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So It Begins (Senate Guard 'Plumed' Helmet)
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RebelSenator (Raychel Enck)
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coming along nicely. Thanks for sharing pics Very Happy
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Getting There"

Got the two channels for the double plumes finished today (at long last as my bank balance was taking a hammering with all the Plasticard I was buying!).

Anyhoo! on to a couple if pics I took this morning after leaving the whole thing to dry and cure overnight:-





As there are no pictures of the back of this helmet I did have a couple of options as to how to proceed with this part of the project but I decided to go for what I think was the easiest (I'm a lazy chicken!)option and just extended the "V" shape along the length of the crest from front to back and I think it turned out alright in the end.

For filler and despite what I have said in previous posts I went for the plasticard bits in a bottle of plastiweld and it turned out great both as a filler and as a means to bond two surfaces together finally. By that I mean the bottom of the right hand channel refused to stay joined despite literally drowning it in plastiweld and super glue but in the end it was defeated by a Superglue "Plastic Fusion" (held together whilst I watched "The Valley of Gwangi") and then some of that "filler" used liberally.

I don't know if this "Superglue Plastic Fusion" has ever been mentioned on these forums but it's damn strong stuff and it's on the right in the following pic:-



This stuff takes 10mins to set and after fully curing for 24hrs it can take a pull of over 400lbs so once your plastic is joined it is "not" coming apart. Stinks to high heaven though and it welds the two surfaces together permanently. I don't see it being of much use in the actual construcion of TK or Clone armour as one slip or 'blob' where it's not supposed to go and that's that gubbed so extreme care has to be exercised but I'll certainly be hanging on to it as it'll be ideal for 'repairs' at a troop if anything falls off my armour.

The helmet as you see it is essentially finished with only the final tidying up and a little bit of sanding and prep work to do before it goes for painting. Here it is after the crest channels were sanded down to the level of the helmet crest sides:-



Going to start on the double plumes sometime next week methinks as I am anxious to get this finished and cleared so I can finally get to wear it at a troop. Hopefully it will actually be recognised as a helmet from "The Phantom Menace" as my current visored version (as much as I love it) has screen time of "S**t!I blinked and missed it", and usually gets labelled as a Senate Commando or a Blue Guard Guy!.

Once again thanks for following this WIP thread and for the comments passed.
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks good and I look forward to seeing it painted. Smile
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After a lengthy lay off (I hate having knackered knees - all you want to do is sit and do diddly squat! Crying or Very sad ) I'm back with a short wee update.

Anyhoo!After life, the universe and everything else getting in the way of things I finally got around to making a proper start on the plumes for this helmet.

This is only a trial run to see how things are actually going to go together and where any tweaks or major changes will need to be made. I have a large 'lump' of horsehair which will be used to prototype a lot of what will go into the making of the plumes before I commit and make them as they will be for trooping purposes. I reckon around 1/3 of this hair I have set aside for this purpose will be wasted as I adjust and make the required changes but I will still have more than enough for the two plumes (and a helluva lot leftover)

So!Here's what I have got so far (not a lot really but it's a start). Each of the tufts in the accompanying pictues is a shade under 8 inches long which is actually slightly too long for my purposes (after much debate and scratching off chins over on Forcepike we all reckoned on the longest length of the plumes to be 6 inches at the front, slowly curving down to 3 inches at the back - or as near as damnit!), so I will need to do a wee bit of trimming once all is finally done but I knew that was going to be required so not really a problem.



Quite simple to just fold a bunch of the hair over in half (decided the tuft to be the thickness of a pencil so they would all be roughly the same diameter) and tied around the bottom with the thread used for fishing fly tying to hold it all together. That was a bit fiddly as the hair is black as is the thread and it was a sod to find the end of the thread to tie it off at times. shoot me

That process gave me a nice bundle of hair to work with as I reckoned a little more would make the tuft too thick and it would be too thin if I went the opposite way (thank god for a HB pencil).

It's not abundently clear in the pics (damn black on black again) but the tuft is finished off with some plastic heat shrink which seals it all in for a full inch from the end and stops it all coming apart. That heat shrink will also be used to 'implant' the tufts into the plastic strips that will go into the grooves on the helmet and Volia'. Or that is what I hope according to my master plan!



The last two pics are just of the three tufts I have made already (mind that these are the trial/prototype ones) bluetacked into the grooves to give a general idea as to how they will look.



Will obviously look better with more hair in the grooves but like I said this was just to give an overall impression as to how it will eventually look.

Thanks for following this WIP and any comments/ideas, etc,etc will be welcome.

Still got a long way to go but slowly and surely getting there. Really glad I went with the real hair option even though it has presented it's own set of challenges.
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Last edited by TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton) on Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:00 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been following this here & on Forcepike, it's really starting to come together and is looking good. Thumbs up
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Why The Hell Did I Start This!?" raise eyebrows

It seemed such a good idea all those moons ago when I first decided to do this helmet.

Ah well!Getting there and just started on the home stretch now but still got some way to go. It has turned into a real labour of love TBH.

The actual helmet itself is pretty well finished and really just needs a final undercoat to highlight any last blemishes or areas that need a bit extra work but I am not anticipating any major problems at this stage. I did put my thumb right through the helmet crest on the left side as I had sanded it down a bit too much but it was a pretty easy fix in the end. But!apart from that I reckon it's just about done.

The magnets that will help 'lock' the plumes into place in the helmet have been installed and they will match up to otheres which I will install in the plume 'runners'. One annoying thing is that the polarity of one of them is different to the other nine which is really bugging me but I just need to make sure it's opposite number has it's polarity the same.



I have started the final version of the plumes themselves as can be seen and the fiirst seven are in place. I worked out that each plume will have 64 seperate tufts of horse hair in them so only 121 tufts to go. There will be a slightly thicker tuft that will go between the main ones to add additional support and 'bulk' up the plumes but I did go "oh s**t" when I realised how many tufts of hair will be involved. Thankfully I will have more than enough horse hair to do the job.






So!There we go then. Hopefully not too long to go before this one is finished and ready to be unveiled at a troop.

Thanks for following this thread. cheerleader
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have had a bit of a set back in that the plumes as is are way too 'floppy' and there was just too much hair so I have started again (thankfully all the hair in the previous pictures can still be used with just a wee bit of work.

With the hair being too floppy I had a look about to see what could be used to stiffen them up a bit without going down the hairspray route (a bit too flamnable al la Micheal Jackson for me).

So!After a bit of research I came across common clothing starch (all you who have served in the forces will remember this stuff). The folllowing pic shows the top plume after a squirt or two of the starch , whilst the bottom one has been left alone and quite a dramatic difference with something so common in any household.



I have also sent off for some fabric stiffener (aparently damn good stuff as well but a bit more pricey than ordinary starch) and will see how that goes when it arrives.

I have watched the special features on the blue-ray boxed set over and over again when it highlights the Senate Guard and I just wish they went into how the plumes where done but I think I am on the right track (sort of!).

That's were I am at the mo - a bit dis-heartened but it will work out in the end.
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Naergi ()
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you buy the fabric stiffener, know this:
There are basically two kinds, water resistant and not water resistant (for the latter, you can occasionally - varying from brand to brand - an additional component that will make it water resistant).
You, of course, want the water resistant kind - otherwise, if you happen to end up trooping in high humidity or rain, you'll have to repeat the stiffening process after the trooping; which I guarantee you'd be sorry about Wink
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the heads up Naergi!
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sort of back to square one with this after the last attempt at making the plumes!

Anyhoo!On with the update.

Although the first attempt at making a plume mk.1 failed it was a valuable learning experience and the final versions are about to roll off the production line. Thankfully the hair used in the first attempt will not be going to waste and will be getting re-used to fill in the gaps in the final version of the two plumes (besides it cost too much to throw away and the vast bulk of whatever I have left has already been claimed by various parties and I'll keep some for any repairs that may be needed in the future).

First item on the agenda was to make the two bases/runners which all the tufts of hair will be placed to form the two plumes and after an hour with the trusty Dremel and various types of bits I ended up with two strips of black ABS with 33 holes in each and a lot of black plastic bits all over the place. With the additional tufts added to fill in the gaps and add some strength each plume will now have 67 individual tufts of hair. The two plumes when finished will weigh the better part of 2lbs so this is going to be a bit of a 'heavy' helmet at the end of the day. But! the way Amy Berry made the lid all of the weight will be spread across my shoulders so that should be ok!.



Next item on the agenda was to start off with a fresh batch of hair which presented its own problems as lots of individual strands wanted to play silly buggers and refused to line up alongside the rest of them which really started to get annoying very quickly until I exacted my revenge with a pair of scissors.



Once I got the tufts looking right it was just a simple case of folding/looping the tuft around and tying off the looped end with some black thread used for tying fishing flies! After that eached looped end was capped off with some black heatshrink which helped seal off the end and stop the thread coming loose. This sealed off end would then be placed in one of the holes in the ABS runners. After the last plume attempt I went out and got some top superglue instead of the crappy stuff I had gotten from the local pound shop a while ago and I certainly noticed the difference.





The leading edge tufts where angled to follow the contour of the helmet crest. The front tuft will also have a piece of ABS glued/plasti-welded to it which will allow it to grip the velcro I will install (hooked stuff inside the grooves and velvet stuff on the plumes). I had a quick go at this earlier on and it worked a treat and a damn sight better than those rare earth magnets I wanted to use originally (thanks to my neighbour Glen for the loan of the velcro).

As I went along the angle of the tufts where straightened but not so much as to help hold their shape each plume will have a slight 'upwards' angle (I noticed this in the helmets used in the films after much use of the pause button and pouring over all the reference pictures I have).





The last pic gives an idea as to how it will all look once I eventually get both plumes done. Still got a lot to do and both plumes will need to finally trimmed and shaped but I reckon it will be worth it in the end.




Thanks for looking and following this WIP thread..
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that's looking great this time around! I wouldn't have even immagined some of the issues you were running into there with the plumes. There is so much trial and error in costuming.
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SongofAmazon wrote:
Wow, that's looking great this time around! I wouldn't have even immagined some of the issues you were running into there with the plumes. There is so much trial and error in costuming.


Tell me about it Jenna! Mad

A lot of time has been spent just staring at all the bits 'n' bobs and trying to figure out how it would all go together.
When I started I did have an idea in my head how to do it but that went quickly out the window and I have essentially been making up a lot as I went along.

I have to admit I am looking forward to having it finished and hopefully all the info I have amassed since starting this project will be useful to anyone else thinking of doing the same helmet but it has come close a few times to getting binned completely. Embarassed

At the risk of sounding big headed I want to troop in the UK as the only SG with the plumed helmet and once that first troop has been achieved I really hope a lot more people start this costume. At the mo I am the only SG in the UK Garrison/Rebel Legion UK but there is one other in the wings and we hope to troop together at some point soon as both plumed and visored SG's. Very Happy

Thanks for your comments Jenna! Cool
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RebelSenator (Raychel Enck)
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting all of the pics. Will be very helpful to anyone wanting to build this going forward.
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The Hairy One Cometh"

Getting there slowly but surely.

The main work on the two plumes has been completed (these damn plumes have taken nearly as long as a Death Star build !) and with the filling in of the gaps that appear when the plumes are mounted on the helmet I am just about done!





Worked out that there was about 20 hours of at times 'very tedious and mind numbing' work that went into the two plumes so far and they are still not finished yet. At this rate the grand unveiling will take place at next years Memorabilia in November .

Anyhoo!The sacrifice of god knows how many poor wee horses in America will be remembered when this lid is finally worn at a troop (really wish I went for the broom bristles at times TBH!).

Still got a wee bit of work to do with them apart from the gap filling as the plumes still need to be stiffened and be trimmed to their final shape. No matter how much hair will end being trimmed this is going to be a heavy helmet.

The next bunch of pics are just to show what the two plumes look like when put in the two grooves that run along the length of the helmet crest just to give an idea of what the whole thing looks will eventually look like (By The Power of Blue Tack!) but mind that they are just in the grooves temporarily.

Definately going to go with the velcro option to 'lock' the two plumes into place as it will be so easy just to put the plumes into place and get them out again for storage and transport.







With the plumes on the final straight before completion that really just leaves the helmet to be painted but unfortunately that won't happen 'til at least next April as I have a holiday to save up for and some other things need to be attended to first but like I said earlier I'm nearly there with this one (at long last!).

Just need to give the lid a final going over to get rid of any wee imperfections that may still be hiding somewhere but that won't take too long.
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RebelSenator (Raychel Enck)
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice!
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