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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:28 am 
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And here you go!

I chose to make these a little narrower because of an ANH prop photo I was studying.

People can complain about the width all they want, but at this point it's really a matter of preference.

Yes, I could make it wider. We'll see later. I'll get some acetone and remove the red lines and some of the primer around the upper cheeks because the upper cheek surfaces must blend into the work with my lower eyelids, else this entire modification process will fail to work, hence I have a long ways to go from this getting perfect.

I also got off my lazy hiney and started putting Aquamend into the bottoms of the mouth grills. Most people grind the round ends into squares, but as NHM pointed out, they still end up being too high. So after a lot of complaining to NHM, I finally gave in and did this. And I'm glad I did because it makes this facemask look far more like a real Don Post Deluxe.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:31 am 
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Above image: Rubie's eyes and bridge of nose in their stock state
Below: After modifications as of today's posting


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:46 am 
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So here we are.

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Left: "Then" - when I first started out modifying the eyes and the bridge of the nose, inspired by two or more online tutorials of the time.

Right: "Now"


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 9:37 am 
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Looking very impressive... but one suggestion though... lower the right eyebrow a bit and round it slightly, making the whole look flow, rather than have it break up with straight lines.

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Hope I'm not being too hard on you, but this feature wasn't visible until you put in the ridges.

:cheers


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 9:09 pm 
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Hey, good catch!

Now I'm doing yet another modification you normally do not see: correcting the length of the lower tusk tubes. I had actually done this a while back but didn't want to present it immediately because it was so highly experimental, and that is to shorten the tusk tubes. I'm kind of doing this to approximate the look of a DP Deluxe and yet at the same time to fuss over something so whimsical that no-one else would even notice unless the dome were off.

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The purple area shows the side of the bridge of the nose that will be built next. Once built out, then the upper and lower inner-eyelids will join with those sides.

So let's look at one side of the facemask where I shortened the tusk tubes. The bottom one, as you know, is inaccurate and reaches to the very rear of the mask. It required grinding the rube off but left a very unsightly gap that needed to be bridged with expoxy putty, and a new rounded ending of the tube would have to be built.

I thought I'd do this to poke fun at the people who get really anal at being "screen-accurate" and get go about this big effort of adding a "Reveal" neckbrace on their Vaders (when Prowse never wore when his dome was on) and the result are these Frankenstin-like bolts that appear behind and to the side of their facemask's neck! (Sorry, there is no way on earth that can quality as being "screen-accurate"! :ac6 )

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The neck brace was implied but never seen in scenes other than the "Reveal" scenes. It was implied and hidden. This tusk tube is an aspect that is generally not seen either, so whether you make this modification or not is purely up to you!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 9:15 pm 
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Another reason why I didn't reveal this modification until just recently was because I had previously used QuikPlastic, PC Plumbing and even PC-7 on this, and all of those hardened but failed to properly bond with the plastic. A little flexing and they'd break off. That sucked.

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There may be a mold-release agent in the plastic that is preventing the epoxy putties from adhering to it, but my last attempt was with Aquamend and making the application a little thicker but seamless though sanding, and so far the bond is quite strong and hasn't cracked on me!

Here, the new end I fabricated is being sanded. It has a little more to go, but you get the idea!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:03 pm 
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You know....old Borris looks pretty good in the dome. :lol I'm not a big fan of the neck brace myself.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:59 am 
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Actually... afaik, the tusk tubes doesn't end rounded, but squared and flattening... I don't know how else to describe it, but look closely at pictures of the TM & VP masks and you will see this... unsure how the tusk tube ends look on the DP DLX, but they should definitely not be round.

Also... with the neckbrace - if done correct, it could look good, but most people make the bolts too silvery and shiny, like they use a too silvery gunmetal for the mask. If the bolts were weathered and toned down a whole lot and a lot less silvery, then I think it would look nice, but works best as a display piece and not as a wearable piece, imo.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:05 pm 
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No, you're partly right about this. On some facemasks it looks flat and squarish on the ends. On other it looks more rounded. I'm not done sanding, but I'm making the new lower ends match the upper ends; I have to leave a telltale sign if I can. If I end up selling this, someone might recast this. I've seen a lot of reworked Rubies being recast in Fiberglass, and people who haven't had an eye developed might get suckered into it.

Just the other day, T-VIRUS and I were looking at one auction where the seller (assuming he is also the modder) did a very similar mod to the tusk tubes as I did, and if you looked at that alone, it might fool some people, but the seller didn't do a variety of other things right (e.g. mouth walls).

This part I'm not too worried about because once the dome is on, you hardly ever look at it anyway.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:12 pm 
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NoHumorMan wrote:
Also... with the neckbrace - if done correct, it could look good, but most people make the bolts too silvery and shiny, like they use a too silvery gunmetal for the mask. If the bolts were weathered and toned down a whole lot and a lot less silvery, then I think it would look nice, but works best as a display piece and not as a wearable piece, imo.


IMHO, I don't think the neckbrace should be seen at all. I think they make a mistake of adding this huge neck backplate and this ends up widening the neck. Then, without proper dome positioniing, the neckbrack is very visible. It looks like this very awkward chunk hanging off his neck.

Since the neckbrace is first seen in ESB, you'd think Prowse's costume would include it, but it doesn't. There are a few scenes where you can see up into his dome and see his neck profile, and -- very clearly -- you can see Prowse is not wearing any kind of neckbrace.

To me it's too much bling, too much detail. They've made the neck too thick and bulky.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:16 pm 
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Yeah... the original piece is a medical neck-brace for people with neck-injuries, posted by GermanBat: http://www.aokforums.com/thepropden/thepropden-about310.html


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:51 pm 
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Yep. But when people make the base of the neck thicker (backwards) than the skullcap of the dome, the helmet looks very unnatural. You didn't get a sense of this on ESB and ROTJ because it was a rear shot. The proportions seem off.


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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 9:57 pm 
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Some work to the eyes. I ran out patience, so I'll correct the right eyebrow later. Most of the work here is done to the upper inner eyelids. This time I've made the inner eye area a litle larger and wider by filling away the inner eyelid material. This way it looks a little more like the prop.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:11 am 
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So... two months later.

I recently started to pick up work on this. Many of you have been keeping track of my various projects. The scratch-built ROTS Vader, "Casper" took the lead while everything else went on the back burner. Then I needed a break, so "Goldie" - the extreme modification of a Golden Armor kit into something slightly inspired by the Elstree and Darth Jones prop masks.

I also have a "secret" project that I will reveal later, but what I'll do is reveal it only when an end result is achieved.

So back to the Rubie's. I had done some work on the eyes, mouth, etc.

Image

Now that I've had a chance to study photos of the props more, I'll try to apply some of that knowledge to the Rubie's. This is still a work in progress. There are some challenges with blending the Aquamend with the plastic, but it may simply be a sanding issue. Aquamend sticks to most areas on the Rubie's, but in one case where I did an extreme modification, the Aquamend failed to weld with the plastic, so I'm going to have to figure something else out there.

After many months of working on this, i've come to the conclusion that I HATE this plastic. And for people who have wanted to save money and to try to modify this to be super screen-accurate, then good luck, because I don't recommend it. The plastic is difficult to work with, and it gunks up the tools. The Rubie's is no where near as elegant as an original Don Post Classic Action.

Image

Anyways, after priming this with black primer, I can see all the flaws of my modifications and the increased need for more meticulous sanding.

However, some of the heat treatment I had given to this helmet seems to have paid off.

There is a site where someone tried to reposition the helmet by sawing up the mask's mounting system to angle it back and downwards. I felt it was a very creative but over-engineered solution. What I did instead was use heat to manipulate the mounting system to re-angle the receiver.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:12 am 
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The dome's middle strip is showing up nicely in this primed state. I ran out of primer, by the way. I'll get more later.


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