Alright dudes, this started as a test and wound up a new preference.
Issued ACH covers, Shoe goo, and you.
(A semi permanent solution)
For reference, here is my ACH setup before this modification.http://lightfighter.net/eve/fo...20707763#15920707763
Between reading this thread and the "Show your Fighting Loadout" thread extensively I began to detest my naked and painted ACH, for obvious reasons. It was time for changes.
I've been running an ACH for 6 years or so, and 4 of those years have been with an issued cover. Now, I've never had much trouble with Issue-style helmet covers, get the right size and take the time to don it correctly and it will stay tight and function well.
After a few years, helmet covers had started to irritate the shit out of me so I slapped some velcro on my ACH
However there were a few key preference based configurations that would be lost with the addition of a standard helmet cover.
- DIY with easily available materials,(IE. Issue helmet cover, cutting device, Shoe Goo) not dropping $80.00 and waiting for the mail (not like thats wrong)
- The nice and organized feel of a coverless helmet.
- Direct mounting of Velcro to helmet exterior/ not having to sew.
- Minimal wear/fraying/ snagging potential.
Direct velcro on helmet is an irrational personal preference on my end, because posts like Vet Medic's show me that velcro on helmet covers is not only possible, but possible with style (seen here) http://lightfighter.net/eve/fo...20142863#16120142863
Alas, I decided not to go out a buy tan velcro to sew onto my cover, mainly out of drunkenness.
Instead I wanted to keep my helmets Velcro configuration as is and work around it. This was an idea put in my head from a post by NORcalKilla in the 'Show your Fighting Loadout' thread.
I decided that was the route I was going, but I would want to keep the cover as tight to the helmet as I possibly could. That was when it hit me.
Mother fuckin Shoe Goo.
Again, the idea was not original at all. It came from jcustisredux's post in this thread.
It was at this time that everything aligned in my head and it was time to make some modifications.
I started with a complete Issued style helmet cover w/ Commo flap. ACH and cover size are S/M.
The cover had 5 separate main sections to an issue cover.
1- Velcro attachment system at the base of the cover
2- Left side
3- Top Center
4- Right side
5- Commo flap
The only pieces needed to do this Mod are 2, 3, and 4.
I removed the commo flap and kept it…imagining that I may use it again some day.
I cut the seams that attached the velcro straps to the bottom of the cover, being careful not to cut the cover itself.
I then cut the two main seams that attached the left, top center, and right of the cover to each other, again, being careful not to cut the cover itself.
I now have my the three sections (As seen above) that will become my new cover.
Take time to line everything up and get a mental picture of how you'll be applying your cover pieces. Shoe Goo starts to "tack" up with in 10 minuets.
It is necessary to spread out the Shoe Goo and to be able to adjust the position of the cover section while the goo is still wet. Be sure to work out any lumps or wrinkles while the goo is still wet.
Apply Shoe goo directly to helmet in streaks, such as above.
Its pretty common sense type shit, I applied a thicker portion of Shoe Goo to bendy areas of the ACH such as the "Ear Flare" portions of the helmet.
Be sure to leave about an inch of cloth hanging around the base of the helmet so that later you can come back and shoe goo it into place.
Once the edges have been gooed down and harden up, you can come back with a razor blade and slice away any extra material.
For the edge sections I used a significant amount of shoe goo to ensure proper adherence and added edge protection of the shoe goo. Its tough stuff!
As you can see I placed my cover material right over my velcro sections. I left about an inch of Shoe goo-free "play room" around the velcro panel so that I could come back with a razor blade and carefully and precisely cut out the section to expose my velcro.
All cutting of material as shown above is done once the shoe goo has stiffened up enough not to effect placement. (About 20 minuets)
Once you have cut away unwanted material, you will see why that Inch of shoe goo-free "play room" comes in handy.
Now you can gently apply small amounts of shoe goo in these small edges by taking a dental pick or similar tool and peeling back the loose edging around the velcro panel.
I used a small "paddle shaped" dental pick to apply the shoe goo in these confined spaces.
This is the method I used for all corners and edges on the helmet. I left a nice and workable inch of space at every corner so that I could go back with my pick and small amounts of shoe goo and really give the cover a professional look.
It is important to seal up all edges like this both for longevity, and appearance.
Along the top center seam lines I applied a light bead of shoe goo, and spread it with my finger so that it would overlap 1/2'' of the cover, and 1/2'' of the helmet shell. A nice tough, water resistant weld. I recommend this.
Now I've got the left and right sections of the helmet cover attached, cut, and edges sealed the way I want them.
Time to do the center.
I took my center portion and cut it straight down the middle using the cover loops as reference. I also removed the square remainder of the Comms flap so tha the front and rear of the section were both square and even.
I did the center one half section at a time. I had to angle each section of material inward in order to keep appearance symmetrical while overlapping cover material and covering the helmet shell entirely up to my NVG Mount.
Again, it is very important to leave excess material alone until you have the material partially adhered to the helmet and can see exactly how it will line up.
As you can see, I have my NVG mount limits traced out in pencil on the helmet shell.
Cut out what you need to cut out.
I couldn't decide if I wanted to entirely cover the helmet and mount my hardware over the cover. In the end I simply cut around everything.
Now I have half of my top section adhered, cut up, and sealed up. Again, I used a razor blade to cut a straight line along the "mohawk" section of velcro. I had about an inch or goo-free "play room" so that I could glue everything down tight.
All thats left now is to line up the other half of the top section, trim evenly, and seal up your edges.
Here is the completed product. Once I had all sections firmly in place and dimensions cut I added the finishing touches. Since I overlapped my material I once again had to seal up the top edges.
Here is a picture under direct light from earlier in the project for demonstration purposes. You can clearly see the lines of shoe goo in this picture. This is because Shoe goo is shiny once it cures. A simple light dusting of flat spray paint seems to help the shine go away.
A few more shots. Note the tan color of my shoe goo seams. (Krylon tan)
A close up of the painted seams.
I would love to get some points of view and questions on this.
I will come back with an AAR on this once I've put some time in beating this thing up.