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

The really funny thing is I did post about the mask originally on here and nobody gave it much thought expect for Chris aka "voice In The Crowd", and as such he really is the guy who should get all the credit for making this available albeit very briefly.

I am blushing reading that post LOL

Yeah and not one single person on the forum even recognised it for it's beauty, and back then there was hardly any other really good screen accurate Vader stuff kicking about.

RPF Vader experts indeed pffft :p
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
The DJ was painted, covering up details. Not sure if there was a run in past, DJ, DCarty, Juan and Vadermania can chime in there.

The current DJ run, from what I understand, and DJ or VaderMonkey can correct me if I’m wrong, is from a scan or mold made of the painted DJ helmet. A dome mounting ring was added to the of the faceplate, as well as inside the dome. That was not present on the original ANH helmet.

The original SL is still RAW, and not been sanded. Many of the details of the RB mold are still present in the SL. For this, the hardcore “detail and accuracy hunters” love helmets like the SL, TM and GS, where the original casts pulled from the original production molds were, in theory, untouched.

I’ll let others discuss what details “have not been removed, moved or added” to the individual casts for their particular runs.
The new DJ casts come from a mold taken off the real DJ. The 3D scan of the DJ helmet was for my scaled Vader project and has nothing to do with the full scale casts being made. The dome ring was added by DJ when he finished it.

The thing with the SL and Sithlords obsession with leaving marks and changing details, makes it difficult for me to imagine he did not alter things for the casts - both details and shape. But that's just my opinion.
 

cking

Sr Member
If that is indeed what happened, there will be a lot of very unhappy SL owners on here. I can't believe that he would tamper with something so fantastic. Having said that, I also wouldn't have believed that he'd take people's money and run, so I guess anything could happen.


The thing with the SL and Sithlords obsession with leaving marks and changing details, makes it difficult for me to imagine he did not alter things for the casts - both details and shape. But that's just my opinion.
 
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ggriffaw

Sr Member
If the goal is to get an accurate replica of the ANH mask, I highly recommend comparing photos of the replica to the photos in the Objets Du Mythe book or other photos of the original screen used helmet. Decide for yourself if details on the replica match the original. More detail isn't necessarily more accurate.
 

cking

Sr Member
Tip of the iceberg eh? Intriguing (and not in a good way I'm predicting) if what I'm reading between the lines is what happened though.
 
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craigjohn

Well-Known Member
If that is indeed what happened, there will be a lot of very unhappy SL owners on here. I can't believe that he would tamper with something so fantastic. Having said that, I also wouldn't have believed that he'd take people's money and run, so I guess anything could happen.

Love him or hate him, even several years back when he was fulfilling orders; if you should know anything about Thomas, it's he has/had a competitive streak about owning the very best vader cast.

He did a lot of good for the Vader community as well - but you have to do more sifting and winnowing.
 

cking

Sr Member
If he altered parts on his castings (which were sold at a high premium because of what they were), that is unforgivable if the customers were not informed about this before buying. I'm glad I didn't get one from him if this is indeed what has happened.
 

craigjohn

Well-Known Member
If the goal is to get an accurate replica of the ANH mask, I highly recommend comparing photos of the replica to the photos in the Objets Du Mythe book or other photos of the original screen used helmet. Decide for yourself if details on the replica match the original. More detail isn't necessarily more accurate.
That helmet was repainted/touched up after filming Star Wars. So depends what you're looking for. Screen accurate, or touring/display accurate.

Before repainting...

    001.png



After repainting...

20200521_132930-2.jpg
 

cking

Sr Member
The "Before repainting" mask sure does look rough. Are we saying that the SL displays even more roughness than what is seen in that black and white photo of the original? Undoubtedly the repainted mask is going to look cleaner so are people comparing the SL to the cleaned up version? If that's the case, the SL will definitely look rougher because it looks like the "before repainting" mask was indeed pretty rough.

Here's a couple of photos that were taken at Don Post Studios when Kermit Eller was wearing the screen used costume (before any repainting was done). The hi-res versions of these photos were given to me by Kermit Eller directly after I was put in contact with him thanks to Pete Vilmur from starwars.com. Please enjoy.


That helmet was repainted/touched up after filming Star Wars. So depends what you're looking for. Screen accurate, or touring/display accurate.

Before repainting...

After repainting...
 

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craigjohn

Well-Known Member
If he altered parts on his castings (which were sold at a high premium because of what they were), that is unforgivable if the customers were not informed about this before buying. I'm glad I didn't get one from him if this is indeed what has happened.
When I talked to him/Thomas, back when I was trying to acquire an SL cast, he specifically stated he put tells into the cast to verify recasts. So it was known to me, at the time, that his casts had been altered from the original SL cast (Rick Baker pull). I gather other buyers received the same general statement before their purchase - but I can't verify what he told other buyers vs. what Thomas told me. He never specified what those alterations were during our back and forth.

So this isn't a real revelation that alterations were made. The revelation may come when it's determined how many changes were made, and to what degree.

The SL is, without a doubt, a beautiful cast, and still one of the very best ANH cast runs out there.
 
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cking

Sr Member
Thanks for clearing that up. At least buyers were made aware of it.

When I talked to him/Thomas, back when I was trying to acquire an SL cast, he specifically stated he put tells into the cast to verify recasts. So it was known to me, at the time, that his casts had been altered from the original SL cast (Rick Baker pull). I gather other buyers received the same general statement before their purchase - but I can't verify what he told other buyers vs. what Thomas told me. He never specified what those alterations were.

So this isn't a real revelation.

The SL is, without a doubt, a beautiful cast, and still one of the very best ANH cast runs out there.
 

craigjohn

Well-Known Member
The "Before repainting" mask sure does look rough. Are we saying that the SL displays even more roughness than what is seen in that black and white photo of the original? Undoubtedly the repainted mask is going to look cleaner so are people comparing the SL to the cleaned up version? If that's the case, the SL will definitely look rougher because it looks like the "before repainting" mask was indeed pretty rough.

Here's a couple of photos that were taken at Don Post Studios when Kermit Eller was wearing the screen used costume (before any repainting was done). The hi-res versions of these photos were given to me by Kermit Eller directly after I was put in contact with him thanks to Pete Vilmur from starwars.com. Please enjoy.

I love this photo. Thanks for sharing (archived :p)

It verifies something I've wondered. Does it look like there's a material build-up underneath the paint? Or that the painting is thick enough to hide built up material under the paint? A specific cheek being the point of focus. ;)
 

dme3o

Well-Known Member
Love him or hate him, even several years back when he was fulfilling orders; if you should know anything about Thomas, it's he has/had a competitive streak about owning the very best vader cast.

He did a lot of good for the Vader community as well - but you have to do more sifting and winnowing.
So true. Especially that last bit...Too funny. He was king of blurry comparison pics.
 

ggriffaw

Sr Member
That helmet was repainted/touched up after filming Star Wars. So depends what you're looking for. Screen accurate, or touring/display accurate.
Screen accurate would be ideal. Are there good close ups of the helmet as it was during filming available to most fans? I wouldn't be surprised if those are only allowed to be seen by a select few.

There is plenty of squabbling about details among the people who have access to the more detailed information. I would rather trust my own eyes comparing to the best photos I have access to of the item I am buying a replica of than just going by the word of people selling an "authentic" cast of the replica for high prices.

I totally understand that the condition of the item may no longer be like it was during filming. Unfortunately we can only use what we have access to.
 
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