After getting the dome glued on and sanded a bit, it’s time to glue on the face mask onto the underlying form. This gives the helmet some of its depth.
This is where the spray bottle once again comes in handy. Wetting the cardboard (but not too much!) allows you to more easily shape it.
Also, you can never have too many clamps! If you don’t have at least 8 or 10 clamps in various sizes, I suggest getting some. They are invaluable in making sure everything is glued up properly.
Once everything is dry, it’s time to cut out the cheeks. Go slow and take your time.
You can see that I had made initial cuts for the cheeks and visor in the cardboard before gluing it on.
I took a pencil and traced the initial cuts to make them easier to see while I was cutting them out.
TIP: Change your blade often, especially when you are about to make detailed cuts!
Once the cheeks are cut out, it’s time to trace and cut out the actual cheek inserts. Again, take your time and go slow. These can be tricky to attach just right. I also recommend cutting at 45 degree angle along the edges of the cheek plate (angling from the edge of the insert up) to make them fit a little more flush.
After the cheeks are cut out, make sure that the facemask is securely attached to the underlying layer. I noticed some gaps so I applied some glue and clamped them back up for a bit. After that I took some 150 grit sand paper and smoothed the edges a bit so that the cheeks inserts would fit better.
Since the cardboard is 2mm thick, I cut a very light surface cut at an angle where the cheek inserts will bend. Check reference photos of the Boba Fett helmet to see what I mean, but you can see them in the next picture.
TIP: Use reference photos A LOT to make sure you are fitting parts together correctly and getting the right kinds of edges (if you want to stay somewhat true to original, that is…)
As you can see I did not get the 45 degree angle exact, so there is a little bit of a gap where the cheek attaches…but that’s ok. It’s pretty close and if you look at reference photos those are not “sharp” edges on the original helmet and the fiberglass/bondo application should help with that. The unsharp edges help contribute to the “used” look of the most of the costumes and props of the Star Wars galaxy.
Plus, this is my first time making something like this so I’m trying to give myself some slack and turn off my OCD or I might never get anything done 🙂