I've wanted a full-face for a while now, but I had been looking for something "old school". A few months ago, I drove past a yard sale and saw an old Bell Moto III helmet for sale, I was in a rush, but decided to stop and if I could a least get the helmet over my noggin, I would buy it. It did, so I bought it, with only a quick scan over.  I later gave the helmet a closer look, the liner was in pretty good condition, the visor was missing, but the previous owner told me he had it, just had to dig it out, if I wanted to come back and get it. Anyway, I tried the helmet on again, and realized it was much to0 big, even my oblong melon. Cut to the chase, Biltwell Inc. introduced the Gringo Full Face Helmet earlier this year and it was exactly what I was looking for, a no frills, retro-styled, full face helmet, with DOT approval.

When the helmet arrived via a purchase from Lowbrow Customs, the first thing that popped into my head as I removed it from the box was, blank canvas. And before I even wore the helmet while riding, I decided to to personalize it with a custom paint job. I had been wanting to try gold leafing or using gold leaf as a decorative application, so I knew I wanted to incorporate that somehow and I had recently completed some design work for a team of navy divers and had been researching dive helmets AND also recently watched the Walt Disney adaptation of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

I had theme, nautical, dive helmet with a nod to Jules Vernes, although I based my sea-beast on a octopus, rather than a squid. The first layer is Rustoleum "Antique Brass" spray enamel, the same finish that I used on the hubcaps and drum brakes of the Baroness. For the view ports I applied imitation gold leaf. This stuff is delicate! I want to work with it more, and I think I will have better understanding and control of the medium, now knowing how it reacts. Everything else is hand painted brush work, with a spar urethane satin clear coat sprayed on for protection.

The bare "titanium"  matte finish helmet I started with, and below, the Sharpie line work that was masked out and the first coat of spray.




...et cetera