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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 9:28 pm 
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Looking at this thing I keep thinking that you've made lots of modifications that were really not necessary and are biting you now - look wise. But that would be stupid of me to begin to comment on now...

I definitely think that you should reshape the dome mount, as what you've done now makes the head shape look weird. Just cut the sides - not all way round - pull down a little and then glue. This will preserve the shape of the skull and simultaneously give you that new dome position - don't cut the mount completely off, as that will weaken its strength.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:28 pm 
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NHM,

Hey, don't forget how much you've been prodding me! :hehe-err

There is so much I'd need to do to make this uber-accurate, but it requires significant modification to the fundamental and foundational shape of the head. Doing so, unfortunately, means the Rubie's plastic material will fight me like a gundar, or worse. Some of this plastic has very strong "memory" to it, and the heat treatment with a heat gun was hard enough as it is to just reduce the skull and neck flare that I cringe at having to do subtle and fine work that otherwise feasible on fiberglass resin.

But regardless, even if I stopped at 4-5 mods, those problems would still be there.

I'm not going to do any more cutting. The plastic is very difficult to weld with the expoxy materials I have. As I had mentioned, the dome mount is going to be hidden from public view when worn anyway, so the skull's anomalous shape does not bother me.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:05 am 
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Hi Mac. To be honest with you I was a little suprised to see you revisit this project. Given the work you've done on other projects such as Goldie...Casper...and others that I am aware of the rubie's seems like a step backwards for you.

The work you have already preformed on this mask has been truely inspiring. However...the real breakthroughs I've seen made have been with the aforementioned projects.

I don't want you to be discouraged by the fact that the Rubie's was cast with the intent to never look like the original in the first place.

I think we'd all agree that you've been making some great breakthroughs with Casper and Goldie, but we don't want you to be discouraged and lose momentum with them because this Rubie's, at the end of the day, is fundamentally inaccurate and will STILL be a Rubie's even if you found 25 mods to do to it. Look what you've done with Goldie: it started off as a really bad kit, and now it looks more like an Elstree or Darth Jones prop and way better than it ever could have without your mods.

I don't want to take anything away from your work on this Rubies, but what else will you achieve with Casper or that other "secret project" you said you had going, if you're caught up with the Rubie's .

I hear your frustration, Mac, so if you want to wrap this up and move on, you have my full support, bro! We already see how great the other projects are turning out. Don't let the Rubie's drag you down. :thumbsup


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:19 am 
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Thanks, I appreciate it. Both the Rubie's and the Golden Armor have been challenging, and in many ways the GA was a great deal more work. However, the thing that made it an enjoyable process was that the resin was workable. The Rubie's hardened plastic is hard to work with. It has it's own "memory" and rigidity. Not many things stick to it, and of those things that do stick, they don't stay on for very long -- for at least my extreme modifications.

Image

So here, it actually doesn't look bad. However, it lacks a lot of the organic qualities that makes the DP DLX so organic.

Image

In comparison to the Don Post Deluxe, the Rubie's looks oversimplified and lacks the nuances and subtleties of even its own older cousin, the Rubie's Fiberglass Limited Edition Vader.

The difference is like a low polygon 3D computer model versus a high polygon model.

The "architecture" of the eyes of the Rubie's is fundamentally flawed. I realize that simply by adding "accurate" features found without modifying the foundation makes it look a little weirder. I know I should leave well-enough alone, but I may end up giving this Rubie's one last pass at correcting the eyes. My only danger now is that if the eyes look organic, the rest of the face may still look too geometrical for my eyes to look at home with the mask.

Well, let's just see how things turn out!

Thanks for the encouragement!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:23 am 
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I just rephotographed the mask without the makeshift lenses.

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What a difference their removal made! I guess I'm going to have to figure out what kind of lenses need to be in this thing.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:31 am 
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So how does the entire helmet look with the latest tweaks to the eyes?

Image

It worked... it added that slight touch of menace.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:32 am 
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This shot wasn't too bad.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:33 am 
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Best shot of the lot.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:34 am 
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And that's it for the day. I feel a little better about it now. :cool:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:09 pm 
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I did some side-by-side studying between the Rubie's and a Don Post Deluxe mask this morning. It's not like I've never done this before, as other threads and posts will attest to this. But we forget certain things, while we become more aware of other things as we learn over time. I needed to know once and for all if the Rubie's was truly "cast from originals" as Rubie's claimed. Because it was plastic, many assumed it was the counterpart of the Don Post Classic Action.

While there are so many things wrong with it, as well as an overall oversimplification of features, I found certain specific subtleties survived, which suggests that Rubie's DID start with a casting from the mold leased from LFL, but MAJOR alterations were made so that no-one could take a Rubie's Supreme Vader, cast it in fiberglass, and then pass it off as a Rubie's Fiberglass Limited Edition because any such success would be disasterous to the value of the Rubie's FG LE's limited run of 5,000.

There are things in the neck and chin area that I spotted -- buldges that a scratchbuilder would probably not have bothered to replicate, as well as the mouth asymmetry and cheek asymetry (when looking down, not when looking directly from the front) that the Don Post clearly has.

The modifications done by Rubie's to the Supreme Vader casting are so deliberate, you have to acknowledge their capabilities. Undoing those deliberate features is not as easy, given the material.

What's fundamentally wrong with the Rubie's is that the face on the sides have been pressed in, and therefore from back to front it tapers too sharply and "hourglasses" too much -- much more than the Don Post Deluxe. I had observed this early on but I didn't realize how much it would impact the aesthetics until about 2 months ago when I started modifying my Golden Armor -- a Don Post Classic Action recast, but a poor one. I also acquired a DP CA. Each of these have skulls that are more slender than the Don Post Deluxe.

If the skull is basically pressed together on the sides, this affects the eyes. The eyes are one of those things that make or break Vader.

But there *are* ways to compensate and make it look natural.

So earlier this morning, I had very good success with redoing the eyes. I will probably do more later. What you are about to see is very rough. The material hadn't fully cured, and I shot some primer over it for photography purposes. Again, a work in progress, but I know exactly what I need to do in order to refine this and make this less recognizable as a Rubie's.

Image

This is only a first step in the right direction. But I didn't realize that where I am now is a different place than where I was when I last left this project. I'm going to refine the frown bump and do a bit of nose work.

What discouraged me earlier was that I didn't put enough meat into the upper eyelids. I had focused on the general shape of the eye openings but I didn't get the angle of the inner eyelids correct.

That's it for now. I have to wait for this stuff to cure, and then I'm going to take the frown bump out and redo it. Then I'll fillin the sides of the nose. The eyes will be reshaped a bit.

You'll also notice in this shot I resculpted the whiskers so that they're not so skinny any more. The cheeks have been resculpted a little. Some features look exaggerated due to excess material that was not sanded down prior to photography.

I'm also going to do some surgery to the chin....

More to come. I just thought I'd let you guys know I haven't given up on this thing, and I'm not going to let it get me down!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:11 pm 
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Back on track!


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 Post subject: new eye mods
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:18 pm 
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Hey Mac,

The new eye mods make a world of difference and really seem to change the whole mask imo.

Looking reall good.

-Best

Dan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:46 pm 
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Thanks, AS!

So a lot of sanding to the lower mouth, cheek lines (still need work and refinement) and the upper and lower eyelids.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:47 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:49 pm 
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You're probably wondering what happened to the bridge of the nose. Well, what happened was that I wanted to lengthen the rectangular cutouts, but as I filed that area, I accidentally broke my Aquamend application. Oh well, no problem. I have to redo the mid-frown bump and how it flows into the bridge of the nose.


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