Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Design it yourself helmet templates

these are also available in ridiculously sized a3 if you really fancy it, fuck i ll even give you the layered files if you really want, give me a shout. in two flavours, totally nude and with some crap I've chucked on it.

some people wearing awards

woop woop

resurRECtion awards

i had the raw jpegs these are better looking. also if anyone needs award certificates give me a shout and you can have the raw files to make your own shit with them.

the resurRECtion bout award helmets (and certificates)

so a little time back, one of the London Rollergirls REC league girls asked if anyone could create some awards for an intraleague bout they were due to be playing (4 weeks from the time of asking). Because they've all been quite a lot lovely putting up with me training to be a ref alongside them and putting up with my body odour, fuck ups and some speckly learning of the rules, I though it might be nice to do something. SO I suggested that I create some helmets as awards for the bout. I was then reminded that there would need to be six (best jammer, blocker and MVP for each team). Realising I'd already over promised, I relied on the fact we could never get that many scrap helmets for free and relaxed. Sure enough the leaguers being as awesome as they are all willingly donated and sure enough 6 helmets were sourced and then I had a mere two weeks to deliver on a somewhat foolhardy promise. This is how it went.

some of the original helmets, raw's is not in shot for some reason,
also notice the original brawling helmet from bette noir

removing all the old sticker detritus and sanding out the worst of the scratchs
and dents also this serves to key the helmets in

where the liners could be removed we pulled them out for simplicity,
this is not recommended if the helmets are ever going to be used

poor old crash, helping out her idjut boyfriend,
also don't bother using a power sander, it won't work

base coat of montana shock black goes on after a plastic primer coat

all six lined up in my parent's garage to dry and fume

first two cans of montana down and the plastic primer is the one on the left

second coat applied, the alarm bells started ringing at this point as
the helmets weren't drying out quickly enough and the montana cans nozzles
were chucking out a load of drops

the offending cans

naughty nozzles

so once we got back to london it became clear that the motana wasn't working out. Although it was dry it wasn't hardening like car paint does. So the executive decision was made to change helmet paint (with hindsight i think if we'd stayed the course and let them dry for the next four days we might have ended up with an easier life. oh well) so we change over to a bmw black cellulose paint. This worked better but dried with a weird grey patina where it reacted with the montana. this carried on through a second coat. So at this point there was 4 days to go, and running out of ideas i decided to make a spray booth and change the plan.

so to try and equalize the colour and stop the weird reacting we left the black to dry for a day and then shot the helmets again with metallics to equalize out the tones. Also it's worth noting that between each coat we were rubbing down the paint with 800 grit wet and dry. (it's also worth noting your supposed to wake a couple of weeks to let the paint dry before doing this - again rushing and helmet painting do not go hand in hand). so for the boners ( the black team) we used up some old purple metallic to try and make a black metallic top coat a bit more of a shiner black, and for the dead riding hoods we shot a really nice rusty red metallic.

desperate to get decent coats in the cold and dark, we started pre warming the cans and the helmets before shooting the coats. (also totally wouldn't recommend shooting any kind of paint in the dark using a head torch for light. IT IS A BAD PLAN FULL STOP)

luckily the metallic coats came out really nicely despite a few issues with running out of paint at 10 o clock at night. Metallic paint in car cans has a nasty habit of spraying the base colour without the flakes in it when they get close to the end which is invisible till the bugger drys.

so once the metallics started drying we shot the black metallic over the top of the other metallic, hoping that in the daylight (almost all of this was done at night which means that true colours and coverage are almost nigh on impossible to work out) that the black would have a subtly different tone for each team.

all the black top coats on

dead riding hoods black top coat, note the slight red tinge at the edge of the light area. thankfully it kinda paid off

boners top coat, this one has a slightly more purple tone. if i was going to do it again i'd use a more cyan extreme metallic blue to really get a shine black

the empty cans are piling up

24 hours of drying time later, it was now thursday night. The helmets had to be ready by the saturday morning, so with crash applying the gold leaf (she kicks arse at this whereas I'm just too effing ham fisted) and me marking out where it needed to go, we started to crack on

see this is the difference between me and crash, she can get one beautifully applied sheet on at a time

the lady herself, leafing away, and yep that's our entire work area, (also note the helmets drying on the light fixture)

drying space in a one bed underground flat is somewhat limited

best blockers leafed up

blockers, jammers and the first bit of leafing for the MVPs done.

so you can't see here, but the lack of drying time came home to roost when we were removing the thin tape. Because of the number of coats and the improper amount of drying time the paint was incredibly soft. and thick. even the tape by itself would pucker the paint if left on for ten minutes. on the jammers it actually tore the top surface of the paint when removing it. At this point on thursday night tho, the point of no return had whistled past days before so we just had to grin and press on and bear it

friday. 18 hours to deadline. After the gold leaf had had a day to dry we could start the enamelling work. Also the base paint had toughened up a little in this time. It could still be indented with a fingerprint by just gripping it though so this was all kinda tricky. 

the plan was to use white to edge all the gold leaf and then provide all the award deets.

team names


getting there

so i had a light day at work on friday and so knocked out a matching certificate for each of the helmets.  complete with helmet illustration and blick type to match the gold leafing. You know cos I didn't have enough on my plate by this point

all the little buggers on the floor done at 10am on saturday, suddenly i wondered how the fuck i was going to get them all the way across london without denting, rubbing or chipping any paint. that is another story.

so some lessons learnt. NEVER accept 6 helmets at the same time. NEVER leave 24 hours drying time between coats. BUY new helmets in the correct colour, it'll work out cheaper and easier. Always use 800 grit and above between coats, the mirror shine on these fuckers was excellent. It's nice to be able to see your own shit-eating grin in a helmet top coat. TRY not to paint in the dark. TRY not to paint in the wet. ALWAYS buy enough paint before you start shooting a set of layers. Running out halfway through a coat is fucking annoying. FINALLY really regret not taking proper progress and finished article shots.

still not too shabby for two weeks of evenings