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 Post subject: My DP Deluxe "Restoration" Project
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:21 am
Posts: 715
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Hi Everybody,
I'm not much of one for posting but every once and a while I figure I've got something that might be worth sharing.
In January of this year I bought a DP Deluxe Vader in need of a little TLC from a fellow RPFer:
ImageImage

I wanted a helmet I could take to the office and display and not have to worry about bringing a rare and valuable 20th Century piece and it getting stolen or damaged. I had a DP Deluxe before and sold it a few years ago (helmet #166--to my lasting regret--it was one of the first props I'd ever gotten and it had some sentimental value). This would get me another DP Deluxe and fit the bill for work. I thought I'd strip it down, give it a little Bondo touch-up, a new paint job, and in a few weeks I'd be done. You all know it doesn't work like that--lol!

I spent a few afternoons stripping off the 20 odd coats of paint it had. Once got through the paint I discovered a lump of fiberglass that looked like it had been abused by a maniac with 30 grit sandpaper and a lot of time on his hands.

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This began a project I've been working on for an hour or so every week for the last eight months and will probably be on time for its nine month delivery! (more to come)


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 Post subject: Re: My DP Deluxe "Restoration" Project
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 8:07 pm
Posts: 492
Location: Norwich UK
Nice i always liked the deluxe i look forward to seeing your progress :cheers


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 Post subject: Re: My DP Deluxe "Restoration" Project
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:21 am
Posts: 715
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Thank you Sir, my progress continued...

Once the paint was all cleared away I started to work on the areas of the faceplate that bothered me by building up and sanding/shaping layers of Bondo:

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I haven't been looking to get an exact replica of course that's not possible. Just one that passes muster and restores some of what was sanded away by the maniac. This helmet had some interesting characteristics for a DPD. The mouth droop wasn't that serious as some I've seen but the tip of the nose had some very unusual distortion. The nose tip as you can see in the pictures seems elongated. Turns out this was from over-application of Bondo by the DP staff to help fill in a bad pull. You can see where they went Bondo crazy around the mouth/nose area (the darker pink Bondo) and pretty much everywhere else. The neck also had some of the flare that's typical of some helmets I've seen which I decided I'd like to try and correct. This type of neck flare almost seems random too. I've seen lower numbered DPD helmets that suffer from it (lower than say 200) and it just got worse as time went on.

To correct the flare I slathered the inside of the neck with Bondo-Glass (one of my favorite things!) to re-enforce it and allow me to grind down the areas in question without blowing through to nothing:

Image


Last edited by dcarty on Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My DP Deluxe "Restoration" Project
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:21 am
Posts: 715
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
I used my 20th Century bucket (which I recently sold) as my primary reference. I took measurements with calipers and also used a contour gauge --especially on the neck:

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I ground down the neck areas, and of course overdid it on the right side, so I filled with more Bondo-Glass and regular Bondo spot putty. I also had to repair the tusk tube ends which had been cut off too short. I used two part epoxy putty to re-shape them:

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Outside of the Foredom tool to do the grinding, and a file, so far my only other tools to manipulate the mask have been Popsicle sticks to spread the putty and various grits of sandpaper and sanding sticks.


Last edited by dcarty on Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My DP Deluxe "Restoration" Project
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:21 am
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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
The nose was a really interesting area to work on. There was Bondo from previous repair work as well as the Bondo used by the DP guys to re-build an area that obviously hadn't come out of the mold very well. Once that was cleared off I began to look at the slats on the nose bridge. This has always been a weak area on the DPD so I figured the best way to fix them was to fill them in and cut new ones. Back to my old friend Bondo-Glass:

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Skip forward to last week when I felt things had progressed enough that it was about time to cut the new slots:

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I used a square edged file and followed the pattern I laid out with the masking tape.


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 Post subject: Re: My DP Deluxe "Restoration" Project
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:21 am
Posts: 715
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Last night I finally got around to cutting in the nail slots under the eyes. I tried to use a gouge chisel but the one I had was too wide for the job so I chucked a round burr bit into the Foredom, held my breath, and cut them out:

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Then this morning I finally got out a can of Dupli-Color filler primer and gave it a shot to see if any of the work I'd done was worth anything:

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I think I've met with reasonable success--better than I expected actually. I figure I'm about 95% done. I've started the touch-up work (mainly around the nose-tip again) and after that all I have left is to finish re-shaping the chin vent then get to work on the mounting ring:

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Thanks for looking. Hopefully I'll have a nice final update to post soon :)

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: My DP Deluxe "Restoration" Project
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:26 am
Posts: 1239
I'm a big fan of WIP threads. You've done a great job so far. The DP DLX has a lot of potential and serves as a perfect base for this type of restoration/alteration. :thumbsup


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 Post subject: Re: My DP Deluxe "Restoration" Project
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:58 am
Posts: 10831
Location: Denmark
Very nice progress and restoration. Good to see how one of these look under all that paint. :thumbsup

dcarty wrote:
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One thing though - it may not be something you want to do, but thought I'd mention it anyway. The right tear mark looks to be cut too far back towards the eye. It should be more forward towards the cheek edge - I think you can see the outline of where it should be in the red bondo. It definitely seems that there is an mark area that is a darker red than the rest.

Can't wait to see more. :cheers


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 Post subject: Re: My DP Deluxe "Restoration" Project
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:19 pm
Posts: 94
Location: Athens, GA
I love following these threads! Great work so far, keep it up. :)


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 Post subject: Re: My DP Deluxe "Restoration" Project
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 8:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:21 am
Posts: 715
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Thanks for the kind words gentlemen :) Thanks also for the observation Carsten. I tried to be very careful obviously when I placed and cut the tear marks. I based their position a lot on what is left of the tear marks in the native DP casting paired with tracings of the tear marks I took from the 20th Century. Part of the problem may arise from trying to impose the characteristics of one casting onto those of an entirely different one --if that makes sense-- what may look good on the 20th C might not translate over well to the DPD. I'm still pretty sure that their location is accurate, they are that wonky, but I am re-examining them both for improvements. I'm trying to find some photo references that show the position of a screen helmet that I can overlay a picture of the DPD onto and see how close I can get things to line up.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: My DP Deluxe "Restoration" Project
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 8:40 pm 
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True... though they are both Vader... they are different. Well... still think there's something wonky with the one to the left... if it is not placed too far back towards the eye... there must be something else.

Found this picture - think it was posted originally on RPF, but can't remember who - and it's the best I could find showing the marks on the originals.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: My DP Deluxe "Restoration" Project
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 8:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:21 am
Posts: 715
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Awesome Pic Carsten, thanks! Looking through my pics I have a cropped version of that one--nice to have the whole thing :)

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: My DP Deluxe "Restoration" Project
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:12 pm 
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Location: Denmark
If it's cropped the way I think it is... then it may be one of my croppings... hehe.


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 Post subject: Re: My DP Deluxe "Restoration" Project
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:05 pm
Posts: 1312
Location: Pennsylvania
Nice project. Haven't seen anyone mess with one of these in a bit. :thumbsup


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 Post subject: Re: My DP Deluxe "Restoration" Project
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:21 am
Posts: 715
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Almost there...

After some more fiddling around I'm about 98% there now. Still trying to nail down the one side of the nose to my satisfaction. I cut a bit of it out to fill in and reshape:

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Just a bit more to do with the nail marks under the eyes to smooth them out a bit and also re-cut the chin vent:

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Does this layout look right? The distance of the two top corners is fairly obvious. Where it gets difficult is how far down the vent travels and what the radius of the corners is.

I'm really hoping to get this nailed by the weekend so I can bring him to the office on Monday :)

Dave


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