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  1. Member Since
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    Colorado Spgs, Colorado
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    Dec 6, 2008, 10:51 AM - Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project FINISHED! (Pic Intense--new pics page 3) #1

    Hi Everybody,

    In January of this year I bought a DP Deluxe Vader in need of a little TLC from a fellow RPFer:


    I wanted a helmet I could take to the office and display and not have to worry about bringing a rare and valuable 20th Century piece and it getting stolen or damaged. I had a DP Deluxe before and sold it a few years ago (helmet #166--to my lasting regret--it was one of the first props I'd ever gotten and it had some sentimental value). This would get me another DP Deluxe and fit the bill for work. I thought I'd strip it down, give it a little Bondo touch-up, a new paint job, and in a few weeks I'd be done. You all know it doesn't work like that--lol!

    I spent a few afternoons stripping off the 20 odd coats of paint it had. Once got through the paint I discovered a lump of fiberglass that looked like it had been abused by a maniac with 30 grit sandpaper and a lot of time on his hands.



    This began a project I've been working on for an hour or so every week for the last eight months and will probably be on time for its nine month delivery!

    Once the paint was all cleared away I started to work on the areas of the faceplate that bothered me by building up and sanding/shaping layers of Bondo:




    I haven't been looking to get an exact replica of course that's not possible. Just one that passes muster and restores some of what was sanded away by the maniac. This helmet had some interesting characteristics for a DPD. The mouth droop wasn't that serious as some I've seen but the tip of the nose had some very unusual distortion. The nose tip as you can see in the pictures seems elongated. Turns out this was from over-application of Bondo by the DP staff to help fill in a bad pull. You can see where they went Bondo crazy around the mouth/nose area (the darker pink Bondo) and pretty much everywhere else. The neck also had some of the flare that's typical of some helmets I've seen which I decided I'd like to try and correct. This type of neck flare almost seems random too. I've seen lower numbered DPD helmets that suffer from it (lower than say 200) and it just got worse as time went on.

    To correct the flare I slathered the inside of the neck with Bondo-Glass (one of my favorite things!) to re-enforce it and allow me to grind down the areas in question without blowing through to nothing:


    (more to come)



    Last edited by dcarty; Jan 18, 2009 at 6:23 PM.
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  3. Member Since
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    Dec 6, 2008, 10:54 AM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #2

    I used my 20th Century bucket (which I recently sold) as my primary reference. I took measurements with calipers and also used a contour gauge --especially on the neck:



    I ground down the neck areas, and of course overdid it on the right side, so I filled with more Bondo-Glass and regular Bondo spot putty. I also had to repair the tusk tube ends which had been cut off too short. I used two part epoxy putty to re-shape them:



    Outside of the Foredom tool to do the grinding, and a file, so far my only other tools to manipulate the mask have been Popsicle sticks to spread the putty and various grits of sandpaper and sanding sticks.

    The nose was a really interesting area to work on. There was Bondo from previous repair work as well as the Bondo used by the DP guys to re-build an area that obviously hadn't come out of the mold very well. Once that was cleared off I began to look at the slats on the nose bridge. This has always been a weak area on the DPD so I figured the best way to fix them was to fill them in and cut new ones. Back to my old friend Bondo-Glass:


    Skip forward to the following week when I felt things had progressed enough that it was about time to cut the new slots:




    I used a square edged file and followed the pattern I laid out with the masking tape.
  4. Member Since
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    Dec 6, 2008, 10:56 AM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #3

    When I finally got around to cutting in the nail slots under the eyes I tried to use a gouge chisel but the one I had was too wide for the job. Instead I chucked a round burr bit into the Foredom, held my breath, and cut them out:



    Then, in September, I finally got out a can of Dupli-Color filler primer and gave it a shot to see if any of the work I'd done was worth anything:

  5. Member Since
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    Dec 6, 2008, 11:02 AM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #4

    Closer still...





    After some tweaking I re-cut the chin vent and was about to get ready for paint when I decided that another weak area of the casting was the base of the nose where it meets the mouth slots. The base of the slots at the "lip" were about 1/4" thick and about 1/8" at the top where they touch the nose. So I decided to slop some Bondo-glass onto the inside of the mask to thicken it up:



    Then I trimmed and filled and filed etc to even the slots out. I also did some more trimming around the chin vent hole where some extra Bondo had been laid to thicken the neck and repair some damage previous to my ownership:



    I also added some Bondo-glass around the mounting ring to help re-enforce it. Once that was done I finally started shaking the rattle can of Duplicolor Universal Black.
  6. Member Since
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    Dec 6, 2008, 11:06 AM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #5

    I got a new toy--a light cube for photography (hopefully this will be an answer to the insane problem of taking even halfway decent pictures indoors). I've got some learning to do on how to best use it but here are the results of the first three painting sessions of three coats each:





    Black on Black (from six feet back!):


    Even more "almost there" now. Got the gunmetal coat applied and had to do some touch up around the eyes (I chipped some black paint while cutting the masking). Tempted to do a slight clear coat to tie it all together and punch up the gunmetal which looks rather flat--even though a clear coat isn't considered "cannon".

    Who is that masked man??


    Gunmetal done:



    Experimental dome placement:

    .
  7. Member Since
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    Dec 6, 2008, 11:10 AM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #6

    He here he sits today. To finish the face I just need one little touch up to the eyebrows then find some decent screen for the mouth and chin vents (the only stuff I have now is for ANH). Then I'd still like to firm up the dome fitting with the "ashtray".

  8. ob1al's Avatar
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    Dec 6, 2008, 11:24 AM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #7

    Great work, it's looking fantastic.

  9. Betamin's Avatar
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    Kansas City, Missouri
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    Dec 6, 2008, 11:42 AM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #8

    Good job!
  10. KevVader's Avatar
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    Ottawuh, Canaduh!
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    Dec 6, 2008, 12:22 PM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #9

    Damn! Well done, Dave....very crisp!

    Love it!
  11. Too Much Garlic's Avatar
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    Dec 6, 2008, 2:23 PM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #10

    Nice job.

    I'd say shoot it with a clearcoat. Will more easily give the accurate effect than any polishing would, as that would more likely remove what is seen on the originals, in terms of particular shine and orange peel.
  12. jme3's Avatar
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    Dec 6, 2008, 2:53 PM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #11

    The time and effort seem to have paid off. Very nicely done!
  13. Qui-Gonzalez's Avatar
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    Dec 6, 2008, 3:16 PM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #12

    Ixnay on the earcoatclay.
  14. RPF Premium Member Suburban Machine Company's Avatar
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    Dec 6, 2008, 3:37 PM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #13

    Your patience and skill have really turned that helmet around. Awesome results!!
  15. Member Since
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    Dec 6, 2008, 5:58 PM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #14

    Sweet work
  16. Fatherless One's Avatar
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    Dec 6, 2008, 8:37 PM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #15

    Wow, great work, I wish I had your skills.

    Great job bro

    Alan.
  17. Flix4Me's Avatar
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    Dec 7, 2008, 10:45 AM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #16

    Great work and great thread! Thanks for sharing!


    KC
  18. Member Since
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    Dec 7, 2008, 7:38 PM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #17

    Thank you for all the kind words everyone! It's been a really fun project--really testing my patience more than anything because I've been eager to get it to work and have it in my office.

    I had hoped to have the mounting ring issue solved this weekend but holiday times being what they are I never got anywhere near it. It doesn't matter quite as much because the faceplate still REEKS of Duplicolor lacquer.

    I'll post an update whenever things are finished

    Dave
  19. this space left blank RPF Premium Member James Kenobi 1138's Avatar
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    Dec 7, 2008, 7:49 PM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #18

    Looks awesome, mad skills !!

    Everytime someone paints a Vader helmet, an Angel gets their wings.
    Last edited by James Kenobi 1138; Dec 7, 2008 at 7:51 PM.
  20. DarkHelmet's Avatar
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    Dec 7, 2008, 8:26 PM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #19

    Incredible restoration. How I love a well done Vader mask!
  21. vaderdarth's Avatar
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    Dec 7, 2008, 10:35 PM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #20

    Extremely nice work. I have a low number DP Deluxe and yours looks far better than the original.

    Dave
  22. captainsolo's Avatar
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    Dec 8, 2008, 10:01 AM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #21

    Dave,

    Really great job, so that's what you've been doing . . . .



    Robert
  23. Banned
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    Dec 8, 2008, 1:07 PM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #22

    Awsome job !!!!
  24. Formerly CommanderCody RPF Premium Member JBReplicas's Avatar
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    Dec 8, 2008, 1:27 PM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #23

    Fantastic work, looks like a real labour of love, you really have made it look the business
  25. Member Since
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    Jan 18, 2009, 6:08 PM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #24

    Well, at long last the DP is done. I've got everything about 97% where I want it and I'm finally going to drag it to work with me tomorrow to decorate the office

    The helmet's gone from this:


    To this:



    I had some minor paint tweaks to work out but the major thing holding me back was the dome ring. After I trimmed down the ring on top of the facemask it never fit very well so I ended up grinding the "ashtray" completely off. I wanted to replace it with something that would help hold the mask firmly in place:



    While I waited for the reek of lacquer to fade I debated about the best way to rebuild the attachment ring inside the dome. After running out of patience I bit the bullet yesterday and covered the top of the mask with "the handyman's secret weapon" duct tape. I put the dome in place then grabbed what was left of the can of Bondo-Glass and started to build up the new "ashtray". I started with the exposed back-half of the ring on top of the mask:



    Then I put a big glob of Bondo-Glass on top of the mask to create the front half of the ring, patched and filled where needed, and cleaned it up with the Foredom tool and some sandpaper:



    Once the ring was finished I installed the lenses and chin screen. I used hot glue so I can replace them when I get better pieces (the only chin screen material I have is New Hope style and the lenses are pretty good but a little flat):



    I gave the dome a final polishing and here he is all ready to go:





    This has been a great deal of fun to work on. I wish I had more time--it would have been done six months ago but you guys with small kids know how it goes. Thanks again to everyone for your kinds words, helpful suggestions, and encouragement.

    Cheers,

    Dave

    Update: I've changed out the chin screen to something I like better. Here he is now at the office:

    Last edited by dcarty; Jun 20, 2012 at 11:36 AM.
  26. Too Much Garlic's Avatar
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    Jan 18, 2009, 6:22 PM - Re: Don Post Deluxe Vader Restoration Project (Pic Intense) #25

    That's a damn fine restoration. Incredible that a DP DLX can look this good!
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