Good evening, fellas. I would like to present to you my review of the Fettpride FPH2. I'm very excited, as it seems that I'll be the first to review it formally, so I hope that it will be informative and helpful for those looking to upgrade their Empire Strikes Back Boba Fett helmet.
The key word of that last sentence is upgrade. That word was used intentionally, because, first and foremost, this simply is like nothing that has ever been available to the community. Fettpride has begun shipping these kits in full force, so this should give many of us something to chew on while they're in route.
That said, I will grade this helmet using the following metric:
DESIGN OF THE HELMET
ATTACHING THE EARS
FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT?
So let's get to it, and hopefully you all get as excited as I did!
DESIGN OF THE HELMET: A+
As we all first saw in this thread, the FPH2 bears a STRIKING resemblance to the screen-used ESB helmet. The key here is that the infamous 'wavy brow' is represented faithfully. After EXHAUSTIVE examination of the ESB brow, I've concluded that it's obviously there, but ALOT more subtle than we realize. Cameras/lighting play tricks on our eyes. At some point, I'll start a thread regarding that topic (you can make ANY helmet have a wavy brow -left side, right side, middle - with the right lighting). The great thing about this helmet is that, yes, the wavy brow is there, but more importantly, it's NOT exaggerated, matching the screen-used helmet perfectly. The infamous 'flare' is also well-represented. It's not nearly as dramatic as some other helmets I've seen, but it is there, like the brow, in a very subtle and unobtrusive way.
The FPH2 also features a totally asymmetrical visor (it's VERY uneven from side to side), which we know from the screen-used Stormtrooper and Darth Vader helmets, is totally possible. It's much easier to tell with the Stormtrooper/Vader helmets because those helmets are all the same color (for the most part), whereas Boba Fett's helmet is a chaotic mishmash of many, many colors. The visor (which is not the visor included - just a spare I had already cut and was laying around) is only taped into place, so pay no mind to the fitment, but here are a few pics of her.
Fettpride is known for packaging his products beautifully, and the FPH2 is certainly no exception. The box included an unwrapped helmet smothered in popcorn, but more importantly, the accessories were bubble-wrapped in two separate packages, keeping everything in perfect condition. The rangefinder stalk is hollowed (ready for Jc27's light kit), the rangefinder is very close to Terminal Fettler-quality, and all of the necessary nuts and bolts are supplied. It is as close to a mass-production-type kit as it gets.
ATTACHING THE EARS: A-
The best part about a helmet kit of this kind is the fact that the ears are separate, in my opinion. The only other helmet I've purchased is the Asok CC (itself a rework of the Master Replicas ESB helmet), which has three of the four ear pieces molded into the casting, and while this certainly takes a lot of frustration out of assembling the kit, it's also a bit of a bummer to me, since, like most of us here on TDH, I want my helmet(s) to be as close to screen-used as possible, in every aspect.
Although kits featuring separate ears are not rare at all, the FPH2 ears feature a unique attachment method. The pieces have all been molded with a nut-sized cutout set into them, and the nuts that are included in the kit fit into the holes very well. This means that it's no longer necessary to drill out holes into the backsides of the ears!
That said, lining the ears up to drill is still a pain (it was for me, at least). There are dimples set into the sides of the helmet, but I still ended up having to drill holes that were large enough in diameter to allow for some play to get them lined up properly.
Like any other Fettpride product, the helmet really shines here. The fiberglass is thin enough to comfortably wear (even with the future addition of JodoKast89's forthcoming ears), but is solid enough that I don't feel that the helmet is fragile. The lines are sharp enough to cut glass, and I can't find any examples of soft detail anywhere. Fettpride has set the proper ESB damage into the helmet in the appropriate areas, so there will be no more filling the damage of the GMH and scratching in the ESB damage (commission artists-extraordinaire superjedi and deadland will especially appreciate this). All pieces included in this kit look as sharp as sharp can be, so the time spent prepping the kit will be minimal. Fettpride has also set a type of 'tag' into the interior of the helmet, which is great, since I really like the numbering systems that he typically uses.
FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT?: A+
So now that you have the kit in-hand, how do you feel about it? I certainly can only speak for myself, but my verdict is that I am absolutely enchanted. I've been tossing around the idea of getting a GMH, a fiberglass copy of the MR, even trying to track down the still-awesome FPH. However, when the news broke about this helmet becoming available, I got on board with it wholeheartedly. I'm glad I did.
Now that these helmets are starting to hit our hands, I think that just about everyone will agree with me, because it was worth the wait. My grades may seem high, but that's how it is, folks. There's just so little to remotely complain about. As I said before, the detail is sharp, the tell-tales of the ESB lid are present, and the build is sturdy. Paint-up threads should start popping up like crazy in the next few weeks, and I'm looking forward to following each and every one. The TDH community is going to be able to do some amazing things with this lid.
So get one. And I heard a rumor that if enough people flood his PMs with requests, Fettpride will get busy on a new RotJ, as well (I'm kidding. That's a lie. Leave the poor guy alone).
Thanks for reading, and I hope it helps somebody (I just had fun writing it)...