HOW-TO: CUSTOM PAINT MX HELMETS
Ever wondered what goes into custom painting a new lid? It 'aint a walk in the park. Mark "Brownie" Brown has done them all, from F1 drivers right down to personal customs like this one for Transmoto's Andy Wigan (a while back may we add). Here's a breakdown of what goes into it.
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For this old project, we started off with an out-of-the-box M2R X4 helmet, with standard graphics on it. I start by taking the helmet apart – taking the liners out of it, taking rubbers off, taking the vents out. I basically have to strip the lid down to a bare shell. Then, I can prepare the helmet for its first coat of white paint.
The silver Transmoto logo you’re looking at was applied using a mask. This goes on first, but it’s actually going to be the last thing you see. Colours will be applied over it. You just peel the mask off when you’re ready and there it’ll be. In the end, it’ll be a white logo with a silver outline.
I take the visor off at this stage, to make painting the actual helmet easier. As you can see, I can spray over the mask and it won’t affect the Transmoto logo in the end.
With the Transmoto logo masked off, I can start painting the helmet. Andy wanted to have green at the top, fading into a dark green/black at the bottom. I laid down the green and then formed the gradient to black from there.
Take away that mask, and there’s our logo! At this stage, I apply the first coat of glossy clear paint, which makes the colours pop. The clear coat also protects what we’ve done, so I can continue to add more graphics from here on in.
Now, the design factor kicks in as far as graphics go. The Transmoto logo has been done, so all I need to do is apply the black sections (first) and the white pin-lines (second). I do this using an air-brush, by hand. I put the visor back on, match the pin-lines up, and make sure that’s everything’s looking right. I check that there are no pieces that are wrong in any way before the next coat of clear goes on.
The final stage includes applying any remaining logos to the helmet, and giving it one more clear coat. A matte clear gets applied to all the matte areas. All the tape comes off, everything gets put back inside the lid, and it’s ready for Wigan to put on his head!