August 12, 2012

Rocketeer Prop Helmet Project - Part 3: The Finale

Down to the home stretch... I added some more strategic dark washes to the weld seams for contrast and then added some "wear" with a light brushing of brass paint to some edges. I then gave the helmet two coats of spray gloss. I wasn't really happy with the surface quality of the spray coat. It left a light "dusting" effect on the helmet. I sanded down the worse areas with 600 grit sandpaper to smooth it down. Then I applied two light coats of clear gloss acryclic with a 1 inch brush.

This left a much nicer surface on the helmet. With that finally dry, I prepped the lenses and tested the fit one last time with painter's tape tape.

To attach the lenses I tried a new technique I had just read the night before. Instead of a hot glue gun which some had reported had cracked the lenses on cooling, and not really wanting to mess with epoxy again, I decided to use silicone acrylic caulk. I went out and got a tube of GE Silicone II Kitchen & Bath. Not only does it set in 3 hours but it remains gel-like so it won't crack. Here's an inside view of the lenses.

And a detail view.

The lenses were left to dry and voila... the bucket was finally done.

Total time for the project was about 15 hours, mostly spent on the helmet prep (knocking out the holes) and the painting. Material costs were more than expected since I had to re-stock my Dremel accessories and buy a new small hand file/rasp set. It was a lot of work, but gratifying and to have a finhead bucket makes it all worthwhile. Next steps are acquiring a custom quilted liner (can't be wearing a plain bucket on my head!) and a nice helmet display stand.

Thanks again to Oz, for making such a nice helmet. It definitely saved a lot of work. If you're interested in prop replicas, you definitely need to check out The Replica Prop Forum ( There are many talented people doing some amazing things there. But beware, it's an addictive hobby!


  1. How much did that cast helmet cost? VERY COOL WORK!

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