no probs mate
"snow job" refers to something completely different in Canada
I believe you are referring to 'snowball'.
A bit more information...
This mask has the filled in undercut on the tubes (ESB originals don't) however the filler doesn't match that of any other mask I've looked at so far.
The casting itself is thick, unlike the originals which tended to be thin. An example of this showing the FM ESB versus the hero ESB around the lower chin vent is below. The FM is just too thick to be an original.
Here's the addition to the undercut in the rear I was talking about before...note that the strap slot is not cut like the originals, nor is it even cut the same way as an authentic Farmer ESB mask. So why would someone add more to the rear undercut if this was an original?
On the inside of the eyes on the sides of the nosebridge one can see additional material added.
However, this is not the same as the TM ESB which also has added reinforcement on the inside of the eyes. It is unlike anything I have seen before and is not on any original ANH/ESB/ROTJ. I have been looking at tour masks but also cannot find something like this. Note that because of this the lenses are seated further back into the eye than on originals.
Also this image shows that the front side edge of the nosebridge on Vader's left is straighter than it should be....there should be a gentle concave curve to it on the top part. I'm not sure why. Nose slots are good.
I've been looking at the side of the U-shaped part of the nose on Vader's left and so far it isn't like anything I've seen before in the detail there. I've compared it to authentic ANH and ESB castings along with the Paul Allen original stunt ESB in images and so far nothing. I was hoping to relate it to a particular tour mask but so far no luck.
Of course the mounting ring isn't original, nor are the screws that fix it to the mounting plate. Below is a comparison of a mounting screw from the auction mask (FM ESB) with a screw in a similar location on the original Paul Allen ESB stunt mask. There's no relationship.
I had thought it had a bit in common with the 20th C but it is seeming less so since the 20th C doesn't have the kind of filled undercut on the tubes, along with these other differences I discuss above.
All I can say are the things that make it different from an original ESB at this point, and different as well from a confirmed Farmer ESB mask in some ways as well.
But then an obvious question is that given many of the more obvious differences like the mounting ring, why wasn't that detailed in the auction description as a description like that should have included any subsequent changes done to the mask outside of any claimed production origin.
Had Christie's consulted with me on this they wouldn't be in this position.
What is FM, Thomas?
FM is the name Thomas gave this ESB helmet that is up for sale.
Thomas you do know this was a damaged helmet repaired don't you?
How extensive the damage was is not known to me but, I do know it has been rebuilt to some extent. Which would explain how it differs to alot of other masks you are comparing it to.
I am not a Vader specialist. You guys no far more than I probably ever will.
I'm not saying you don't know what you're talking about. I'm just trying to give you the facts that have been drawn to my attention.
I think it should be in the auction description if there was repair done and to what.
Yes, as I explained twice before now, I just made up an acronym...I can just call it the auction helmet but I have to give it some label in my comparisons so people don't get confused. If we have the owner's initials we could use that instead of FM.
Here's what I meant before about the teeth gaps...too thick in comparison to the hero (or to any ANH or ESB for that matter), thereby making the teeth themselves thinner than they should be.
Note also the shallower angle to the lower vertex of the chin vent compared to the original hero ESB. Now I know that they probably cut out the lower vent from an ANH style impression but anyway one would think they would use a similar shaped template. Indeed, the original Paul Allen stunt Vader chin vent has the same shape and contour to the vertexes as the hero chin vent, in spite of it being cut into a perspex addition to the neck.
Here's something strange...the forehead ridge appears to be extended to the front of the mounting ring, and there's a boundary going around in front of the ring on the top of the mask that matches where one would see the 20th Century mounting base...as if it was removed but I have no idea what that little circumferential ridge is supposed to be a remnant of. But the ridge extension isn't original and sort of strange.
So if this was a damaged mask, is it known where it was damaged? Damage of any kind would not explain, for example, the teeth gaps being the same width as ROTJ teeth and not like ESB teeth. I don't see damage-related differences here. I just see slight modifications (inside of eyes, filled tube undercut, wider teeth gaps, etc.) and the rest is more indicative of a later casting or something that is not original ESB.
It does seem that the top of the mask was cleaned off entirely prior to the mounting ring added on. It also could be the case that the mask originally had tabs on it based on a remnant detail resembling what is seen on the UK masks. But that's is just speculation on my part since all I can see mainly is that it was cleaned off. But it is I think from the UK side of the lineage for those that might be interested to know.
And even considering any kind of repair, it doesn't take away from the fact that the helmet is ROTJ, not ESB. And the mask has indication of being ROTJ era. I would be able to tell easily from its size if it was ESB or ROTJ as well. So it isn't hard to tell for certain where it came from.
Last edited by SithLord; Oct 30, 2010 at 8:37 PM.
I'll just say another thing about the possibility that we are looking at repair work....this comparison I showed before shows just how good the mask is overall. This is a fine helmet no doubts there but that is a separate issue to authenticity.
I could understand if the tubes were damaged and repaired/reshaped. But if someone is going to say this is out of the box from the ESB production then it isn't. And if it was modified/repainted after the production the auction should say so.
It's been dubbed the "NF" helmet for the last couple of months.
Some of those ripples in the paint looks like severe stress marks.
It would be interesting if the seller has pictures of the helmet prior to refinishing and re-painting.
Yes seeing its condition prior to any repaint or repair would bode well for examination of its potential as a production piece, but even if I saw this stripped down that wouldn't change the more obvious things I've addressed.
NF is reasonable but I would prefer the original owner's initials if available.
A while ago there was a big thread about the origins of the ROTJ Vader masks. I had found a detail unique to all the masks, stunt, hero and reveal, that is not found on ANH or ESB original masks (so far that I've seen). This little ROTJ-unique detail is on the NF mask (position highlighted by blue semicircle and then enlarged/enhanced in images on the right), and therefore again supports the conclusion that the mask is from ROTJ or later, not ESB. Furthermore, that notch on Vader's right side lower edge of the nosebridge is nearly absent on ROTJ masks, and so too is it nearly absent to the same degree on the NF mask.
This was the comparison from before showing that detail on ROTJ masks...the stunt, hero and reveal, but not on the Paul Allen stunt ESB.
This is something I also posted in that thread showing how a ROTJ nosebridge in front view is narrower than an ANH or ESB nosebridge (particularly on Vader's left side). The comparison above of the NF and hero ROTJ show that it is essentially the same as a ROTJ nosebridge, not ESB.
It is possible Farmer mixed up the source as ROTJ instead of ESB. Since Farmer made promotional suits in 1983 (or so I heard) that would seem to be a reasonable supposition.
I am not an expert or anything, but those are some pretty blurry pictures. I have my doubts that blurry pictures can be used as evidence to show the differences of helmets especially since the characteristics being pointed out seem to be quit small.
I'm not saying you are wrong or anything. Just wish there were better photos or actual studio documentation showing the differences.
Well if you enlarge something it won't be razor sharp.
But they show the detail regardless of how blurry they are or not.
But it is only one detail, one part of the story.
Just got off the phone with Christies in London. Unfortunately they are not able to send me copies of any the paper documents since they contain confidential information (such as the names and address info of a number of parties etc.) However, if I were abe to visuit Christies in London then I could see them - and this offer woul presumably be open to any other serious parties.
However from our conversation I didnt get the impression there wasn't anything that specifically identified this prop (ie helmet) as "Screen-Used" - hence the reason Christies has labelled it "Production Made" - and no more.
It was interesting though that Christies has satisfied themselves that this was "made as part of ESB's production" - and one of the key reasons for this was the date of receipt (verified by Farmer's) being May 1980 and prior to the premiere of "The Empire Strikes Back".
I'm going to confirm with Christies whether the date was "May 1980" or "Prior to May 1980" as there seems to be some confusion.
Either way if this is correct it would appear to rule out the RotJ option (unless subsequent RotJ helmets came from the same source)
Yet the helmet and facemask have RotJ tells. Something smells wrong here, Jez. I think I will just let this go. Someone will end up spending large sums of money on something that is not what it is billed as, and it ain't me. I find myself asking why I care at the moment.
I agree with your sentiments Qui. Personally speaking I just want someone to nail precisely what this is (or isn't), prior to the auction.
Thanks for the detective work, Jez. If you can, ask them what the dates of the actual documents are. There is a difference in having a document dated from 1980 versus having one from 2010 saying that the suit was delivered in 1980 or whatever the content of the documents are. If the helmet came from the ESB production then it would have to have come from an ESB production mold and based on the obvious ROTJ features/tells I don't see how that is possible. But I could spend all day saying what it is not, unless we know what the documentation claims specifically then it is similar to the Don Bies helmet/armor situation where the documentation overrided whatever anyone could say about the that set. All I can sink my teeth into are details and features but what it boils down to is what Farmer claims. And I have reference of an ESB Farmer promo suit to compare against this one so we'll see.
In this case Ive not helped them since Ive never handled an original Vader helmet so would hope that they found someone who had.
On another note I just picked up a clarification from Christies over the dates which reads.... "[FONT=Arial]NJ Farmer mentioned it was the early part of 1980"[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Ive decided that this will be my last post on this subject and will leave it to the Vader experts.......[/FONT]