Elstree Precision Co Ltd Borden Project



While collaborating with John Haigh from Elstree Precision Co Ltd on the upcoming Elstree Metal Ears run for the ESB Hero helmets, we both found ourselves in need of some additional metal components. John decided that he wanted to make his own bordens and has offered to do a run for us as well. We are on the tail end of the research and development end of the project and looking for your input and feedback before going live with a sale thread.

So, here is where we are at with a huge thanks to John for all of his hard work and devoted time to getting this right! He made the following reference to sum up of his research so far.

Borden line up inc conclusion.jpg

That being said, John decided to make this prototype borden from brass. He turned down a piece of stock to the diameter that he had measured from a raw casting of the ESB Hero helmet. He then added a chamfer by eye to suit the somewhat varied photos.

From the assessment data he had used on the computer, he was able to plot the exact co-ordinates he had achieved on the screen to Elstree's vintage milling machine. After drilling the 3 holes to the diameters that he had measured directly from the raw casting of the ESB Hero helmet, he added the chamfers.

Photographed here through a loupe:


Next, John trimmed to the borden to 9mm in length. (He suspects that they were 7-9mm looking at the inside helmet shots of various lineage helmets from the media section of TDH).


Then came the fun part. After an ultrasonic cleaning, John had the part electro plated in a vintage nickel plate inspired by a metal finishing expert.


We are quite happy with the results. What he was left with is a dull silver finish with a slight tarnished effect. Quite in keeping with a 40 year old component don’t you think?


Seen below though a jeweller's microscope:


John is totally happy with the orientation of the holes, but would appreciate some factual data on the hole sizes if anyone has it. So, if you have any info you would like to share, please free free to post it here or PM me if you would like to maintain discretion. We will make sure you get some bordens out of it if you can get us the info we are looking for!!

Even though John has treble checked the size of the larger hole, it does appear slightly larger than the one on the helmet. Maybe a bit of an optical illusion?? But John and I would really like to get it 100% right, so help us out :)

We would really like to know for sure if the ones in the helmet are indeed brass or aluminum (John finds it highly unlikely they would have been stainless steel).

Once we have the data mentioned above, John has said that he is happy to make a run of these for us and that he thinks he can produce them for (can't put the price here or it will be a sale thread, but less than most places serve dinner and an adult beverage plus shipping lol)

So, what do you think TDH? Help us get these right!


Steven and John


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Cantina Dude

New Hunter
Another cool project! I think that the dimensions/locations of the holes are all pretty close to correct, but the issue is the chamfered edges on everything. The "Borden" piece on the screen used ESB helmet doesn't really have any chamfers on the holes, nor on the outer edge. It seems that most replicas out there incorporate the chamfered edges to mimic how real plated brass Borden connectors were produced, I suppose since it creates a nice "finished" look. But close inspection of the screen used ESB helmet will show that all the edges are basically hard/sharp edges, or at most the absolute slightest, almost imperceptible chamfer if you really have to. :lol:

Also, the part on the screen used ESB helmet is made of aluminum, not brass. There is some heavy weathering on it, some of which is brassy in colour, but the part itself is machined aluminum.

I've got what I consider a very accurate "Borden" 3D modelled that I feel replicates the piece on the screen used ESB helmet very well. PM me if you think it would help your project. (y)

Cantina Dude

New Hunter
I guess I was speaking a little hyperbolically. :lol: My point is that I believe there should be less chamfer when trying to replicate the screen used ESB helmet "Borden" than what is seen on most replicas, including John's here. That's what I meant by the "absolute slightest" chamfer. I'd bet if you backed off on the chamfer on the holes by half or so the holes would look to be the correct size compared to your hero casting. As for the material, first hand accounts of the hero helmet have reported that it is aluminum and I would tend to agree when looking at the way light hits the highlights in photos of the originals.


Awesome! Thanks man.

John is going to work on producing a brass piece with identical hole size and chamfering and then bright nickel plate it to see how it comes out. He is happy to make both types if we can get him the details/photos that indicate a variation.

If anyone else can help source photos of any other versions showing the different chamfering that would be cool. I'll let him know that those with first hand accounts of the helmet believe it is aluminum as well. Thanks Cantina!

John is most interested in replicating the Supertrooper helmet, so info on that borden in the ST/PP1 is very valuable to him specifically.