How was Vader's helmet modified from ANH to ESB to ROTJ

Darth Africanus

Well-Known Member
]Hello All hope all are good

So I have been searching the intranets for this little nugget of information
I read all threads I could find but to my surprise nowhere is it discussed in great detail what did
the prop makers at LF do to the Vader helmets from ANH to convert it to the ESB version and then from ESB to ROTJ.

I have learned a great deal such as the widows peak being trimmed
the paint finish being more smooth on ESB and ROTJ
height of the dome on the ESB and ROTJ and of course the larger chin vent on ESB,ROTJ compared to ANH

But also I wonder did they alter any physical dimensions on the mask from ANH to ESB to ROTJ?

Was the dome altered from ANH to ESB/ROTJ ?

I gather most look at screen caps and guess the detail changes and make a rough assumption that
the cheeks where made smaller on the ESB helmet.but there are those who know the dimensions and such as
they have seen production made helmets and that that information they hold is very precious


I know there are those lucky few people who have rare castings who know these things but are reluctant to share
of fear of re casters prying eyes or that their item becomes devalued because now someone can remake a helmet using those details but imo it's 2019 a long time since the scourge of heated Vader discussions of the early 2000's where very few details where shared.

and the only real person I see in the community that is untrustworthy is SPFX and imo I think it's time the community opens up about
talking and sharing the intricate details of Vader and not keep it all stored away

as I for one would like to know al the intricate details of the prop and openly discuss it and all it's nuance little details
and I will be honest I would like to know because I want to try my hand at using pre existing Vader helmet to accurize it more according to the actual prop

Hopefully my honesty doesn't kill the discussion around this topic and that it can be discussed openly and
that previously unknown information about the Vader prop helmet can be shared free lie

If not at least I tried lol :lol:
[
Im going to try and put out a Time line of basically the Vader helmet story from research I made
would love to hear input from other Vader collectors but this is how I believe it all went down

The path of Vader's helmet as I have it to my knowledge as follows

Production for ANH starts Mr Muir using a cast of David Prowse Shoulders and head
sculpts a face mask in clay over David Prowse plaster cast using a small side sketch of Vader's helmet
provide by John Mollo

The Mask is sculpted Asymmetrically giving Vader that perfect organic real look
not that weird look of the Rots
The tusks on the side of the mask was sculpted after the Mask and then added onto the mask
by Mr Muir as well as two tear ducts beneath each eye in the shape of a half moon

then he sculpt's in clay the dome on top of the face mask

after this the helmet(mask and dome) is casted in plaster
and is further Refined and sharpened by Mr Muir

from there it is taken by other members part of the ANH production
and then further refined by them

Dome and Mask is then molded and casted in fiberglass ( 3 helmets are made for ANH Only one is used onscreen in the movie)
The mask is smooth on top of the crown and receives three 3M Apple connector tabs on top of the crown
that connects to three 3M tabs on the inside of the dome that is mounted on a spacer inside the dome

The mask has foam padding on the inside and 3 elastic bands used to hold the mask to Prows face
the eye lenses is a clear color ( not red)
and the bottom chin triangle is small

The Dome Has a sharp widows peak area
with a indentation and the dome flange area or skirt is thick

The dome sits very low on the ANH mask giving it a nice angry look
the dome center stripe is sharp and quite thin

Both mask and dome is painted gloss black with an automotive gloss black
the mask doesn't pick well up on camera and the mask is painted quickly
with an metallic grey in an alternating pattern by hand with a paint brush

The black cheek has an indentation in the shape of a C called a Cscar

d9w9gfB.jpg

After ANH production The Helmet is molded in two different molds a US mold (known as the Rick Baker Mold)this mold spawns
helmet's used only for promotion and touring purposes of Darth Vader in the US to promote the release of the movie

Helmet's coming from the US baker mold in fandom is
SL
DJ
EFX


The other mold is known as the UK Mold this mold spawns casts used to make the ESB screen helmet and Rotj screen helmet
Here is where most authentic cast helmets originate from as well from cast's of the UK cast etc
The Casts all start out as perfect copies of the Original screen used ANH Dome and Mask
the mask retains the 3M tab in the new cast's and surface details from the original ANH mask

Uk casts in fandom are
TM
GS/CFO
TD

How the UK cast made ESB and ROTJ helmets to follow
/QUOTE]
 
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vader45

Sr Member
The only real intentional changes was the glossier cleaner paint and enlargement of the chin vent requested by Prowse.

It is speculated that the dome had multiple changes during the production of esb. They made the ESB dome and ROTJ dome to pick from. There is no real footing on that outside of the GS helmet with ROTJ done coming from ESB production.

The face is just a recast of the original with roughly a 5% shrinkage. I own the SL face and CFO(GS copy) helmet and side by side there is a size difference.

I hope this helps.
 

Darth Africanus

Well-Known Member
The only real intentional changes was the glossier cleaner paint and enlargement of the chin vent requested by Prowse.

It is speculated that the dome had multiple changes during the production of esb. They made the ESB dome and ROTJ dome to pick from. There is no real footing on that outside of the GS helmet with ROTJ done coming from ESB production.

The face is just a recast of the original with roughly a 5% shrinkage. I own the SL face and CFO(GS copy) helmet and side by side there is a size difference.

I hope this helps.
Very intresting so basically you are stating that only one or two changes where intended and that the apearance of ESB/ROTJ helmets
apearing slimmer than the ANH were due to cast's shrinking due to being recasted from the ANH molds over and over

So when comparing the SL face and the GS face basically all details line up perfectly except for the GS being smaller so
the dimensions of all the GS features are smaller by 5%

intrestting about the dome did they use the ANH dome molds for the dome and then made the changes and what might these changes
have been . I read the center strip became larger and less pronounced and the widows peak was trimed back slightly
did they do anything to the dome skirt ? or the dome eyebrows?

Thanks That does help alot much appreciated

also perhaps anybody can tell me what was the with in cm of the ANH center strip vs ESB/ROTJ

also I really would like to know what in cm is the lenght of the ROTJ chin vent top side and the two downwards sloping sides VS ESB and ANH


thanks all
 

vader45

Sr Member
Yes the GS and SL match in geometry. The SL is a direct copy of the og while the CFO(GS COPY) comes from ESB production molds that have suffered the slight shrinkage.
20191016_215012.jpg


Before the GS surfaced it was believed the changes to the dome were due to recasting and cleaning the molds. But we can confirm the ROTJ Dome existing during the production of ESB. So I'm not sure.
 

Attachments

Darth Africanus

Well-Known Member
Yes the GS and SL match in geometry. The SL is a direct copy of the og while the CFO(GS COPY) comes from ESB production molds that have suffered the slight shrinkage.
View attachment 1090321

Before the GS surfaced it was believed the changes to the dome were due to recasting and cleaning the molds. But we can confirm the ROTJ Dome existing during the production of ESB. So I'm not sure.
Interesting by looking at those authentic casts side by side one can really see the difference between anh face plate and Rotj

If I eyeball it the ROTJ face looks more like it is pulling to the right side is this part of the shrinkage that happened while molding during production

I can see the features of the ROTJ seem smaller yes over the ANH

The ANH eyebrows seem not as deep as the ROTJ and the outer eyebrows seem to slope at a higher angle if I am making sens

But yes there are simaler features and yet also great differences it is my assumption that using an perfectly cast ANH helmet painting it gloss and widening the chin vent to ROTJ size and sticking a Rotj dome on top will not give you a perfect ROTJ

If one wants a Esb or Rotj from an ANH one must replicate what happened to the molds as it went from Esb to rotj

But if I could source the dimensions of these things it would help my own work

In converting my ANH to Esb to Rotj project

Yet I suppose I will have to eyeball it as I feel it is still taboo to share such info I suppose
 

Darth Africanus

Well-Known Member
Don't forget that both masks are not viewed at the exact same angle.

They pretty much match in shape.
A yes I forgot about that well if they line up then it makes it easier thanks vader45 love those helmets envy you!

Hopefully I can pull my project off but looking to aquire a cfo in the future it's a must have!
 

vader45

Sr Member
The CFO is the best publicly available Vader helmet on the fan market. The face has detail that cements it's connection to the ESB production molds. And shares a few with the TM.

It's not cheap at all.
 

Darth Africanus

Well-Known Member
I am aware of it's high price and im prepared to pay it already informed Mark of CFO on my plans to purchase in the new year
and received the price for such an amazing helmet will happily pay up
 

Darth Africanus

Well-Known Member
I will be opting to buy the kit so I can do all that myself and save a few bucks already painted my JMC bucket mesh gunmetal and installed accurate mesh so I should be ok
 

Darth Africanus

Well-Known Member
I'm surprised no one else is posting in this thread.
Yes I think it might be to avoid giving out information surrounding vader I think but I do understand that

And perhaps not a lot of people know I think also I canot expect anybody with authentic casts to measure and give info out unless the maker like Mark from cfo says its OK or such and I fully agree with that

Unfortunately it's bit of a double edged sword as it kind of shuns other hard core vader fans from learning and enjoying the hobby

But I do not mean this offensively just my thoughts any and all help I appreciate as I really want to try and sculpt my own vader helmet
 
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