Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Helmet progress

On low spots and places where I sculpted too aggressively, I've begun filling in with a mixture of white glue and sawdust. The styrofoam helmet is still four separate pieces -- I want to do as much sculpting as possible on parts before I glue together the whole thing. There will still be sculpting to do after it's all together

If you look very carefully, you can see that I'm wearing a cloth helmet with odd ridges over the forehead, similar to what the pilots in Star Wars wore. Since there's so little reference material, I took some artistic license.

Monday, May 11, 2009

B-Wing Helmet continues

I visited my friend Betsy last night, then put in a few hours work with the lasers, and on my B-Wing helmet. I saw a rat in the shop office. It's a historic building in downtown Baltimore, so the rats have been there longer than I have, but I'd rather they keep out of sight.

Here are some helmet progress pictures:

I've replaced the side pieces with a shape that's a little more elongated. The few reference photos I have suggest that there are at least two versions of this helmet that were made for the movie. The best reference photos show the helmet on an alien pilot, whose head is rather different from the average human being.

I've sanded down most of the sharp edges, and am shaping the back to something more like a sphere-segment than a layer cake. I imagine that finishing this will be a lot more work than beginning it.

I am enjoying working with this styrofoam. It's very lightweight, easy to cut and sand, and surprisingly tough. I will have to be careful how I paint it, though, as many paints contain solvents which will dissolve styrofoam.

Friday, May 8, 2009

B-Wing Pilot helmet begun

I've started working on a B-Wing Pilot helmet (B-Wings were one of the Rebel spacecraft in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi). This may mean that I'll have a whole B-Wing Pilot costume at some point in the distant future.

It's just the basic shape right now, laser-cut from sheets of styrofoam insulation. These helmets are pretty goofy-looking, and don't seem to afford much protection for the pilot's head -- unless they incorporate force-fields or some such thing. The movie is 26 years old, and only now does it occur to me to wonder if the designers intended this helmet to recall Princess Leia's hair. I think they were definitely trying to come up with something unfamiliar that would still look like it fit the aesthetic of the Star Wars universe.

From Drop Box

This is a top view. Since I took this picture, I've sanded down the parts that stick out on the sides behind the ears. I imagine there'll be plenty of sculpting by hand still to do.

I'm quite pleased with what I've done so far.

There aren't too many good photos of these helmets -- not even in the movie -- but here's one.