Over the last month, I worked on a lot of everything and accomplished very little. Here’s the rundown.

First, I kept plugging away at the Dothraki sword. I was starting to carve the second side of the grip when I realized that it was moronic to be fiddling with the grip with the blade still attached. Besides being completely cumbersome, one slip and I’d be fixing the blade.

I cut the blade away from the center piece of the grip so that I could glue the grip pieces together for sculpting. The blade can still be inserted when it comes time for molding (if I decide to mold it as one piece.

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My friend Paul is working on a set of Grammy Daft Punk helmets and much of the last month was smoothing out the surface detail. Paul bought some fabric dye to color the PETG plastic visors with the same technique that I dyed the Interstella visor.

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The Guy helmet’s visor was too big to fit in the pot that I use for heating the water but it would fit in a Home Depot 5 gallon bucket. The water needs to be 150º F to allow the dye to tint the plastic…much hotter and it will deform the visors. So how do you heat up two pots of water to fill the bucket without it cooling too much?

The trick here was to heat up the first batch to 170º and then the second batch to 160º. Once the bucket was filled, the water temperature is still too hot to dye the visors but it is hot enough to test scraps of plastic to get the right tint.

I’ve always used Rit dye but Paul found this iDye Poly. We dumped in 5 packs and proceeded to test pieces of plastic in 1 minute exposures. Three five minute exposures produced a weak orange that just wasn’t coming close. Each pack of dye came with a color intensifier which we had ignored but then I thought, “Waitaminnit, doesn’t the “P” in “PETG” stand for Polyester? Maybe it will help the color on the visors”. At that point, we really didn’t have anything to lose…either it would work or it wouldn’t.

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Boy, did it work! The sample below was in the intensified dye for 5 minutes compared to the 15 minute test. It was exactly the color we wanted.

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Since i had all the Theoden parts cast, I drilled mounting holes and pinned the pieces with brass nails. Here are the test pics

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The rivets on the movie helmet are silver. Since they don’t make chicago screws small enough, I needed to find a way to mount the pieces. I found these great threaded nails at McMaster Carr that not only have the right size head but the threads will grip the mounting hole until the glue sets.

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I finally got around to making a mold for the horse crest.

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The first pour in a new mold (at least for me) is rarely successful as you usually have to add more vents to allow air to escape. I have never been more convinced that a pour was going to have air pockets than I was during the initial test…but it came out great!

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A quick polish makes it look all perty!

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To figure out a template for the leather plates on the back of the helmet, I used fun foam. These will be scanned and the tooled pattern will be drawn in Illustrator.

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Of course, once all the parts were in place, I started to notice more inaccuracies. The front arcs were glued on unevenly but it was easy enough to pop off and re-apply.

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More egregiously, there was a second band of half round that I completely missed.

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The new “W” came back from Shapeways. A coat of filler primer was all that was needed to get it ready to mold.

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Four resin copies to be applied to the helmet.

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One quarter of the deco applied! I should be able to get the rest glued on but there’s still a few hours of cleanup to do before it’s ready to mold.

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Next post will be more timely!

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