My RUBIES Supreme Vader helmet facelift - Completed!


jhfagan

Active Hunter
Happy Holidays, all!
Well, my latest project, months in the works, and I've been a bit silent on my other Fett projects ( but some updates on those to come ), is the upscaling of a Rubies Supreme Vader helmet, to as close to ESB as I could get it.
There are just some things that were beyond my facilities and time/money to do, namely the helmet mohawk ( just getting that out of the way first ). But it still looks good, but yes, it's like ROTS dome on an ESB face, but , again, this was all about making a Rubie's as good as IT could be with what it was, and what I had available to me.

This was given away as a Christmas present to a family member, so I no longer have it. ( just sayin )

I'll put the pics in the best order I can. but it started with removing the old tusks, and popping out the crappy surface mounted lenses.
Then taping off where the slots for the front grill needed cut down further.
Cut out a 3/4in spacer made of a hard but pliable foam from a novelty item in a craft store ( a large generic puzzle piece ) to place inside the upper cup inside the dome, to correct the pitch of the dome, which on it's own, made SUCH a big difference in the overall "correct" Vader look. Really.
Dremeled out the eye sockets, and the front grill slots, and lots of hand shaping with multiple round and square rasps to get just the right shapes.
Then using a compound epoxy, filled in the mold dimple on top of the dome, and the backs of the mouth grill slots to complete them all the way, down, and to fill in the slots left in the eye sockets to smooth them out, and finally to fill in the 4th slot on the nose slope, and the seam of the plastic insert in the nose itself.
Also had to use a narrow rasp to widen the 3 remaining nose slots and get them back to a more squared off shape.
Test fitting the lenses from OPLE Props in Germany.
And due to the extreme amount of paint needed for this helmet, even above that of the Fett helms, I did not have adequate facilities to complete the paint, but thankfully a local body shop in town is owned by a friend of mine, and I took it to them for the paint job.
I did all the pre sanding and smoothing and prep work to keep the costs down.
We chose a standard gloss black, and an Audi gunmetal color ( I forget the actual color code right now ) for the two tone.
They did the face, and helm in black first, painting both the outside and inside completely.
They gave it back to me to tape out the areas needed for the gunmetal.
The gunmetal turned out perfectly, IMHO.
I taped out the nose and just gave it a basic layer of Testors Bright Silver.
After all painting was done, I finally got the aluminum tusks in from Fenix Props in Argentina.
Original RUBIES metal grill, although actually very nicely made, was not in the correct orientation of the grill, which they had it running vertically, instead of horizontally like it should be, and it was all black, instead of metal on the chin, and black on the mouth opening.
Found an STP SA7432 automotive air filter with the same mesh style/size needed, and cut out the piece for the chin, and rotated the RUBIES grill to horizontal, and cut it to shape, and hot glued them both back in place.
Finally took a black plastic window screen mesh overtop the metal grills and used high end velcro tape to secure them.
Believe me...they ain't comin off! : )
Shaped down the lenses to fit, and super glued them right in.
Perfect fit!
Had to be careful there though...one shaky finger, or bump, and I coulda smeared glue on the lenses, and I would have been foooooked. ( whew)
Finally, took the original head straps from the RUBIES, and using new pop rivets and some leather spacers, refabricated the straps more securely to the helmet.
I did leave the velco squares in the inside of the upper dome cup, and placed a small strip of the hard velcro around the outside of the horse shoe on top, just to give a slightly more sturdy seal of the top and bottom pirces.
I decided to not put a liner in the helmet though, as I was only intending it to be used as a display piece, although you CAN put it on if you wish, and the inside is actually rather comfortable, as is.
I did add another hard foam spacer in the upper cut out of the face to give the stand I built for it, a flat area of the helmet to support.
Then some final shots on stand, complete with the dome, (first five from 3ft away, and the last three from 6ft away) and one next to my EFX ANH PCR helmet, for comparison. ( my EFX Trooper in the background looking on ).

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I hope you enjoy this Rubie's resurrection, as it were. haha
Oh...I'm NOT doing this ever again....lol
At least not a Rubies....
 
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chris2fett

New Hunter
Looks like you got it back to its original Don Post Deluxe fiberglas lineage... actually, looks better than the Don Post! This is really great work!
 

jhfagan

Active Hunter
Looks like you got it back to its original Don Post Deluxe fiberglas lineage... actually, looks better than the Don Post! This is really great work!
Thanks! I was fortunate enough to be able do what I could, and I was interested in a side by side compare, and found this DP Deluxe listing currently on eBay with a good head-on shot if it.
Wow...you can see a diff! lol ( Mine is on the left )
 

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maxiscnc

New Hunter
Excellent job done! Looks great! As you know I’ve been in the same boat and it was a lot of fun....and a lot of black plastic chips and a body filler smell :) Hope you enjoyed!
 
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