Thoughts on weathering: How much is too much?


Active Hunter
(I have a sneaking suspicion this may have been talked about before. If so, sorry -- I did a search but found nothing. Feel free to merge this thread.)

I'm gearing up to paint my mystery helmet and I want to get it as "screen accurate" as possible. Who doesn't, right?

But I'm starting to question the term "screen accurate" and what, exactly, it means.

I fully intended to recreate every little fleck, crack, scratch, nick, dent, etc. But, if you think about it, there was never that much detail in any of the movies. Even most of the promotional materials don't show that level of detail.

This thinking was brought about when I had people over this weekend. I printed out a couple of reference pictures and they were laying around on my dining room table. Everyone who saw them commented on how sh!tty the helmet looked.

And they're right.

But the thing is, none of them remembered it being this battle damaged:
(big pic so I'll include it as a link)

I just want when I wear this costume for people to see the Boba Fett they saw in ESB, not Boba Fett after he was slowly digested for a thousand years.

So...any thoughts or opinions on what the best/ideal amount of weathering is? Should I go all out or should I just go for the highlights?

Ya know, that's a good question.

I'm doing a Jango, so I really can't be considered an
authority on the subject, but this is my thought:

The amount of weathering is not really as important
as how realistic it looks. There are some helmets where
the weathering looks painted on and others that look like
they've truly been knocked around. There are several
members on this board that have done an amazing job,
so you have an incredible resource here.

Good luck! I can't wait to see it done!


There are a couple areas on the ESB helmet at AoSW, which is the Empire hero, that were not present on the helmet when it appeared in ESB. However for the most, the additional marks are quite minor. The difference is that you are seeing the tour helmets at an extremely high resolution (dig cams), which they were never meant to be seen at or expected to look good for that matter.

Real props aren't pretty. They are often quite sloppy. They only need to look good enough to fool the camera. So what you see at MoM and AoSW are the helmets you saw in RoTJ and ESB, respectively. Keep in mind, as well, that the helmets are now over twenty years old. But I still think the helmets at the tour are not that much different than how they looked when they were first built.

tylerdurden wrote:

Real props aren't pretty. They are often quite sloppy. They only need to look good enough to fool the camera. ...

Yup. That's what I mean -- would I be obsessing over minutia for nothing, to my costume's detriment, by recreating an excessively damaged helmet or do I do a disservice to the real prop by not reproducing a 99.9999999% accurate version of it? :)

In other words:
Is it better to go sloppy and good enough to fool the camera (ie. like the real prop), or less sloppy and good enough to fool the human eye (ie. like the real prop seemed)?

This is what I can't seem to resolve. Decisions, decisions...


darksidedesign wrote:

...There are some helmets where
the weathering looks painted on and others that look like
they've truly been knocked around...

weathering :)

well, the weather of my helmet is real, not paited, and because of that my is not a screen acurate, also i paint the helmet on the Epic Force fig stile, and add very recently i add more damage with a knife, and sand paper and other stuff :D

but in the future i want to paint in ESB or ROTJ stile, but i want another helm, so :)
It's funny that you brought this up. I just finished my Jango helmet (I'll be posting HR pics tomorrow), & I spent all day yesterday weathering it. I had in mind how much I was going to do, but then it just didn't seem enough. I didn't want to over do it, I just wanted it to look like the original as seen on the AOTC DVD documentary. Film washes away so much detail! I guess you kinda have to go with if you want it as it appears on screen, or before the "lights, camera & action". Look at all the posts about the ESB helmet color. It looks a lot lighter on film. The bottom line is whatever looks good to you is the answer.

Fettish Fiend wrote:

The bottom line is whatever looks good to you is the answer.

My thoughts exactly, I know there are some here who's whole costume has every speck of dust added in just the right place, but unless you're displaying your costume for other Star Wars fans (and a majority wouldn't know whether its accurate or not) do like the man says and go with what you think looks right.

I personally think more is better, after all Boba dosn't work in an office right!!!

Thats a good question. I did scratch away weathering so its not very screen accurate, but I didnt intend on it being. You can make the helmet that looks good for a camera or you can make the helmet that looks good in person.
Honestly I think that scratch away is the best way to get realistic looking results, but not how you get the most screen accurate. With my helmet i actually did damage it with a dremmel tool in many areas, if you were to strip the paint from it the fiberglass would be all dented and scratched.
I think you should worry about what you want, how you want your helmet to look. Self motivation gives the best results...remember that. i the only one tempted in doing a scratch away helmet except instead of using sand paper to remove the paint I just roll it down my drive way?
Thanks for the input!

I want it to look like the actual prop (ie. like the AOSW helmet minus the extra damage incurred since filming) and that's what I'm going for.

Easier said than done though. :(

I just know I'll lose patience having to explain the damage to people. Hell, none of the people I have shown my unfinished helmets to even knew there was a dent in the original helmet. Heh. And they call themselves Star Wars fans! :lol:

Guess I'll just have to get used to edumacating people in the ways of the Fett. :D


I hear that, my friend was looking at my helmet the other day and asked why I put a dent in it.
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