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 Post subject: Re: TD ANH Vader Mask: Any closer to the source?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:48 am 
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Here's another HR shot I just got with the D800 of Vader's right side of the nosebridge. One of the first early things I noticed about this mask when I got it was that it had these fine swiggles on the nosebridge and I checked the best shots I had at the time if they matched the screen ANH mask, and they do. Of all the masks with authentic sources that I've examined since I started in the hobby, this is the only one that has that kind of detail on the nosebridge.

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 Post subject: Re: TD ANH Vader Mask: Any closer to the source?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:19 am 
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SithLord wrote:
Thanks, Tom, for chiming in, I appreciate it. I'll get to the tube ends in another post because that's a big story by itself.

Yes I know about the blobs as the TD has the same blobs but they are not identical to the TM blobs. I refer to the "trees" as knobs with stalks being their supports that remain after the knobs are pulled off.

Here is probably what you've been waiting to see for a long time ;). Inside the yellow outline is another area that was reworked. Note the wear on the top of the mask in the paint down to the gold resin on account of possible mating with a dome. The shine to the black paint is gone on the top of the mask.

And as you know I have a huge library of reference comparisons of TM vs TD tabs using the same angles and lighting. So if you don't mind, here's a small example of what I mean about differences in TM vs TD showing just a small area....same blobs, but there are many, many small differences in their condition and which stalks are intact vs not, condition of the screws, etc.. So that is why I don't think the TM and TD came from the same father mold (by father I mean the mold taken off the original ANH mask as opposed to an ESB mask mold).


Thomas, thanks a lot for posting the new image of the tabs on the TD faceplate. I perfectly agree, the TD and the TM ESB might not originate from the same father mold, but they are undoubtedly related. Plus, there are other castings out there (i. e. the VP) which share similar details such as the filler pattern on the lower chin vent or the mouth grill pattern. It could also be possible that the TD is a first gen casting directly off the father mold of the screen used ANH faceplate. But the one thing that worries me are the different tusk tube ends.

As for the cut tusk tubes, I prefer the simple approach: could it be possible that the TD casting had broken or damaged tusk tubes at one point and someone just tried to repair them prior to covering the faceplate with black paint? Could the 4 "holes" you are showing be small dips caused by air pockets in the bondo? Again, I think the answer lies under the black paint. I mean, IF the thicker and shorter tusk tube ends on the TD are part of the casting itself, the TD is probably not coming directly from the father mold, but from another "repaired" or "altered" casting.

I have images of other "British" faceplate castings clearly related to the TD and TM faceplate - those are perhaps not directly coming from the father mold, but taken from another intact, unaltered casting a generation higher. Same tab details, same chin vent filler, same grill imprints plus "intact" eye lenses. The original TM ESB faceplate had the eyes and the upper mouth grills already cut out.


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 Post subject: Re: TD ANH Vader Mask: Any closer to the source?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:05 am 
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Those cuts remind me of marks made by a semi round file and are exactly the kind of marks I would expect from someone filing down the tube ends with one of those. Can also explain the serated marks on the neck. Either that or a small metal, wood & plastic saw. I'm not really seeing anything indicating that it was cast like that. Seems more likely it was done to the casting and the additional repair work on the tube suggests to me that the tube ends broke first - like seen on many other helmets, and they were filed back and repaired.

Casting things can damage the mold, especially at areas such as the tabs, so chunks of resin getting stuck in the mold can eventually lead to the silicone being torn or slightly shredded, resulting in variations between the casts.

The paint scrape marks in the paint behind the tabs seems illogical to be from rubbing against a dome - the tabs' height and the rear of the face mask, sorta makes it impossible for the dome mount system to even be able to touch that surface. Seems more likely to have been rubbed off some other way.

The clasp looks to me like the molded fabric strap that is also partly seen on the TM, but where the TD extends further back, showing more of it.

A theory I've had about the drill holes can also be specific to casts the prop people made for themselves - a condition for getting one - as I've seen it somewhere else too on a similar mask. I'm working on being allowed to show that one.


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 Post subject: Re: TD ANH Vader Mask: Any closer to the source?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:36 pm 
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vadermania wrote:
Thomas, thanks a lot for posting the new image of the tabs on the TD faceplate. I perfectly agree, the TD and the TM ESB might not originate from the same father mold, but they are undoubtedly related. Plus, there are other castings out there (i. e. the VP) which share similar details such as the filler pattern on the lower chin vent or the mouth grill pattern. It could also be possible that the TD is a first gen casting directly off the father mold of the screen used ANH faceplate. But the one thing that worries me are the different tusk tube ends.

As for the cut tusk tubes, I prefer the simple approach: could it be possible that the TD casting had broken or damaged tusk tubes at one point and someone just tried to repair them prior to covering the faceplate with black paint? Could the 4 "holes" you are showing be small dips caused by air pockets in the bondo? Again, I think the answer lies under the black paint. I mean, IF the thicker and shorter tusk tube ends on the TD are part of the casting itself, the TD is probably not coming directly from the father mold, but from another "repaired" or "altered" casting.

I have images of other "British" faceplate castings clearly related to the TD and TM faceplate - those are perhaps not directly coming from the father mold, but taken from another intact, unaltered casting a generation higher. Same tab details, same chin vent filler, same grill imprints plus "intact" eye lenses. The original TM ESB faceplate had the eyes and the upper mouth grills already cut out.



The holes are where there is no bondo, only the gold resin. The bondo is only on the outside Vader's left circumference of that tube. So the added thickness of the bondo isn't part of the casting....it is added on. As for being cut in the casting or not, that's something I'm hoping someone familiar with cutting resin or plaster would help to illuminate in this case, because I don't have enough experience handling such materials to know what they look like after cutting and with what kind of tools. But yes, it is possible that the TD came from a casting that came from the original and that casting had shorter tubes. Or the alternative is that the original had its tubes cut and then reworked.

I'll leave it for people here to judge, but based on my experience studying these things, there are definite differences in the tube lengths seen onscreen in ANH earlier in production (Death Star) versus later on (Tantive IV):

Here is an example of Vader's right tube being shorter earlier on on the Death Star....and notice also on Vader's left tube end, just behind the tusk where I put two yellow lines to indicate the location....there is this white or silver circumferential line going around the tube in as far as I can tell nearly the same location as where the tube was cut back on the TD ANH...

Image

another look...

Image

And Vader's left side shows a similar change, again with the tube being shorter earlier on on the Death Star (right image) than on the Tantive IV (left image). I know that when showed these before people would just say its the angle, but in my experience with castings I don't see that dramatic a different in tube length by just rotating a casting and I've done thousands of photographs of my castings from hundreds of angles over the years to know this. Plus, look at the distance of the "V" convergence of the tubes on Vader's right side (closest to camera) and where the tusk attaches....it is a shorter distance on the right image than the left image and these are almost perfect side views. So seeing Vader's right tube end from either the right or the left side shows a consistent difference. My theory has been that early in production the tubes were shorter, or they broke, then they cut them back and redid them to be longer....but before they redid them, they decided to mold the mask in order to preserve it for continuity. That's just a pipe dream perhaps, but it is a theory nevertheless. All I'm trying to do is find some reason for these shorter tubes if indeed the original mask's tubes were cut back at some point. I do know that Brian Muir disagrees with me on this theory, and he was onset during filming on the Death Star of Vader, but he had nothing to do with the costume or props department although he knew the people working in those departments and he wouldn't know if the prop or costume department remolded the Vader mask...perhaps John Mollo would know? It would be great to be able to ask him.

Image


Yes I know the British faceplate. The right tab is pulled off in the front higher than on the TD or TM. Plus, the TD was from a mold without lenses ;). I know this because the TD has undercut behind the nose bridge and the impressions of lenses and I know these are in the right locations because I have the SL with the original lenses on them.

Here is the undercut I was speaking of as well as the demarcation of where the lens would have been. Thus, the TD is not from the same mold as the VP, it's British predecessor, or the TM, or the SL ANH.

Image

Here's a comparison of the nosebridge Vader's right side on the TD versus the original ANH. If there was anything out there closely related to the TD then we would see this kind of detail, but I have yet to see an authentic casting with it. This is just one of the things that make me think the TD might be earlier. But then there are other things that don't show up as well as say, on the SL ANH, that are just contradictory to that. So it is a very odd combination.

Image

Another thing about the TD that is interesting. The mouth triangle width is the largest of any casting out there including the SL ANH. As we go down the lineage from ANH to ROTJ, the mouth triangle becomes smaller.

Here's the TD ANH copy with SL ANH dome on it....

Image

Image

And about the VP ANH. It is definitely later on than the TD ANH and I don't yet have the cheek width measurement from the British mask, but as you can see, the TD ANH is quite a bit larger than the VP ANH first pull that I used to have (showed these before on the forums).

Image

and different angles....
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 Post subject: Re: TD ANH Vader Mask: Any closer to the source?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:58 pm 
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No Humor Man wrote:
Those cuts remind me of marks made by a semi round file and are exactly the kind of marks I would expect from someone filing down the tube ends with one of those. Can also explain the serated marks on the neck. Either that or a small metal, wood & plastic saw. I'm not really seeing anything indicating that it was cast like that. Seems more likely it was done to the casting and the additional repair work on the tube suggests to me that the tube ends broke first - like seen on many other helmets, and they were filed back and repaired.

Casting things can damage the mold, especially at areas such as the tabs, so chunks of resin getting stuck in the mold can eventually lead to the silicone being torn or slightly shredded, resulting in variations between the casts.

The paint scrape marks in the paint behind the tabs seems illogical to be from rubbing against a dome - the tabs' height and the rear of the face mask, sorta makes it impossible for the dome mount system to even be able to touch that surface. Seems more likely to have been rubbed off some other way.

The clasp looks to me like the molded fabric strap that is also partly seen on the TM, but where the TD extends further back, showing more of it.

A theory I've had about the drill holes can also be specific to casts the prop people made for themselves - a condition for getting one - as I've seen it somewhere else too on a similar mask. I'm working on being allowed to show that one.


Thanks Carsten, I was writing my reply to Tom while you replied. Ok interesting so it could have been filed and I do actually see minute very fine lines on the upper part of the cut face indicating possibly a file. Great! So one could imaging that the tubes were reworked with the bondo, then something happened and they had to cut them back, but that doesn't explain why the impressions of the tiny holes on the cut tube end, without them being real holes. Plus, there is just a small bit of bondo that hangs over the cut edge, which is very weird, almost like they did the bondo after the tubes were cut.


And it is possible that the dome had a spacer in it like we see on the tour helmet domes. Indeed, the original ANH dome had a spacer as well. And consider how large the TD ANH is. When I first got it I was surprised that I could put a dome on it and it looked fine even without a mounting ring when comparing it to something like a recast JB ANH mask. Look at the height of the VP ANH crown of the head vs the TD...the TD is much higher. So it is possible a dome could have rubbed off the paint there.

Last night I photographed the tube end with the Nikon D800/55 micro lens combo and here are side views of that area with the bondo showing through the top part of the cut tube end....and I put a yellow line where the bondo overhangs the cut end. So from what I can tell, the bondo isn't cut through. But it isn't much to go on, admittedly, without being able to see the whole thing under the paint.

Here's an image showing the gold resin under one of the tiny "holes" on the cut tube end, the bondo overhang area, and the file marks on the top of the cut edge.

Image

And here's that bondo overhang again in two different side views of that area...

Image

The clasp on the TM however looks different than the one on the TD....the TD one is semi-circular in shape and smaller, while the TM one is more rectangular and larger (wider).


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 Post subject: Re: TD ANH Vader Mask: Any closer to the source?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:31 pm 
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No Humor Man wrote:
A theory I've had about the drill holes can also be specific to casts the prop people made for themselves - a condition for getting one - as I've seen it somewhere else too on a similar mask. I'm working on being allowed to show that one.


Now that's really interesting. I didn't think about that. Although, I could see why the holes could be a condition, but why would they matter since those are areas that would be cut out anyway? I mean, would there be a concern the prop people would want to make and sell copies of the mask/helmet? Would be very cool to see that other mask with the holes drilled in.


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 Post subject: Re: TD ANH Vader Mask: Any closer to the source?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:42 pm 
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Well, to answer your initial question, I think it is possible that the TD faceplate is "closer to the source" because it could be an earlier generation casting compared to the VP, TM or the other known UK casting. But I think the TD, TM, VP and the other UK casting all originate from the same source: a screen used ANH faceplate which had the tabs on top and the lower chin vent filled with some clay or plasticine material prior to molding. I've seen some images of the only "fully intact" UK casting (which features cast tabs, lenses with traces of clay/plasticine around them to prevent the silicone running inside, filled in lower chin vent, clay/plasticine behind the mouth grills and undamaged/unaltered tusk tube ends). Plus, the TM and the UK casting feature the ESB "neck extension", which was probably sculpted on a casting, which itself was then molded again and became the "master" for the ESB faceplates. (BTW, I think the "neck extension" was just an accident - to me it looks like it is extra material that has been added prior to molding another fiberglass positive in order not to loose the original neckline. It was not performed in a very "artistic" way, but was very crude and roughly sculpted).

When you compare the lower chin vent of all 4 different castings (and I think you have done this already) you will notice that the "sculpting" pattern is the same.

I still have no idea though what the TD faceplate was originally made for - perhaps it was real production piece or a test pull or a souvenir pull. It's all speculation on my end.


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 Post subject: Re: TD ANH Vader Mask: Any closer to the source?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:04 pm 
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vadermania wrote:
Well, to answer your initial question, I think it is possible that the TD faceplate is "closer to the source" because it could be an earlier generation casting compared to the VP, TM or the other known UK casting. But I think the TD, TM, VP and the other UK casting all originate from the same source: a screen used ANH faceplate which had the tabs on top and the lower chin vent filled with some clay or plasticine material prior to molding. I've seen some images of the only "fully intact" UK casting (which features cast tabs, lenses with traces of clay/plasticine around them to prevent the silicone running inside, filled in lower chin vent, clay/plasticine behind the mouth grills and undamaged/unaltered tusk tube ends). Plus, the TM and the UK casting feature the ESB "neck extension", which was probably sculpted on a casting, which itself was then molded again and became the "master" for the ESB faceplates. (BTW, I think the "neck extension" was just an accident - to me it looks like it is extra material that has been added prior to molding another fiberglass positive in order not to loose the original neckline. It was not performed in a very "artistic" way, but was very crude and roughly sculpted).

When you compare the lower chin vent of all 4 different castings (and I think you have done this already) you will notice that the "sculpting" pattern is the same.

I still have no idea though what the TD faceplate was originally made for - perhaps it was real production piece or a test pull or a souvenir pull. It's all speculation on my end.



Certainly the VP, TM and TD are along a lineage from the same original ANH mask, but the question is whether the original mask itself was molded more than twice (ie: what we consider a "UK mold" and then the Baker mold....was there an additional time it was molded?). If the answer is no, then the TD has to be from the same father mold as the ESB (or TM derivative) and VP (or British VP ancestor) masks. And yes the grill pattern is the same in the mouth triangle, the chin vent filler has the same pattern, although I'll check again if they are identical as I think there are very minor differences similar to the kind of differences I showed with the tabs.

The UK casting (it needs a name....pre-VP?) is very interesting because it seems to have everything on it. The neck extension in particular is interesting. We saw that first on the TM, and then it appeared to be part of what we see onscreen in ESB. My theory was that they wanted to make the neck line more symmetrical which is why they added so much to Vader's left side to build it up more. They then blended it with the outline of the original neckline to try to make it seemless, but there is an angular deviation so it isn't really so precisely done. So I actually don't think the neck extension was an accident because it ends up onscreen in ESB.

There had been some debate here previously because it was assumed that the TD had the neck extension and it was simply cut off. But I had asserted that is not the case. The TD has the original ANH neck outline, just as the SL ANH does. I know this from study not only of the neck and its curvature both on its edge and on the side leading down to the edge, but also of the drip detail along Vader's right side. On the TM the long drip on the right rear side that goes down to the neck is obscured by the sanding or blending of the neck extension with the neck in that area. On the TD ANH, that drip line is uninterrupted, meaning there wasn't a neck extension there originally. The neck extension, I think we could agree, is purely an ESB-era trait.

Do we see the neck extension on ESB-era touring masks?

I'll just add that it might be possible they kept an ANH mask copy like the TD ANH in the UK for reference for ESB to make future masks and it wasn't modified...ie: still had the filled in grill and chin vent....except that they then added a neck extension to it. The sculpting similarity could just be coincidental to a similar process rather than suggesting it was done at the same time, but that is just my assumption based on the TD not seeming to have had a neck extension.


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 Post subject: Re: TD ANH Vader Mask: Any closer to the source?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:13 pm 
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vadermania wrote:
I still have no idea though what the TD faceplate was originally made for - perhaps it was real production piece or a test pull or a souvenir pull. It's all speculation on my end.


I also have no idea...but at least it seems like an early casting. I'm very hopeful this thread and people with the kind of experience you have seeing original helmets or original touring helmets might shed some light. So I really appreciate your feedback. :thumbsup


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 Post subject: Re: TD ANH Vader Mask: Any closer to the source?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:50 pm 
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SithLord wrote:
vadermania wrote:
Well, to answer your initial question, I think it is possible that the TD faceplate is "closer to the source" because it could be an earlier generation casting compared to the VP, TM or the other known UK casting. But I think the TD, TM, VP and the other UK casting all originate from the same source: a screen used ANH faceplate which had the tabs on top and the lower chin vent filled with some clay or plasticine material prior to molding. I've seen some images of the only "fully intact" UK casting (which features cast tabs, lenses with traces of clay/plasticine around them to prevent the silicone running inside, filled in lower chin vent, clay/plasticine behind the mouth grills and undamaged/unaltered tusk tube ends). Plus, the TM and the UK casting feature the ESB "neck extension", which was probably sculpted on a casting, which itself was then molded again and became the "master" for the ESB faceplates. (BTW, I think the "neck extension" was just an accident - to me it looks like it is extra material that has been added prior to molding another fiberglass positive in order not to loose the original neckline. It was not performed in a very "artistic" way, but was very crude and roughly sculpted).

When you compare the lower chin vent of all 4 different castings (and I think you have done this already) you will notice that the "sculpting" pattern is the same.

I still have no idea though what the TD faceplate was originally made for - perhaps it was real production piece or a test pull or a souvenir pull. It's all speculation on my end.



Certainly the VP, TM and TD are along a lineage from the same original ANH mask, but the question is whether the original mask itself was molded more than twice (ie: what we consider a "UK mold" and then the Baker mold....was there an additional time it was molded?). If the answer is no, then the TD has to be from the same father mold as the ESB (or TM derivative) and VP (or British VP ancestor) masks. And yes the grill pattern is the same in the mouth triangle, the chin vent filler has the same pattern, although I'll check again if they are identical as I think there are very minor differences similar to the kind of differences I showed with the tabs.


It might be possible that the original ANH faceplate was molded more than one time in the UK, but we yet have to see a casting from a possible second UK mold. I think that they made one "father mold" off the screen used faceplate. The original screen used costume was then sent to the US for subsequent filming and promotional work. Perhaps the original ANH helmet/costume was sent back to the UK for storage (the LFL archives didn't exist at the time), but more likely for use in the second movie. It's still an open discussion whether the original ANH faceplate was transformed into an ESB faceplate and later into an ROTJ.

SithLord wrote:
The UK casting (it needs a name....pre-VP?) is very interesting because it seems to have everything on it. The neck extension in particular is interesting. We saw that first on the TM, and then it appeared to be part of what we see onscreen in ESB. My theory was that they wanted to make the neck line more symmetrical which is why they added so much to Vader's left side to build it up more. They then blended it with the outline of the original neckline to try to make it seemless, but there is an angular deviation so it isn't really so precisely done. So I actually don't think the neck extension was an accident because it ends up onscreen in ESB.


Yes, that's an interesting theory. But one would assume that, if it was really intended as an extension to make the neck line more symmetrical, a talented sculptor would have delivered a much more defined result as opposed of what you find on the TM or the other UK casting, which looks rather crude and sloppy - very similar to "safety areas" which I have seen on other props that were prepared for molding. Why else would they keep the original neckline so visible and defined then?

SithLord wrote:
There had been some debate here previously because it was assumed that the TD had the neck extension and it was simply cut off. But I had asserted that is not the case. The TD has the original ANH neck outline, just as the SL ANH does. I know this from study not only of the neck and its curvature both on its edge and on the side leading down to the edge, but also of the drip detail along Vader's right side. On the TM the long drip on the right rear side that goes down to the neck is obscured by the sanding or blending of the neck extension with the neck in that area. On the TD ANH, that drip line is uninterrupted, meaning there wasn't a neck extension there originally. The neck extension, I think we could agree, is purely an ESB-era trait.


Very possible that the original "father mold" was either ruined or damaged when the production was in need of Vader faceplate castings for ESB, so the "neck extension" was added to one of the castings pulled from the father mold.

SithLord wrote:
Do we see the neck extension on ESB-era touring masks?


Good question. Don't know.

SithLord wrote:
I'll just add that it might be possible they kept an ANH mask copy like the TD ANH in the UK for reference for ESB to make future masks and it wasn't modified...ie: still had the filled in grill and chin vent....except that they then added a neck extension to it. The sculpting similarity could just be coincidental to a similar process rather than suggesting it was done at the same time, but that is just my assumption based on the TD not seeming to have had a neck extension.


See above. That's what I think, too.


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 Post subject: Re: TD ANH Vader Mask: Any closer to the source?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:48 pm 
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vadermania wrote:
It might be possible that the original ANH faceplate was molded more than one time in the UK, but we yet have to see a casting from a possible second UK mold. I think that they made one "father mold" off the screen used faceplate. The original screen used costume was then sent to the US for subsequent filming and promotional work. Perhaps the original ANH helmet/costume was sent back to the UK for storage (the LFL archives didn't exist at the time), but more likely for use in the second movie. It's still an open discussion whether the original ANH faceplate was transformed into an ESB faceplate and later into an ROTJ.


I'm trying to remember if the original ANH suit went back to the UK for ESB. Kermit Eller had the suit on tour right through to before the period of when ESB premiered, so ideally he would have had it during the ESB production. Also, they could have easily sent the Baker mold, or castings derived from it, to the UK for reference for ESB, and we know they didn't because the ESB masks are clearly not from that mold. So they may have had reference already in the UK. After all, look at all the original props that remained in private hands in the UK after Star Wars and the Empire Strikes Back wrapped up. It would be nice to ask Gary Kurz what reference they used for the Vader helmets in ESB.

vadermania wrote:
Yes, that's an interesting theory. But one would assume that, if it was really intended as an extension to make the neck line more symmetrical, a talented sculptor would have delivered a much more defined result as opposed of what you find on the TM or the other UK casting, which looks rather crude and sloppy - very similar to "safety areas" which I have seen on other props that were prepared for molding. Why else would they keep the original neckline so visible and defined then?


Maybe they thought it would be hidden by the cape or armor, I'm not sure. But if it was just for molding prep, then they would have done it so it would be removable, or temporary. Yet they left it on for screen use. Also, another reason would be the fighting in ESB would be more intense so they would need a longer neck to avoid gaps appearing between the neck and armor during the saber duels. That's all conjecture of course, but for something to appear onscreen and then call it a mistake just because it looks sloppy....well there's plenty of sloppy modification to props we've seen in the SW series. It could be that they didn't want to pay a sculptor like Brian Muir to redo the mask, so they just had a mold maker put an extension on it and that is why it is made the same way as the chin vent filled in. Gary Kurz paid a lot of attention to the Vader costume for ESB, so I doubt he would let that kind of thing go by, but I'm just going by gut feeling here, I have no evidence to say either way, except that it appears onscreen as it was extended. It remains a mystery.

vadermania wrote:
Very possible that the original "father mold" was either ruined or damaged when the production was in need of Vader faceplate castings for ESB, so the "neck extension" was added to one of the castings pulled from the father mold.


I think it was Brian Muir who told me that after the ANH production wrapped up they discarded the original mold for the production ANH helmets. I'll have to go back and check my notes though. We know it wasn't the original ANH mask because the chin vent was filled in and also the original helmet remained in the USA. We know it wasn't a Rick Baker mold pull because it just doesn't match the lineage. ANH mask/helmet were molded sometime during the ANH production or just before the helmet left for the USA, that mold became the father mold for the UK masks. The TD might be a copy from that mold or from a copy taken from that mold. Another copy from that mold could have been used as a template for ESB. So yes we are in agreement I suppose. But that doesn't explain the minute differences in the tabs between the TD and TM and pre-VP masks. Maybe those changes occurred to the "master copy" rather than the original ANH mask being molded more than once.

Of course another crazier theory would be that the original ANH mask was molded earlier during production just after the tusks broke (ie: the saber duel with Guiness), and they took that opportunity to redo the tube ends but before they did they molded the mask in case something else happened to it. But of course Brian Muir would strongly disagree with me on that because he said it would have been a lot easier to just get another pull from the original production mold and modify that than to remold the original mask.

Well, I'll be showing a few more features of the mask that indicate it is early, but how early is always going to be the big question.


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 Post subject: Re: TD ANH Vader Mask: Any closer to the source?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:08 pm 
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My further thoughts on the extensions. We have seen on the DP DLX master cast that it has extensions all around the edges, the same with the eFX masters - all to ensure perfect edges on the subsequent castings. Those extensions are all meant to be trimmed away. We only see the neck extension left on some helmets having been shown off. However, chances are that the extension on the face mask went all the way around the rear as well. Could explain the extra length to the rear of the TD, as well as the weird position of the strap at the top of the face mask. The eye socket extensions may not be extensions at all, but simply caused by the way they filed out the cast in lenses. There are two ways to file away the lenses and the easiest way would be to drill holes in the lenses and then file in through the lens out towards the edges - that would leave a whole lot of material extending out behind the actual trim line and if they don't change angle to file that down, then that is exactly how it would look: like an extension, when it is simply leftover depth that wasn't sanded away from the cast in lenses. Same with the teeth depths - if you only file from outside in and not file down on the inside, it will leave extra material behind the trim line. It all depends on how clean you file things down and what way you do it.

On the neck of the TD you are showing file impressions, so why you are saying there could have been a neck extension there is beyond me. I'm seeing evidence of actual filing having been done around that edge and the TM with the neck extension HAS the ANH neckline edge and so does the VP which we know have the neck extension, that was trimmed off. My first run TM helmet has had the neck extension removed and if you didn't know it had it originally I would doubt you would know it was filed away. The minor differences in the details on the tabs and the chin vent opening is rather inconsequential when the larger details such as blobs and overall shape and detailing of the filler is the same. They are all linked to that 1 molding of the original ANH helmet. What is the question though is whether the TD is actually from that UK master mold and how many generations later the TM actually is, as we are dealing with differences that can easily be explained by irregularities happen when casting the two. Personally, I think you may be right that the TD is earlier in that sense... but it is still in the same lineage and not something from some other molding - that is simply impossible due to very specific shared details.

The VP shows that the original UK mold had the ANH lenses in there, so claiming the TD was cast without lenses makes very little sense.


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 Post subject: Re: TD ANH Vader Mask: Any closer to the source?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:18 pm 
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Regarding the tube lengths. I'm seeing those being exact same length on all the pictures. The bottom comparisons just show more shadow, making the groove between the top and bottom tube to look longer. You can even make out that same extra bit on the other picture, just less visible due to being lit, so not causing a shadow there, but when you mark out the outline of the tubes, the position of the cheek corner and the position of the mouth wall edge, you can see that the tube shape is the same on both - it's just shadow causing one to look like the groove between the upper and lower tube extends further.

Seeing as it should be possible to find screen captures that correspond better with each other from the various parts of the movie, it should be easier to make comparisons than pictures that are basically rather far off.


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 Post subject: Re: TD ANH Vader Mask: Any closer to the source?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:57 pm 
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Thomas, just out of curiosity: is there a difference in size between the TD and the SL faceplate?

I agree Carsten, we should have a look at other images as well to check if there is really a. difference in the tusk tube length between different scenes in ANH. If I remember correctly, the aluminum tusks on the ANH faceplate were flat on one end where they were glued to the tusk tube ends, and they broke off regularly during production. If that was really the case, I highly doubt that the original ANH faceplate tusk tubes itself were damaged during shooting. The visible damages on later faceplates/tusk tubes were caused primarily because of the pins on the aluminum tusks, which went into holes trilled into the tusk tube ends. One strong hit on the aluminum tusk, and you may ruin the tusk tube end as well.


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 Post subject: Re: TD ANH Vader Mask: Any closer to the source?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:06 pm 
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No Humor Man wrote:
My further thoughts on the extensions. We have seen on the DP DLX master cast that it has extensions all around the edges, the same with the eFX masters - all to ensure perfect edges on the subsequent castings. Those extensions are all meant to be trimmed away. We only see the neck extension left on some helmets having been shown off. However, chances are that the extension on the face mask went all the way around the rear as well. Could explain the extra length to the rear of the TD, as well as the weird position of the strap at the top of the face mask.


I don't see how the undercut in the rear is related to extension of the neck? There's nothing perfect about the rear of the TD ANH. In fact, the opposite it true. It has been reworked in the casting in places to improve it. There would be no reason practically to have an extension on the rear of the mask going all the way around because it is molded as a half head. Or perhaps I am misunderstanding? The undercut on the TD ANH in the rear isn't unique. The curvature at the rear is as you would see on a TM or VP, except that it extends further.

No Humor Man wrote:
The eye socket extensions may not be extensions at all, but simply caused by the way they filed out the cast in lenses. There are two ways to file away the lenses and the easiest way would be to drill holes in the lenses and then file in through the lens out towards the edges - that would leave a whole lot of material extending out behind the actual trim line and if they don't change angle to file that down, then that is exactly how it would look: like an extension, when it is simply leftover depth that wasn't sanded away from the cast in lenses. Same with the teeth depths - if you only file from outside in and not file down on the inside, it will leave extra material behind the trim line. It all depends on how clean you file things down and what way you do it.


I don't see how that it could be just filed away material, because you would see the raw resin there if it was filed away, and you also wouldn't see the lens seating point...the edge where the lens was seated. I also see where the lens was seated inside the upper and temporal part of the eye socket. So how can one have anything beyond the point of the lenses molded into the casting if they were cut out in the casting? If you just cut out the lenses, you wouldn't see that impression of where they sat in exactly the same position as the original lenses. They would be have to be removed from the original first, then the original molded with something other than lenses in place that are positioned further back. It is possible they did this because they wanted the entire eye socket molded. And that lens edge on the side of the nosebridge is formed, it isn't like left over glue or something that kept the lenses in place.

Yes with filing the teeth gaps there can be additional material if the resin was thick there, but you can tell the original sides of the teeth from that filed material, because of the two-part layering to the teeth that is part of the original ANH design.

No Humor Man wrote:
On the neck of the TD you are showing file impressions, so why you are saying there could have been a neck extension there is beyond me. I'm seeing evidence of actual filing having been done around that edge and the TM with the neck extension HAS the ANH neckline edge and so does the VP which we know have the neck extension, that was trimmed off.


I think you meant to write "could not have been a neck extension". Well the VP is trimmed shorter so it is harder to say what happened to it apart from what we know if the British mask having the extension. But filing marks don't mean that an extension was there. They could easily be from the original ANH mask which itself came from a mold of a plaster master that had the bottom edge trimmed. The SL ANH has the neck plus additional material on its bottom edge but the bottom edge is still intact. You don't have to trim the bottom edge for a mask like that, just inside of that edge perhaps. The SL ANH neck edge is intact not only from the side view but also from the bottom and it overhangs material that would have been part of what backed it up in the mold. Also, one could trim any casting from any mold on the neck, that doesn't mean there was an extension. The fact is, there was no extension on the TD LIKE the one on the TM, otherwise I would see evidence of the sanding that joined the TM extension to the neck. There is none. Sanding was done to blend the extension of the TM to the neck boundary and you see clearly the flattened areas on the neck boundary where the extension is. Do you see this on the original ANH mask? No. Do you see it on the TD? No. Do you see it on the SL? No. The paint drip on the right rear side is not perturbed by any kind of sanding on the TD like it is on the TM, independent of whether you have a casting with the extension on it or not. And I can compare the SL ANH neck edge on the bottom, from the side, etc. and it matches the TD. So there was no extension on the TD like the one on the TM or pre-VP. Could there have been AN extension of some kidn? Possibly, but it didn't leave behind any evidence and it wouldn't match what I see in terms of an undisturbed neck profile compared to the SL.

No Humor Man wrote:
My first run TM helmet has had the neck extension removed and if you didn't know it had it originally I would doubt you would know it was filed away.


I would know if I examined it and also had a TM with an extension in hand to compare it to. I have another authentic mask to compare the TD to, one that we know didn't have an extension and one that came directly from the original ANH mask, which itself had no extension. Whatever photographs I compare the TD or SL to, the neck is the same. Trimming differences can lead to differences in the edges, and there are none. Every other mask that has been trimmed otherwise, like the VP, it is obvious it deviates from the original neckline.

No Humor Man wrote:
The minor differences in the details on the tabs and the chin vent opening is rather inconsequential when the larger details such as blobs and overall shape and detailing of the filler is the same.


Actually, they are consequential. You cannot have differences like that from castings from the same mold. The differences in the screws, the curvature of the tabs, or even the rear latch point, the minute differences in which knobs are intact and which are not, the differences in which blobs are larger or not. And I didn't even go into that much detail yet of those differences. But they cannot be ascribed to simple differences in how something came out of the mold later on or earlier on.

No Humor Man wrote:
They are all linked to that 1 molding of the original ANH helmet. What is the question though is whether the TD is actually from that UK master mold and how many generations later the TM actually is, as we are dealing with differences that can easily be explained by irregularities happen when casting the two. Personally, I think you may be right that the TD is earlier in that sense... but it is still in the same lineage and not something from some other molding - that is simply impossible due to very specific shared details.


Yes, how many generations even that the TD is from that UK master mold or whether it is from a different molding even entirely? By other molding I mean a different, separate molding of the original ANH mask, or a master copy of that mask. It would seem unusual that with the filler material being the same, that the original ANH mask would be molded twice at two different times. But, couldn't it be a possibility that the original mask was simply kept in that state with the filled chin vent? I don't know. But there might be clues. I'll be discussing the nose of the TD ANH at some point as well in relationship to these issues.

No Humor Man wrote:
The VP shows that the original UK mold had the ANH lenses in there, so claiming the TD was cast without lenses makes very little sense.


Ok, but then why the impressions of the lenses being there in the eye sockets? How could that possibly be in the casting if the lenses were there to begin with? Not only that, the inside edges of the sockets extend further than what I see on the SL ANH, which has original lenses. They would not only have to file away the lenses, they would have to create extensions around the sockets. I'll try to show that in more detail later as I'm at work now. But I appreciate your always very critical and direct approach to the discussions, so thanks!


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