Thursday, February 10, 2011

Red vs. Blue Caboose Helmet continued.

Work continues on Private Michael J. Caboose's helmet from Red vs. Blue: The Recollection.  A while back I posted about the beginning of this helmet build.  I've been tinkering with it off and on since then, so I figured it was time for an update.

As I mentioned last time, I'd made a bit of a mistake when sectioning up the 3D model so Lopez the Robot Whittler could cut it out.  The end result was that the chin area was flattened down quite a bit.  The solution, as is often the case, was Bondo. Here's a shot of the early stages of filling and fairing the whole helmet:
Mk5 Bondo Progress 2

From this angle, you can get a better idea of how much material I had to add to the nose:
Mk5 Bondo Progress

After several hours of filing and sanding and filling and sanding, I decided to spray on a coat of black primer to get an idea of how things were going:
MK5 Primed Quarter View

Things looked pretty good (not that you can tell from the picture) but it still needed a bit of smoothing out.  I spent another afternoon sanding and filing and filling and sanding before I decided I was generally happy with the overall shape.  Then I cut the cheek vents out and sprayed on a crappy coat of blue paint just to see how it was all coming along:
Caboose Helmet test paint 1
Aside from a few bumps and dents along the back of the dome, I was pretty happy with it.  At this point it was still tough to spot the actual problems with the different sheens on the different areas of the helmet.  It would need a much better paint job before the small bits of unevenness are readily apparent.

I also had to do a little bit more symmetry work on the cheek vents:
Caboose Helmet test paint 2

Here's a shot with better lighting:
Caboose Helmet test paint 3

Once I had sorted out all of the dents and bumps, I re-primed the black areas with black primer:
Caboose Helmet test paint 4

With the general shape figured out, the next step was adding in all of the minor details to the back of the neck area.  For this I used thin sheet styrene cut to the right shapes and glued on:

Mk5 Helmet Progress

Somewhere about this time I fell prey to my usual tendency to spend too much time poring over reference images and noticed that the cheek boxes weren't long enough and I'd have to add a bit of material to the back end of them to make them correct:
Mk5 Helmet Progress Side

Here's a shot of the beginning of the gooping process:
Caboose Chin Box Bondo

I also decided to turn the cheek vents so they faced forward a bit more.  Rather than grinding down the forward ends and adding material to the back ends, I decided on cutting the vents out and repositioning them:
Mk5 Progress Quarter View

Once I'd smoothed everything out and primed it again, the next step was the installation of a visor.  The initial impulse was to use a gold-tinted motorcycle helmet faceshield I had laying around.  It looked decent, but it wasn't perfect:
Caboose Helm Motorcycle Visor

Once I had everything looking the way it should, the next step was to spray the black parts with textured paint to blend everything together and make it look and feel like a different material from the rest of the helmet.  I achieved the final look on the back portion with two coats of "Hammered Effect" and two coats of truck bed coating.  The brim got only the truck bed coating.

I also cobbled together a stand-in visor out of scraps of styrene I had laying around.  Then I painted it gold:
Caboose Helmet Prototype finished

In the end, it fits:
Caboose Helmet Prototype finished 2

Next I'll move on to mold making.

Stay tuned...


  1. How much would you sell your helmets for?

  2. If you'd like to discuss sending me money to help with my projects, please email me at

  3. Would u sell a the mark 5 helmet???

  4. What is your price for one of these helmets