter
What does mandible spread look like? I've probably had my helmet sitting with no stand for about 10 months. Prior to that it was on a mannequin or a cushion for awhile.

I just stuck it on some paper towels after reading this.
It looks like the unfortunate angle makes it look in my picture... that the bottom of the mandibles a further out then the top.
 

joe

Jr Hunter
It looks like the unfortunate angle makes it look in my picture... that the bottom of the mandibles a further out then the top.

I honestly can't see it in your photo. I just measured my helmet mandible gap. At the top it's 4.5cm and at the bottom it's 5cm. I may have mandible spread? Oh well I guess. My head is gigantic and my nose presses against the visor so I think it may be inevitable for me. Regardless, good info to know. Thanks superjedi !
 

RamSkirata

Hunter
I honestly can't see it in your photo. I just measured my helmet mandible gap. At the top it's 4.5cm and at the bottom it's 5cm. I may have mandible spread? Oh well I guess. My head is gigantic and my nose presses against the visor so I think it may be inevitable for me. Regardless, good info to know. Thanks superjedi !
1594140164018.png

thats mandible spread. bad mandible spread. It doesnt have anything to do with a nose, but can with the helmet resting on itself and collapsing under its own weight.
 

superjedi

Sr Hunter
Right, it's basically a really slow process over time where the weight of the helmet could cause the bottom edge of the mandibles to spread slightly apart.
With the helmet on a stand, there's no pressure placed on that bottom edge.

It can be more severe with resin cast helmets, as they don't have the fiberglass reinforcement.
 

joe

Jr Hunter
Very interesting. I don't think I have that then on my Bobamaker V3 helmet then. Thank goodness. I was looking at some of the CRLs and other people's helmets and it looks like it's relatively common for it to be close at the top of the T visor and to get a little bigger towards the bottom of the helmet. I don't know the mandible gap dimensions from the OG helmet and couldn't find a thread about it, so it's hard to say what's most accurate.

Either way my helmet now sits in the closet on a gigantic roll of Bounty paper towels.
 

BH 32700

New Hunter
Can confirm that sunlight is also not good for a stormtrooper helmet. The white ABS plastic on mine has yellowed quite a bit. But I imagine that it would do other things with the paint job on a Fett helmet? Making it paler? Not volunteering to find it out.
 

RamSkirata

Hunter
Very interesting. I don't think I have that then on my Bobamaker V3 helmet then. Thank goodness. I was looking at some of the CRLs and other people's helmets and it looks like it's relatively common for it to be close at the top of the T visor and to get a little bigger towards the bottom of the helmet. I don't know the mandible gap dimensions from the OG helmet and couldn't find a thread about it, so it's hard to say what's most accurate.

Either way my helmet now sits in the closet on a gigantic roll of Bounty paper towels.
Upgrade to a propper helmet stand tough! Or use my mandible-bridge method. Paper towels my be good in a bind, but opt for somethign a little more sturdy and with a weighted foot for a secure stand. Mandible spred is better then mandible-shatter due to a fallen down helmet.
 

superjedi

Sr Hunter
Joe, the slightly wider at the bottom appearance can also be due to the way the visor is installed. If the visor isn't trimmed narrow enough along the vertical part, it can tend to push the mandibles apart at the bottom.

32700, UV rays will change paints chemically over time. Especially as you noted with white objects. How it affects a Fett helmet will vary depending on the colors. A certain color may shift more yellow, or start to appear faded or "dusty." It depends on the color and the amount of exposure to sunlight.

My helmets are displayed in Ikea Detolf cases in a room with good natural light, but I keep the blinds closed all the time to minimize the amount of direct sunlight they receive. They're not plants! ;)
 

Lazerjock

Active Hunter
What do you use to transport your helmet?
I was looking at motorcycle helmet bags, but wasn't sure a Boba bucket would fit even with the range finder folded down.
 

superjedi

Sr Hunter
I've only carried a helmet on a plane one time, but I did carry it in a soft sided helmet bag. It was fine.
I kept in on the floor in front of me between my feet.

Maybe people who transport their costumes more often for trooping events can chime in.
 

RamSkirata

Hunter
I've only carried a helmet on a plane one time, but I did carry it in a soft sided helmet bag. It was fine.
I kept in on the floor in front of me between my feet.

Maybe people who transport their costumes more often for trooping events can chime in.

Someone once did this video:

Wait, I just realized, that the helmet wasnt part of this, but I as a non-admin cannot delete it. The storage method still might be worth to look at.
 

Lazerjock

Active Hunter
Funny you posted that video. I watched it and went over the weekend and bought that storage container except the one I got is olive drab green.
It fits perfectly in my vette.
 
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