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On the subject of the Don Bies restored helmet
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Author:  vadermania [ Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: On the subject of the Don Bies restored helmet

I second the Mark I theory, too.

On the other hand, I was alwas wondering why they didn't switch over completely to the stunt style helmets (perspex cheeks and chin). That would have helped Prowse a lot. On many non-stunt shots in the throne room set in ROTJ the stunt helmet was used. What was the reason for that? I think they used Bob Anderson for those scenes, because Prowse was pretty much out of the game after the press interview where he revealed that Vader dies in ROTJ.

Author:  Darth Obsession [ Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: On the subject of the Don Bies restored helmet

vadermania wrote:
On the other hand, I was alwas wondering why they didn't switch over completely to the stunt style helmets (perspex cheeks and chin). That would have helped Prowse a lot. On many non-stunt shots in the throne room set in ROTJ the stunt helmet was used. What was the reason for that? I think they used Bob Anderson for those scenes, because Prowse was pretty much out of the game after the press interview where he revealed that Vader dies in ROTJ


More often than not, I think the reason they used that stunt helmet for close ups in ROTJ, was because somebody like Richard Marquand thought it looked cool. Perhaps the reason they didn't use it in ESB was because it just simply wasn't ready yet? It just seems odd, that they would shoot one scene with Vader and nothing for nearly a month. I really think they spent that time reworking the helmets and getting the bugs worked out.

Author:  banthapoodoo [ Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: On the subject of the Don Bies restored helmet

I would have thought for all close-up shots the hero helmet would have been used simply because it looks better, while the stunt helmet would have been relegated for use in action scenes where improved visibility was required. But that wasn't the case.

Instead the stunt helmet was used where it wasn't needed, even in the saga's climactic scene where the Emperor is casting at Luke a final flurry of lighting bolts while Vader contemplates the situation in his dusty stunt helmet with its fat lower lip and monochromatic perspex cheeks. Rather than using the hero helmet maybe someone decided you know, Vader's having a bad day. Put that hero helmet back on the shelf and let's use the stunt helmet to show he's been roughed up a bit. And let's put some more finger smudges on that dome!

Seriously, I wonder if it is as simple as who was playing Vader for a given scene: If Bob Anderson (R.I.P.) was playing Vader, the helmet used was a stunt; if Dave Prowse was playing Vader, the helmet used was a hero.

Author:  Sith-Smith [ Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: On the subject of the Don Bies restored helmet

SithLord wrote:
It is dome "E", by the way, repainted in June 1992. .


I think the "E" is a "3" in white chalk much like the 5 on the dome of the ESB stunt helmet dome.

Author:  Darth Obsession [ Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: On the subject of the Don Bies restored helmet

Sith-Smith wrote:
SithLord wrote:
It is dome "E", by the way, repainted in June 1992. .


I think the "E" is a "3" in white chalk much like the 5 on the dome of the ESB stunt helmet dome.


That's an AWSOME pic. Got any more of those?


Actually I do think it is an 'E'. First, because it's very square and second because I think if someone was going to write inside the top of the dome, they would do it
as I demonstrate below, in which case the letter would have to be an 'E'.


ImageImage


But actually I think this is a 'B' instead of the letter 'E'.

ImageImage

I have turned the picture upside down and enhanced the area where the letter is. There is a shadow edge that is running through the letter. In pictures, shadow edges are usually darker
than the rest of the shadow. If you look at the letter in the blowups, you can see that the shadow runs right through where the rounded loops of the 'B' would be. You can also see that
the top and bottom of the letter curve inward and there is a distinct 'Y' shape to the center spire of the letter. Look close at the first image, I'd say that's a pretty distinctive 'B'.

Now, what does the 'B' stand for? I have no idea.

Author:  Sith-Smith [ Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: On the subject of the Don Bies restored helmet

Good point DO!

That demonstration makes sense. After looking at the "5" on the stunt helmet they are different size and style. 3..E or B it would be interesting to get the numbers and letters all matched up for a clear inventory.

-Dwayne

Author:  Darth Obsession [ Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: On the subject of the Don Bies restored helmet

Yeah, 'cus 'B' doesn't make much sense compared to 1, 2 or 3. Neither did E. That's an interesting picture up in the dome. Kind of confirms what I already expected and that was that Don Bies was going to epoxy the two pieces together. I can see where someone looking at this picture might come up with the idea that that was an 'E' as well, since there appears to be part of an 'E' visible, but that is actually just some of the epoxy dripped and the actual letter is where you can't see it. But again cool pic. Thanks.

Author:  Sith-Smith [ Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: On the subject of the Don Bies restored helmet

vadermania wrote:
During my visit in the LFL archives at the ranch in 1995 I tried to pair different Vader faceplates and helmets with sometimes funny results. Stuff was constantly mismatched for photo shootings and exhibitions. Only faceplates and domes with the same number fit together because of the individual mounting rings. ROTJ hero faceplates also had numbers written inside.


That's awesome do you recall what the different numbers were and what they looked like?

Author:  Darth Obsession [ Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: On the subject of the Don Bies restored helmet

Earlier in this thread, I posted this picture, where I identified the facemask in the center rear of the table to be that of the helmet Don Bies restored in 1992.

Image

[quote]Now, take a look at the mask in the middle back. The riser appears to be taller and more vertical than that of the mask to the left, which appears to be shorter and more offset to the left rear.
I believe this center mask is from the Bies helmet. If you look at the Velcro on the forehead of this mask, it is cut fairly wide and the left hand side touches the top of the eyebrow. This feature can be
seen on the Bies helmet in the insert in the upper right corner.

I believe it is at this time that the Don Bies helmet finally got an ESB chin.[/quote]

------

When I posted this I had nothing to go on other than that mounting ring appeared to be very tall and appeared to be inclined forward, especially compared all the other risers I had seen. But recently
Dwayne (aka Sith-Smith) posted this photograph of DB with the helmet prior to the mask and dome being connected. And I would say that it is very much a dead on match to that facemask in the rear
center of the table.

ImageImage

I strongly believe that the helmets sitting on this table, are not new helmets created specifically for touring, but are in fact all of the original ESBs after being modified to more closely resemble ROTJ helmets,
except for the stunt helmet (which due to its unique nature could not be used). The helmet in the upper right corner is a dead ringer for ROTJ #1, which is the only helmet I could verify was fully converted for
ROTJ screen use. All the others just saw varying degrees of modifications like those pictured below.

Image

I do not believe that any tour helmets, actually had this ring style riser, in fact, I suspect that this is the only helmet that ever did. I suspect the idea that touring helmets used to this sort of ring
was actually based on this picture. I also believe this helmet, was the helmet that was sourced to Don Post studios as the master for the DP deluxe as well as another helmet that was used for most
of the Special Editions movie tie-ins. All of which have the exact same funky positioning of the dome as the original ANH grilled Hoth helmet.

ImageImage

Author:  Darth Obsession [ Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: On the subject of the Don Bies restored helmet

Sith-Smith wrote:
Good point DO!

That demonstration makes sense. After looking at the "5" on the stunt helmet they are different size and style. 3..E or B it would be interesting to get the numbers and letters all matched up for a clear inventory.

-Dwayne


ROTJ #3 also has a number 3 inside the facemask. But I haven't seen up inside of the other helmets only guessing at what numbers inside them.

Image

Author:  Darth Obsession [ Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: On the subject of the Don Bies restored helmet

Darth Obsession wrote:
Sith-Smith wrote:
SithLord wrote:
It is dome "E", by the way, repainted in June 1992. .


I think the "E" is a "3" in white chalk much like the 5 on the dome of the ESB stunt helmet dome.


That's an AWSOME pic. Got any more of those?


Actually I do think it is an 'E'. First, because it's very square and second because I think if someone was going to write inside the top of the dome, they would do it
as I demonstrate below, in which case the letter would have to be an 'E'.


ImageImage

But actually I think this is a 'B' instead of the letter 'E'.

ImageImage

I have turned the picture upside down and enhanced the area where the letter is. There is a shadow edge that is running through the letter. In pictures, shadow edges are usually darker
than the rest of the shadow. If you look at the letter in the blowups, you can see that the shadow runs right through where the rounded loops of the 'B' would be. You can also see that
the top and bottom of the letter curve inward and there is a distinct 'Y' shape to the center spire of the letter. Look close at the first image, I'd say that's a pretty distinctive 'B'.

Now, what does the 'B' stand for? I have no idea.


I have decided to retract portions of this post to this thread. While I still stand behind my method and the conclusion I came up with, they were unfortunately based on a photo, which I now know has been altered.
While the photos are not my possession, so I do not have the ability to post them here, I have seen higher resolution images, including the picture with Don Bies that clearly shows the letter inside the top of the dome, is the letter 'E'.

I want to state that I do not believe Dwayne (Sith-Smith) had anything to do with this deception, as he in no way ever suggested that the letter was a 'B' and seems genuinely interested in what the letters or numbers in the helmets actually mean.

I do not know at what point this photo was altered, but I do think it's very sad that such things take place. From a historical point of view, it is appalling.

-----
John

Author:  Sith-Smith [ Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: On the subject of the Don Bies restored helmet

I don't see why someone would alter a photo like this. Seems silly to me because what's to gain from it? I saw the photo on the proparchives.com searching under Empire props it's right there along with other pictures from the auction.

-Dwayne

Author:  No Humor Man [ Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: On the subject of the Don Bies restored helmet

rescaling and jpeg artifacts may play a role in distortion. Also, if the auctioneer provided altered shots, for whatever reason, that could also explain it. There are many reasons for altering auction shots - especially of real deal items.

Author:  banthapoodoo [ Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: On the subject of the Don Bies restored helmet

If the entire inside of the dome was repainted (not sure if it was), then any original lettering or numbering would be painted over. Maybe the B stands for "Bies."

Author:  Darth Obsession [ Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: On the subject of the Don Bies restored helmet

I would like to make one last note in regards to this helmet.

I know people are hesitant to actually say that something is or isn't this or that. However, this isn't the case of production original against a possible recast. We are talking about two helmets from the Lucasfilm archives.
Two helmets that I believe are one and the same.


Image

Both of these helmets have the same defect or error in the dome positioning.
The domes are not simply slid or tipped forward, as anyone aware of how the mounting rings work should know that this is not possible as the rings prevent lateral movement. They are in fact
incorrectly mounted. The mounting rings determine the position of the dome, the Velcro on the forehead is simply to stabilize the dome and keep it from shifting around.The ring mount on the
Bies helmet is taller and much more straight up and down compared to the typical mounts on most helmets. I did the diagram below to illustrate what I'm talking about. I made helmets, semi
transparent so you could see not only their relationship to each other, but their relationship to their mounting systems. Despite the original belief that the helmet is tipped forward, the leading
edge of the dome is in the correct position and lines up the same as a properly mounted dome. However, due to the error in the mount the back center of the dome rests an inch and a half or
3.9 cm higher than the normal position.


Image


This is not an ROTJ thing. The helmet is too high in the back. ROTJ's did not raise the back of the helmet, they raised the entire helmet vertically nearly 1/4 inch or 8 mm, but it's orientation to
the facemask stayed the same.


Image

No. The dome positioning on the Hoth Rebel Command Center helmet was a mistake. It wasn't specially positioned for some purpose, it was simply a mistake. And the fact that you never see it again
in the film is a testament to that fact. It was only worn in the very first scene filmed with Vader and that was it.

On the subject of the Bies chin grille, while it may not be the ANH style that was on the Hoth helmet, it is also not consistent with any ESB or ROTJ chin grills either. As I said before, the actual grille lattice is much larger than either ESB or ROTJ, but is similar to that of the MOTM helmet.
However, the size of the triangle opening is also too small. If you look at the pictures below, you can see on the Bies helmet, that the width of the opening is somewhat narrower than the width of the five teeth slots above,whereas on the helmets to the right, an ESB hero and the MOTM,
the width of the chin grille opening clearly falls outside of the teeth on both sides. The depth of the opening also falls somewhere in between a hero and an action, but is not similar to any other helmet, ESB, or ROTJ.
This very strongly suggest that this grill opening was added to the helmet and that no real attempt was made to make sure it was consistent with the other openings on other helmets.

ImageImageImage


And I don't think it takes a NASA engineer to see that the dome positioning is identical on these two helmets. Not just close, identical. And despite the ANH grille and the ROTJ center strip, which, like
almost every other ESB got reworked to some extent, in almost every other way, these two helmets are identical.

Lastly,

Don Bies, a Lucasfilm employee, repainted this helmet for LFL, which is reported to be an authentic production helmet from the Lucasfilm archives. Obviously, the helmet used in the Hoth rebel command center scene,
is also an authentic production helmet, both helmets have the exact same incorrect positioning of the domes. Having seen the higher resolution images of the mounting system before and after Don Bies put them together,
I can tell you he made no modifications. They appear just as they did back in 1983. All he did was epoxy the rings together. And on Duane's post below, one of these pictures shows where he did this.

Sith-Smith wrote:
Good point DO!

That demonstration makes sense. After looking at the "5" on the stunt helmet they are different size and style. 3..E or B it would be interesting to get the numbers and letters all matched up for a clear inventory.

-Dwayne


The helmet being mounted this way was a mistake. Do we really, really believe that Lucasfilm would actually let it happen again? How many helmets like this do we think are floating around the LFL archives?

------
John

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