June 9, 2019

HipHop Trooper Custom Mini Vinyl Helmet

hiphop trooper mini helmet - nopalart

I decided to finally customize a Star Wars mini vinyl Stormtrooper helmet I bought a while back. When the time came to decide what to do with it, it was a no-brainer. I wanted to make a HipHop Trooper version. With the new vinyl cutter, I figured some of the harder parts (lettering and logos) would be a little easier than trying to hand paint.

I painted the entire helmet gloss red with a rattle can. I decided not to mask off any areas as the majority of the project was red. (This caused a few issues later.)

hiphop trooper mini helmet - nopalart


 hiphop trooper mini helmet - nopalart


I was excited to try out the vinyl letters and stripes so I placed them next. In retrospect, those should have gone last. Although I didn't have any issues with them for the rest of the project, I did have to take extra care not to get them dirty or damage them as I worked on the rest of the areas. If I were to do this again, I'd definitely wait til later in the process to apply.


hiphop trooper mini helmet - nopalart

hiphop trooper mini helmet - nopalart


Once the majority of the vinyl decals were applied, I tackled the black areas. I hand-painted the brow, eye lenses, and mic/breather areas with flat black. I had the intention of clear coating the entire piece, but ended up really liking the contrast with the flat and gloss so I left the matte areas alone. Next came the gold accents. This is where painting on gloss posed some problems. I should have hand primed the areas with a flat yellow to give it more tooth. It still turned out fine, but took more effort than it needed.



I thought I was done, then realized I was missing a stripe on the helmet. HipHop Trooper has a few different sets of armor. I was using the original Adidas set as reference, but used a Champion helmet for one reference photo. That set has only two stripes as opposed to three for the Adidas set (naturally). After adding the third stripe, all that was left was a quick photoshoot before sending it off the People's Cosplay Champ.


hiphop trooper mini helmet - nopalart

HipHop Trooper is one of the nicest people you'll meet. Look for him at your favorite conventions and tell him NOPAL sent you. If you want more info, give him a follow on Instagram or check out his site.




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