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 Post subject: Darth Vader ESB faceplate archive photo (like a TM?)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:54 pm 
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Hey all,

I saw this photo the other day and wanted to share it with forum members who may not have seen this. This is an archive photo of Darth Vader's face piece taken during the meditation chamber scene in The Empire Strikes Back.

Image

I couldn't help but noticing the neck extension (clearly visible) on the faceplate and through the paint. I was curious as to when this was added and whether it was specifically for ESB? It also looks like some kind of glue on the ring mount. I was curious as to when this extension was added somewhere down the lineage.

Can any experts chime in? Just curious thats all.

Thanks in advance for anyones insight.


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Last edited by zachilles on Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Darth Vader ESB faceplate archive photo (like a TM?)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:21 am
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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
I saw that on Facebook the other day -- awesome photo!

The glue on the ring attachment reminds me of the stuff they used on the stunt helmet. My guess is that it is a two-part epoxy putty.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Darth Vader ESB faceplate archive photo (like a TM?)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:58 pm 
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I saw that too, and see how the paint stripe lays on the left side too. Hmmmmmm


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 Post subject: Re: Darth Vader ESB faceplate archive photo (like a TM?)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:52 am 
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It is still unknown whether the extension was done when the screen used ANH was originally molded, or if it was added later to a casting from that UK mold and then remolded and used for the ESB helmets. My personal view is that it was done when the ANH was molded, since it was likely done with clay - that was removable and not permanent - similar to the filled in chin vent and the filler around the lens corners, but we simply don't know. We do know however that it seems to be a feature on several helmets cast for ESB and some tour helmets.

The TM isn't the only helmet in fandom that has the neck extension. The VP also had it but was trimmed off by the owner before making casts available. Another cast that was shown off here on the forum some time ago also has the neck extension, but that one was longer and trimmed strangely, so, it is not an uncommon feature.


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 Post subject: Re: Darth Vader ESB faceplate archive photo (like a TM?)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:36 am 
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That mount is higher than I would have expected for ESB and is bordering on "tube" height. They really did glob the glue or epoxy to it but not surprising since the dome pressing on the back of it is a cantilever load. The force is strong on this one (rimshot) and the front and needs to be secured well to keep it from snapping up and off.


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 Post subject: Re: Darth Vader ESB faceplate archive photo (like a TM?)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:43 am 
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To me the mount seems to sit lower as a whole than the ESB stunt - it looks to me that it almost lays flush on top of the face mask and not raised off the surface like the stunt - which may explain the extra length to the tube of the mount.

I'm thinking, putting the two side by side and the mounts may be the same overall height in conjunction with the mask.


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 Post subject: Re: Darth Vader ESB faceplate archive photo (like a TM?)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:56 pm 
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That dome mount reminds me a lot on the dome mount of the DP DLX helmet.
Also if you look at those pins or screws inside this mount.
don-post-deluxe-vt1061.html

Could it be possible that this the helmet where the Don Post got casted from?


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 Post subject: Re: Darth Vader ESB faceplate archive photo (like a TM?)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:58 pm 
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Hmmmm, personally this looks just like the typical flanged ring mount similar to what you see on the TM ESB. You can even see the flange sticking out the side.

Image

The ring on the DP Deluxe is much taller than the one on this helmet. The ring you see here on this ESB helmet is cut at a downward angle from back to front such that the back of the ring is taller than the front (don't know if that makes sense?). The ring on the DP Deluxe is the same height all around. Compare it to the ESB Stunt helmet from the Paul Allen collection, even the glue method is the same:

ImageImage


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 Post subject: Re: Darth Vader ESB faceplate archive photo (like a TM?)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:00 pm 
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I don't understand what you are all referring to when you say 'neck extension"? Can someone define that please?

By the way, this is one of the coolest most telling pics I have seen in a long time. Thank you for posting it.


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 Post subject: Re: Darth Vader ESB faceplate archive photo (like a TM?)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:54 pm 
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The "neck extension" is a bit along the bottom edge of the neckline of the mask on the wearer's left side. This was added when the helmet was re-molded at some point during ESB's production.

My own hypothesis is that the "extension" wasn't originally intended to be a deliberate modification to the helmet; rather, it is the leftover impression of clay added around the edges of the master helmet when it was re-molded. That bit was not trimmed off perhaps to make the neckline appear more symmetrical.

I've outlined the area of the extension in the photo:

Image

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Darth Vader ESB faceplate archive photo (like a TM?)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:30 pm 
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This is going to sound really dumb, but didn't Vader have that funky helmet on with the upper mask attached to the dome? He even still has the mouth/lip gap where it didn't join up properly visible when he turns to talk to Veers........so why in ESB would he need a full face mask for the meditation chamber scene?

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Darth Vader ESB faceplate archive photo (like a TM?)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:04 pm 
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That's a good question. Could be any number of reasons. Vader makes two appearances in his meditation chamber, iirc, so it could be that they used the ESB Reveal helmet for the scene where the helmet had to be lowered together and then they used the regular helmet for shooting the other scene. Perhaps the scenes took more than one day to shoot or maybe they needed pick-ups. If either of those situations were the case then maybe they decided to use a regular helmet once they were done with the "reveal" shots since the helmet didn't need to be practical any more.

If there was a problem getting the two-part reveal helmet to stay together, thinking lip gappage here, then that may have influenced the decision as well. Putting myself in the place of the director at that point I'm thinking that if the helmet won't stay together (or I don't like the way it looks with the gappage), and we're done filming the bits where it needs to be in two parts, then go get a helmet that won't fall apart while we're trying to use it so we can stop wasting time.

Fun question!

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Darth Vader ESB faceplate archive photo (like a TM?)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:58 am 
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Darth Obsession wrote:
I don't understand what you are all referring to when you say 'neck extension"? Can someone define that please?

By the way, this is one of the coolest most telling pics I have seen in a long time. Thank you for posting it.



neck-extension-vt2684.html


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 Post subject: Re: Darth Vader ESB faceplate archive photo (like a TM?)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:06 pm 
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There are many similarities between this faceplate and the Ron Punter faceplate shown in detail recently on this forum. Ron's I don't think has the neck extension, but it does have the same glued-on mounting ring (though painted on the outside). Overall both faceplates appear to be "cut from the same cloth".

Did all of the ESB heros have the mounting ring glued atop the faceplate, or did some have the moulded, conformal cylindrical base like the ESB stunt? I read that at some point the mount was incorporated into the mould for ESB (maybe just for stunt helmets?).

I'd like to think this ESB meditation chamber helmet was used as the basis for my Don Post Deluxe, but I suspect it's unlikely. On the DPDLX the eyebrows have a sharper edge, the nose curvature and length is not as great, and there is no sharp turn-in line where the cheek curves meet the nose tip. It would be good to know with certainty what the source helmet was for the DPDLX. The tube mount position, height, and the screws cast into the tube could be a keys to matching the source helmet. A promotional helmet a la Don Bies configuration would be my best guess (and not a screen-used ESB helmet unfortunately).


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 Post subject: Re: Darth Vader ESB faceplate archive photo (like a TM?)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:20 pm 
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The ESB stunt has a glued in mount structure as well, but it seems that unlike some of the others if was added prior to painting and also done nicely compared to the others that were done roughly. It may be because the hero helmets may have originally had a different mounting system before they settled on the ring system, but they had already been painted, so it was just kinda slapped on there, whereas the stunts may have been made later to accommodate Prowse's and Andersson's lack of vision when moving around and this the system was added prior to painting on that one.

Just speculation on my part here.

Still am of the belief that the DP DLX was molded off of a RotJ tour helmet.


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