Assembling Your Mandalorian Helmet Kit

Attaching the Ear Caps

It is easier to paint the helmet kit before final assembly and the kit will be stronger if you use more than glue to hold it together.  Here are my tips for preparing the helmet before painting that will make final assembly much easier and more reliable.

Mark the centre line of the ear section on the helmet and drill holes into the helmet so the holes will be about 2cm in from the top and bottom of the ear cap part.

Measure twice. Measure again and make sure that the holes will go into the ear caps at the appropriate places.

Drill the holes in the helmet

Line up the ear cap parts on the helmet and mark through the helmet with a pencil onto the ear cap part

Double-check-measure-draw lines on your ear cap parts to make sure when you drill them, everything will be in alignment

Drill the holes in the ear cap parts making sure you don’t drill too deep.

Get some bolts, cut off the heads and then put them in with some 2-part epoxy:

Let them begin to cure but while the epoxy is still flexible, just line them up against the helmet to make sure the bolts will still go through the holes cleanly.

Then, when done, bolt the ear caps to the helmet.

If you want to be super-secure and never want to remove the caps again, before you tighten the bolts, put a dollop of 2-part epoxy between the helmet and the ear cap.

Attaching the Right Ear Cap and Cover

I mark using the holes in the ear cap and countersink the screw heads slightly into the ear cap.

Then for the magnetic attachment, make sure the indentations are deep and wide enough for two magnets to go into (if not, scrape around with a craft knife a little to make sure the top of the two magnets lies flush with the surface of the ear cap.)

Drop a blob of superglue into the hole and push in magnet#1 let it stick to the inside of the ear cap.

When dry, drop on the second magnets – put a spot of superglue on the tops of them and then lower the ear cap cover over the top.

As above, you may need to carve out a little space in the middle of the ear cap cover for the bolt that you use to hold the rangefinder stalk in place.

Wait a few seconds and then all being well when you lift the ear cap cover away, the top magnets should be glued to the ear cap cover in the perfect spot.

Rangefinder Pivot

I have discovered Shoulder Screws (Google them for suppliers – I got mine from eBay) – these work well because they’re designed to create pivots don’t unscrew like regular bolts do with use.

Simply use the shoulder screw as a bolt for the rangefinder stalk, throw in a rubber washer between the stalk and the inside of the ear cap (to provide a little resistance) and then, when tightened and bolted on the inside of the helmet, add a dab of hot glue over the nut to secure it.

Clearing out the Key Slots

I specifically designed the mould for my helmet kits to make clearing out the key slots on the back of the helmet to be as easy as possible, sparing you the trouble of delicately trying to drill or cut them out.

The tools you’ll need are gloves, a respirator/dusk mask and safety goggles (since my helmet kits contain a lot of fibreglass particles which toughens them, but you don’t want to breathe in or get in your eyes), an electric sander and some needle files.

Simply put the helmet on its back on a cushioned surface, switch on the sander and lay it on the back of the key slots, gently move the sander around so that it evenly rubs down the inside of the helmet.

Do the sanding in small passes, continually checking the outside of the helmet until you see the back of the key slots becoming paper thin.

Then, finally, set aside the electric sander and with needle files, poke out the remaining bits of resin in the key slots and clean up the edges.

Installing the Visor

There are a number of methods you can use to install the visor but the fastest, simplest and easiest method I’ve found is to use hot glue.

To make this easier you may wish to apply a slight curve to the visor by gently warming the visor with a heat gun and holding it in place inside the helmet until it cools.  (Wear gloves, take it steady – the objective is to warm the visor material to make it slightly pliable, not to melt it!)

With this done, remove the protective film that is on both sides of the visor.

Then, lay the helmet onto its face on a cushioned surface and lay the visor in place.  Hold the helmet and visor and using a hot glue gun apply a small blob of glue underneath the corners of the visor.  Once the glue has begun cooling enough to hold the visor steady and not drip, roll the helmet over to check the position of the visor and if necessary make slight adjustments while the glue is still soft.

When the visor is held in place and the glue has cooled, you’re ready to lay in the rest of the glue around the visor.

Gently squirt glue into the gap between the visor and the helmet all the way around the visor.  For best results, do this in sections – across the brow, down one side of the visor, then the other, then above the cheeks.  With each section, keep rolling the helmet over checking that glue hasn’t seeped through onto the visible part of the visor before moving onto the next.

If you should find you have any problems during fitting, hot glue when warm (not hot!), can be easily peeled away and the whole process can be started over.  If your hot glue has cooled and is stuck completely, gentle heat from a hairdryer (not a heat gun – this can warp the helmet) might be enough to make the glue pliable again, or apply rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) to the edges of the glue with a cotton bud, allow the rubbing alcohol time to react, then simply peel away the glue.