Sunday, October 14, 2007

Well Met, Mr. Helmet

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!


Anonymous said...

Do you have any current pictures to see how the helmet came out?

What you are doing is great contribution to all the fans of optimus looking for this info

thank you

Hedgecore said...

Thx for the kind words. Everything as of now is current. I had hoped to have the whole thing done this weekend but that didn't go so well.

mickileepaul said...

I came across this site through Youtube. I'm making an Optimus costume for my kindergarten class for Halloween. Looking at your design, you've had some of the same troubles I've had (shoulders). Anyway, it's looking great so far, especially with the paint job. Hope to see the final result! Only a couple weeks to go.

Hedgecore said...

Youtube, bizarre find! (I only posted one video of how the forearm worked, though more will be coming once I get the other leg done. If you're making a kid's costume, remember that I'm a glutton for punishment with everything I do. I make things up as I go and 'simple' isn't always my solution. What'd I'd do if the costume was for a kid, would be to make the shoulders smaller cubes that were open on 3 sides (top, bottom, and side facing the body). With two straps it'd fit around the arm and still give a range of motion (and the all important smoke stack can still go on). Basically a 'C' shape that clips onto the upper arm leaving the shoulder exposed for movement. Thx for reading, it should be done soon!

mickileepaul said...

Thanks for the info. What I meant to say, was that I'm a kindergarten teacher in South Korea. I'm making the costume for myself. Much like you, I'm designing things on the fly. It's coming together pretty well. Working on the rest of the abdomen. Problem is, we don't have a Canadian Tire or Home Depot here. Oh how much I miss places like that. I will keep checking back, thanks.