Paper Face Friday : Daft Punk – Thomas

Greetings once again and welcome to another edition of Paper Face Friday! Now this was supposed to be a double bill but unfortunately I only managed to finish one of the two projects I was simultaneously working on.

So what joyous Paper Faces will I be bringing you this Friday? Well we’ve been invited to a friend’s fancy dress house party. The theme ‘daft accessories’. So we’re going literal! Daft Punk Helmets!

GRAB THE FILES HERE : PFF02_DAFTPUNKTHOMAS.ZIP

Now I would love nothing more than to own full on replicas with working LEDs and all that jazz. Unfortunately I do not have hundreds of dollars to acquire such items of awesomeness. So after a bit of looking about the web I found some fantastic papercraft versions created by ScannerJoe and SR Design.

Thomas' Helmet Colour Example

Thomas' Helmet Colour Example

Now at the time we only had a few days to create these helmets (although the party has since been postponed hence being able to spend some extra time finishing these) so although  ScannerJoe’s looked awesome I believed it would’ve taken too long to finish. SR Designs helmets were a bit too simple but I loved the detail they managed to fashion onto the simple box shapes.

This is where I had the bright Idea of trying to create a bit of a hybrid! The simplicity of the box shape with printed detail combined with some of the intricacies of the classic and memorable shapes that both Thomas and Guy’s* Daft Punk Helmets have.

So! First step was recreating the side shape of Thomas’ helmet in vector form, tweaked and simplified as much as possible without losing too much of the shape.

Once I’d messed about with unfolding the middle section, I then proceeded to create some paper prototypes knowing that I needed the helmets to not only look right but fit on our bonces too!

Paper Prototypes

Paper Prototypes

Two things I noticed after my initial prototype. Firstly the helmet itself was too big, so a reduction in overall size was needed and then a bit more off the width to stop it looking too wide. Secondly the chin looked very odd being straight and I realised with only minor tweaking I could edit this to fold inwards slightly bringing the shape even more in-line with that of the real helmet.

It’s worth noting that the files I have supplied are currently set up for printing ‘roughly’ the right size on A1. A1?!?! Nobody has an A1 printer I hear you say! Well…not many people. We’re no different, so in reality I had to move around the parts, split them up a bit and then print out at A4. To be honest, it was a ball-ache! I had to tweak a lot and I ended up with a gazillion layers and things which I lost track of. So you’ll have to be a bit creative yourself if you want to print this out across multiple A4 sheets and then re-assemble. Hey, I never said it would be easy!

First set of cut-outs

First set of cut-outs

So, if like me you love a bit of torture then you’ll want to go and find some silver card that will A) Feed into your printer OK and B) Isn’t so shiny that the ink easily smudges. For those of you in the UK I found the perfect type of card for this at Papercraft…somewhere I probably spend far too much money.

I also grabbed some black and coloured card to add some vivid colour to the helmet (knowing that it would be impossible to get that kind of vivid colour printed out on the card). I’ll spare you some of the details as you can probably work it out yourself but there was a lot of cutting and sticking.

Sticky Sticky

Sticky Sticky

The LED style stickers in particular took FOREVER to stick in place (I even used black stickers on the black card to give the send that some LEDs were off). At the end of the day it was totally worth it, especially as the stickers have a slight shimmer when caught in the light. Nice. At this point you could plan out something cooler than the simple red beam I went for. LED matrix style wording like LOVE or similar could look great!

Other things I did included adding a hole in the mouthpiece so that I could use a straw! You know…for all that orange juice I’ll be drinking at the party…

Visor Vision

Visor Vision

As the card wasn’t quite as thick as I’d hoped (probably a good things as otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to print the detail onto it) I decided to attach some thicker card to the inside for extra support and to brace the sides. Very handy if you know the helmet will take a bit of a beating in the future).

I also cut three very fine slits along the black horizontal areas of the visor. This was a little fiddly and might not look like much works really well and gives you a reasonable amount of vision through the helmet whilst not spoiling the look of the visor.

Assembled and Supported

Assembled and Supported

Once all this had been done it was time to attach it all together. Originally I was going to only use glue but as there’s a lot of tabs to be stuck I used glue AND tape on the inside. This just allowed me to keep everything in place while the glue dried and stuck the edges together. Unless you have some uber glue or four hands this is a pretty good way to go, especially as at this point you’ll be curving the long piece of card around the edge.

The last thing I did once fully assembled and the glue had dried was to add some support bars inside. This made the helmet a bit more solid and also keeps the darn thing in place when placed on your head…otherwise it slips about all over the place and you’ll look even sillier than you already do.

Daft Punk - Thomas' Helmet

Daft Punk - Thomas' Helmet

It wasn’t the most perfect creation but it’s not bad! Given some more time and a bit more patience I’m sure this template could be used for something amazing. Then again if you have that much in the way of time and resources you might as well go for one of the more complicated papercraft versions!

Still, I hope this is a nice medium difficulty piece of papercraft and will help plenty of costume creators who don’t have the money to go completely crazy!

Next week I should have finished Guy’s helmet! So expect more Paper Face Friday action soon! Oh and when we’ve got some photos from the party we’ll be sure to get them on-line for your amusement too!

As usual if you have any suggestions or contributions feel free to send them my way via the contact link in the footer and I’ll see what I can do!

 

*Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo ARE Daft Punk…Sorry for destroying the mystery!?