View Full Version : Tutorial - Helmet Making

01-07-2009, 03:11 AM
So, you want to make a helmet? You want to make one fairly cheap, and easy.

Well Ladies and Gents, from 08 Halloween I will show you a small simple picture and word tutorial on how I made a helmet.

So to start off, most importantly you need to identify the helmet or armor you wish to create. With doing so, you need to also identify your maximum budget cost that you will spend creating it. Using gauze can become pricey for larger helmets. So be sure to have some budget spacing.

Step 1. Obtain a picture of your helmet. Get at least 2 angles of it if possible (front and side).

Step 2. You do not need a measuring tape, or a ruler. But you do need fun foam! Usually, in an art store fun foam comes in thin sheets which are coloured. What you need in this case, is not the thin sheets but an approximately 1/2in-1in thick sheet. Usually you can find these in dollar stores, in the kiddie section - sometimes found in kindergarten puzzle blocks.

Start with the crown, as I call it. Slice the fun-foam into 1 inch wide strips all the way down the length of the full strip. Make a circle that is slightly bigger than the circumference of your middle head. Glue two strips together with a hot gun if necessary.

Do the vertical RAINBOW-shaped strips on the top, make them high enough for the helmet size, NOT your head size.

Continue using the strips, in some cases slicing them half an inch thick or lesser to make more bender sections. ALWAYS USE A HOT GUN! Never try to staple, or tape the pieces down. Continue making the bone-structure of your helmet with the strips until you are finished. It should look something like Figure 1.


Step 3. Once you've satisfied yourself with the shape and design of the bone structure, next comes the messy part. Plaster Gauze.

Plaster Gauze, can either be cheap or expensive depending on where you live and who you buy it from. 4in width x 5 yards costs about 5-7$ CDN, 8in x 5 yards costs 11-15$.
I used the brand 'RIGID WRAP' http://www.michaels.com/art/online/displayProductPage?productNum=gc0027

You need Warm to hot water (depending on detail level of helmet) in a bucket, make sure the bucket is FULL. It's the same way a doctor applies the gauze to a broken wrist.
You slice a strip, soak it thoroughly in the water, the griddy side with more bumps is the TOP. You must smudge it till it smooths out (note, it will slightly shrink the size of the strip). Apply to the foam-structure.

Continue doing this. It dries fairly quickly, but give 24 full hours before thinking of painting. DO NOT EVER put the gauze inside the helmet! It causes unnecessary weight, and can cause issues for padding!

You MUST I repeat MUST sand the helmet down 3-8 times to smooth out any bumps. Chances are, you've got sharp edges on the insides of the helmet where you cut off the ledge.

When you've applied the gauze and let it dry fully, it should look like This:


Step 4. Painting
Shouldn't have to explain much here. If you are going traditional like me, use acrylics. Make sure they are water based. Oil based acrylics will never come off of your clothes and can be very tricky to paint.
If you are using an airbrush, go from lightest to darkest.

Always outline the decorations with a pencil so that you can erase them on the gauze.

Step 5. Shine coating.
You can use regular paint finish, either brush on or spray on. Both work really well.
Shiney 10-25 coats
Mediocre 5-8 coats
protected 3-4 coats

In the end you should get something like this: