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 Post subject: Vader ESB helmet buildup: FINISHED PICS page 2
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:25 am 
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HI all, here i have an SPFX ESB V2 helmet and armor kit that I received some time ago. I know many people have their own stories regarding SPFX and/or kosmickustomz, but I am asking for people to keep them to themselves really.
I will give my own impressions of the helmet kit and the process of getting it to help other people make up their own impressions.
That said I have more pictures to come, but I am officially starting this thread as I have gotten stuck for the first time.
I am working on placing the mounting ring inside the dome, but I can not seem to get the position correct. I feel like it needs to tilt slightly counterclockwise when looking directly straight at it. I took a few crappy pics from about seven or so feet away. let me know what you think vader experts:

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Last edited by avbat on Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:19 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Vader ESB helmet buildup Help and Advice needed!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:48 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:17 pm
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Location: Germany
seems to fit much better than the JB I got- have you put the filler on it or was it already present the day you got it ?


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 Post subject: Re: Vader ESB helmet buildup Help and Advice needed!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:17 pm 
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There was lots of filling I had to do and mistakes made in the casting process that I had to fix. Those mistakes have made this turn into a much longer project than I had originally hoped for. Along the way I have also made some improvements though so in the end it should be worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: Vader ESB helmet buildup Help and Advice needed!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:47 pm 
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To me the positioning of the dome looks good. Honestly, I wouldn't change it, but that's just me. :cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Vader ESB helmet buildup Help and Advice needed!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:44 pm 
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I agree with Carsten. Dome position looks pretty good in those pics. Nice start to the project. :thumbsup


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 Post subject: Re: Vader ESB helmet buildup Help and Advice needed!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:19 am 
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Thanks guys. I will update this soon. I have been finding many problems with the casting that are making this take much much longer than it should so I am taking care of the stuff right now, before I get back to the dome positioning.


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 Post subject: Re: Vader ESB helmet buildup Help and Advice needed!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:32 am 
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Could you explain what kind of problems? From my recollection SPFX always made strong and sturdy casts with minimal surface flaws.


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 Post subject: Re: Vader ESB helmet buildup Help and Advice needed!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:43 pm 
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Too Much Garlic wrote:
Could you explain what kind of problems? From my recollection SPFX always made strong and sturdy casts with minimal surface flaws.


I will Carsten, as I want to do a more thorough update with pictures, but there have been lots of surface air pockets that have been breaking open as I have been working on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Vader ESB helmet buildup Help and Advice needed!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:35 pm 
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Oh... okay. Yeah, those could be troublesome if not fixed prior to painting. Good luck! :cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Vader ESB helmet buildup Help and Advice needed!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:32 pm 
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Ok So here I have more work done on the Helmet and armor build-up.
Earlier I alluded to to a sort of review I will be doing of this SpFX kit so that other can make their own informed decisions on whether or not to buy.

I have done one Vader helmet kit before this and it was a really bad cast from Golden Armor that I got almost ten years ago, and was my first helmet kit, so I have experience with the problems that can come up in these sorts of helmet build as that kit was in BAD shape. . . . wish I had pics . . . anyways: on to the new one.

I tackled this kit because I already have and ESB SPFX lid and it is great, BUT I do not like the paint application on it and their are just a few small things I wanted to change. Most know that this helmet is derived from a 20th century ( I believe ), and this is the most accurate I could get at the time. I had been trying for more hard to find casts, but I figure doing what I am doing will hopefully earn me the rights of passage towards those in the future as I have been a pretty dedicated Vader fan now for many many years, lol. I bought a helmet AND armor kit off of ebay, and set out to work.

The kit arrived just a few weeks after I got it and I was very pleased with it at first. There was no mounting ring to go with the dome so I emailed him, and received one within like 3 days! Great!

First thing I noticed though is that the casts were very thing in spots, and I wanted this helmet to be very thick and sturdy so i knew that step one would involve glassing the pieces.

So, I re fiberglassed the armor, dome, and facemask which added several $$$ to the cost of the project and added plenty of time as well. I am relatively new to glassing, so a big thanks to Darth Stone for tips and pointers on that several months ago! :thumbsup

Then I began the surface prep of the helmet. While doing this I ran into several spots, often in hard to work areas, that had small airpockets that were creating distortions of the surface. I had to rip all of these pockets open and using various techniques for filling them, I got them all ( I hope) taken care of.

The drag about the pockets was that they added several weeks on to the finish time of this project, they were very time consuming to take care of. I have tried to take pictured to document this especially for this thread, but they done do the problem justice. You just cant see how extensive these holes were in spots. Here are some pics I took today of them in their filled, and waiting for primer states:

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The above pics are there in an attempt to show areas that were very badly damaged, but you cant tell by the pics what it took to fix them. Oh well.


Here are pics of the pieces as they were today. I HAVE NOT done any more work on the mounting elements as I think the resin ring I have for the mounting became warped in the extreme heat we have been having in the SoCal desert, so i have to fix the ring now first.

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Please let me know via PM or posting if anyone has in comments or suggestions for me. Up next is the mounting, and them I may cut holes for fans in the top of the facemask, but otherwise I need to buy some primer and get busy with that side of things. Let me know fellas. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Vader ESB helmet buildup Help and Advice needed-UPDATED
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:25 pm 
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I think it will be easier to comment once you've sprayed them with primer. That way you'll be able to see where the repairs lack - if any - and where you may have to fill a bit more. It's too difficult to decipher what needs to be done on such busy work surfaces. I remember when I had to fix my dome that I damaged when stripping the badly applied paint, that I fixed one thing and thought I was done, only to see more things once it had been primed. Since then, I usually work on the piece, then prime to get a uniform color and that gives me a good idea whether more work is needed.

The SPFX pieces I have had were both strong and sturdy, so I guess he's changed since then, to make them lighter. The issues with him is usually not the product, but moreso his business practices.

Anyway, good luck with the progress.


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 Post subject: Re: Vader ESB helmet buildup Help and Advice needed-UPDATED
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:27 pm 
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Ok so more work done on the mounting here:

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Let me know what you think guys I am following your posts regarding this as closely as I can Paul, so any input is gladly welcomed.


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 Post subject: Re: Vader ESB helmet buildup Help and Advice needed-UPDATED
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:53 pm 
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I still say it looks good. Could you take a direct side shot from 6 feet away, please?

Looking forward to seeing the primed pieces.


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 Post subject: Re: Vader ESB helmet buildup Help and Advice needed-UPDATED
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:19 pm 
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So I went to the paint place yesterday and dropped some serious coin on paints and all of the supplies. I had a nice gunmetal mixed up that I am pretty pleased with. I just have to get my paint area all cleaned up, and lay some tarp down and hopefully I will get some substantial work done in the next week or two.


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 Post subject: Re: Vader ESB helmet buildup Help and Advice needed-UPDATED
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:17 pm
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Location: Germany
sounds great-can´t wait to see new pics with the parts painted up!


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