WIP: ESB build after a decade 'on hold'


Certainly. Come by anytime. Well... after the covid apocalypse is over, that is. ;)
Well... That for sure is a kind invitation (which I would definately follow if I were local).
There only is the unfortunate barrier of a somewhat large lake between us, called the Atlantic :D (I take it you are in the US, right?)

Ord Mantell

Active Hunter
spikes on the boots.


oh and look what arrived from the UK today:


time to get to work.


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Ord Mantell

Active Hunter
Started poking around testing the new paints when the new fix on my ROTJ manny gave way. So that manny is trash which is fine because I wanted a better pose anyway. So instead of progress on ESB, I went on one last wafer-thin ROTJ bender. The manny I had planned for ESB I decided to put on the ROTJ and reworked another manny for ESB. I also gave the ESB's flightsuit to the ROTJ, and getting a new one for ESB. It was a chance to test my pet theory that the ROTJ hero flightsuit is probably the hero ESB suit after it had been sun bleached a bunch and then heavily weathered differently with more browns than before. My theory might already be bunk if we know its sitting in the LFL archive untouched, but I haven't read anything in that regard so please enlighten if you know the story.

My goal for the new manny is something like this well-known production photo:


Some circumstantial evidence the ROTJ suit was possibly the ESB suit after sunbleaching:
Screen Shot 2020-08-26 at 7.18.43 PM.png

so this:

Then after sun bleaching my Loanstar ESB suit for a few weeks on the roof (should've at least left the flak vest on, though, for more accurate fading), I reassembled it all on the new 5'9" manny. Which I padded out with old t-shirts.


One of the things I noticed was the peculiar arrangement of the diver's buckle in the set photo from the same shoot above. It's not secured like the ESB belt. It's askew.


It shows up like this in the sarlacc sequence, too, so it's not a one off. Before securing the hand with the blaster to everything, I tried just about every way of putting this belt and buckle on the way they had it but couldn't quite get it right. There is what appears to be a "gap" to the right of the buckle, left to the wearer. This is what I ended up with:


If anybody knows what's up with the "gap," I'd love to know.

Then putting it altogether I felt I needed to light it similar to the photo to see how close I could get the pose. Lighting reveals all kinds of discrepencies, so was very helpful, although it wasn't possible to light exactly as they did with my amateur equipment, but this is how it ended up:

ROTJ_newPose1 small.jpeg

ROTJ_newPose2 small.jpeg


I expect this manny should hold up solid, so no reason to work on this again until all the inaccuracies start bugging me at some point and I'm bored while waiting out a pandemic. Now, again, back to ESB. Time to start painting armor.
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Ord Mantell

Active Hunter
but this is how I threaded mine.

Now that's one I didn't try. Nice illustration! How'd you do that? Are you an engineer? I'm also wondering about the gap to the left of the buckle. Looks like there is hardware there where they loop the left and right side belts in opposing directions with that gap in between. I'm guessing the hardware is the metal loop that helps secure the left side belt to the harness via the side ring. I have that loop, but I can't seem to thread the belt in a way that gives you a nice tight gap without any bar showing. Unless I am seeing things, which is entirely possible. Pics or drawings are helpful here but I'm not disposed at the moment.


Active Hunter
Are you an engineer?

I used to be an engineer years ago when I drove the fire engine. :p

No, I got that illustration from here.

Not sure what’s going on there on the left side. Mine just comes from where it is attached on the jetpack harness ring and the run through the buckle and clamped down.

Ord Mantell

Active Hunter
this gap is what's confounding me:
belt gap.jpg

Not sure what’s going on there on the left side. Mine just comes from where it is attached on the jetpack harness ring and the run through the buckle and clamped down.

There is a metal loop on the left side of the screen-used harness and accurate reproductions which is there to secure the left side of the belt to the harness since it is not sewn to the harness ring like the right side. For supertrooper and ESB it was out of sight all the way over to the left waist or near where the belt attaches to the harness. This "gap" I'm seeing to the (wearer's) left of the buckle could be the loop placed more to the front, except the loop is not shaped in a way that could really create a gap. So it's either a trick of the light and its maybe a fabric loop that I'm seeing, or something else I've not considered. I know one of the prepro belts had a fabric loop.

from the sarlacc sequence here you can see the metal loop to the left and what appears to be the "gap" between the buckle and the loop:
Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 5.09.49 PM.png

belt gap .png

Maybe the belt broke before production began and a make shift repair introduced additional hardware to secure the separate belt straps ... Just guessing.
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Ord Mantell

Active Hunter
One step forward, two steps back for ESB. Now bereft of the majority of his soft parts, since the suit/vest/neck went to the new new ROTJ display, ESB waits a new set of softies, which is currently on order with Clothears. For now the display looks rather sad and not much to look at, but the armor is primed and ready, except I need to make slight modifications to minutefett's hero shoulders. More on that later.


But first, I want to tackle the jetpack before I do the armor. My jetpack was originally painted by a really good TDH painter many eons ago (he's no longer a member), and he certainly did an admirable job overall, but I think there is room for improvement in terms of accuracy on a few things. Mostly everything.

The base green is too saturated and the weathering is too dark. So I want to repaint it, but not completely from scratch. My plan is to keep all the general things that are basically correct, and mist it or lightly tone it with the correct greens, redo the piano keys since they are solid red, and then reweather it all. Also fix the red on the rocket cones. My choice for the base green is either ArchiveX 1975 GN Grey-Green or Model Masters Sac Bomber Green. If anyone has other suggestions for the green, please chime in. Hopefully I'll get to do this over the weekend.
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Ord Mantell

Active Hunter
Me either until I found it on Amazon. The tube is $10 and you could probably do two belts with it. It needs to be watered down a little to help it soak deep into the fiber.
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Ord Mantell

Active Hunter
This was my first attempt at a jetpack paintup. I did it in a concentrated effort of three days and I have to say I nearly lost my mind. It ended up being a total repaint, despite my initial plan just to spot fix what the original painter had done (again no offense to the original painter, who is no longer a member here). I have to say, the ESB jetpack looks simple on first blush. It is not. After three days I literally had an hour where my brain was so overwhelmed with the various bits of detail that I had to step away and veg. So just thinking about the detail on the ROTJ jetpack or ESB helmet, I honestly don't know how those of you who do those can manage, or ever do more than one. Kudos to you guys. Although that said, I plan to do an ESB helmet paintup before this thread is done.

So about an hour in I decided to just repaint the whole thing from scratch:


I went with the archiveX grey-green for the base color. I think it's pretty close if not the exact color. Always tricky to tell with pics. Definitely better than what was on it from the previous job. Also had to drill the holes into the grappling hook. This old MOW Bobby Fett UK jetpack, from 2011, didn't have them. For the most part I went topical and eyeballed everything. Except the metal scrape on the middle spine. I wanted the size, shape, and placement to be as close as possible to accurate since this is one of the defining elements of the look of this version, so I used the best photo of the ESB jetpack, scaled it up to the same dimensions as this MOW pack (its spine is about 42mm wide so just scaled to that measurement), cut out the spine from the printout and placed it on the jetpack:

IMG_8200 2.JPG
IMG_8205 2.JPG

Got most of it done yesterday. It's missing the crazy white dot. The whole area of the upper right where the white dot will be is getting a second pass of paint. Too hot to paint this weekend, though. Will finish the paintjob after the heat wave is past. Then get the remaining hardware on.


comparing to the paintjob I painted over:

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Ord Mantell

Active Hunter
Thanks! Very kind of you. The big problem with painting the ESB jetpack is there isn't enough good reference photos. It's too bad the original got painted over. Lost forever.

Ord Mantell

Active Hunter
Finishing the jetpack... took it for a test flight near LAX last week.:p

Putting the beacon/dental file/stabilizer on. Using RafalFett's uber precise placement from here: Jetpack Top Greeblies Placement Template with Measurements

IMG_8218 2.JPG

cross checking the placement with a film frame... seems pretty good...

Screen Shot 2020-09-05 at 11.05.45 PM.png

not the exact same angle or lens so considering that, RafalFett's measurements seem pretty accurate, not that I ever questioned.

My stabilizer is a real Michell sweep arm part so it obviously doesn't have attachment hardware. Decided to cut the head off a machine screw, and glue it into the hollow center post. Not sure how they did it, but maybe similar. Anybody know?


I'm firmly in the camp that the ESB dental file is NOT blue. It's the same color as the rest of the jetpack with the top remaining unpainted or painted piano key red. My dental file is already red so I left the top unpainted.

Wired up the beacon light...


Getting the beacon attached turned into an issue. The placement is so near the edge, that underneath inside the jetpack, fiberglass was getting in the way of the bottom screw inserting flush to the surface, causing the beacon to look crooked. My solution was to cut the attachment screw so that it was clear of the fiberglass protrusion.


Finally masking off for the 'white dot'. I taped on a washer with an interior diameter of 9mm.


While doing all this it slowly dawned on me that there was something different about the jetpack in scene 371 I had not noticed previously. A tiny detail to be sure, but interesting...


Looking at the scene in HD seems to verify this production still. No yellow. I already painted it yellow. I might undo it, but the bigger issue I have is the metal collar on my MOW jetpack is already not terribly accurate. It really needs to be replaced.

And now finished... a comparison to the original...

ESB JP vs MOW JP.jpg

I'm now pretty sure that white dot should be 8mm. But... I've made my peace with the inaccuracies. For now.
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