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.



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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.
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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.
 
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