Making a Greek helmet

Posted: February 22, 2013 in Projects


I’m making this Greek helmet as part of a dress-up day for my son for school.

I didn’t take many images at first as I didn’t know how it was going to turn out, but it’s starting to look rather good.

The first stage was to make paper templates to get he shapes and the fit right, then I broke that apart again and flattened out the template sections and cut out the same shapes from hard board.

Hardboard won’t bend easily, it will simply snap, so to get the bend in the front and back plates the board was soaked for an hour – bent into shape (bent into a tighter bend than I actually needed so when it spings back – it goes to the shape I need) and then dried on a radiator to set the bend.

The front and back are glued with copious PVA to a card head-band – pegged in place and left over night.

Dsc01119 Dsc01121 Dsc01120

The texture you can see on the surface is P38 car putty – and the greenish color on the curve at the back is standard grey/yellow milliput to get the curve.

The next stage is to get the dome of the crown.
For this I shall use a balloon. The balloon is inflated in position so that it squeezes into the space and produces the dome.
Don’t start with the balloon or you’ll finish with a balloon shaped helmet, and that isn’t desirable.


The balloon is covered with plaster-bandage to set the shape – and then covered with the P38 car putty. the plaster layer is for safety – you don’t want to be spreading car putty on the balloon and risk bursting it – the effect would be spectacular, but again, not desirable.

Once set the balloon can be popped and removed.


The crown was then sanded using a file and an electric sander and then the crest can be added. I first made a paper template to get the cut right to match the helmet – and then cut two identical crests (one in reverse) to form the two sides of the crest.

That was glued with PVA and left overnight – the front and back pegged together and pegs glued in between to form the angle at the middle.


Left to set overnight – there were some inevitable gaps between the crest and the helmet – these were filled with milliput.

Next stage was to fill the crest – you could use polystyrene or similar – I chose to use expanding foam as I had some left over in the garage – it does the job but it’s messy stuff – so do outside! it expands and continues to expand! so don’t squirt too much in! let it fill the void itself and scrape of excess – but don’t get it on your clothes or carpet! (I warned you!)

once set – a bread knife will remove excess foam and then to finish I again used the P38 car putty and sanded it down.


The finish touch is to add a little 3D detail simply by gluing string on with PVA – a bit tricky, but will look good when painted (hopefully).

And finally, just to paint. First I undercoated matt black spray (Halfords car paint), and then finished with a Bronze colour – again car spray, I used ‘Ford Tibetan Gold’.


I ran some duct tape around the inside rim to make it more comfortable to wear and also a soft pad added to the inside top so it didn’t sit too low on his head.

  1. Gomez says:

    Muito legal! Ficou bem parecido a um capacete grego de verdade.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s