intwenothor's accurate ESB interior thread.

intwenothor

Well-Known Hunter
Edit 11/12/2015

This started as an attempt to identify the interior helmet cradle of the ESB helmet. I'm goning one to try to replicate the whole of the ESB interior and have renamed the thread. The helmet cradle was identifed in post one and locked down in post 5. Later posts should now represent my attempt to follow all of the ESB interior. I'll do the best I can.

Live the dream

Andy

End edit:



Here's something I've been looking at on the back burner for a while. It all started whilst looking for the helmet chin cup which I understand is attribited to Lee Malone and generally thought to be from a UK Police riot helmet. For those that haven't held one they're made of a soft plastic not unlike milk is now sold in, HDPE or similar and very flexible.

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Considering this and the fact that the prop makes appears to have doctored the items they used as little as possible it seemed feasible that the chincup and straps came from the same source as the interior helmet cradle. Problem is that if the Boba helmets were constructed in the 70s that the police in this country didn't really use that kind of equipment then. If you look at pictures of the 1981 Brixton riots there isn't much riot equipment on show. In fact Nato helmets (as is the usual term for a riot helmet in the UK Police forces) weren't widely in use until the mid 80s. Secondly, the interior cradle of Nato helmets is generally close, thick padding like modern motorcylce helmets and there is no suspended cradle. The suspended cradle in the Boba helmets has more in common with the interior of a standard 'Custodian' Helmet (Policeman's top hat). However the Boba interior cradle has adjustable sizing and all Nato and Custodian Helmets are sized for the wearer and are not adjustable. As a sidenote here let me say that if you're looking for one of those chincups then you'll have better luck looking for a post 1960s but pre 1990s custodian helmet than an Early Nato helmet. Those models generally feature the chin cup but the wearer usually chooses to tuck the chin strap and cup in the inside of the hat.

Then I looked at my old caving and mountaineering helmet which bears a remarkable resemblance to the interior cradle of the Fett helmet but isn't an exact match. To cut through further waffle I have narrowed the list down to three early models:
The Joe Brown (or JB) climbing Helmet.
The Ultimate Climbers helmet &
the Compton Climbing Helmet Mk ii (which incidentally features the exact same chincup as is used on the Boba Helmets) and possibly the MK i.
Other possiblities will include motorcycle helmets which share much in common with the early climbing helmets and builders hardhats from the period although I've not found anything that close in motorcycle and builders hats yet.

Here is a picture of the closest match I have yet found. Ignoring the colour differences it really is very close.

Boba Helmet
helmt%20int%202_zpsxnlb1n3r.jpg


Climbing helmet.
Ultimate%20climbing%20helmet%20interior_zpsljqvlseu.jpg


I haven't yet managed to tally up a model that features the correct chin straps, cup and cradle but it might be out there however it could also be that the cradle and the chinstrap and cup are from different sources; these things are all incredibly hard to come by and I'm now at the stage of making donations to museums and collections in the quest for better images to further the research...

Live the dream

Andy
 
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TheZeroEffect

Active Hunter
Yes I have started thing about the interior of my helmet, and have been looking for chin cups and various helmet suspension systems.
I have pull apart an old us M1 helmet for its interior, it's not the same but similar. I have crossed it with a hardhat system and its looking close, but not quite right the the screen used one.
 
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Mugatu

Hunter
Andy,

You are a machine!
As always, great info and a great quest. I'm wrapt to see what you find out next.
 
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intwenothor

Well-Known Hunter
This is probably incredibly boring to about 90% of you, so this is for the 10.

When I posted this thread I was most of the way there with this but now I've reached the goal and have the cradle in hand. I've done some more substantial research on this now and can present something a bit more informative and helpful for those that crave ultimate replication. Unfortunately I originally posted this in the costume section and not the helmet section. I'll PM @Mike M. and see if he can move it.

1). Ultimate Climbers Helmet.

I've listed this one first as I suspect it is the oldest of those I have to show (although not necessarily the first brand or model to be produced). In general I apply the logic that the more it looks like a motorcycle helmet the older the design.

American Bill Wilkins, who had worked for Berghaus (the then top outdoor equipment manufacturer in the UK, decided to set up his own business and in 1972 Ultimate Equipment was born. He made tents mainly but other items, including this helmet which dates from the mid to late 1970's, wre made.

Place of manufacture unknown but was bought from the States.

IMG_0327_zpsqaxnd65j.jpg


IMG_0328_zpsdmsz1bli.jpg


2). Joe Brown Helmet / Joe Brown Super

Joe Brown is a rock climbing legend and the Joe Brown Helmets were the benchmark for a looong time before eventually being displaced by far lighter models such as the Petzl Ecrin Rock or Camp High and Rock Star models; clinging to the side of a mountain in a winter ascent and all those saved grams really start to tell. The Joe Brown helmets were still being produced well into the 90s and we still sold them in the Outdoors shop I worked in back then although by that time they had largely been consigned to group purchases for outdoor centre use. They may have been considered too heavy for alpinism by then but they were bomb proof and practically lasted forever which made them great for that use.

In the late 60's/early 70s Joe Brown teamed up with another infamous mountain man called Mo Anthoine to produce this iconic helmet. Mo owned a company called Snowdon Mouldings and Joe was his business partner for a while. The last time I went climbing in North Wales the Joe Brown shop was still there although I doubt this helmet is still made. The earliest models looked pretty much like the 'Ultimate climbers helmet' as I recall so this is probably a later one.

Hand made in Wales.

IMG_0329_zpsv2qs7ac9.jpg


IMG_0330_zps1khgzm7q.jpg



3). The Snowdon Moldings Helmet.


I never actually realised SM made their helmets until researching this. SM were more famous for the 'Curver' Ice axe that was the top choice among lots of Alpinists and Ice climbers until the more current reverse pick designs happened along. We were still selling a variant of the Curver on the 90s. Snowdon Moldings is the same company mentioned above in the Joe Brown section above of and is of Mo Antoine origin, himself an influential climber. I suspect this design is the latest of the three due to some of the deisng features (it's Kevlar fibreglass for one thing).

Hand made in Wales.

IMG_0332_zpsb6gynwaq.jpg


IMG_0333_zpsp3bw2xf1.jpg


Now, all of these three brands do use the proper helmet interior we seek but they also issue models that have slightly different cradles as well.

Unfortunately the only way to remove the cradle is to cut it out; the studs seen on the exterior of the hats are where the webbing cradle is rivetted to the helmet. In the case below I have butchered the Joe Brown helmet.

4). Helmet Cradle/Lining.


I've taken plenty of shots here so you can see the thing for exactly what it is. Note the made in Wales sticker.



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This helmet cradle/liner is also used on the ROTJ Stormtrooper helmets and the Death Star Gunner helmets. @locitus will correct me if I am wrong.


4). Availability...

Unfortunately most of these models are reasonably rare. There will be several reasons for this in that they're old and no longer produced but also that many climbers, myself included, tend to render gear that has reached the end of its life as being obviously unusable; ropes are cut into very small lengths, harnesses are shreaded and hardware (including helmets) are taken to with a sledgehammer to make it obvious they are dead. You don't want a dangerous piece of gear sneaking back into the rack. Evidence suggests that the Joe Brown models are the most abundant having sold in huge numbers and they will probably be the easiest to acquire. As is often the case ebay is your friend and a 'vintage' helmet should set you back £20 - £30 (or possibly more after this).

5). The riot helmet and chin cup.

I've also given considerable thought to this piece of the puzzle. I stand by earlier comments made about Police use however I had neglected to consider possible use in Northern Ireland by the British army. Pictured below is the earliest model I have found that seems to fit the bill. This one is dated 1981 but photo evidence suggests these existed in the early 70s. I have researched and largely discounted the earlier adapted models of the Mk IV Turtle helmet (a British 'Tommy' helmet in use in various forms since 1944) as having different strapping. The picuted helmet is simply a modified motorcycle helmet so similar period helmets of that nature will undoubtedly yield results. Chin cup is correct.

IMG_0334_zpsa9ughufh.jpg


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SMHC: The Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection

So, now you know.

Live the dream

Andy

Edit: I earlier stated that the 'compton' mk I and mk ii climbing helmets may have been a match for the cradle. I can now confirm they are not although the compton mk ii does feature the correct chin cup.
 
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Keegan

Active Hunter
Really great stuff!
Thanks for the good pictures. Tracking down this stuff is a gift to some and I think you have it.
 
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intwenothor

Well-Known Hunter
Welcome all, sorry for posting the information in the wrong place to start with; could've saved some time. Thanks to @Mike M. for correcting that posting issue for me by moving it.

Annnnndddddd..... prices rise now!

Good luck and live the dream.

Andy.

BTW: The helmet sponge that appears beige in some shots but green in others is the same padding. It is merely a trick of the light. As always apologies for the mediocrity of my photography.
 
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I really funny how i was looking for the correct helmet cradle, and how i thought i found something when i saw the Joe Brown rock climbing helmets... But nop! When i started to use this key word, i've been (not so much) surprised to see a TheDentedHelmet.com link popping-up :D. You were way much ahead of me Andy!
 
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intwenothor

Well-Known Hunter
Germain, I am, without doubt, the most boring person I know!
@bcurtis , were we discussing this a while back? I think it was you.
 
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intwenothor

Well-Known Hunter
I've done some more research on the cradle strapping. Based on the limited available reference and some of the strapping from my own vintage helmets (mostly the JB and Ultimate as being the oldest by far) I have concluded that the correct strapping for the cradle is:
Nylon
19mm
Herringbone.


This type of tape is available in several materials notably polypropylene, nylon, cotton, and polyester. I discounted cotton and polyester as not having quite the same sheen and look. I then considered the remaining two. The samples I looked at appeared fairly similar but i was leaning in towards Nylon. I chose Nylon in the end by testing a sample from one of my old helmets by dunking it in water. It sank. Nylon doesn't float. I appreciate that could be a fallacy but I reasoned the material from my old helmets was likely the same as the old Boba cradle. I think the Nylon has the best look too.


I'll be using 19mm nylon tape from this site.
Nylon Webbing - Lifestyle | Profabrics
 
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intwenothor

Well-Known Hunter
Hey guys, just got the tape through from the link I posted.

On top is a sample from one of the old climbing helmets. This tape is found on both the JB and the Ultimate. The edges can be seen to be slightly frayed and worn, no doubt due to many years of use.

On the bottom is the tape I received today. It's a definite match to the old stuff. The look and feel are exactly the same.

Live the dream.

IMG_0477_zpsnzfpnofb.jpg
 
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intwenothor

Well-Known Hunter
Thanks guys, I toned it down a bit from some of the other threads because, and I'm only guessing here, no one cares that polyester was invented in 1941 or any of the facts discovered whilst researching these materials.

Live the dream.
 
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Mugatu

Hunter
Thanks guys, I toned it down a bit from some of the other threads because, and I'm only guessing here, no one cares that polyester was invented in 1941 or any of the facts discovered whilst researching these materials.

Live the dream.
You're incorrect about that. I dig the extra info you present. It adds a lot of context and knowledge. I appreciate it.
 
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