Greeblie Identification Help

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Blue Leader

Sr Member
Greetings! The Prop Store has put up some pictures from an upcoming auction that's featuring a few Star Wars items including a B-wing pilot helmet (and the plaster mold for one!), and the pictures show some much better detail on some of the greeblies. There are two greeblies in particular that I'm having a hard time identifying-- and these are two greeblies that I've been trying to figure out for years but have yet to find anything like them. Now with these better pictures I was hoping that maybe someone here might have some clue as to what these greeblies might be...

First off is this disc-shaped greeblie on the right side of the helmet. I've been studying that greeblie for a good ten years and have yet to figure out what it is. These are the best pictures I've seen of it so far and looking at these pictures I've noticed (though I could be wrong about these) that it looks like the blue stripes aren't actually attached to the disc greeblie... Looking closely it appears that they don't touch the sides of the slots they fit into, there's a tiny gap around each one. There also looks to be a small metal rod that goes through the center of those blue stripes as if they can flip up or down. Some kind of flaps or toggles? It also looks like the thin black lines are cut completely through the top layer of the greeblie... These would also be around 2" in diameter.
I'm not sure if the rivets and screws were part of the greeblie originally or were added to it during production.
Prop-Store-Bwing-Helmet01.jpg

Prop-Store-Bwing-Helmet07.jpg

Bwing-Helmet02.jpg

12789073mi.jpg

12789072ag.jpg

Prototype-Bwing-Helmet01.jpg



The other piece that I've been trying to identify is this wedge-shaped greeblie on the back of the helmet. It has ridges on the front half and has a screw in the center-- I'm not sure if the real part has that screw or if it was added during the construction of the helmet. At first I had thought that maybe it was some sort of plug housing but the front side of it is smooth... Around the screw in the center, just inside of the ring surrounding it there are two small cuts or slots... Maybe something attaches to those, like prongs that fit into them? Or maybe they're for letting air in/out? I have no clue...
Prop-Store-Bwing-Helmet09.jpg

Prop-Store-Bwing-Helmet02.jpg

B-Wingpilot-Ten-Numb3.jpg


Does anyone have an idea as to what either of these greeblies might be? Thank you!
 
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Jediseth

Well-Known Member
Throwing darts here, but I'm going to assume some of the screws were there originally and they added new ones to attach it to the helmet, but who knows. What I find interesting is the part number or set of numbers written on the side. Yes I googled it already, nothing. Lol
 

ALLEY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I see two identification markings on the center disc:

- R-898
- R-1625

In searches, both of these numbers seem to bring up various HVAC motors and/or bearing units.

739F89F4-3CDF-4349-AD70-05D93011CE44.jpeg


Given the center post that appears to be sawed off / snapped off, it may be an interior part of something like these items:

3E7AA43D-B691-4447-8235-F9B58B389205.jpeg
721AA225-1186-43AA-87F1-472EF874222B.jpeg
F6FE545F-9829-4304-86BC-0BBAC274F2A7.jpeg
 
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ID10T

Sr Member
The disc with the blue bits appears to me to be a VCR head. “4-head” variant.

No idea what manufacturer and they are pre-internet so not going to come up in a part number google search.

274CFC8D-96E9-4BE1-8158-36F77203FD9D.jpeg


I can only find this “open” image and it’s a “six head” variant, so not right obviously.

You need to open the head to get the view shown on the helmet.

edit- they may be worn pro machine heads or surplus new that were dumped. Sony dumped all their cassette deck spares in the 90’s but they were still making VCRs then.

Second edit- perhaps surplus from the first flying head machines (Sony) where the head was flat and the tape was skewed. These were open reel and black and white only. I have used one but never saw inside the head.

Third edit- possibly a DAT head if the VCR head is too large. Those are also helical scan and smaller. No idea what the inside of those heads look like.

3.5- 8mm back up data tape drive? I think those are helical... I’ve used one of those too but never looked inside.
 
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Blue Leader

Sr Member
The disc with the blue bits appears to me to be a VCR head. “4-head” variant.

No idea what manufacturer and they are pre-internet so not going to come up in a part number google search.

View attachment 1465008

I can only find this “open” image and it’s a “six head” variant, so not right obviously.

You need to open the head to get the view shown on the helmet.

edit- they may be worn pro machine heads or surplus new that were dumped. Sony dumped all their cassette deck spares in the 90’s but they were still making VCRs then.

Second edit- perhaps surplus from the first flying head machines (Sony) where the head was flat and the tape was skewed. These were open reel and black and white only. I have used one but never saw inside the head.

Third edit- possibly a DAT head if the VCR head is too large. Those are also helical scan and smaller. No idea what the inside of those heads look like.

3.5- 8mm back up data tape drive? I think those are helical... I’ve used one of those too but never looked inside.
You definitely might be onto something there. I googled "VCR 4 head" and "VCR 4 head upper drum" and I can see the similarities. These certainly has a similar look...
s-l1600.jpg

px-Medion_MD8910_-_VHS_Helical_scan_tape_head-8601.jpg


Whatever the disc is it would have to have been something fairly common and easy to acquire, and probably something that didn't require much effort to remove from whatever the original device it was in, because these greeblies are all over the place in Return of the Jedi. These were used on B-wing pilot helmets, some Y-wing pilot helmets and on A-wing pilot flak vests, and I seem to remember spotting some others on background props. So these were abundant, whatever they are. I've also seen references of these discs with a gold version and one with orange stripes instead of blue, but they all have the same appearance, just different colors. Maybe different manufacturers?
 

ID10T

Sr Member
When I saw it, with the lock paint on the screws, this is where immediately went.

I may be wrong, since I didn’t find a match, but the head placement is absolutely critical with helical scan and you never touch the head screws!

It could be from a broadcast machine too. Those went through heads due to heavy use, and most stations would have an army of machines, so worn heads would be available, and very cheap (since they would be destined for the land fill). Those use 1” tape I believe. I’ve never seen one of those heads apart.
 

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eethan

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
oh man, awesome find! amazing to witness the community at work and finding something so obscure so quickly! great work guys (y)
 

Blue Leader

Sr Member
Sweet find! So it looks like it’s from an Ampex Quad Video Head and the part is called a quad rotary head. And they’re really expensive. It definitely seems like this will need to be 3D printed. :p


Though that isn’t the compete greeblie, there is a base to it as well. So there’s still another half.

Edit: the bottom half appears to just be what it sits on in the machine. Here’s a video showing more information about the machine (or a similar one)...
 
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