ShadoKat's Samus Aran (Metroid Prime 3) helmet sculpt - WIP



racerxx 2k3

New Member
The casted helmets looks great. For the foam helmet, the skin will look better if you use some back pressure during casting. Are you using hard or flexible foam?


Yeah, that's foam... Great Stuff spray foam, to be precise. I had this strange idea that starts with a foam cast as a base. Obviously I need more of a dedicated casting foam, so I'm going to eventually get a Foam-IT trial kit instead and see if that works any better. It's just an idea, at this point, but I'll get back into it eventually. There are just so many different things to do, it's hard to focus, and I have kind of the opposite of ADD. I call it Attention Surplus Disorder... I work best when I have only one thing to focus on because, with too many things, I tend to jump around, and get decision paralysis, and never actually do anything or get anywhere. Speaking of which...

As for the shoulder bell, I've been taking a slight, unintentional break. The forces involved with using the curvature template dislocated the sculpt from its base, so now it's way off center, and I've been having a tough time re-centering it for Symmetrizing purposes. That's one of the drawbacks of the Symmetrizer, actually, is that everything has to be perfectly centered and aligned to make it work properly. It's been... discouraging. You know that feeling when nothing seems to work right no matter what you do? I've been getting that a lot lately. Gonna spend the bulk of the day tomorrow fixing that so I can get back to work. If all goes well, I'll try and get a video or some pics up tomorrow.


Jr Member
I know it's not the look you're going for, but the place where the red peeled off looks pretty cool. Almost like a battle damaged look. But your work is amazing. I can't wait to see it finished!


I think I saw the same thing on E.T.... I'm really impressed with all them helmets you made. It makes me wanna try doing a samus suit again except not using cardboard ductape and an Empty bottle of Mountain DEW...


Woah Your still Alive ? I was wondering bout how the rest of the costume was going ... just don't give up broseph I'm sure you'll get it done... I'm guessing this gap in posts was because lack of drive . I lost mine for about the same time until tonight . Now I'm stupid excited to get started on mah chest piece I can't sleep . or maybe it was all that taco bell and Mountain Dew ...?


Wow, is it effin' May already? Jeez, MIDDLE of May, even! Where does the time go? Away. Very little of that time has been spent on this project in last couple of months. I've been caught up in that stupid "real life" thing again. So, let's see, what's has been happening?

The S.O. decided to do some home remodeling, which means I've been drafted for that, so that's kept me busy. As far as how that event relates to this project, I've been forcibly ejected from the living room (she saw the curvature template clay-pouring video and decided it was too risky for me to keep working in there, especially if I keep coming up with the same kinda crazy ridiculous possibly disastrous ideas), but part of the remodel means one of the back bedrooms is being converted into my "craft room," so that will be awesome! Of course, I won't be able to work with fiberglass resin or Bondo or anything that absolutely requires a respirator, but I can still sculpt, and will probably be able to mold and cast, as well, as long as I keep the window open. I'll get some pics of the new setup when it's done. The work on my hobby room hasn't been done yet, aside from a little re-organizing, the bulk of that happens next month. For now I have my sculpting stuff moved in, and am still kinda getting used to working in there (no TV, so I have been hooking my laptop into a PC monitor), but at least I no longer have to tear down my workspace every time company comes over! Getting it all set back up again every time I had to do that took up so much time and hassle, I would sometimes get exhausted just thinking about it, and I would leave it down for weeks at a time! Which, of course, meant no progress (the "lack of drive" that SIKAXIS mentioned, I guess).

OH, OH, AND THEN, AND THEN!!! Like two days after finishing the curvature template videos, I re-centered the sculpt on the Symmetrizer and started to Symmetrize, and what did I find?!?!? Even though it was centered (which usually takes at least an hour by itself), it was effing TILTED!!! One side was higher than the other!! OMFG, I'm getting the same sinking, sick feeling just REMEMBERING it!! Oh, I fretted over THAT problem for a good long while, let me tell you!! I actually put the thing up on BLOCKS to try and fix it!! (You can see them in the pics below). The upshot of that -- and a HUGE upshot it is!! -- was that, not only did it actually WORK, the blocks actually provide enough support on the back end that I was able to remove the counterweights from the front!! Man, all of that was SUCH an obstruction, it's now SOOOO much easier to work on! But anyway, after I had gotten it re-centered, and gotten the yaw, pitch, and roll all fixed, I had to re-apply the curvature template, and re-curvaturize it! I'm glad I did, though, because I found that one of the bottle caps I had used as the pivot point was BROKEN, and had been allowing unacceptable amounts of slop. It took several tries to put in a new one, as they KEPT breaking, but I finally managed it and, after a good amount of time, finally got it re-curvaturized. I did get a heat gun, though, and it did make things a bit easier, so that was also nice.

Let's see, what else? OOOOOH YES!!! After that debacle, I also got some new components for the Symmetrizer!! I spent a few hours of a few weekends where I could re-tooling it, adding in the parts that I bought, making parts that I couldn't buy (I'm not really "handy" but I faked it as best I could), and calibrating it to make sure the new parts work okay. With the new additions, it's now more accurate, more stable, less flimsy, and less likely to need re-calibration with every minor bump of the table. This makes me SOOOOOOO happy!!! Very soon, I want to put together a video of the Symmetrizer, to show what it is and how it's used. Unfortunately, it's still a HUGE pain to re-center a 25+ pound half-finished sculpt, especially when only teeny tiny minor adjustments are needed.

Okay, enough ranting and wailing and gnashing of teeth... As for the sculpt itself, I have done a bit of work, but most of the major progress has been accomplished in just the last couple of weeks. Not a lot of "evident" progress to show, but here's where the shoulder bell currently stands... or sits, as it were...



At this point, it's actually pretty close to finished. I had way too much trouble trying to do the detail work in between that bottom band so, after much agonizing (with the requisite wailing and gnashing of teeth), I decided to remove it. Like the "fins" along the top, I'm planning on doing it separately and adding it to the casts afterward. Trying to work in those spaces was just too frustrating, and every time I went back to it I just got this "lost" feeling, like I had no plan and didn't know what I was doing. (I'm still having that feeling as I work, but hopefully just getting back into it will help). This will be my first attempt at a multi-part piece, so wish me all the luck you can, please!!

Anyway, that's it for now. With any luck at all I'll be finished to the point where I can start smoothing some time in the next couple of weeks. I know, that's optimistic considering that I work really slow... heck, even this post has taken two hours to complete! ;) Thanks for reading, and thanks, as always, for the inspiration!!


Progress report: Doesn't look different enough from the above to justify new pics at the moment, but I have been doing a bit of work over the last few days. The carved out band along the bottom is now almost perfectly evened out at a consistent angle all the way around. It's boring, meticulous work (perfect for my attention surplus disorder!), with lots of measuring and checking, but I'm hoping the results will be worth it. With any luck I'll be able to finish evening it out tomorrow night, then it's on to rough-carving out the detail lines and cleaning up the edges. I'm on vacation from work all next week, so look for more progress. It's coming along!


Added in/carved out the detail lines along the inner band pad thing. Currently not sure how I feel about them at this point. From what I've been able to tell they're supposed to be bevelled/chamfered, but I'm not sure I've quite pulled it off and, besides, they're kinda wavy. I'm considering filling them back in and starting over, but I've spent the better part of the last two days just getting this far, and I'll likely end up back at this point again.




What do you think? Are they good enough, or do you think they could be better? Any advice or opinions would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks much!!


Hello again! Decided to fill in the lines and start over, and oh am I ever so glad I did!! Previously, I was just free-handing it with whatever tools seemed most appropriate at the moment, but yesterday I got an idea and decided I had to try it out.


Basically, it's just a small, rectangular steel scraper affixed to a piece of sintra that I had originally cut at an angle to straighten and smooth out the inner band pad thing in the first place. And here are your results!


Much straighter now! and the depth and angle of the detail groove is also consistent! Oh, I do so love it when this kind of thing happens :) Okay, then, moving on!


Well-Known Member
You are doing such a good job on this. I'm very impressed with your sculpting skills. Also, I appreciate you sharing your photos. Again, awesome job!


Thanks, Blackula (congrats on the Eliting, by the way! You totally deserved it with that stellar build!!) and eternallydusk!

I made a decision about this project today... I've decided that I'm just going to stop estimating how much longer anything should take, or when I should be to any particular step in the process. That's right, I'm going the Duke Nukem Forever route, and will just start saying "when it's done." Of course, I will still post updates as I have them. It may just be me, but everything seems to take a LOT longer than it should. For example, I've been on vacation from work for the last week, and all I've been able to manage in the last two days of nearly non-stop sculpting is this one little corner...


That's really rough, and it's only one side. Granted, this is a HUGE piece, but it's not terribly full of detail or anything. However, it does need to be as close to perfect as possible, since it's got to be casted at least twice. At this point I just want this piece to be over and done with.

Having said that, though, I do want it to be as close to perfect as possible, so any comments, critiques, or criticism would be immensely appreciated! Thanks much!!