Finished the helmet for the most part today. If you have forgotten what got us to this point please see my previous post. Couple of tiny things I will look to address, but I would say the bulk of the work is complete. Objectives for this post: look at the final piece, give a brief overview of the final steps, critiques, discuss some possible future work, and offer some project conclusions.

Final Piece

Here is a shot from the front and the back:

More images over at the gallery.

Finishing Steps

When last we met I had sanded smooth, as best I could, the bondo covering the top of the helmet. Still there were a number of craters where the bondo did not quite fill in enough. So I did another layer of bondo and sanded that down again. This did not help much. I still had a lot areas where it never quite smoothed out. Furthermore, the more attempts I made at sanding things out the worse it seemed to get. Similar to Father Ted.

I would sand too much and get rid of all the bondo, or too little and it would be inconsistent with other areas. So where does that leave us? A Helmet that is mostly smooth, but has some craters and some jagged edges all over the place. I tried two solutions with mixed results:

1. Fill the craters with white glue. This did not work. The glue just evaporated out of the crater and did not fill it.

2. Fill the craters with hot glue. Almost all of my projects end up defaulting to using hot glue at some point. This was moderately successful in filling in the craters, but should be done sparingly as it was easy to use too much and end up with a worse problem.

Even doing that it is still clearly not smooth in some areas, but I continued anyways as it was good enough. I applied two coats of primer to prep it for painting. Then I used some generic olive paint (same color as the Kasrkin armour) to cover the whole thing. For the Imperial Guard insignia on the front and the unit number on the back I used plain white. To finish everything off I covered it in a clear matte lacquer to protect everything from chipping.

Critiques

  1. Not smooth. While this is a critique normally applied to my character, try as I might I was not able to get the helmet as smooth as you would expect a helmet to be. Although I do not have a time breakdown I would say after assembling the paper model most of time was spent bonding and sanding trying to get things to look nice. I think it looks ok as it is, but close inspection reveals a number of imperfections. Like lions at the zoo, the helmet looks best from a distance.
  2. The Imperial Guard insignia on the front is not mirrored correctly. Not sure what went wrong here, the wings of the symbol are sized different even though they were originally not. Perhaps this can be fixed by improving the paint job on the front.
  3. The Imperial Guard insignia needs eyes. I tried a couple times to add eyes to the skull, but the results were unspeakable awful. Right now that is beyond my meager paint detailing skills.
  4. Inside of helmet not smooth. Not a huge issue, but some of the fiberglass mats have solidified into some quite sharp stalactites that should be smoothed out. Should be mitigated once I install some padding.
  5. Sizing issue. People always said I had a big head and it shows trying to get this helmet on. It does fit and I can wear it, but it scratches the sides my head while trying to put it on. Also, if you remember, I had to hack out some of the back out to get it to fit in the first place. I have to be more careful in the future to find these issues earlier.

Future Work

  1. Install a strap. Looking at some strap options now, hopefully something that will screw in easily to the helmet itself. Probably something I should have done before the bonding.
  2. Install padding on the inside. Definitely need to get the inside comfortable if I plan on wearing it for awhile. I have some excess EVA foam lying around, or I could pick up some helmet inserts.
  3. Make better Skull Eyes.

Project Conclusions

This was my first attempt working with a resined paper model and the results are a bit of mixed bag. The end result is acceptable, but far from good. I remain unconvinced of the need to bondo the top. I deferred to the advice of the tutorial I was following, but I think I gained little from it. Structurally the helmet shell seemed rigid enough for use, and after applying the resin, it was smooth enough to work with. The bondo did provide a nice armour like layer on top, but cost too much time to sand down and was too difficult to work with. Maybe I was too hasty and should have stuck with it more, but it seemed like I spent increasing amounts of time for decreasing gains. So, like most of my projects, there are nuggets of good work to be found embedded deep amongst the rest of the shoddy construction.