Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Single-Piece Flat Lens Strip Mod

When I upgraded from the FX helmet to the more accurate RT-MOD in December 2006, I decided to try a single piece lens for simplicity of installation as well as convenient future replacement. Photos of the original screen-used helmets show a flimsy green sheet of plastic was used for lenses. Of course, movie props are typically built to serve their seconds of screen time, not to last for years of troopin' abuse. So I've used the dark green welder's faceshield replacement (the standard for troopers these days) which is much sturdier. Having previously used these in the two-piece lens set-up, I knew the tint was dark enough to hide my eyes---even in the flash of a camera---and yet light enough so as not to impair my vision. The lens strip is held in place by two plastic spring clips that are bonded to the inside of the helmet with DevCon Plastic Welder. Because I am able to quickly remove the entire lens strip, applying anti-fog spray, wiping condensation from the lens, or even repainting the inside of the helmet is now a breeze. Speaking of breezes, there is no need for an air-tight seal around the eye holes. In fact, the gaps (no visible from the outside) help improve much-needed airflow inside the helmet. Read more about the installation of the single-piece flat lens here.

TRIVIA: One easy way to tell "hero" helmets from "stunt" helmets in Episode IV: A New Hope is bubble (hero) versus flat (stunt) lenses.

No comments: