[Pic Heavy] A 5 year long dream finaly became reality

Jico

Well-Known Member
[Warning, this post is going to be long. 3 Parts]

I'm not online here that often anymore. But I thought I would share the story of how I went from a complete noob to who I am today and realized a 5 year long dream.

5 Years ago me and my brothers bought an Xbox 360 to play Halo 3. Loving the game I suddenly found Adam Grumbo's video on YouTube.


After seeing the video, 13 year old me though: "Hey, I can do that too". Naive as a 13 year old could be at the time I went to the town expecting to be able to buy rebound 25, modeling clay and Smooth-On 320 at the nearest hardware store. After getting my hopes crushed I went searching on the internet to see if I could order them online. All my searches ended up leading me here. The site looked very different back in 2008. That's when I found out about Pepakura.

Fast forward 3 years, a scary eye incident, a clay meltdown and numerous different helmets I started this build.

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I didn't have enough money at the time to buy Rebound 25 and Smooth-Cast 300 online and ship it to Norway.
Realizing this I tried to find cheaper materials in town as a replacement. My father had recommended that I use wet room membrane, the stuff that's used to seal floor tiles in bathrooms. Having tried and failed this once before I was skeptical (see number 3 bellow). But I thought "second time's the charm right?".

So here I began:
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The post I made after this was not a happy one. The first time I tried this the old helmet got stuck inside the shell which was made out of fiberglass paste combined with Bondo. Not a great idea. This time I had failed to come up with a way to make a shell that wouldn't stick to the wet room membrane. Feeling the rage building up, realizing that I had made the same mistake twice, I cut the mold open and started pulling the helmet out. As I pulled more and more of the wet room membrane off I got more and more terrified and angry as chunks of the helmet was torn of by the membrane. Seeing this I went back into the shed and grabbed my fathers wood cutting axe. I felt like I wanted to smash that thing to bits. Instead I put the helmet in the trash can and went inside to calm down. Note that this is the 6th time I had made the exact same helmet, and 6 times I had failed. I felt like I never wanted to make a halo helmet ever again.

The next day, after clearing my thoughts, I went outside and picked up the helmet from the trash can and started repairing it.

This is what I was left with. All the white spots are holes that have been filled in. The material I used had been ripped completely off the helmet so you could see the original Pepakura underneath. The material I used is the same stuff that's used to fix holes in plaster walls. It's not very strong but is very easy to sand and carve.
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As I said before, I had made the same helmet 6 times. I'm not kidding:

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#1 - too much resin and Rondo - > warped to all hell.

#2 - tried to use Bondo for the first time - took hours to sand until I gave up.

#3 - Stuck inside the mold shell - don't use Bondo and fiberglass putty unless you know what you're doing.

#4 - Hot glue + hot clay = fail -I say no more.

#5 - I was midway through making this helmet when I found a new technique and made #6.

#6 - A friend of mine had found the texture that was used on the model I had been given 2 months ago. So I applied it to the model and made a new helmet. And so started the first picture in this post.

Here is a picture of #3 before it was destroyed.

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Jico

Well-Known Member
You might think that the worst is over, that I would be successful after all this? Here comes the worst part of all.

Repair attempt #1

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I had problems getting a smooth surface since the helmet was already covered in what's left of the old player. I tried to sand it down before painting it again, but there was no use. after 4 layers of paint I thought: "Hey, why don't I use this spray-on Bondo?". I had tried it on other helmets that I had made and it worked fine. But as a sprayed on this helmet with 4 different layers of paint, a horror show was about to begin.

After spraying a thing layer on the whole helmet I started to notice that something was wrong. I started to see black cracks starting to form on the surface. I thought to myself: "well that's strange.". Soon I saw that it was the spray-on Bondo that started to flow down the side of the helmet. Note, this was only a thin layer. Then I also noticed that the other layers of paint that was 4 days old had became liquid. Hold the anger and tears back I watched it pour down into the details I had carved with my Dremel tool. I tried to start wiping it off with some towels, after that didn't work I started to remove it with my nails, leaving scratch marks everywhere. Right then and there I could have finally used that wood axe, but I had put so much work into it at that point and I was not giving up. After letting everything dry overnight I started to sand down the surface of the helmet. Here is what it looked like after 2 hours of sanding:

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I did what I could before winter came.

And fast forward another year. It's the summer of 2012. I'm repairing everything on the helmet for the 2nd time. I have saved up money from my last birthday and Christmas to finally buy proper molding materials

This is how the helmet looked after a week of hard work:

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1 month later the materials finally arrived:

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I watched Benstreeper's Molding tutorials a few times to freshen up on what I had learned. And then I started:

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This time I used Bandage Plaster to make the shell. It's not very strong, but it gets the job done. And now, drum roll please, My first successful mold and casts ever, of all time.

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Since I could not afford that much rebound 25, the mold became very thing and left bumps all over the helmet. But it was nothing the couldn't be fixed with a little Bondo:

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Jico

Well-Known Member
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I sold this helmet to a friend of mine. I have another cast that is yet to be finished. I only had 2 casts at first, but I had to use my last Smooth-cast 300 before the winter so I made a 3rd one(see pictures bellow).

Wow this became a long post. But the moral of the story is: to anyone who wants to have this hobby, remember, you will have good time and bad times. But don't give up no matter what. I faced failure after failure and I never gave up. Because I wanted to fufill my 5 year lond dream, to make a mold of my helmets.

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Thank you for your time

Jico
 

Courage

New Member
Well, you've now convinced me to make a U-Turn, and run run away from that casting idea. Anyway though, that was a great read, and I had a good laugh at helmet #4. Well, you've certainly given me a more realistic view of the difficulty of casting.
 

foxleader

Well-Known Member
wow what a helm, and yeah 5 years work is a lot of work, trust me I've been building for 3 threes and I've got weapons I've gone back to and worked on, time and time again, because I knew I could do better, and I have, so just know this if you think you've got it right you have.
 

JBetts97

Well-Known Member
Five years to make that mold and it looks like it was worth it! Great thread bro! I think it's great that we all can see your journey with that single prop. Not alot of people realize just how long high quality props take to make. Thank you for posting this great story!
 

Carpathia

Sr Member
I remember back when you were ready to throw in the towel and call it quits. I'm really glad you stuck with it and fought through the tougher times. Congratulations!
 

MissingSpartan7

Well-Known Member
I too, remember those previous threads and progress updates!
Glad to see you finally made it through the molding/casting process.
 
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