Making the R2D2 Helmet

First and foremost, let me just say thank you to everyone for the wonderfully enthusiastic response to my creation. Being tremendously nerdy has never been so rewarding... well, that might be a lie; the rewards of nerddom are self evident and plentiful.

I debated on whether to post the process of making it, but it was so fun I decided I really wanted to share it (I have absolutely zero self restraint). Also, it's not rocket science.



First, I sand-papered the crap out of an old helmet that Philadelphia Scooters kindly provided. I even Tom Sawyered Steve into sandpapering but then got jealous and demanded he give it back so that I could do it myself.
Then I primed and sprayed it with a silver spray paint.



The next step was labor-intensive. I outlined all the shapes with tape. It involved a lot of measuring, cursing circles for being so round, and wishing I had kept my protractor and compass from high school.


From there it was kind of a breeze. I just spray painted the blue on. As you can see, we had other fun things going on; that's an empty canned chile can in the foreground, and the ever-delicious Michelob Ultra by my foot. It's always a party at Jenn's house.


Then I almost walked into this thing on our back deck:



Needless to say, that was EXTREMELY distracting (not just the horrifying part or the talking spider part, but also the, "holy shit, look at that amazingly perfect spider web; we totally have to spend the better part of an hour trying to take a perfect picture of it in the dark" part).

That was okay, though, because it gave the blue time to dry so I could do this:


Looks satisfying, right? It totally was about 23.87 times more satisfying than it looks in these pictures. Next up were the little details:


Next, my handy friend Jon Hauptman used his super awesome saw to cut a PVC pipe down for the doo-dads. It was totally Tim Allen's Tool Time up in that joint. The lighting gadget, on the other hand, is of my own design and is such super top secret technology that the military is currently trying to buy the patent off me to use for interstellar space travel... oh wait, we don't do the space thing anymore. Aww. 

Knowing what it's made of wouldn't help you, though, because it requires 1.21 gigawatts, so... you know... good luck with that.

The final step was giving it about 374 cans of clear coat. I think if I learned anything from this project, it's that nothing (except cakes) can suffer from too many layers of clear coat. When it was done I wore it around the house until it was time for bed... and then I wore it to bed.

Thanks for reading, kid.

92 comments:

David Tana said...

Completely bad ass. You've posted some pretty awesome creations on here before, but this definitely tops them all (so far).

JKC said...

Schweet! Love the "work in progress" photos!

JKC

Philly Art Girl said...

Thanks guys! It was so much fun!

AmyLynn said...

Good Lord, girl! This is pretty damn amazing! I think I may need to start looking for a new helmet for my scooter. I wonder if I could manage a project like this.

GREAT JOB!

David Corona said...

I love it! But George Lucas it's about to send you a "Cease and desist" letter very soon. just Kidding (?)

Philly Art Girl said...

Thanks, Amy and David! While I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope that I don't get legal letters from George Lucas, I also think it would be really cool to be able to say "George Lucas sent me a letter."

DJBStudios said...

I don't think you could get sued unless you tried selling them...and even then, why don't you just beat him to the punch and send him the idea to sell it- he might just help finance the idea!
Brilliantly done, btw.... DJB

KINDLEN said...

Sorry to be a kill joy here but your helment has now been weakened and so will crack on impact, in other words will no longer protect your head. Great idea though, should talk to manufacturer about make such helmets.

Colm said...

You're hot... well done

J. Arturo Ramírez said...

Good job, with this idea I'm thinking about doing one for me, congratulations!

Ian said...

the force is strong with you. super rad!

Anonymous said...

This is AWESOME! Like the sharp masking.

Yoda900 said...

Nice work done you have, you clever padawan. Strong is the force in that one!

Anonymous said...

Yep, cool helmet & im about to fap to this

MEMOFE said...

AMAZING!!! Nice work girl, i love it!!! i´m star war fan too, thanks by your DYS, i´ll try to do in dad´s helmet :D

Zel said...

Weakened ? By what, a bit of sanding ? Get a grip. Friggin killjoy.

Anyway, you are my hero now :) Great work with the helmet, i think i have to start wearing one when i go skiing, if i get around to replicate your work.

KINDLEN said...

Kill joy, kill being the word.

Its only your brain that gets crushed.

http://www.thehelmetplace.co.uk/acatalog/Helmet_Care.html

http://sharp.direct.gov.uk/content/helmet-care

black Sunshine said...

you. rock. period.

nice work!!!

Alissa said...

This does look AMAZING, but I learned in my motorcycle safety course (sponsored by the CHP) that altering the paint in any way, adding stickers, jewels, etc. loses its approval from DOT and makes it less safe in the event of an accident. Be careful out there.

Alina Chau said...

This is AWESOME!!

Perry said...

Yes, this is AWESOME! Yes, it alters the properties of the helmet. (Still better than the old days when I only wore a bandanna!) Yes, I want to sacrifice one of mine to make one too! Yes, I would be a copy-cat.

Cool job! (Google+ has found you!!!)

Orin said...

Hey Jenn, here's another link for your virtual scrapbook: http://scootinoldskool.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/from-a-galaxy-far-far-away/ In case you haven't noticed, you're now famous.

Thanks for sharing this project. If you can pay off the Snell Memorial Foundation to approve it, you could become mind-bogglingly wealthy selling R2D2 Snell-approved half-helmets (which is the #1 search term bringing viewers to Scootin' Old Skool).

Your blog's a fun read. Ride safe, and don't let the scooter thieves get your bike...

__Orin
Scootin' Old Skool

kiarash spantman said...

artistic !

inShadowz said...

I'm sorely tempted to buy myself a moped or scooter solely for the purpose of having an excuse to make and wear a helmet like this! Mesa wants! :)

Leonardo said...

Me encantó el casco pero sobre todo tú, eres preciosa.

Buen trabajo, felicitaciones!

Disculpa que no escriba en inglés.

Jeet said...

Awesome! :-D

Notjustanyone said...

This is soo soo cool~ And to think you did it on my birthday! (yeah I know a bit late on the comment, but I only found out about it today!) It's almost as good as having one! Thanks for being so creative on my birthday! Dancing Wolf.

Anonymous said...

KINDLEN - Actually, all helmets will crack on impact. That is what they are designed to do, its how they protect your head, and why you need to get a new helmet after having an accident.

anita said...

its absolutley awsome :)

Matt R said...

As a ddO who's made a project or two myself (Viewtiful Joe masks from Power Ranger ones for my boys) I can't prop's you enough for this fine piece of work. The masking blows my mind girl, I don't know how the heck you pulled that off but it looks flawless, great job!!

Helmet said...

So cool your helmet, i gonna make the same, I´m from Brazil I have a lot Helmets for make this, and you is beatiful. Congratulations!

Vincent said...

love you, R2D2

Anonymous said...

I might try this with an old helmet of mine! Btw, you are freakin beautiful!

Randomizer said...

The sheer utter awesomeness of this cannot be overstated. I think I'm infatuated just a little. Sort of. Maybe.

Rodrigo said...

StarWars Fan, now your fan =P "(Ö,)"

Anonymous said...

OMG, I want to do this to my roller derby helmet!

Rod Sulik said...

Not for everyone but a very neat idea! Good job.

Boutique United said...

Totally awesome! How about C3PO, Darth Vader helmets? :)
http://goo.gl/t4Q2C

Jamie said...

Very stylish! Would be extra awesome if you add in a horn that has multiple sounds like R2D2. A raspberry or his wailing' scream from getting shocked perhaps?

Anonymous said...

How bout making your cousins a family of helmets for skiing! We'll take you to the hill with us!
Love it!!
T Q

Anonymous said...

i think i love u

E said...

SWEET!! Great Job BTW:)

F.H. said...

You've made my day Jenn:
1. because the helmet is awesome
2. because you're waaaaaay awesomer!

Francesco, from Italy

jimjam69 said...

That thing is wicked! I'm going to show this to my daughter that thinks wearing a helmet is 'uncool'. BTW, I can't believe that Kindlen thinks because you sanded and painted it that its worthless. lmao. That's a bunch of crap. Love you and your blog.

Radical Rick said...

I stumbled across this from a friend on FB and now I'm an instant fan. Most excellent geekishness!

Anonymous said...

Jenn, You are smokin' hot! (cool helmet too)

ChefT said...

Is there such a thing as love at first helmet?

Ariela_HvM said...

Wow!!! Being a second-generation Mexican American, I never actually watched Star Wars until I was with my husband - who is far more Americanized than me! But, given what little I know about Star Wars, this is friggin' bloody awesome!!!! Wonderful job Jenn. ;)

Gunnar Wolf said...

I'll have to join the party-deflators here. Although your helmet is absolutely glorious and the dream of way too many geeks... It is a danger for you to wear it for skating or cycling.

There is a reason bike helmets are _always_ covered with a plastic as smooth as possible: Because when falling at bike-speeds (~20Km/h, or ~15mph for the unmetered), there are two great risks: Intracranial hemorrage (as the brain hits the skull), which is meant to be reduced by the shock-absorbing inner helmet material, and neck fracture, which is meant to be reduced by a cover that slips easily. If your helmet has bumps as this one, it will look kewl, but once it hits the ground, it will snap your neck for sure.

ScottE said...

In case you haven't seen it, your R2-Redo helmet showed up on FailBlog's Win subpage.

http://wins.failblog.org/2011/09/05/epic-win-photos-safety-win/

Commentary was mixed, as usual for "da-net".

Some praising, some damning, some drooling. Par for the interwebs.

shinto said...

Really liked the pics of you making the helmet..nice red polish!

rs said...

Proud that you're from Philly. Very fewthings come out of Philly! Ride safe r2d2 girl. I hope I see you around.

Anonymous said...

nice tits

Choi said...

Nice to know your blog and i'm from Hong Kong,and it's great to know hpw to make the R2-D2helmet
And the R2-D2 helmet have been mentioned on Hong Kong newspaper too.

Anonymous said...

Well you are very talented and oh so very beautiful,hmmm mmmm!

Anonymous said...

i liek this....i think i am going to make one!

eagonwuzhere

Recycle A. Tron said...

Way cool. Listen only to yourself. So far your doing excellent. :)

Anonymous said...

Many helmets are fine to paint these days. How many custom painted helmets do you see on any start grid? More customs than standard from what I can see. Yes, back in the 70s it really wasn't a good idea but things have moved on.

I love it! Keep rockin' the lid princess.

kikoo said...

Hello :)

Can you tell me where do you find a good plan for your beautiful creation.

I need your help cause I search a good plan for my helmett.

Thanks !

Muttpuppy said...

You have just given me sooooo many ideas! Thanks!

kikoo said...

Your are so hot Muttpuppy !

Amoureux said...

Kikoo a raison, Muttpuppy mériterait bien qu'on lui fasse claquer les escalopes !

Je lui mangerai bien le beignet ;)

Anonymous said...

I must say that I really enjoyed reading all of Your posts. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.
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EAGON said...

hey i made one and you can see it at www.flickr.com/photos/eagonwuzhere

thanks!

Motorcycle helmets said...

You did really good work and your helmet is looking nice.I really appreciate your work.

rental forklift said...

Wow! Its amazing! I hope can get girlfriend like you lol.
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Solace Utara said...

I want that!

Aleena said...

Bike Helmet

sami said...

Very cool! I suck at rollerblading but I want to practice and get better so I should definitely wear a helmet but helmets always look so dorky! I never thought of customizing a helmet like this! Such a cool idea! And the R2D2 design is perfect! Awesome awesome awesome! If you made more and sold them online you could probably make tons of money too!

Rob said...

This is the best helmet ever made!

Greg Chase said...

I am in love! ... oh and the helmet is cool too ;)
stormtrooperboytk1223@yahoo.com

jin kazama said...

I want to practice and get better so I should definitely wear a helmet but helmets always look so dorky! I never thought of customizing a helmet like this! asian escorts nyc ll agency outcall manhattan

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Lazyfish said...

Great job!!!!

Anonymous said...

Cool, keep doing them.

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Niche Helmet..thanks for post

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oeoes said...

Great Job
Good girl! This is amazing, i like your helmets

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Fat Loss Factor said...

Yep, cool helmet & im about to fap to this

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displayourfigures said...

Hi !

Very cool item. I'm doing myself artefacts and movie props. Here's a link if you wish to visit :
www.displayourfigures.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

awesome..I was looking for r2d2 layout to turn a gaming surround sound system into r2d2 LOL ( have a 'dome' system that looks like a r2d2 droid in black just wanna paint it

Wisanggeni said...

That's nice. Inspiring. Awesome

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