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X Wing pilot helmet kit assembly tutorial
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Rando Mextra (Mark Bradley)
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:14 pm    Post subject: X Wing pilot helmet kit assembly tutorial Reply with quote

I am still adding to this, so if there are any questions or suggestions, please post it here.


All the pictures can be viewed seperately here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/10867551@N00/sets/72157621562012494/






What you'll need:
Hobby Knife
Glue (see recommendations below)
1/8" sculpting wire (about 5"); available at Micheals or other craft supply
Car automotive trim (24" piece)
1" black elastic or nylon strapping (about 18")
Foam padding and/or ear protector cups

Recommended adheasives:

Zap-A-Gap or other brand CA glue (medium thickness) with accellerator. These are available at hobby shops. It is essentially 'super glue' (same chemical), but the medium thickness is more the consistancy of model glue (easier to work with that water-thin super glue). The accellerator (comes in a small spray bottle) sets the glue instantly once you have the pieces in postition.

Make sure you get the MEDIUM thickness- there is a thin and a thicker version that you will find hard to work with, especially with the accellerator.

Some hobby shops carry a generic brand of the same product that is less expensive but works the same- ask when you go in.

If there are any areas of the assembled helmet that you feel need reinforcement, use 'Plastic Welder' by Devon on the inside. It works like epoxy, but is much stronger on plastics. Some Walmarts carry it as well as Ace Hardware.


A note on cutting the plastic:
For most all the cuts, you can use an exacto knife. Make a very shallow cut along the entire lenght you want, then go back over the same line a couple times, making it deeper each time. Then you can bend and break the plastic a couple inches at a time.


ASSEMBLY:


Around the mohawk, trim both halves so that there is about 1" of plastic left on each half. It is helpful to use a piece of 1" masking tape to guide your cut, but this area does not have to be neat since it will be covered.






Join both halves by using the spacers provided, keeping the two halves aligned as much as possible. There will be a gap between the halves- don't worry, that will get covered.







Attach mohawk strip:
1. First glue down a couple inches in the front (while holding down the rest of the strip to make sure it will align properly).



2. Lay down the rest of the strip along the mohawk and glue down the back end.



3. Bend down the end of the strip and trim off the excess. Then glue down the bent end.




4. Apply glue along the lenght of the mohawk strip from INSIDE the helmet (inside the gap). The gap may be larger than the one shown here.


As suggested by Zhi-don Aquintas: if you feel you need extra strength, pop rivits can be used at the front and back ends of the mohawk strip. The front ones will be covered by the mohawk cap (you'll have to dremel out a little space inside the cap).

A note on the 'seam':
After attaching the mohawk strip, there is no need to fill the seam between this strip and the mohawk shape on the shell. This is how the film helmets appear.


Trim the rest of the helmet along the lines indicated:






**Before you proceed:
A note on attaching the mohawk cap and automotive door edge trim: As suggested by Jedi Loreen, you may want to consider doing these two steps AFTER painting your helmet.

Attach mohawk cap to front of mohawk.





Add automotive door edge trim all the way around according to photos. This will also bridge the gap at the back of the helmet. Most trim has an adheasive already inside, but you may want to glue down the inside edge for added strength. Also, a hair dryer can be used to soften the trim in case you experience difficulty shaping it to the helmet.



Microphone:
1. Drill hole and glue in mic wire (use sculpting wire, available at most craft and art supply stores)
2. Glue other end of mic wire into helmet using plastic welder or other epoxy-type adhesive.
Note: you can use any similar-gauge wire for the microphone, but the sculpting wire will allow you to position the mic when wearing the helmet.

Attaching the visor:
1. Attach soft-side velcro strip inside helmet forehead



2. Attach rough-side velcro strip at top of visor half overlapping the bent edge.





Note: you can use stickyback velcro, but you will likely have to glue the edges down to avoid the velcro pulling away. Non-stickyback velcro should be glued down.

Chin Cup:
1. Trim out chin cup and cut slots as shown.




2. Feed 1" black elastic or strapping through slots.
3. Glue one end inside helmet and use velcro to attach other end. You'll need to adjust the length to fit.


Padding:

There are several ways to pad your helmet.

One method is to install ear cups from an earphone-type hearing protector/earmuffs. You'll have to adjust the placement of these inside the helmet to fit your own head.

Another way is to use foam padding in strips glued inside the helmet. The most easily available type is window air conditioner 'gasket' that can be found home improvement stores. One or two packages will be enough for one helmet. Affix strips inside the helmet to achieve a snug fit on your head.
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Last edited by Rando Mextra (Mark Bradley) on Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:56 pm; edited 12 times in total
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maboot38 ()
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mark.

Can you tell us what the best glue would be for this?
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Rando Mextra (Mark Bradley)
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zap-A-Gap (medium thickness) with accellerator. These are available at hobby shops. It is essentially super glue (same chemical), but the medium thickness is more the consistancy of model glue (easier to work with that water-thin super glue). The accellerator (comes in a small spray bottle) sets the glue instantly once you have the pieces in postition.

Make sure you get the MEDIUM thickness- there is a thin and a thicker version that you will find hard to work with, especially with the accellerator.

Some hobby shops carry a generic brand of the same product that is less expensive but works the same- ask when you go in.

If there are any areas of the assembled helmet that you feel need reinforcement, use 'Plastic Welder' by Devon on the inside. It works like epoxy, but is much stronger on plastics. Some Walmarts carry it as well as Ace Hardware.

Mark
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maboot38 ()
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent, thanks. I'm assuming that the attachment of the visor photos are forthcoming, so I'll save any more questions until you are finished.

Can't wait to get my kit.

Dan
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Rando Mextra (Mark Bradley)
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Correct- as soon as I can get everyones kits done, I'll make an extra and take pics of assembling/attaching the visor
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Wolfie (Crystal Bass)
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thank you for posting this, Mark. STICKIED! chickpilot
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Jedi Loreen (Lori Procopio)
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty good tutorial.

My only suggestions are to put on the car door trim
(which you can soften and shape using a hair dryer, if it doesn't say so on the trim installation instructions) after you paint the helmet.

And, if you're going to paint the mohawk cap a different color than the helmet or mohawk, also attach that after you paint, those things are a pain to mask, as I'm finding out while helping a friend paint his assembled Richie's helmet.

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Rando Mextra (Mark Bradley)
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lori- both VERY good suggestions. I'll put both in the text portion of the tutorial.

Mark
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Jedi Loreen (Lori Procopio)
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put a couple comments under the appropriate pics in your tutorial album already.
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Zhi-don Aquintas (Donald Trim)
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work!

That helmet is SWEET! Mr. Green

I sure wish you had been making them when I bought mine. Too much work has been done on my to EVER do another one.

One suggestion: For the mohawk strip on top. I recommend pop-riveting the front [covered by the beak] and rear [you can't see it because it's on the bottom] for strength. I think Lori would agree. This is how mine was done and it makes good sense.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll echo what mark said about glue. If you're using CA glue and accelerant, make absolutely sure you get the medium, or possibly the think stuff. I made the mistake of getting the thin, nad it is a nightmare to work with.

CA glue + accelerant makes near instantaneous bonds. This sped up the build of my clone by leaps and bounds compared to using ABS glue 9not that you would use ABS glue on this kit).

Devcon plastic welder is great because it is sandable and paintable. Good stuff, but I wouldn't recommend using it for a whole build. It's great for filling in seams.

Great job so far on the tutorial --it makes me want to get a kit. Cool
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maboot38 ()
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding car door trim, I went to both the Autozone website and the actual store, and could not find any door trim at all.

Can you specify what it is that you used, and exactly where you got it?
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Rando Mextra (Mark Bradley)
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got mine at Pepboys- I believe it was Van trim that came in 2 pieces per package (each piece could do two helmets, so that's 4 helmets per package).

When I am home, I'll get the exact brand, etc.

I was going to offer it with the kits, but I bought up all my location had (about 3 packages as I recall), and they are very slow to restock.

Mark
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Zhi-don Aquintas (Donald Trim)
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is correct sir. I got mine at Pepboys as well. It was more expensive than I thought it would be, since I only need enough to do one helmet. I have some spares for a couple of other people, either at my base or in our local Fan Force. I still have the package as well, so I will post tonight if you don't both the part number and the cost.
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Jedi Loreen (Lori Procopio)
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got my door trim at Kragen Auto Parts years ago.

I used silver on mine, since it went with my paint scheme colors.
Wink
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