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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:49 pm 
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That's it for today!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:55 pm 
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Mac,
This is my first post after starting my Rubies modifications. After looking over the reference photos I decided to fill in the topmost cleft on the nose and reform the ridge below the bottom cleft. It appears in the photos that this ridge angle is not as steep as is on the Rubies. Your nose mods probably took this into account. This allowed me to give the upper eyes the more distinctive round curve which appears in the ESB photos which is the look I am going for especially the one with Vader and Boba in the dining hall. I did an overlay in Photoshop with this image and it matches almost perfectly in certain areas. Any info on how to post images or what server I should use would be great. I would love to know what you think as well as the rest of the board.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:26 pm 
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Welcome, SD68!

Were you born in '68? If so, there are a lot of us around this age range!

I'd love to see pics. Do start a new thread.

Go to http://www.photobucket.com

Create a new user account for yourself.

It's pretty self-explanatory and easy to use.

Image

This is the closest match I can get to the studio promotional shot. Just ignore the neck and the dome for now.

I'm not certain that patching the topmost cleft is going to do the trick 100%, but if it works for you, go right on ahead. I realize that sometimes we prop collecting types get a little too anal regarding accuracy to the point that we can end up making it not so fun for others. On the other hand, there are some rewards making things more accurate. It all depends on how much work you want to do.

I don't feel the Rubie's can be 100% accurate even with modifications because the skull has been pressed inwards towards the front. Widening it out with heat is a very complicated process that you might as well start with a more accurate kit. The narrower skull is more notable around the front as it affects the shape of the eyes and the cheeks.

Anyways, I'd have to study an unmodified Rubie's up close once again and compare it. But filling the top cleft means that you'd have to conver the bottom ridge into a cleft. However, that was not a cleft to begin with. There is a bevel between where the arch of the nose ends and the bridge of the nose begins (this is the raised part with the 3 rectangles).


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:21 pm 
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SD68,

Okay, I think I managed to come up with a better image. Again, it's been so long since I first acquried it, and I did not have a very good camera at the time, so I didn't photo-document it as I should have.

Image

In this above shot, if the middle is what you're talking about, then you'd need to do some eyebrow work. Also note that the the bridge of the nose (that has these 3 rectangles) has a slightly more raised surface than the arch of the nose leading up to it. The separation is a bevel or a little cliff.

However, if it turns out that the rectangles do not correspond 1:1 in height with the prop, then they need to be repositioned. However, if they do correlate, then perhaps the mods are easier.

So the following is a simulation. It's theoretical. What may look good from one angle in a 2D photograph may suck in real life in 3D.

Image

If this is possible, i'd go with the middle simulation and enhance the arch-to-bridge transition. It's still not quite right and is a shortcut, but that is the "uber-accurate" side of me speaking. For the most part, if you make this mod and cover it in gloss paint, then 95% of the people out there won't notice the difference!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:46 pm 
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The lower ridge (or cleft as you call it) is the remains of the nose ridge parting line, with them having smoothed away the lines that go down to the edge of the eye. You shouldn't fill it or remove it, but instead create that line or groove that was removed. The upper eyebrows may not go down as far as they possibly should, making the nose bridge area between the eyes to be too long. However, if you are careful with the proportions of the modifications done to the lower ridge, then you may cheat it and make it look good - we are talking millimeters here.

However, I have not yet seen ANYONE talk about the mouth triangle or how it is too small. When looking at it, comparing it to an original cast helmet, the nose is too far down towards the lower mouth ridge - and it doesn't help when filing the teeth longer: it is simply wrongly shaped. How or why they did this is still unclear to me, but it sorta feels like they cut up a helmet, trimmed the pieces and then put them back together again.

This whole helmet - no matter what you do to it - is too far removed from anything original to ever be close to accurate. It may end up looking good, but these very distinct features will always give away a Rubies Supreme. Kinda glad I cut mine up... though... it is a bit of a costly piece simply to use as spare parts or a base structure for a custom sculpt.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:22 pm 
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I couldn't agree more, NHM.

Modifying external facial features is one thing, but ultimately the shape of the head is wrong.

You can hide the fact with a lot of gloss black paint, but someone with a discerning eye can spot the flaws.

To address the flaws to the fundamental shape of the head, I'd have to use heat and manipulate the skull structure. That would take further time and resources from my other projects.

So basically I'm reaching a point where this is as far as I want to go with the Rubie's.

If you're happy with the look of doing some minor mods, then it's a good buy.

If you're like me and NHM who study Vader more intensively than some and who prefer higher standards of accuracy, then this won't make you happy.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:09 pm 
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you're going to finish it up though right? with some good lenses and 2 tone paint,it will look awesome,100% accurate or not.

oh and,i suppose Rubies in fact lied then when they said it was from the movie mold? the costume box says"all parts from movie molds"
has the Rubies mask origin been confirmed?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:49 am 
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AllHallowsGhost wrote:
the costume box says"all parts from movie molds"


You supposed correctly - they are LIEING ... :grumpy :grumpy :grumpy


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:13 am 
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Well, I'm kind of at this point where I feel I'd like to start over with my current level of know-how. At the same time, I really hate this plastic. There are mods I'd like to do but if the plastic were flexed beyond the capabilities of Aquamend, PC-7, etc. then the latter might crack. Since it's warm, I might give PC-7 (or PC-11) one last attempt. If I can reinforce the interior of the dome, then I can rasp off the middle bump completely and reform it.

To me, any cosmetic change is possible, but if it breaks off or cracks off, it's not going to be much use in the long run.

But yes, I will paint this up.

The question of whether the Rubie's Supreme really came from LFL molds is a very good one. Here are my latest observations:

1. There are some very obvious differences between the Rubie's Fiberglass Limited Edition (which looks like a Don Post Deluxe) and the Rubie's Supreme.

2. There are some very subtle similarities that do not appear to have been sculpted deliberately if one were building this completely from scratch.

3. What the Rubie's FG LE is to the Don Post Deluxe (FG) with respect to the fact that they leased the same mold leased to Don Post Studios from LFL, it does not mean that the Supreme correlates with the Don Post Classic Action (vinyl).

The short answer is this: I believe the Rubie's Supreme is still somewhat based on the LFL molds, but it is either an extreme and delibierate modification of an accurate casting, or it is formed off the interior of an original positive mask to create an armature, on top of which the features of the mask would be sculpted. In this way, there are certain features that will be inherited.

The resulting master is so different that it would be impossible for someone to recast the Supreme in Fiberglass and be able to pass it off as a Rubie's FG LE.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:39 am 
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AllHallowsGhost wrote:
you're going to finish it up though right? with some good lenses and 2 tone paint,it will look awesome,100% accurate or not.

oh and,i suppose Rubies in fact lied then when they said it was from the movie mold? the costume box says"all parts from movie molds"
has the Rubies mask origin been confirmed?


AHG,

Thank you for the kind vote of confidence. It means a lot to me, because I feel I could have done better with this. I have to realize that sometimes all you can do is make the best of an imperfect situation.

I'll try to get it painted and fit with lenses and grills. I do have three other Vader helmet projects that are screaming for attention. And I have people screaming at me to complete them because they wanted to see them completed yesterday. And they all want the new Mac armor too....

Basically, I don't think Rubie's lied. JRX, bear with me as I explain this:

Don Post Studios received a mold from LFL. (Some people use the term "Mold" incorrectly. When it comes to casting, a mold is a negative. In the world of vacuum forming, a mold or a buck is a positive. I believe it is incorrect to call a positive a "mold" in the world of casting. Since Don Post Studios cast the Deluxe Vader in fiberglass, I have to wonder if they received a positive or a negative.)

The result of this mold was the higher end Don Post Deluxe. It was expensive and a limited edition of 1,000.

They did another cast but reworked it significantly, and that became the master of the "economy" model: the Don Post Classic Action. And because of the rework, there is no way for someone to be able to merely recast the DPCA in fiberglass and pass it off as a Deluxe.

In order to achieve a DPCA, you have to start with a positive that would have been cast from the mold. Heck, it could have been the same master as the Deluxe, or it could have been a second pull from the (negative) mold.

Now we do know Rubie's got a hold of the same molds leased to Don Post Studios. Apparently LFL kept it handy. They used the mold(s) to create the higher end Rubie's Fiberglass Limited Edition ($900-ish) which was a run of 5,000.

It is possible that a cast of this ended up being heavily reworked to become the master for the Rubie's Supreme. Again, no-one can simply recast the Supreme in fiberglass and pass it off as a Fiberglass Limited Edition.

And again the modifications appear to be deliberate and quite drastic.

Do I think that original molds were used? Yes.

Do I think that what they did resulted in an accurate helmet? No.

Now, since the molds used by Rubie's is supposedly the same ones leased to Don Post Studios, there are some similarities between the two. But you can still kind of spot differences, strangely enough. When you see a Rubie's FG LE, you go, "ah, it's kind of Don Post-ish, but something's different about it." Somehow the features of the cheeks appear more angular and more carefully worked.

How could this be? Well, either Rubie's overcleaned their master, or LFL deliberately put in some subtle hints so that if Christie's ever asked them to identify a helmet claimed to be an original, they could spot the telltale signs in an instant.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:00 am 
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CSMacLaren wrote:
The short answer is this: I believe the Rubie's Supreme is still somewhat based on the LFL molds, but it is either an extreme and delibierate modification of an accurate casting, or it is formed off the interior of an original positive mask to create an armature, on top of which the features of the mask would be sculpted. In this way, there are certain features that will be inherited.

Have you looked at the inside of a fiberglass cast helmet? You can NOT make a cast from the inside of one of those, ONLY the outside. It is only on vac-formed items that you can make a cast from the inside.

CSMacLaren wrote:
In order to achieve a DPCA, you have to start with a positive that would have been cast from the mold.

That is incorrect. Vinyl is cast similarly to fiberglass and resin - in a negative mold, however; doesn't have to be a two-part mold or a rigid mold. It is not as easy as the fiberglass and resin casting, as you have to have a machine that spins the mold, so that the vinyl gets pushed out towards the edges of the mold, which is why it is called "hollow molded vinyl". Many model kits from larger companies were vinyl figures, because they had the capital to do it, which is why garage kits are usually made of solid resin.

Vinyl is NOTHING like ABS or styrene that is vac-formed. Please learn about the different plastics and how they are used for castings before speaking facts about them that are not fully researched.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:07 am 
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NoHumorMan wrote:
Have you looked at the inside of a fiberglass cast helmet? You can NOT make a cast from the inside of one of those, ONLY the outside. It is only on vac-formed items that you can make a cast from the inside.


I think you misunderstood me. The point was not to achieve a clean and accurate cast but rather a rough armature using the inside of the helmet. If molded, it will look rough, but it will inherit some of the characteristics (e.g. neck flare, mouth asymmetry). You still have to put a lot of clay on it and sculpt it and such.



NoHumorMan wrote:
That is incorrect. Vinyl is cast similarly to fiberglass and resin - in a negative mold, however; doesn't have to be a two-part mold or a rigid mold. It is not as easy as the fiberglass and resin casting, as you have to have a machine that spins the mold, so that the vinyl gets pushed out towards the edges of the mold, which is why it is called "hollow molded vinyl". Many model kits from larger companies were vinyl figures, because they had the capital to do it, which is why garage kits are usually made of solid resin.

Vinyl is NOTHING like ABS or styrene that is vac-formed. Please learn about the different plastics and how they are used for castings before speaking facts about them that are not fully researched.


Again you misunderstood me. I was talking about making the master, not the actual production process. Please take note the context of what I was discussing was about making the masters, not the individual production pieces.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 7:53 pm 
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Okay, it's been over two months. I actually have some interesting breakthroughs. I was stressing over the Rubie's because we're approaching winter season, and since at my living space I can only work outdoors in a narrow walkway on the side of the house, I wanted to focus more on my priority projects before the cold inhibits the curing process of the materials I'm using. I also don't want to catch cold during a winter season.

I had found a new owner to trade for a stock condition Rubie's which I wanted to set up as "Chad Vader: Dayshift Manager" (I'd love to set it up as a statue, complete with a name tag. If I can get the entire Rubie's costume put together, my Chad Vader would be 100% screen accurate!) :toothy

Short of shipping it to the new owner to continue the work, something really pained me. A lot of sentimental value was going to be mailed away. And I had things I wanted to do that I'd have to say goodbye to. Yes, my other helmet projects have a chance at being superior to this Rubie's mod but, well, this was in fact my very first helmet.

So I contacted the new owner and came up with an excuse that I couldn't let this leave my bench unless it was the best effort I could make (which is in fact true).

And sure enough, while taking a break on the other projects, I reworked the nose and the eyes and the skull.

The last you saw of the Rubie's, it was this:

Image

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....


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 7:54 pm 
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I added a material to the outside of the skull and basically redefined the skull shape. Again, noting that this is a Rubie's which is already warped and inaccurate, the best thing you can do is, well, make the best of it.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 7:57 pm 
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You will also notice that I've not only modified the skull but also its transition into the sides. So the face looks a little wider. It was already narrower than a Don Post Deluxe, so I thought, "What the hey... it's only a Rubie's.) In doing so, it created a more organic effect, and it looked less forced than it's stock condition.

Also, note the tubes. The lower tubes originally had extended to the back rim. These were cut off and the missing area rebuilt. The skull modification helps reinforce the area as well. The plastic/vinyl is more flexible than QuikPlastic and anything I've used thus far, including AquaMend, so the best thing to do is make the sides more rigid so that the flexing did not break the welds.


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