The Spartan Helmet Tutorial

     Who hasn't read the legends about Spartan warriors or seen the movie "300" and NOT been inspired to wear your very own Spartan warrior helmet?  We recently succumbed to this temptation during a recent study of Greek culture whereby it did not take long for us to feel the need to dress like a Spartan.  A quick review of the Youtube channel and Marcos and I were in business.  Here is what happened next...

  Project Description
      Our helmet will follow the classic Spartan warrior design worn by King Leonides in the movie "300".  It wll be constructed from cardboard using enhanced templates found on the Internet.  We will be using a combination of newspaper coated with diluted white glue with a top coat of fiberglass cloth and resin for added strength.  Our cardboard was taken from some old shipping boxes and always have a glue gun with extra glue sticks on hand since you will be using quite a bit during this project.

Spartans unite!

     Materials Needed
                                                 cardboard boxes          template download          scissors           glue gun           glue stick
                                          foam head                     Krylon silver paint           white glue      paint brushes  fiberglass cloth
                                          Krylon flat black          Krylon bronze paint        newspaper               

  Our Project Begins!
      After downloading the templates for our helmet we ventured over to Office Depot to have the PDF files enlarged to the A4 standard.  This produces a helmet blueprint that is lifesize with a universal fit.  We purchased a foam head from Michaels which proved to be essential in helping us assemble our helmet when applying many coats of newspaper and white glue.  Mounting the foam head on a 3/4 inch wooden dowel and wooden stand provided easy access and a great display stand as well.  Finally, we found some cardboard boxes and cut them down to size before glueing on the templates.  We used a glue stick to apply the templates to the cardboard which will make it easy to remove them once we start trimming the cardboard pieces. 

      Once the templates were carefully cut out and pasted to the cardboard, Marcos and I cut out each cardboard template and used our glue gun to secure each piece.  Pictured above are the original templates, the cardboard front faceplate and the crest of "mohawk" which has been glued and trial fit on our foam head.  Awesome.
     The two halves of the helmet body had to be glued in two steps- the first to shape the helmet and the second is to secure the two halves together.  The next step is to glue the two halves of the crown as seen in the picture above left.  Marcos and I added additional strips of cardboard to the insife of the crown for added strength.  Binder clamps really came in handy to secure the cardboard halves together while the glue was setting up.  After glueing the faceplate together, we mounted the mohawk and the faceplate to the crown of our helmet.  This process took a great deal of glue and patience but we think the results were worth it.

     Once the glue had dried, we mixed a 50/50 ratio of white glue to water and applied this mixture to strips of newspaper.  We covered the helmet with the strips and applied additional glue to insure a good fit.  We will repeat the process several more times until we get a strong, uniform coat to the exterior of our helmet. 

     We let our helmet dry for several days before moving onto the next step.  We wanted more strength and a tougher finish so we decided to add fiberglass cloth and resin to our helmet.  We used a common fiberglass resin and cloth (Bondo) found in most auto parts stores or at your local Home Depot.  We cut the cloth into small strips and mixed our resin with the hardener before applying the strips to our mask.  This is a messy process and you must wear rubber gloves, a respirator or surgical mask and by all means, work outdoors!  The resin sets up very quickly and produces a really hard, durable finish.  We repeated this step several times before beginning our final sanding and paint.

Click here to turn page