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Original 1977 ANH Stormtrooper Armor and Helmet

The only problem with using this is that you will not have a true replica. The whole joy of the originals is that paint chips off. To me anyway.


Hi Mark,

The problem is that from the minute the paint was stripped any paint job after that event makes it a 'replica' paint job it can never go back to being original no matter how good a job is made of it.

You will never recreate the original paintjob if you try you are heading down the path of making an original more like a replica than an original - if you get my drift.

I think there are three ways you can go if painting the helmet.

1. Use the exact paints as used in 1976 and let nature take its course - ie paint it like the first day of filming and let it flake and chip naturally - which I don't think will add anything to the helmet or get you any closer to returning it to its former self.

2. Use modern primer and paint and replicate as best you can the original on screen look / look from Simon's pictures. If the helmet can be placed on screen or from still photography I would look to make it more like what it looked like on screen. By masking or using masking sprays the original look of the helmet could be attained with modern paints.

3. Go for a pristine first day on set look using modern paints but unlike the Joiner / Kurtz auction helmet get the detailing accurate and capture the real look of an original.

If Simon is restoring this for himself and keeping the trooper then I would go for option 2.

If Simon is looking to add value by restoring the trooper I don't think any restoration will add value. The fact the helmet comes with a really rare suit will get serious collectors paying the big bucks alone.

I strongly disagree with xenomorph about stripping the paint being a costly mistake if he means it on a financial level. I think such is the demand for original SW props it would still make great money.
If xenomorph means it on a historical level then I agree. It was a mistake but because of the nature of the original paint jobs it is a natural reaction of people to see the originals and instantly want to repaint them. Three screen used helmets so far have been stripped for the exact same reason. I get the feeling that this won't be the last helmet we will see that will have had the paint removed.

Oh and Simon i believe you can get loads of different types of masking fluids and sprays to do the paint chips and still use modern paints. The studio scale modelling section of the forum may help you greatly if want any advice on incredibly detailed paint techniques with modern paints. Those guys are pretty incredible when it comes to paint jobs.

Chris
 

TK765

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Currently the suit is being restored, its not something I'm going to go overboard with just a general clean up and possible removal of the black paint in places. I full intend to document this, and any advice you have on paint removal would be helpful

Once restored I'll decide what to do with it.

If anyone has any questions on the suit please feel free to ask!

Do you know what kind of paint you used for the black?

I don't know if this will help but I painted a styrene helmet with a flexible plastic spray paint that I bought at Lowes, wasn't happy with the paint job so a year later I decided to try and strip it. Silly when I think back because it probably looked more like a real helmet with all the runs and stuff :lol

I bought a product called "Klean Strip Prep All" wax and degreaser. If I remember right its safe for plastics. I would soak a rag, hold it on the paint for a bit to let it soak in and then start rubbing. It took some work but I was able to remove all the paint from the helmet with no damage to the plastic.

Don't know if that would work with paint that has dried for 30 years. It might depend on what paint was used as well.
 

defstartrooper

Sr Member
As the helmets already stripped down and unasembled why not just make yourself an HDPE copy to paint up and display and keep the original as is in storage ?
I don't see restoring it as adding any value if you're looking to sell it later on and from a aesthetic standpoint a copy will be visually identical.
 

TheRealMcFly

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
No disrespect to you Si but art college and restoring over a £100,000 worth of history are two entirely different things. It's called specialist work.
Are you doing this for yourself or to make it more attractive to sell? If it's the latter I would leave it as it is. Collectors that are going to throw that kind of money at it are not interested in amateur restoration, they are purists. I'm just telling you how it is. You will add no value and likely devalue it. Just my word of warning. I know how the guys think that want this. Trust me don't do it if you are trying to do this for their benefit.
Leave it alone........

Of course this is yours and you don't need to listen to a word I have said.

But what is being restored? It wasn't any better than an amateur paint finish when it was first completed. I think the biggest problem with professional restorations is that the paint finishes are often far superior to how they were originally done in terms of quality and brushwork. Better? Yes. Authentic? No. Here is the problem.

I know I can do this!
I say go for it... hopefully you didn't make it through six years of school without any talent. The way I see it... you probably have the ability to finish this helmet off better than it ever was.

But I wouldn't. Undoubtedly you are getting a lot of attention for this wonderful costume. I would imagine you would or could have access to as much of the nitty gritty details as you wanted. The ultimate challenge is to bring it back to what it was... an original condition resto. No perfect gloss white; because that is too easy.

Don't sweat it though. Ruined? No way. The most important aspect of the history of these costumes is the shape/form first and foremost.
 

sskunky

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
But what is being restored? It wasn't any better than an amateur paint finish when it was first completed. I think the biggest problem with professional restorations is that the paint finishes are often far superior to how they were originally done in terms of quality and brushwork. Better? Yes. Authentic? No. Here is the problem.
Here lies the problem. If you look at any of my replica props you may understand what I'm trying to say. Most restorations look just that. "restorations". I don't put too much effort into the finish. That what makes them look screen used.
The point I'm trying to make is that Simon from what gather does want to sell this. Simon am I wrong?
I know of the collectors willing and wanting to buy this and I know they don't want anyone touching it. It will add nothing to the value.
I really don't see the point.
If you are going to sell it do just that. If you are doing the restoration for yourself then do it. But I fear that the restoration is because you think it will be more atractive to buyers. It won't.

I say go for it... hopefully you didn't make it through six years of school without any talent. The way I see it... you probably have the ability to finish this helmet off better than it ever was.

This is were you show the inexperience of what original prop collectors want.

But I wouldn't. Undoubtedly you are getting a lot of attention for this wonderful costume. I would imagine you would or could have access to as much of the nitty gritty details as you wanted. The ultimate challenge is to bring it back to what it was... an original condition resto. No perfect gloss white; because that is too easy.

Don't sweat it though. Ruined? No way. The most important aspect of the history of these costumes is the shape/form first and foremost.

Again Wrong.
Shape and form yes, but you are forgetting the little original details. Glue, rivets, elastic dirt and original screen damage.
 

TheRealMcFly

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Don't worry I'm all for the details and that was what I was referring to. I'd even want the rivets to be the same type of metal. Count the number and weave of elastic strands in the strap an all. Match the primer. Match the paint, all colors of the paint.

SiMan's got an original costume. That IS seriously cool. If I were him I'd probably feel pretty bad about taking the paint off of there. But heck I ruined plenty of things in my younger days. If I were him I would shed the guilt in exchange for a personal obligation to return it to how it was. All I was trying to pass along was my confidence in his ability to return this to its original condition while utilizing as many resources and data as possible.

The real question is what will you decide SiMan? You'd probably make more money selling the whole thing outright. Your in a unique position, and its quite an opportunity. If you are going to sell it anyway, at least get us some molds from the inside.
 

sskunky

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I didn't mean to sound condesending. Ishtar hate this prop to get more damage than it is already. I don't know Simon personally or know his ability at restoration. All I do know is that any potential buyer with that kind of cash to throw at a prop like this would want it as is. And any idea of recasting it would be out of the question. Any moulds would need to be destroyed upon sale.
 

defstartrooper

Sr Member
I didn't mean to sound condesending. Ishtar hate this prop to get more damage than it is already. I don't know Simon personally or know his ability at restoration. All I do know is that any potential buyer with that kind of cash to throw at a prop like this would want it as is. And any idea of recasting it would be out of the question. Any moulds would need to be destroyed upon sale.

Why ?
Are you saying that the value of any of the existing known parts that have already been moulded has dropped or has made them unsaleable ?
Sorry don't buy that and the historical facts dont back that claim up, an original is an original and remains as such regardless of copies.
 

sskunky

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Are you telling me that if you were about to throw £100,000 + at a prop you would be ok with the seller casting and selling copies first.

I seriously doubt it.

I'm more concerned with preserving the original prop but I know if I were to buy it and known collectors that could afford to buy it would have the same opinion.
 

defstartrooper

Sr Member
Are you telling me that if you were about to throw £100,000 + at a prop you would be ok with the seller casting and selling copies first.

I seriously doubt it.

I'm more concerned with preserving the original prop but I know if I were to buy it and known collectors that could afford to buy it would have the same opinion.

Yeah absolutely fine with it, if i buy an original artwork would i be bothered with somebody producing prints ? of course not, would it affect the value of the original if someone sold prints ? absolutely not.

If i were dropping money on this i would be purchasing it it for one reason and that would be it's historical and personal value to me, however we all know that sometimes it's unfortunate that we have to part with stuff and i wouldn't be at all woried about copies devaluing the original piece should that be the case.

The only thing that would devalue it would be another 50 originals turning up.
 
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Sorry don't buy that and the historical facts dont back that claim up, an original is an original and remains as such regardless of copies.

Agreed 100% making copies of screen used props has never devalued the original.

Stormtrooper helmets have been copied in the past - the helmet TE copied, the SFS helmet digital scan, the Joiner / Kurtz helmet and a few ROTJ helmets.

None of these original helmets have went down in value since they were copied in fact their values have all went up dramatically from the date of being copied.

I understand some high end collectors might not want their items copied but that is just their preference not anything to do with losing value on the item.

I wouldn't hesitate in making copies of the helmet and armour BUT that is coming from somebody who collects prop replicas. I wouldn't worry too much about high end collectors demands I would be more worried about damaging the suit. The seller in these cases is in the driving seat as there is more than 1 high end collector out there wanting one of these.

Off the top of my head 50 suits and helmets made total. Between 5 and 10 ANH helmets are known to have turned up without suits.

By my count there are 12 full ANH suits and helmets known to still exist in the LFL archives and in the hands of private collectors. The ones in the archives will never be up for sale so the amount in private hands is half.

That is a very small amount left over from the original production so I would think the demand on one copied or not would still be massive.

I am sure Christies would bite off Simon's hand to get this suit as a flagship item in one of their auctions copied or not.

Chris
 

ObiHahn

Active Member
Whatever he does with it, I hope he will make detailed pictures of the internal strapping and all the rivets and components used - and then shares 'em with the community! ;)

SiMan, have you ever put that armor on, and are there pics of you wearing it? And how did the codpiece break, or was it like that when you got it? BTW, how did you get it (haven't read about that as of now, or am I only blind)?
 

Onigiri

Sr Member
What suit is that supposed to be? Shoulder straps are wrong along with a few other things. Never seen this pic before, whats the story on this pic?


At least he didn't cop an attitude like this guy. Or is this Simon? :lol
a-4.jpg
 

Onigiri

Sr Member
Disagree. There is a reason that artists sell prints of their works along with their originals. There are folks that would love to own an original but cant and those that wont own anything but an original. Two different markets. The price of one has no bearing on the other whatsoever. What it is the hubris of people who want something nobody else has. Many people in this hobby unfortunately get some sort of gratification out of saying "I have this and you dont". Those are the people that dont want their sense of self threatened by others having something close to what they have.

Are you telling me that if you were about to throw £100,000 + at a prop you would be ok with the seller casting and selling copies first.

I seriously doubt it.

I'm more concerned with preserving the original prop but I know if I were to buy it and known collectors that could afford to buy it would have the same opinion.
 

gizmo

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I dont think casting it would hurt it`s value in any way.You can`t say that if the Brian R helmet turned up for sale after being recast the way it has that it`s value would have dropped.It`s still the original and no recast would ever be as good as that.What about if the original ANH Vader helmet turned up.I know it probably doesn`t exist anymore in it`s original state but would people feel less inclined to buy because it`s been cast a few times and now EFX is doing a replica?I think not.

In fact if I could get my hands on this,and the only way I could is by winning the lotto,I would cast it and make everyone that can`t afford an original happy.

It`s 2 very different markets.People who CAN afford originals buy them and everybody else who can`t,well they buy the replicas.Theres no competing between the 2.

Not intending to offend anyone,just my 2c.:)
 
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ObiHahn

Active Member
don't the archives pics that have already been posted show all that ?

Not in the amount of detail that SiMan could provide, no.
Imagine each and every rivet, photographed from both sides, and pics of how the straps are secured around the screw-on brackets, and so on and so on...

The archive pics, however awesome, don't show everything, at least not the ones I have seen.
 
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