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  1. CSMacLaren's Avatar
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    Sep 10, 2012, 2:59 AM - Sculpting a ROTS Vader #1

    This is an old project I recently resurrected. Now, most of you who have followed my works in progress threads over at The Prop Den will know I'm more of an Original Trilogy guy. I actually can't stand the ROTS design. I don't think the propmakers improved it. The magnificent subtleties of the original screenused ANH, as sculpted by Brian Muir, were eradicated by the oversanded and forced symmetrical treatment to create the ROTS Vader.

    So why am I sculpting this? First, I love sculpting. Second, I loved the technical challenge of this. Third, I couldn't afford an MR, and people are charging a pretty penny. Four, I didn't want to buy a recast. Five, recasters weren't stripping the paint but simply molding over a painted helmet, then shooting additional paint, resulting in greater loss of detail. But the biggest reason is my buddy T-VIRUS said, "We *could* buy one... but where would the fun be in that?"

    Last famous words for a glutton for punishment.

    I had been working on this on and off for several years now. Since my "Darth Ugly" charity sculpt to help a disabled single mom (Check The Junkyard section and do a search for "Darth Ugly ANH") is starting to take off, I thought the ol' Scratchbuilt ROTS mask would make a good Labor Day Weekend project that would hopefully work out to help the single mom.

    Some of you had seen the original progress pics:




    The most recent work now involve redoing a lot on the face. The white is the new work done to it, whereas the yellow was the original build - some taxidermy clay which I will never use again, because it's bone-hard. Great for, you know, bones. Bad for sanding because sanding takes FOR. EVER. Because the stuff is so darned hard.



    This was my opportunity to put in some better symmetry. Because I'm not a computer, I don't think I'm going to get it perfectly symmetrical. But then again, I'm told that even the screenused ROTS wasn't as perfectly symmetrical.

    I spent a lot of time on the eyes, working off pictures from Jez' site, StarWarsHelmets.com



    There was a heck of a lot of work that had to be done - or redone. I've done total resculpts to imperfect masks. In this case, I'm resculpting my own work, which was an original sculpt to begin with. Odd, huh? A lot of sanding, undoing, redoing, etc. as the face needed a certain balance. Again, I'm working off pictures; I have no ROTS casting by my side. Originally, when it was still quite banana colored, I got it to match some measurements, but on the whole it was wrong. It looked right from one angle, but not right from another. So this time around, I decided to just go by feel. So far so good.



    Based on how the right cheek has a certain shape, I believe the Lucasfilm propmakers scanned the right side in order to create the mirror-flipped left. Here you get a better sense of the extensive work done to capture the nuances of the ROTS face. Pardon the mess. I use black acrylics as a non-toxic "primer" to test my work. I generally end up sanding it off.

    I decided to keep the neck short like OT masks. I haven't yet decided on whether to make it long like the MR, as the advantage of a shorter neck is that costumers might be able to turn their heads when in armor.



    When I originally sculpted this, I had a picture of him looking up (the famous Rolling Stones cover). But when he looked down, he really sucked.

    This time around, I tried to make him look natural at any angle.

    This was a pain to do because I had to make sure the cheeks and mouth were even on either side of the center symmetry line. They might look great here, but if you change the nod angle, one cheek might stick out, then change the nod angle again, and one mouth corner would be really off. What the heck?!



    I once read one RPFer here mentioned that he liked all the subtle sculpting imperfections because it showed the handworked nature of a prop. So on that note, I do want to keep it organic. It'll fool you from a distance. That and I've seen people who do magnificent sculpts get accused of recasting, so I'd be tickled to see if anyone down the road accuses me of recasting an MR!

    Now the dome was going to be thrown away. It was an older project that started off as a Don Post Deluxe descended casting that I'd hack around with, only to utterly ruin the thing, as I didn't know what I was doing back then. I thought I'd give it a shot at sanding and adding material to see if I could make it look more ROTS like.

    The ROTS dome, to me, looked a bit like the head of the Sphinx when I first saw it in theaters. Or a bit like a G.I. military helmet. When the surgical table got raised to an upright position and I saw this, I thought, ACK. What the heck?! The work on this dome was not trivial. I'll skip the progress photos and show the state of progress as it is right now.







    It's a very rough cut - there's still a lot of work to do. A lot of refinement work is needed. But I feel the essence of ROTS is there. Tubes and teeth bars will be next, once I tame the sides of the face and get them to where they can actually take tubes and keep them in the right shape.

  2. leviathan8609's Avatar
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    Sep 10, 2012, 3:26 AM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #2

    Nice, can't wait to see it completed!
  3. poholio's Avatar
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    Sep 10, 2012, 3:27 PM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #3

    No doubt you'll nail it perfectly. Great so far!
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    Sep 10, 2012, 4:43 PM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #4

    can't wait to see the finished job...looking great so far
  5. CSMacLaren's Avatar
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    Feb 15, 2013, 3:20 PM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #5

    Okay, first mod shots of the year (I think).



    Here's the neck extension I sculpted. It took a few passes, as 2-part clay can be a bit floppy and sag on you.



    Shots were taken with my iPhone 4 about 4 or so feet away.



    Enjoy!
  6. Cbstudios's Avatar
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    Feb 16, 2013, 3:20 AM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #6

    The neck extention REALLY adds to the ROTS look, always stood out as a definitive ep III addition. Love you work!
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    Mar 23, 2013, 4:47 AM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #7

    That's awesome ! Post more pictures please
  8. TigerStoneFX's Avatar
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    Mar 23, 2013, 6:47 AM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #8

    Looking good! This is something on my own to do list, quite an undertaking. Can't wait to see this all put together and painted.
  9. CSMacLaren's Avatar
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    Mar 26, 2013, 1:11 AM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #9

    Please pardon the iPhone 4 shots. Yes, I have finally upgraded from a lousy 3GS to a lowest-of-the-low iPhone 4. Thanks to the feedback that the dome looked too small and looked OT, I made a really concerted effort in mimicking the ROTS style. It's not perfectly symmetrical all around, but those will be the telltale signs that distinguish this from an MR.



  10. DarkCreations's Avatar
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    Mar 26, 2013, 10:31 AM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #10

    Looking good Mac!
    Glad to see you still at these Vader projects.
    Can't wait to see this baby finished.
    Been a while, hope all is well my friend!

    ~Jon
  11. CSMacLaren's Avatar
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    Feb 16, 2014, 4:48 PM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #11

    This coming May will mark 7 years. How time flies...


    Some shots as of this morning:





    I've now begun to really watch the surfaces and to ensure surface continuity because although the sculpt looked generically ROTS, any surface irregularities would show up under black gloss paint.


    Thus the neck extension had to blend well and integrate with the head, so this is what I'm focused on before moving onto the tubes and the teeth.


    Still a work in progress on this side:








    More later!
  12. CSMacLaren's Avatar
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    Feb 25, 2014, 3:47 PM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #12

    Feb 25 progress. Now sculpting the teeth. Ugh...



    Vader's teeth are like bars...

    ... like bars of cell phone reception. Currently just sculpted the four, but will add the leftmost and right most towards the end.
  13. CSMacLaren's Avatar
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    Feb 25, 2014, 9:22 PM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #13

    A fun shot to see what might be ahead....

    Please pardon the dome orientation, as it's on tube socks and foam. It's tilted a bit in the 1-o'clock direction.



    The armor is my to-do O.T. armor project...
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    Feb 26, 2014, 9:46 AM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #14

    Wow dude....I don't know how you continue to do all these Vader re-do projects. The ONE helmet I sculpted from scratch (RR ESB) was enough for me to not want to do this again....lol.

    Great progress, as always. Alex.
  15. Cascades's Avatar
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    Feb 26, 2014, 11:39 AM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #15

    Gorgeous
  16. CSMacLaren's Avatar
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    Feb 26, 2014, 12:06 PM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #16

    Cascades said: View Post
    Gorgeous
    Thanks!

    Alex41 said: View Post
    Wow dude....I don't know how you continue to do all these Vader re-do projects. The ONE helmet I sculpted from scratch (RR ESB) was enough for me to not want to do this again....lol.

    Great progress, as always. Alex.
    Thanks for the encouragement - and wow, it's good to finally meet you.

    I was just thinking about the RR the other day. Believe it or not, I'm pondering the viability of doing a cast off this faceplate and doing an OT mod to it. Weird, huh? But I can't say I'm the first person to do a scratchbuilt OT sculpt!
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    Feb 26, 2014, 12:46 PM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #17

    CSMacLaren said: View Post
    Thanks!



    Thanks for the encouragement - and wow, it's good to finally meet you.

    I was just thinking about the RR the other day. Believe it or not, I'm pondering the viability of doing a cast off this faceplate and doing an OT mod to it. Weird, huh? But I can't say I'm the first person to do a scratchbuilt OT sculpt!

    Good to meet you too. I've seen your work on the Prop Den for years now. You do some very fine work sir.

    I would love to have one of the cast of my old helmet back but the guy who owns it now hasn't returned a call/text in the last 4 years so I don't think we'll ever see that helmet again. Kinda hurts to think about really. lol
  18. CSMacLaren's Avatar
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    Feb 26, 2014, 4:47 PM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #18

    Alex41 said: View Post
    Good to meet you too. I've seen your work on the Prop Den for years now. You do some very fine work sir.

    I would love to have one of the cast of my old helmet back but the guy who owns it now hasn't returned a call/text in the last 4 years so I don't think we'll ever see that helmet again. Kinda hurts to think about really. lol

    Dude, that sucks. Hopefully runriott will come around.
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    Feb 26, 2014, 4:55 PM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #19

    Oh wow....I thought he told everyone this; he sold it to a guy in Louisiana about 6 years ago. It was heavily damaged in shipping and since I lived in Mississippi at the time, the new owner brought it to me to fix. I took that time to fix some of the little things that I wasn't happy about and add (at his permission) a DS 20th century dome that I reworked to my liking.

    But I'm mucking up your thread with my life story, haha, if you want I can PM you the new shots of it after I did my thing to it.
  20. CSMacLaren's Avatar
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    Mar 18, 2014, 5:17 PM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #20

    A lot of major work that may not seem obvious, so I'll step you through.

    First are the grooves from the eye corners to the back.






    These were a pariticular challenge. I had to create a certain elegance because the curve of the groove and the cheek corner leading up to it makes an elegant "S" curve. The edge of the eye had to end like a flap in a sense to become part of that curve. But adding new material meant the surface vectors of the head had to also be brought out, so I added a lot of material to the skull of the mask.

    Here you can see the skull has a bit of a fuller look:



    I've also now sculpted out the remaining teethbars, and will try to do a bit more sanding to them to get the teeth a touch straighter.

    Some fun shots:







    Sigh... getting there....
  21. Utini! RPF Premium Member TIGCreations's Avatar
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    Sep 16, 2016, 7:11 PM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #21

    Is this thread still alive? Considering doing a ROTS vader.
  22. CSMacLaren's Avatar
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    Sep 17, 2016, 8:08 PM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #22

    Yes, it is indeed alive. I'll have some updates in the next month or so.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  23. Utini! RPF Premium Member TIGCreations's Avatar
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    Sep 17, 2016, 8:23 PM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #23

    CSMacLaren said: View Post
    Yes, it is indeed alive. I'll have some updates in the next month or so.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Will there be custom bookface armor for this if it reaches the popularity of Ugly or Quasi?
  24. CSMacLaren's Avatar
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    Sep 17, 2016, 9:58 PM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #24

    TheIronGAMING said: View Post
    Will there be custom bookface armor for this if it reaches the popularity of Ugly or Quasi?

    I call it Structurally Matching Armor. The answer is yes! Which is why I've been taking a bit of time to do it because rather than do what vendors have done - which is to simply recast the Rubie's plastic armor and offer fiberglass copies - I intend to do this from scratch. Ugh...
  25. Utini! RPF Premium Member TIGCreations's Avatar
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    Sep 18, 2016, 8:33 AM - Re: Sculpting a ROTS Vader #25

    CSMacLaren said: View Post
    I call it Structurally Matching Armor. The answer is yes! Which is why I've been taking a bit of time to do it because rather than do what vendors have done - which is to simply recast the Rubie's plastic armor and offer fiberglass copies - I intend to do this from scratch. Ugh...
    All I can say is, Impressive, most impressive. This video shows a lot of bts on the sculpting of it. https://youtu.be/gq_2nK5KUAo?t=3m14s

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