Hi folks, as some of you may or may not know, I acquired the molds to cast the GH Vader gear last year and have been testing out various casting methods and playing around with fixes on particular parts. Trying to perfect my own casting techniques, testing out methods to get the perfect paint job for myself and evaluating what needs to be worked on has been an amazing experience. This post is to catalogue whats been going on as well as to open up to any critiques and suggestions others may have. Casting in the cold 30 degree weather this past winter has probably not been the best time to do it, but to be able to start making my own gear and eventually expand further to finish my life size Darth Vader display has been fantastic. The history, the lineage, and the accuracy of the items make me feel honored to be able to bring these items back out to the public eye. Luckily, my background in working on motorcycle race fairings and automotive repair work has helped immensely in picking up fiberglassing costume parts. Here are some shots of my first armor set cast, done about 3 months ago, the learning curve in filling out every nook and cranny has been massive. Fiberglassing armor has not been so bad though the polyester resin is definitely something fierce when casting in a small enclosed environment. While the chest armor ended up ok, the shoulders were much more of an issue...lesson learned on filling out hard angles with fiberglass. Second and third try? MUCH better. Its definitely been a trial and error lesson as I figure out best ratio of strength and comfortability. Taking some tips and tricks from GH, I've finally started to get to where I'm happy with the items I've been putting out and confident that it could cater to both costumers and collectors. Some in the past have complained that the GH Darth Vader chest armor has too much of a flare/opening in the back, taking cues from GH, I've been able to slightly modify a more closed version for those who may wish to wear it for costuming or 501st purposes. Now onto the helmet. This has been one of the most fun aspects of the project. After acquiring the GH ROTJ helmet molds and the GH ANH helmet molds, I've set out to make something that could could make GH and myself be proud of. Whatever your feelings on the maker, I remember years ago when I first started the hobby, that GH was a standard in putting out quality fiberglass gear, after owning Vader gear from almost every maker out there (ebay recasts, Stone, Portumac, Bookface/CSM, Animefan, etc) I knew I had my work cut out for me. Here is the first GH ANH mask with a corrected neck flare (the original GH ANH was known to have a wider neck flare with some people did not like). This was my very first cast piece from the helmet but with the lessons learned on the armor, I was pretty satisfied with the first attempt. Here is the cast trimmed and cleaned up, with a coat of primer to show some of the details. (yes that is a motorcycle fairing in the background, something I'm currently repairing for a client) My second mask casting attempt with the GH ROTJ face with the helmet. Starting to get the hang of all of this. More to come.