Mar 15, 2008, 4:55 PM - Fett from 1986
This unfinished Fett helmet came to me around 1986. It's been sitting on a shelf ever since. Here's how it ended up there:
A friend of mine had sat in on some college Industrial Design classes at a northern California community college during his high school days. He knew he wanted to work in VFX so he got a jump on things early on. There he met an instructor who was also an ILM employee.
According to my friend, the ILMer introduced him to some ILM staff in San Rafael. While there, he allowed him to make a mold from an original Fett bucket. Whether screen used or not I don't know. He eventually started working at a well known LFL collaborator's shop and then lost interest in finishing the helmet. One day I was over at his place and he asked if I wanted to take this stuff off his hands. No hard choice there. I wish I could list the many great films he went on to work on [and still does], but I want to protect his identity.
At the urging of a couple SCG troopers, I am posting these pix here to see if TDH can determine its lineage. Whether it's ESB or ROTJ I do not know; you all know more than I.
I approximated the same angles as Braks from this thread:
I noticed that the back is not warped like the MF. I can only guess he wanted to fix that 'mistake.'
The rest of the pix are here:
I await your verdict...
Mar 15, 2008, 4:59 PM - Re: Fett from 1986
TD2253 and I met up with Banzai88 yesterday and he showed us this helmet. The casting is rough, but it has many details of one of the real helmets. The casting is definitely from the 80's, as it is very old inside and the casting method was very archaic. Nobody in their right mind would cast a helmet like this today. The inside of the helmet contains black basketweave and some old epoxy like Bondo. There are also some interesting t-tracks, presumably to install a visor. The 3 things I noticed about it most (other than its general shape) are the shape of the dent, the beveled edge on the ends of the T-Visor, and the upwards slant of the top of the keyhole insert.
I am not the foremost Boba expert, but I recognized enough details to make me believe it was legit. Given that the casting itself predates any accurate fanmade or mass-produced helmet I have tendency to believe that this is the real thing. Due to the way it was cast, the mandibles point really far inward and do not line up correctly. So don't let that throw you off. I think we'd like to make a casting of this helmet and then "restore" it to what it should look like. I don't want to idealize it, but I do want to clean up the obvious cracks and holes that are not present on the real thing.
We don't know what helmet this is cast from, so maybe one of the Boba experts out there can identify which helmet it was cast off of. In person, it did not appear to have the "downwards warp" that Lee's helmet has which leads me to believe it is from a different helmet entirely.
I helped at SDCC '08
Mar 15, 2008, 5:08 PM - Re: Fett from 1986
WOW!! very cool. you'll have to bring that with you at our next sqaud meeting. I'd like to take a look at that bad boy. I will be watching this thread very closley to see what others have to say about it. thanks for posting.
Mar 15, 2008, 5:42 PM - Re: Fett from 1986
I had a friend attend same school. The instructors name is Pete R. He worked on ROTJ. He took vac castings to make stunt helmets but he never mentioned casting a helmet but hey who knows. Very well that could be totally legit. Let me know if I can help I've got a little bit of info on those and can contact another fella that has one. Heck it's a cool piece to me glad you never tried to build it up.
Last edited by Rogue Studios; Mar 15, 2008 at 5:48 PM.
Mar 15, 2008, 6:01 PM - Re: Fett from 1986
This is very good news Lee!
Rogue Studios said:
Mar 15, 2008, 6:06 PM - Re: Fett from 1986
WOW!! I'm no expert but to me it has definite characteristics of the originals, really really interested to hear more about this, thanks for sharing
Mar 15, 2008, 6:49 PM - Re: Fett from 1986
this is a HAPPY Day for me!!!!!
very cool...I cant wait to see more info on this bucket.
Mar 15, 2008, 7:29 PM - Re: Fett from 1986
This is an awesome discovery! Congratulations on owning a very cool Fett piece.
Comparing it to Lee's Prepro 2 casting, it does seem to be cast from a real helmet, which of course begs the question, which helmet.
I could better determine its origins if I knew which marks on the helmet were added by your friend and which marks were already on the helmet.
As such, the current markings seem rule out the ESB hero, Prepro 3, Prepro 2, ROTJ, and Sandy helmet.
Given the backstory of the helmet, which is very similar to another prop-maker's acquisition of a helmet, the markings, the time period, and a few odd characteristics, I believe your helmet could be a casting of one the ROTJ stunt helmets, which were for some reason painted ESB-style.
That is VERY exciting because we haven't seen much of those helmets beyond a few scant archive photos, and now we may have an actual casting of one!
It would be great if you could coordinate a visit with Brak'sBuddy (in Arizona), who has access to a cast of Lee's PrePro2 helmet, and do an in-depth comparison.
An exciting day, indeed!
Mar 15, 2008, 8:34 PM - Re: Fett from 1986
Truly a great find, a piece of Fett history above and beyond what most people will ever own. Lucky you my friend and congratulations. I look forward to seeing what info is garnered from this.
Mar 15, 2008, 8:43 PM - Re: Fett from 1986
Looks pretty good to me! I agree wtih Tyler Durden, it could be from a stunt helmet.
There are 2 ESB-like marks that look like they are part of the cast, but other key ones are missing. Like TD says, the stunts were painted ESB.
Very nice piece my friend. You should put it up againts Brak's cast and compare.
Mar 15, 2008, 8:45 PM - Re: Fett from 1986
Mar 15, 2008, 9:49 PM - Re: Fett from 1986
Because the helmets all came from the same "source," and the prop-makers did a good job of replicating details across multiple helmets, it is easy to make spurious correlations.
So, while I'm sure we would all like a casting of the screen-used ESB helmet, this helmet is not it.
A pair of details that might lead you to suggest it is the ESB hero is the gouge on the middle of the left cheek edge and the "chip" near the top of the left inner mandible. The Prepro 1, Prepro 3, ESB hero, and ESB stunts all have this gouge. The placement of the gouge is similar on all 3 helmets and the stunts, however the gouges are not exactly the same. The helmets were created to look like one another; they did not have those gouges out of the mold. The above casting is no exception.
Second, I have a picture of the inside of the ESB hero, and the above casting is missing a very noticeable and very absent detail on the RF ear mounting area.
Also regarding the RF ear, the helmet is missing the "ear hump" that is part of the dome and helps support the RF ear. I am hesitant to list that as a reason why this helmet is not the ESB hero, because I suppose it is possible, though I couldn't imagine why, that detail was removed from the mold/casting. Banzai do you have any information on why that is missing?
Third, it's clear from tour photos and conversation with Joe Johnston that the majority of the ESB paintwork is layered through masking and peeling. If the outside of the helmet was cast, the edges of the paint layers would show on the recast helmet because it's, well, a cast of a completed helmet and that's exactly what you would want and expect. Lee's PrePro 2 casting has the layered paint detail found on the PrePro 2, which made me think this helmet should also have attribute. Better quality photos would help determine if those raised paint areas in the right place. But at a glance, I don't see them.
Fourth, that is not the mysterious and over-hyped ESB "warp." It appears that the visor area just got excessively trimmed.
If parts of the helmet were modified, it would appear that the only parts modified were the parts that would positively ID the helmet as the ESB hero, i.e. the gouge shapes are exact to the ESB hero—the likelihood of which is, and call me crazy, very remote.
Instead, the current evidence offers the more rational explanation that this could be some sort of ROTJ ESB-styled stunt helmet, which would share the ESB-style gouges and I could easily see being re-molded. The ROTJ, ESB, and PrePro 3 helmets still have their innards intact, which at least suggests that they were not re-molded.
Obviously, I don't think it diminishes the importance or awesomeness of the casting; it's just not a copy of that particular helmet.
Last edited by Tyler Durden; Mar 15, 2008 at 10:20 PM.
Reason: Minor grammar edits
Mar 15, 2008, 10:12 PM - Re: Fett from 1986
Very Good points..but when viewing the ESB hero at C4, and in the final returned pictures we took with no glass, it has a VERY flat paint Job, no denying that...anyone who paints knows that you can easily lower the levels of paint with certain techniques when painting in a Layered method (but that should be left for another "painters" thread )... so there aren't many "Raised" paint levels on the Hero, so it would be absent here as well...High Res shots, and my own eye , confirms that.
all though I do agree, the ESB hero was Layered....mostly..
it's just a product of good finishing techniques IMO.
And this still doesn't explain the Brow??? which I have highlighted in the pics..which is clearly seen, and clearly waved (and not just the bottom)...and in 1986 would have been there. "Excessively Trimmed" does not explain the top portion of the brow..
Last edited by Spideyfett; Mar 15, 2008 at 10:24 PM.
Mar 15, 2008, 11:04 PM - Re: Fett from 1986
I would love to see someone like FP make a cast of this helmet. Someone with enough knowledge and expertise to be able to treat the original with care and then clean up the resulting casting to finally offer the definitive ESB hero helmet if the lineage could indeed be verified. I'm with Spidey the wavy brow sure seems to be there in all its subtlety. Congratulations Banzai on an apparent incredible find.
Mar 15, 2008, 11:51 PM - Re: Fett from 1986
i love the way it looks. just how a real mandalorian bucket should look
Mar 16, 2008, 12:30 AM - Re: Fett from 1986
This is a very interesting development. I'm glad to be here during all of this. I've pieced together alot of the history of these helmets by reading these types of threads, or at least I think I have. I just hope everyone can work together to find the true history of this casting.
Lee, what happened to the stunt helmets that were never used? Are you saying this is a cast of one of those?
Mar 16, 2008, 12:33 AM - Re: Fett from 1986
awesome that you have that man, really! Most fans will never have the chance to own something like that so treasure it.
Mar 16, 2008, 12:47 AM - Re: Fett from 1986
I am by no means an expert in Fett helmets but I must with agree with Spideyfett that this helmet shows the most prominent characteristics that can be found on at least the ESB helmet ie; the warped brow, the un-even mandibles etc...
Mar 16, 2008, 1:06 AM - Re: Fett from 1986
Guys, lets not get a thread like this locked down. Its not fair to the new members as well as the old. Just let it be what it is supposed to be-a vehicle to pass on knowledge about our favorite subject, Fett.
Mar 16, 2008, 1:08 AM - Re: Fett from 1986
I know, I know....working as fast as I can.... new post coming shortly on the helmet....
Mar 16, 2008, 1:57 AM - Re: Fett from 1986
ooops, here's a pic refering to my wavy brow comment:
The red line is where the bend seems to become prominent.
Last edited by SingleSeat; Mar 16, 2008 at 2:35 AM.
Mar 16, 2008, 2:44 AM - Re: Fett from 1986
Welcome to TDH. Please forgive the behavior of some of our members, it is not indicative of the spirit of this very tight knit, and, ordinarily, very genial community.
We are in awe of your helmet, and perhaps some of our members in their zeal for the discovery have, perhaps, acted inappropriately. For that we apologize.
Maybe these individuals wont be here in the morning...... I hope Im clear gentlemen?