August 11, 2012

Rocketeer Prop Helmet Project - Part 2: The Paint Job

The attachment of the fin with epoxy was much messier than I had anticipated, so I need some some more sanding and another coat of primer.

 After that I finally gave the helmet a few coats of Rustoleum Gold. The great casting by Oz and the additional prep work made for a nice even finish.

The plan for the weathering was a mix of gold base coat and washes of burnt umber. I saw a replica prop builder finish his this way and was very impressed. Just in case, I bought a tube of Antique Gold Rub 'n Buff. This was used in a different technique which also looked equally impressive. I proceed with the washes of Model Masters Acrylic Burnt Umber. I diluted the paint with water and wiped off the excess. I wasn't getting quite the coverage I wanted so I started reducing the amount of water. I got the look I wanted on the weld seams, but it started to get too uneven for my taste on the open areas.

I wouldn't have minded the darker patina look, but the unevenness really bugged me. I decided to give it a wash of Model Masters Acrylic Brass to even it out. Although this worked to certain extent, the difference in color of the gold and lighter brass was unacceptable. You can't really tell in the photos, but it was very apparent looking at it closely.

I gave it a light spray of the gold paint again to even out the problem areas. I decided to try the Rub n' Buff and was very surprised at how easy it was to use and how well it started to look. I alternated between coats of Rub n' Buff and washes of burnt umber until I was happy with the patina. I then prepped the lenses and installed them temporarily.

So now that the most intimidating parts are done, the helmet needs a clear coat to tie it all in. Then, I just need to attach the lenses permanently, either with hot glue as was recommended or with epoxy (which may be beyond my skills. Hmmm). Wish me luck!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This was a truly wonderful post. Thank you for your supplied advice. I think you will make a cool welding helmet in future. Thanks again!