WIP: intwenothor's Boba Fett helmet thread.

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I've got this on the MPPC Forum and the Prop Den but I thought it could stand to be shared here.

I recently acquired an unaltered cast of the Pre Pro 2 Helmet plug which is itself is a first generation cast of the Pre Pro 2 Helmet making my cast a second generation cast of a production Boba Helmet. As great as the unaltered cast is and shows some amazing details unique to the PP2 I'm an ESB man through and through and I decided to ESB my cast for it to be my final ESB Boba lid. The PP2 plug like the helmet itself is not without it's issues so there's work to be done. I'll chart my progress here.

Live the dream.

Andy



Firstly I need to effectively make a Vanilla helmet to advance from.

The main areas to work are:

Removing the original cast on ears and creating usable ear platforms.

Correcting a dome distortion at the rear.

Correcting a distortion on the rear of the orbital band.

Filling and smoothing out all of the signature PP2 damage.
 
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So, it started as an unaltered cast and then I set to work about the ears.






A lot of work went into creating a pair of nice flat ear platform. a change in material colour does not mean a change in height or contour.



Here's the other ear taken off. This platform need some more work to tidy up the front edge a little and to level it out a little where my cuts were slightly uneven.





Live the dream.

Andy
 
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Managed to get a bit more done on the ear platform today. This was as difficult as the other ear but for different reasons. I probably spent about three hours playing with the ear platform today. It's more or less there and is pretty smooth and level. Could do with some tiny tidy up but I'll leave that until I've actuallly figured out the ears themselves.







I also had a little play with filling some of the unique PP2 damage and seeing how to address some of the texturing. The first shot over emphasises the texturing due to the high contrast; you can see it on the rear panel. I did some work on the lower front right mandible and filling the damage by the ear (and to a lesser degree behind the left ear on the trim/banding section). It's not difficult but does require care and patience to smooth out.

Still working on the missing chunk by the ear.





Live the dream.
 
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Busy week at work. I have made major alterations to the dome in the rear left quarter to iron out a distortion created by a number of issues and have now decided to leave where it is for the moment. I'm pretty content with the shape in that corner now. Over the last six or seven days I've been working on the orbital band on the same area. When I contacted Lee Malone he indicated this was an area that he'd spent some time and I must confess I've been playing with it quite lot myself. I felt it was quite badly mis alligned in that back left quarter and didn't roll around particularly nicely. Whilst the gains appear small the input was heavy and the work pretty intricate including added some miniscule amounts of material to thicken the band vey slightly in one spot; feedback would be welcome as always.

I also filled in the the knife gouge and some of the other damage which is probably far more noticeable but incomparison to the band it was nothing. I still need to add some filler to even out the bottom rim of the helmet. Added some primer hastily to even out some of the colour changes so it is easier to see what I have done and I have added some pics of the unaltered cast so you can see exactly what I have chnaged by how much.

Live the dream.

Andy










 
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Been working on the mandibles. Used the drilling tiny holes technique offered up by a few people on MPPC forum and then pressed in hard with milliput superfine 2 part epoxy putty. After 24 hours that stuff is rock hard. Also filled in nearly all of the signature PP2 damage; I am still gently working around the dent area so I've chopped it out of the photo.

Also gently sanded the whole thing with a very fine sponge to even out some of the weave texture issue from the buck. The texture thing isn't uniform. In some cases I can barely detect it at all. Spent a lot of time doing that.





Andy
 
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I went away for a bit and then straight back to work so I hadn't been doing much concentrated work on this helmet and was spending my time researching other things. What I have been doing on and off for the last three or four week is working around that dent and tidying up some of the other minor textural bits and pieces and tiny chips and nicks in the helmet.

My work around the dent has been extraordinarily tedious and time consuming. I reckon I've spent as much time here as I did on both ear platform. The PP2 has a kind of ring around the dent that I don't find present on the ESB so I've been adding miniscule amounts of materal in order to smooth that out. There's also a tiny lump inside inside the PP2 dent that I don't see in the ESB helmet either so that had to be removed (oh, so gently).

As we have already seen photography isn't my strong point and my choice of primer colour doesn't help the contrast issues but this is where i am with the dent:




and here's where I am overall.






I won't be doing much on the outside for a while. I need to get the inside sorted.
Live the dream

Andy
 
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Minor update on my lid. Been working on the interior using Fibreglass cloth to mimic the ESB interior. Here are a couple of shots on that subject. The first is the interior of the back of the helmet where I have started laying the fabric. I'm not covering the inside of the keyslot area as there is no point seeing as it will be completely covered in a mixture of MQ1, acrylic piece and putty.

The second is the untouched cloth itself with the removed RF ear piece laid atop so you can see exactly what I am working with. No FG shops near me had what I was looking for so I ordered it specially from China. It's very light and very thin; quite difficult material to work with actually. No matter how much care is taken it is hard to get a clean cut without strands. It really is loathsome stuff.





I'm doing my best to make sure there are no air bubbles (failing) but also mindful of my own 'give it a bash' attitude and the fact that I find it hard to believe the original maker cared too much knowing it was something never to be seen. The good thing is that no matter how bad a job I do it will still look better than the multitude of sins it will cover in the form of the inside ear reinforcement from where I cut the ears off. Laying it one piece at a time and letting it cure completely and then doing another piece the next day; I hate the fumes.

Also been working some other minor details around the helmet. Have increased the size of the upper RF ear platformto match the cut off ear piece (above) and proper dimensions. Also been working some of the tiny irregularities around the base of the lid that are specific to my helmet where it was cut out from the mold.



I've just realised that there have been a few views but I'm actually the only person who has posted in this thread. I just wanted to know whether I am only talking to myself. I know RS is primarily a licensed collectible site.

Live the dream.
 
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I've just realised that there have been a few views but I'm actually the only person who has posted in this thread. I just wanted to know whether I am only talking to myself.
helmet looks great man! you're not talking to yourself, but I don't think there is a ton of interest in this kind of thing over here. You might want to post it up over at:

the RPF

they even have a dedicated boba fett section at:

Boba Fett Costume & Props
 
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I like custom made stuff, but I have no clues about Fett stuff, nor I'm too interested in him as a character - I guess PT Jango spoiled it for me too much.
 
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I'm a member of both. There are reasons to leave it out of those forums. Shame.

I'm very interested on your wip, but i not want to spam in each thread of each board.
I just like to watch the prozess B)
Keep on with the great work.
 
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Very interested in your progress mate. As you can see I don't post a hell of a lot, I guess I prefer to have something to contribute before I do but it doesn't mean I'm not interested in the great work others are capable of :D.
 
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Okay, thanks guys. Obviously I had seen the thread had been viewed but hadn't realised until the other day that others had not posted in it. That's mainly because I have three near identical threads here and elsewhere. Here's a pic of the helmet with a set of ears crudely taped on. Very crudely.

 
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As I'm trying to fully replicate the ESB helmet completely I'm interested in the inside as well as out. My research there is based on lots of photo evidence but this one photo is the best single reference available:


A friend has made me some visor clips that mimic the clips used in the screen used ESB. As a peice of design they're rubbish. As a replication of the screenused design they're spot on. Real props are nasty!



Also been looking at various FG cloth to mimic the FG cloth look of the interior specific to the ESB helmet (where the other production helmets were all apparently made from chopped strand matt fibreglass). I already laid a lyer of very fine FG cloth but it was too fine so now I've narrowed to another two fabrics for the final layer.



The pictures represent:

Left - Cloth used in first layer. As you can see it really is tissue thin and very smooth.
Upper right - Cloth choice 1 at 48GSM. Much coarser than the first layer and got some real texture to it.
Bottom right - Cloth choice 2 at 81GSM. Quite coarse and quite thick. This will be very noticeable in texture.

The two pence piece was chosen for the one inch diameter. Cloths maintain relative positions throughout.





not sure which to use yet but leaning toward top right.

Also been slowly working on that helmet stapping system for some time. Researching and then tracking down exactly the same system used (in 1978) took many months and then deducing the strapping material and width took weeks more; replicating the exact weave on the straps themselves took more time. If you check you'll see the herringbone weave on my straps mimics the directions of the ESB helm perfectly. Still need to replace the faux leather strip and the chord but this part is nearly there.


So, that's where I am. The devil is in the detail.

Live the dream

Andy
 
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So, a quick and dirty experiment this afternoon to test out those textures of the two cloths I'd narrowed my choices down to. These were pasted into the rear of my MR recast by the keyslot area. Even though that area is molded in on this cast we all know what sort of size we're talking about; I used the 1 inch 2p for scale as well. On the left is the 81 and on the right the 48. I've had to contend with the lumps and bumps of the resin cast but you get the idea.

Although it is much coarser than the first sample the 48 really is still very fine once the glass resin is in and the detail get lost quite quickly. The 81 may be too coarse by a margin but now I'm leaning toward that cloth as the texture shows through and may well go with that. Both these thicker fabrics were far easier to work with than that tissue thin first sample.

Live the dream.


 
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Here's a little update. I've done the main visor cutting which is nice big alteration to see. I need to do quite a bit of tidy up to thin out the mandibles at the extremeties where the mandibles meet the visor so they're nice and thin (and uniformed). Despite appearances in the photo any uneveness that appears is due to differences in material colour rather than lack of straighness.

I've also laid the heavier weight FG cloth inside the helmet. That was hard work getting up inside that dome without the cloth bunching up. It's not perfect but hopefully it will have a nice effect when finshed, properly coloured with all the found parts inside with it and give a nice replication of the inside of the screen used piece.

On the left is pride and joy number 1 and on the right is pride and joy number 2.

 
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Managed to get some more done today which was a pleasant surprise; I'm so slow at doing things but sometimes I get motivated to get stuck in properly and spent hours working on this today and yesterday. I spent a lot more time tidying up around the visor and mandibles but most of it was on the inside. As I have a general aversion to power tools all of this is pretty slow work as everything is done by hand.

I took a lot of measurements and made a cardboard template first for the visor before using that template as a guide. My shape mimics that of the screen used visor. I'm using 3mm transparent, dark grey, acrylic sheets, which is, so far as I know, what was used on the screen used helmets. In the UK this is sold under the brandname Perspex; Plexiglas, Acrylite, and Lucite are other brand names for it. When I ordered this I had to by quite a few as the minimum order amount which I thought might have been wasted money but actually it was good I had a few sheets because I needed several attempts to get it right. Perspex is brittle and inflexible stuff and my first few attempts cracked and shattered. This final one still needs some tidy up to fit and smooth out the edges but the overall shape is good. once the basic shape was cut out I needed to use a heat gun to slowly heat it up and bend it to shape, also a frustrating process because after you heat and bend one part to your liking it it has a tendency to return to a flat sheet state from residual heat when you move onto another bit. The blue in there is uniformed throughout despite the apparent colour differences; this isn't the final colour but just a base layer of light blue grey. The light colur you see on the mandibles is most representative of the actual colour of that light blue grey.

In this first picture the visor is just lying on the inside of the helmet. It's set in a rigid curved state and not under any pressure at all. It'll still require some further reshaping for the final fit.



In this second picture the visor is very (very) crudely taped in place.



Obviously i need to tidy it up a lot more and it still needs some trim and sand to shape but it's nice to have something in there to give him more of a Fett look. None of these methods are particularly suited to purpose. It would be easier and far more effective to use other methods but that isn't the point here. The intention is to create something that replicates the actual prop fully both inside and out.

Live the dream

Andy
 
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Truly talented!! It's such a joy to watch the development of this amazing piece. Thank you so very much for sharing.
Thanks man, there's a long way to go yet e.g. I've spent all afternoon researching old transistors, capicitors, vera boards, circuits, slide switches and god knows what else to replicate that circuit board that no one will ever see... and won't actually function.
 
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That's some attention to detail! Great stuff!
Thanks dude, that was the result of several colour test experiments. It has to be replicated throughout the whole helmet and graduated to the pale blue at the rear. Essentially it requires five layers of dry brushing to various degrees. Takes hours.

Done a bit more work on the interior colour. Still more to do but I'm not displeased with how it's going. Here's how it looks from six or seven feet away using a flash.



 
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So, here's the update on the colour. I'm pretty much done with that for now and fairly pleased how it came out. I've also cut a new visor that is tidier and a better fit (you can't tell from this shot) as well as adding the putty to the weak points behind the ears as per the ESB helm. The visor and helmet cradel are just laid in there for effect. I've also done some revisions to the design of the visor clips that a friend is now replicating for me. Once in hand they'll be going in and the visor placement should be finalised after a few tweaks.

For now the next job is to cut out the keyslots at the rear in the area represented as dark blue at the top of the picture. This is a particularly laborious and time consuming job. After that I'll install the circuit board from a 1977 Casio MQ 1 calculator as per the screen used prop (can be seen in upper left) and an acrylic strip to match the ESB helm.

 
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Done a bit more work on this bad boy; I've cut out the keyslots which is a very time consuming process to get it tidy. I've also furthered the visor fitting and installed a set of visor clips that are as close to movie accurate as I could get them.









After the visor was fitted I trimmed the bottom section to the correct length with the mandibles. Here's a front pic with tsome resin ears crudely taped on.

 
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This is it as it sits today. There's been a lot of refinement work that most of you won't care about with the real calculator part installed in the back; the outside is more or less there with some small tidy up needed and the ESB signature damage to be added which I've lightly pencilled in the positions for. It's more or less ready for some paint which means tracking down a lot of vintage paints. The bottom shot was just a quick mock up with most of the interior stuff in there.











 
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If Rebelscum had been around in 78/79, and Joe Johnston had been a member, this could be mistaken for his thread!

Keep up the good work mate, great stuff.

-Kris
 
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Thanks men, there's a hiatus whilst I continue the effort to track down all vintage floquil paints. Unfortunately floquil were discontinued entirely a few years ago and few of the most recent of their modern colours match the vintage counterpart and floquil were never widely sold in the UK at all. So it's tough tracking them down and they all have to be imported. Effectively I'm looking for 40 year old bottles of paint as new old stock so you can imagine how easy that is. The whole exercise is almost prohibtively expensive.
 
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I don't think I've ever seen someone try and patch the fiberglass cloth!
 
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Trying to track down all the vintage Floquil colours and account for any formula changes that may have occurred. Most of them I have but some I am unlikely to ever find and will have to match the best I can from modern colours. Some of these bottles are older than I am.
 
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Your interior is excellent, I gotta check if I've seen this thread over on the TDH.
 
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