[Editor's Note: Today we have a guest-written DIY piece from longtime reader/contributor Ryan Connelly. Enjoy. — PL]
By Ryan Connelly
I always use the same name for fantasy sports and whatnot: the Swisshelm Express. Same name as the bus line that ran down the street I grew up on. It was also the subject of my very first two DIY projects, one of which was featured here on Uni Watch.
I’ve wanted to work on a DIY football helmet for a while now, so I got to designing a Swisshelm Express helmet logo. I played around with ideas of a simple version of the logo that had appeared on one of my DIY jerseys — something I could possibly paint myself:
Then I totally played around with other ideas just to reset my thoughts:
But then I started to focus on a train/express theme:
Once I was comfortable with a train engine that I liked and could work with, I started to explore a design with a shield motif, because I’ve always loved logos with shields:
Eventually I settled on this stripey beauty:
So now I had my logo, but I still had to turn it into a helmet decal. After a bit of research and phone haggling, I settled on a company that specializes in decals. They really treated me great, and let’s just say they were willing to work with me a bit here and there. Here are the finished decals, plus a flag and number sheet:
I also designed a fat helmet stripe to go along with the logo. I basically just pulled the stripes from the front of the train engine and copy/pasted to the appropriate dimensions:
Next, it was time for helmet research. Couldn’t find helmets anywhere around the Pittsburgh area. Couldn’t find a good vendor online. Didn’t want to pay the money for an authentic. Didn’t want a used, dirty, scuffed helmet. All I really knew was that I wanted a dark-colored helmet with a gray facemask. I finally found a Steelers replica throwback helmet and won it on eBay auction at a really great price:
The added bonus of using a Steelers helmet was that I had a clean, logoless left side. So I threw a decal on that side immediately, just to get a hint of how it would look:
Then I choose two numerals for the back helmet numbers, lined them up with the center stripe, applied them, and then carefully peeled off the stripe off:
Then I added my center stripe. It looks really cool, especially with the raised center ridge on the helmet:
Next step: I carefully peeled off the Steelers logo from the right side of the helmet and used Scotch tape and extra decal pieces to make sure the my logo decal on that side was aligned with the one on the left side:
Perfect! If you want to see more photos of the finished helmet, check out the last few photos in this set. I couldn’t be more happy with the way it all came together and how it finally turned out! Hope you enjoyed the write-up!
Big thanks to RyCo, who’s truly the king of the Uni Watch DIYers.
PermaRec update: The latest entry on the Permanent Record blog is about tens of thousands of photos — many of them badly damaged, like the one shown at right — that were lost in a tornado and are now being returned to their rightful owners. It’s a powerful story. Check it out here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: A new poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans have no problem with the Redskins’ name. … New logo and uniforms for San Diego State, plus there’s a new style guide. … A little birdie tells me that St. John’s may (a) switch from Nike to Under Armour, (b) bring back blue, (c) go back to “SJU” instead of “STJ,” and (d) swap “Johnny Thunderbird” for a cartoon caricature of Lou Carnesecca with an “LC” on the chest. … Although most of the article is behind a paywall, it appears that Memphis is leading its conference in hitting after switching to those ax-handled bats (from my ESPN editor Dave Wilson). … Doug Murray of the Penguins was wearing some interesting skate guards on Wednesday night. … Speaking of the Penguins, they have a fun strength/conditioning logo (from Matthew Walthert). … The A’s promotional schedule lists a “1969 Turn Back the Clock” game for July 29, so they’ll presumably be wearing throwbacks that day (from Richard Paloma). … Here’s what the Jags’ new practice jerseys look like (from Jason Cimon). … Latest bogus attempt to connect sports with the military: The Bruins are choosing a player of the game, who gets to wear an Army Rangers camouflage jacket. Boys with toys (from Bobby Pinkham). … I think I may have listed this in the Ticker years ago, but once more won’t hurt: There are some amazing old San Francisco semi-pro baseball photos here (from Mark Chiarucci). … Shame on the Philadelphia City Council, which has approved a plan to sell advertising on city buildings and vehicles (thanks, Phil). … Robinson Cano made a community appearance yesterday and was wearing a 2011 Yankees cap with the All-Star Game patch (from Matt Harris). … The Birmingham Barons are a White Sox affiliate, which presumably explains why they’re selling this very cool cap. “I don’t think they use it on the field, but I did see several ushers and other stadium employees wearing it,” says Dan O’Hara. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Mark in Shiga was poking around on eBay and found a bunch of nameplates that had been removed from old Pirates jerseys, including three different styles for Larry McWilliams’s NOB: small, base-aligned “c”; all caps with a space; and superscript “c” with an underscore. … USC, Baylor, and Notre Dame are getting new facemasks that color-shift from gray to gold. … Coleman Mullins spotted a pulled-over car with a “Nike” vanity plate. … Ever seen these NFL “Forest Face” kits before? I hadn’t, until Brice Wallace showed me this merch page. The whole thing feels very Mr. Potato Head, no? … Possible stadium renovations in the work for Notre Dame (from Tom Murphy). … In a related item, here’s what a modernized Wrigley Field might look like (from Adam Herbst). … Looks like the Vikings use numberless jerseys for their player head shots (from Matt Snyder). … The Rolling Stones are playing at the Staples Center in L.A. tonight, and Steve Mandich notes that they’ve created several team-themed T-shirts for the occasion — one each for the Lakers, Clippers, and Kings. … One more from yesterday’s comments: Someone has come up with a really clever John Buck jersey. … New uni number assignments for the Ravens (from Andrew Cosentino). … The teams for Madras High School in Oregon are called the White Buffaloes. A student designed their new logo, which was supposed to look like this. But then they let a corporate branding firm redesign it, so now it looks like this. “My disappointment is through the roof,” says Madras alum Kenny Ocker. … Here’s the new logo for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Further details here (from Dan Kurtz).