After making a DIY Redskins feather helmet, I became addicted to making helmets. I don’t like making helmets that simply replicate what a team currently wears, but concept prototype helmets that would probably never see the light of day.
My first concept helmet was a Redskins white helmet. A couple of years ago, I read an article quoting Joe Theismann stating that the Redskins were slated to wear a white helmet for ’83 season, but the plan was scraped after the Redskins won the ’82 Super Bowl. I couldn’t find any additional information on this or any prototype photos. After tinkering with some ideas, I decided to make a more modern version of a Skins white helmet…
I thought it would be interesting to use the double striped pattern that the Skins use on their jerseys and pants. I’ll tell you, centering stripes on a helmet is the devil. It takes a lot of patience and a keen eye to ensure the stripes are centered.
As for the logo, I cannot take credit it for that. That’s a logo that’s been floating around the internet for a couple of years now. I slightly tweaked the colors and had the decals printed. Even though I’m not profiting from this, I feel almost guilty using this logo design.
My next venture was an alternate throwback concept for the Denver Broncos. I’ve always liked the bucking Bronco logo the team used in ’60 and ’61. In the past, I’ve toyed with the idea of using that logo with the Orange Crush era colors. When making the actual helmet, I decided to go with the old brown and yellow color scheme…
I’ve always really loved the simplicity and beauty of the Cleveland Browns helmet, but I’ve always wondered what it would look like if they slapped a logo on the side of the helmet?….
I prefer the original, but it was fun to play around with the idea of adding one of my all-time favorite logos, the Brownie Elf, to one of my all-time favorite helmets. Maybe a case of too much of a good thing?
What would the Chargers lid look like if they went away from the bolts? Maybe something like this…
I got my hands on some Chargers sheild decals and slapped them on a white helmet. The team used this logo from 1961 to 1973.
I like what I did with this helmet, but it’s not my favorite of the bunch. I think Chargers are best suited with the classic bolts and no center stripes. It also really bothers me that horse and bolt on the right side decal are facing backwards.
From a craftsmanship perspective, I really like this helmet. It was the funkiest all of the helmets I’ve ever purchased, and I feel I did a solid job restoring it. I’m in disbelief that I was also able to keep the stripes centered on a Schutt helmet. I’m also really happy with the custom nose bumper decal I made. I took some decal scraps and made a bumper using the old Chargers goal post insignia.
UPDATE: I bought a different facemask (Schutt Model ROPO-UB-DW for those who care) for another helmet I was making, but it didn’t quite fit. I took the original facemask I used for this helmet (ROPO-SW) and and swapped it with the new facemask.
I believe this is a huge improvement and makes the helmet look much better. The new facemask is somewhat reminiscent of what LT wore in his heyday with the Chargers.
My next helmet was not a concept helmet, but a modern version of the famous 1969 Saints black helmet. To make a long story short, the Saints debuted a new black helmet during the 1969 preseason. They did not get approval from the league office prior to using them, therefore they went back to the more familiar gold helmets for the start of the regular season.
This would be a nice change up for the team if the NFL went the route of allowing alternate helmets, à la the CFL’s use of home and away helmets. The NFL is tied to using a single helmet for each team as its primary branding element, so I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
UPDATE: I later made another with a gold facemask. I don’t know which I like more?
Another non-concept helmet was next. This time I stepped out of the NFL realm to make a replication of one of my favorite helmets, the Jacksonville Bulls of the USFL.
Over the last few years, I’ve developed a fascination with the CFL. Maybe I just need some football to hold me over until the NFL season starts? Maybe it’s the odd rules, like 3 downs and 12 men per side, that I find interesting? Either way, I thought it would be nice to make a CFL helmet.
I decided to make a replication of the 1970-73 Montreal Alouettes helmet. It’s one of my all-time favorite designs. It’s unique and identifiable with that region, much like the old Quebec Nordiques logo was.
UPDATE: The modern facemask just didn’t feel right on this helmet, so I tried an old-school mask.
That’s much, much better in my opinion.
I decided to take another stab at a Chargers concept. This time I used the traditional bolts, but with a different take. I thought it would be fun to take their ’61-’65 helmet and make it blue instead of white. The shade of blue I used isn’t as light as the powder blue, but not as dark as the Fouts era blue. It looks like it may fall in between those two blues on the color spectrum.
I also went with the athletic gold mask. A grey mask would work for a throwback concept, but I thought the gold facemask made the bolts on the helmet pop.
I debated if I should include numbers on the sides or not. I ultimately went with them, but here is how the helmet looks sans numbers…
Here’s another CFL throwback. This one’s a Warren Moon era Edmonton Eskimos helmet.
I found the gold facemask online from a great online store called Green Gridiron. The official color is listed as “UCLA Gold”.
In case you’re curious, this is what the helmet would look like on-field.
UPDATE: I later made another helmet using just the gold center stripe. I’m torn between which of the two actually looks better…
My fascination with defunct football leagues continues. Here’s my take on the World Football League’s Charlotte Hornets.
What would the Seahawks look like if they embraced neon green as their primary color? Maybe a little something like this…
I’m not a big fan of matte finishes on helmets, but I must say that I’m happy with the results of this helmet.
UPDATE: I made another green ‘Hawks helmet, this time using a silver stripe with blue totems. I think I prefer the original…
UPDATE to the UPDATE: Here is another ‘Hawks helmet I made, this time with more of a satin finish…
While I was on the matte finish kick, I decided to make a powder blue Chargers fauxback helmet…
This was one of my favorite projects. I really like the way the gold mask and decals pop against the blue. Also, if you look closely at the finish, you’ll notice that the paint job features navy blue flecks.
I was curious what this helmet may look like with a whole uni set, I threw one together.
Perhaps the most panned helmet I’ve ever made (per design forums and twitter), here is my experiment with the Philadelphia Eagles…
For this helmet, I took the team’s current decals and put them on a kelly green matte shell. I also used a silver mask.
I recently had a request to make a Broncos helmet based on this concept. Here is the end result…
What I really liked about this concept was the blending of different eras of Broncos football. The helmet features the old 60’s era shell with the Orange Crush era “D” logo. The logo also incorporates the modern Bronco with the current shade of navy.
I made this helmet using the Schutt Ion 4D model. This helmet is most notable for the way the facemask attaches to the helmet. It is often referred to as the “Justin Tuck” helmet.
I really had fun with this helmet and plan on doing another with with either a navy or orange mask.
UPDATE: I made another Broncos helmet for my own collection. This time I experimented with different colored masks…
I love orange, but I thought the helmet with the orange mask was too much of a good thing, so I decided on keeping the helmet with the navy mask.
For my foray into collage football, I decided to make a University of Oregon helmet that actually featured the school’s colors…
For this lid, I used Oregon’s throwback green and yellow. I also used the “Puddles” logo for the side decals.
I don’t really mind all the helmet and uniform experimentation Oregon does, but I must say, I would love it if they donned a fauxback uniform featuring a helmet similar to this one.
Another day, another Redskins helmet. For this one, I made an updated version of the old ’59-’64 “feather” helmet. This one features a yellow/gold shell and a red mask…
Not bad, but not my favorite. The helmet looked better in my mind as a concept than it did in reality. But, that’s why you see the projects through. Sometimes the design you dreamt up, becomes some of your best work!
Here is a Redskins “fauxback” I made using an old Riddell VSR-4 helmet. The inspiration was the rumored 1983 white helmet that never came to fruition.
I wanted to use an old 2-bar facemask, but those only come in gray, so I had to paint it to get the color I wanted…
For the side decals, I decided to use the Redskins’ “Curly R” logo.
Here is the finished product…