Darth Vader - Return of the Jedi Rubies conversion


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I decided to buy a Rubies 'Supreme' Vader and do the mods, just for a cool project, to give my modelling skills a workout and hopefully end up with a decent enough display item.

I snagged one on eBay and it arrived yesterday.

Today being Saturday, I went to work on it.

Dissembled the eyes, tusks, nose piece, mouth mesh and removed all the velcro.

I then boiled a big pan of water, stuck the neck-flared part of the helmet in it for 5 minutes then pulled the flare in and ran it under cold water from the tap. This seemed to reduce the neck flare a bit.

I then used a sanding bit to chop away all the terrible front-mounted eye lense area.

Next, I used a fine bit to remove the rounded bottoms of the mouth area and squared them off as best I could with a fine file. Ended up with a bit of a ROTJ look eventually.

Next, I went into the dome and removed the inner mount with a steel cutting bit, retaining only a bit of the side wall for stability (when I add the velcro) later down the line. I then cut the mount sides at the top of the faceplate by approx 3" each side, leaving approx 2" in the middle uncut to keep it all together, so I could carefully bend the faceplate mounting downward at an angle and glue/putty it into position. This is to achieve a good dome placement position for display.

Next on the agenda, I used Milliput to resculpt the eye area, nose area (including the three frown marks), right (as we look at it) lower cheek and mouth thickness.

Finally, I built up the nose area to match the screen used prop a little better.

Here's where we stand tonight:

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I'll give it a day to dry before sanding, priming and painting the facemask. More pics as I progress.

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Re: Darth Vader - another Rubies conversion

This will be a fun thread to follow. It's also nice to see someone publicly share a project undertaken with an intent to develop their skills.

Did you take / can you post a 'before' pic of before you started?

Thanks for sharing your work
Re: Darth Vader - another Rubies conversion

Hi Azrok - I've built and painted a few Vaders in the past, but never a Rubies, and this is my first Vader project for a while.

Faceplate all sanded, primed and hit with a couple layers of gunmetal grey:



Ignore the crappy stock tusks perched on the end of the tubes there, they are being replaced.

I'm fairly happy with the dome placement now that I've amended the stock dome mount, but no other work has been done on the dome yet.
Re: Darth Vader - another Rubies conversion

Basically did the same thing as here.

The only difference is I removed the front and back of the inner dome 'ring', leaving only the sides, then added a lot of velcro for a secure fit in a somewhat ROTJ-type position.
Great work! I am in the process of doing the same mods to my rubies right now. If you can, would you mind posting a picture of the re-done dome mounts please? Also, what brand of paint did you use for the gunmetal?

Cheers, I will snap a couple of pics of the adjusted dome mount next time I upload some photos.

Here's where it stands at present. All modified painted and glossed, tusks replaced with accurate ROTJ tusks, metal screens replaced, still waiting on my new set of lenses arriving:




I'm wondering whether to reduce the size of the "lip" further though? Bring down the mouth vents a fraction more?

I'm just about done with this now, thought I would share some final pics.

The only thing I haven't tackled is the soft center strip on the dome, but it doesn't bother me enough to do the work at the moment.

One other thing, I bought a pair of lenses from another member and stupidly managed to screw one of them up in a white spirit-related accident.

Necessity being the mother of invention, I figured out an easy and pennypinching way to make an almost perfect set of Vader lenses for just £1.50! No vacforming required.

I'll make another post about that later.

Im interested in seeing how you did the lenses. I used some black tinted motocross goggles but they're flat and I've been trying to think of a way to bubble them.
Well, here's what I figured out.

Here in the UK, there is a brand of ginger beer which comes in a very close to screen accurate colour, amber tinted bottle.

I bought a bottle, disposed of the contents and cut 2 lenses from the area which curves from the neck into the body. The bubble is absolutely perfect for a Vader lense bubble! From any bottle, you could actually cut 3 generously sized lenses.

The material is a bit thinner than a proper vacformed lense, but for £1.50 and no forming required, it's like a mini-miracle.

Honestly, it looks brilliant on display and very accurate to all the Vader amber lense pics I have on file. Funny but true!
Good to know. Thanks!
I was thinking of that (using the curved area) but I never found a good color. I'll have to try this with some other bottle colors and see what works.
I wish I could remember the exact brand - it's easy enough to deduce though, I'll call by the shop tomorrow and post some pics - and cut a spare set. But honestly, I'm very happy with how it looks, couldn't ask for better or easier.
Awesome job, Al! I've always said that the much maligned Rubies can pass for a pretty decent OT Vader with a bit (actually, a lot!) of work.

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