Policemen Hats

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Policemen Hats

Postby Professor » 21 Mar 2007, 17:21

I am thinking of making a policeman hat out of Paper Mache. Can anyone give some tips on how to start off - or what to mould it round?

Any tips would be much apprieciated.
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Postby Chris » 21 Mar 2007, 18:33

You mould it round a model of a policeman's hat.
You can make this in clay or plasticene, or you can carve it out of a large block of wax, or soap, or you can make the original cut from a polistyrene foam block. You can cut this latter with a hot wire loop, or you can work it using a rasp and sandpaper (a very messy business).
<img src="http://www.punchandjudy.com/images/pchelmet2.jpg" alt="piccy" align="right">
The easy way is to buy a toy one. They are made for teddy bears. You'll have to look on Punchman's Tips to find the details.

I made mine out of felt - stitched and stuffed. I then gave the felt a couple of coats of varnish which stiffened it somewhat. That was 35 years ago. I'll have to do something more permanent.
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Policemen Hats

Postby billywand » 21 Mar 2007, 20:20

Hello !

Chris is right about papier mache being very messy,and I don't think it would have the required strength if made as a shell over a mould. A better idea would be to do as Chris suggests and make a plasticine mould
and make the helmet from fibre glass. This is far easier to use,and is availiable from Halfords or similar car parts shops. It is sold as a kind of material or felt, which you cut to shape with scissors, brush with resin which hardens it. A few layers over the mould should do the trick.

The teddy bear helmet Chris suggests is really not very good. I saw one only Monday when I was in Hamleys. The company is Build-A-Bear. They have outlets in most towns. The police helmet is not solid.It is made of p.v.c material,so needs stuffing, and looks to me too small for most Policemen I have seen. It is part of a 3 piece outfit (helmet,tunic,trousers) price £12.00 Check out their website at www.buildabear.co.uk as they do have some usefull things for anyone making puppets.

Hope this helps,

Kind regards, Billy Wand
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Postby Chris » 21 Mar 2007, 23:32

No Billy, you've got me all wrong. It isn't Papie Mache that I said was messy, and papie mache is immensely strong if made properly. They make furniture out of it you know.
What I said was messy was rasping polystyrene foam - the bits stick to everything! Personally I have found fibreglass much more messy than papie mache, although it will certainly give a very strong finish. But then I know I'm behind the times. I know when I was making stuff for tele I was using papie mache and plastic wood while the "in" thing was indeed fibreglass and celastic.

One thing in favour of papie mache is that it is much cheaper than fibreglass as well as being a pleasanter material. Another thing is that it is a traditional method use by Punch and puppet makers. Both Quisto and Tickner did magnificent things with papie mache. I have a Quisto dragon, an enormous thing, all in papie mache, and very very strong. Ask David Wilde - he's had his head inside it!

The bears' helmets recommended by Mr Fizzo were from The Bear Factory - I don't know whether they are the same company as build-a-bear. But whatever, I certainly think they would have to be reinforced in some way - probably with papie mache on the inside. But as you say, they may be too small unless you wanted a small helmet for comic effect.
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policemens helmets

Postby billywand » 23 Mar 2007, 04:48

Hello

Misread the bit about messiness, but I have allways found papier mache messy, probably 'cos I lack the pacience to let it dry properly (and look up propper spileng ! )

Polystyrene is always messy. you reminded me of the time I was in a production show on a Christmas cruise and we used polystyrene shavings from cargo packing to dress the stage. you would not believe where that polystyrene found it's way to for weeks after !!!

Hope proff found info helpfull

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