Stormtrooper Helmet Mods.
Since it is now official that I will be marching in the Rose Parade with the 501st Legion, I decided to make some long overdue modifications to my helmet.
The first thing I did was to remove as much excess weight as possible. That meant, one fan one battery-pack, one old amplifier, the microphone and 2 speakers were out of there! My belt mounted Radio Shack amp works fine, so my sickly old helmet amp and speaker system was just too much added weight. Plus for the parade, we won't need the amps anyway.
The next thing was to remove the "bubble" lenses and carefully cut out the "frown" holes.
Since I had hot-glued the lenses in place originally, it was a simple matter of loosening the glue with some rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip. After a litle while of persuading with the alcohol, the glue began to peel away and the lenses popped right out!
After removing the decals, I drilled small holes in the frown indentations and opened them up very carefully with an exacto knife. Later I would fine tune these a bit more with an emory board.
For the lenses there are lots of options, including using a cut down welder's shield which has the benefit of already being curved, but I had some smoked plexiglass left over from a previous project so I used that.
I cut the plex by scoring several times with a shap razor knife and then carfully snapping it along the scored line.
I hot glued these in place- but this time, instead of gluing all the way around, I left some air gaps at the top and bottom.
I also did not bother to curve them. Since it is so hard to see out of the helmet in the first place, I wanted to make sure these lenses were as clear and easy to see through as possible. Curving the lenses alters the clarity of the plastic, and even though there are larger gaps between the lens and the helmet- these are really hard to see when viewed from the outside.
These gaps will really help keep the lenses from fogging up on Parade Day.
Also, now since my speakers were removed, the aerators act as ventalation holes as well.
I cut the holes in the helmet just large enough to allow the 2 aerator pieces to screw together tightly but not fall out. Be careful- that's a very fine line!
For the grey frown, I just used some of the excess decal material that came with the helmet. I knew saving those old sheets of decals would come in hand one day!
On the inside, I hot-glued some black window screen, and the fan is velcroed in place so that the airflow can be redirected if necessary. The nice thing about this type of fan is that the airflow goes "up" towards my face instead of "in" towards my mouth.
I also took this opportunity to reglue the "mouth" piece. It had been hot glued 5 years ago, and I didn't want it popping off during the parade. Good thing I checked, because it popped off with only the slightest tug! I drilled a few small holes in the mouth area to help the hot glue get a better grip. How well this works, only time can tell.
here you can almost see the eye lens gaps....
So that's it! Hopefully now I will be able to see and be fog free for the entire parade!
I alsop took this opportunity to add new bankers clips to my thermal detonator to help it stay in place during the long march.
I still may go back and change out the 9v battery for 12 AA's but that's a LOT of extra weight.