The Daily Helmet: A Whale of A Project

Ode To The Whale

One of the best logo in the history of sports has to be the Hartford Whalers logo. Designed by Peter Good. The Whalers started as the New England whalers in 1972, playing their games in Boston. They would later move to Hartford during the 1974 season and stayed there until the move following the 1996-97 season. When Peter Good designed the new logo for the 1979 season he said he wanted to get rid of the harpoon in the logo, because essentially that means you are killing your own mascot. A wise man. He came up with the iconic logo we know today. The logo is a brilliant use of negative space creating an “H” between the Whale tail and the W. The other thing I loved about the Whalers was the fantastic use of bright green and blue. The 1980s Whalers looked amazing. Unfortunately, as with many teams during the 90s, the Whale changed to a Navy blue. The logo was still there, but some of their luster went away with them looking like mud on ice.

8″ Wood Logo

For this project I made an 8″ wood Whalers Logo. As with all of my wood projects I start off by printing out the logo. I don’t have any patterns for any of my logos. I just download the logos and use inkscape to change the color to gray so I don’t waste as much ink. Then I print it up and cut around the various parts of the logo. Sometimes I will have to print out several copies of the logo to make the individual layers.

For the Whalers logo I cut out three layers. The base layer which will be royal blue, the second layer (white) and the main part of the logo, painting the “W” bright green and the tail the same color as the base. Once cut, I sand smooth and paint with acrylic craft paint using foam rollers and small brushes for the edges. Usually it will take 4-5 coats to cover up birch plywood. It only takes a few minutes for the paint to dry, once I am happy with the coverage, I glue together with 5 second super glue. I use this glue because it cuts down on having to use a lot of clamps and having to wait to dry. Once it is all glued I spray it with triple thick glaze.

Project Flashback: Cincinnati Bengals Custom Helmet

The Bengals helmet was one of my earlier projects. It was tricky for two reasons. One was finding the right decals. Many sellers had Bengals decals, but they came in two piece stripes. Meaning that the stripes were essentially cut in half and you had to match them up when you placed them on the helmet. I finally found a set with full stripes. The next part, was finding the right shade of orange. It turns out the closest match i could find was actually engine enamel. The paint is designed for high heat up to 500 degrees. Obviously a display helmet in my basement won’t have to endure those type of temperatures, but the paint worked just like or better than any normal acrylic paint. Once I painted I continued with my usual process, sanding and buffing then applying the decals.

Bengals Stripes Are Now Painted

I used decals, but the actual stripes seen on the Bengals helmets are now factory painted. The decals had a lot of problems and had to be replaced almost weekly. This way the helmets are painted in the factory and there is less issues. You may occasionally see decals on the current Bengals, if a player decides to change helmets and the painted version is not quickly available. Unfortunately this means no throwbacks.

What I Watched: 1991 World League Of American Football Playoffs Barcelona Dragons VS. Birmingham Dragons

The World league was a cool concept. It had teams from all over North America and Europe competing on the gridiron. Seven teams from North America and the other three in Europe. That format would last for a few seasons. After an off year the league was resurrected for the 1995 season. Of all the spring leagues, the WLAF/NFL Europe/NFL Europa lasted the longest with the leagues operating with the exception of one off season from 1991-2007. This was mostly because the NFL backed the league, but in the end it wasn’t profitable and teams folded and the NFL pulled the plug.

Here is a playoff game from 1991 featuring the Birmingham Fire and Barcelona Dragons, which seem like more complimentary mascots than adversaries. I mean Dragons blow fire right?

Helmet Of the Day: Birmingham Fire

Seems like Birmingham always gets these minor league teams, but never get a shot at an NFL team. This Fire has a more Eagles-like logo placement than the Chicago Fire of the WFL who had the fire logo on the side and covered the ear hole.