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 Post subject: Don Post Deluxe - Early Numbers Better Shape... or Not?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:46 pm
Posts: 5241
Location: San Jose, CA
Foreword

I was going to initially PM this to Jez but then decided that if I opened this discussion up to the community, more information might come forward.

In my early days joining the Vader community, Jez' site - starwarshelmets.com - was of course the de facto "Wikipedia" for Vader helmets. The following excerpt has always been interesting to me.

Quote:
ImageImage
CKing's sent me some photos of his Excellent low-numbered Deluxe Fibreglass Vader. This particular helmet is especially good as its a low number (see plaque photo its numbered just 86), and therefore benefits from an overall better shape (later ones had additional warping as the same mould was used again and again, as was not effectively cleaned over the production run of 1000) Source: http://web.ukonline.co.uk/bingo275/helmets.htm


The CKing has wonderfully straight teeth, the correct paint scheme, and the neck was not warped or flared, supposedly because it was a low number.

Over the past two years, I've scoured the web looking for low number unmodified Don Post Deluxe Vader helmets. After landing #188 and a second mask I "rescued" off eBay, I found that all DP DLX pictures showed consistently flared/warped necks and teeth - from numbers both earlier and later than the CKing. This leads me to think that the CKing was perhaps modified. It's correct paint scheme differs from the entire DP DLX line, which has a reversed scheme.

Here are my findings:

YakCam's #17 (Now cookman's)

The #17 is earlier than the CKing which is #86. The neck flare is present in #17, leading me to think that the reduced neck flare of #86 is a modification and not the result of it being a low number.

Photo courtesy of Yakcam:

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Mac's #188

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Mac's "Rescued" mask - Number Unknown

I once "rescued" a DP mask from eBay. No lenses and dome, and the brass number plate had been removed. This unnumbered mask's shape is not dissimilar to the #188 (right).

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We've never been able to properly identify if the brass number plates were applied in the very same order as when the helmets were made. But let's assume they were all made sequentially and in small batches.


Random Original State DP DLX (possibly Cookman's #17)

I don't recall the number of this helmet, but it's in its original state:

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CKing: A modified DP DLX

The artfully reduced neck flare is, I believe, a modification. Another modification that was nicely done was the correct paint scheme. As mentioned before, the original DP Deluxe helmets' paint scheme (the alternating black and metallic gray) was reversed on purpose.

And finally, when we compare the teeth holes of the CKing and an unmodified the Don Post Deluxe, we can see that CKing has done some good work. The CKing mask is notably different:

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Conclusion

I'd like to open this up to anyone who has a low-number Don Post Deluxe helmet to verify if the shape of their DP DLX is in fact consistent with the photos represented in this post.

I'd like to suggest the Don Post page at http://web.ukonline.co.uk/bingo275/helmets.htm to have an unmodified Don Post instead of the CKing. The CKing could perhaps be recategorized as a derivative but definitely pioneering work. I feel that the lack of "warping" is not due to the CKing being a lower number, as helmet #17 is verifiably warped.


Last edited by CSMacLaren on Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Don Post Deluxe - Early Numbers Better Shape... or Not?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:23 am
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Location: USA
I'll take some good pics of my #283 I bought from VM. It'll be interesting to see how many DPDs we can get pictures of to compare.


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 Post subject: Re: Don Post Deluxe - Early Numbers Better Shape... or Not?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:40 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:21 am
Posts: 716
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Excellent topic! I began to seriously wonder the same thing when I bought the DPD that I modded last year. The previous owner had removed the number plates but "thought" that the helmet was possibly #197 or #179. Because of the heinous neck flair I wondered if it wasn't actually #791 but seeing other helmets with a closer number makes me think that he might be remembering correctly. The amount of flair was the same as Mac's #188 helmet.

I never took any good pictures of the first DPD I owned because I didn't own a camera at the time and it was a pain to try and borrow one from my parents. The faceplate was #166 and the dome was #167. I did take some video of the helmet right before I sold it on eBay and here are some captures from that video:

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 Post subject: Re: Don Post Deluxe - Early Numbers Better Shape... or Not?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:46 pm
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Location: San Jose, CA
Dude... how in the world did you end up with a dome and a faceplate that was numerically one digit off? I think I may have come across someone with #187 which is one digit off from me, and the chance of that happening were quite astronomical - and so unless #166 and #167 were bosom buddies for the longest time until they accidentally swapped domes.... you've got to share the story behind this! Wow!

What I've heard from the beginning was that the first dozen or so pulls were good and then after that things deteriorated.

If one mold was responsible for all 1,000 pulls, then how it survived to provide Rubie's with their own Fiberglass Limited Edition Vader is beyond me. Deterioration does happen to where perhaps one or two dozen pulls renders the mold unusable. The inside surfaces of the mold form tears and cracks which result in a lot of surface imperfections on the pulls, requiring an inordinate amount of cleanup the worse the mold gets. However, assuming that a mold jacket was in place, the mold would still be structurally okay. You'd get a structurally accurate pull - but with plenty of surface imperfections to where it's not worth your time.

In mass production, it makes far more sense to have a mold master (e.g. plaster casting - a positive object) and you would make a number of silicone molds off of that master. Let's pretend that a mold may be good for 25 pulls. It would take 40 molds to produce 1,000 helmets. This would ensure a uniformity throughout all 1,000 with minimal fluctuation to overall shape.

We seem to also see a consistent degree of neck flare despite the fact that each mask has some subtle but observable fluctuations.


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 Post subject: Re: Don Post Deluxe - Early Numbers Better Shape... or Not?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:46 pm
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Location: San Jose, CA
Just found this.

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This is AnsonJames's DP DLX, #73 as he's preparing it for repainting. Allowing for camera distance - the closer you get the more reduced the neck flare will appear - this neck shape appears consistent.

Also found this. Anson, is this your #73 prior to repaint preparations? If it's the same as the one let us know!

Image


Last edited by CSMacLaren on Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Don Post Deluxe - Early Numbers Better Shape... or Not?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:46 pm
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Location: San Jose, CA
Darth Manu's Don Post Deluxe. The number is in the 800 range, out of 1,000.

Unfortunately, the helmet is not looking directly into the camera, but even at this angle, the neck is consistent - even with low numbered masks.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Don Post Deluxe - Early Numbers Better Shape... or Not?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:21 am
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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
CSMacLaren wrote:
Dude... how in the world did you end up with a dome and a faceplate that was numerically one digit off? I think I may have come across someone with #187 which is one digit off from me, and the chance of that happening were quite astronomical - and so unless #166 and #167 were bosom buddies for the longest time until they accidentally swapped domes.... you've got to share the story behind this! Wow!


I wish the story was really interesting or entertaining but it's pretty straightforward. I ordered the bucket from "The Earth" in Cincinnati in the Spring of 1996 for $750. I asked them about the numbering thing when it arrived and they said that was the way that it had come to them directly from DP. I had figured/hoped that they had a few of them on the shelf and just grabbed a mismatched pair and I could swap it out for matching numbers. They said that it was typical for the Face and Dome to have different numbers and that was the only one they had so I left it at that.

CSMacLaren wrote:
In mass production, it makes far more sense to have a mold master (e.g. plaster casting - a positive object) and you would make a number of silicone molds off of that master. Let's pretend that a mold may be good for 25 pulls. It would take 40 molds to produce 1,000 helmets. This would ensure a uniformity throughout all 1,000 with minimal fluctuation to overall shape


I agree. This makes much more sense that a single, overworked, mold. I wonder if there's anyone at DP we could ask who would remember and be willing to discuss it?


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 Post subject: Re: Don Post Deluxe - Early Numbers Better Shape... or Not?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:14 pm 
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Location: San Jose, CA
Working on it....


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 Post subject: Re: Don Post Deluxe - Early Numbers Better Shape... or Not?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:42 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:03 pm
Posts: 657
Location: UK
Really cool thread Mac.

Nice idea to challenge one of those "assumes" out there since we now know that many of them were incorrect. I'll happily update SWH with whatever emerges from this thread. Interestingly the DP page is the very oldest on the site (the first page I ever did) so I'm sure has lots of errors when we look back now

Cheers

Jez


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 Post subject: Re: Don Post Deluxe - Early Numbers Better Shape... or Not?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:56 pm
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Cool idea you have here. Looking forward to seeing how many we can dig up. This in a un modded DP numbered 846.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Don Post Deluxe - Early Numbers Better Shape... or Not?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:41 pm 
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Stone,

Thanks for sharing! Your helmet looks awesome there!

Could I trouble you to take a photo about 6 feet back? I'd like to do some overlay analysis.

Try to match this shot as much as possible:

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Don Post Deluxe - Early Numbers Better Shape... or Not?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:56 pm
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Photos, he wants photos. :pale I would be more than happy to sometime soon. However right now my camera software and I are not getting allong at all. Head the Kodak easy share print dock and all was fine. Added the Kodak ESP-5 printer and software and now it takes no less than an hour to load pics from the camera only to have them lost in some subfile. I have been working on this for about 5 days on and off now and have about had it. Whew, that felt good to let out :wink: Yea, I 'll get some soon buddy :cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Don Post Deluxe - Early Numbers Better Shape... or Not?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:57 pm 
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Location: San Jose, CA
Image

:toothy


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 Post subject: Re: Don Post Deluxe - Early Numbers Better Shape... or Not?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:12 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 6:58 am
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Location: Australia
Mac,
I not so long ago purchased #17 from yakam and also I have #189.
When I received # 17, I was very surprised at the amount of neck flare compared to #189 which is 25mm narrower.
Also the amount of neck flare comparing #189 and #188 appears to be drastically different (going by your photos).
There are other notable differences between #17 and #189. The build quality of #17 is better. Heavier cast especially the dome. It’s easy to see why they couldn’t keep that up for 1000 copies. Gunmetal paint is slightly different on each.
To the best of my ability I have not identified any modifications to either that may have happened after construction.
Going by the differences in neck flare between #188 and #189 I believe that they could not have only had one mold. In the lower numbers maybe they used 2 molds which would make roughly every second number different. And who really knows if the allocated numbers were actually the sequence in which they were built????
Great topic Mac, this has been bothering me for a while.
Mike

"Random Original State DP DLX" also looks to be #17. If not then very close to it. Same thick chin vent, mesh in vents glued in the wrong way, same neck flare, inside of dome cleaned up.


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 Post subject: Re: Don Post Deluxe - Early Numbers Better Shape... or Not?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:05 pm
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Location: Pennsylvania
So other than the neck flare...has anyone noticed any difference in the jaw drop between the variouse castings?


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