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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:15 pm 
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vaderman wrote:
artisanprops wrote:
Brian,
were you ever disapointed that the original Vader mask you sculpted
wouldn't be used as part of the new trilogies..

Most of us Hardcore Vader fans were for sure :(


Hi Doug,

I feel happy to have sculpted the original Darth Vader and it appears to be the one that so many fans love.

I spoke to a good friend of mine who is the last of the remaining four sculptors that worked on ESB (sculptors seem to die young in the film industry :eek ) and he stated that Vader was not resculpted for the film.
I don't know about ROTJ but I suspect the mask was cast in plaster and rounded and softened off.

Brian

Sorry if I am misinterpreting here, Brian, but it reads like the mold made from your helmet spawned every other Vader helmet we know and love? So changes, such as larger chin vents and such, were made after they came out of the mold you made?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:18 pm 
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Qui-Gonzalez wrote:
vaderman wrote:
I spoke to a good friend of mine who is the last of the remaining four sculptors that worked on ESB (sculptors seem to die young in the film industry :eek ) and he stated that Vader was not resculpted for the film.
I don't know about ROTJ but I suspect the mask was cast in plaster and rounded and softened off.
Brian

Sorry if I am misinterpreting here, Brian, but it reads like the mold made from your helmet spawned every other Vader helmet we know and love? So changes, such as larger chin vents and such, were made after they came out of the mold you made?

Re-sculpted, not re-molded.

At least that's how I read it, as there was talk about a new sculpt was made for ESB onwards made by DP Studios in another thread... or maybe this one.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:39 pm 
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NoHumorMan wrote:
Qui-Gonzalez wrote:
vaderman wrote:
I spoke to a good friend of mine who is the last of the remaining four sculptors that worked on ESB (sculptors seem to die young in the film industry :eek ) and he stated that Vader was not resculpted for the film.
I don't know about ROTJ but I suspect the mask was cast in plaster and rounded and softened off.
Brian

Sorry if I am misinterpreting here, Brian, but it reads like the mold made from your helmet spawned every other Vader helmet we know and love? So changes, such as larger chin vents and such, were made after they came out of the mold you made?

Re-sculpted, not re-molded.

At least that's how I read it, as there was talk about a new sculpt was made for ESB onwards made by DP Studios in another thread... or maybe this one.

That's a tough call. We'll have to wait for Brian's clarification, but if no other sculpts for Vader were done, it does throw a wrinkle into all of the perceived "differences" between the three movies, does it now?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:42 pm 
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Qui-Gonzalez wrote:
That's a tough call. We'll have to wait for Brian's clarification,

I agree, but I think it's already been answered earlier. I'll go look.

Qui-Gonzalez wrote:
but if no other sculpts for Vader were done, it does throw a wrinkle into all of the perceived "differences" between the three movies, does it now?

Not really. How do you come to that conclusion?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:13 pm 
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NoHumorMan wrote:
Qui-Gonzalez wrote:
That's a tough call. We'll have to wait for Brian's clarification,

I agree, but I think it's already been answered earlier. I'll go look.

Qui-Gonzalez wrote:
but if no other sculpts for Vader were done, it does throw a wrinkle into all of the perceived "differences" between the three movies, does it now?

Not really. How do you come to that conclusion?

Because it seems many of the differences are based on the notion that there were three "resculpts" for the three OT movies. If the perceived differences are merely based on casting issues from using the same mold, that is the wrinkle I am talking about.

This is just a theory to me, but it makes sense they would use one mold as opposed to resculpting it three times over.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:18 am 
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Qui-Gonzalez wrote:
NoHumorMan wrote:
Qui-Gonzalez wrote:
That's a tough call. We'll have to wait for Brian's clarification,

I agree, but I think it's already been answered earlier. I'll go look.

Qui-Gonzalez wrote:
but if no other sculpts for Vader were done, it does throw a wrinkle into all of the perceived "differences" between the three movies, does it now?

Not really. How do you come to that conclusion?

Because it seems many of the differences are based on the notion that there were three "resculpts" for the three OT movies. If the perceived differences are merely based on casting issues from using the same mold, that is the wrinkle I am talking about.

This is just a theory to me, but it makes sense they would use one mold as opposed to resculpting it three times over.

Maybe I've been too long on other forums, but where did you hear the idea of re-sculpts?

I've heard of new molds used for each movie, but lately it seems that, in particularly the facemasks, all come from one mold - the one that was made from the screen used ANH. There may have been new dome molds for ESB and RotJ, but all faces started out as an ANH and was then reworked into the particular style of the particular movie they were used in - bigger chin vent, smoothening of the surfaces, etc. At least that's the popular theory that has been had here for a while now. Quite logical if you ask me, 'cause why make new molds if you got old ones that works?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:29 am 
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When you say that the helmets were resculpted, are you basing this on the great variances in shape that many fanmade/vendormade "cast off originals" helmets? I thought I'd bring this issue up. When things get recast, if the person making the mold isn't being careful, a mask that is pulled before the resin has had a chance to fully cure can sag under its own weight, and the direction of the sag may depend upon you placing it on a desk with either the neck or the rear opening on the desk surface.

Some other variances of shape may depend on where you started the resin application, how thick it was, temperature issues, and any chemicals not thoroughly mixed. In other words, certain parts may cure before others causing small areas to be vulnerable to sagging or accidental manipulation.

There are subtle and overt differences among ANH, ESB, and ROTJ ranging from chin hole size, the way they were painted, the way they were lit, different color lenses, and dome positioning which, in itself, results in how much of the eyebrows are seen. ANH was, of course, the first time we ever saw Vader. Subsequent films took a casting of ANH, sanded it down a bit, before painting. ESB and ROTJ had a smoother and glossier paint finish, and how that paint reflects the light or responds to the light on the set also determines the helmet's on-screen appearance. But, structurally, the variances of the screen-used helmets are nowhere near as dramatic as, say, a Don Post Deluxe vs. a Fyberdyne.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:30 am 
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CSMacLaren wrote:
When you say that the helmets were resculpted, are you basing this on the great variances in shape that many fanmade/vendormade "cast off originals" helmets? I thought I'd bring this issue up. When things get recast, if the person making the mold isn't being careful, a mask that is pulled before the resin has had a chance to fully cure can sag under its own weight, and the direction of the sag may depend upon you placing it on a desk with either the neck or the rear opening on the desk surface.

Some other variances of shape may depend on where you started the resin application, how thick it was, temperature issues, and any chemicals not thoroughly mixed. In other words, certain parts may cure before others causing small areas to be vulnerable to sagging or accidental manipulation.


There are subtle and overt differences among ANH, ESB, and ROTJ ranging from chin hole size, the way they were painted, the way they were lit, different color lenses, and dome positioning which, in itself, results in how much of the eyebrows are seen. ANH was, of course, the first time we ever saw Vader. Subsequent films took a casting of ANH, sanded it down a bit, before painting. ESB and ROTJ had a smoother and glossier paint finish, and how that paint reflects the light or responds to the light on the set also determines the helmet's on-screen appearance. But, structurally, the variances of the screen-used helmets are nowhere near as dramatic as, say, a Don Post Deluxe vs. a Fyberdyne.



Just to confirm the ANH was not resculpted. I was told this by the only remaining sculptor who worked on ESB. He is a friend of mine and I have worked on many films with him including the latest Harry Potter.

As usual,Mac, you have summed it up very well. :thumbsup

Just off to catch a plane to Florida - will keep in touch from the other side of the pond.

Brian


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:18 am 
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vaderman wrote:
CSMacLaren wrote:
When you say that the helmets were resculpted, are you basing this on the great variances in shape that many fanmade/vendormade "cast off originals" helmets? I thought I'd bring this issue up. When things get recast, if the person making the mold isn't being careful, a mask that is pulled before the resin has had a chance to fully cure can sag under its own weight, and the direction of the sag may depend upon you placing it on a desk with either the neck or the rear opening on the desk surface.

Some other variances of shape may depend on where you started the resin application, how thick it was, temperature issues, and any chemicals not thoroughly mixed. In other words, certain parts may cure before others causing small areas to be vulnerable to sagging or accidental manipulation.


There are subtle and overt differences among ANH, ESB, and ROTJ ranging from chin hole size, the way they were painted, the way they were lit, different color lenses, and dome positioning which, in itself, results in how much of the eyebrows are seen. ANH was, of course, the first time we ever saw Vader. Subsequent films took a casting of ANH, sanded it down a bit, before painting. ESB and ROTJ had a smoother and glossier paint finish, and how that paint reflects the light or responds to the light on the set also determines the helmet's on-screen appearance. But, structurally, the variances of the screen-used helmets are nowhere near as dramatic as, say, a Don Post Deluxe vs. a Fyberdyne.



Just to confirm the ANH was not resculpted. I was told this by the only remaining sculptor who worked on ESB. He is a friend of mine and I have worked on many films with him including the latest Harry Potter.

As usual,Mac, you have summed it up very well. :thumbsup

Just off to catch a plane to Florida - will keep in touch from the other side of the pond.

Brian

Very cool, thanks for the confirmation, Brian.

Mac, what I notice with the fan helmets is sometimes there is too much of the "cleaning up" going on, which takes away from whatever original hmm...nuances of the helmet existed. I look at what you did to your DPCA and look at my raw DPCA with a frown now. LOL. You took a helmet that was a stretch away from original and did what I would want to do with mine, but ya can't do it with vinyl.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:16 am 
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vaderman wrote:
Just off to catch a plane to Florida - will keep in touch from the other side of the pond.
Brian

Safe travels and thanks for the clarification.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:26 pm 
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vaderman wrote:

Just off to catch a plane to Florida - will keep in touch from the other side of the pond.

Brian



Have a brilliant time in Florida.
(im Very jealose)


cheers Brian


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:03 pm 
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Qui-Gonzalez wrote:
Mac, what I notice with the fan helmets is sometimes there is too much of the "cleaning up" going on, which takes away from whatever original hmm...nuances of the helmet existed. I look at what you did to your DPCA and look at my raw DPCA with a frown now. LOL. You took a helmet that was a stretch away from original and did what I would want to do with mine, but ya can't do it with vinyl.



I can't do it with vinyl either. I absolutely hate vinyl. I think in trying to be too accurate with my mods, I ended up relying on epoxy materials to provide structural support for physically modified areas. Unfortunately, either the epoxy materials don't weld, bond or grip the material, and even if they did, the epoxy materials do not have the same flex as vinyl, so any weld will get compromised.

I will at some point post a picture of an original Don Post Classic Action alongside an original Don Post Deluxe. In their day, they were official products, and it would be most interesting to see what their size differences are. I own both helmets but they are in two different geographical locations, but short of being able to unite them for a photo comp, I'm of the belief that the DPCA is smaller. It's face is narrower. It's teeth are straighter than the DLX, if you can believe that.

With cleaning up, there are reasons why that's done. Partly because some fans expect it, and partly because the vendors of fan-mades have no choice but to do so.

The Vader that you see in various exhibits is an LFL-made ROTJ prop, though not screen-used. For many fans, this is the closest they can get to standing in front of an actual LFL prop. Closeup photos of the ROTJ Reveal mask show an amazing attention to detail. This is not to say the masks are completely devoid of imperfections and subtleties of the original ANH, but they are clean, and their lines and surfaces are very well defined. People who make fan-mades are probably inspired by such photos (you can find them in the Gallery section here on the Den) and work their helmets accordingly.

How much sanding is done on a fan-made depends on the the skill of the vendor in making the helmet and the mold. If you create air bubbles in the moldmaking process and later in the resin+FG process, the result can be pimples and little holes. Now, it's possible to avoid these completely with time, patience and experience. Sometimes vendors sand their castings down, fill holes with compound, etc. before shipping them out.

This is where things get interesting. With each consecutive recasting of the original, you're introducing new quality issues, so the shape and features of the masks and helmet can start to evolve. Modern compounds may not necessarily result in noticeable shrinkage if you recast something, but many fans do not strip the paint of their helmets first before molding off of them, so they are in fact molding off of something fully painted, and all that paint obscures detail. The resultant castings are then sanded a bit but then painted over with a few more layers of paint. Then another fan comes, takes that casting, molds off of it, and pretty soon you get an uber-smooth mask and dome with blurry detail.

On a side note, this is where size comparisons can fall apart. If successive castings each had a few layers of paint to where the paint layers make up for any shrinkage, an nth generation cast may not have much of a size difference from its progenitor. Worse, if a casting was not fully cured when pulled from its mold, its shape could be widened. I've looked at a GH ANH and compared its silhouette against that of AnsonJames' pictures of the VP. The VP, which IMHO is much, much closer to the original ANH than the GH ANH has a much smaller rear opening which means the material of its sides would have wrapped around Prowse's head a lot better. The GH ANH, which is a very respectable mask, appears larger than the VP.

In other words, if you consider how accurate in size and details the VP is (though slightly cleaned up) the GH ANH is somewhat larger than the screen-used in certain aspects.

Also, some vendors like SPFX have been known to tweak their mold masters based on new observations, trend, or just being true to their artistic nature (of having the nagging need to constantly tweak and improve). Who knows if he still has his, say, 2002 version ANH. Is his current ANH a continuous evolution since that year, or did he dislike what it had become last year, so this year he went back a few year and reworked an older casting to his liking? All interesting questions.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:50 pm 
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CSMacLaren wrote:
I've looked at a GH ANH and compared its silhouette against that of AnsonJames' pictures of the VP. The VP, which IMHO is much, much closer to the original ANH than the GH ANH has a much smaller rear opening which means the material of its sides would have wrapped around Prowse's head a lot better. The GH ANH, which is a very respectable mask, appears larger than the VP.

In other words, if you consider how accurate in size and details the VP is (though slightly cleaned up) the GH ANH is somewhat larger than the screen-used in certain aspects.


To clarify, the GH ANH master and the 1st pull VP as I measured them were the same size by coincidence. Both are a bit smaller than the original, or at least something known to be original sized. And that material on the rear sides is the undercut, which is lost in later generations of fanmade ESB/ROTJ pulls compared to ANH because of trimming. The original ROTJs have less undercut. The TM ESB has really good undercut for example, as does the Paul Allen ESB, because they come from molds closer to the original ANH. Remember the original ANH as Mr. Muir sculpted it was a full head, then they took only the front section. So the curved undercut is the remnant of the rear section based on the location of the dividing seam...which is close to where Dave Prowse' ear would be, so if you didn't include some of the rear section, his ears would not be covered enough. Since the GH ANH was cleaned up, it was also trimmed more in the back and so some of that undercut was lost, making the rear opening larger. I don't know if it's the TM casting I have or not, but the TM undercut seems a bit straighter on the sides and more curved on the top.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:32 pm 
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Oh, so you did mod your normal DPCA, Mac? The best bit of modding I have seen, which makes the dome sit as correctly as possible, was Shalamar's slicing of the T and pushing it down to respectable. It looks like he used hot glue to keep it in place and with the dome, it looks very damn good. There are times I keep thinking about getting rid of it for something better, but frankly, it was my first. It's still waiting to be finished.

I've posted pics for SL on the RPF, I believe. It does not have the sickly neck flare as some of the later ones do. This could be because the ones that I am comparing it to haven't been photographed at a reasonable distance, a la your thread.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:24 pm 
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Thomas,

Have you ever one a comp between your GH master and a regular GH ANH? For some reason, the GH master's dome has a much better defined domecap-to-flange fold line, whereas on the regular GH that fold line is very soft. Some GH ANHs had very wide necks, while some were narrow. Is it possible that the GH Master was more than just a master but better in shape and detail?


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