Opinions on Vader CA Mods

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by Thrawn, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. Thrawn

    Thrawn Well-Known Member

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    Hello all,
    I have here a DPCA Vader Helmet thats had a new paintjob, tusk, lenses, some reshaping, grills, most of the 'usual', but I think I need to adjust the neck more. I cant really tell how MUCH more though, so im fielding the question to you guys :)

    [​IMG]
    Thanks for any opinions.
     
  2. Prometheus

    Prometheus Well-Known Member

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    Just curious, did you take it to an auto shop to get it repainted?
    Or did you do it on your own?
    It looks great
     
  3. SithLord

    SithLord Sr Member

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    The neckline looks fine, the faceplate is just wider...you could trim a little toward the back, but you could also just tighten the rear horizontal strap so the rear is pinched in a little...looks too nice to trim :) The vinyl is flexible so try pressing it in in the rear a bit...

    T
     
  4. Darth Detroit

    Darth Detroit Sr Member

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    Once its been painted, it may be difficult to reshape trhe neck flare. Tha paint is going to want to pull off the mask, crack, tear, or bubble from the heat. It also depends what kind of paint was used too, that will give youan idea as to what it will do. I woul have corrected the flare first, then painted it. Worst case senario- youhave to sand off all the paint fromthe bottom tubes of the mask down. Reshape the mask, the repaint it.
     
  5. Darth Detroit

    Darth Detroit Sr Member

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    Double post sorry....
     
  6. SithLord

    SithLord Sr Member

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    true...unless the paint is the kind that flexes...hmmm....
     
  7. Darth Detroit

    Darth Detroit Sr Member

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    Thats allot of flex.... and yes, the type of paint would be a determining factor.
     
  8. Thrawn

    Thrawn Well-Known Member

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    I think that when the helmet is put on, the back of my head pushes the straps outward, causing the neck to pull in, I guess thats why the helmet always looks better when I wear it and look in the mirror :)
    If theres any chance at all of the paint messing up I dont think ill take it, the dome has been repainted at an autobody shop once over a paint screw up (not adhering to the vinyl), so ill just leave it be. The faceplate was painted by the person I bought it from, but the clearcoat had started to peel so I had the autobody shop guy give it a new one.
    Thanks for the tips everybody.
     
  9. ob1al

    ob1al Sr Member

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    I think it looks very nice as it is. Cool Vader helm.

    I would just put it up on display and forget about the neck flare, its really just a small thing and not important enough to risk * the paint job up, IMO.
     
  10. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    ..it does look a little bull necked, but cinching the straps may help. As long as the paint has some flex agents added, which most modern plastic paints do...you shouldn't have to worry about cracking...
     
  11. Shabaaz

    Shabaaz New Member

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    When i first got my CA it had the same wide neck as yours. I used a hair dryer to warm it up and slowly reshaped it. The vinyl becomes quite soft when warm. I left a rubber band around the neck for a while so it wouldn't warp back to its original shape or you could just tighten the straps. Just be careful you don't crack the paint.

    Here is how my mask looks now... painted, grills replaced and with the top of the face modified so the dome sits at the correct angle with the face (angled more to the back so the dome covers the back of the neck). The neck width pretty good to me.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    Looks nice Shabaaz.
     
  13. vaderfanforever

    vaderfanforever Active Member

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    Shabaaz, that is a sweet looking CA. I use a CA for my trooping, and it works great because if the weight of the helmet. I have done a couple upgrades myself, and I asked KevVader to give me a hand as well. I removed the old foam padding and he replaced it with new padding. He also installed some pluming insulation in the "forehead" pard of the lid to add some extra padding. I think this will also give me a bit more circualtion.

    And to KevVader, thanks so much for doing the work.. I am looking forward to picking it up soon.
     
  14. SithLord

    SithLord Sr Member

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    Do you have more photos of your helmet, Shabaaz? It looks really nice....

    :cheers,

    Thomas
     
  15. Thrawn

    Thrawn Well-Known Member

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    Well I spent a few hours today working on shaping the helmet, I reshaped the left side of the dome, the back of it, and the faceplate. I think it looks about a milion times better. (I guess it was very flexible paint, there were no issues with cracking or anything).
    PS: Shabaaz, that CA looks amazing.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Shabaaz

    Shabaaz New Member

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    Thanks guys...Thrawn your helmet looks much better now...
    As requested here are some more pics of my lid

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here is the helmet with the rest of the costume

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm planning on upgrading most of the costume parts except the helmet...i made everything myself and now I want better stuff. Also things are falling apart as you can probably notice (chest box pieces, armor chipping and revealing pink placemats).

    Thanks, Wackychimp for hosting pics
     
  17. DARTH ANIBAL

    DARTH ANIBAL Sr Member

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    Okay Shabaaz, is that the dome that came with the CA? The Rubies' Supreme dome and the CA domes I've seen are exactly the same except for the ridge being softer. I hate the way on my helmet the dome is too short in the back. Yours looks great, so here's my question, is that just awesome placement of your dome or a totally different dome that's longer in the back? Check out the pics of my helmet in the link in my sig so you can see what I'm talking about.
     
  18. Thrawn

    Thrawn Well-Known Member

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    I agree, Shabaaz, PLEASE post a picture of your helmet with the dome off, or a tutorial on what you did to the CA to get the dome to sit like that. Id love to get mine looking like that...
     
  19. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    ....those are some mighty fine CAs, lads. And Shabazz...that dome does look great...has it been reworked for more length?
     
  20. Qui-Gonzalez

    Qui-Gonzalez Master Member

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    I don't know, my dome looks pretty much like his. The curve at the bottom where the dome ends is a giveaway unless he is a * fine crafter, which he could very well be. The bottom of my dome starts near the same spot his does, so it may be better placement of it on the helmet all together.
     
  21. DARTH ANIBAL

    DARTH ANIBAL Sr Member

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    C'mon Shabaaz. We're grown men, don't make us beg.
     
  22. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    Yes.... you gotta post those pics. :)

    Very nice CA Shabaaz....
     
  23. Shabaaz

    Shabaaz New Member

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    Sorry guys...i've been extremely busy with work the last few days.

    The dome has no modification done to it except the paint. The part that needs fixing is the big T shaped piece on the top of the face on the CA. That is what stops it from sitting correctly. I had the exact same problem that you described and it really bothered me. I cut and modified the top part of the mask to get the dome to sit at the correct angle making the dome look longer at the back.

    I'll give more details and show some pics in a couple of day when i'm not as busy. You guys will just have to be patient. And thank you all for the compliments.
     
  24. DARTH ANIBAL

    DARTH ANIBAL Sr Member

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    Patience, huh? We'll try. :( I have the Rubies', so my mounting system is different, but I tried mounting it to look a bit more like Shabaaz's and it looks a little better. Waiting to see the pics of his mods to see if I can somehow incorporate them into my Rubies'. I don't know how to post pics, but if you check out my pics (link in my sig) you can see some before and after shots. One thing to consider is the fact that I shortened the neckline some, so it won't look like the neckline you usually see on the CA/Rubies'.
     
  25. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    Darth Anibal,

    Your pics are very nice. Good job.
     
  26. Boba Frett

    Boba Frett Sr Member

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    Hey DARTH ANIBAL,

    How did you remount your dome , looks a lot better that way :thumbsup
     
  27. DARTH ANIBAL

    DARTH ANIBAL Sr Member

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    Thanks for the comments guys. I mounted my dome using velcro and cheap mouse pads as "spacers" to achieve the position I wanted. To reposition, all I did was add a bit to the forehead area on the mask, giving me more of an angle. I hope I'm explaining it well enough. I will be looking for Shabaaz to post some pics of what he did though to see if there's anything else I can do.
     
  28. Qui-Gonzalez

    Qui-Gonzalez Master Member

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    Hey....what happened to those pics from Shabaaz?
     
  29. DARTH ANIBAL

    DARTH ANIBAL Sr Member

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    You beat me to it, Qui. Bump for Shabaaz's pics. *, we're really sweating this guy. :lol
     
  30. paulcarson

    paulcarson Well-Known Member

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    Bump, I'd love to see it too.
     
  31. paulcarson

    paulcarson Well-Known Member

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    bumpity bumpity bump...
     
  32. Thrawn

    Thrawn Well-Known Member

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    Id still love to see that mounting system...
    By the way, you guys lied to me, it did not look much better before. Last night I ripped out all of its innards, soaked the whole thing in very warm water, shaped it, then put it in some ice water, NOW it looks much better.
     
  33. paulcarson

    paulcarson Well-Known Member

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    Mmmm... shiny . It does look very good. Will it keep that shape?
     
  34. Boba Frett

    Boba Frett Sr Member

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    Does look better Thrawn, I need to do this to mine.
     
  35. DARTH ANIBAL

    DARTH ANIBAL Sr Member

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    Much nicer :thumbsup
     
  36. Prometheus

    Prometheus Well-Known Member

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    Hey, where did Shabazz go?
     
  37. DARTH ANIBAL

    DARTH ANIBAL Sr Member

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    Maybe it wasn't even his helmet :rolleyes






    ...j/k, a little reverse psychology. :lol
     
  38. Shabaaz

    Shabaaz New Member

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    Sorry guys...I know I've been keeping you guys waiting forever. School work has been a bitch lately...i've had several major projects due at once and no time for anything else. I really can't wait till summer, I need a break badly.

    Anyways back to the topic of vader helmets,

    I cut the top part of the face...the part that connects to the dome and pushed it down so the dome can sit at the correct angle. It was a little risky as I didn't know how it would turn out but fortuanately it came out better than I anticipated. I didn't have any nice tools like a dremel so i had to saw through the vinyl with a knife. If you have better tools it should be a piece of cake. Here is a picture of where i cut the mask.

    [​IMG]

    I did not chop off the whole top completely. I left the front bit intact and bent it at that point to tilt the whole section back...trimmed off some areas and hot glued it into place. It looks a little messy and there are some holes left but I'm not too concerned about it since the dome covers everything up.

    Here is drawing i made quickly to show how the modification affects the placement of the dome.

    [​IMG]

    The top of the face was restricting the dome from sitting at the correct angle so my only solution was to modify the face. I couldn't really think of any other way to do it. I did not have a camera prior to doing the modifications so i apologize for not having better before pictures of my helmet. I only have a few pictures of unmodified CAs that i found on ebay and stuff.

    Here are a couple more pics of my facemask now.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now for you guys that have the rubies supreme helmets, this probably won't help you much since the dome attaches to the face using a completely different system. I have never seen one in person before so i'm not quite sure how you could modify it but there has got to be some ways to do it.

    Again I apologize for keeping you guys waiting so long. I hope this helps.
     
  39. Prometheus

    Prometheus Well-Known Member

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    Wow Shabaaz, thanks for your detailed explanation.
    I must say thats a pretty gutsy but effective modification.
    I hope mine will turn up as good as yours. :)
     
  40. DARTH ANIBAL

    DARTH ANIBAL Sr Member

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    Maybe it was his helmet :lol I was just poking fun, bro. Good mods. Thanks for the detailed explanation, too. I figured I wouldn't be able to duplicate your mods, but I did try duplicating the effect. Check out the link in my sig. :thumbsup
     
  41. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    Nioce job Darth Anibal. Nicely done.

     
  42. Qui-Gonzalez

    Qui-Gonzalez Master Member

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    Gutsy mod is right. Wow...I'm all a skeered to do something that drastic, but it looks so gooood.
     
  43. Prometheus

    Prometheus Well-Known Member

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    Well i started modding my CA helmet like Shabaaz's..
    Man is he right.. it can get really messy. My fingers are now sore from trying to cut through the thick vinyl with a knife..
    Will post some WIP pics soon..
     
  44. Qui-Gonzalez

    Qui-Gonzalez Master Member

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    When you do this, is it possible to maybe glue the inside and lightly tweak the outside of the cuts so as to have clean seams? Granted, no one will see under the dome, but I am * about those kinds of thing. I want a smoother spot to put the paint and all so nothing can flake the paint, if that is possible.
     
  45. Shabaaz

    Shabaaz New Member

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    If you have something like a dremel tool to cut with then you could make cleaner more accurate cuts and possibly have it fit together cleanly. On top of that you could put some filler in the gaps to get everything smooth. I was lazy and in a hurry so I never bothered to finish it up nicely. I just put gobs of glue on the thing so it stays solid.
     
  46. GundamZeppelin

    GundamZeppelin Sr Member

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    I'm glad you posted your mod job shabazz, i mess around with rubies myself and i planed on chaning the mounting system on a rubies.
    Now that i have seen what you have done, i'm going to try my hand at it :D
     
  47. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    It can be very time consuming to do it right.

    My own Rubies mod was my first ever project. Im pleased overall with the results but I do plan to do another one in the future and I will take my time and learn from my previous mistakes.
     
  48. Prometheus

    Prometheus Well-Known Member

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    Ok guys.
    Here are some pics of my modified CA helmet.
    Thanks to Shabaaz for the important tips..


    [attachmentid=7556]
    [attachmentid=7557]
    [attachmentid=7558]
    [attachmentid=7559]
    [attachmentid=7560]
    [attachmentid=7561]


    Any additional suggestions are welcome as always. :)
     
  49. GundamZeppelin

    GundamZeppelin Sr Member

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    Looks like your getting there, if it's anything like my rubies you still have a long road ahead. I will give a sneak peek at the rubies i am working on now i am going to re-work the face and re-paint it as soon as my new lenses get here :D
    Heres a normal rubies and the way the dome set's
    [​IMG]
    Here is mine with the mods to the dome i'm still working on the mounting system but this is what it is looking like so far with out a neckbrace on it. it's almost where i want it to be.... :confused
    [​IMG]
     
  50. darthjones

    darthjones Well-Known Member

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    Wow, these are gorgeous - goes to show in my mind how accurate the CA is to ESB if one just works with it a bit. Beautiful.
     

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