Original ESB Fiberglass Construction Questions


Baruopa

New Hunter
It's my understanding that the ESB hero helmet is unique as it was the only of the six supertrooper helmets to utilize fiberglass. I've seen photos of the interior of the helmet and it very clearly is fiberglass, but my question is to what extent? Browsing TDH when most people discuss fiberglassing, it's in the context of coating the inside of a helmet already cast in resin or some comparable material. Is this how the original was done? Cast in some material and reinforced on the interior with fiberglass? Or was it rather done SOLELY in fiberglass? Also, the interior of the ESB helmet appears to be blue. Why is it blue? Does that mean the fiberglass was blue? Or did the team paint it blue for some odd reason? Hopefully some people much more knowledgeable than me in this field can help me out.
 

RafalFett

Well-Known Hunter
All 6 helmets were cast in white gelcoat with fiberglass on the inside, the only major difference is that for the ESB hero helmet they used fiberglass cloth and not chopped strand mat as on the other helmets. It is structurally the weakest of the 6 and this was already present during the filming, but most of the damage was made before and after ROTJ. Some helmets were pained black or white on the inside, but it is possible that the ESB was painted blue to match the flight suit color.
 

Baruopa

New Hunter
All 6 helmets were cast in white gelcoat with fiberglass on the inside, the only major difference is that for the ESB hero helmet they used fiberglass cloth and not chopped strand mat as on the other helmets. It is structurally the weakest of the 6 and this was already present during the filming, but most of the damage was made before and after ROTJ. Some helmets were pained black or white on the inside, but it is possible that the ESB was painted blue to match the flight suit color.
Fascinating. Do we know the type of gelcoat/fiberglass? And how many layers of fiberglass may have been layed? The ESB helmet looks quite thin. If it was only layered a few times, that could also explain the extent of the damage.
 

RafalFett

Well-Known Hunter
Maybe some of the experts in casting can answer such questions (I'm not one of them).
There are lots of tales of the weak structure of the ESB helmet already present during the film:
1 - the bulge on the right upper cheek is on the same position with the inner right upper visor clamp; it is possible that the fiberglass was not fully cured, and when the clamp was glued from the inside that area was pushed out.
2 - the brow distortion and repair
3 - putty applied to the upper cheek/ear platforms area from the inside
4 - crack on the right upper cheek
 
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