It is no secret, I have a first-generation casting of the Empire Strikes Back Hero helmet, obtained through EFX. It is the pride and joy of my collection. However, due to its pedigree, I am stuck in an awkward predicament. I can't do anything with it. I won't paint it. I won't add ears to it. I won't do anything to alter it in any way, even to complete the look of it. I keep it in my case and admire it for what it is. But that isn't what this community is about, is it? We want to hold things, to touch things, to play and fidget with things. For almost 8 years, I have been left wanting. That want is at an end.
A while back I posted a prototype of the MachineCraft Empire Strikes Back Helmet (ESB-MC) and it was very nice, but it was just a prototype. Today I received a production piece and it is absolutely magnificent. The casting is beautiful, frighteningly close to my first-generation casting. The quality of the casting is top-notch. It is thick and durable, well made all around. While the casting is amazing for what it is and is what most of you are going to focus on, the ears are something else entirely, a labor of love and a lot of time and effort. Many iterations and many small changes, even down to the last minute, were made to make these the defining ears. The fit and finish are fantastic. The way the pieces work together (far less precisely than you would imagine, but identical to the original helmet) is breathtaking.
For me, this is it. There will be no other... can be no other. The precision, the oddities, the imperfections, all there. Everything I have ever wanted. This is the helmet. These are the ears. This is the way. This part of my journey is complete. Now, I just need to buy another one so it can be painted up!