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So It Begins (Senate Guard 'Plumed' Helmet)
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:09 pm    Post subject: So It Begins (Senate Guard 'Plumed' Helmet) Reply with quote

Here we go for the plumed version of the Senate Guard helmet seen at the end of 'The Phantom Menace'.

Not much of a movie in my mind (load of crap really) but it did produce one of the most striking looking helmets from any of the six films.



Just took delivery of Amy Berry's mk.II Senate Guard helmet today after a day at work which dragged big time as I knew the lid had been delivered.

Could not be happier with it and I am looking forward to getting to work on it in the near future. The mk.II is even sharper in detail than my original one and a bit lighter, but the weight has never bothered me TBH as it is spread across my shoulders. Another bonus is of course I do not have to worry about visors fogging or it getting too hot on the inside. Going to be my first 'open' face costume which will be weird but once I have my Brad Pitt lookalike surgery I reckon I'll be fine.
Got a bit of work to do before the helmet will be worn in public for the first time but I would love to have it ready to go for one of next years Memorabilia shows or Glasgow's Collectormania.

This is what was waiting for me when I eventually got home today!





Now I have the helmet in my hands I can get down to some serious head scratching with regards to how the hell am I actually going to do the double plumes.
I do have a picture in my head as to how it will all go together but got some other 'life' stuff to get sorted out before I can devote some serious time to the work needed.
Been in contact with a company down south (south to me that is) that will be able to supply the horse hair required and I need to get the finger out and talk to them on the phone as they have requested.
I may also go down the road and get some plumes that have been pre-made which will cut a bit of the work down but the wooden base shown in the next pic will need to get cut carefully away and the hair 'transplanted' onto a plasti-card mount which will be detachable (for transport and storage).



Will need to source some strong rare-earth magnets for that one at some point.

No matter which road I decide to go down the upper part of the crest will need to be cut into/cut away and the bit that is removed will be dropped down into the crest and will become the base for building the plume holders around.
Going to have to suss out the angles of the plumes as accurately as I can. I have seen angles of 45 degrees quoted but that looks too sharp an angle for me but I will figure it out at some point. Will need to get a protractor from some where to help with that.

Some have advised/suggested that I use Polypropylene or broom bristles for the plumes and I have seriously considered both but to get the look I am after it has to be real horse hair or I won't bother doing the helmet.Going to be a bit pricey at the end of the day for the horse hair but it is 'the' only way to go.

So!After a long wait the 'The Phantom Menace' Senate Guard is that one step closer to becoming a reality.Got a long way to go yet but I will keep this WIP thread updated as often as possible.

If anyone has an inkling, suggestion, mad scientist thinking or a eureka type moment with regards to double plumes and the making of, fire them my way please.

My grateful thanks must go to Amy Berry for once again making me one of the most unique Star Wars helmets there has ever been seen up on the screen. Just hope I can do her work the justice it deserves.
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Mieal Deneb (Rachel Orange)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amy's helmet is GORGEOUS! I wish we could have afforded that for my husband's helmet, but we couldn't. I'm eager to see how your plumes come out. It sounds like they will be awesome!
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Ritin Kornas ()
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So. Has I already advise you : polypropylene is better, it's not falling around when it's too long what's horse hair has a good chance to do.
And normally, it looks the same shiny/natural way Smile

But so, if you decide horse hair, i can only tell you good luck, and i hope this will work.
I have search into my e-mails. And i finally get the ones from the brush maker : a flexible "ruler" or 2cm wide, and 45cm length, filled with 15cm polypropylene, would be about 40euros (special ordering of brush so ...) so for one.
Also over the time, i begin to think that a flexible ruler to put on the cret will not work because of the curve of the crest while their is a inclinaison of the plumes.


But, i also find an other "pre"bill from the brush maker, that may intereste you :
1kg of horse hair : 20 euros (about 25 dollar)
And for other people who may want : 1kg of polypropylene : 10 euros (12-13 dollars) Wink
So that's what i have found in France, I don't know what you get if it's cheaper or more expensive, but let me know the price of your stuff for plumes please !
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The plumed lid is one step closer to fruition (actually one step closer to being started actually).

Have just bought from a fellow Guard over on Forcepike (one of the few female Guards as well) 5lb of pristine black horsehair which will eventually become the crests.

So!That's one more thing ticked off on the "To Get" list.

Slowly but surely getting there.
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally started work on the helmet at the weekend with the news that the horse hair is on its way from the States.

Got a crackin' deal from a fellow Forcepike.net member after she decided to go down the broom bristle route for the plumes on her helmet. The horse hair is a must for me as I plan on using the lid as a display piece as well as a trooping lid but I have another two costumes to use and this helmet will be the crowning glory if I pull it off so I also plan on keeping this lid in pristine condition for big troops like Collectormania or Memorabilia.

Anyhoo!After an unfortunate incident with a Royal Guard lid awhile back I decided to re-inforce the lower edge of the helmet with some fiberglass and in places just straight resin just in case fate came calling again..



Going to leave well alone for at least the next 24hrs to allow everything to cure and harden properly. I also had a wee mishap today when handling the lid as it slipped and took a small chunk/little bit out of the front right of the crest. No major deal but just annoying more than anything else so spent a bit ot time building that blemish up 'til I have enough to sand it back to the original shape again (thank god for the dremel - will use that to get close to where I want to be and then switch over to wet 'n' dry sandpaper to get it to its final shape).



The little 'V' shape in the above pic is just me trying to guage the depth and angle to which the front of the crest will need to be cut away - the angle will be 40 degrees and I think I have the depth of the cut away pretty well where I reckon it should be like in this pic:-



But it's early days yet as I have a fair bit of work to do before I take my heart in my mouth and cut away at the main crest. I have roughly sketched out the area on the main crest which will be needing to be cut out but this is only my first look at what will be needed and looking at the pic i will bring the line at least 5mm further away from the edge to allow the sides of the crest to support the hair a bit more when I get to fitting the crests and a little bit more room will allow the crests to be thicker and so more able to support their own weight, as they will be 6 inches tall at their highest point.Also the thicker side walls that are left won't need much more in the way of re-forcing but I will put at least one layer of fiberglass on them to be safe.



Actually the re-inforcing that I have done to the helmet aleady was to add some more structural strength to the helmet as the crest is a major 'join' and most of it will be getting removed soon so better some work now than ending up having a helmet in two bits.

Still got a long way to go yet but the foot is now firmly in the door. Just took delivery of some large (A3 size) card which will be cut to the shape of the crests to be used as templates so I can tweak the dimensions to get it all looking good.


Thanks for following this WIP thread folks.

Back soon.
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Furiafelina (Ineabelle Rodriguez)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mieal Deneb wrote:
Amy's helmet is GORGEOUS! I wish we could have afforded that for my husband's helmet, but we couldn't. I'm eager to see how your plumes come out. It sounds like they will be awesome!


Me too!

BTW were could I get that Amy's helmet?
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was one happy bunny when I got home from work today as the Ep.I Senate Guard lid is that little bit closer to fruition as today I took delivery of a load of horse hair from the States.

Hopefully not too many wee horses are running about totally bald and freezing their wee bits off! deadhorse





There's 5lbs + of the stuff so I reckon I have got enough to do the double plumes now once I actually suss out exactly what it is I'm supposed to be doing.

The hair is about 14inches long which does make it rather floppy but the maximum length it will be for my lid is 6inches so after a bit of jiggery-pokery I reckon the hairs own mass/bulk will allow it to support its own weight and so not go all floppy when in the lid.

Have barely started on the helmet so there's a long way to go with plenty of head scratching to be done along the way! Bang Head
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Previously on Battlestar Galactica"


Razz I have so wanted to say that for ages but down to business! Razz

Got the first initial undercoat on the helmet to show up and highlight any bits that need a bit more attention and work.
It will need some work but thankfully not too much in the whole scheme of things. Basically smoothing down the rough spots and filling in some holes.

Found that the ye 'olde P-38 body filler (common car body filler used in the UK) can't quite cut it so for some of the obvious blemishes I have used some fiberglass resin (but no fiberglass) mixed with the hardener and left for 24 hours and that has done the trick for a lot of the holes. Did find that some holes would appear after some wet and dry sanding which really became annoying until I again mixed up some fiberglass resin and 'painted' the offending area, Both cheeks proved especially problematic with pin holes until I 'painted' them and now they are both solid and smooth.

This 'painting' adds some weight to the lid but seeing as I'm nearly at the point where I'll be cutting into the crest it does'nt bother me as I reckon it adds some much needed structural strength which removing a big chunk of the crest will cause to be lost.




Got a long way to go yet but getting that first undercoat made me feel as if the end is in sight (just about!). Once I have the helmet as smooth as the 'proverbial' the next big step will be those crests. I have a picture in my minds eye as to how to do it and I have been pointed towards a brilliant Roman Re-enactment site that has a superb tutorial on how the Romans did their crests and that will be followed closely.It is not 100% ideal for what I plan on doing but it's as near as damnit and does help take a lot of the quesswork out of the equation.

"Tune In Next Week!"
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Mieal Deneb (Rachel Orange)
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, awesomeness! I'm looking forward to seeing more of your progress. It is going to look super slick with the horse hair! I really wish we could do that for my husband's helmet. This is his favorite costume. Cool
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mieal Deneb wrote:
Wow, awesomeness! I'm looking forward to seeing more of your progress. It is going to look super slick with the horse hair! I really wish we could do that for my husband's helmet. This is his favorite costume. Cool



Thanks Rachel!

Still got a long way to go before I even start tackling those crests as the lid is needing a lot of prep work to get it ready and smooth for painting.
Everytime I think I have it another wee blemish shows up and it's beginning to do my head in so after tonight I will leave it alone for a few days and start afresh at the weekend.
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just another wee update for now.

Took delivery of some nice stiff A3 card to make the templates for the double plumes just to make sure I had got the shape and the angle right for both of them.

The angle is a little off as seen in the third pic but not by much (just needs another 10 degrees or so and that's that) but that will be sorted once I get the plumes themselves done.




Like I said this was just to get an idea of the actual size and proportions of the two crests and after much fiddly work with a pencil (christ!trying to get the shape of the helmet crest onto the paper was a sod but evolution only decided to give us mortals two arms!).I think I got it just about right but just got a wee bit to take off about a third of the way along methinks right as looking at pictures of the screen used lid the hair starts at 6" at the front and stays this length 'til its about that third of the way along it and then it starts to sharply follow the shape of the helmet crest itself until it gets to the bottom..



I did start the templates at 6" and it looked way too big once on the helmet but after a wee bit of head scratching and going 'bugger' I then took into account the amount of hair that will be inside the helmet crest itself and after a few wee adjustments I reckon I got it looking right.

Still got a bit of sanding and smoothing to do as I want to get the helmet itself ready for paint as doing the crests first would make the sanding too awkward once the crest has been cut away.

So!Next step will be to cut into the crest once I have the helmet as smooth as the proverbial. Not long 'til I have a go at making a trial crest so that should be good for a heart stopping moment or two.
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stroudy (Peter Truscott-Stroud)
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loving this fella!
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been awhile since I have done anything with this lid thanks to life, the universe and everything getting in the way but slowly but surely getting there.

Got a week off work after taking some A/L so no excuse as to not doing anything.

Not much of an update TBH but just plugging away at it when I get the time. I have to admit I have been driven mental with the prep work as every time I think I have it spot on and smooth I look at it more closely and little pin holes appear or an area that I have missed needs a bit of work to get it smooth. More of an annoyance than anything else but I knew this was going to be a long winded project where I could take my time.
Some pics of where I am at now with the major prep work on the helmet surface. Just about finished so I am happy to leave it as it is at the mo and get on with cutting the crest and working on the plumes:-



I have decided to 'fill in' the crest of the helmet so I will have a base to work on when I start the plume channels. Still not 100% sure as to how I'm going to do that but I have a picture in my head as to how it will all look so if it does'nt work I can always come up with something else I suppose. Trouble is that once I cut the crest away that's that so little to no room for error once that's done.

So!Started to fill the crest in from the inside with some 2mm black ABS and fiberglass which as I said when finished will form the base of the crests:-



I think I will need to build up that 'base' from the inside a little bit (more so to the front of the crest) to give the plumes a bit more height but I will wait and see how this next step goes.
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well!The dreaded day dawned at last.

Finally got around to cutting the crest away today so that I can then make a start on the channels where the two plumes will eventually sit.

What a pain in the a**e that was trying to get both sides of the notch at the front the same but after an hour with a pencil, ruler, protractor and the remains of an eraser I got there in the end. Thought that would be the most important bit as the angle of the two sides had to match up and look correct.



I did have a grandeous plan where the two channels would be cut but the crest on this lid is hollow ao I just decided to cut it all away and I'll start to build up the interior of the crest next week.
Thank god I remembered to but safety goggles as there where wee bits of fiberglass flyng everywhere but I do wish I bought a couple of dust masks (ended up pulling my t-shirt up over my mouth and nose in the end).




I have got plenty 1mm and 2mm black plasticard to use to build up the crest interior and then it will be time to start on the two crests at last and use up all that horse hair that I have had lying around for ages.

Thanks for following this thread folks.
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slowly but surely getting there.

Have now got the two channels where the double plumes will sit now in place :-




After a bit of "very careful" jiggery-pokery with the 'ol heat gun the sides of the two channels are now straight and level (took ages to get sorted and by the time I had it done I could'nt be a***ed taking any more pics TBH and I had also knocked the lower edge of the lid with the gun and took a wee chunk out of it so that had to be sorted as well!). But!I can safely assure all that the sides are nice and straight and essentially finished.

Next item on the agenda will be to fill in the gap between them which I have thought about a lot and seriously considered just leaving it as it is (but after a bit of tidying up of course) as there are no pics of what this particular helmet looks like from the back and I have certainly tried for ages to find any at all. That little fact does leave me with a bit of artistic license as to the final finishing but suffice to say I will finish it off so it is level with the crest of the helmet.

Problematic bit will be that damn "V" shape at the front as that has caused no end of hassle as it is not perfectly symetrical (more so on the inside where both sides combine three seperate angles and are slightly different in internal shaping). But I will figure something out in the end, and if anyone reading this has any ideas please pass them on as I am always open to suggestions and new ideas.

I have got (what I hope is enough) plasticard to finish the gap off but have toyed with filling it with foam, fiberglass, modelling clay, etc,etc,etc but I think I will just go with the plasticard as I can easily get more if required and it's pretty easy to work with once you get the hang of it and take your time!.

So!There we have it for now - not too long to go now and once the gap between the two channels is filled it will be time to start on the plumes themselves and then the lid will get some final prep work before our man Jason Kerr gets it for painting.

Still have'nt got even a rough date for completion yet but should'nt be too long now.

Thanks to all for following this WIP.
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