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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:09 am 
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Thomas, good input..

A couple of things to mention..

The DJ is barely, and I mean you can barely recognise it's any bigger than the TM as I have measurements also, I am not saying your methods or measurements are flawed, but if the TM was painted I do believe the indifference is that small bwtween the two that they will be more or less of equal size..Not unless you did measure a painted TM?

I know you did confirm there was barely anything in it .

As for the TM in general, as established it is ESB, But after the paint was stripped it must have a connection to ANH as too many details are present for it not to be..I cant really get into details but I'm sure you know what I mean..

Onto the SPFX, Anson got his a little before me, so my SPFX is just over 1 year old now, so mine I believe would be the same as his, and they do look identical. I cant really comment and dont actually know why the VP is of a similar size but I know, the SPFX is a similar size to other helmets I own, but next to the TM the size difference is vast..

Does size really matter? IMO I think there is some truth to what you say as there does seem to be patterns unfolding by that way of grouping the helmets etc..

However Back to the old ..Size vs "the Look"..Personally I go for the latter as I just prefer looks even if something is bigger..
So size isn't everything but when you are talking elite helmets it is of importance. And if a helmet has the size and the look like the TM/DJ then thats all good.

Surprising undersized or not the VP IMO is in that top category of Vader helmets..I completely agree with the majority of your assessment SL and it's cool you taking the time to post that list. I have found that a couple of helmet sizes fractionally differ in that list but most of what you have is more or less the same as what I have, (Unfortunately I have also been asked not to share measurements with anyone).

EDIT - As I was typing this I see CSM has asked the same question..Must be on the same wave length Mac :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:05 am 
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CSMacLaren wrote:
Thanks for the in-depth analysis, SL! And for your patience. People get impatient with old farts like me who find it difficult to remember stated facts in a thread so chok full of information. Too much paint-sniffing as a kid, and today I don't remember where I put the blasted car keys.

Just curious, but I'd imagine that the DJ you measured was the one we've seen all painted up? How many layers of paint are supposedly on the DJ? And was the TM painted or unpainted? If unpainted, would that miniscule size difference be accounted for by virtue of the layers of paint on the DJ?

Why do you suppose there's such a difference in aesthetics between the GH ROTJ and the DP DLX?



Sure thing. Good questions. The measurement of the DJ is yes of his painted faceplate (he measured it for me) and I don't know how many layers but I know from experience it won't make that much of a difference because DJ told me it's really a bare bones poor paintjob (which funny enough is the way they did it on the production)...maybe a couple of layers at most and that's taking into account the silver on black scheme...

The TM measurement I'll have to double check but I think it's with paint...I'll double check with TM on that. That's a really good point and we'll need a new measurement if that's the case...the paint was thick and so that might place it down the ladder a bit...but I think it will still be larger than the VP.

The GH ROTJ is from a very good source very close to the original ROTJ...my guess is maybe two generations down from an original ROTJ but I'll defer that to GH himself. Personally I think it's the closest...the Elstree ROTJ seems sharpened up a bit and the dome is off. The DP Deluxe is a really poor copy of a ROTJ...I don't know what they did but it's so soft they must have been instructed to clean it up or just that the manufacturing process was not able to retain the sharpness of the template casting (or "pattern" as it's called in the business). I remember when I thought the DP Deluxe was my dream helmet, heh. I don't think much about it since Don Post is not know for the accuracy of his helmets...but at the time it was really the first 1:1 Vader helmet of any kind apart from fan-sourced helmets like the Fyberdyne which goes way back. But the DP Deluxe is definitely from something production-related.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:11 am 
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darthvaderv wrote:
As for the TM in general, as established it is ESB, But after the paint was stripped it must have a connection to ANH as too many details are present for it not to be..I cant really get into details but I'm sure you know what I mean..


The TM's detail (and the production mask's lack thereof) would lead me to think that the TM is indeed a snapshot of an ANH. Otherwise, what on earth did LFL use for the ESB helmet? Track with me here: they take a snapshot of the screen-used helmet (a great deal of photo analysis was already done on this, and the many matches with the Tantive IV shots speak for themselves) and they mold it with the intent of producing the ESB masks. This was their base. What's interesting, however, is that the TM -- which came from this mold -- is generally viewed as "ESB" simply because it has no widow's peak.

So it's it intrinsically ESB or ANH? Let's put it this way: The TM is *not* ESB in terms of what we saw on the screen. They took a screen-used ANH, cut off the widow's peak, then molded it, then cast it. One casting then got sanded and what-not then painted, etc. to become the screen-used prop.

One casting, however, became the "lighting test helmet" which we know as the TM original. This didn't receive as much work to become the idealized ESB as the screen-used helmet. As I understand, it wasn't sanded. Some resin was smeared on into the upper eyelids and what-not, but the resin came loose probably because of the acetone used to remove the thick paint. The sloppy paint job is also an indication that they didn't care to make this a hero helmet because it was just a lighting test helmet.

So after the paint was stripped and that extra resin removed, that which made the TM intrinsically an ANH was revealed. It was there all along. I don't feel the TM was a true ESB to begin with because the triangular chin hole was never cut out and it wasn't sanded down. Painting over all the intrinsic ANH detail simply obscures it -- painting does not eradicate it whereas sanding would definitely take a lot of that textured detail away.

If the ROTJ was based on the sanded down screen-used ESB, then we can understand why it's smaller and has less detail though as SithLord relates you can see how they're related.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:43 am 
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Hi,
I don't know if this helps anyone but it is some information that
I uncovered after contacting several characters whilst
trying to 'authenticate' a vader I acquired.
It mentions the ANH > ESB changes....

Here is email no.1


Hi there, Too busy till now to get back to you.
Several telltales denote an original Vader pull.
This looks like a copy from a copy of an original ANH pull. There are several of these floating around.

Here's the history as I know it:
ANH was a low budget ($7 million) film and the original Vader was made in a non-jacketed flexible mold made of some sort of Polysulphide-type material. Because the mold did not have a hard jacket, each casting ended up with just slightly a different shape. (yours shows the asymmetry associated with this).

Don Post Studios signed the very first merchandise license for Star Wars (set up by William Malone and Bob Short who worked there at the time). The license was strange in that DPS owned all of the rights to any full sized use and representation of the characters for 7 years.
Because of that, once the film was a huge hit DPS ended up in the middle of all the original promotions as they had to give permission to Lucas and 20th to use the characters!
One of the DPS employees was 6 foot 6 inches tall, could create the raspy metallic breathing sound and could do a spot on James Earl Jones vocal impression, so he became the American Darth Vader (Kermit Eller).
Whenever you saw and heard Vader it was Kermit as he was the only one to encompass all 3 characteristics seen on film. The original costume was shipped from England and for many of the first appearances Kermit appeared in it.
There was fear that the original would get lost, stolen or damaged, so in combination between Post and Lucas replacement parts were created and the original suit was handed over to Lucas.
About that time I took over the R&D Dept. at Post and by then Kermit was working directly for Lucas. We maintained the Vader suit, but it was kept in boxes by Eller, so he could travel with it. I travelled all over the country with Kermit and other original cast members!
We also supplied over 300 Stormtrooper helmets and did some post production work on 2 Boba-Fet costumes at Post for ESB and ROTJ, so I ended up working closely with the vendors in London ..

When renowned sculptor Jim Leonard started working in my department he was blown away by how crude the original Vader was. He asked and obtained permission to rework the original. A set was cast in England from the original molds to aid with this, but it took so long to get to the states that Leonard had already made an armature and was nearly done with the new helmet. (it is that 4th original cast set that is being auctioned this Fall by Elstree).
Leonard's second generation Vader is the one used to base all subsequent versions on as it was almost machine perfect in its symmetry and balance.
So, remember, when discussing original Star Wars pieces that Don Post was the American source for all the original parts and pieces as they (we) kept the parts of several characters in good shape, preserved and owned the rights to them en-total for the first 7 years.
I have recently worked with other original artists through Elstree to locate some of the original parts, combine them and create a few artists proofs of C-3PO, R2D2, and of course Darth Vader.

As to other castings, I cannot say exactly where they've come from. I do know that when Eller quit Lucas, someone found out that he was going to ship back his suit (2nd generation castings from the original molds) and set up a sting, where they posed as shippers sent from Lucas to pick up the cases. Kermit signed the papers and these guys took the entire suit. This was discovered to be a scam when the real shippers showed up the next day!
So, an entire Vader Suit went missing, much to everyone's alarm and dismay.
Maybe these 3rd and 4th generation parts were birthed out of that mess. Don't know.
The Elstree set is the real deal though as it has passed through only a couple of hands since the early 80's.
I hope this helps explain the number of parts out there and the very real part that DPS played in the entire saga.
JN


Email no2

Question

Do you mean that Jim Leonards re-tooled Vader was then the source helmet for "the Empire Strikes Back" and eventually "Return of the Jedi" Vader helmets?

Answer:
The alterations that Jim made, although subtle were done to make all subsequent castings and products more manufacturable. The original design required 5-piece molds to create because of the multi-planar design, whereas the slightly simplified design was more elegant and a lot more doable in volume. So, yes his sculpture / rework became the standard for the Vader's that followed.
JN


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:52 pm 
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Great Info HAL9000!

This would mean the TM is the only 'ANH sized' helmet, while the rest would be practically identical size wise.
This does make a lot of sense to me although if there was cleanup done to the subsequent helmet casting it wasn't a very good job...

The VP is still as rough as a badgers arse!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:51 pm 
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First, I'd like to say that the VP is a fantastic faceplate - congrats to everyone who was able to snatch one from the limited run.

Secondly, thanks a ton for this information. This is basically the same story that I have been told a little more than a year ago by Paul H. from Elstree Props, who was so kind to forward me some original emails from JN regarding the "fourth pull". Please see my comments and questions to JN's emails below:

HAL9000 wrote:
Hi,
I don't know if this helps anyone but it is some information that
I uncovered after contacting several characters whilst
trying to 'authenticate' a vader I acquired.
It mentions the ANH > ESB changes....

Here is email no.1


Hi there, Too busy till now to get back to you.
Several telltales denote an original Vader pull.
This looks like a copy from a copy of an original ANH pull. There are several of these floating around.


Is he referring to the VP faceplate here?

HAL9000 wrote:
When renowned sculptor Jim Leonard started working in my department he was blown away by how crude the original Vader was. He asked and obtained permission to rework the original. A set was cast in England from the original molds to aid with this, but it took so long to get to the states that Leonard had already made an armature and was nearly done with the new helmet. (it is that 4th original cast set that is being auctioned this Fall by Elstree).


I am absolutely no fan of this "fourth pull" theory. It might be possible that the original molds were already destroyed when the pull was ordered by DPS. Nevertheless, the set that has been delivered to Elstree (the supposedly "fourth pull") bares little resemblance to the screen-used Vader we all know, but much more to the GH/Jeff-type of ANH Vader helmets. I had a conversation with Paul H. about this, telling him he should compare the faceplate of the original ANH Vader which they show on their webpage (and which they say is still in their possession, stored in a bank safe - but no one I know has ever seen this faceplate in person). He knew exactly what I was talking about, but he was also surprised that JN was so sure about the authenticity of the fourth pull. IF the fourth pull is INDEED an original pull from the original ANH faceplate mother mold, then the screen-used faceplates must have been altered AFTER they came of the original mold. Otherwise, there is no explanation for the differences between the "fourth pull" and the screen-used faceplate.

HAL9000 wrote:
Leonard's second generation Vader is the one used to base all subsequent versions on as it was almost machine perfect in its symmetry and balance.


I highly doubt that this is true.

HAL9000 wrote:
Question
[i]
Do you mean that Jim Leonards re-tooled Vader was then the source helmet for "the Empire Strikes Back" and eventually "Return of the Jedi" Vader helmets?

Answer:
The alterations that Jim made, although subtle were done to make all subsequent castings and products more manufacturable. The original design required 5-piece molds to create because of the multi-planar design, whereas the slightly simplified design was more elegant and a lot more doable in volume. So, yes his sculpture / rework became the standard for the Vader's that followed.
JN


I don't believe that Jim's version of the Vader helmet EVER made it to the big screen. What I do believe is that this helmet was intended as a master for a DPS replica Vader helmet - a pure merchandise product, which didn't hit the marked due to unknown reasons.

Tom


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:08 pm 
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Thanks Tom and Hal for your input. Tom, I was going to clarify a few things about what was written, but you already did. There is fact mixed with fiction in regards to what JN wrote. I own a cast from that supposed original 4th pull and like you say there are differences from mine compared to the screen used helmet.

I also don't buy that Leornard's "reworked" vader is the subsequent version used for vader. Anyone who knows anything about OT vaders knows that there is no symmetry to them. ROTS is another story.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:10 pm 
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Thanks for sharing Hal :as2

Good and interesting thread..Thus far..

Anson, If you find the latter part of this topic is drifting please contact a moderator to seperate it..

At the moment I feel though the subjects are related to some degree :cool: .


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:28 pm 
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Darth Karo wrote:
Thanks Tom and Hal for your input. Tom, I was going to clarify a few things about what was written, but you already did. There is fact mixed with fiction in regards to what JN wrote. I own a cast from that supposed original 4th pull and like you say there are differences from mine compared to the screen used helmet.

I also don't buy that Leornard's "reworked" vader is the subsequent version used for vader. Anyone who knows anything about OT vaders knows that there is no symmetry to them. ROTS is another story.


Interestingly enough, I was told by Paul H. that he acquired the fourth pull from JN basically because he wanted to present a copy of it to Brian Muir as a gift, because Brian had no cast of his own work. According to Paul he paid big$$$ for it. Why, if they still own an original ANH Vader helmet (it was me who found the pics of the ANH Vader helmet in Pauls storage btw) do they have to buy the fourth pull then?

Okay, back to the VP: Anson, is the faceplate you own painted or unpainted? If I compare the pics of your VP faceplate with my original TM faceplate, it looks like my TM faceplate has more surface detail which has been sanded away on the VP.

Tom


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:46 pm 
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The VP I've got is raw right at the moment - I'll be painting it as soon as I get a decent dome.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:01 pm 
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AnsonJames wrote:
The VP I've got is raw right at the moment - I'll be painting it as soon as I get a decent dome.


I am not sure if this has been asked before, but the "master" VP had the tabs already sanded off, correct?

Additionally, the sculpting pattern of the closed lower chin vent on the VP is basically identical to the TM lower chin vent. Additionally, the TM faceplate has a neck extension - I wonder if the "master" VP had this neck extension, too? I'm asking because the sculpting pattern on the neck extension on the VP faceplate is very similar to the sculpting pattern of the lower chin vent, assuming that both the covering on the lawer chin vent and the neck extension were done at the same time by the same person.

I do not think that the neck extension on my TM faceplate is a "real" intended neck extension but has been added to maintain the original neckline as a helping tool for the casting process of the original faceplate - it might have been added in a way that you could easily remove it from the original faceplate and also from the subsequent casts. It was probably only a piece of clay or plastiline added by the person who prepared the helmet for molding.


Tom


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:07 pm 
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AnsonJames wrote:
The VP I've got is raw right at the moment - I'll be painting it as soon as I get a decent dome.


What kind of dome are you getting? A GH dome might look nice on this.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:18 pm 
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CSMacLaren wrote:
AnsonJames wrote:
The VP I've got is raw right at the moment - I'll be painting it as soon as I get a decent dome.


What kind of dome are you getting? A GH dome might look nice on this.


I agree, this could look great.

Does anyone know if the ANH faceplate from GINO's ANH helmet is also a VP? If I remember correctly, he said in another thread that his faceplate had no tabs and he put original functioning tabs on his instead. His ANH helmet looks gorgeous, too.

GINO, would you chime in, please?

Tom


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:44 pm 
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I thought the same about the neckline.
I think the VP has been trimmed to the actual neckline whereas the TM neckline is 'untrimmed'.
You always add a little extra to the edges of anything when you're casting to ensure you don't have any dry laminate, etc.
Does the vent have fingerprints on it?
The VP does, could we do a CSI on it?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:56 pm 
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AnsonJames wrote:
The VP does, could we do a CSI on it?

Not unless the guy who worked on filling up the chin vent has a criminal record.


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