ANH Darth Ugly: A Total Transformation of an Inferior Vader Mask

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CSMacLaren

Sr Member


Interest thread info:

ANH: http://www.therpf.com/f13/darth-ugly-anh-vader-helmet-round-2-a-175472/
ESB: http://www.therpf.com/f13/darth-ugly-esb-vader-helmet-177874/

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Hi guys,

Here is a kit I purchased years back at the beginning of my Vader collecting. It was made by Sid of Armormask who touted this as "the movie sized helmet" using misleading photos on eBay with the camera too close to the helmet for you to assess the accuracy of its shape due to perspective distortion.

Here was the original eBay post. Alas, like other newcomers to the hobby, I fell prey to the gloss finish. He also neglected to say that the armor was not part of the kit.

How he pitched it:



eBay: star wars Darth Vader like helmet armor prop sith lord

Hello fellow fans, this is a high quality urethane kit, way better than fiberglass. deluxe large movie size vader like mask and helmet combo (THIS IS THE BIG MOVIE SIZE ONE) that is the best custom design that we have ever seen. the cast are so clean, very thick and strong and very little clean up work. with this set, you won't be disappointed in the propkit. The pics of the painted helmet is to show you what it could look like after being painted. you get the unpainted helmet&mask combo kit set....
Here is the mask I received:



Needless to day, I had a personal stake at this, since Sid insulted my honor by telling eBay that I was a liar and troublemaker, and would not refund my money. I took it upon myself to right this wrong, not only for myself but for other fans who ended up purchasing this kit that some of us dubbed "Darth Ugly".

The actual Work in Progress thread is about 11 pages long, chok full of photos.

Five years later, I picked it up again and spent a few months on it.



You may not believe that the mask on the left was an Armormask faceplate. I left the chin triangle untouched so you can see a "tell". I've remastered just about everything I can with this faceplate, but the dome - alas - is severely warped and may be a lost cause.

I had a leftover GH ANH dome that, to be proportionately a match, needed widening.



So I cut the dome up into more than one piece (guess how many) and reassembled it to the proportions that seemed right to me, reworked the domecap to blend the surfaces, then resculpted over the original mid strip.

Unmodified, the original kit looked like this:



Today, as it stands, the Darth Ugly faceplate and widened and modified GH dome looks like this:









Enjoy!

Note to Sid: You suck. We fans win.
 
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CSMacLaren

Sr Member
Here's a fun picture.



Left: modified Rubie's plastic mask.

Right: SithPlanet ANH.

Center: Piece of poodu. :facepalm

The face itself was somewhat reasonable in size, but the sides had been compressed, the neck cut down, and the head improperly modified. Armormask had recast this from a Don Post Classic Action and removed the "T" mount and gave it an ashtray ("ash hat") head. :)
 

Lutso

Sr Member
You took a turd, and polished it. You got something presentable from it.

Magic?

You rock.
 

Serenity

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Agreed, that's a great job of making something quite respectable out of almost nothing. The untouched kit reminded me of the aliens from Mars Attacks with that giant dome.

Well done! (y)thumbsup
 

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dcarty

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Mac, I've been watching your progress on this for years. I don't know which is more admirable the fact that you've put this much work into it or how amazing the transformation is!
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
In the beginning you needed some guidance... but you quickly surpassed the need for it... and this is the kind of things you are able to achieve. Impressive.
 

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Al May

Well-Known Member
Looks out of this world, Just out of curiosity as this now has no resemblance to the original manufacturers piece could it be considered an original and casts made and sold from it?, Just like to know what people think
 

CSMacLaren

Sr Member
Thanks for the words of encouragement, guys!

I don't want this to go off topic and I'm not so much here to defend or define casting rights or what's not recasting. I do however want to approach what I do with integrity.

On that note, regarding the dome, I do actually have permission from GhostHost to offer the community. He was privy to more work-in-progress shots (I'm a little wary of revealing all my resculpting and modification techniques, as in the past, a recaster used one of my tutorials to cover up the origins of a recast to claim it was an LFL prop copy) but related very kindly that so much work had been done that it merited being its own dome. So thank you, Ghost Host for your support!

Those of you who have followed my "Goldie" and "Quasimodo" projects over the years will know my projects started on the worst end of the collecting spectrum with props that were blunt, warped, distorted, chock full with casting flaws, air bubbles, delamination of fiberglass from resin, etc. and that I go beyond terms such as "major modifications". In many cases I am totally resculpting considerable areas of the mask, sometimes outright cutting parts off or Dremeling things down so I am in no way limited by the warpage of the original foundation. Fans have overwhelmingly supported these works as being my own fan sculpts, as they've seen what evolution and development these masks had to go through in order to become how they are today.

Years back, people might have thought differently as the definition and semantics of recasting was difficult to pinpoint. It was once discussed that someone's "work" should not be recast and would legalistically apply that to say a direct (unmodified) recast of a Don Post Deluxe. I prefer to think that a person's "work" should be defined as what work was done *to* a prop as opposed to simply pulling a recast from a mold. Personally, I would not use, say, SPFX's work as a base, even though he in turn had pirated and modified other helmets to produce his products. If I owned one and wanted to beef up the face, if it didn't require a lot of rework, I would still consider it an SPFX, and were I ever to unload it, I'd describe it as a one-off modified SPFX and inform the new owner to not allow it to be recast.

After all, I'm a sculptor. I feel strongly against illicit recasting. I want to protect my own work and I'm sensitive to protecting other sculptors, having seen their pain whenever their work is pirated and cheap casts are sold on fleaBay.

The only thing that was Armormask's "work" was the pathetic ashtray. Well, in my Works in Progress thread on the Den, I cut the crown off (not just the ashtray) and rebuilt it, then figured it was too low, so I resculpted the crown to make it look more like a Don Post Deluxe. And since I have a Don Post Classic Action in my possession, it makes no sense to trash Darth Ugly and start over by molding my DPCA - that is, if anyone wants to split hairs still.

Thus I sincerely do not consider the Darth Ugly faceplate as requiring anyone's permission to offer it to RPFers. So per what Too Much Garlic said, we have permission and we're good on that front.

All that being said, I don't have the bandwidth nor the space to do molding and casting. However I definitely am hoping to find a way to help people have a nice ANH Vader who have never had the opportunity to own one. Above all, there is a disabled SW single mom I want to help out financially so she doesn't have to chose between paying for food versus medication. I've tried to get my Goldie and Quasimodo projects off the ground, but a friend helping me got totally swallowed up by work. I'm also working "graveyard" a lot too.

So if there's anyone who is willing to help make this possible - someone who is good in character and honor you can vouch for, I'm definitely open to talk about this further.
 
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CSMacLaren

Sr Member
Some photo updates:





The work-in-progress photos below are as of 3/26/12 at 7:54 p.m. Ugly has been given a makeshift paintjob using acrylics, makeshift lenses, and a grill tossed in, to see what a kit could potentially look like all painted up. Please pardon the inaccurate rush job.





 
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CSMacLaren

Sr Member
4/5/12 progress shots:

I've added more material to various areas, but hadn't yet sanded it. Just did a quick paint test to see if I'm headed in the right direction.



 

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