Shift Into Turbo! A Power Ranger/Carranger Log (Red Racer)

3DVagabond

Jr Member
After careful consideration, due to the amount of time I have left, I'm going to start painting the helmet starting Monday so I can prepare the final setup of the helmet. I'm testing an black gloss overcoat first and I'm going to wait 24 hours for it to dry. Then, I'm going to test the red and metallic paint to test and see how it turns out.
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3DVagabond

Jr Member
I wanted to test the color scheme for the helmet. So over the weekend, I tested it with some of the paint that I have so far. Each one was from Rustoleum and I was trying to see if I would be better off with original plan of painting with car paint instead. Here's the results of that.

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As stated, this is only the test paint. I have not clear coated it yet. So I used some Black Paint and Primer first, covered certain parts of the helmet, painted red, covered majority of the part, cut part of the painter's tape out with a knife and used metallic paint finish as shown on the bottom part of the image. Each part was given 4 coats overall, but I accidentally messed up the red paint because I didn't give it enough time to cure. It now has wrinkles from taping all over. Another lesson learned.

I have this strange fear of using spray paint from 2 different brands as if this will counteract each other on a molecular scale. Should I just stick to 1 brand of paint just to be on the safe side? I plan on making another one with car paint and chrome for the next convention in town so I still have some time left. So many decisions, so little time!
 

3DVagabond

Jr Member
This morning I decided to start the process of painting the helmet. Here's how it went down. It's a cool morning and a slight breeze was blowing. A perfect start for a mid-spring morning. I had prepped the helmet parts around the inside of the helmets with blue painters tape and the parts were soapsanded...

You read it right. I was suggested by someone on Facebook to soap sand the parts instead.

...all the way up to 2000 grit. The surface was grey and dull as your last college lecture in your least favorite subject and I placed both of them down on the paper I have set up. With the black primer shaken and ready, I was expecting to have the same appearance shown on the test piece I made. So I sprayed down the first coat and I was shocked! 3 extra coats layer, I got these results!
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I'm thinking to myself, "What kind of black magic is this?!" I wasn't expecting this at all! This was too good to be true! I was not expecting out of ordinary common paint! Automotive paint, sure! But I still in disbelief that this level of reflectivity came from all of that hard work. That guy... That guy might be on to something!
 

3DVagabond

Jr Member
The hell is "soap" sanding, it looks magnificent!
The guy who suggested it did tell me why happens in the process so I looked it up. According to 1 website from a search result:

"The detergent lowers the surface tension of the water, and helps wet the paper and the material more thoroughly, reducing scuffing."

So this guy actually met the actual sculptor of the Darth Vader helmet himself, Brian Muir, and I think he may have gotten the tip from him.
It's astonishing that I was able to get this using Rustoleum brand paint. Unfortunately, I ran out of red paint yesterday so I have to go and buy some more. Now, if this is the look I got using the regular paint,imagine what it will look like when I actually clearcoat it!

To harbor such a though! Oh my!

Here's the link to the website that I quoted the statement from:

 

3DVagabond

Jr Member
Name of Project: Red Racer/ Red Lighting Turbo Helmet

Final Status: Failure

Description:

PLA and PLA+ appears to have the ability to shrink between 2 to 5 percent because it's inherently hypotonic. Based on 3 creators that makes 3d prints for a living at the convention for the past 3 days, I have been told that I was doing the soap sanding technique incorrectly. Instead of dipping the print in a large bowl, a spray bottle should be used instead and spray the surface enough for it to get a light mist and sand. Now that I know what needs to be done in order to make sure it doesn't shrink. The time is now ticking. I have a total of 25 days to remake the helmet again, but this time,I have the steps needed to make it again. However, this time around, instead of 4 and a half days, I'm going to break the helmet down into parts and print it again in 3 days and a half. Also, I will bring up new pictures to create a bubble visor for the first time in this log using vaccumforming methods.
 

3DVagabond

Jr Member
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In a different timeline, I would have had a helmet to wear and maybe it could be the start of something that could create some revenue off of some commissions. Instead, I made a mistake during the process along the way. Now here's my gripe with this helmet. As stated before, the helmet shrank during the process of making this helmet as I soap sanded the print. However, I was also unpleased with the paint job I performed on it as well. So I've decided to take a different route into making this helmet again. I'm going to print out certain parts of the helmet separately instead of all together in one piece for the front part of the helmet.

In this version of the helmet, I'm going to try my best into making a bubble visor using the vaccumforming method. Thanks to a Youtube video made from the Punished Props channel, I'm going to try and make one in under 5 days after the helmet is completely finished. If I have any left over, I can go through that process and see how well I can make this right this time around.
 

3DVagabond

Jr Member
*sigh* Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!

>__________________________________________________________________________________<

So Mother Nature is being somewhat a pain in my side as of late. I have all of the parts of the helmet, minus a hinge, ready to be assembled.
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Here's the rub. Until next Tuesday, the print can't even achieve a primer coat due the fact that it's going to rain for the next four days. I will continue to sand as much as I can until that day becomes available or at its earliest convince. This situation is similar to when I was trying to make a helmet for my last attempt, but a microburst of rain delayed the drying process. There was no chance of rain in my area on that day last year and she thinks it was going to be some cosmic joke to just rain on that day just for the he-yucks... That alone reconfirms my saying, "Me no trust them clouds!"

Any way, I'm going to soap sand this down this time with a sprayer instead of dipping to prevent as much shrinkage as I can. I really hope that I get this right this time. As a side note, as much I would like to get parts of the helmet painted in chrome, I don't think I would be able to this time around due to the crunch time for the next convention in 2 weeks. There is one more convention I would like to participate in October. So once I get the final adjustments made for this helmet, which would land on the 1 year anniversary of making this thing, it would be at it pinnacle of its creation.
 

3DVagabond

Jr Member
Time has passed and I'm becoming very anal on quality control of this version of the helmet. So far, the back of the helmet and the smaller parts are fine. However, things can't be said for the front of the helmet. I recently looked it over and tried to improve on the look of the top of the helmet and adding in breathing holes large enough to breathe. Here's the thing. On the show, Carranger, there's a episode that showed the front part of the helmet at an angle.
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Now, how the stunt actors were able to breathe has become a mystery. 3 seasons before Carranger, Dairanger had the sixth ranger, Kibaranger. It's helmet had holes inside the visor itself.
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Now, I can't see these holes in the Red Racer Helmet, but I feel that they are placed somewhere for the action actors to breathe. That will be discussed after I go to RangerStop next week.


On to the next part of the entry, the visor. It's one of the third parts of the helmet I need to print to have everything come together.

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Originally, I had made the visor "buck" I'm planning to make a mold out of. However, it didn't feel as organic for a visor. So I decided that I was going to make it again, but this time I went back to Blender and created the visor using a Nurbs Surface.



2019-06-10 09_57_38-Blender_ [O__Cosplay Folder_Super Sentai_Carranger_Red Racer Peices_Re She...png

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By using a NURBS Surface, it creates a natural curve around the visor like paper. I can add as many loop cuts to fit the contour of the area. With the Mirror modifier in place I can focus on one side of the model and convert the model into a regular mesh after wards.
2019-06-10 11_26_56-Blender_ [O__Cosplay Folder_Super Sentai_Carranger_Red Racer Peices_Re She...png


The buck will be the third largest piece created so far. Once printed, I will create a mold out of it for vacuum forming. Of course, I would have to try to see if I can cut down the time because currently I'm looking at 13 hours. If I can reduce it by 25 percent, that would be great. That's something I will work on between now and the front part of the helmet to be printed again. Until next time, see you around!
 
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3DVagabond

Jr Member
Okay, so here's an update on the helmet again. So I was taking a look at the forecast over the past couple of days and it looks a bit more optimistic. Today, there's very little chance for rain to occur so that could give me a chance to paint the second coat. Then I have to wait until tomorrow to paint the final silver coat. If I can at least paint the clear coat by Wednesday and have the visor and the magnets installed by Thursday, I would be in good standings. My only regret is that I have messed up the paint job by, well, running out of black gloss. I still have enough paint to cover the overall helmet and then after that, I can glue the parts together.
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3DVagabond

Jr Member
Alright, it's been 8 months in the making and after trial and error, I present the Red Racer Helmet Mark 1!
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There are a couple of things I would like to improve on and the most apparent is the paint job. Sure I may have the colors right on certain parts, but I long to get the professional look like the ones on the show. The paint did bleed on certain parts and the other parts of the metallic paint did bleed through. My bother suggested that I invest in car paint tape to prevent that from happening. Another suggestion I would need to consider is to invest in an air brush. I believe that would take me one step closer to that professional look. After every thing was painted, I used a removable car clear coat just in case I want to repaint it again. The visor was created using 2mm PETG plastic and quickly heat formed to fit inside the helmet. Before I installed it, I used 5 percent car tint to opaque the person wearing it.

The only downside to it is that the helmet can not be used after sundown to prevent my self from crashing into something. Again, the idea of installing lights bright enough to wear at night will be the next idea to implement. Maybe a Bluetooth stereo system in future? Let's see how that goes. Any way, I have temporarily solved the breathing issue for the helmet by printing it with breathing holes 1/8th of an inch wide 6 times.

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It was created in Blender by using the Boolean Modifier while the Mirror Modifier was still active.

Now, as far as the magnet attachments go, by this time, it will be installed.

With that out of the way, let's talk about the overall appearance and functionality of the helmet.

For functionality, I give it an A. I was able to figure out all the possible ways to not only see through the helmet, but to also to breathe and talk through it as well.

For its design, I'll rate it a B+. Sure I took some creative freedom into make the helmet, but I also realized that the piping going around the helmet was a bit too big. If I were to thin them out some more, I could have been a bit closer to the design. I may also need to recede the headlights on the side a bit more to maintain the creative freedom, but again, I will have to make a design that captures the spirit of the show.

For the paint job, it's going to be a B-. What I neglected to mention that parts of the helmet suffered through "orange peel" texturing during the process of painting the helmet. Somewhere along the way, after the black gloss was applied, painting it red became a problem the last time I made that helmet that shrank during the process. The metallic finish also suffered through some sort of texture proliferation when I was painting the "framework" around the helmet. Add on the fact that it started to flake off 24 hours after it dried and the painter's tape that I used did not provided enough coverage to prevent bleed through and that's how I grade myself on the paint job.

Over all, my personal review on the helmet I made is at best an A -. I really need to try harder. After this convention this weekend, there's one more in the fall on Halloween. What I'm going to do is go to the convention today and perform some intelligence gathering again. Hopefully, I can get the info needed to get the type of quality I want.

On a side note, I was unaware that a 100,000 grit sandpaper existed. I thought, at its highest, 3000 was high enough... Apparently not. This will require some experimentation. On that note, that's all for now. I will post my next run at this helmet at a later date. Until then, see you next time.
 

xXDashIVXx

Well-Known Member
I am soooo happy you got this done, and more importantly, never stopped! This may not be up to your standards at the moment, but this is absolutely beutiful!
 

3DVagabond

Jr Member
I am soooo happy you got this done, and more importantly, never stopped! This may not be up to your standards at the moment, but this is absolutely beutiful!
What can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment! However, I did managed to get some info. Some were printed in 3d and I studied at least 1 helmet that was 3d printed. On the visor and there was thin slits in the actual visor. It was small enough to not to be seen but small enough for breathing. However, there were only 4 slots for it. That's not enough to even breathe. I think that if there were a total of at least 12 breathing holes of that same size, 3 on the top and 3 on the bottom, on each side, you can breath easier to wear. That's one of the main functional features needed for wearing it.

Also, from the mouths of Legendary Props themselves, I finally found out the reason why I blew the paint job. Distance. I wasn't far enough to spray it on and too much was painted on. I still believe that there could be a better chance of getting that kind of shine if I increased the grit usage before I painted it. As far as the visor goes, they also use PETG plastic and used a heat gun on a high setting. What I neglected to ask was the actual thickness of the sheet. It could be 2mm like mine, but I think they use a thicker sheet. To darken the visor, they actually spray tinted the visors! And here I was using the film like a sucker! This is the product they used.

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They say that the more you spray on the darker it gets. Which is fine and makes practical sense in comparison. I still have the question to ask about the application, but I will ask tomorrow. As far as the clearcoat goes, they still use the automotive clearcoat, but I think it's from places like auto shops. Again, I will ask around.

I still would like to go into Phase 2: The Lighting system. I will continue to experiment and investigate to improve on the matter.
 

3DVagabond

Jr Member
It's been over 24 hours after the last convention ended. The helmet, although painted, was not ready for be worn because I couldn't secure the helmet properly. However, it has not stopped me from analyzed my steps that has occurred to that point. I also had some time to analyze what I could do to make this helmet better. I was online checking out certain products to buy in the future to improve the helmet's appeal. Now, I posted earlier that I was going to treat the helmet like a car. So I'm going to post a checklist on this entry on what I'm going to use for this next version of this helmet:

3000 Grit Sandpaper 7.00

5000 Grit Sandpaper 7.00

I'll will be needing the sand paper at this high of a grit since this is the highest grit available in stores. Anything higher than 5000 grit will have to be ordered online. As far as the 100,000 grit? I misread the grit number. The highest is the 10,000 grit. By having a higher grit, you can, in theory, have a more glossy effect when the black gloss is applied. These can be bought at auto stores like Advanced Auto Parts and Auto Zone.

Rust-Oleum Professional 15 oz. High Performance Enamel Gloss Black Spray Paint 6.00

This can be bought at Home Depot and I believe that although I had great results using the regular version of gloss paint, I think the results are even better with this product.

Molotow Chrome Pen 11.04
As far as the chrome is considered, I am stuck with 2 choices. Choice A would be the Molotow Chrome. It's a pen that distributes an alcohol based ink that dries completely after 24 hours. It needs at least 2 weeks before it can be handed by bear hands.

Spaz Stix Depends on aerosol or air brush.

Then there's Spaz Stix. This is the go to type of chrome for hobbyists of toy planes and toy cars, but here the thing about this product. It reads that it is recommended to buy the black gloss before the chrome and you use the clear coat after the chrome is applied. The black gloss and the clear coat are both 5.99 a piece, but the actual product, the chrome actually cost 12.99. Upon looking at the formula of the clear coat, you will need an acrylic enamel clear coat. It could be compatible with other clear coats, but you know, "specially created formula" and the like.

Now, I was thinking about buying a thicker sheet of PETG sheets that's .04 millimeters thick, but I'm going to see how it works out with the 2 millimeter sheets I have.

I think that one more thing I should take into consideration would be air flow. A helmet fan would be needed if I want to have enough ventilation circulating through the inside of the helmet. To those who want to know why and for those who do understand the reason why, this is what I have experienced inside the helmet when I tried it on over the weekend.

When I had the helmet on, I blew a fan directly into the helmet, from below, to mimic the simulation of on going flowing air circulating in the helmet. I was able to keep it on for over 5 minutes of continuous use. I could have just kept it going for 10 minutes and I still would have been fine.

When I had the helmet on, with out the fan, here's what I have experienced.

After 1 minute, the air inside the helmet starts to get stale and the air temperature inside starts to rise.
After 3 minutes, the PETG plastic used to create the visor will fog up from the exhaled air that come from the mouth and nose.
After 4 minutes, it becomes slightly difficult to breathe because the warm carbon dioxide over takes the actual amount of oxygen captured at first.
After 5 minutes, it now puts the user at its limit and requires them to try and breath even deeper. The skin will start to sweat and forces the person to take off the helmet.

I had experienced that and had to take that helmet off after 6 minutes. So in order to make sure that it doesn't happen the next time I wear the helmet, I have to add an interior helmet fan. There is one helmet fan I had in mind and it's the 2" 9V ANGLED COOLING FAN KIT - Cosplay Costume Mascot Mini Blower 9 Volt Battery by Wora Shop.

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The problem with it is where am I going to place the thing inside the helmet. That item will cost 29.63. It's an odd price for this item, but what can you do?

Soooooooo, combined with the filament I will have to buy, I'm looking at a little over 100 dollars. Which shouldn't come as a shock because while these items will last me for months, I'm paying nearly that much to Comcast every month! So...

>_> <_< Meh!

So to separate things out, here's how I'm going to spread this out.

Part 1 of Stage 1 would be:

3d filament, higher grits of sandpaper, and paint. That's going to go over 30 bucks already. If I had to guess, it's going to be about 40 bucks since the 3 cans of paint are going to cost at least 5 bucks a can plus tax.

Part 2 of Stage 1 would be:

Purchasing the Spaz Stick Line of products for the Chrome finish. That's going to be 28.97

Part 3 of Stage 1 would be:

Helmet Fan and VHT Nightshade spray. Those two alone will cost 46.12 before taxes.

As the month comes to an end 5 days, the road to Halloween begins now with the first trip to Micro Center. I will post updates in July and hopefully things will come up roses on this creative road. Thanks for tolerating this post and until next time, see you around!
 

3DVagabond

Jr Member
Okay, one more post before the month ends...

First and foremost, I LOVE THE INTERNET! I was doing intel research online on how to improve the helmet and I was able to confirm 2 things I can use in the helmet for the future.

Confirmation Number 1:

After watching a video on Youtube, a company had licensed certain props from different franchises. One of the props that the company had during the video was, low and behold,the Dragon Ranger/Green Ranger helmet! However, when I was watching the video, I paused it and took another look at the helmet only to laugh at this realization:

2019-06-29 19_39_37-Original Power Rangers Helmet Prop! - YouTube - Opera.png

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There are holes in the actual visor! So glad I decided to take a look at the suggestions there! Now, here's a bit of info I found out about the video.
From 1981, the helmets were made by a company called Rainbow and they were the company who created helmets up to 1993 with Kakuranger.(One of my favorite series in the franchise.) Plus, from what I remembered from the last convention, RangerStop, I was able to remember all of the data from a fellow cosplayer who was cosplaying as Gokai Red/Super Megaforce Red that had holes cut on the visor but it was cut along the length of the edge. Now, I regret never taking a picture of it as a proof of concept. However, there is a downside to this idea. I believe that the idea could lose its adhesion and strength to the helmet once cut since you are losing material/mass. That will have to be tested when I create the visor again.

Confirmation Number 2:

High on my revelation on discovering how those visors were made, on the same video, they showed the inside of the helmet and this is what I saw.

2019-06-29 20_02_18-Original Power Rangers Helmet Prop! - YouTube - Opera.png


It was held by elastic bands! All this time I was thinking that maybe I should go down the route of making a hinge to secure the helmet together and the people at Rainbow used pins and elastic bands to not only secure the helmet but to make it easier to take it off and I was able to see the reason why. Having a hinge will allow you to keep up the parts of the helmet, but there is are downsides to this method.

1: It takes up space and you will have to alter it in order to make it work, but it will be exposed on top.

2: Despite the fact that your head is covered by a hood, it can wear down at the fabric of the hood over time fraying the threads.

3: It limits the actual swing range of the helmet when you put it on or off and it create the probability to chip the paint over time.

So with the usage of durable elastic to keep it together, I believe that this will make it easier to put the helmet on and take it off in the long run. The only downside to this method is that, with the constant stretching, it will fray over time with the elastic rubber bands braking. More investigation will be needed to come across the answer for the future.

With that out of the way, I come across 2 new issues. Issue 1 is something I will have to think very deeply on how to pull it off. I can see that I can make the visor and print it out with only enough material to create the curvature of the visor, however, this is where things become complicated.
If you take a look at this video, created by Punished Props,it shows how to make the mold from a 3d print. I was able to timestamp it so you see how the process done.


Now, my problem is that when it comes to making the mold, I don't know if I should follow the process shown or create the silicone mold box, then the silicone mixture and hold it upside down for 15 minutes? The main reason why I'm considering the latter is because after the visor buck is created, it's going to be hollow and the only other way this can happen is by holding it by hand or create some sort of suspension to hold it in place for 15 minutes. After that, everything else is elementary since I created the vacuum-forming box already.

The second problem is the lighting setup. As stated from the last print, I printed 6 pieces of the head lights in the helmet separately.

Parts of Helmet..png


I want to put some lights in this time around, but I have to do more research on how to string multiple lights together. When I can do that I can determine if I should print them separately or print them on the helmet for added structure when it's time to install. And then I have find a way to place a switch for the lights.

Hopefully, I would be able to make an informed decision once I find enough information to solve the 2 problems. That's all for now. Until next time, so long!
 

3DVagabond

Jr Member
Stage 1 is set for the printing process of the helmet for the... I think I printed this helmet 7 times so far... failed 5 times...1 shrank... and 1 had a paint job that was meh. Okay, it will be for the 8th time, but 4 was printed to completion. Don't think about it. You already know that story so far.
The cost to get the materials together went over 40 dollars, as predicted, but it was just slightly north of 49 dollars. So once again, let's do some inventory.

The PLA+ Filament costs me 16.99 from Micro Center.
The Rustoloem Sunrise Red Paint costs me 3.98.
From the same brand, The filler primer was 4.78
And from the same brand, I bought the same Paint & Primer Gloss Black can for 2.27
Finally, I bought the Metallic Silver paint by Rustoloem for 5.98.This one was a case of indecision at the time today. I may have to take it back and just get a satin kind of paint. The metallic paints are okay, but I feel know that it's not the right fit for it.
As for the sandpaper goes, I was able to receive the higher grit sandpaper. The sandpaper I got was from Amazon and came in with 15 sheets in one pack. It starts from the 800 grit all the way up to 7000! I'm going to have some crazy times using this thing! That alone costs 8.99. You can't beat that price You can go to Advanced Auto Parts and get 1 sheet of 3000 or 5000 grit sandpaper for only 7.69! So I saved me some money on that one!

Now for the other items I forgot to mention. The other item needed was the spot putty. I will have to go to an auto part store to get some more...and a pack of popsicle sticks to apply it. Could use the gloves, but I'll be touching other parts of the helmet to I need to limit the amount of stains on it.

Now, here's how it's going to work. Instead, of printing the helmet right away and go through the process, I'm going to print out an object to practice on. With this practice piece, I will sand down the object to the highest grit and paint it. After the object is painted, I'll test the clear coat I have lying around for practicing the application. That way, I can learn when did s*$^ went side ways and learn from that mistake. Next week, I will order the Spaz Stick line for the chrome finish and see how that goes.

For the helmet itself, I was able to create something unique with the helmet.

2019-07-03 11_48_50-Blender_ [O__Cosplay Folder_Super Sentai_Carranger_Red Racer Peices_Re She...png


Inside the helmet, I was able to create registration keys help align one part of the helmet to the other. However, I created special tabs for the back half in order to attach the two helmets together. In theory, if I got the dimensions right for the back of the helmet, I can rest assure that I can secure the helmet parts once I add the elastic on for the hinges. I'll test it tomorrow and see if it works.
2019-07-04 08_15_12-Blender_ [O__Cosplay Folder_Super Sentai_Carranger_Red Racer Peices_Re She...png


Well, that's all for now. Look forward to the next post in the next couple of days. So long for now.
 

3DVagabond

Jr Member
For quite sometime, since the last post, I've been trying to figure out how to in the world am I suppose to create a test piece to practice on before the "main event". Suddenly I realized, I have two previous helmets I printed before that were totally failures because my neck was too big to enclose my head! I've also took some time out to contact Rainbow, the current makers of the Super Sentai Props and helmets, asking questions about the process of the helmets. So far, I have not heard anything back from them, but I will be moving on in the process.

Meanwhile, I've done some research on how to improve my skills using this rattle cans. But before I do, I would like to mention that, this thread alone isn't the first time someone made dedicated to a Power Rangers Helmet.


Created on June 8th 2011, the member, tomahawknutter, actually went though his own process of setting up the Green Ranger Helmet from a helmet kit he bought online. Although insightful, six months and 2 days later, there was radio silence since his last post. The other downside is that the links that he provided were useless to look into since the the links to the paint that he used has since changed. In order to ensure that the info to type of paint is usable in the future, I'm going to breakdown as much information I was able to accrue these past couple of days.

Since Rustoleum will be the paint of choice for this project, I looked into the technical data of the entire product line and looked at the type of resin it was created from. Oil modified Alkyd resin, from my understanding, is boiled down to it's an oil based paint, but it's been modified to make it more durable from weathering after exposed to normal exposure. That's for the regular gloss paints. The black gloss also seems to fall in the same category, but I wish I could have found a hardware store that had the high gloss version. But here's something interesting I found out about in the past 48 hours.

I recently went to the Spaz Stix website and chat with one of their representatives online. I asked him about the chrome paint spray and I found out, that you don't have to use the product's black backer first in order to used the chrome paint. That peaked my interest and made me double think about what I need to buy. As a side note as of today, I bought the Spaz Stix Chorme and should be getting it tomorrow. Thanks, Amazon Prime!
Here's the reason why I only decided to buy just the chrome paint. I've already stocked up on clear coat paint and had to do some research today before I made my selection on Amazon. As it turns out, according to the technical data, Rustoleum's Crystal Clear Enamel Spray is an Acrylic Enamel Based paint...

What's required to protect the chrome finish according to the website? Read the last line above and that's the reason why I only need to by the chrome paint! So I actually just saved 12 bucks by buying some things ahead of time with out even noticing!

Now to brass tacks. Here's how the plan is going to go step by step.

Step #1: Sand the test helmet all the way up to the 7000 grit sandpaper. From 100 to 800, it will be sanded dry, but once I breach the 4-digit mark, I'm going to wet sand it and dry it off before I start painting.

Step #2: The painting process will work like this. Instead of painting with 4 or 5 coats of coverage, I'm going to use at least 3 light coats while standing at maximum 1 foot away in a sweeping motion. That way I can avoid the orange peel texture I had before. To ensure that none of the paint peels off, instead of painting after 24 hours, like I did before with some accidental stripping, I'm going to wait 48 hours as suggested.

Step #3: The final process will be with the chrome and clear coat finish. Once the chrome finish is complete, I will only use 3 light coats for the chrome and maybe 4 for the other parts of the helmet.

Once this plan is complete, I'll post the results of the paint job. I really hope I do better this time around. I still need to test out how the tabs on the magnets are going hold so I need to go back and test the thickness at a later time.

But until next time, catch ya later!
 

3DVagabond

Jr Member
It's update time! Today, I'm here to post the results of my recent print so far.
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As I stated on the last post, I sanded the test helmet up to the highest grit I could obtain which was 7000 grit. Again, I had to start wet sanding when I got to the four digit mark. I actually placed the spray can about 10 inches away from the surface and did the best I could to get a light even coat and waited 48 hours as planned. Here's how it turned out after the gloss was placed.

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Now, I was able to get somewhat the same starting result as I did in the past. However, after closer inspection...

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There were a few mistakes that I made. In this image above, my first mistake was I used the same paper that was exposed to the filler primer as a cover when I laid down the black gloss paint. When it was still drying, some how, some part of the paper tacked itself on the helmet creating this spot. Also for this part of the helmet, it was not as smooth as I thought. I thought that using some spot putty would do the trick, but it was a futile effort due to the fact that the part itself was not smooth when it was first printed. Thinking back, I should have taken some time to use body filler instead, but, c'est la vie.

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The front part of the helmet was a different story! There were some pros and cons that came from the result of this helmet. First off, the reflection of the surface from the sanding job was pretty good! I couldn't see it before, but you can clearly see the tell-tale signs of the helmet's layer lines after it was painted. For the bottom of the helmet...

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That's where the smooth reflection was at its best. If this was any other color, I might not be able to see myself better than this.

Now, there's an extra tip of info that I came across while trying to chase after my personal "white whale". Sanding between coats of paint. At first, I thought, "Why in the world would I want to do that for?" After reading about the information online, what it does is that it can get rid of the orange peel on the paint. Of course, despite my best efforts, I still managed to get it, but not to that extreme as before. So I will smooth it out a bit from another grit before I add on the next layer. Then, I will paint the second coat of paint. But I can't wait to try out that Spaz Stix Chrome!

Until next time, see you around!
 

3DVagabond

Jr Member
Based on 3 creators that makes 3d prints for a living at the convention for the past 3 days, I have been told that I was doing the soap sanding technique incorrectly. Instead of dipping the print in a large bowl, a spray bottle should be used instead and spray the surface enough for it to get a light mist and sand.
Nearly 2 months ago, I actually thought that a print in PLA or PLA+ would shrink due too much exposure to water. So as a precaution in the quote above, I wet sanded when I was up to the four digit numbers and thought that would solve the issue with the shrinkage...

But I was wrong! SOOO HORRIBLY WRONG! But where did I go wrong?

When I first explained about PLA and PLA+ on the first page, I first was under the expression that it would only shrink if it will deform once it reaches over 140 degrees.
Yesterday's high, in my home town, was 91 degrees yesterday and guess what?

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It still shrank! I think this sound effect is needed at this time... -__________________________-


So it wasn't the heat nor the exposure to water... T'was sun that made this phenomenon happen! Upon further research this morning, it may be UV resistant, its biodegradable properties would only be useful for indoor practices only. That's another rule to take into consideration.
Since this is a test helmet, I will continue as usual. On the other hand...
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Using only 3 light coats did give it the almost mirror like quality I'm after, but it can be improved. I can actually seen the brightness from the screen at the time I took this picture this morning. I will continue to paint in accordance to the plan, however, in the future, when it's time to actually print the helmet, I'm going to have to make some changes to the process. In order to ensure that the helmet is structurally stable in the future, I will have to create a mold of the helmet and create it with a different material. This mold would need to be created and ready to be used by late August to early September. However, the part of installing a lighting system will take some time to figure out. I don't even know if the material used for the resin could be drilled or sanded with a dremel. I will give you the updates later on.

That's all for now! Until next time!
 

3DVagabond

Jr Member
It's been a week and a half since and I've decided to post my results today. I decided to go fourth and try to paint the smallest parts of the helmet with the Spaz Stix Mirror chrome paint and it was challenging to paint the 3 coats needed. How? For the past 2 weeks, Mother Nature has been trolling my area with microbursts rain showers and it started to sprinkle after I put on the 2nd coat!

I would flip her the bird, but she has those in the skies, so I flip her me big toe and kept on moving!

*Ahem* Any way, after make sure that the clouds didn't make a second performance, I sprayed my third and final coat and took it inside after 15 minutes because, as I said before, me no trust dem clouds! 24 hours later, this is the result that I had.

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The Spaz Stick Chrome paint did leave behind a shiny finish, but it still had some minor paint flakes that needed to be brushed off.
After I cleaned off the surface, I exposed the helmet parts to 3 light coats of clear coat and... well, here was the result for that.

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The shine was lost, but I thought I could bring it back with some rubbing and polishing compounds... The results of that didn't really improve it that much.

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So, what the Blue Danube happened here you may be asking? First off, I did not place enough clear coat overall and that's how the scratches showed up while I was trying to sand down the clear coat to make it shine again. Second, the texture was not as smooth as I thought it was going to be based on how it was printed. I was able to get the orange peel out, however, there was still a texture on the surface that made it look off. Because I didn't properly filled them with bondo and relied on the spot putty, I wind up with the result.

...

Here's the plan now that I know that I need to do. I really hope that this turns out right.

I'm going to make a few changes to the helmet in order to get a better paint job. Next, I'm going to have use some bondo to actually fill up the places in the surface to make it as smooth as possible. I wetsand the surface and cover the parts from the sun. Paint the surface, clear coat it, and finally install the lights.

Once again, I'll post the updates over time. Until next time, see you around!
 
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