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 Post subject: Second ANH Vader Mold?: A Theory for its Origin
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:53 am 
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I've put my question back. All I am doing is asking how the original mask was molded, as a front piece or full head. I am trying to rationalize why there might have been a second mold made....or even when it might have been made. I've put in bold the crux of why I brought this up.


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This is to discuss the so-called "UK Vader mold".

It is thought that at some point during ANH, there was a mold taken off the original ANH mask, the single mask used onscreen during filming. This would then have led to pulls like the TD ANH (or something that led to the TD ANH), and related pulls such as the TM ESB, VP ANH, and the 20th Century. For that matter, it is also the ultimate source, or at least presumed source, for whatever led to the original ESB helmets. But we of course have no idea what the molds identity, if any, really is, unlike the case for the Rick Baker mold.

Now when I first showed and discussed the TD ANH with Brian Muir, he could see no reason why the production crew would make a mold off the original screen mask when they had a mold already based off his plaster master.

However, the plaster master would have been a complete head that Brian had cleaned up.

As a complete head, it would require a front and back section to the mold, meaning there would have been a seam somewhere dividing the two or at least some evidence of a dividing point. And there seems to be (I'll get to that later).

Then there was the issue about wearing a complete head. This would have been too hot for Dave Prowse, so then just the front or mask could be used with the helmet covering the rear. Since the TD ANH had indications of some kind of latch mechanism to secure the front to the rear, Brian agreed at the time that initially they used a front and rear part to the head for Dave, and he can correct me if that is not actually the case.

We know from castings like the TD and TM that there is a certain amount of undercut in the rear of the mask. This happens to go beyond what I think would be the boundary of the front and rear. In other words, they would have had to add additional material to the rear of the front mask section for it to fully wrap around and be wearable by Dave Prowse (and to conceal his ears).

There is around the rear of the mask, at least indicated by the TD ANH, a deviation in the curvature most of the way around. Since the original head in that area would have been smooth with a gradual curvature, this deviation, which occurs behind what appears to be a seam line of the mold, indicates some kind of addition of material to the original mask.

If the approach of how Dave Prowse would wear the helmet changed, namely to use only the front half, then if copies of the mask were needed, it is possible that a second mold was taken of the screen mask that Dave wore. We know a mold was taken. We know it was taken very early on. I know that based on my study of the SL ANH, which comes from the Rick Baker mold, and the TD ANH, which comes from what we generically refer to as the "UK mold", a distinction I first made when I got the SL ANH and found it didn't come from the same source as the TD/TM/VP/20th C, that there could very well have been a mold taken off the original ANH mask at some point in the production of ANH. The TD ANH, as I've found, has many indications of being representative of the original ANH mask in an earlier state than for the SL ANH apart from the obvious difference in the presence of tabs on the TD and related masks and absence on the SL.

Now, Brian Muir is confident that there were four pulls from the original ANH mold, the mold taken off the plaster master he worked on.
This also then begs the question, why would they need a mold of the screen mask when they could just modify another pull from that mold? Another question is, how similar was the second finished ANH helmet to the screen helmet? They would have had to add material to the rear of the mask of that backup helmet for it to fit properly on Dave Prowse, just as they seem to have done (based on my analysis) to the screen mask.

In fact, material was added in certain places to the rear of the TD ANH mask at the same time it was being made, ie: during the layup of the fiberglass. It was also trimmed in the rear in a specific way so that the left side (looking straight down on the mask from above) is shorter than the right side. Interestingly enough, that asymmetry is found also on the TM ESB and the DS 20th Century, and even the Paul Allen ESB original stunt mask.


Of course this then also bears on the question of when the Rick Baker mold was taken, and I was told that it is thought it was taken at the time of the pickups of ANH. But when in the relationship of the "UK mold" is unclear. First I think we need to establish if the UK mold was taken at any time close to or during the ANH production, which is really the point of this thread.


So a big question I have, since Brian saw my TD ANH, is that how the original masks come out of the original mold? How much undercut did they actually have? That would do much to either support or knock down this theory I have that perhaps a second mold was made so they wouldn't have to keep modifying the rear of the mask once the costume department decided that they would only go with the front and not the rear section. Because where the rear boundary of the mask is now would not, at least in my opinion, be the halfway point for the front and rear sections of the mold as the seam boundary seems to indicate that. And of course this is just a theory about why they might make a mold and if it is wrong then I am glad if Brian can somehow knock it down because the point here at least for me is just to get things clear.

Anyway, food for thought or debate.


Last edited by SithLord on Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:49 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Second ANH Vader Mold?: A Theory for its Origin
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:02 pm 
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Only reason to mold the screen used helmet was if the original mold had been tossed or destroyed.

EDIT: Removed Comment!


Last edited by No Humor Man on Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Second ANH Vader Mold?: A Theory for its Origin
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:07 pm 
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Look, I'm not interested in your immature assumptions. The TD is earlier than the SL. If you want the TM to be earlier than the TD go right ahead and think that. The point of this is to determine what the ultimate source is of that lineage and when that source was made.

I've just presented another possible reason, in case you didn't read it.


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 Post subject: Re: Second ANH Vader Mold?: A Theory for its Origin
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:10 pm 
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mods you can delete the thread, the last discussion thread I will ever again attempt here. I'm sick of this bullshit.


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 Post subject: Re: Second ANH Vader Mold?: A Theory for its Origin
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:24 pm 
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SithLord wrote:
Look, I'm not interested in your immature assumptions. The TD is earlier than the SL. If you want the TM to be earlier than the TD go right ahead and think that. The point of this is to determine what the ultimate source is of that lineage and when that source was made.

I've just presented another possible reason, in case you didn't read it.

Here we go again. Why should I want the TM to be earlier than the TD, when they are CLEARLY linked together, no matter how much you try to separate them and make the source of the TM even later than the SL. You keep seeming to think I want the TM to be the best of the best of the best, trumping anything. I don't. I never try to push it that way, like you keep doing with your masks. I know there's something better even than any of the known fan owned helmets, so who's the more immature?

We know that several features on the Tantive look of the mask transferred into the mold that made the ESB, some tour and fan owned helmets, and that they weren't on the mask all the way through production, so there's only a short time-frame in which that mold could have been made - FACT. Your TD is linked to that mold whether you like that or not. Sorry. It really isn't that special. Just a quick slap-dash crewmember made copy which can easily explain the anomalies you see in its fabrication. My theory is just as good as yours and makes more sense and is more likely than whatever you keep trying to push.

If the original sculpt was a full head, then it seems the most likely it was molded in a two-part mold to make the plaster master for sharpening. If it was then decided to keep the back open, they could easily have the mold be as we know them and going back further over the sculpt without anything having to be added to the rear of the mask later - that would also leave a trim line from the first mold. Would definitely be interesting to hear what Brian Muir recollects about the details regarding the molding of the original sculpt and the plaster master.

WOW, talk about being overly sensitive... eek. :eek


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 Post subject: Re: Second ANH Vader Mold?: A Theory for its Origin
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:51 pm 
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Oh man, guess I should refrain from having an opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Second ANH Vader Mold?: A Theory for its Origin
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:42 am 
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Don't take this the wrong way please Thomas maybe you're having an off day i dunno but it seems a bit rash to edit your posts and ask a thread to be trashed on the basis of a single reply mate.
I always like to a hear a theory regardless of of my own thoughts, some i think make perfect logical sense, some make some sense and some i think are way out there, and i don't mean your theories i mean everyones, at the end of the day they are interesting discussions is all.
Personally i just get wound up by people who present theory as fact, but if it's presented as theory bring it on i say, you just never know if someone might come along and can throw some light on certain aspects and be able to turn parts of those theories into fact and that fills in another small part of the big puzzle.


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 Post subject: Re: Second ANH Vader Mold?: A Theory for its Origin
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:56 pm 
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Thomas, 2 things. First of all don't let anyone deter you from posting what you want to. Second, please refrain from deleting anything unless absolutely necessary. They are your posts and your images but it has rendered topics useless before and it's not the way to go about things. My advice would be the same to anyone here. If people don't think the TD is before or whatever then that's up to them, they have every right to challenge that but it doesn't mean others won't be interested as to how you came to that conclusion. I genuinely don't think Carsten is the type of person who cares if the TM is the first generation casting . This is across the board about anything, don't take it personal as it's not worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: Second ANH Vader Mold?: A Theory for its Origin
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:50 pm 
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Well, I think I should probably explain my position. If the UK mold was in fact made during the latter days of the ANH production, for whatever reason it was made, I doubt very much that it wasn't tested out and produced casts even then. I don't dispute that the TD could be one of those made at that time - don't think I ever have. What I usually argue against is that it is from a one-off molding and not connected directly to the mold lineage that resulted in the TM and VP as well. I never disputed that the TM was perhaps cast during ESB, so in that sense cast later. But it still connects with the TD and that one molding off the original - it has the tabs, chin vent filler and worms in common: three out of many features that undeniably links them together.

Which is why I bark when attempts are made to make the it something else. Physical evidence makes it impossible.

It all depends on what that UK mold was originally made for (not counting what it was eventually used for - ESB production). It seems illogical to make that mold during production for any reason, even if they no longer had the mold that produced the original screen used helmet and the duplicates. There was no reason to think the movie would be a hit and Lucas would get to film the other parts of his script, so it doesn't seem likely it was made with the purpose of being used for future productions. Which leaves the option of it being a crew member molding to get a few casts made. But again... why? Sure... it was at the end of production... but why not mold one of the spares, why THE screen used helmet?

I know this is not SL's original point, as he was speaking about a mold made at the beginning of production to make an extension to the back of the face mask to explain the abrupt angle change at the rear of the mask. To me the whole deal sounded rather far fetched, 'cause even though the original sculpt may have been a full head, there's no reason, if it was decided to keep the back open, not just to make the second mold off the plaster cast extend further back than the two-part midway point the clay sculpt was perhaps molded as to produce the plaster cast - which would mean the two-part mold seamline would show up in the one-piece mold extending further back on the head, when molding the plaster cast to produce the production helmets. There's just too many more plausible reasons for that angle change at the back of the facemask being in the casts than an extension done later free-hand on a cast and then remolded. Honestly makes very little sense to me. If the TD displays variations in the fiberglass layup... again, there is the possible explanation that it was a quick "unofficial" crew member casting job with whatever materials were available. Again... ALL theory. It still doesn't detract that it was possible made at the end of ANH production in the mold that later produced the screen used ESB helmets and possibly the TM. Sure... there could be molds and casts between the TM and that original mold - but that mold HAD to produce SOME helmets, otherwise why make that mold at that time, for whatever reason!? So yes, the TD is earlier than the TM. In that sense I have never disputed that. But that's usually not what I interpret SL to mean when he says it's earlier, but maybe that's just me reading that with bias. I don't know.

My initial comment was likely too harsh... and I'm sorry if I offended SL with the bluntness of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Second ANH Vader Mold?: A Theory for its Origin
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:56 am 
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Too Much Garlic wrote:
Here we go again. Why should I want the TM to be earlier than the TD, when they are CLEARLY linked together, no matter how much you try to separate them and make the source of the TM even later than the SL. You keep seeming to think I want the TM to be the best of the best of the best, trumping anything. I don't. I never try to push it that way, like you keep doing with your masks. I know there's something better even than any of the known fan owned helmets, so who's the more immature?


Well if it is the mask I think you are referring to, that isn't the case. Just compare the tabs.

Quote:
We know that several features on the Tantive look of the mask transferred into the mold that made the ESB, some tour and fan owned helmets, and that they weren't on the mask all the way through production, so there's only a short time-frame in which that mold could have been made - FACT. Your TD is linked to that mold whether you like that or not.


No. That is a key point that you fail to realize. And we even discussed this via email a while back at great length and I sent you photos to try to explain myself. The TD is not from the same mold as the TM. Nor is it even from the same mold as whatever the TM came from since the TM itself is a copy of a mask that was taken from an ESB-era mold of something....the original ANH mask? I don't know, we don't have the identity of that mold as we do for the Rick Baker mold castings. Are they related somehow? Yes but there was more than just the one UK mold. That is what I have been trying to figure out in more detail.

Quote:
Sorry. It really isn't that special. Just a quick slap-dash crewmember made copy which can easily explain the anomalies you see in its fabrication. My theory is just as good as yours and makes more sense and is more likely than whatever you keep trying to push.


Ahhh but my theory is based on direct observations, yours are not. The TD was not just a quick pull that some crewmember made in his spare time. It was professionally worked on in a way that would have taken some time and careful work.

Quote:
If the original sculpt was a full head, then it seems the most likely it was molded in a two-part mold to make the plaster master for sharpening. If it was then decided to keep the back open, they could easily have the mold be as we know them and going back further over the sculpt without anything having to be added to the rear of the mask later - that would also leave a trim line from the first mold. Would definitely be interesting to hear what Brian Muir recollects about the details regarding the molding of the original sculpt and the plaster master.


Exactly, that is the point of this thread. I would like to know how they produced the final mask mold.


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 Post subject: Re: Second ANH Vader Mold?: A Theory for its Origin
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:11 am 
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Too Much Garlic wrote:
Well, I think I should probably explain my position. If the UK mold was in fact made during the latter days of the ANH production, for whatever reason it was made, I doubt very much that it wasn't tested out and produced casts even then. I don't dispute that the TD could be one of those made at that time - don't think I ever have. What I usually argue against is that it is from a one-off molding and not connected directly to the mold lineage that resulted in the TM and VP as well. I never disputed that the TM was perhaps cast during ESB, so in that sense cast later. But it still connects with the TD and that one molding off the original - it has the tabs, chin vent filler and worms in common: three out of many features that undeniably links them together.


Yes, so it would seem. But also there are some distinct differences. It would be simple for me to just think that the TD is a version of that lineage with a trimmed neck. But it isn't. Did it come before or after? I don't know. But there are some really strange things about it and what makes it different, or similar to the TM and 20th C, or even in relationship to the SL ANH which I've pretty much gone over before. I think we both agree the SL ANH is later on than the TD or whatever the TM predecessor originated from.

Quote:
Which is why I bark when attempts are made to make the it something else. Physical evidence makes it impossible.


But we can at least present ideas of what might have happened along the lineage, that is all I am trying to do. And we have these great castings (and more) to compare, so why not? Why not discuss it? Maybe the TD is nothing special, but at least I would like to find out why there was so much done to it and why it differs from the TM, and SL for that matter.

Quote:
It all depends on what that UK mold was originally made for (not counting what it was eventually used for - ESB production). It seems illogical to make that mold during production for any reason, even if they no longer had the mold that produced the original screen used helmet and the duplicates. There was no reason to think the movie would be a hit and Lucas would get to film the other parts of his script, so it doesn't seem likely it was made with the purpose of being used for future productions. Which leaves the option of it being a crew member molding to get a few casts made. But again... why? Sure... it was at the end of production... but why not mold one of the spares, why THE screen used helmet?


Exactly. Those are the real questions. So what I did was look at the undercut irregularity and related that to the fact that if they made four pulls of masks from the mold taken off the plaster master, then what about that undercut?

Quote:
I know this is not SL's original point, as he was speaking about a mold made at the beginning of production to make an extension to the back of the face mask to explain the abrupt angle change at the rear of the mask. To me the whole deal sounded rather far fetched, 'cause even though the original sculpt may have been a full head, there's no reason, if it was decided to keep the back open, not just to make the second mold off the plaster cast extend further back than the two-part midway point the clay sculpt was perhaps molded as to produce the plaster cast - which would mean the two-part mold seamline would show up in the one-piece mold extending further back on the head, when molding the plaster cast to produce the production helmets.


This is the kind of thoughtful reply I would expect from you. So if they simply extended the mold, wouldn't they do that against the plaster master? Why then the difference in curvature of the undercut posterior to the seam line?

Quote:
There's just too many more plausible reasons for that angle change at the back of the facemask being in the casts than an extension done later free-hand on a cast and then remolded. Honestly makes very little sense to me.


Yes it is far-fetched, but there has to be an explanation for that difference in angle of the undercut around the rear and top of the mask. It could be related to the placement of the tabs, or the constraints of wearing the mask with the undercut ending at the seam, etc.

Quote:
If the TD displays variations in the fiberglass layup... again, there is the possible explanation that it was a quick "unofficial" crew member casting job with whatever materials were available. Again... ALL theory.


Sure it could have been a quick pull just done on the side. I had thought that for years. But in the past two years I've found evidence on the mask itself that it was worked on professionally. And some of that work was done just after it was pulled as it was integrated in the fiberglass itself, while some was added onto the surface. All of it was in an attempt to correct what might have been thought as imperfections, but not only that, it was an attempt to refine the mask in places, just as we see evidence of that on the TM ESB in the case of the eyebrows, mouth gap interior, and interior of the eyes. Nobody would dispute that those changes were most likely done during the ESB production. And the TD was painted and then used. It was only after it was painted that it was exposed to use with a dome as the signs of wear on the top indicate.

Quote:
It still doesn't detract that it was possible made at the end of ANH production in the mold that later produced the screen used ESB helmets and possibly the TM. Sure... there could be molds and casts between the TM and that original mold - but that mold HAD to produce SOME helmets, otherwise why make that mold at that time, for whatever reason!? So yes, the TD is earlier than the TM. In that sense I have never disputed that. But that's usually not what I interpret SL to mean when he says it's earlier, but maybe that's just me reading that with bias. I don't know.

My initial comment was likely too harsh... and I'm sorry if I offended SL with the bluntness of it.



I appreciate that. I frankly don't know when the TD was produced. It seems early, it seems to have original paint on it, but I just don't know. That is why I keep bringing it up. I don't need to discuss the SL ANH because I know where it came from, as to when there is a good guess although that is also debatable. I'm hoping that by sharing my ideas about it, maybe I will get other ideas from this group.


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 Post subject: Re: Second ANH Vader Mold?: A Theory for its Origin
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:35 pm 
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Hi Thomas. :hello What about your plans to make a paint analysis? Would help a lot. Regardless what its origins are...its still a very nice mask.


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 Post subject: Re: Second ANH Vader Mold?: A Theory for its Origin
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:23 pm 
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Thomas,

Have you been able to detect any of the grill marks on the "panels" that seal the teeth holes - like you later discovered on the SL that weren't obvious when you originally obtained it?


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 Post subject: Re: Second ANH Vader Mold?: A Theory for its Origin
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:55 pm 
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Darth Niob wrote:
Hi Thomas. :hello What about your plans to make a paint analysis? Would help a lot. Regardless what its origins are...its still a very nice mask.


Cheers Nick. :cheers

Ya, I had a couple of possible sources to have the analysis done, but I shudder at the cost since the places I had in mind do fine artwork analysis. The nice thing is, I have a piece of a tab that broke off soon after I got the mask :pale that I could send for analysis since the piece has paint on it. But thanks for reminding me.

Ya it is nice but having it so many years now and still not being able to pin down for certain when/where the heck it came from (apart from the account of the previous owner) drives me crazy (but in a good way since I like a good mystery).


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 Post subject: Re: Second ANH Vader Mold?: A Theory for its Origin
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:01 pm 
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CSMacLaren wrote:
Thomas,

Have you been able to detect any of the grill marks on the "panels" that seal the teeth holes - like you later discovered on the SL that weren't obvious when you originally obtained it?



I'm not exactly sure what you mean by panels. The teeth holes that were drilled into the mouth gaps and also into the chin vent go right through the fiberglass on the TD. The grill impression in the gaps between the teeth on the TD is the same as that on the VP (ie: the same grill as seen on the original ANH). However, it is not identical, almost as if the amount of wear is different, or the amount of muck between the grill gaps is slightly different here and there...but nearly the same. Also with the SL the teeth gaps were filled in a bit from the front of the mask (material added over the grill) instead of the grill being backfilled with material as seems to be the case for the so-called UK mold. So it is much easier to make out the grill on the TD, one of the first things that cued me as to it coming from the screen mask rather than the so-called third pull. I hope that answers your question because I am not sure what you mean by panels?


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