Black Series Darth Vader Helmet Mod Thread!

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by Jennigirl, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. frogfreak

    frogfreak Active Member

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    Also I wonder if you will do something to make the inside thinner. And also make the inside more like in rotj.
     
  2. Toadmeister

    Toadmeister Sr Member

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    Dang!

    What paint did you use for the gunmetal areas?

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  3. dmpsk8

    dmpsk8 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I went simple. It was a basic metallic silver, applied at about 50% opacity over the gloss black.
     
  4. frogfreak

    frogfreak Active Member

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    Do you have anything new with the helmet now.
     
  5. frogfreak

    frogfreak Active Member

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    Where did to get the paint for tinting the lenses.
     
  6. frogfreak

    frogfreak Active Member

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    When you're wearing it can you see well?
     
  7. StephenMG

    StephenMG Member

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    One of things I disliked the most when I got my BS Vader were the grills in the 'mouth' parts. As an experiment today I've temporarily installed some real metal grills of the same size as the original plastic Hasbro versions. I haven't fixed them yet but I really like the effect - it's made a huge difference to the look of the helmet to my eyes and remove some of the 'toy' look.

    Sorry, the photos aren't the best (close-up with a flash, the other without) but what do you think?

    BS-Vader-1.jpg BS-Vader-2.jpg

    I also plan to fix the nose recess, apply the two-tone paint scheme, replace the tusks with aluminium version and possibly extend the neck a bit.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
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  8. mattycsi

    mattycsi Sr Member

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    I like it. Are the plastic grills easy to take out? I haven't really got a good look at mine yet.
     
  9. vader45

    vader45 Sr Member

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    The mouth one is removable but the chin one is molded with the face.
     
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  10. StephenMG

    StephenMG Member

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    Actually they are both separate pieces. The mouth one is very easy to remove as it just slides out. The chin one however needs the interior of the lower section to be removed to get at it. The grill itself is fitted in to the triangular hole and is held in place only by a tab at the bottom point. Unfortunately that tab is glued down. I had to separate it by sliding a very thin, flexible saw blade under it and sawing through the weld. I didn't want to damage anything really but at least doing it that way I could glue it back in place if required.

    The speaker is mounted on a bracket screwed to the back of the original grill moulding so, if I keep the metal grill, I'll have to devise a different way of holding it in place.
     
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  11. mattycsi

    mattycsi Sr Member

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    Thanks guys.
     
  12. gianpl

    gianpl New Member

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    This looks awesome!!! Can you post a tutorial for the base?
     
  13. Kroenen77

    Kroenen77 Sr Member

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    Good work,man...(also with the pics)..for a second I´ve forgotten how wrong this complete mask design really is.:)
     
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  14. dmpsk8

    dmpsk8 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    LOL.


    ___
     
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  15. StephenMG

    StephenMG Member

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    I've started to extend the neck on mine a bit. I've fixed some black styrene sheet in place so need to fill and smooth the join now. I'll trim it back a bit so the extension will be about 3/4" - just enough to make the whole thing look a bit more 'balanced'. I'm not bothering with any flare so that's about as long as I can get away with anyway. Unfortunately the original short neck helps contribute to the squat appearance I think - along with the too-wide face and the short dome of course!
    BS-DV-1.jpg BS-DV-2.jpg BS-DV-3.jpg

    BS-DV-3.jpg

    BS-DV-1.jpg

    BS-DV-2.jpg
     
  16. Celtic007

    Celtic007 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    How easy is it to disassemble the neck?
     
  17. StephenMG

    StephenMG Member

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    Fairly easy. You need to remove 4 screws each side (you'll need a short cross-head screwdriver) on the inside of the lower section then work the inside moulding (the one with all the interior details on it) free of the exterior shell. It's a little fiddly but if you start with the rear corner where the battery compartment is you can flex the inner and outer apart enough to work it all free. The electronics are all attached to outer shell so the inner moulding comes out without messing that up. The electrics can then be removed easily as one piece including the battery box, circuit board, switch and speaker.
     
  18. StephenMG

    StephenMG Member

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    Made a bit more progress trying to improve the look of my BS. Having extended the neck I have now painted the lower section with a graphite grey paint (alongside the appropriate black bits) and fully installed my metal mesh. I also wanted to ditch the Hasbro plastic tusks which look exactly what they are, painted plastic, and also looked very big to me. I made some cheap replacement metal tusks from some thumb nuts, a few washers and a couple of upholstery nails. The knurled section is a little short really but I still think they looks better than the original plastic ones.

    I would post a comparison pic of the originals alongside my metal replacement but I think my cats have run off with the original tusks! Heaven knows where they are now so I couldn't put them back on even if I wanted to!!! :rolleyes

    Next job is to paint the upper section.
    tusks-grill.jpg tusk1.jpg tusk2.jpg
     
  19. Ulfbragd

    Ulfbragd New Member

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    Hello everyone!
    I finally got my hands on the helmet and wanted to do something different then you guys. This is my first project, please don't be to hard on me. I'm very proud.
    5 red LED's are powered by a 9V battery. Planning on adding some sort of dimmer switch later on.
    DSC_1751.JPG DSC_1759.JPG DSC_1760.JPG DSC_1762.JPG DSC_1763.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  20. VaderFan

    VaderFan New Member

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    Hey everyone! All of your Black Series Vader mask mods looks great. I'm in the middle of mod'n mine as well. I have a quick question for all of you who have already finished yours:

    I'm going to be upgrading the tusks on this mask. What is the best way to remove the original plastic silver mouth tusks; do you twist them off, pull them off, or cut them off? In other words, how are the tusks mounted to the unit?
    I'd like to know before I go down the wrong route and regret it. Thanks in advance.
     
  21. frogfreak

    frogfreak Active Member

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    I have read that you twist and pull at the same time.
     
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  22. Toadmeister

    Toadmeister Sr Member

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    I bet you have....

    ;)
     
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  23. DarkLyte

    DarkLyte Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Following! Lots of great work in here!


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  24. DarkLyte

    DarkLyte Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  25. VaderFan

    VaderFan New Member

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    Also, a quick poll about the Vader tusks... Does anyone prefer the two-tone tusk paint scheme of the left-side one being black and the right-side one being aluminum like in TESB...or does everyone prefer both sides of tusks to be aluminum?
     
  26. StephenMG

    StephenMG Member

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    I couldn't shift mine no matter how much pulling and twisting I did. In the end I slid a scalpel blade down behind them and cut them off then drilled out the 'plug'. They are slightly flexible plastic so cut fairly easily.

    Both aluminium for me!
     
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  27. DarkLyte

    DarkLyte Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Both Aluminum.
     
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  28. vader45

    vader45 Sr Member

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    The black tusk is only in ANH and it was weathered black.
     
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  29. Edraven99

    Edraven99 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Amazon.ca had these on sale the other day and I finally snagged one... for all of the * and moaning, this thing is pretty awesome I think. It's not small by any means. Now time to mod!

    Any recommendations on what type and colour paint for the plastic?
     
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  30. DarkLyte

    DarkLyte Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    6a398dd71e89cfdfd59dca7f56ace719.jpg

    I decided to start tearing mine down for modding. I’m going to tint the lenses red and do the gunmetal paint treatment on the mask and collar. The only difficult part is removing the inside cheek panels. They are glued in by one pin after the screws are removed. They take quite a bit of working back and forth but the glue finally gave up. This allowed me to remove the panels and pull the lenses out. Not 100% necessary but now I can do the paint work without a lot of unnecessary masking.


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  31. DarkLyte

    DarkLyte Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    0b4d7b054af5e111f3f0c875aa134e02.jpg

    Lenses are done!


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  32. VaderFan

    VaderFan New Member

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    DarkLyte, what do u use to tint the lenses?
     
  33. DarkLyte

    DarkLyte Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Tamiya Clear Red thinned out and sprayed through an airbrush on the back side. ebb2bfed7303a1c3375c06d54d8faa8f.jpg


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  34. Toadmeister

    Toadmeister Sr Member

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  35. VaderFan

    VaderFan New Member

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    DarkLyte, one more question please... Are the lenses still pretty optically clear to see thru nicely after you applied the tint?
     
  36. DarkLyte

    DarkLyte Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Not really unfortunately. Since this is just a display piece for me, that wasn’t much of a concern. I mean you can see through them but I wouldn't consider it safe to wear as a costume helmet.


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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
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  37. DarkLyte

    DarkLyte Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Just finished fixing the nose. Airbrushed with Tamiya flat aluminum.

    Before:
    f6c6d0a43de0453d58dddd34d03e1aa6.jpg

    After:
    7f77ac161bd223118eb55c645f779d0d.jpg

    e55cac6c73230f11d5201b78e570a59b.jpg


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  38. DarkLyte

    DarkLyte Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thinking about using this Tamiya Gun Metal for the painted parts on the mask. Thoughts?

    66cc6360bfda34b398502b11698bbb71.jpg


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  39. frogfreak

    frogfreak Active Member

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    It looks good but I would probably go with a slightly darker shade. But that's just my opinion.
     
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  40. DarkLyte

    DarkLyte Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It was hard to grab the color perfectly in the photo but it is darker in person. I might try and grab a can of the Duplicolor Gun Metal that a lot of people use and compare it to the Tamiya.
     
  41. frogfreak

    frogfreak Active Member

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    It's good to know that it is darker in real life cause then it will probably be good for the helmet!
     
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  42. DarkLyte

    DarkLyte Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I know it was discussed a little earlier in the thread but what's the best bet for metal grill replacements?
     
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  43. VaderFan

    VaderFan New Member

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    DarkLyte, I went with the metal grill off of a Fram engine filter for the mouth & chin vent. I spray painted it after cutting to size to prevent any rust from sweating like a pig in it since I wear the helmet

    L5W4NWg.jpg
     
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  44. DarkLyte

    DarkLyte Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Saw your post about that! Did you put any other mesh behind it on the mouth?


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  45. DarkLyte

    DarkLyte Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Played around with some colors today on the “stand” that was included with the helmet. I think I might have to go with the Duplicolor Gun Metal. With absolutely no primer or adhesion promoter, the durability blew the Tamiya out of the water. Why is that important? Because I don’t want to create a layer thick enough to form a lip at the tape edges. Don’t mind the warmer tone of the Duplicolor in the photo. It was bad lighting.

    Duplicolor
    0e1c421f6567129dcadcf2477980d2cc.jpg

    Tamiya
    42eb091b3762b1e801b249f9cb0bb63a.jpg


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  46. frogfreak

    frogfreak Active Member

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    Looks good to me!
     
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  47. Toadmeister

    Toadmeister Sr Member

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    Darn it, I used to have dozens of those things!
     
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  48. Kroenen77

    Kroenen77 Sr Member

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  49. frogfreak

    frogfreak Active Member

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    Haha that's a good one!
     
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  50. VaderFan

    VaderFan New Member

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    @DarkLyte (and every1 else, sup every1), I added the filter mesh to the mouth and chin, but didn't add extra behind it on the mouth since I was going to be wearing it and it gets crazy hot (so much so that condensation sometimes poured out the mouth like old man Vader was drooling *ewww), but if I was going to set it up for a display, I'd def put a 2nd layer of mesh behind it. I would probably go with some denser black screen mesh from a house window's window screen or screened-in-porch screen or speaker grill screen if I could find the right weave-pattern of it out there somewhere, that'd look good behind the metal filter mesh for sure, brother.

    1st arrow: On the chin, I put the metal filter grill inside the chin hole from the inside, then on top of that I simply replaced the speaker junk (along with it's molded grill garbage) back behind it b/c I didn't want to scrap that bada$$ opening/closing/breathing sound efx. The extra thickness of the filter grill being added to the chin didn't hurt being able to close the whole neck piece back together either.

    2nd arrow: Although no one would ever see this, I went ahead and painted the underside of the neck where it should have been painted silver like the inside neck area, since it meets up with it and is part of the same Vadery wiring-component thingy.

    vader-chin.jpg

    vader-chin.jpg
     
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