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    Daft Punk Thomas Bangalter Helmet Beginners Guide

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    I've been working on this for a while, and I'm not fully finished, But I thought I would post what I have so far.

    ************************************************** ********


    So....you want to build a Thomas Bangalter helmet.

    I’ve had that feeling. It’s a great one. Until that moment you google it and find out that buying one can run you upwards of 500 dollars.

    SO, you’ll build it yourself. How hard can it be?

    Very. It can also be excruciatingly painful and disappointing if you don’t do it right. That’s why you’re reading this.

    I’ve built about 5 of these now and I finally have an idea of what I’m doing. I’ve figured out all the things you shouldn’t do and all the things you need to do. This guide is designed to be as user friendly as possible. Lots of the materials are going to be new to you, so remember to do your Homework and research as much as you can. If you don’t know something, Google it. Reference Pictures are a must. But most of all, try to have fun. Yes, some of these processes are boring and time consuming, but the only thing that will give you a nice finished piece is hard work and effort. Somedays you are going to feel like you are on top of the world and other days you are going to feel like you want to smash your helmet against a wall.

    But, in the words of everyone’s favorite fish Dory: “Just keep swimming.”

    All in all, research, learn, test, and understand. Or try to understand. What can go wrong?

    Part 1: Getting Started

    The most user friendly way to build one of these helmets is by using a process called Pepakura, A Japanese program that transfers a complex 3D model into foldable paper pieces, laid out on normal pieces of paper. The paper model gives you a base to sculpt upon without having to worry about molding the helmet with expensive molding silicones.

    kr

    But first, safety.

    Most of the materials involved in making one of these helmets can easily harm your body. Very easily. For example....Bondo Body filler is a known carcinogen and can cause respiratory problems and even cancer if not used correctly. Safety is a must. Seriously, be safe!

    You will need:

    A respirator of your choice....make sure to read the label and check that the mask is fit for the materials you will be working with
    Disposable Gloves
    Safety Glasses ( optional, but HIGHLY recommended )
    -I strongly recommend an outside work area, with good ventilation.

    All of these materials should only cost you around 70 dollars. Your body is worth it. Be safe and be responsible with the materials you are working with.




    Materials

    The materials listed here with a star beside them are MUST HAVES in order to build one of these helmets.

    -Heavy Card stock printer Paper*

    -Craft Scissors *

    -liquid glue *

    -Fiberglass Resin*

    -Fibreglass cloth or mat*

    -Bondo Auto Body Filler*

    -Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty*

    -Dry sandpaper ( Various grits, from 60 to 300 )*

    -Clear Sheet Plastic*

    -Tinting material ( Spray, dye, film )*

    -Primer ( I prefer the Krylon brand )*

    -Paint ( your choice )*

    These are just the basic materials needed to build a helmet. As you advance you may branch out and find different materials to work with, but these are pretty much the best materials for the job.

    If you knock all of these things out at once in one big trip to Home Depot, you are looking at about 100-150 dollars. Some materials, like the clear plastic sheet or the tint, you may have to order online depending on where you live. Location, Location, Location.

    Part 2: Pepakura

    Now........Pepakura..........what is it?

    This.......right here.

    http://www.therpf.com/f24/pepakura-q...s-first-87056/

    Read it. You don’t have to do all of it, but it has some very helpful tips on how to do it and what to do it with. Here are some of my preferences when using Pepakura.

    *******************************

    I cut out each piece with scissors, not a hobby knife. After a piece is cut out I look over it again and make sure the lines are clean and There isn't too much overhang.

    I fold all my edges with a ruler instead of scoring them with a knife, this way is cleaner, at least for me.

    Before I put a piece on I make sure I know how the piece fits and what part of the model it is.....It's much easier to fix something when it's dry instead of when you already have glue on it.

    After the model is done, I take a hot glue gun and put a thing coat of hot glue over the entire inside of the helmet. It doesn't strengthen it but it helps it maintain its shape until resin.

    *******************************

    But mostly, patience. My models usually take me 10 hours, sometimes more. And I usually stretch out the process over a few days, sometimes even weeks.


    So now you have your fancy paper model. Yippee! If you have made it this far without having a nervous breakdown, I commend you. But......you still got a ways to go!



    After the model is finished, it’s time for the next stage.....fiberglass! Get excited! It’s smelly, sticky, and deadly!!!!!!!!

    TRIPLE WHAMMY!

    Part 3: Fiberglass

    So, a few years ago, Fibreglass seemed to be the only option you could use to strengthen your pepakura piece. Now, there are a DOZEN methods and countless materials that can be used for this application.

    Here's a brief list of just a few techniques:

    -Fibreglass

    -Casting Resin

    -Epoxy Resin

    -Papier Mache

    I'm sure there are a few more, but these seem to be the most popular.

    Fibreglass is quite easy to find locally, compared to something like casting resin. It's also lightweight, strong as heck, and not very expensive. The only downside is the horrible fumes it produces while curing...always remember to be safe!

    So, here are some of the materials you will need for a proper fibreglass job.



    *Make sure to follow the instructions on your bottle of resin closely.*

    Always start with a "print coat". This is generally a light spread of resin over your entire piece. If you just pour a metric crapton of resin on your piece....you're gonna have a bad time.



    I generally use two coats of resin on the inside and outside. Anything more is overkill.

    After your coats of resin are finished, start laying down some cloth! I found this great tutorial on Youtube, which explains the process in greater detail than just a bunch of words on a page.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4yqKklPs6U

    Now that you have your piece strengthened.......it's time to start sharpening angles and smoothing out contours! I call this......

    The Bondo Stage!

    Now, this part of your build can literally make or break your helmet. The paper model you assembled and strengthened is just a base...and the quality and perseverance of your filling/sanding habits will be reflected in the final product. Paint tends to magnify small imperfections 100 fold, so a lot of patience in this area will surely pay off in the long run.

    Materials Needed

    Body filler ( Commonly referred to as "Bondo" )

    *Can be found at most autobody stores, or maybe even walmart if you get lucky!

    Sand Paper ( Various grits, from 60 to 400 )

    Plastic spreaders (http://www.homedepot.ca/product/bondo-spreader/935042 )

    Now, if you are unsure as to what bondo is, that's fine. Simply put, it's a two part putty that is workable for about 3 minutes, and then hardens in about 15 minutes.



    The red putty is the catalyst for your bondo mix....read the label on your container to know the exact amount of hardener you need!!!!!

    The best way to hone your bondo skill is to do some practice runs with the stuff. It's awfully cheap, so grab some scrap wood or cardboard and work at smoothing it the best you can!

    Or, check out this video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aou3Q-26FfM

    Start with a light coat. You need to apply your bondo in coats.....not just one pass. Apply a light coat, sand down, another light coat, sand down, another light coat.......rinse and repeat.



    If your first coat isn't as smooth as you had hoped, it's okay......we can fix that. Grab some lighter grit paper ( probably 150 for the first coat ) and start sanding!



    Eventually,your piece will start to become more and more smooth....it just takes some time!







    Once you have a considerable amount of putty on your helmet, it's a good idea to spray your helmet with primer. Primer will turn the colour of your piece into one uniform shade, making it much easier to see imperfections that need to be filled.



    I use "Krylon Ruddy Brown" Primer most frequently, but any other rattlecan brand should work fine.

    After your primer cures, keep filling! Continue this until your whole helmet is smooth and you no longer have fingerprints. Eventally, you should have something that looks like this.....



    Which leads us into the next portion of the guide,

    Adding smaller details.

    Thankfully, Thomas' helmet is a little less complicated than Guy Manuel's in terms of detail work. Still, if you don't take your time time with this part of your build, you could very easily ruin the look of your helmet. The devil is in the details!

    In order to simplify this, lets chop this into 3 different areas of specific detail.

    1) The mouth

    2) The nostrils

    3) The seam line

    Let's get started!

    1) The Mouth

    The mouth slit on Thomas' helmet is definitely the most prominent feature of the design. Adding this detail to your helmet is a boring and annoying process, but time and patience will pay off here.

    Start off by grabbing some reference shots. Pay close attention to where the mouth is located and how large it is compared to the other dimensions of the helmet. Mark off on your helmet where you will be putting the mouth......don't rush this! Take your time with a good set of drawing tools ( ruler, pencil, dial calipers, etc ).

    Once you have your mouth marked off, place pieces of painters tape over the lines you drew for the mouth, making a rectangular box. This will make sense in a moment.

    Next, grab your dremel, and start cutting! This is the simplest method to add the mouth detail to your helmet, and if you take your time, it will look great!

    2) The Nostrils

    Did you know that Thomas' helmet has a set of nose vents? This isn't exactly common knowledge, but it is an important detail that can be missed easily if you don't pay attention.

    The process i used for the nose vents is the exact same as for cutting out the mouth. Scale, draw, cut, sand.



    3) The Seam Line

    The seam line on Thomas helmet is yet another important detail that is rarely noticed.

    To add this important detail, you will need a small hobby saw and a piece of plastic with a straight edge ( styrene sheet works well for this ).

    Like always, mark off where the seam line will be located on your helmet. Then lay the piece of plastic over that line as seen in this photo.



    Next, grab your hobby saw, place the sharp edge against the plastic guide, and slowly carve away 3 or 4 times. The end result should look like this.



    Now that you have your details done, it's time to start on the ear pucks and the visor. Stay tuned!
    Last edited by Crank729; 7th Dec 2013 at 19:42.
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    Re: Daft Punk Thomas Bangalter Helmet Beginners Guide

    Ooooohhhh sweet finally getting to the tut! Well done, I thought it was explained nicely
    Quote Originally Posted by donatello68 View Post
    So let's all make peace, make love, and dance to Mord Fustang, yeah?
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    I promise I'll get to using that thing sometime
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    Re: Daft Punk Thomas Bangalter Helmet Beginners Guide

    I wish this existed a year ago for me. lolol

    Still, great to finally see a tutorial about this, mostly since the only way I learn is by asking one question at a time. And if there's anyone to do one, it's Crank. Pep master~~~
    Quote Originally Posted by axelF View Post
    I let the rubberband do the magic.

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    Re: Daft Punk Thomas Bangalter Helmet Beginners Guide

    Thanks Justin. If there's anything I should add, feel free to chime in! I'll get the next couple of portions done in the coming weeks.
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    Re: Daft Punk Thomas Bangalter Helmet Beginners Guide

    If I may recommend I'd put scaling in the first pepakura part, if you know much about it. It was a problem I have and still struggle with. lol. That way you don't waste 30 sheets of card stock and god knows how much ink trying to get the right size.
    Quote Originally Posted by axelF View Post
    I let the rubberband do the magic.

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    Re: Daft Punk Thomas Bangalter Helmet Beginners Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by zer0g View Post
    If I may recommend I'd put scaling in the first pepakura part, if you know much about it. It was a problem I have and still struggle with. lol. That way you don't waste 30 sheets of card stock and god knows how much ink trying to get the right size.
    That should be covered in that RPF thread, somewhere.....but I should add something. Thanks.
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    Re: Daft Punk Thomas Bangalter Helmet Beginners Guide

    This is an amazing intro, thankyou! I'm new to the boards having recently rediscovered my love for Daft Punk, and am getting a serious hunger for some DIY helmets so I'm all over this (once I finish my current project)!

    Fantastic intro, and I've been meaning to get intimate with Pepakura for some time so this is a great way to start!
    Did you ever continue this tutorial or did it die a death? I'm a complete novice when it comes to this sort of work but wanting to learn. I intend to go the full shabang and put in LED displays too, since I'm fairly handy with a soldering iron/know my way around a component map.


    I am before you on my knees and beg, teach me so that I might learn!




    And of course, great to meet you all

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    Re: Daft Punk Thomas Bangalter Helmet Beginners Guide

    Wow, thanks a lot!

    I didn't think anyone still cared about this, but since a few people still have shown interest maybe I can start work on it again.
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    Re: Daft Punk Thomas Bangalter Helmet Beginners Guide

    It would be massively appreciated if you would my friend! I'm completely new to this, having only tonight decided that I want to build my own Thomas and Guy-Man helmet But I'm keen, I've got time, I've got money. Not so much that I could just throw 300 odd down on a helmet, but enough to make my own (my dear mother wants a set too for her display, lol).


    I've only scratched the surface of this forum in the last few hours, but from what I've seen I think the turnman design is my favourite (the pay-for one in the PEP thread?). Sadly the link to the download is now dead, I dunno where I'll find that now but I've gotta get as close as I can to it. I'm competent in Google sketchup so I could perhaps design my own, but I dunno how good it'd be

    The PEP you've pictured looks pretty spot on, is that the on you used as your base? Is that Dung0beetle's TRON era design? I'd love to see more shots of your current state if you're willing to oblige!

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    Re: Daft Punk Thomas Bangalter Helmet Beginners Guide

    I'd be happy to.

    The last Thomas helmet I did was indeed Dung0Beetle's TRON era version. I made a few mistakes along the way, and I may end up doing a complete revision in the future but I personally believe the file is fantastic.







    The brown helmet pictured is my master sculpt, from which I have pulled 10 from so far.
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