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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:26 am 
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BA100583 wrote:

The MOTM helmet grill work matches very closely to this photo: http://www.starwarshelmets.com/2008/UKVadervis80_03.jpg

The ESB stunt helmet, and one other privately owned ESB movie helmet, are the only two helmets I have seen with correct ESB grills. They have mounting rings that match each other, but do not match the MOTM helmet. This is the reason I believe the MOTM helmet is a tour helmet rather than film used.

Best,
Brandon


Brandon, do you have any pictures of the MOTM mounting ring? Do you think it's possible the grills could have been changed out over the years with wear and tear and what not?

Thanks for sharing the Memo that's very interesting info.
-Dwayne


Last edited by Sith-Smith on Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:19 am 
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Look at the Dagobah shot. It is not clean and there is a lot of grain obscuring details and shapes and especially edges - the image most plastered all over the internet is sized up from a small picture found on Hyperspace on the StarWars.com website - it is NOT perfect and full of upscaling artifacts. The reason I'm so tough on you is because there has been a shitload of misinformation in the past and it is difficult to get rid of misinformation once it is first out there. It's like banging your head against a concrete wall. That is why most people here are reluctant to make claims, reluctant to just accept when someone states something as fact - especially when it isn't presented in a fashion that is slam dunk. The look, paint finish and scratches are completely different on the two helmets, so zeroing down on just two apparently similarities doesn't cut it. Even at a glance you can see they are different.

I'm not saying this lightly, but please be careful with potentially creating more misinformation. Don't start making things up. You jump to conclusions based on too little evidence.


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:49 pm 
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Thanks for sharing these information Brandon, much appreciated. And I definitely look forward to you book.

I was under the impression that it was already fact that the Vader helmets with the tube-style mounting ring on the table at ILM were touring helmets. I was lucky to examine some of these touring helmets plus some other screen used Vader helmets in person during my visit at Lucasfilm archive in 1995.

According to Ron Punter, painter of the OT Vader helmets at Elstree paint shop, most of the remaining Vader helmets from ESB were reworked for use in ROTJ. He sanded, bondoed and repainted them (plus other Vader hardware) in person in his shop. And I've seen pics from that time proving that. Punter has one original ESB faceplate in his personal collection which wasn't repainted for ROTJ.

Screen-used original Vader lids were reworked / repainted at different occasions by ILM guys. One of the main ROTJ vader faceplates was outfitted with larger velcro straps - I have pics of that process actually.

I have learned many times in the past not to trust images (whether they are screen shots or other photographs) alone when doing my personal research homework. Coming from the movie business myself, I worked with so many different cameras and lenses and I'm pretty much aware of what a lens, lighting and other on-set conditions such as smoke etc. can do to fool your eyes. I have a handful of original props in my collection which I could make look like the real deal in one shot and like a cheap replica in another. One would need very high-res images from the actual props used in the movies right after shooting wrapped, shot at different angles under the same lighting conditions, from the same distance with the same lens to actually compare those pics (which are in fact not existing) with actual Vader props in existence, photographically documented in the same way like the originals.

Indeed, there is a "certain" look of authentic Vader lids. We experts have developed some sort of a "gut feeling" for that. But there is still much to learn out there for us Vader nuts, I'd be happy to help filling the gaps.


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:34 pm 
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Hey everyone,

I want to make it real clear that I'm not doing these threads to try to show everyone how smart I am and that I know everything. Each time I do one of those big posts, it takes me like six hours and I got better things to do.
Simple fact is, I didn't join the forum to tell everybody what I know, I joined the forum hoping to learn more.

I don't want to be the guy that tells everybody everything. But I couldn't just sit back when I looked at threads and saw where people were pointing at obvious tour helmets and saying, Yeah, that's an ROTJ.
And Carsten hear your concerns about grainy pictures and misinformation and I understand where you're fear, I share it. I would love to have high definition pictures, but when you're dealing with history
high definition pictures are a rare luxury. I feel there are people and I'm not going to point fingers or anything, that for whatever reason, gain certain knowledge and sit on it. So the history of Vader is kind of like the dark ages. And I feel that this is likely to protect prominences or to maintain an edge on a would-be competitor. And I understand it, but I feel that it does a disservice to someone like me who is simply trying to get to the bottom of how Vader was conceived, designed and executed. I don't care about numbers inside the helmets, unless it has something to do with what order they were used in the film or what order they were made.


Brandon, you say you don't believe that the MOTM is screen used, because the mounting ring is different than on other ESBs. Yet you do not volunteer how it is different. The fact that it is different, does not deter me from believing it is an actual screen used helmet. Since I believe it is the helmet used in the catwalk scene and if so, a different mounting ring makes sense as the dome on the catwalk Vader helmet sits higher than all of its counterparts.

ImageImage

I am doing these posts because I want to get people involved and active in coming forward with photos for references and books.

I am trying to get people to notice things, when I did the 'Vader Eyes Challenge', I could've just done a thread that said "ANH eyebrows faces are painted black". But I was hoping that people would see it for themselves, so I decided to do it as a question. I'm actually trying to help further knowledge. If I see something that absolutely says that I am wrong, without a doubt. I have no problem taking back what I said or even amending my threads.

But when it comes to this helmet, the C-PIH which is what THIS thread is about, I've seen quite enough to convince me that it is absolutely an authentic screen used Vader helmet. And I will not change my position on it.


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:00 pm 
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vadermania wrote:
Thanks for sharing these information Brandon, much appreciated. And I definitely look forward to you book.

I was under the impression that it was already fact that the Vader helmets with the tube-style mounting ring on the table at ILM were touring helmets. I was lucky to examine some of these touring helmets plus some other screen used Vader helmets in person during my visit at Lucasfilm archive in 1995.

According to Ron Punter, painter of the OT Vader helmets at Elstree paint shop, most of the remaining Vader helmets from ESB were reworked for use in ROTJ. He sanded, bondoed and repainted them (plus other Vader hardware) in person in his shop. And I've seen pics from that time proving that. Punter has one original ESB faceplate in his personal collection which wasn't repainted for ROTJ.

Screen-used original Vader lids were reworked / repainted at different occasions by ILM guys. One of the main ROTJ vader faceplates was outfitted with larger velcro straps - I have pics of that process actually.

I have learned many times in the past not to trust images (whether they are screen shots or other photographs) alone when doing my personal research homework. Coming from the movie business myself, I worked with so many different cameras and lenses and I'm pretty much aware of what a lens, lighting and other on-set conditions such as smoke etc. can do to fool your eyes. I have a handful of original props in my collection which I could make look like the real deal in one shot and like a cheap replica in another. One would need very high-res images from the actual props used in the movies right after shooting wrapped, shot at different angles under the same lighting conditions, from the same distance with the same lens to actually compare those pics (which are in fact not existing) with actual Vader props in existence, photographically documented in the same way like the originals.

Indeed, there is a "certain" look of authentic Vader lids. We experts have developed some sort of a "gut feeling" for that. But there is still much to learn out there for us Vader nuts, I'd be happy to help filling the gaps.


Please understand, that I don't just look at a picture and decide something is what it is. I was on leave for the last six months, stuck in the house and so I spent my time doing a very serious study of all the ESB and ROTJ helmets to pass the time. This consisted of comparing picture after picture after picture to screen caps, exhibit photos and production schedules. Determining if 'this' is possible or not possible. There were many times where I saw that something looked one way in one picture and different in another. And although I live only an hour from Lucasfilm, a tour of the archives was not in the cards. How does one get a tour of the archives?


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:23 pm 
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Notice how the dome flutters all through the Bespin catwalk scenes. They are blowing him with heavy fans that makes the dome wobble up and down, so still photos can be deceiving when determining anything regarding how the dome actually sits on the face mask. In ANH, during the Trench Run scenes, you see the dome not being connected properly by the tabs and potentially disconnected by the pressure from the seat pushing towards the rear skirt of the dome. What I'm saying is that you cannot simply take that as evidence of a different type of mount. All it suggests is an improper placement or external influences or something that makes it sit differently than usual. That's about all you can conclude. I've often said that pictures lie. I also say you need to look at the movie to be able to interpret some pictures. Much misinformation has been caused by people only focusing on a single picture and not others in the same series or even the movie.

I am not saying you are spreading misinformation. And if you are it doesn't appear to me to be intentional. You are simply excited to share your findings, ideas and theories. Problem is, in this hobby, that once it is out there, you cannot really take it back. That's why I'm urging you to be careful with what you throw out there in terms of claims.

Regarding the Dagobah helmet and the Hoth Corridor helmet. They are definitely two different helmets. One is sharp and has a lot of surface details, whereas the other is soft and smooth. The paint finish is very different on these two helmets. Sure, they do not appear to be as shiny as the other ESB helmets, but the sheen cannot always be used as a basis, as we know that it is common practice to use dulling spray on shiny surfaces in some instances and was used during the production. The Dagobah helmet really is as sharp looking as the one at the end of RotJ during the reveal scene, however, they are also not the same helmet, even though they have similar style paint scheme and sheen. It really isn't as simple as that to confirm.

Also, that triangular detail on the base on the neck, is also seen in the Clapperboard video where Dave Prowse is showing off the Vader costume.
Image

You even see a similar detail in the same area on the ESB Poster Helmet from some angles.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:52 pm 
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Darth Obsession wrote:
vadermania wrote:
Thanks for sharing these information Brandon, much appreciated. And I definitely look forward to you book.
...

Indeed, there is a "certain" look of authentic Vader lids. We experts have developed some sort of a "gut feeling" for that. But there is still much to learn out there for us Vader nuts, I'd be happy to help filling the gaps.


Please understand, that I don't just look at a picture and decide something is what it is. I was on leave for the last six months, stuck in the house and so I spent my time doing a very serious study of all the ESB and ROTJ helmets to pass the time. This consisted of comparing picture after picture after picture to screen caps, exhibit photos and production schedules. Determining if 'this' is possible or not possible. There were many times where I saw that something looked one way in one picture and different in another. And although I live only an hour from Lucasfilm, a tour of the archives was not in the cards. How does one get a tour of the archives?


I get you DO, my post was not intended as a shot at you. I really appreciate that you bring back life to this place with your observations and theories. As a first gen fan of the OT, I have studied all sorts of Vader pics for the past 35 years or so, including high-res scans from 35mm film and some (still) unpublished materials. But the real eye opener for me was seeing and handling the real deal plus all sorts of direct communication with people involved in the making of the actual Vader costume and the OT. Of course memory from some of these individuals (plus my own sometimes :)) is fading or they always memorized things wrong like Prowse stating the Vader faceplate was all black and not gunmetal/black.

Please carry on with your threads, we are a nice group of people and together we will rule the galaxy...oh, sorry. Shine some light on the history of Vader I wanted to say.


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:32 pm 
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Great to see you back Tom and thanks for your recent post. Some awesome info from Ron punter.
Would love to hear more along those same lines if you can share it.
Cheers
Mike


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:29 am 
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vadermania wrote:
Darth Obsession wrote:
vadermania wrote:
Thanks for sharing these information Brandon, much appreciated. And I definitely look forward to you book.
...

Indeed, there is a "certain" look of authentic Vader lids. We experts have developed some sort of a "gut feeling" for that. But there is still much to learn out there for us Vader nuts, I'd be happy to help filling the gaps.


Please understand, that I don't just look at a picture and decide something is what it is. I was on leave for the last six months, stuck in the house and so I spent my time doing a very serious study of all the ESB and ROTJ helmets to pass the time. This consisted of comparing picture after picture after picture to screen caps, exhibit photos and production schedules. Determining if 'this' is possible or not possible. There were many times where I saw that something looked one way in one picture and different in another. And although I live only an hour from Lucasfilm, a tour of the archives was not in the cards. How does one get a tour of the archives?


I get you DO, my post was not intended as a shot at you. I really appreciate that you bring back life to this place with your observations and theories. As a first gen fan of the OT, I have studied all sorts of Vader pics for the past 35 years or so, including high-res scans from 35mm film and some (still) unpublished materials. But the real eye opener for me was seeing and handling the real deal plus all sorts of direct communication with people involved in the making of the actual Vader costume and the OT. Of course memory from some of these individuals (plus my own sometimes :)) is fading or they always memorized things wrong like Prowse stating the Vader faceplate was all black and not gunmetal/black.

Please carry on with your threads, we are a nice group of people and together we will rule the galaxy...oh, sorry. Shine some light on the history of Vader I wanted to say.


Thanks Vadermania,

I'm really trying hard not to annoy anyone, unlike in the early to mid 80s, when I answered every question with either,' As you wish' or ' If that is your destiny'. They hated me :wink:

I'm really just trying to get people to, just kind of step back, have an open mind and try looking at things from a new angle. I'm not trying to impose anything on anyone, I'm just hoping that they'll look at what I said and what I've posted and decide to check it out for themselves, maybe they have some resources I don't have. I haven't postulated anything that's infeasible or impossible. Sometimes, I get the impression that people think I just look at every helmet and go," Oh yeah that was in Empire Strikes back and you know....", But I really don't, there are definitely helmets out there that even though they're really nice, I just can't find a fit. And while I know the helmets all seem to look-alike to most people, to me, each one is different and unique. I really wish Lucasfilm could've been more forthcoming over the years about Vader. Sometimes I think they just don't even like Vader. And in books like the making of SW or ESB with over 600 pages combined, everything about the physical creation of Darth Vader could fit on half a page, or less.

Hi Carsten, I never said anything about how shiny these helmets are??? All three of these helmets are as shiny as any other ESB. Perhaps you refer to my reference about cleaned up and finished? And I was talking about the casting and flaws in the casting that would usually be cleaned up by sanding or puttying and such prior to painting. On a hero, they would take the time to clean up the casting remove any flaws, but because this helmet was never expected to be used in any close-ups, they didn't take the time to go through and remove all those defects in the casting prior to painting. And while I'm happy to see you using photos, :thumbsup I don't see the triangle shape in any of those pictures, at best, I see maybe a diagonal line in one of them. And I am not saying that this particular flaw was not something found in other casts, it probably was, but has been sufficiently cleaned up on all those other casts as to not be visible in photos or on screen. On this helmet, it has not been, it is very visible and there is also associated soft dent or flattening in the sharp edge of the neck for the full width of the triangle.

What the F@#&? He's posting pictures of the Enterprise now?

While it may seem off-topic, it's not, please read it,

I am very worried if you will, about all these Vader helmets. The thought that a real deal Vader helmet might be lost forever, because no one wanted to believe it could be real is extremely frustrating to me. And it harks back to my earlier obsession. Before there was a Vader, there was the USS Enterprise, no bloody A,B,C, or D. I'm talking about the original 11 foot SFX model from the original Star Trek TV series. I have watched and agonized for over 40 years as misinformation, fan involvement and people who apparently just couldn't see what was actually there, have nearly totally destroyed this majestic icon of television history. Just look at these pics, it originally had a nice and shiny, light pearl gray finish to the hull and was very sharply detailed as you see in the picture to the left, and if you look at the center picture which was taken by Doug Drexler in 1974 of the bottom of the model looking up at it (I Photoshoped the antenna dish and the light in the hemispheres) you can see this color. Now look at the picture on the right. This is what it looks like today after they supposedly got done restoring it. This is a total disaster and an abomination.

ImageImageImage

What the hell were they thinking? How could anybody have thought it actually looked like this? I knew what this ship looked like when I was 10 years old, as there were tons of decent pictures. The answers were always right there in the model, but people chose to ignore what was there and believe what they read in a book or what someone said. They never understood how the passage of time and the environment had acted on the model's appearance. If I had restored that model, it would look exactly like it did in 1966 when it went before the cameras for the first time in its final configuration. And they are talking about restoring it again, why do I have no faith in that restoration either?

And when it comes to why I don't necessarily believe what I read the book, or from those who supposedly know, this drawing was quoted by Herb Solow, Executive producer of the original Star Trek, In his book, "The Star Trek Sketchbook" as being the original plans used to build the Enterprise model...

Image


NO! Not even close.

This is an 'excerpt' from the original plans used to build this model. See the difference? The drawing shown above was created for the second season writer's guide by the show's art director, Matt Jeffries.

Image

I drew the drawing below, when I was 15 years old. It's not perfectly accurate either, but it was based totally on what I saw in pictures and using overall measurements of the model that I found in a magazine. At the time I drew it (1977), there was nothing even close to accurate in the way of any kind of drawings or blueprints of the model. And I'm not trying to toot my horn about how well I can draw, I'm simply trying to point out my ability to see what's there.

Image

---

Back to this helmet, and ESB helmets in general, if my research is right, I have accounted for all of the original ESB's except one, and it's either the reveal, or one of three heroes, as I suspect the helmet that Ron punter has is one or the other. Three months ago, I was about to post this thread as a follow-up to my ROTJ thread. But I chose not to, because I just decided that everyone would just say, 'nice, but you're wrong'. As I mentioned earlier, I coined the term action, simply to describe the nature of the helmet and in lieu of an actual term used by LFL.

Image

As I said before, I was stuck at home with nothing else to do for six months and so I spent three months, every day, for most of the day studying these helmets. I didn't just look at a picture go oh that's that one. Every time I thought I had identified a new helmet, I set out to prove it. Once I felt confident that I had proven it, I set out to disprove it. It was only one I couldn't disprove it that I was satisfied with the answer. And there were many times where something would pop up, and cast doubt. And I would have to start the process all over again.

So if I am correct, this montage shows all of the individual helmets used to make the film. Starting from the left, the first helmet is the Planet Hollywood Vader and was also used in ROTJ as the 'Luke help me take this mask off' Vader. I have no idea where the second helmet is, if it is now in ROTJ, it is been modified beyond any kind of visual external matchup. The next helmet, is the only helmet that I can verify was fully converted to an ROTJ hero. It is still in the Lucasfilm archives and occasionally goes on tour. The fourth helmet as I've stated above is the 'catwalk Vader' and I believe the MOTM. While it appears to be is nicely finished as a hero it has a recessed light weight chin grille and was used exclusively in the scenes on the catwalk. I believe the next helmet is C-PIH, obviously the next helmet after that is the PA stunt helmet, which is in the Paul Allen Museum. This is followed by the ESB reveal, which is the other helmet that I do not know where it is, the next helmet is the Hoth command center helmet, which are believed to be the Don Bies helmet. Finally, the dummy Vader helmet, which I believe to be C-94. I know the next helmet is still in the Lucasfilm archives and has been seen on display once or twice at conventions and finally, the last pseudo-helmet that Mark Hamill sticks his face in from the back, is also whereabouts unknown, but I suspect probably still in the archives.

I realized that previous evidence might seem to suggest otherwise, but it's all a big puzzle and pieces are missing. And the pieces remaining, if taken out of context can lead astray.

I only ask, that you consider what I've said, I'm not going to go into the all ESB helmets any further.

But I still have a lot of further things to discuss on this helmet in the coming weeks, but my leave of absence is over and I am now back at work, putting in 10 hour days within our half commute on top of it. So I'll post when I can. Besides, it's 1:30 in the morning and I still work tomorrow.

John


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:51 pm 
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Hi guys,

Here's some more information:

I chatted with Ron Punter as well - what a nice guy. Despite Ron's recollections, in comparing film used ESB helmets with ROJ helmets first hand it seems most likely that the ROJ helmets were made up completely new, rather than reconditioned. There are numerous differences, including the type of mounting ring, the way the mounting ring is attached, the way they are labeled, and obviously the grills. Anything is possible, but reconditioning an ESB helmet to have these alterations (and no sign of the original features) would have been a huge amount of work, compared to casting up new helmets.

re: the MOTM helmet. The mounting ring and the way it is attached are not consistent with the ESB stunt helmet in private hands, or one other ESB film used helmet in private hands. Here are some images of that privately owned film used ESB helmet.

Attachment:
ESB_Vad_1.jpg


Attachment:
ESB_Vad_2.jpg


Attachment:
ESB_Vad_3.jpg


That is the reason that I believe the MOTM helmet is a tour helmet, rather than a film-used piece. The other supporting evidence is the black and white photo that shows a helmet on tour with grills that match the MOTM helmet.

But it's hard to be 100% when studying and analyzing these things. Is it possible that the MOTM helmet was film used and later modified for touring use - of course it is. But my personal feeling is it's more likely it was a dedicated touring helmet.

Regarding the mounting rings, the rings seen on ESB "screen" helmets and ROJ "screen" helmets are different pieces and are attached differently. The ROJ rings are constructed and attached in a manner that they would sit higher than the ESB rings, though perhaps they were cut shorter to compensate and the overall height on each is the same.

Best,
Brandon


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:10 pm 
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Hi John- I really appreciate all the work you put into researching the mysteries of the vader helmet your passion for these props is very evident. And your eye for detail surpasses most. But I do believe LFL has done a good job of archiving these pieces as well as the moltitude of other film props for us fans. Perhaps someday whatever archived documentation that catalouges and identifies these helmets will all be made more available to fans like us.

Meanwhile we are left to speculate here with each other. And it seems when we do that we muddy the water a bit. What's a fact? What's an opinion? I'm not so sure on some of these matters. And getting to the bottom of the matter is what makes all of this interesting. I think we need to take these helmet props on case by case bases. If there is definitive evidance that prooves a piece that can be matched in the film that's great. And I believe you have done that, John, with some of your research.

However some of these helmets are still in a gray area for me at least. I look forward to further clarification and identification of these helmet props by you and other experts here on the forum especially those with first hand knowledge or hands on experiance.

-Dwayne


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:01 am 
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BA100583 wrote:
Hi guys,

Here's some more information:

I chatted with Ron Punter as well - what a nice guy. Despite Ron's recollections, in comparing film used ESB helmets with ROJ helmets first hand it seems most likely that the ROJ helmets were made up completely new, rather than reconditioned. There are numerous differences, including the type of mounting ring, the way the mounting ring is attached, the way they are labeled, and obviously the grills. Anything is possible, but reconditioning an ESB helmet to have these alterations (and no sign of the original features) would have been a huge amount of work, compared to casting up new helmets.

re: the MOTM helmet. The mounting ring and the way it is attached are not consistent with the ESB stunt helmet in private hands, or one other ESB film used helmet in private hands. Here are some images of that privately owned film used ESB helmet.

Attachment:
ESB_Vad_1.jpg


Attachment:
ESB_Vad_2.jpg


Attachment:
ESB_Vad_3.jpg


That is the reason that I believe the MOTM helmet is a tour helmet, rather than a film-used piece. The other supporting evidence is the black and white photo that shows a helmet on tour with grills that match the MOTM helmet.

But it's hard to be 100% when studying and analyzing these things. Is it possible that the MOTM helmet was film used and later modified for touring use - of course it is. But my personal feeling is it's more likely it was a dedicated touring helmet.

Regarding the mounting rings, the rings seen on ESB "screen" helmets and ROJ "screen" helmets are different pieces and are attached differently. The ROJ rings are constructed and attached in a manner that they would sit higher than the ESB rings, though perhaps they were cut shorter to compensate and the overall height on each is the same.

Best,
Brandon


Brandon, thanks again for the information and the images. That helmet has been on a pretty rough ride for sure ;)

Back in 1995 when I had the chance to visit the archives, I remember handling Vader faceplates which featured the typical ESB/ROTJ "two step" mounting ring, but some had the cast tabs on top of the faceplate removed and some not. I was also surprised to see the touring helmets mixed with the screen used helmets and components, and all the Vader helmets were sitting mixed together in that one shelf. No idea what was stored away in all those boxes at that time. I have not seen one single ANH style Vader faceplate on that day, but an ANH style dome with that kind of latch inside, same as the one on the Vader touring suit on the Star Wars helmets website. Do you probably know how the helmets are stored today? Are they labelled correctly, did anyone tell them what's original and what not?

When I interviewed Ron and other people who worked on the OT some time ago to learn a bit more about the back story of my old TM ESB Vader lid, Ron said he painted a series of eight helmets for use in ESB. There are photographs of Ron in his earlier years posing with a series of Vader lids and shoulder armour resting on a table next to him. He said that he refurbished ESB lids for use in ROTJ, but not exactly how many. One ESB faceplate was left in his paintshop untouched, he still has it. Brian Muir says there were new Vader helmets made for ROTJ. I don't know the truth honestly.

My personal feeling is that they re-used refurbished AND un-refurbished ESB Vader helmets in ROTJ PLUS they produced new Vader helmets for use in ROTJ at Elstree as well (perhaps the "cleaner" ones which also had the cast tabs removed?). I've seen that process happening on many other productions when I was still working as a VFX Supervisor.

Well, there are still people out there who worked on the OT in the fibro plasteres workshop at Elstree. Some like to stay in the background and are not really willing to answer questions, that's what I found out when I tried to dig real deep. I stopped at a certain point when I thought I had all the information collected that I wanted.


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:48 pm 
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vadermania wrote:
BA100583 wrote:
Hi guys,
I remember handling Vader faceplates which featured the typical ESB/ROTJ "two step" mounting ring, but some had the cast tabs on top of the faceplate removed and some not. I was also surprised to see the touring helmets mixed with the screen used helmets and components, and all the Vader helmets were sitting mixed together in that one shelf. No idea what was stored away in all those boxes at that time. I have not seen one single ANH style Vader faceplate on that day, but an ANH style dome with that kind of latch inside, same as the one on the Vader touring suit on the Star Wars helmets website.


Good memory! The tabs / no tabs issue is one of several differences between the ESB and ROJ helmets.

The ANH style dome with the latch inside is an ANH-era touring piece, made by Rick Baker. Rick recently posted a vintage photo of a line up of these helmets all together on his Twitter account.

They do have a few of the ANH touring face plates in the Archives as well.

The Vader costume soft components labeled "Darth Varder" which sometimes pop up are touring components that went with these Baker-helmets.

Best
Brandon


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:45 am
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BA100583 wrote:

re: the MOTM helmet. The mounting ring and the way it is attached are not consistent with the ESB stunt helmet in private hands, or one other ESB film used helmet in private hands. Here are some images of that privately owned film used ESB helmet.
Attachment:
ESB_Vad_1.jpg

Attachment:
ESB_Vad_2.jpg

Attachment:
ESB_Vad_3.jpg

Best,
Brandon



Brandon,
There's no doubt that's a real deal hero, that's awesome. But just to be sure, this is NOT the helmet owned by Ron Punter, right? If not, can you tell us anything about the helmet that he owns?

Honestly, you guys, this is exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking for. It's another piece of the puzzle. And it's a big one. While I suspect the possibility of a fourth ESB hero, there was one ESB hero out of the three that I know for sure exist,(picture number two on my montage), that as I said, I have no idea where this helmet is. It has one distinct feature that sets it apart from the other helmets in the screen images that I could not find on any existing helmets.

This ESB hero is primarily worn in the scenes where Vader is in his meditation chamber, and communicating with the Emperor. It has a small circular hole or divot at the very edge of the base of the neck just over a quarter of an inch beyond the bulge or apex on the left side of the neck (Vader's left). It's a fairly clean, deep, circular hole approximately an eighth of an inch wide, maybe slightly smaller. I suspect it was probably an air pocket in the resin, that just didn't get filled in. It does not appear to be a fresh chip or damage, as it has been clearly painted over, but shows no sign of repair. So, as I said, after much searching, I gave up. I couldn't match it to anything.

That is, until now.

ImageImage


Knowing there was this one missing helmet, this feature was the first thing I went looking for. And there was.


Image

----

There is nothing that you guys said in your most recent posts that doesn't make sense to me. It all sounds about right. And Brandon, I'm very thankful to you for posting these pictures.

One other thing that these pictures do, is further illustrate something that I've been saying. These helmets were tools, and just like the other ESBs and even the ROTJs, it has seen a lot of wear and tear, wear and tear that I feel it could never have got from sitting on a shelf in the archives warehouse or in a display case in someone's private collection. The only way it's gonna get this kind of damage, is from lots of handling. Handling by people who didn't appreciate its fragility. Which is why I'm so convinced all these helmet saw time as touring helmets. Where else would they get all this damage? The only alternative I see, is that Lucasfilm employees literally toss these helmets into boxes together and the helmets bump and grind and tear each other apart.

Image

A little while back I posted a picture of a helmet on tour, that I said was clearly an ESB hero, I tried to match it, thought it might be the Planet Hollywood but the damage to that right tube just didn't seem consistant, as I can see too much of the top of the tube remaining in the tour pic. And it had a big semicircular chunk taken out of the edge of the neck right below the chin grille. The Planet Hollywood didn't have this and the damage to the tube didn't seem to be consistent. However, looking at this picture, the damage to that far tusk is very similar and it even has a large semicircular chunk taken out of the edge of the neck underneath the chin grille. Obviously, the closer tusk is still intact, but that was 30 years ago.

ImageImage

My research indicates that all of the ESB's except for the stunt helmet saw some kind of alteration after the production of ESB. All of the helmets got new tusks and the interior of the nose was repainted. Some helmets got a rework of the right side cheekbone(or silver face) to slightly flatten it out and it was repainted with the silver now being extended up on the side of the nose and not just ending at the inner edge of the cheek face as it originally had. And I also believe other helmets, like C-PIH also got a reworked center strip on the dome. There also appears to be a change to the dome heights, even the dome on this helmet is sitting high, and the interior of the nose has been repainted. But otherwise this helmet is as close to original screen condition as the PA stunt helmet, and it's nice to see. I just wish I could see the helmet that actually has the original tusks that this helmet originally had intact.

---
John


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:35 am 
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With these ESB helmets all turning up with such extensive damage to the tusks and tubes. Is it possible they were damaged during filming or between filming ESB and Jedi and just deemed junk. While others were cleaned up and modified for Jedi? And still more recast to fill the need of Jedi?


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