AN-H-15 Flight Helmet
The basic design of the Endor Rebel Soldier helmet came from a World War 2 AN-H-15 trainers helmet. Lucasfilm hired Nilo Rodis-Jamero to make these helmets and he states: "I used to go to a surplus store, and I had seen a lot of helmets that were made out of cloth. So I bought some of them and adapted them to a new original design." -From Star Wars The Annotated Screenplays by Laurent Bouzereau, published by Del Rey.
PartsofSW.com gleamed this manufacturer information off the inside of an actual Endor Rebel Soldier helemt over at LucasFilms:
More to come about the Hardshell Donut as we build it.
Ribbed Cloth Top
On top of the Rebel helmet lays a strip of ribbed cloth. This is cloth piece starts out narrow at the front, widens out in the middle, then tapers narrow to the back. The narrowest part is probably only 2.5 cm (1 inch) narrower than the widest part (1.25 cm on each side). Notice the measurements of B and C in the diagram.
The ribbed cloth has a bias strip sewn to the edges of the ribbing. Notice in this screen capture that they stitched the bias twice, once near the ribbing and once near the outside edge. Because of this double stitching, we think the bias is comprised of two different pieces of cloth sandwiching the ribbed cloth above and below, then everything is stitched together.
In this closeup of Luke Skywalker, we can clearly see black "cell foam" in the ear holes of the helmet (arrow A).
We also see that the stiff cloth-covered visor attached to the helmet puckers up at the base of the hardshell donut (arrow B). I personally think the visor is glued to the inside of the donut, and not stitched to the cloth AN-H-15 helmet. The joining edge between the donut and the visor is just to perfect to be any other way. Email me and discuss this if you care to. I am open to any evidence/research that might disprove my theory.
Notice the seam running along the edge of the visor also (arrow C). This means the visor is two pieces of cloth, sewn along the curved edge, then turned inside out to make this seam. Slip in your stiff visor material (cardboard or thin plastic) and you are ready to attach the visor to the rest of the helmet.
In this screen captured image above, notice the different height positioning of the hardshell donut in comparison to the black ear muffs (arrow A). On Leia's helmet the donut sits lower in the ear than on the generic Soldier's helmet. This is probably due to smaller heads, or possibly the craftsmen did not take the time to sit the soldiers helmet square on to his head.
Also notice how large the leather cheek flap is (arrow C). this cheek flap covers up the connection point of the leather chin strap to the cloth helmet. The rounded bottom and darker leather of the cheek flap helps the helmet look more beefy than it originally was. Please do not forget to sew this leather piece onto your helmet.
Arrow B points to the indented area of the back of the hardshell donut. This indention is crucial to fabricate into your own hardshell donut.
More info to come on this section as we finish making our costume. We are currently in the process of mastering our Hardshell-Donut.
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