Friday, January 9, 2009

Changing into a Commander Cody...

After much begging and cajoling by my son, I have decided to turn my Custom Clone Wars Obi-Wan into a Phase I Commander Cody.

Here is what I began with...the never-seen-on-screen Obi-Wan helmet.

I did notice a few things I had made mistakes on with this build. The eye slit is most noticeably not correct. So, after removing the obscenely bulky visor, I reworked the eyes.

There are also a lot of holes in the Hasbro helmet that needed to be filled. I used hot glue and strips of plastic as a backer and filled several places. The two main places on each side are seen the top of the cheek and at the back. I also sanded down the ridges on the voice changer buttons and filled that area as well. There are also several other cracks and seams that needed filling, too.

It took a while, but the dome finally came out smooth. I had to do several coats of filler in the dome seams, but it eventually paid off. I also decided to leave the small slits in the front of the mohawk for ventilation.

The Cody color, as much as I can tell, is a rusty orange color. Here are two shots of my custom blend orange color on the mohawk and the chin stripes.

The antenna in the second picture was a gift from a friend that worked out perfectly, and I reused the cordless mic base from the previous build as the ear cap.

Next up is still a work in progress. I decided to fabricate my own Clone Wars Phase I style commander visor. Once I get it like I want it, I will offer copies on my other blog since this will be specifically for the Hasbro helmet.

Stay tuned for more pictures as I finish this project for my little boy!


Friday, August 15, 2008

Obi-Wan Kenobi's Clone Wars helmet modifications:

This is a tutorial for those like me crazy enough to attempt to modify their Hasbro Clone Trooper Helmet into a replica of the Obi-Wan Kenobi helmet from the STAR WARS THE CLONE WARS movie.

1) Dremel with various attachments
2) paint
3) hot glue gun with plenty of glue sticks
4) Plastic welder
5) soldering gun (just have one handy)
6) screw driver
7) a helmet to modify
8) antenna
9) something for an ear cap
10) Foam Core Board
11) Bondo or Bondo Glass
12) Sander
13) Masking tape
14) Foam core board
15) Glazing Putty

Here is the starting point - the Hasbro Clone Trooper Voice Changer helmet from CLONE WARS (available from most retail outlets for around $30usd).


As you can see, there's quite a bit of modification that needs to be done. In the end, even with the mods, it may never meet the standards of The Rebel Legion, but it can be a nice display piece for your toy room or even be worn to a convention somewhere, sometime. Either way, it's still lots of fun!

The first thing you'll want to do is completely disassemble this puppy into is's major components. Photobucket
You'll see that the wires for all the electronics runs through a small hole in the nose piece of the inner shell. Since this nose piece is going away anyway, simply make a small cut to the hole and remove the wiring. If you want to keepp the nose piece, use a soldering gun to remove the wiring from the speaker and the circuit board. You can save this for later if you want to use the voice changer either in this bucket or in another one.


To have room for a battery pack for the voice changer, Hasbro decreased the interior area of the bucket by putting the battery pack inside the dome. Since the end result will be glued together and there would be no access to change the batteries, I removed the pack along with the wiring and set it to the side. If you want to reset the voice changer module later, you can by gluing the pack back into the dome.

But, to make room at the top of the inside of the dome, you will need to cut out the tray under the crest and most of the bottom of the crest itself.
This way, when it is done, if any padding needs to be added, you won;t have to compete with the lower dome area.
I also cut out the nose area of the inner shell to give more viewing area.


For this step, you will need the glue gun and the plastic welder.
Start off by plastic welding the three ridge pieces together.
Weld that to the front section.
Permanently set the buttons in the right ear.
And then use the hot glue to join the front and back halves of the bucket together.


For the kids, and with the added space for the battery pack, the visor is ridiculously large compared to standard Clones. So, to combat this problem, you will need to make a template to modify the visor area. Here is my first attempt at such a template.
As you can see, I still made the visor area too big for this bucket, so (sorry no pic) I re drew it smaller before I cut it out.
You can see here that the cheeks could also do with a slight lifting, but that turned out to be too large of a modification for this project, so I left them as-is.

I cut out the templates from a small piece of Sintra I had lying around. You can use anything thin, really, from thin cardboard to even an old Tupperware container. Cover the visor with masking tape to protect it . Set the templates in place and mask off the the face of the bucket as well. Coat the templates with Bondo. Don't go crazy or you'll be sanding forever. After it cures, remove the visor, sand the Bondo smooth and trim off the excess.


This step involves the Foam core board found nearly anywhere that sells school supplies. The shade for this bucket will be about 8 inches wide and 4 inches tall. Don't forget the small divot in the middle. You will need to cut two of each side and two tops to make it thick enough.

Here are the patterns I made up and used to make the visor...

And here is the finished template ready to add Bondo.
I had a small gap between the sides of the shade and the ears, but I fixed that as well. Remove the shade and coat it with Bondo and sand smooth. Then reattach to the bucket with hot glue.
Here's where I fixed my gap. I used Bondo Glazing Putty to make the shade smoother and to fill in the gaps. It usually takes between 3-5 small thin coats to get it right.

After everything is smooth enough to your liking, hit it with primer and Gloss White paint.
After it is completely dry, you can reinsert the visor.


Obi-Wan's helmet doesn't have a range finder like Captain Rex, but it does have an antenna. I made this out of parts I had lying around. The cap came from an old wireless hand-held mic and the antenna came from the receiver.
The right ear has a smaller, flush cap on it. Remove this and trim the side of the bucket so that the new cap can fit snugly.
Fill the cap with hot glue to hold the antenna in place and use plastic weld to secure the new cap on the ear.


I took a picture of the Republic Crest on the figure of Obi-Wan and made a template for the left side of the dome.
And, since the whole thing was primed grey and painted white, you will need to repaint the aerator on the front and the filter on the back with black paint. The frown and "wrap-around" of the sides and back of the bottom of the dome also need to be repainted grey.

And, finally, some comparison shots between an unmodified Clone Trooper bucket, my personal Obi-Wan creation, and the Hasbro Obi-Wan figure.

I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who hasn't has some level of scratch-boilding experience. The chemicals involved, from burning plastic, to Bondo fumes, to the painting, can be a bit overwhelming if you've never done it before. ALWAYS USE CHEMICAL-BASED PRODUCTS IN A WELL VENTILATED AREA!!!

That said, I hope this little tutorial will help in your own personal quest to expand your Star Wars universe. And have fun!

The Mandalorian Arsenal