Ninetenth century helmets, both military and firefighting, typically had a front plate that identified the group that the wearer belonged to. It was usually made of stamped metal, although sometimes was of molded leather. The Defender helmet, to be steampunk, should have both functional and decorative elements, and so I have designed the helmet plate to be both. It has a headlamp in the middle for functionality, surrounded by a traditional plate, with Gryphon Interplanetary Aeroship Expedition running around the lamp, and with a pair of gryphons standing guard on either side.
I have no way to stamp brass sheeting, and I've made molded leather plates before for other helmets, so I've decided to make this one out of cold cast metal. Since my color scheme is black and silver, I have chosed aluminum for the metal, which will resemble pewter.
Once my sketch is turned into a finished drawing, the next step is to create the model. Here I've cut and engraved white acrylic sheeting, which I've stained tan to better see the details. To make the body of the gryphons 3-D I've added brown plasticene.
Next I made a rubber mold from the model, by building a wall around it and filling it with liquid silicone rubber, which cured and turned into a solid overnight.
I then cast the finished part in a urethane resin with atomized aluminum mixed into it. I demolded it while it was still warm, and shaped it into a curve so that it would fit the front of the helm. Once it was good and set I sanded it and buffed it to make the aluminum shine, then antiqued it in black to make the design really stand out.