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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:08 pm 
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Unless you are going to replicate the look of a specific screen helmet, right down to assembling, painting and detailing it really wouldn't matter how you do it as long as it looks the part.

If you want to do the "Close the blast doors." helmet I can understand the need to replicate that particular helmet down to the millimeter, but how the originals were done isn't really as important as the end result you manage to get. And all the originals were done differently... hence, you can never really go wrong with generic troopers.

With Fett helmets there are several ways to paint the helmet so it looks like the screen helmet, some use templates, some use their own drawing and painting skills, some do layered and some do topical. Who cares about the process and if it was done as the originals, with the same paint, etc., as long as it has the look, the colors and the accurate detailing.

And then there are those who just want a generic trooper helmet, but with the added finesse of having painted the whole thing... and sometimes templates are what they need.

We can't all strive for perfection.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:25 pm 
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But they were all approached in the same fashion using the same techniques. Hastily, hand cut, random curved cut-outs, made in frisket, individually cut for each side of the helmet. Every length of tubestripe on every side of every helmet is unique, but all made in the same way. In other words, you can tell if the tubestripes were painted on using the correct method or not.
To make a non specific type of helmet, for it to have a look that matches the other originals, you have to employ the same techinques and randomness as the originals.
That would mean, get out some frisket and go to town. It's not that difficult with some practice and if you try it, you can see how they were able to do it quickly.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:59 pm 
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NoHumorMan wrote:
We can't all strive for perfection.


Exactly. Not everyone has a uber accurate helmet. Each helmet off eBay is going to vary in size and shape. What might be 100% true for one helmet might not even work for another. There are already sites with decals/stickers out there for the mainstream brands. I figure a template might help a newcomer who wasn't very confident of his skills to achieve a look of acceptable quality.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 1:59 am 
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Great idea Mac. I have a few Stormtrooper helmet that I wouldnt mind taking all the stickers off and painting.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:03 am 
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Finger,

Let me know what you've got and I can send you some stuff to print out. They'll be random in sizes and curvature. Try to figure out what look you like best and tell me so I can delete the ones that don't work so that the template is handy for the next person.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:21 am 
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Mac they aren't curved alignmet-wise, only in individual shape >> ((( <<.

Doug


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:29 am 
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While I can't prove the actual method, I would almost bet they ran guide tape down top & bottom horizontally and just stroked the stripe(s) with a lettering quill. Take it from an old sign painter that would be the easiest way and it would result in slight variation for each stroke and space between (exibited on the originals).

Doug


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:33 am 
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wannab wrote:
Mac they aren't curved alignmet-wise, only in individual shape >> ((( <<.

Doug



Yes, it was mentioned before, but I'd still like to prepare for any outcome. I can't assume that everyone has a completely screen-accurate helmet. I have to allow for variances. Based on whatever the make is of Finger's helmet, we'll figure the most ideal look.

Let's decide then whether it's right for people after it's done.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:39 am 
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It shouldn't matter which helmet as far as being straight. The only area of concern is the measurements from the ear fronts to the indent and how many stripes they prefer depending on which helmet they want to try to emulate. The curves of the helmet will make the alignment to "look" curved. Trust me. :wink:

Doug


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:00 am 
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BTW, in case you think it's just my idea on this paticular subject its not, I have done tons of mock-ups (same boat you are in now) to end up with this conclusion. Just trying to save you a little work. If folks want to do it as a mask, there are not many good roll stock vinyl masks that'll work as far as getting it all to lay on the compound curves without wrinkles due to larger surface area needing to lay on such extreme curves. You also need to make sure your base paint (if painted helmet) is on real good or the paint will lift of the lid creating a nightmare. If you're doing just vinyl stripes this (wrinkling) is not a problem (less surface area to try to lay down). Just some thoughts.

Doug


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:41 am 
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Wannab,

In reading your response, I hope I didn't communicate anything that said I disbelieve you or anything. I am in no way disregarding your advice.

I simply want to assess the situation first. I want to be ultra sure of what he has first before pre-making a decision of what's right for him. You never know what comes off eBay nowadays which might not adhere to what we think is "accurate" and might breaks our suppositions.

Finger and I happen to be driving distance to each other, so I can assess things first hand. Perhaps that information will help you understand why I'm preferring a hands-on approach. :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:44 am 
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I think Doug might be right about the guide tape and free hand painting the curves. I use this method and it works a treat.

Using a template usually ends up with runs no matter how much you press down the masking tape.

Looking at original hemets, the curves are always inconsistant while the edges are crisp. No doubt some kind of masking was used for the edges to keep a straight line and the curves painted free hand.

Doing it this way will allow you use as many or as least amount of stripes as you like, with no template governing you. Also, the way the helmet is assembled with play a part in deciding how many stripes you can use.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:15 am 
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No sweat here Mac, just trying to save you a couple steps having stumbled down the road myself. :wink:

Doug

CSMacLaren wrote:
Wannab,

In reading your response, I hope I didn't communicate anything that said I disbelieve you or anything. I am in no way disregarding your advice.

I simply want to assess the situation first. I want to be ultra sure of what he has first before pre-making a decision of what's right for him. You never know what comes off eBay nowadays which might not adhere to what we think is "accurate" and might breaks our suppositions.

Finger and I happen to be driving distance to each other, so I can assess things first hand. Perhaps that information will help you understand why I'm preferring a hands-on approach. :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:22 am 
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One trick to positioning the guide tape (for hand painting option) is to precut a piece of lower tac masking tape the size (height) of the tube stripes desired, then place it in the position where the painted stripes will be, then lay the guide tape down running along the top and bottom edges, then remove the masking tape -- voila perfectly spaced tape guides. You can then make tic marks on the tape to mark the "stroke" areas -- paint away!

BTW, the brush type you want is a good lettering quill (no hobby brushes). Brushes like this.
http://www.mackbrush.com/quills2.htm

Lettering One Strokes are okay too but they have less flex and don't hold as much paint.

Brush tip...
A good brush will last for years (if cared for), after painting wash the paint out thoroughly with thinner then dip the entire end in oil, flatten by pulling between your finger and thumb (shaping the brush and getting rid of excess oil) this preserves and keeps the hairs from premature breaking. (clean the oil out before use by a quick wash in thinner then spin dry -- ready to paint.)
This type of oil.
http://www.dickblick.com/zz055/83/

Also the tape you want is stuff like this (3M is the best). Quarter inch is your friend. :wink:
http://www.dickblick.com/zz289/35/

Thought of somthing else, if you want to carefully mark exactly where you want to paint the strokes use one of these.
http://www.dickblick.com/zz204/08/

Great for all kids of smooth surfaces, you can wipe any marks left behind off with windex/water after the paint is dry (blue is best -- black is not recommended).


Just so you know, I don't work for Mack brushes or Dick Blick they just made for easy online reference -- use Google to find prefered vendors.

Okay, I think class is over now -- lol.

Doug


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:04 pm 
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Extremely good observations, gentlemen. Thanks! Perhaps a template isn't needed after all. :wink:


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