Thursday, August 30, 2012


Started my son's Luke Skywalker X-Wing Helmet today. Well, actually over the last 3 days. Assembly, plastic trimming, primer, white coat and Mohawk stripe. Tomorrow, mohawk coloring and possibly yellow trim. See my previous X-Wing Helmet build for details.

Again, Blogger for iPhone doesn't let me control the order of the photos. So I'll rearrange them when I get on a PC.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


While I continue to work on the Helmets on my workbench, this project will be started this week...and here's what it will look like!


So, last summer, I painted up a Red Clone Captain bucket from Episode II for my son. Imagine my horror when he tells me, after he sees it for the first time, "Why'd you paint it red? I wanted blue!"

So, I told him I'd re-paint it this year.
That's what I started on while working on the X-Wing helmet last week. Scuffed it all up, primed it, and started painting. At one point three days ago, it fell off my paint stand and hit the ground!!!! Cracked the whole side of the helmet....pretty major damage. Two years ago, I would have thrown the whole bucket away. Today, some Magic Sculpt, CA Glue, sanding sponge and some spot putty and it's fixed up pretty darn good. Not perfect, but it would have taken me a week or more to truly make the repair invisible. Anyway, on with the photos. Still some touch up work to do, paint the rear vent and install a visor, but it's looking good so far!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


It's finally finished! Chin strap and all!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Okay, so I got the Mic Tip installed with no problems.  Here's how I did it:

I had some spare Romex Electrical Wiring in the garage from a few years ago.  Inside of that wiring is a black wire that's fairly stiff...perfect for the microphone arm.  I cut a few inches off and then drilled a small hole in the end of the resin microphone tip that came with the helmet kit. 

I shot some hot glue into the mic tip and inserted the Romex wire; next I glued the Romex wire to the inside of the helmet and, wallah...microphone tip.  I then shot the mic tip with some automotive underbody black coating.  Looks pretty good if you ask me!

Another coat of grime (black acrylic paint mixed with water and then wiped off after a few minutes) followed by a coating of matte clear and the weathering was done.  I then cut some black foam and inserted it into the helmet in strategic places to give a better weight and fit to the helmet. 

Last thing I need to do this weekend is find a piece of black elastic to attach the chin cup and it's finished.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


...and finally the weathering process has begun!  I failed to photograph two processes on this helmet.  The first, installing the rubber door trim around the edges of the helmet.  Pretty simple to do, just cut to length and install.  In this photo, you can see the ends of the door trim being held against the edge of the helmet with green painters tape because the very ends were popping off the plastic for a short time.

Secondly, I forgot to photograph the installation of the visor...again, really simple.  Cut some industrial strength, sticky back velcro to the top front edge of the visor itself and the inside upper edge of the helmet by the forehead.  Stick the two together and "tadaaaa".

Still to come, installation of the chin cup/strap and the microphone tip.

For now, let's talk about weathering.  The tutorial videos over at were a big help!  He covers a lot of information in three fairly short videos about assembling and painting these helmets.  Some good tips.  My methods were a little different, but I picked up a few good things.  One of the most important things was the "wash" process to give it the weathered look.  Some black acrylic paint, diluted in water and brushed all over the helmet.  Let it sit 5 to 10 minutes and then start dabbing and wiping it off.  It may take multiple layers.  In between each layer, you need to spray it with matte finish clear coat.  The photos below are after one coat.  I'll be dabbing and washing one or two more coats tonight. 

The acrylic paint I'm using is black from "Apple Barrel" and is .52 cents per bottle at Walmart in the Arts & Crafts (Crayons) department.  At least, that's where it is in MY Walmart.

On to the photos:

Not much to say, other than...I LIKE IT!!!! :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


This X-Wing Pilot helmet (Luke Skywalker's from A New Hope) was an interesting learning experience.  There was a lot of small brushwork that needed to be done because I didn't want to spend the money for decals.  So, I'm figuring out what not to do next time!  (I have another one of these to paint up in the future)

Here it is with all the primary painting finished.  My 45 year old hands are not as steady as they used to be, and I found a LOT of jaggy little lines on some of the small details.  I suspect, once I start scratching it up and weathering it, a lot of that will not be as noticeable.  I'm still pretty happy with the preliminary results. 

One of the lesson's I learned was to get some NARROW masking tape...I don't have any right maybe 3/8" or so.  There's a LOT of curved masking that needs to be done on this helmet and the narrow tape will help facilitate that process.

Anyway, here's the shot without weathering and scratches.  Still need to mount the visor, chin cup & strap, black trim and the Mic tip.

Hopefully this weekend:

Monday, August 20, 2012



One of my favorite events, Star Wars Night at Raley Field with the Sacramento River Cats.  Here's the 2012 season pics.  I almost passed out from heat exhaustion in the suit this year, but it was still a LOT of fun!

This particular young fan was so fascinated that Darth Vader was there, in person, to say hello.  She was completely amazed and wanted to push all the buttons on the suit!  These are the moments that make wearing the Vader Suit so special!

A small number of lucky kids were selected to be part of the River Cats 2012 Field of Dreams where they get to go out on the field with a Star Wars Character AND a player from the River Cats.  Here I am with my lucky fan, Jordan.

Posing for pictures with the fans in the stands!
This is a fun photo that shows just how TALL the Stormtroopers in the Central California Garrison are...currently, in my Vader Suit, I stand at just under 6' 6.5".  The real Vader was 6' 8"  I've got guys in my garrison who make me look short because they stand over 6' 5" WITHOUT their Stormtrooper suits!!!!!! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012


Painting on more detail.