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Loki's Helmet from Thor

Loki's Helmet from Thor

by aniketosen | updated August 27, 2013

I watched Thor a while ago and decided to give helmets a try.

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I watched Thor a while ago and decided to give helmets a try.

August 27, 2013 at 2:55 PM
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First things first, design and planning. I've learned over the years that for big projects with tons of pieces, it's best to label them all beforehand. These are my doodles and sketches to make sure I know what pieces I need and where they go.

August 27, 2013 at 2:59 PM
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The initial plan was to make something that was the same size as my head in order to maker sure everything fit correctly. After measuring a bunch of loops around my head, I filled up a balloon and squished it in for roundness.

August 27, 2013 at 3:01 PM
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Did not go as planned. Paper mache was rather crumpled and fragile, no good as a base.

August 27, 2013 at 3:02 PM
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Made a much simpler head shape, one that barely reached my forehead. The new plan is to hang the side patterns from this, and work out how to wrap around my head as I go.

August 27, 2013 at 3:04 PM
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I used cardstock to make the patterns, and was mostly okay with the first set, but something bothered me that I couldn't put my finger on until I remembered a general rule of thumb I read in a cartooning book: good is convex, sinister is concave. The jawline was too rounded for a comic book villain.

August 27, 2013 at 3:07 PM
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wow, didn't realize how important the jawline was to how evil a villain appears!
about 4 years ago

Yeeeeess. Much more sinister looking now.

August 27, 2013 at 3:08 PM
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The top had too many curves to be made out of cardstock, and couldn't be plastic without a good thermoformer (I have tried to use my oven to form plastic, with mixed, generally negative results) so I carved it out of insulation foam. Having a power sander really helped with this.

August 27, 2013 at 3:13 PM
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Horns are tough. Loki's are wicked curved, and taper on all sides to a fine point. Since I did not have enough foam to waste carving straight out of, I decided to make each horn from a series of blocks, all slightly offset and smaller than each other. These were then glued together two at a time with gorilla glue, which I found to be excellent for foam due to it's porousness. The foam will tear itself apart before the glue comes apart.

August 27, 2013 at 3:20 PM
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Cut off the extra, and began to give them their true triangular cross-section. I started by marking the bottom with the correct shape, then gently extended the lines and carved out the horn. In my impatience, there were a few places that got sheared off far more than they should, and I accidentally whacked the tip off on a cut. These were fixed and filled in by plumber's putty, a two part epoxy clay that, while a bit heavy, is excellent for repairs.

August 27, 2013 at 3:23 PM
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I primed the horns with about six layers of gesso, which might have been overkill, but worked out. I did have problems initially though, as I hadn't learned how to use gesso properly. In essence, it's a very thin, very high quality primer, and you have to work slowly. Layers will be thin, and trying to make them thicker results in sad, cracked Loki horns. One of the horns was so badly painted that I had to sand it off and start again.

August 27, 2013 at 4:38 PM
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great tip on gessoing; I'll have to keep that in mind next time I'm making a mold out of foam!
about 4 years ago

Much nicer. Took far longer than expected, but no cracks!

August 27, 2013 at 4:39 PM
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I used a heat gun and an oven mitt to gently heat and bend 1/16" styrene around the now paper mached top piece. While this was initially planned so I could lift the paper mache cast off the foam mold, the paper ended up sticking so well I had to carve out the foam instead. But while initially a mistake, it worked out well in the end. The foam I use can't stand heat, and the paper mache served to protect it from the heat of the plastic. The pieces were then glued to each other and/or riveted to the top.

August 27, 2013 at 4:43 PM
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I found some 2" screws in the garage and used them to hold the horns in place.

August 27, 2013 at 4:44 PM
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More plumber's epoxy went into the ridges and other details I couldn't use plastic for, as well as filling in some of the major dents that occurred when I heated the plastic too much. After that the entire piece underwent even more layers of gesso, especially on the top. I've now learned that overall, paper mache is not one of my favorite ways to make things. After another six layers of gesso, you can still see the edges where the paper overlapped.

August 27, 2013 at 4:47 PM
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Rustoleum makes good metallic spray paints, and I used one of their golds to paint the whole piece. I considered weathering and adding "dirt," but decided against it, as I think Loki takes good care of his headgear.

August 27, 2013 at 4:52 PM
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