SDS Stunt Helmet yellowing & cracking

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Jediwannabe, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. Jediwannabe

    Jediwannabe Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I've been noticing my SDS Stunt helmet is slowly turning yellow. Around the ears and mouth mostly. I do not have it in direct sunlight so I know it is not a result of exposure. Anyone else experiencing problem? Is there anything we can do?
     
  2. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    ...maybe some Novus ABS polish would take it out?
     
  3. DaddyfromNaboo

    DaddyfromNaboo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Makes me think about getting a TIE pilot first ;)

    Michael
     
  4. RedTwoX

    RedTwoX Sr Member

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    Wash it, sand it, prime it and paint it. I'm afraid that's only resolution I've ever found to yellowing plastic.
     
  5. Kerr Avon

    Kerr Avon Master Member

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    Is it in any kind of light source with a lot of UV? Or just incandescent bulbs?
     
  6. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    That does not sound good. Especially if the whole suit is inclined to do that.
     
  7. Jediwannabe

    Jediwannabe Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    My room has standard lightbulbs in the ceiling and I keep the blinds partially closed at all times. There is no hard light and not much artificial. Not is it in direct line of my heating and a/c system. It just seems to be yellowing on its own.


     
  8. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    :eek Wow.. :eek

    Sorry to hear that. I would ask Andrew about it Pronto.

    Mine is still like the day it was shipped but I have it in a display case and I have a black cloth over it.

    I don't even let indoor light hit it. :lol

    What number is yours by the by?
     
  9. Lello999

    Lello999 Well-Known Member

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    Oh my God, that´s shocking. I think I do have to control mine :confused

    Domenik
     
  10. Kerr Avon

    Kerr Avon Master Member

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    Ewww. Got pics?
     
  11. DL 44 Blaster

    DL 44 Blaster Sr Member

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    It's not good and the whole suit will....yellow that is. As mentioned the only remedy is sand & paint. ABS tends to yellow also,but not as easily from my experience nor as badly.

    Steve


    EDIT: This is the exact reason I think AA himself should be the one painting them...SDS Studios that is. For 800friggin' dollars this shouldn't be happening already :eek: It's pathetic and personally IF I owned one I'd be on the phone or emailing AA to see what he intends to do about it.....
     
  12. DarthJRW

    DarthJRW Well-Known Member

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    ive heard of the screen used doing that......that is ...over a course of 2 decades..

    But the best thing to do would just to sand it and repaint......who knows it might get an even more screen used look to it

    good luck though
     
  13. Jediwannabe

    Jediwannabe Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm out for a few hours but I will post pics tonight.

    -C
     
  14. Jedirick

    Jedirick Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    How long you had the helmet? Any warranty? Think SDS might replace it?

    IIRC the stunts are styrene plastic while hero is ABS? if so, be cautious about using products for exclusively ABS on styrene.

    Styrene certainly does not have the UV resistance of ABS. Heat generated from Vac forming probably does nothing to help and could be a reason for variation in yellowing from one stunt to another. I've had some sheet styrenne yellow over a couple weeks while sitting on a work bench while other pieces in the pile have be unaffected.

    Painting probably is your best bet. Might want to investigate that new Krylon spray primer for plastic. I've used it on outdoor furnture and PVC stuff with pleasing results.
    Good luck.
     
  15. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Aren't we talking about the fairly expensive helmet that we wouldn't dare repaint? And to yellow in such a short amount of time sounds terrible.
     
  16. RedTwoX

    RedTwoX Sr Member

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    The helmet is yellowing regardless of the purchase price. There's nothing to do for it unless some kind of warranty allows a replacement/refund. He either lives with the expensive, yellow helmet, or he paints it.

    If this is a helmet to display and have look good I think the answer is easy: The value of the helmet is in it's appearance which is compromised. Paint it and have it looking good again.

    If the helmet was bought for collection value it's a trickier call. What hurts the value more: Yellowing or paint. In this case I'm inclined to say that altering the helmet is more damaging to the monetary value and you just live with the yellowing. Whatever it looks like, it's in it's "natural" conditon from a collectors point of view.

    Me, I don't "invest" in props. Props are for fun and "Wow. factor" and yellow plastic takes away from both. I say paint it.
     
  17. Darth Mawr

    Darth Mawr Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The SDS is supposedly a replica of what AA made for ANH. Those helmets were originally painted. I say if it's the plastic itself that's yellowed and not something that has adhered to the surface of the plastic then PAINT AWAY.

    Now, could it be something building up on the helmet. I've got a oven vent in my kitchen that barely works. I find that from time to time a slight grease film will build up on some of the cabinets and it's yellow in color. So, a couple of times a year the kitchen get's scrubbed with a grease cutting cleaner.

    Could something like this be building up on your helmet? Test a small area with cleaner and see. Of course don't use anything abrasive to start with.

    If nothing helps....buy a brush and slap on some paint. :D
     
  18. FON

    FON Well-Known Member

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    Thats shocking its started yellowing already. I have mine sitting on one of my speakers, and it gets hit by the morning sunlight for a good 4 hrs every day... no yellowing so far
     
  19. Lynn TXP 0369

    Lynn TXP 0369 Sr Member

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    Your only asking for trouble, it is just a matter of time.

    You have that helmet in those conditions for much longer,say a year or so, and I bet you take another helmet, place it side by side, and you may be suprised on how much a color difference there will be.

    Lynn
     
  20. Jediwannabe

    Jediwannabe Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Sorry I have zero Photoshop skills and the light in my kitchen was as close to white as I could find tonight so it is a little hard to see. I've been denying the yellowing to myself for some time but it is happening.

    First look to 7 O'clock from the screw holding the earpiece in. The yellow is where the earpiece attaches to the mask.
    [​IMG]

    Next you can see at the tip of the frown and then again as the line travels away from the mouth there are spots of yellow.
    [​IMG]

    I might have to take pictures again tomorrow with natural light so you can see it better.
     
  21. Firefoxm31

    Firefoxm31 Sr Member

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    do you smoke? or anybody in the house......niccotine(sp?) does this to walls, doors, anything really..just a crazy thought... there is good news though, that Mister Clean Magic Sponge cleans it right up without super harsh scrubbing, well at least walls...never had to try it on ABS, or Styrene
     
  22. Jediwannabe

    Jediwannabe Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    No Sir. I'm a tofu eating, yoga practicing Southern Californian. No smoking in my house.


     
  23. Kerr Avon

    Kerr Avon Master Member

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    Looks to be showing up where the plastic had the greatest deflection during the vacuum forming process. If you look at areas that have little deflection, does it look like that is staying white. Maybe the plastic used yellows the more it's 'worked' or weakens it so it yellows faster there.
     
  24. Jediwannabe

    Jediwannabe Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The yellow does look to be focused to those areas I noted. The yellow at the tip of the frown almost looks like it reacted to the paint of the frown. That was the first yellow spot I noticed. The other ones came later.


     
  25. exoray

    exoray Master Member

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    My guess is that there is a possibility that it was slightly overheated while getting ready to form, as well as the added abuse of being formed that accelerated the yellowing...

    It could also simply be a defective sheet of plastic, unless of course we start to hear more and more cases pop up...
     
  26. zorg

    zorg Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    that looks very disappointing, i would contact AA straight away with your concerns,

    its simply not acceptable, dont try and fix it yourself without talking to him first.

    tell him the conditions in which it was kept so he cant use that as an excuse.

    i would not accept anything less than a replacement or refund

    good luck :(
     
  27. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    zorg took the words right out of my mouth :)
     
  28. Jediwannabe

    Jediwannabe Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Tonight I have sent an email to AA explaining the situation as well as the care I have taken to keep the helmet pristine. I'll let you know what happens.
     
  29. temponaut

    temponaut Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Please do let us know how AA responds. I have both the SDS Stunt and Hero helmets. No sign of yellowing yet... but if it's happening to you, then it could be just a matter of time before it happens to the rest of us.

    By the way: What number is your helmet? Was yours made in an early run?
     
  30. Jediwannabe

    Jediwannabe Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    My Stunt is #118
     
  31. StarWars Collector

    StarWars Collector Well-Known Member

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    My stunt is 73 and my hero 15. No problems whatsoever. And I DO smoke. :p
     
  32. temponaut

    temponaut Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks for posting your helmet numbers.

    It sounds as if the yellowing isn't simply a matter of aging and/or exposure to the elements; as some others have pointed out, it may be related to overheating or stress where the styrene was most deflected.

    Whatever the case, I'll be very interested to hear what AA has to say about this... :confused
     
  33. JBReplicas

    JBReplicas Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It looks like heat damage to me too, is it sitting over anything that generates heat at all?
     
  34. DrStranglove

    DrStranglove Sr Member

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    Wow. I have never seen that happen to plastic that quickly. I will be interested in seeing how AA deals with this.
     
  35. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    118 would make that what, the second or third batch?

    Regardless of what the problem is Andrew should send a replacement.

    Needless to say a lot of people will be watching to see how this will be handled.
     
  36. Jediwannabe

    Jediwannabe Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Just my twin stack of Marshal 30 watt amplifiers and my Fender American Strat. My music has been known to be hot but I don't think it generates heat.

    That is a poor attempt at a joke. There is no heat source around.


     
  37. Kerr Avon

    Kerr Avon Master Member

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    Well, here's hoping he'll stand behind his product. I'd think if that the item in question had been exposed to a radiant form of heat the entire surface would be more yellowed rather than just areas with a lot of bending or working.
     
  38. Jediwannabe

    Jediwannabe Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    OK this sucks I have found a crack near the yellowing.

    Unfortunately, I cannot get my camera to focus that close to read it but it is slightly visible between the yellow spot on the tip of the frown and the yellow spot below it to it's 4 O'clock. If you traveled left from the center of the blue vents you will see it. It looks very faint and I just used dish soap and water to try to clean it in disbelief.

    [​IMG]
     
  39. Lello999

    Lello999 Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, poor You

    Well, I checked mine (#3xx or something like that) and now yellowing here as well (but it seems I´m quite a lucky guy concerning yellowing - have a DP CA ST here and it is still more than white, no yellow at all)

    Hope AA helps You

    Domenik
     
  40. imaginager

    imaginager Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Jediwannabe,

    In your position I would phone SDS. I don't have international on my Verizon cel but spoke with a rep a couple of weeks ago to get the cost/min.: 60 cents.

    All things considered, I would take clear pics of the problem, email those to AA, ask him to name a convenient time to talk, and then call him. For such an investment, it's worth the ~$20 it may cost to speak to him, directly.

    Think back on any environmental factors that may have affected it since you've owned it. Was anything sprayed onto the surface, even accidentally?

    Since there is a crack, the plastic may, at some point, have come into contact with a solvent, which may cause both discoloration and stress corrosion cracking.

    Allan
     
  41. temponaut

    temponaut Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wow. That's awful. Jediwannabe, I feel your pain. :cry

    As for your message to AA: I ordered something from SDS in late December of 2004 and, just before the end of the year, got a message from them asking me to be patient because the country had basically shut down for the holidays.

    You've probably already thought of it, but don't be surprised if it takes several days to get a response. :unsure
     
  42. Jediwannabe

    Jediwannabe Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The helmet sits on a wall in my home office. There are no chemicals that could come in contact. It could not be in a cleaner, even temperatured, low light environment. I'm in Los Angeles so we don't even have humidity. It cannot be anything that I have done.


     
  43. Darth Mawr

    Darth Mawr Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I used sell, service and install gas logs. I learned a lot about things that could cause staining because often people would want to blame the log set for the problem. Sometimes they were right but most often it was another source.

    You've already answered some of my questions in your responses to others but I'm curious, do you burn scented candles?

    This could explain the yellowing (again if it's on the surface and not the plastic itself that is yellowing)
     
  44. Jediwannabe

    Jediwannabe Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Very interesting. At one time I did have a scented candle in the room. I could have used it two or three times but it sat in the office for several months. Do you really think that could have done it? The candle was not underneath the helmet and any heat would have been far away.

    This yellow does not look like it is on the surface. It is most definitely coming from the plastic. At the tip of the frown the yellow looks to be coming from underneath the gray paint.
     
  45. Darth Mawr

    Darth Mawr Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I've seen considerable yellowing/darkening of ceilings due to scented candle use. The scented are much more likely than the plain and I don't understand the chemistry involved that causes that.

    With this said, if you've only burned the candle two or three times I'm doubtful that it had anything to do with this.
     
  46. Jediwannabe

    Jediwannabe Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So I broke out the Novus Scratch Remover to try to clean it and what I found was interesting. The first crack became more pronounced buy the coloring of the paste and when I used it on one of the other yellow spot more cracks became apparent. There are many tiny STRESS CRACKS located just in the yellow areas. Even around the noticable crack there are tiny white stress cracks. This must be a flaw.
     
  47. Darth Mawr

    Darth Mawr Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm far from a plastics expert but I'd have to agree. It seems to be defective plastics. Possibley not even the fault of AA however I too feel he should replace the helm.
     
  48. Kerr Avon

    Kerr Avon Master Member

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    Definately sounds like the plastic was overworked or bad when used. It's entirely possible he didn't know about it at the time and it looked normal, but he should stand behind his work and offer some kind of replacement on that.
     
  49. SithLord

    SithLord Sr Member

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    I've had four SDS stunts and one hero and only one, a low numbered one...had one stain like that on it (as a tear under the eye). I contact AA a while back about it. He said the color is not from molding. He cleans the helmets with various polishes and had gone through some early experimenting with them and it might have resulted from a reaction to the polish. The product he now uses is used for rejuvenating paintwork on cars. It is a mild abrasive and polishes the plastic very well, as well as removing small scratches and he said it should remove the discoloration. Cleaners with bleach can stain the plastic. But I don't understand why a #118 helmet which is a later helmet would have the problem...so it's not related to light at least...

    :cheers,

    Thomas
     
  50. marcvs66

    marcvs66 New Member

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    I've actually had the same problem w/ a ST helmet by a different maker - same stress/hairline cracks and yellowing in areas that were pulled really deep=thin and in areas that were stressed by force from the outside [after vacu-forming] - like around the screws in one of the ears, where the screw was tightened really tight to get a perfect fit between the faceplate/back and ear. Same/similar acrylic-capped styrene that AA uses... so, my theory for this one would be that somehow the two layers: styrene and clear acrylic top-coat separated due to stress/cracks and oxygene gets in between the layers and starts to well, oxidize... yellow... so, the yellow is in between the two layers and can't be polished out... it's there for good. At least that's what I concluded w/ my helmet... hey - a 'real' ST helmet needs to be sloppily painted w/ a rattle-can anyway... that glossy styrene is just too darn pretty...
     

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