Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Props - Viking Helmet

I have mentioned before that I am in a band (one month shy of a year ago!). But I don't think I ever said that in March I made a Viking helmet to wear on stage.

I was initially trepidatious about sporting this at our gigs. But to my amazement (and the band's), I get approached constantly before, during, and after our shows with people asking me for a photograph, to try on the helmet, and all around positive comments! I have even had a line of people to see me!!! What an experience!!

Front of the helmet

Before I joined, the band started out as playing Celtic/Punk covers. At the time (and still) the lead singer, and founder, wore his clan's kilt while the rest of the band was in street clothes. As we added members, and started writing our own songs, we were also adding global folk influences.

It was around that time we decided that each member should adopt a character--A pseudo-version of their ancestry! I am half Norwegian and chose to add Viking elements to my stage outfit. Since we have a strong Punk edge, I decided to not dress in traditional garb.

Back view

I thought long and hard about buying a metal helmet. There were about 5 styles I looked at on Amazon that were under $100. I had been given gift cards and cash for Birthday/Christmas specifically for band needs. However, I eventually decided that fit and weight were going to be issues while I performed, and eventually chose to make my own helmet instead! (Thanks Dave!!)

Toy Helmet (Image taken from interwebs without permission

Never making anything like this before, I bought an adult toy helmet, thinking I could simply paint it (I do have those skills). Unfortunately thy toy helmet barely fits my soon-to-be-10-year-old son, let alone my big ol' noggin! At that point, I had a string of gigs in 2 days looming ahead and had to make it from scratch or else do without for the next 5 gig's.

First Attempt frame-work

I started out scavenging the horns, top spike and fur rings from the toy helmet. Then I went to Michael's and bought craft foam sheets (ala scrap-booking), textured felt, and googly eyes. I didn't really have a plan, I just started cutting and gluing. All was OK until I started gluing in the felt inserts. The second insert was a little off center and it completely warped the helmet... I had to start over!

The bad news was I ran out of craft foam, but the good news was I found these half round "beads that worked out much better as the rivets.

Inside the helm is tac "welded" with hot glue

The second go around was a breeze! I now had a template to follow, and was able to tweak the design in a few places, making it a more durable item. Once everything was assembled, and the glue cooled, I sprayed the inside with 3 coats of liquid rubber. After that dried, I primed everything in black.

I wanted to go simple on the paint, applying a base coat, ink wash, and a simple dry brush. Then I coated the silver with and horns with a brush on gloss coat. Finally, when everything was dry, I slid on the furry rings.

Photo by Digital Style Photography
This is a pic taken at one of our recent shows. He caught me in a strange expression, as if I was deep in thought.

I hope you like it! As always, questions and comments always welcome!