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Eva foam Rocketeer Helmet – When things go bad!

Eva foam Rocketeer Helmet – When things go bad!

I thought I’d cover something that went horribly wrong, rather than always covering all the things that work out well. Ever since my visit to the amazing Creature Workshop I’ve thought about trying an eva foam Rocketeer Helmet. If you read that post, you’ll know the iconic helmet hails from one of my favorite films The Rocketeer. I’m also a fan of the original serial King of the Rocket Men (1949). Why hadn’t I tried to do one before? The same reason it took me so long to try a Pulse Rifle, it’s hard to do a favorite justice.

Rocketeer Movie Poster

Rocketeer movie poster with Jennifer Connelly and Billy Campbell in 1991, still an awesome film today! The Rocketeer is the guy from SyFy show Helix.

Last week I drew out the pattern for the helmet based on a pepakura file and cut the pieces in eva foam. From the moment the first curves appeared I became giddy, could this truly work? Would I soon have my own Rocketeer Helmet display prop? I couldn’t wait to slip it on. FIRST MISTAKE.

When the overall build was complete and the Rocketeer Helmet formed I went to slip it on… oh dear SIZING PEOPLE!! It’s a couple of inches too small, I can’t comfortably get it on, oh well I can live with that, it’s for display and looks life-sized, that will be fine.

NEXT MISTAKE I had no Barge so I went with supaglue. I use supaglue and usually it’s fine, but it wasn’t fine this time, the chemical reaction was off the chart, the raised seams bubbled, but that’s fine, I can fix that. The cool thing about this build, the raised parts cover the actual joins of the helmet.

eva foam rocketeer helmet build supaglue is evil

Supaglue is evil, check it out… PURE UNADULTERATED EVIL!

Sanding hardened supaglue is possible, I’ve done it numerous times, no drama. The only problem you have sanding bubbled glue on eva foam is when the sand paper edge gets caught on the foam, which of course this did… THIRD MISTAKE.

Starting to feel a little jinxed now isn’t it. It’s all good, I’ll use that weird rubberized spray that I got in the auto store a couple of years ago (like Plastidip, but not Plastidip), it’s thick, flexible and will fill in all the glue issues and the sandpaper snags… we’re still good here. FOURTH MISTAKE, asking the retail assistant in the auto shop for something the same as the one you bought before: “Yeah this is definitely what you’re after”, yay thank you helpful all knowing retail person full of knowledge. I usually do a test, so I do a little test… that doesn’t look like the stuff from before, but I guess it goes on smooth. FIFTH MISTAKE. Here it is, look at the smoothness!

eva foam rocketeer helmet prop build wip

At this stage I’m thinking, this is all good! Rocketeer FTW!

Crack, peel, flake, crack. Eva foam is flexible, put something hard and crispy on top of it and it catches a little bend, even a tiny one… POP! That’s what happened here, thanks Mr Auto Store guy! That “flexible” and “rubberized” spray you sold me is actually better described as “brittle” and “SNAFUy”. I was clearly so disgusted at this point I didn’t take any photos.

I can fix this “determined face”, I’ll sand it back a little SIXTH MISTAKE sand sand pop, crack, pop, crack, crumble. NOOOOOOOOO!!!! FML! You know what, screw it, I’ll just paint it as is, call it battle damage (something one of my FB friends mentioned which made me lol). Light colored paint does nothing to help hide the sins of the auto store know-it-all. Screw it, I’m not even going to bother to try and make this look any better, I’m done! I shall use this as a warning to my lovely FB and blog followers, so they too do not suffer the slings and arrows of Rocketeer misfortune.

eva foam rocketeer helmet ugliness

Here are the closeups of the entire disaster. An uneven mess that couldn’t be sanded, cracks, bubbling for no reason, essentially one big ugly mess.

And that my friends is how NOT to do prop making… though as my community of FB friends stated, from a distance… not too bad.

eva foam rocketeer helmet build disaster by nerfenstein

From a distance, if you squint.. perfectly good battle damaged Rocketeer Helmet

Till next time people… what do we say?! ….
DO GOOD THINGS!
Nerfenstein Out!

UPDATE: I redid it Fallout style!! Because… um… I’m me and I like mashups.

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Originally written for Nerfenstein.com home blog of Nerfenstein… Gold Coast based Nerf Modder, Prop Maker and Artiste who just happens to have a vajayjay and sometimes makes mistakes. Catch up with her on her Facebook page, or if you Tweet… there’s always Twitter and guess what, she actually replies!

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