Thursday, January 24, 2013

Noble Six Helmet

Wow, it's been a really long time since I've updated this, mostly because I've been busy recovering from an appendectomy and pretending to be musical. A few posts ago, I mentioned that I was making something for a friend's birthday. That thing was my short-lived adventure into the world of prop making. Basing my designs off of those from, I created laser cuttable files for Noble Six's helmet, from Bungie's Halo: Reach. I replicate the pepakura build in AutoCAD and cut the shapes out of 110 lb cardstock. The designs ended up on 11 sheets of the stuff, and took about two hours to cut, including setup. I still have most of the ream of cardstock. As a joke, I printed an essay on it, but have found no other use for it.

Guided by the original files in Pepakura Designer, I made a few of the major pieces, and then gradually glued them all together. 
Note to those thinking about doing this: hot glue is strongly advised because of the quick set time and the ability to heat it up again if you make a mistake. Keep plenty of glue on hand (I went through about a dozen of the small sticks in the process) and give your glue gun a break every so often - the handle on mine got pretty hot after a while.

Next in the process was the fiberglass and bondo. I used fiberglass mat and resin on the inside for structural integrity (bonus: itchy fingers) and bondo on the outside to smooth out the fairly wrinkly paper, add some bulk where needed, and hide errors.

Fiberglass. Note to self: use cloth next time; mat sucks.

I just realized that I don't have a picture of the helmet after I sanded down the whole thing. Oops. Anyway, the next step was painting the thing. The order of coats are 2X black matte, 2X silver, 2X blue, and finally black on the back and the visor perimeter. Painters tape was used to section off different areas that didn't need to be painted after a certain point, such as the visor. Vaseline was applied in 'swaths' to imitate scratches from battle.

Second coat of black. Nice and thick... and drippy.

First coat of silver.......... right.

2X silver.

Blue (as per Ben's character in the game)

It's a lion.


Bonus ALVIN.
So at this point you're probably thinking something along the lines of, 'That came out pretty well for his first shot at making a prop from a video game, but how the heck is he supposed to see out of the darn thing?'

I was thinking that too; I'm glad we're on the same page.

At The Saturday Thing sometime in the fall of 2012, I got around to trying to make a visor for the helmet. This was supposed to just be practice, but I sorta decided it wasn't worth the effort to do it again. I started out by cutting out the silver chunk and making a frame/jig that I would use to press the acrylic piece into place. I used a heat gun and a large PVC pipe to make a rough bend in the acrylic, pressed it into place with the jig, and glued it into place. Not perfect, but it'll do.

The visor-hole and rough cut/bend of the acrylic piece.

This took a long time.

"So thats our new number Six?"
So there you have it. I have another blank helmet in my garage that I built on a whim, thinking I would have the time to make another helmet. I may try to do something with it, or it may just sit indefinitely.

 I have a few more posts coming soon, mainly something about a phone case and some really tiny things. Happy reading!