The Prop Den

Setting a semi-permanent Vader mount using Instamorph
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Author:  banthapoodoo [ Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Setting a semi-permanent Vader mount using Instamorph

Many of the latest licensed and fan-made Vader helmets available today incorporated improved mount designs which make use of magnets to keep the mask and dome secured in a fixed position (e.g. those from eFx, AVONOS, jarenMCL).

But for the Rubies, DPCA, and DPDLX owners, the floppy and wobbly mount is quite familiar. The basic issues are 1) the perimeter shape of the tube at the top of the mask does not match the contour of the dome; and 2) the excess space between the mask and dome attachments.

I needed to sand down both the tube and the ring on my DPDLX to more accurate positioning, but there was still a bit of wobble, and it was clear I wouldn't be able to get a secure fit with the mount alone without filling in these spaces:


I didn't want to use epoxy of other permanent method of filling and sealing the mount; instead I tried using Instamorph which yielded good results. Instamorph does not adhere to painted fiberglass (but does to ABS plastic FYI). So Instamorph would be a good choice for filling in these spaces and to provide any fine-tuning to the mount positioning. It's moldable at around 140 degrees F, and is fairly solid after a few minutes of cooling.

So starting with a clump of instamorph dropped into 150 degree F water:


I spread it along the front of the dome ring:


And then slowly joined the mask to the dome, stopping when I got to the desired mount height and position. I held it in place until the Instamorph cooled.


What resulted was something that looks like a removable denture:



Incidentally, you could make 2 of these if you wanted to easily switch between an ESB or ROTJ mount height.

For a secure mount, you can spread the Instamorph around and under the dome ring and around and over the mask tube to create a mechanical (not an adhesive) attachment. This also evens out the pressure across more of the connection rather than impinging on specific stress points.


And yes, this is strong enough of a connection to allow tricks like this:


I was able to remove all previous methods of supplementing the factory mount using foam padding, velcro, etc. at the forehead and the sides. Now I only have the mount keeping the mask and dome separating in place:


I wanted to share this tip as I found it's a good solution to adjust and/or secure a wobbly mount. Plus, if you ever want to change it, just soak a cloth in hot water and apply it to the installed Instamorph for a minute or two, and it loosen to be removed and reused.

Author:  CSMacLaren [ Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Setting a semi-permanent Vader mount using Instamorph


Author:  banthapoodoo [ Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Setting a semi-permanent Vader mount using Instamorph

Thank you sir!

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