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Helmet Ring & Cap

The helmet of the Endor Rebel Soldier or also called Rebel Commando, consists of two parts, the helmet ring and the cap.

Helmet Ring

The helmet ring in its latest shape finished trials with wooden rings.
We recognized soon, that it took too long time to cut it out, also they were too heavy. It was incredible to imagine wearing those helmet rings at long events.
I had the idea, to cut the rings out of Styrofoam and swaddle GRP (glas fibre reinforced plastic) around it. My father dissuaded. He suggested, we should make the rings with Styrofoam but coat them with wood glue and swaddle them with gauze bandages. That also seemed Thomas Jantschke and me a very reasonable idea. We began with the photos from Episode 6 to assign the measures of the helmet rings.
So we assigned following: The ring on top should have a perimeter of 57cm.
The geometric basic shape of every ring consists of four semi circles connected with two straight lines of 10cm. The rings are 3cm thick and 3cm high.
In the angle of 15 degree, they were cut in- and outside, so a cone shaped cross section arose. A total of four ring levels one upon the other, connected with wood glue. The grouts were allocated in this way that no grout was at the same position than the grout above or bellow. So we achieved a maximum of stability of the basic corpus. Now, an ample drying of the helmet rings followed for several days. Then I grinded the basic corpus, so the rings had a homogeny surface. Next, I cut from the front side at half height to the bottom at 1/3 from the back edge a bevel. Then, a deepening was cut in at the back side. Finally, in side I cut a cavity, where later, the ear protectors should find place.
Now, I coated the rings with wood glue and swaddled them with gauze bandages. After further drying time, I coated the gauze bandages with surfacer and grinded the rings. Finally, I painted the helmet-rings turquoise-grey and the characteristic yellow-red emblems front right and back the parallel black vertical stripes.
At the front side a peak of the cap, made of an aluminium plate (sewed in green fabric), was screwed on.
The helmet rings are not connected with the caps. First, the caps are caped, and then the helmet rings. It proved to be the most simple and most comfortable kind to wear the helmets.
The greatest merit in building the helmet rings has Thomas Jantschke.
Indefatigable he cut very precisely and with great passion one ring segment after the other from Styrofoam and glued the segments together. At the same time, I built the rifles. I have to say, Thomas cut me quasi dizzily. LOL!
All went "zag zag" his work, but all with cleanness and precision. He nearly felled in love to the Styrofoam saw from the Proxon Company and commended the device all the time, because it cut so good and was variable adjustable.
From the ready basic corpus I took over. At this point, I want to thank and merit Thomas!
Also a great thank goes to my father. He gave us the idea with the wood glue and the gauze bandages. The incredible on the whole construction is the enormous stability and the surface flintiness, which the gauze bandages give the Styrofoam. You really have to hit the rings intentionally with violence to destroy them. In ordinary use, the helmet rings resist all pressures. So we got very light and solid helmet rings and all in very short building time. 12 helmet rings were built completely in two weeks.

Cap

The imagination, how the cap should be made, was found faster then at the helmet rings. Again, many pictures from the movie were collected in the internet and evaluated by us. The original caps were British Pilot caps from the Second World War. To get those at payable prizes would have been absolutely impossible. Those parts, you get only at militaria-antiquarians and you can pay some hundred Euros for it. So, Wladimir and I thought about what cap we can take for the basic shape. Finally we came to the winter cap of the German Federal Armed Forces in its elder unicoloured edition.
I first began to sew a prototype with hand. The ear parts I filled with filling material used in pillows and Teddy-bears.
Wladimir liked the prototype but also some own ideas to improve it. More later.
So we next went to a BW/US/NATO-shop, bought ten winter caps, got another two winter caps free and enough fabric from old green shirts. Then, Wladimir took over the part of the cap production. Wladimir is a master in machine sewing, therefore his first cap was relatively fast ready. His changing compared to the prototype was, that he had the very good idea with the ear protector capsules. Therefore, we bought the ear protectors (look like headphones), also often called "Mickey Mouses". We pulled the soft rings and the foam wadding out of the capsules and drilled the rings with 1mm all around; therefore Wladimir could sew it on the caps. The quilted top part was sewed with two layers of fabric with foam laid between.
At the side parts, he riveted a closing strap.
For the event at Media Market in February, the first costume was complete.
For the German Model Masters in May, he sewed further four caps. Then, I sewed four caps with hand, as we needed group photos for our next event at Media-Market.

       

 


© Thomas Riedel 2006

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