Rebel Fleet Trooper Helmet

The Rebel Fleet Trooper. Though it may be a bit dorky looking, it's a pretty significant character. They are the first combatants you see in the series. The first drawn weapon is a Blastech DH-17 in the hand of one of these hopeless cannon-fodder... er... I mean, proud soldiers.

One thing that has kep a lot of costumers away from the RFT is the lack of good, cheap helmets. This is a review / tutorial of one of the newer helmets out there, the CA RFT kit.

This isn't produced as a finished product, only in kit form. It's a really easy to assemble kit, and includes just about everything you need. This can easily be a 1 day project. In the box you get:

  • Main helmet piece
  • Rear scoop/wing
  • 2 part visor
  • Chin cup
  • 2 chin strap clips
  • Comm box
  • Black elastic chin strap
  • Antenna
  • Assorted nuts, bolts and rivets
  • Assembly Instructions

What you'll need to provide yourself:

  • Grey spray paint for the visor [1]
  • Foam lining [2]
  • Tools and adhesives

[1] Future revs of the kit may include a smoked translucent visor, making it even more accurate and eliminating the need for paint.
[2] Future revs of the kit may include the liner.

First, let's take a quick look at the screen helmets:

A couple of things to note... look at how the chin strap is attached to the helmet in the first pic. You can see that one side of the strap is attached to the inside of the comm box, and the other goes higher up into the helmet. This may look a bit odd, but that's how they were done, and that's how the CA kit is as well. In the second pic, you can see the layers of the visor: there is 1 larger light colored layer, and another darker layer on top. The top layer has a rivet in the corner to hold it in place.

There is some debate about the color of the helmet. Some think it's grey, others think it's white. It's clear from the piles of fallen Stormtroopers and fallen RFTs that their helmets are different. In my opinion, this helmet is fine as-is. It's made from HIPS, which is duller in finish and slightly different in color than the ABS used for most Stormie helmets. I liked the color of the plastic on its own. Some may want to paint it light grey, some might want to paint it high gloss white. That's a judgement call for those that make the costume.

Check out the comparison gallery on the Echo Base site. Side by side shots of the Altman's, Studiocreations and Capricorn helmets.

This tutorial is based on a pre-production kit. The actual kit may vary slightly from this, particularly in recommended order of assembly

Before you get started, hit the smaller part of the visor with some primer. I like Rustoleum Plastic Primer, but whatever makes you happy. Keep an eye on it, and when the primer is dry, spray it with the grey paint.

The first step for the assembly was to glue on the larger visor part to the front of the helmet. I lined up the visor piece by eye to where it looked "right" - the screen helmets all varied slightly, so this isn't an exact science. I marked the corners lightly with pencil. Then came the glue (I recommend "Household GOOP": it's clear, REALLY strong, and stays flexible, so dropping your bucket won't break the bond).

I put the glue on the inside of the visor piece, staying about 3/4" away from the edges to prevent oozing. This will also allow you to reposition it slightly if needed once you put it down. Once the visor was lined up right I pressed it firmly down and clamped it with a couple of rubber coated spring clamps, as shown in this pic

The goop will set pretty quickly. I'm impatient, but even giving it 15 minutes to set should be enough to move it around (leaving the clamps on just in case).

Next up is attaching the scoop and one of the chin strap clips. This part is a bit awkward, as it involves a few layers all at once. If you have a second pair of hands around, it is much easier to have 1 person hold and another rivet. One can do it just fine, but if you have the help, use it.

The holes for the rivets should be marked already. Drill them out, and put in the rivet on the COMM BOX side of the scoop.

On the other side of the helmet, you want to attach the longer of the chin strap clips to the inside of the helmet using the same rivet that holds the scoop on. So you have scoop, helmet, strap clip. line up the holes in all three parts and put your rivet through. Make sure that the strap clip is in the right position (slot down toward your chin, if your head was in the helmet).

Ok, That's confusing. Have a picture. (You'll notice that the strap is already in place. That's because I took this pic after the assembly was finished.

The comm box needs to have the antenna installed before you mount it on the helmet. Drill a small hole, as close to the exact size of the wire as possible. Bend the end of the wire into a loop, and feed the wire through the hole, with the loop inside the box. Pass the bolt through the loop, thus securing the antenna. I adjusted the second nut provided to sit right behind the loop, pinning it between the helmet and the nut. That way the antenna doesn't rattle.

From there it was as simple as drilling out the hole for the bolt to go through (should be marked), and put it together. Same deal as the other side, you need to use the bolt for the comm box to hold the chin strap on. Comm box, helmet, chin strap bracket.

Next up is attaching the chin strap. Feed the elastic through the chin cup, and make sure it's roughly centered. Feed the 2 ends of the elastic through the strap brackets, making sure the bump on the chin cup is facing in the right direction (see the photos above). Play around with strap length until you get it right. Once you're happy with it, use some hot glue on the straps to join the overturned end to the rest of it (you could sew it too if you prefer).

Last up is the dark visor. That goes on with 2 rivets in the corners. These holes may or may not be marked. Check out the pictures for reference. You can see them pretty clearly in the screen shots above. 2 more pop rivets and your helmet construction is done.

Once it was all done, I decided to spray it with a few layers of flat clear coat paint. The HIPS got dirty pretty easily, and was a pain to clean. The clear paint makes it much easier to care for.

Putting in the foam lining wraps it up. If your kit came with foam, glue it in. If not, get some 1/2" - 3/4" foam, and cut it so that it tapers off at the back, to try to keep it from showing. And whatever you do, don't use pink foam ;)

For more information on this kit, visit Capricorn Armor

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