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Looking for hints and tip on painting your helmet

 
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Dak Arne ()



Joined: 16 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:28 am    Post subject: Looking for hints and tip on painting your helmet Reply with quote

Did a search and didn't find what I was looking for so...

I'm getting ready to finally assemble my Mark Bradley helmet kit (and pray that it fits) and was wondering the best way to do paint and decals.

Do you prime the helmet after assembly and then do paint detailing and apply decals?

Or is paint done as needed without primer?

And what about sealing the whole thing afterwards?

Thanks!
George
-slowly getting this uniform together, hopefully ready for submission in the next 2 weeks.
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't believe that most pilots use a primer as it would be hard to get the same crisp white of most plastic helmets, but I'm not certain, I've never painted a white helmet (my B-wing pilot helmets came in various shades of color so I had to prime them and then paint them with a layer of white first).

I painted my helmets with acrylic paint, most of which was done by hand with brushes of varying sizes, but some I used a spray gun for (I got one on sale at Micheal's with a coupon). The decals were applied after that-- clear water-slide decals.

After that I coated them with gloss clear coat (or was it semi-gloss? Now I can't remember). I think I used Rust-Oleum, but anything else should work fine. After I weathered the helmets I used flat clear coat (and each time between a "layer" of weathering).
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WedgeAntilles (James Norman)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most people don't use a primer from what I've seen. I did use a base coat myself because I wanted to try a light gray instead of white base.
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Birgle38 (Jeff Harris)
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off, paint how you want to paint, there's no right or wrong way. Here's what I like to do.
As for primer, it depends on the design. I use primer for helmets that are mostly not white and no primer for helmets mostly white.
I like to paint the two halves before putting them together. For me it's easier to get things symmetrical when I can look at the two shells side by side. I use spray paint, taping off each color one at a time. Only the piping do I do with a brush. I would recommend taping off the piping to unless you're very confident in painting in a straight line. You'll go through a lot of tape, but it's worth it. I use painters tape, but also electrical tape for curves, as electrical tape bends quite easily.
Once the helmet is painted, and decals added, I then put the helmet together and cover with Rust-oleum Lacquer. This makes the helmet look brand new. The best part about rebel fighter helmets, is every time you make a mistake, or chip the paint, or scratch it, it adds to lived in quality.
There are several methods to dirty the helmet. Darthhair has posted videos on the wash technique on youtube. Other things you can do is mist it with gray and brown spray paint. Also, since the helmet is covered with lacquer, you can dry brush gray acrylic paint onto the helmet and before it fully dries use fine grit sandpaper to remove most of it. It won't harm the design because of the lacquer. I especially like doing this because it creates the look that the helmet was new, got really dirty, and someone tried to clean it up. You can use a couple of different colors too. Lastly, you can use a razor blade to scrape paint off to give the effect your helmet got beat up. Just be careful not to actually slice the plastic.
Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to post pics. Hope that helps!
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Birgle38 (Jeff Harris)
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey! I figured out how to post pics! Here's an example of one Bradley helmet I did. Oh, how I wish could make a living designing and painting X-wing helmets.

[img]
Untitled by Birgle38, on Flickr[/img] π
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Erjediik ()
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I take a page out of the model work I did as a kid and also the aircraft painting I've done.

Yes to primer! It helps you find and fill small imperfections in the surface of what you're painting. I use one light dust coat, sand it down with 400grit wet sandpaper, then wipe it dry and give another coat the next day.

Use the same brand paint when you add color! There is a subtle, but difference making difference between brands. Also, if you use acrylic, stay with acrylic, enamel with enamel.

When I apply the base white, I stick to gloss if I'm going to be applying decals, better surface adhesion. If you use flat paint, that's ok, just give an overall clear gloss coat before decals.

Sealing? Do this after you have your decals on, and use a can of clear flat. It bonds well and protects the whole project in a more realistic tone.

Don't be afraid to practice on scrap plastic before your bucket Wink
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JediXXL (Gil Guemes)
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clearcoat is your friend! You can get gloss or matt finish clearcoat, it seals the pain to your helmet!
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Dak Arne ()



Joined: 16 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone, the tips have been a big help in making decisions.

I'm not going to prime other than in areas where I'm going to paint and I'll mask off the other areas. A bit nervous doing the lines, masking and spraying lines never turns out totally crisp for me for some reason.

I'll be finishing it with a gloss coat to protect everything and still let it have that look.
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Mastershane (Shane Gordon)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

make sure you look thru the "show off your helmet" thread and look at what others have done. There is a lot of helmets to inspire you.
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Mac Bragg ()
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dak Arne wrote:
A bit nervous doing the lines, masking and spraying lines never turns out totally crisp for me for some reason.


If you are using masking tape straight off the roll, the edges aren't cut that cleanly. Acceptable for around doors and windows in your house but not for the detail we need.

Get a sheet of glass - I use one that came from a dead scanner. Pull off a strip of tape and place it on the glass. With a SHARP hobby knife, and using a metal ruler, cut off the outer edge of the tape. This will give you much better seal when you apply it. Make a second cut to get whatever width you need. For outlining, I cut about 1/10"- 1/16"/3-4mm - a "pinstripe". This will let you curve around the surface of the helmet with a minimum of wrinkles.



Fill in with wider widths if you need more coverage.
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