Even after doing this stuff for 20 years, you can still fall into the same traps, which in this case was being impatient and going against my better judgement. See, excited by the progress on the armor, I had really wanted to wear the full kit to OhayoCon, as I knew that would be one of my only opportunities to wear it for a while. I normally would have ended up buying one of the several resin casts available in the community, but with the time crunch and the weather in the MidWest not being conducive to painting in December, I looked into other options.
There was a shop that specialized at the time in Foam helmets and advertised relatively frequently in the various Facebook Groups, and had decent reviews, including several that mentioned items shipping early, and the helmets came finished. With the outside of the quoted shipping window in the sales post being the same week as OhayoCon, I went ahead and ordered one. Going for the black and tan paint scheme I had in mind, I also requested a plain black helmet, no secondary colors, in the hope that might expedite the process.
It did not.
The initial quoted shipping window came and went, as did the con I intended to wear it at. Eventually the seller updated with a new shipping window of 20 days due to backlog. That came and went as well. Finally I asked for a new update and was promised it would go in the mail the next day. The next day a shipping label was generated, but, the helmet was not actually dropped off to the Post Office and actually shipped out for another week. This is a common tactic among some less than stand up sellers. By generating and printing the label, many online retail sites Mark the item as "shipped," which buys a seller some more time, like in this case, with the buyer unable to really escalate the issue as the site considers the item as shipped out and out of the seller's hands and now an issue with the Post Office.
Helmet finally in hand, it's not bad. I've only worked with EVA Foam a few times, and never for a helmet, so, I can definitely appreciate the craftsmanship involved. There are a few spots where the cuts seem a little rough or jagged, like you get with a dulled blade, but, overall the quality seems decent. I don't know if I would recommend this shop when other Resin cast ODST helmets are out there, and if I had not been swept up in the con crunch I would normally have gone with, but I have it and I'll make it work.
I started painting over the weekend. The color scheme is, as mentioned, Rottweiler inspired. So, I have attempted to emulate the placement to the tan to roughly where it would be on a dog. Mainly, the lower jaw, and the ears, and the brow. I am undecided on the jaw paint, if I want to leave it as is, or extend it up and just leave the "nose" black.
Most depictions of ODSTs tend to have them as a gun metal gray with a matte black framing the visor. Since my primary color for this build is matte black, I decided to invert that and have the visor framed by a gunmetal gray. I thought this might also help the visor stand out against the rest of the helmet and not just be muddled into it.
On the back of the helmet the shop had place a rather large logo etched into the Foam, which was not visible in the example photos in the listing. Not really feeling like being a walking billboard for a shop I wasn't a 100% on recommending, I just slapped a piece of cloth tape over it on which I place a small tribute to Gozer. Since she was a purebred Rottie, she had to registered with the AKC, and if you have ever watched a Dog Show, you know those AKC names can be long and ridiculous. So, when she was registered, my wife gave her the full formal AKC name of "Raptor Squad Alpha's Gozer the Gozerian." So, on the back of my bucket is a little "Raptor Sqaud Alpha" tag.
I also placed a spare name tag MrJamin sent with the other decals he cut for my chest plate.
I also am going to be further weathering the helmet. As it came, the silver weathering is a bit clunky, as you can see in these shots. I am hoping to tone it done while adding some further dirt and grime to the helmet.