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 Post subject: SPFX ANH - A Vader Odyssey (or a Nightmare on Vader Street)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:45 am
Posts: 234
Location: Northern California
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Back in 2007, I had spent the last 8 years trying to 'accuratize' (if that is even a word) a DP classic action Vader Helmet. No matter what I did, It just didn't look right. I was hunting the net trying to find pics that might help me figure it out, when I came across a helmet (casting) on Ebay. I had never seen a helmet that detailed for sale. In his pictures it really had that 'Paint and Display' look to it. After a small dance with the Devil (Phil), my helmet arrived. As soon as I pulled it out of the box, I knew 'Paint and Display' wasn't gonna happen. It had a ton of casting flaws and was somewhat squished horizontally, very noticably on the face mask, which made it look long and kinda like a peanut.
One of the things that I really wished that I could have done with the Classic Action was to have taken picks of it first, but I didn't own a camera at the time. This time I did and I decided to try to match pics that I had of the real thing to help determine what corrections were needed. I took dozens and dozens of photos, but due to a computer failure, most of the pics were lost, only some that I had printed out are here.

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And I found that from some angles, it looked OK....

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But, from others, not even close.

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I definitely had my work cut out for me.


Last edited by Darth Obsession on Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: SPFX ANH - A Vader Odyssey (or a Nightmare on Vader Str
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:45 am
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After a couple of weeks of studying the pics, the sanding and puttying began...

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 Post subject: Re: SPFX ANH - A Vader Odyssey (or a Nightmare on Vader Str
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:45 am
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Location: Northern California
After a great deal of putty, sanding and painting, I had a decent looking helmet.

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But... it still had issues. First, while it looked like Vader, It looked too clean, too smooth, it also seemed to look too 'droopy', more like Vader's dumber twin. It seemed to lack the muscularity and sinister angularity of the real thing.
And to make things worse, There was image below. One of my 'all time favorites'. I couldn't dupicate it. no matter how I angled the camera, altered the distance, or moved the dome. it just wasn't there.

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And there was something seriously wrong with the neck. So it was back to drawing board...


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 Post subject: Re: SPFX ANH - A Vader Odyssey (or a Nightmare on Vader Str
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:49 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:45 am
Posts: 234
Location: Northern California
Over the next few years, I painted, stripped, putty and sanded, then repainted the helmet several times....

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Last edited by Darth Obsession on Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:28 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: SPFX ANH - A Vader Odyssey (or a Nightmare on Vader Str
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:45 am
Posts: 234
Location: Northern California
By now, it should be obvious that there very little left of the original SPFX casting. It isn't just covered in putty. Somewhere along the line, it became obvious to me that the problem was with the 'squishing'. When you push one area in , somewhere else must go out. Looking down on the dome, with the 'widows peak' being 12 o'clock, the hemet is squished in at 2 o'clock and 8 o'clock.
I am aware that the original helmets are narrower at these points, but this casting sagged inward at this point even further.
Hence.. It is extended out at about 10:30 and 4:30. I have sanded and re-glassed these areas extensively trying to slim that 2 o'clock profile. But the helmet still looks a bit 'wide' when viewed from this angle.
NOTE: I determined after this pic, that I had built out the 'grey' cheek bone too much and if it was where it should be, the helmet would be turned more toward you and the leading edge of the far dome skirt would be more visible as would the far side of the forehead on the dome.

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I lost the early pics of this angle in my computer crash, but it was a lot worse. This is about as good as it is going to get without a grinder, a shop, and some serious reglassing work. but I tried....


Last edited by Darth Obsession on Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:09 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: SPFX ANH - A Vader Odyssey (or a Nightmare on Vader Str
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:04 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:45 am
Posts: 234
Location: Northern California
And off comes the paint....again...

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and back into paint...

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But, of course, I spotted something I didn't like...

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And back into paint...

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Last edited by Darth Obsession on Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: SPFX ANH - A Vader Odyssey (or a Nightmare on Vader Str
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:45 am
Posts: 234
Location: Northern California
So... after a few more, paints and reworks here and there, I am finally in the ballpark (I hope) of where I want to be with this. Note: this is not the final paint, but winter came in and I wanted something on it. So I did a temporary fast paint job. These are the latest pics, taken this week.

This first pic is a link to a video...Just click it.
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In the summer, I hope to paint it for the last time.


Last edited by Darth Obsession on Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: SPFX ANH - A Vader Odyssey (or a Nightmare on Vader Str
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:48 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:51 pm
Posts: 1394
Location: Geislingen, Germany
Wow, thats really an Odyssey :lol but i have to say thats certainly the best finished SPFX i've seen to date and there are many out there so i think you've got the optimum you can reach from such a cast. :thumbsup


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 Post subject: Re: SPFX ANH - A Vader Odyssey (or a Nightmare on Vader Str
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:38 am
Posts: 36
Yea this is a really awesome buildup thread. Big props to you for being so dedicated towards the small details and not settling on this. Absolutely fantastic!


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 Post subject: Re: SPFX ANH - A Vader Odyssey (or a Nightmare on Vader Str
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:03 am 
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Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 1:28 pm
Posts: 15
Awesome work!!! I'm in the middle of working on an SPFX ANH helmet, and I often worry that if I get too picky with it that it'll never get finished. I'm still a teenager, so I didn't experience the star wars films at the cinemas, but as a young child I developed an image of Vader that has stayed with me since the age of about 4. I've accepted that my helmet will never be perfect or completely accurate, but I've decided to try to achieve that image of Vader that I developed as a young child, even if it isn't necessarily totally accurate. I'm in awe of how far you've brought your helmet, and the drive you have to make it perfect. Keep up the awesome work :thumbsup I look forward to seeing it will you're completely happy with it :)


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 Post subject: Re: SPFX ANH - A Vader Odyssey (or a Nightmare on Vader Str
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:22 am
Posts: 554
Location: Hampton Wick UK
This is great!

I loved renovating my VM02 I had a year or so ago.......I think the best part of owning a vader cast that is not cast from an original mould is working them to look so.

I feel the same about y Stormtrooper armour. The best bit for me is building them...... :thumbsup


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 Post subject: Re: SPFX ANH - A Vader Odyssey (or a Nightmare on Vader Str
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:21 am
Posts: 716
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Outstanding work! I've reworked an SPFX and a DP Deluxe myself so I salute you :salut


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 Post subject: Re: SPFX ANH - A Vader Odyssey (or a Nightmare on Vader Str
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:46 pm
Posts: 5241
Location: San Jose, CA
Awesome work. I especially love the dedication of painting, stripping, modifying, repainting, and going those full cycles until you arrived at something you're proud of.

Can you take some 6 foot distance shots?


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