Another Rubies Vader Conversion


New Member

I've decided that I've been lurking around here long enough and that it's time I contributed more than the occassional "Wow" or "that's brilliant".

I recently got hold of a Rubies Vader mask and have been correcting the inaccuracies in the mask and helmet. I'm aming for a look that's mostly ESB.

My original idea was to use something like apoxy sculpt to simply work on the existing piece but the more I worked, the more I realised it would be better to simply use the original as a plug and then cast myself a new piece our of resin.

I've had to cut away quite a bit of the existing mask and sculpt over the top using clay to produce a master to make a mould from. Since I generally work quite slowly on things like this I chose to use Klean Klay - an oil base, sulphur free product that doesn't set. I can therefore simply scrape off the clay when I do something wrong.

I have so far...

Cut away the existing eyes and rebuilt them.
Cut out the bridge of the nose and built a new one(I did this forst and uised Milliput here).
I've removed the internal nose plug and resculpted the front of the nose.

For some reason, this Vader looks almost as if he's had a minor stroke - the entire right (as you look at it) side of the face is sort of 'slumped'. I have spend quite a bit of time building up the right cheek so it's level with the left one and then re-working the curve where the mouth meets the cheek. I have then had to push out the side of both cheeks a tad and make new upper side tubes.

The mouth holes (slots?) had to be squared off since the ends on the Rubies are rounded. They also need lengthening a bit (still to do).

I warmed the neck area and reset it to reduce the neck flare and have completely rebuilt the ridge over the top of the helmet to make it slimmer and less rounded. I also took the opportunity to rework the frown lines on the front of the helmet and crispen up the line were the curved part of the helmet meets the flat part.

Here's a few pictures of where things stand at the moment.





The silvery stuff behind the eyes is from an old LCD monitor. It's not the final lens material, just something to hid the support for the photos.

As you can see, there's still a long way to go but I'm enjoying every step of the journey.
Thankyou for the kind replies.

I've been compelled to put my Vader work asided for the least few weeks as I've been busy building a GRP mould and final piece for a Dalek shoulder set for a friend.

It took ages to build: since it was the mould and the part that had to be done it was two projects in one.

It's out the way now and I fianlly got some time to myself yesterday to a little more work on Vader...

The fist job was to give the helmet another going over with wet and dry (used wet). I'm now up to 1200 grit. I've reserved 1500 grit for when I start using primer. I next started looking at the peak. From what I can gather, the peak on the ESB version is more flattened then the ROTJ one so I've made a bit of a change.

I next used knifing putty to cover up any scratches etc. Once the putty had hardened, I broke out the 1200 grit again and worked at the putty. I have left the peak area for another day - I want to make sure that the putty os completely set there before I start polishing.

Two other jobs were also done - on the mask:
Firstly, slightly reworked the outer corners of the eyes and also made some clay lenses. I fitted these from the rear of the mask and then marked a cut line onto the front of the lenses. This area is now ready for casting. I've deliberatly left the sides of the nose as they are for now; it'll give me something to cut against and still provide enough material afterwards to work the proper shape.

The second job was to fill in that chin vent with clay. This is simply to ensure there is no possibility of undercut on the mould.
I've marked a cut line around the edge on the existing hole but not bothered too much about overly smoothing the clay.

Here's a few pictures of the way things are now.

Straight on

Three quarter view

Looking up

It's getting there...
Well, I have had a fun weekend:

My son had a friend 'round on Friday after school and I was asked to show him the replica Dalek in my workshop. As I was setting it up, he grabbed the Vader sculpt off its stand and dropped it onto the workbench :cry

The left eye brow was crushed and there werr lots of fingerprints and small knicks in the clay. I have had to spend all day yesterday repairing the damage. :angry
I managed to get the repair work done but the incident did take the shine off of this project. I had to work really hard to dispell my dispair and work up the enthusiasm to carry on.

I made a tray for when I start to pour rubber over my creation and decided to mount the mask onto it without delay. I've been giving quite a bit of though to how I'm going to do this and decided that my best bet would be to cut off the protruding section of the dome mount in order to lay the mask flat onto a board.


Here's the veiw of the left side of the mask


Here's the right side. That thick line you can see at the bottom of the mask where it meets the board, is the gap that has to be filled if you want to have Vader looking straight up out of the board. The two sides of the mask are simply not of equal depth. I decided to do things this way since I then have the option of cutting back if I want to - much easier than adding stuff on.

I now need to work out if it's better to apply several thin coats of RTV over the mask and build up the layers until it's OK or if I might be better off adding thickener to the RTV and doing the whole thing in one lot. If anyone has any advice or observations, I'd be most grateful. At the moment, I'm coming down on the side of putting several layers on since I'm assuming there'll be less chance of air bubbles.

I also tried doing the ANH 'Y' crease to the peak of the helmet and decided to leave it as it is. I simply don't like that crease the the helmet when I do it. It's probably due to me always having seen the helmet as it it were the same as it was in ROTJ so I'll go more that route. I've still got to repair all the scratches the helmet recieved from my boys friend so it's got a few areas of knifing putty over it at the moment.



And I was sooooo close.
I got the repairs to the clay work done and cracked on with making a mould of this sucker before anything else could happen to it.

The cast I made from the mould turned out very nice and sharp. It has recieved further shaping work (mosly around the eye brows and sides of the nose) and I've started to apply paint.

Here is the state of play now.

The mask has had two coats of primer then two coats of black (Ford Panter Black).


The helmet has had a coat of standard glsss black as prep for making a mould.

Now I'e got to work out a way of masking up the mask (if you see what I mean). I'm not much cop at masking - everytime I do any, I end up with paint creeping underneath the tape, ruining the piece.
If anyone's got any pointers I'd be most grateful. I'll be spraying the silver rather than brushing it on.

Nice work!

Tip for masking: After you masked it, give it a coat of the same black as the base color. It will make any paint creepings black. When it dried paint the gun metal.
Wow, that is brilliant!

Nice work!

Tip for masking: After you masked it, give it a coat of the same black as the base color. It will make any paint creepings black. When it dried paint the gun metal.

I like this tip as well as when i did my cylon the black creept thru onto the chrome paint i had done and i had to start over again. This time i will use my air brush to control it but for future projects i might use this tip, thanks.
Thanks for the tip - I'll give it a test and see how I get on with it.

I've ordered some nice low tack 3M masking tape - 3mm wide. I'll use this for the edges and then use blue masking tape to fill in the main areas.

My son has been refusing to wear his cycle helmet recently (he says they're girly) so I made a deal with him and give his headgear a bit of a paintjob. He's now calling himself 'Bykah Fett' :lol: Now we can get him to take the thing off.

I used the project as an excuse to try out some masking techniques.



I seemed to get best results by removing the tape quite soon after the paint had been applied.

I've also started to make the mould for Lord Vader's headgear too.



Now for another question. Can anyone recommend some suitable grill for the mouth? I know roughly what I need but I can't find a decent ESB pic - everything is in shadow.

Just thought you might like to see the (more or less) finished item.




I'm reworking some things for my version but this is the one that will be auctioned off for charity.
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