The moment I've been dreading has finally hit me head on. The helmet. The head. The face. No matter how you want to put it, this is going to be a pain. Well. May as well get into it!
I started by cutting out some cardboard 'ribs', two large and two smaller. The two larger ribs will support the ridge on top of Optimus Prime's head, the smaller two will be for the sides of the head. (This will make sense later.)
Next I took a small rectangle of cardboard and used it as a spacer / support for the two larger ribs. I used sticker paper for to secure everything.
I continued doing this with little rectangles of cardboard until I had completely done the big ribs end to end:
With the center of the head built, it was time to do the sides. I started again with small rectangular pieces of cardboard and secured the ribs to either side of the completed section. I chose to do both at the same time so I could pay attention and make things symmetrical.
After that, same as before, I laid down little rectangles and secured them until I ended up with this:
Here's the underside:
Next I traced the top helmet curve onto some cardboard (the non corrugated kind) and cut out two sides. I glued these onto the sides of the small ribs. These will form the side of the head.
With the sides glued on, I needed to seal the back. I used a block of styrofoam. It's not as big as the back of Optimus Prime's head but it'll work. I also left a 1/4 inch gap for ventilation which I'm really gonna need. Also, now it's a styrofoam/cardboard COMPOSITE helmet. Doesn't that sound fantastic? Wow. Composite. ... ... what do I have to do to impress you people?
Next up was the head ridge. I cut two styrofoam rectangles and them slowly carved a rounded area out of each. The goal here was to match the head contour, which I did, after several hacks of the utility knife. Square end pieces were glued to the ends:
Next I glued the ridge to the center line of the helmet:
After this I cut out a large rectangle and glued the top of the ridge on.
As cool as flat sides looked, I cut out what will be the base of Optimus Prime's ... ... uh... ears? The rounded things the antennas come out of. We'll go with 'ears' for now.
Aaaaand I glued them on.
I used a knife to round off the head ridge. There were a lot of gaps and a lot of glue seepage.
With the wind picking up to 50 bajillion miles per hour, I put in two rectangular pieces of styrofoam to help close the face off and called it quits.
Here's a dry run with the face in the helmet.
It's going to be a long day, stay tuned for more updates!