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 Post subject: Re: Down under helmet.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:09 am 
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vadermania wrote:
What I find really interesting is that based on Mike's information about this casting (splendid job btw, thanks for all the information) the ROTJ style Vader helmet existed already in 1978!

Yeah, that's pretty interesting to me too, but maybe they kept experimenting with the look before settling on the ESB look we know, sorta like doing new concepts. We know they did that with the trooper armor, since there is at least one with very RotJ-like looks to them.


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 Post subject: Re: Down under helmet.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:46 pm 
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The original news article stated Alan Croucher kept two helmet "moulds" (probably meaning casts) after production. One being the one here and another going to a friend in the U.K. .... so is this other helmet accounted for?

By the way great research and pictures Mike.


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 Post subject: Re: Down under helmet.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:42 am 
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Sith-Smith wrote:
The original news article stated Alan Croucher kept two helmet "moulds" (probably meaning casts) after production. One being the one here and another going to a friend in the U.K. .... so is this other helmet accounted for?

By the way great research and pictures Mike.


Well, my gut feeling says that the down under helmet could be related to the BM (Brian Muir) as seen on this board in the "Gallery of authentic castings" section. Perhaps Brian is the "friend in the U.K."...

Best thing would be to ask Alan Croucher directly.


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 Post subject: Re: Down under helmet.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:28 am 
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Sith-Smith wrote:
The original news article stated Alan Croucher kept two helmet "moulds" (probably meaning casts) after production. One being the one here and another going to a friend in the U.K. .... so is this other helmet accounted for?

By the way great research and pictures Mike.



I have been doing a bit of research myself and I can confirm the other helmet is indeed in the UK and NOT owned by Brian Muir.
In fact, from what Brian says I cannot take anything he says as gospel. Memories are fading even mine these days. LOL

The other helmet is still with the guy it was sent to in the late 70's. As he recalls he had it sent to him in either 77,78,79 at the latest which ties in well with the other helmet.

I have also seen the letter of authenticity from Alan Croucher and it states

" I worked on Star Wars A NEW HOPE in the plaster rooms EMI studios Elstree. I was asked to make a mould from a clay sculpt of Darth Vader. I cast about 6 helmets two of which I managed to get hold of. The others went off to be spayed.
One of these helmets was sent to a family friend in australia whilst the other went to a friend in the UK for his son. The original owners father in Australia passed away and it was now passed on to Dennis ****** who has had it since about 2015.

I will also add that any testimonials cannot be taken as gospel either as things can be said to cover themselves from any backlash.....

I have many pics of the UK helmet and it does look to me to be the same as the australian helmet. the Dome is identical.
It has unfortunately had a lot of work done to it in the early 90's to strengthen it and repair cracks etc. And had a repaint. There is some warping to the chin area that until I see it in person is hard to say how bad as it could be exaggerated by lens distortion etc. There is filler around the back edge of the faceplate where it was very thin. But the owner says as far as he recalls nothing was done to the front. The dome was cracked and was also repaired and repainted. The helmet is all black, the same as the Australian brother.....

There are no tabs present on this helmet either.....

There are no holes drilled in it suggesting they were drilled after it was received.

I am trying to get in touch with Alan as he only lives about 2 miles from me but as yet he has not responded.

I will see if I can get permission to post some pics...... :thumbsup


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 Post subject: Re: Down under helmet.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:38 am 
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Great detective work Mark.


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 Post subject: Re: Down under helmet.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:36 pm 
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I can also confirm that Alan is a plaster and has worked on many films as head of dept for saving private Ryan, Barron Munchausen, Alien 3, Notting Hill, Band of Brothers, Lost in Space etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Down under helmet.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:48 pm 
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So is Alan Croucher the man who made the original mould of the DV helmet from the Brian Muir original clay sculpt?


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 Post subject: Re: Down under helmet.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:15 pm 
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sskunky wrote:
I can also confirm that Alan is a plaster and has worked on many films as head of dept for saving private Ryan, Barron Munchausen, Alien 3, Notting Hill, Band of Brothers, Lost in Space etc.


Thanks fo the info on the second Croucher helmet. So it looks like fact that the ROTJ style Vader dome existed pre-1980.


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 Post subject: Re: Down under helmet.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:19 pm 
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Fener wrote:
So is Alan Croucher the man who made the original mould of the DV helmet from the Brian Muir original clay sculpt?


I think Croucher is mixing things up in his COA for the down under helmet. My guess is that he molded the plaster cast of the ROTJ style Vader dome. But there is a possibility that he molded Muirs original ANH plaster cast, too. Someone should confront the man with the plaster casting in Grunbergs collection, maybe he remembers seeing it at one point.


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 Post subject: Re: Down under helmet.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:34 pm 
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That is phenomenal. Thanks for the all the work Mick.

That faceplate casting looks so crude in such a wonderful and charming kinda way - like someone snuck into the studio, and pulled a quick cast before anyone knew about it. Love that you can still see the modeling cut marks around the mouth.


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 Post subject: Re: Down under helmet.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:59 pm 
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vadermania wrote:
Fener wrote:
So is Alan Croucher the man who made the original mould of the DV helmet from the Brian Muir original clay sculpt?


I think Croucher is mixing things up in his COA for the down under helmet. My guess is that he molded the plaster cast of the ROTJ style Vader dome. But there is a possibility that he molded Muirs original ANH plaster cast, too. Someone should confront the man with the plaster casting in Grunbergs collection, maybe he remembers seeing it at one point.


Hey fellas- thanks for all the thanks. Great to be able to be involved in a new find.
Toms put it well here.
I expect Alan is mixing up movies or he's he's merging facts with a little summation which to him probably is no big deal.
Biggest interesting thing to me is that the ROTJ dome existed pre production empire. The must have made the mould but left it on the shelf


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 Post subject: Re: Down under helmet.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:16 pm 
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Fantastic work, thanks very much for your efforts Mick, it's really great to see this.

..and thanks to you Mark for the background work you've done as well.

Vader casts everywhere at the moment it seems! It just shows how many private casts were made over the years!


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 Post subject: Re: Down under helmet.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:32 am 
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Thanks Mickxc for making the trip, the excellent pics, and your evaluation.

The glossy black paint and the holes in the eyes (in jest) remind me of the old Ben Cooper halloween costume mask I had back in the day :wink:

But this is very much an authentic casting. You wrote in your evaluation: "Some shrinkage or slight warping on the RHS check in combination with the RHS tusks being pushed in at the back. Only identified when measuring it & comparing it to the TM." This reminds me of a similar trait in the ESB promo poster Vader mask, and when the photographs are overlaid, the shapes are very similar; though this mask doesn't have the base of the right side of the neck pulled in as seen in the promo mask.


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 Post subject: Re: Down under helmet.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:31 pm 
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banthapoodoo wrote:
Thanks Mickxc for making the trip, the excellent pics, and your evaluation.

The glossy black paint and the holes in the eyes (in jest) remind me of the old Ben Cooper halloween costume mask I had back in the day :wink:

But this is very much an authentic casting. You wrote in your evaluation: "Some shrinkage or slight warping on the RHS check in combination with the RHS tusks being pushed in at the back. Only identified when measuring it & comparing it to the TM." This reminds me of a similar trait in the ESB promo poster Vader mask, and when the photographs are overlaid, the shapes are very similar; though this mask doesn't have the base of the right side of the neck pulled in as seen in the promo mask.


Thanks :cheers

If you can post the overlay comparison it would be great to see.


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 Post subject: Re: Down under helmet.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:52 am 
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Image

http://s89.photobucket.com/user/bpoodoo/media/Vader/PhotoGrid_Video_1487402839202.mp4.html?sort=3&o=0


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