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 Post subject: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:57 pm 
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On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 auction helmet

This has been a long time coming. I joined this forum 4 years ago strictly because of this helmet.

Image

This helmet has come up for auction more than once and each time it did, was attacked for being a fake. I believe this is largely due to a breakdown in what people actually know about real Vader helmets.
While arguments were made regarding little details of prominence and failures on this helmet's part to be consistent with ESB 'hero' helmets, no one actually took the time to consider how this helmet might
have fit into the production, or even made an attempt to screen match it. This is why I joined the forum. From where I was sitting, an injustice was being done to this helmet.

This helmet was already being debated before I joined the forum and for at least a year or two after. But I do not deal in prominence, documents, legal battles or he said, she said. I deal in the visual.
Ever so often, a new helmet surfaces that claims to be an original ESB, most of the time, the answer is pretty obvious that it is not. However, the first time I saw this helmet, it sent shivers up my spine.
It was the most obvious 'real deal' Vader helmet, I had seen outside of a Lucasfilm exhibit. Yet, from what I could see in the forums, the general consensus was that the suit, including the helmet was not real.
And was at best a tour suit. But as I've said many times before, 'There is something about a' real deal' Vader helmet.' They have a size, shape and appearance that replicas just don't seem to capture.

While I cannot ultimately speak to the suit, I can say some items of the suit appear to be consistent with the real production used items. The chest armor as well as the shin guards appear to be authentic,
possibly the chest box. But the capes, the leather bodysuit and the gloves definitely are not. However, it is well-known that suits and helmets were not mated together and were regularly
swapped even during production. So, just because the suit isn't the real deal, doesn't mean that the helmet isn't either.

Image

Sticking to physical details, arguments about the helmet focused on the dome center strip, the mounting ring, tusks and tubes as well as grills and grille openings.
And while these arguments may have seemed compelling at the time, many were driven by misunderstood details and false conclusions.

All of the original ESB helmets were pressed into tour duty, with the exception of the ESB stunt for obvious reasons. New bodysuits were made and at least one ESB
helmet was completely converted to an ROTJ and used in the film. The other helmets all saw varying degrees of subtle modification to the make them more closely
resemble ROTJ helmets and a second only slightly modified helmet was used in the ROTJ scene where Vader asks Luke to help him take the mask off. Due to this slight
tour retrofit nearly all the original ESB helmets now more closely resemble ROTJs. So, just because the helmet now has what looks like an ROTJ center strip or ROTJ tusks
or the dome sits a little higher, does not mean that the helmet is not an ESB.

There is no denying that tour helmets were made, that bear a great deal of resemblance to the production helmets. But usually these helmets have flaws that are easily
detectable that set them apart from the originals.

What is the Christie's - PIH 2012 auction helmet?


I don't think it's accurate to breakdown Vader helmets into just 'hero' or 'stunt' helmets. I believe the Vader helmets were slightly more specialized than that. To fully bring Vader
to life you needed a range of helmets. For scenes where he is in close-up, not moving, simply delivering lines, you needed what could be called a 'hero', as in, a very detailed,
very finished version of the helmet that could stand up to close camera scrutiny.

Hero
Image


For the scenes where Vader is doing intense fighting or flying through the air you needed what would be more accurately called a 'specialized stunt', that being a helmet that has
been specially modified to secure the helmet in place and to allow the stunt man to see as much as possible, hopefully without compromising the helmets general appearance. Such
a helmet would not be used in close ups or to deliver lines. (unless it's Return of the Jedi where anything goes, they had Ewoks after all)

ESB Stunt
Image

ImageImage

However, as we all know, the ESB was a generally expected to be a much more active Vader than what we saw in ANH. He would do lots of fast walking, climbing up and down steps and acting in scenes filmed in the dark underbelly of Cloud City.
For this, you needed something in between. You needed, an 'action' helmet. This being a helmet that at a distance appears to be as complete as a hero, but has subtle differences allowing the actor better visibility than the hero helmet, at the same
time reduces the slippage and spin of the helmet around the actor's head. It is here that the Christie's - PIH helmet comes into play.


Action (From the archives,thank you darthkanht)

Image
Image
Image

Because these helmets are not expected to be used in any close-up scenes, their details are not as 'finished' as those of the hero helmets. Subtle casting defects that would never be allowed on a hero helmet still remain.


The Christie's-PIH helmet is an 'action' class helmet that can be screened matched.

Before you begin to try to screen match this helmet, it is important to keep some things in mind.

1. It's been 35 years since this helmet was used in ESB.
2. It has been repaired and modified for tour duty for ROTJ. This included repainting the inside of the nose.
3. It has been sprayed with a thick dose of lacquer, which is built up around the edges of the dome, and resulted in runs all over the
facemask. In the process, the Velcro was removed from the forehead.

As I stated above, the Christie's-PIH is an action helmet. Not a hero. So it is very unlikely that you would screen match it to any close-up screen-cap Image.
So I started with behind-the-scenes images. It wasn't long before I found a match. The funny thing was, it really hasn't changed that much.

ImageImage

One of the biggest things that was an issue with this helmet, was how deep set the chin grille is. The image on the left is from a promo picture taken on the Hoth ice corridor set. Right away, you can see that this helmet does not match an ESB hero.
It has a deep set chin grille with a thinner lattice, this to allow better visibility. Next you'll notice the tusks have a flat wide head the same as the Christie's-PIH. If you look further, there is the first imperfection feature that they didn't bother to clean up,
the rough right side edge of the notched bridge between the eyes and the vertical worm between the notches and the edge. Depending on your computer screen you might have to move around a little bit to see it better, but it is definitely there.
While some helmets may have a slight indication of the worm, no other helmet has this combination of worm and jagged edge to this bridge.
The C-PIH also has a wedge shaped surface defect at the edge of the neck, just right in the image of the neck 'bulge', which can be seen in the images below. This is also not on a cast or on any other helmet.

ImageImage

If we move to the other side of the helmet there is another detail variation that is specific to this helmet, that can be seen in a picture taken on set.

ImageImage

While it is not unusual to see a bulge or bubble in the crease of the whisker at this point, what is unusual is the squarish area with the dimple or small depression in the middle of it that projects out on the surface in front of it.
Notice also that the appearance of the chin grille and its opening is still consistent. I can see that the left picture helmet has traditional ESB tusks, but since the tusks just screw in and out, they could've easily been swapped for the scene
and the originals put back in, once the shot was done., I researched this shot also, and found that it was done after all the principal photography had finished.

Also consider...

When you look at this helmet, there is obvious signs of age. If you compare it to the facemask on the left, which is a touring helmet, the C-PIH is noticeably darker and has a definite patina. Paint and some lacquers generally get darker and greener
with age. While the helmet to the left, as a tour helmet, may not be much younger, has been obviously repainted at some point and the highlight paint is obviously much brighter. Another thing to notice is the straps in the back. The C-PIH's straps are obviously much older.

C-PIH as I learned from reading through the threads was reported to have been turned over to N J Farmer to be used as a tour helmet and also to be used as a master to recast other tour helmets. This makes sense to me. When I look at the helmet
on the left. One of the first things I noticed is that it appears to be slightly more petite than the C-PIH, but more than that when you really compare them, the tour helmet actually appears to be a 'cleaned up' recast of the C-PIH.


Image


To sum up, it's never been a question to me. Anyone who has doubts should take a second look.

-----

john


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:23 pm 
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From what I recall of the discussions, the emphasis lay mostly on the majority of the suit and questioning the claims made - that it was ESB and all authentic (I believe the second auction altered the description to include that SOME parts were fan made). Not so much that the hard parts may or may not have been authentic LFL pieces.

Also, where did you get the info from that ESB production helmets were used for tour? Other than the original ANH used for the ANH tour, I've not heard of other production made helmets being used for that.

Another thing: the Hoth corridor helmet and the Dagobah rolling helmet is NOT the same helmet.


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:49 pm 
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The suit first time around at christies was listed as original head shoulder ,armor ,shins and the rest was touring. The one that sold in Dec 2011 was sold as a complete touring with documentation, tags and sold for what it was .Nowhere does it say fan made,as its touring from farmer.The head and shoulder armor that sold thru profiles in 2012 was listed as original that farmer got from Lucasfilm UK.
Thank you for reading my Post


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:54 pm 
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I must have been mistaken then. Thanks for the correction.


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:07 pm 
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No Humor Man wrote:
Another thing: the Hoth corridor helmet and the Dagobah rolling helmet is NOT the same helmet.


What makes you say that?


No Humor Man wrote:
Also, where did you get the info from that ESB production helmets were used for tour? Other than the original ANH used for the ANH tour, I've not heard of other production made helmets being used for that.


You're correct that I have not read such a thing in a book, or seen it in a behind-the-scenes documentary, however, I have also never seen any such thing saying they were not. And I see evidence that they were all over the place. What do we think happened with these helmets after ESB finished production? That they just sat in the archive warehouse gathering dust? They are tools. Why else did helmets like Magic of the Myth (MOMT) get new ROTJ tusks, new grills and a subtle paint modification to the right cheek, so it could sit in the archive warehouse? Why is it that almost all the ESB helmets have broken off tusks and varying degrees of damage? certainly not because they were sitting in the archive warehouse.

I do not question that tour helmets were made and I did read Don Bies RPF post where he said that he made 18 helmets, but in 1995.

ILM also refitted all the ESB helmets, with ROTJ tusks, except for C-PIH, which had original tusks that, while not an exact match, already resembled
ROTJ's and it is only on these original helmets that you will see these tusks, such as on this image below. These tasks have a specific shape, that is
different from those used on other tour helmets.

Image

It is clear that MOTM still has these tusks today. I would say the same for the other ESB helmets, but all their tusks and tubes are broken off. (Gee, I wonder how that happened?) MOTM itself has seen extensive tube damage that has been repaired, if you want to call it that.

Because of people breathing inside the mask, rules had a tendency to rust. MOTM had its grills replaced prior to tour duty. They were originally painted silver, but quickly began to rust. This rust combined with the silver paint that's left has a tendency to make the grille appear
to be brass or gold. The grille work in MTM is a large and robust and easy to spot. Below is the MOTM on display in the MOTM exhibit. It is very clearly the same helmet seen in the two promo tour pictures. The first pictures taken fairly early on when the grille still has much of its silver
paint and the second picture shows the helmet somewhat later and the grills are taking on the golden appearance due to rust.

ImageImageImage
Magic of the Myth (MOTM),

And while they may be a little grainy and the suit may not be the real deal at all, this is clearly an ESB hero, I can still see that the original chin grille is in place and with the exception of having an ROTJ tusk. It literally appears to have been unaltered.
The helmet is tipped up a bit, which makes it look a little more ROTJ, but otherwise it's completely and ESB. With signs of damage to the cheek, I strongly suspect this is a Planet Hollywood Vader.

ImageImage

Last but not least, the only, ESB helmet that was obviously converted to an ROTJ hero, itself out on tour. If it's not the same helmet than it has to be a duplicate of this helmet. And I will note yes, this picture was very badly scratched and had spots and such that I cleaned up shortly after I got it, but I was very careful not to remove any detail or alter the appearance of the Vader in the pic (I also did this a long time ago). But you can see that this helmet has the original ROTJ tusks and grills and the ROTJ style cheek/nose thing going on, but in the original screen picture you can see there is a scratch on the neck down near the base (by the way, you can click on this picture and make it a little bigger). And I can see this scratch on the helmet in the toy store also.

Image

I hate it when I accidentally hit 'submit' before I'm ready. I wasn't done yet.


I strongly believe that the picture at ILM, of all the Vader's on the table, has been misinterpreted. While I fully trust Don Bies answer as to who is in the picture, and where the picture is taken, I feel he is mistaken about his assessment of the helmet on the table. And I feel that the general belief, or consensus about ESB helmets and touring helmets comes from two posts in an RPF thread. The first post by Lonepigeon and the response by Don Bies (artoo77).

From the RPF,

Quote:
lonepigeon


Jul 1, 2009, 5:00 PM - Re: Origins of the ROTJ Vader helmets: JY thread continuation #51
________________________________________
Those belt boxes and chest boxes all look like promo suits to me (except the upper left one which is obviously the one they're trying to copy).

Did Vader ever wear those belt boxes with square green lights in the movies. All I see in ROTJ is the rectangular ones. Those chest boxes don't have any Hebrew writing either which all the ROTJ ones seem to have.

Maybe I'm wrong though. I don't know this stuff as well as others.

I also wouldn't necessarily trust the notes in the LFL image database.
There's no reason to assume that the person who entered the info years ago was right. How may times have people here complained about LFL mislabeling things?

Image
Image


and reply,

Quote:
artoo77

Member SinceJul 1, 2009, 9:47 PM - Re: Origins of the ROTJ Vader helmets: JY thread continuation #76

I stand by my original assessment. Except for the mask in the upper left corner ( and possibly some associated parts near them, I can't see them that well, those are not screen used Vaders. I believe that image was first seen in the Star Wars Chronicles, which dates it to the early 1990s. I have no doubt it was recently scanned amongst images found that date around Jedi; after all, that's when the work was done.

--Don (I'm right, the other person is wrong) Bies


The first posting shows all the helmets on the table in two images. In Don's reply, he says, except for the mask in the upper left corner ( and possibly some associated parts near them, I can't see them that well, those are not screen used Vader's. I underlined, "I can't see them that well", because it tells me that he has no direct, hands-on knowledge of the event in this photo and he is relying on what he can see in the photo to supply his answer. He also says that the "images date around Jedi; after all, that's when the work was done." Which I do agree with and it makes sense. And hence has nothing to do with the 18 helmets he made in 1995. (And I am not saying that he said it did.). I also don't see anywhere where he says anything like, 'we spent a week shortly after production building these Vaders to ship out for touring', which again suggests that he was not involved in this particular event.

I've spent a ton of time, almost embarrassingly so, studying these helmets for years. And while it can be difficult due to their similarities to tell them apart, in certain pictures, I see nothing in these two pictures that tells me that these are not screen used. Chest boxes and belts perhaps, shoulder armor, maybe. But I see nothing in the helmets sitting on the table that is inconsistent with the screen used ESB helmets. Indeed, the helmet in the upper left has a mounting on top that is consistent with the PA stunt helmet and based on the lower photograph with the dome on appears to be MOTM, the helmet in the middle is a dead ringer for the helmet Don Bies repainted in 1992, the helmet in the upper right corner is a dead match for what I call ROTJ #1, the only ESB I can verify was fully converted to an ROTJ. The helmet in the front right corner. Actually, appears to be this helmet (C-PIH), and that leaves the other two hero helmets and I see nothing in the pictures that says they could not be them. And that rounds out the stable. Except for the specialty helmets, the PA stunt, the dummy and the exploding mockups, they are all here.

To make it clear I have no intention of calling Don Bies liar, I would never do that. I merely submit that this was 30 to 35 years ago, and that despite Don knowing these folks, working in this facility and being directly involved in the production and LFL goings-on, that he was not directly hands-on involved in this particular job on this day And that I believe he is honestly just mistaken about the exact event taking place.

Lastly, every time I see a picture of a Vader on tour from the day (except ANH) it appears to be an original helmet, I have yet to see a picture of a verifiable tour helmet on tour. if you think you got one (anybody) post it. I want to see it.

Okay, now I'm done.

------

John


Last edited by Darth Obsession on Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:43 pm 
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What makes you say it is? You made the claim, so convince us that they are the same helmet. I just see too many differences for them to be the same.

Also, now you are jumping to conclusions regarding ESB helmets used on tour. Again, you cannot conclude anything from such grainy, low-res pictures. You can state it is likely, but I'm not seeing any rock hard evidence.


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:52 pm 
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Sorry Carsten, I wasn't done. I accidentally hit submit before I was finished.


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:06 pm 
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Again, even with the amended post, it just seems to me that you are reaching with your conclusions. Show some irrefutable proof that the helmets are what you claim they are, otherwise I see no reason to revise the current facts about these things. I honestly find your way of conducting research to be very casual and slightly superficial. You write a lot and make lots of claims, but when it comes to actually nailing identification, you are lacking. I applaud your enthusiasm, but again, you cannot conclude anything or make claims as lightly as you do. I have tried to let you know several times you need something that cannot be refuted to make a claim, and do actual research (talk to people who know or where there), not just make up a possible explanation.

And I've still seen nothing that shows that the ESB helmets OR RotJ helmets were used as tour helmets.


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:58 am 
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No Humor Man wrote:
What makes you say it is? You made the claim, so convince us that they are the same helmet. I just see too many differences for them to be the same.

Also, now you are jumping to conclusions regarding ESB helmets used on tour. Again, you cannot conclude anything from such grainy, low-res pictures. You can state it is likely, but I'm not seeing any rock hard evidence.


In response to the part about touring. I was still putting that in and accidentally hit submit before I was ready. So I ask you to go back and look again. If you haven't already.

And despite what you say about grainy photographs, I have to disagree. You can either see something or you can't. If I don't see it, I don't try to say it's there. I received many compliments over my life on my ability to recognize patterns and shapes and I am sorry if that gives me a certain confidence in my ability to do so. Frankly, I am often amazed in people's inability just to tell the difference between an ESB and ROTJ helmet. To me they are night and day different.

In response to, "what makes you say it is? You made the blanket statement, they are NOT the same helmet.


I asked the question, '. Why do you say that?", assuming perhaps you saw something that said that it wasn't.

However that's okay, I see nothing dissimilar about these helmets, except in the Dagoba shot, the helmet has standard ESB tusks, which could've been just changed out for the scene, borrowed from another helmet and then returned to the originals after the scene was finished. After all, they just screw in and out. This helmet is, as I stated before, an action helmet and I doubt very seriously that they made a helmet specifically just for this shot. And they definitely are not gojng to risk damaging a hero by rolling it around on the ground. The PA stunt helmet would be too obvious, as would the dummy helmet, so you're obviously going use a helmet you can sacrifice if necessary. And with no disrespect meant to this helmet or whoever owns the C-PIH, the Hoth corridor helmet was a grunt. Not being a hero it's covered in flaws, flaws the heroes just don't have.

Now, let's step away from the logic of them being the same helmet, and let's look at the obvious, they both have the same deep set chin grille and lattice. They both have a less than perfectly finished black cheek, with a noticeable in dent at the top about half an inch from the outer edge. The C-PIH has this, the Dagoba helmet has it and I marked it with a red arrow on the Hoth helmet. The right side of the notched bridge between the
eyes is clearly very jagged and lacks that smooth inward curve that you see on every other helmet. Both the Hoth and the Dagoba helmet have this. And while I don't like to use my own helmet for comparison, I could not find a production shot that had the lighting and the angle anywhere near the Dagoba shot. I included the master image of my helmet to show that it is taken from the same angle and is as close to the exact distances I could get, which was just over 5 feet. As I deduced that this picture was most likely taken by someone standing on the set who just took the picture of the helmet at the base of their feet.

In box #1, issue the right side of this notched bridge of the C-PIH, this is mostly to show how jagged it is (unfortunately, I could not find a picture taken from that angle that has not been severely affected by all the extra lacquer.) In box #2, you see a blowup of the notched bridge on the Dagoba, and I have as petitely and precisely as possible outlined its jagged edge for you to compare with the main picture and a corresponding bridge on the Hoth corridor image. In box #3, You see the blowup of the bridge from my EFX taken at the same angle, with lighting from the same direction.. I included the other side of my EFX bridge just to show that that's not unusual from any other helmet. The smooth curve inward that I mentioned is clearly visible on my EFX's bridge and follows close to the edge of the notches. No such curve can be seen on the date of the image as it is nearly straight up and down and very jagged.

Also, if you compare the date of that image to the Christie's image at the top of this thread you can see that the , mud strewn across the face of the dome for head follows a nearly identical pattern as the scratches on the dome of the C–PIH.
I would be willing to elaborate even further but I am out of time, and got to go.

------

John




ImageImage


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:20 pm 
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Hi all,

I am a long time member of the prop collecting / research community, though I have posted here only rarely in the past. I manage the LA office of Prop Store and last year I had the fantastic opportunity of working with Lucasfilm to write Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy, which is released this October:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/145213 ... d_i=507846

The book contains quite a few new Vader photos, and new photos of other costumes which I know will be of interest to members of this board, so I hope you will all take a look.

In researching the book I worked closely with the archivists at Skywalker Ranch and spent a great deal of time examining the original costumes there. I also interviewed just about everyone involved with costumes on these films who is still alive.

There's quite a bit of information in this thread that contradicts my research so I thought I would share some information.

I do not believe that there were ever different classes of Vader helmets that included an "action" class. This seems to be complete interpretation and there is nothing to support it that I have ever seen.

When studying the helmets, the differences between ESB and ROJ Vader helmets are very apparent. I see there is discussion about casting flaws and shapes here, but the construction differences are more concrete and more easily discerned. These include things like the type of mounting ring used, the way the ring is attached, the interior padding, the interior numbering, etc. This is in addition to the external differences in grills and paintwork.

I believe that what is referred to as the MOTM helmet above is an ESB-era tour helmet rather than a film used helmet. It was pointed out that the grills do not match those seen on film. The other attributes I mentioned (mounting ring, etc.) are also inconsistent with the ESB stunt helmet shown above, and another ESB film-used helmet in a private collection. Those two helmets are the only confirmed ESB movie-helmets that I am aware of. We would need better photos of the 94 Christies helmet and the Planet Hollywood helmet to know more about them - and specifically photos of the mounting ring, internals, etc.

The helmets on the table in the ILM photo are absolutely ILM-made tour helmets. We located ILM memos that document the production of seven new touring Vader costumes that were made by the model shop shortly before the release of ROJ. These helmets have the high mounting ring, and are lettered rather than numbered. The high mounting ring alters the way the dome sits on the face. The helmet in the upper left of the one photo shows the lower, movie-style (I believe ESB) mounting ring.

I am attaching a few photos of an ILM-made tour helmet working at a promo event in June 1984.

Attachment:
LFL Vader and Guard 10 Jun 84.jpg


Attachment:
Vader Appearance 10 Jun 84 2.jpg


As for the PIH 2012 helmet, does anyone have good photos of the inside, the mounting ring, etc that we could look at?

Very best,
Brandon


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:31 am 
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Interesting Brandon thanks for sharing. I believe there are photos of the PIH 2012 helmet on the Starwarshelmets.com site. (Someone here might be able to post them here)

how in depth does your book go into Vader? We love the manusha here as you can tell by some of these threads. And LFL documentation is incredibly interesting.

Look forward to learning more about your research.

Here are a few pictures from the helmet when it did not sale with Christie's in 2010:
http://www.moviepropcollectors.com/maga ... 5/christie’s-james-bond-pistol-sells-darth-vader-costume-unsold/

-Dwayne


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:18 pm 
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Interesting thread.
I actually own that image where the tusk comparison is made, I have 2 pictures that I submitted to Star Wars helmets.
It was during an event at the Sava Centre in the uk where my brother and I attended.
So, if I have got this correct, the helmet worn most likely was a screen used piece.
Forgive me if I have got thus wrong, just very nice to know
Best wishes


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:47 pm 
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Welcome to the fray Brandon, and thank you for your contribution! Really looking forward to your book. Interesting about the numbering system for the helmets.

Interesting also that the Touring Vader has his belt boxes reversed lol

Cheers,

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:47 am 
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Location: Northern California
BA100583 wrote:

I do not believe that there were ever different classes of Vader helmets that included an "action" class. This seems to be complete interpretation and there is nothing to support it that I have ever seen.


Hi Brandon,

Regarding the use of term 'action', this helmet was regularly compared to pics of "hero" helmets and then dismissed from being an authentic screen used helmet, because of features like the chin grille being recessed and the tusks not matching. I 'suggested' the word action (for lack of the known LFL designation) in another thread and then again in this one, because as I said above, I do not feel that Vader helmets can be broken down into simply a 'hero' or a 'stunt' as they seem to be far more specialized or 'purpose built'. Now whether that was the wrong or right definition, I'm not arguing. I was simply trying to make the point, that this helmet was NOT a 'hero' and thus, should not have been compared with one. But it's also not quite a stunt either, it is somewhere in between. And since it was only made to be used for active scenes like Vader marching through corridors or moving up and down steps, as opposed to being used in a close-ups, which required a much more detailed, finished helmet that would usually be described as a 'hero' the cast was not cleaned up and finished to the extent that a 'hero' usually would have been.

BA100583 wrote:

In researching the book I worked closely with the archivists at Skywalker Ranch and spent a great deal of time examining the original costumes there. I also interviewed just about everyone involved with costumes on these films who is still alive.

The helmets on the table in the ILM photo are absolutely ILM-made tour helmets. We located ILM memos that document the production of seven new touring Vader costumes that were made by the model shop shortly before the release of ROJ. These helmets have the high mounting ring, and are lettered rather than numbered. The high mounting ring alters the way the dome sits on the face. The helmet in the upper left of the one photo shows the lower, movie-style (I believe ESB) mounting ring.


While I would never dispute that you actually saw these memos, or that the memos document the production of seven new touring Vader costumes, what I would question is, exactly how did these memos say definitively that the helmets on the table were not screen used? Is it an assumption that the memos refer to the helmets on the table? The memo also says seven, there's only six helmets on the table. The use word 'new' is also subjective, while it could mean previously non-existent, right down the base materials, it could also mean, that this particular assemblage of all the parts required to complete the tour suits had not existed together prior.

Even if the memos document the creation of seven new helmets, that is still no guarantee that they specifically refer to the six helmets seen on the table. It could mean seven helmets in addition to the six on this table. That's still only 13 total costumes, to cover 50 states, with each one having 5 to 10 cities and that's not even covering Canada and Mexico. Don Bies said he made 18 tour helmets in 1995. What happened in 1995 that was bigger than the ROTJ promo tours? Only thing I can think of, that might come close is the opening of Star Tours. Was that in 1995? I don't remember when that was.

BA100583 wrote:

I am attaching a few photos of an ILM-made tour helmet working at a promo event in June 1984.
Attachment:
LFL Vader and Guard 10 Jun 84.jpg

Attachment:
Vader Appearance 10 Jun 84 2.jpg


Darth Vader at the Grape Festival, who would've thought? While the helmet in the photos attached is nicely done, I would never mistake it for being a screen used. I see nothing about it that even hints that it was screen used. The dome sits far too high even for an ROTJ and the chin grille opening looks to be a bit on the small side. Overall, the 'real deal' look just isn't there. But it also bears little resemblance to any of the helmets sitting on the table.

ImageImage

BA100583 wrote:

I believe that what is referred to as the MOTM helmet above is an ESB-era tour helmet rather than a film used helmet. It was pointed out that the grills do not match those seen on film. The other attributes I mentioned (mounting ring, etc.) are also inconsistent with the ESB stunt helmet shown above, and another ESB film-used helmet in a private collection. Those two helmets are the only confirmed ESB movie-helmets that I am aware of. We would need better photos of the 94 Christies helmet and the Planet Hollywood helmet to know more about them - and specifically photos of the mounting ring, internals, etc.


My first question on this, is how does the mounting ring on MOTM differ? Have you or anyone else seen all of the mounting rings on all of the ESB helmets to verify they are all similar? As I have stated before, the grille work on MOTM is not consistent with anything, screen used or touring with perhaps the only exception being that used on the helmet repainted by Don Bies, which I believe has also had its grills replaced and I suspect, at the same time as MOTM and was authenticated by GL himself as being an screen used ESB and by the way, has a mounting ring identical to that of the facemask in the back center of the table.

Image

And with the exception of the grille change, MOTM is a very solid screen match to the helmet worn in the catwalk or I am your father scene. Note, the pattern of the black paint as it travels up the side of the nose at a 45° angle, also how the paint terminator line on top of the nose starts just outboard of the notched bridge between the eyes and ends near the face of the nose instead of further down in the slight dip between the cheek and the side of the nose, as it does on most other helmets. Even the silver nose paint is a pretty solid match. Note, there is a dip in the casting at the bottom right edge of the nose paint that due to the angle is hard to detect on this image of the MOTM causing the only visual difference. MOTM also has a very obvious 'real deal' look.

ImageImage

All in all, I have no desire to discredit you or anyone else here. Nor am I here to toot my own horn and show you all what I know and how great I am, as none of you even know who I am. My objective is simply to open people's eyes to the possibilities. Things are not always what they seem. And at the same time, sometimes the truth is staring us right in the face and we just haven't looked at it from the right angle. And once someone puts something in a book, it tends to be taken as gospel. But sadly, I've seen too many books where the authors were mistaken about what this or that was.

I welcome you back to the forum, I look forward to your book, which I can hopefully find in a bookstore, since I never buy a book without checking it out first.

----
John


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of the Christie's - PIH 2012 Helmet
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 2:14 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:40 am
Posts: 12
Hi John,

My post was not intended as a shot at you and I hope it did not come across as such. I am simply looking to share the facts that I learned during research in the hopes of more accurate information.

Regarding the LFL memo on the ILM tour helmets, here is the exact wording. Memo is dated March 23, 1983.

"Darth Vader. Sally Gordon is coordinating the making of seven new and complete Vader costumes. Jenny Green (worked in ROJ Wardrobe Dept.) has been to O/P Bay and looked at all fabric pieces (inner/outer capes, codpiece, vests, shirt, pants, hood, gloves) and will be giving estimate to Sally of cost of reproducing these items. She may need a sample at some point.

Steve Gawley at ILM is giving estimate on cost of reproducing the molded pieces. He has the following molds from ROJ.P52 from Shelf A2:

1 Face Mold
1 Head Mold
1 Shoulder Mold
2 Shoulder Flap Molds
1 Chestplate Mold

and the following real examples:

1 Lightbox Belt
1 Chestplate
1 Head and Faceplate
1 Pr. Shinguards
1 Pr. Shoulders"

The photo of the helmets on the table is shot at ILM. All of the film used Vader's were made in the UK, at Elstree. ILM only made promo Vaders.

When you study the helmets with the high mounting ring (as seen on the table) in person, you can tell the grill work is completely different to the film versions, as is the dome position due to the higher mounting ring. That is how we know they are not film used helmets.

The tour photos I shared have the higher positioned dome -- they show an ILM tour helmet.

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


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