The Prop Den

Dome mount-cut or not?
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Author:  poholio [ Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:12 am ]
Post subject:  Dome mount-cut or not?

Hi all,
New to the forum and attempting a Vader build. I have a Rubie's Supreme and so far on this site I have seen a lot of insanely good results come out of it with a few mods.
I was wondering- I've seen a few threads in which the topic of repositioning the dome mount comes up, but I am not sure if cutting into it or simply adding foam or mouse pads is better. I'm not unwilling to cut into it, but if similar results can be obtained without cutting and having to worry about how strong it is after....

I also recall seeing a link the the Sith Training Temple concerning this dome issue, but I haven't received an acceptance email from them yet. Does anyone have pics of a finished dome mount mod?

Thanks for any help out there!

Author:  NikonD80 [ Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dome mount-cut or not?


I'm currently working on a Rubies too. All the advice I've recieved so far has been to not cut the mount. I've managed to get a fairly good dome position at the moment by using strips of wood between the mount and the helmet. A small piece about 3/8th of an inch thick is currently stuck onto the right hand side (as you look at the mask) of the mount. It is held with double sided carpet tape and runs all the way along the straigth edge of the mount, stopping just as the mount starts to curve. I'm not saying this is correct or accurate, but the look it gives is one that I'm happy with at the moment.

My curent thinking is to make a wooden wedge fo fit to the top of the existing mount that I can bolt into place. I'm toying with using rare-earth magnets to hold the dome in place.


Author:  poholio [ Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dome mount-cut or not?

Thanks for the input- I was going down the same train of thought about the wooden strips/ wedge. I am not exceedingly concerned with screen accuracy- just want it to look passable, more so than the unaltered Rubie's. I am glad to see it won't have to involve cutting the mount.

Again, thanks for the info!

Author:  Vince [ Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dome mount-cut or not?


I too am in the process of modifying a Rubies. I had originally wanted to avoid cutting the mask since I am a beginner at this sort of thing so after reading up on different mods I settled on mousepads, which did look better but not *right* for Vader. I eventually decided to finally take the plunge and chop the dome mount. It allows the dome to sit lower and I find that it looks FAR more screen accurate.

Most tutorials and pics regarding dome-mount cutting and repositioning are pretty old and have long since been deleted, but I did manage to find this thread by user DarthAnibal over at the Replica Prop Forum:

If you scroll down you'll see pictures of how both the female and male ends of the mount were cut and positioned, it isnt very detailed but I essentially based my modifications off of these pictures. After I cut the mount off the mask I first loosely held it in place with a shit-tonne of glue and then proceeded to add Apoxie Sculplt to finally and firmly hold the repositioned mount.

Hope that helps. :cheers

Author:  NikonD80 [ Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dome mount-cut or not?

Hi Vince,

Thanks for that info - it does look promising.

I do feel that I should also mention that on my "Making a Brighter Rubie" WIP thread, MAC said "By the way, when you're reading to tackle the dome mounting system on the mask, I suggest you do not cut it like some tutorials do - unless you have a way of welding the plastic after re-angling it. There are other approaches to this." I haven't asked MAC for any clarification on his statement yet since I'm still some way off needing to worry about the final dome position.

I'm not saying you're wrong Vince, you probably know more about this sort of thing than I do but I thought it only fair to quote Mac's advice here.

Author:  No Humor Man [ Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dome mount-cut or not?

Since the Rubies is injection molded ABS, you need some glue that works with that plastic and won't snap when it flexes. The dome mount on both face and in the dome creates the look of the dome sitting too high in the rear. If you just angle the dome mount on the face, you will have the front of the dome mount in the dome be too long to have it sit as far down on the face as you need it to.

I've seen one who cut along the side of the face mask dome mount... cutting only half way in, then heating the area and pushing the mount down in the rear until it got the right angle, then built up with some sort of filler to fix the mount into place. Then dremeled the front of the dome mount in the dome, at an angle at the right length, so that it sat on the mask as it should without sitting too high.

I sadly don't remember where I saw that or what materials where used to keep things in place. You don't want a rigid medium that doesn't flex with the plastic as it will snap off rather quickly. But honestly, beats me what material you can actually use.


Author:  NikonD80 [ Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dome mount-cut or not?

TMG - If I've read your correctly you're you saying that the helmet needs to 'pivot' at the point of attachment so that the back is lowered and then the whole thing needs to come down a bit so it's closer to the face. Is that right?

Also for everyone:

I've been doing a bit into research into 'glueing' ABS Plastic and I found the following articles that might be of interest: ... ABS_cement

I'm also told that you can join ABS with something called MEK. ... lvent.html

I haven't tried this but I though I'd pass on the information in case it's of use.

Author:  poholio [ Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dome mount-cut or not?

Thanks for all the info. Still really hesitant to perform surgery on the mount, since i am not entirely confident in the plastic's ability to weld satisfactorily.
However, perusing the forum for tidbits, I came upon Mac's incredible documentation of his extensive Rubie's mods. Here's the link:

On page 11, quite a bit down the page, he states:

"NHM pointed out that the skull looked distorted. So to back-track, NHM is indeed correct. Basically, instead of cutting up the mounting system to get a good dome positioning, I decided to heatform this area so that the mounting system and the skull would continue to be one continuous piece. It was a matter of heating it, then pushing the mounting system down and into the skull a bit, then holding it in place while running it under cool water.

Doing so forces the material around the mounting system to warp the skull. Well, no-one would care if you were wearing the dome, right? But NHM did!
I was initially discouraged with the shape, but NHM has a unique way of prompting me to do better.

So I did the following....


- Mac

My thanks to Mac for this brilliant piece. I have no intentions of going this far, but the dome question for me seems to be answered. I am going to try to heat it up and pushing the mount down and into the skull. Will post pics when I begin.

Now onto schematics for chest box slots!

Author:  No Humor Man [ Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dome mount-cut or not?

NikonD80 wrote:
TMG - If I've read your correctly you're you saying that the helmet needs to 'pivot' at the point of attachment so that the back is lowered and then the whole thing needs to come down a bit so it's closer to the face. Is that right?

Yes, that about sums it up. :thumbsup

Author:  poholio [ Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dome mount-cut or not?


So finally getting around to modding the helmet (chest armor, shins, chest box, belt boxes all WIP right now) and in looking back at this thread and seeing what everyone said about the dome mount position and how to adjust it, I still have a question.

I have heat-formed the mount (the ABS is definitely more heat resistant than Sintra!) and pushed the angle back a bit. The angle as of now is close, but the dome still wants to rock forward and essentially then appear as if no alteration occurred.

The question now is, is the angle insufficient to achieve the desired effect, or does the forehead area (where the velcro patch was located) need to be increased, perhaps via the mouse pad method mentioned here before? Should adjusting the angle alone be enough to allow the dome to sit more accurately?

I hope that's clear enough to follow- I do not have pics of this yet- I know it would be more helpful if I did- I will try to get some up tomorrow.



Author:  CSMacLaren [ Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dome mount-cut or not?

Justin, post a photo and let's see.

(BTW, Justin, can you post your text in black instead of the blue you're using - it's harder to read.)

Author:  No Humor Man [ Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dome mount-cut or not?

Yeah, post a photo. The dome mount on the Rubies is way too tall. It's simply not enough to heat form it into a new angle. You have to reduce the height of it as well, otherwise the dome will keep sitting way too high on the face mask.

Author:  poholio [ Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dome mount-cut or not?


Here are some pics of the angle of the dome mount. Sorry about the quality.
To me, the angle seems okay, but I am wondering if the mount need to be pushed into the skull further. If so, how pliant to I need to make the plastic? Should I get the area surrounding the mount very warm/flexible?







Author:  No Humor Man [ Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dome mount-cut or not?

The angle seems fine. I want to make a correction to what I wrote above... it was the mount in the dome that needed to be cut - I believe at an angle towards the front. I don't think you need to do more with the mount on the face mask right now.

Author:  NikonD80 [ Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dome mount-cut or not?

Although I eventually disposed of the original Rubies mask, I kept most of the mount when I recast it. I chopped the rear half of it off so it could lay flush on a board for casting. When I put the Rubies dome on the finished fiber glass mask, I get a pretty good angle. All the mucking about I was going to do does not seem to have become neccessary so I didn't bother. Of course, my version is for static display only and the helmet will eventually be permenantly glued to the mask to discourage recasting (the owner will probably have to wreck the mask to get the helmet off) so this info may not be much use here.

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