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Star Wars Darth Vader Customs

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1Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Empty Star Wars Darth Vader Customs on Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:27 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Update: some additional (mostly old) photos in Post 6 below.

The only sixth-scale Darth Vader boxed set that I've ever purchased as such was Sideshow's Return of the Jedi Vader from 2014 (and not the deluxe version you can see HERE ). That was a great set, and at the time seemed quite perfect. Sure, there were some minor areas where it could have been improved, and some of these have been addressed by Hot Toys' relentless string of Vader releases (two A New Hope versions, a Rogue One version, and now an Empire Strikes Back version). I wasn't about to spend the increasingly excessive sums to purchase more Vader boxed sets, but I put together a kitbash ANH Vader from Sideshow and HT elements and did some modifications to the body and the helmet/mask, including lining the inside of the translucent lenses with bare metal foil so that you can see the amber color when you focus strong light directly on them.

Now that they have released their ESB Vader, I picked up some of the parted out parts to kitbash one on the basis of a damaged ANH Vader figure I had stumbled upon for a remarkably low price some time ago, plus some more Sideshow pieces. By far the most important parts to achieve the different look were the helmet/mask and the chest box, although I did get another couple of pieces too, and several gloved hands (the patterns on the ANH and ESB/ROTJ gloves are different). Once again I modified the inside of the lenses so that you could get a reddish glint with the right light (although for some reason it is less obvious -- which is not a big problem, but somewhat disappointing). Most of this was done weeks ago, but I only got the illuminated chest box yesterday, so snapped a couple more photos before boxing things up. So here they are, side by side. Except for an additional part or two (unless I use the Sideshow ones), I feel that my ESB kitbash would work for ROTJ, too. (And please forgive the quality of the images -- black does not photograph very well, besides every speck of dust showing up.)

Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Cvader10

Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Cvader11

Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Cvader12

As you can see, the ESB Vader's armor is darker and shinier, as it should be based on the onscreen appearance. The helmet is redesigned not only to be removed from the mask so that you can see the damaged scalp underneath (sorry, I forgot to take photos of that), but also to sit a little differently, slightly tilted back. I noticed they altered the sculpt on the mask, making the "nose" shorter. I could have sworn they made a mistake, but I did manage to see what looks the same in at least one ESB scene, so I am guessing they got it right. (Of course, they could very well have used different helmets and masks in different shots in the film.)

Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Cvader13

Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Cvader14

Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Cvader15

The transparency and/or tint of the lenses appears to be different, and it is much harder for me to detect and photograph the reddish glint on the ESB Vader than the ANH one, even though I used the same process and materials. I am particularly proud of getting the figure to kneel -- sorta (keep in mind that is an older ANH 2 Vader body and outfit in there, not the one that comes with the ESB boxed set). I will be looking at ways of enhancing the articulation at some point in the future.

Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Cvader16

Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Cvader17

Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Cvader18

Unlike the ANH Vader, the ESB Vader's chest box is illuminated, and alternatively lights up different combinations of the little horizontal red lights. In both cases, this is film-accurate. The little container for the batteries is probably supposed to be attached to the chest box strap around the back of the figure, but I found it more convenient to let it hang loose in the back, so that I don't need to undo the belt to turn it on or off every time.

The last two photos show the mask before the modification, with backlighting to show the translucent amber lenses, and also the patterned inside of the mask (although it is not designed for you to see it). Speaking of which, removing and especially replacing the scalp was incredibly difficult. And yes, that is a Swiss Army Knife corkscrew drilled deep into Vader's scalp to assist in the process (no harm done, as that part is not visible when you put the top cap of the mask in place).

Hope you liked them.

#darthvader #starwars #anewhope #empirestrikesback #returnofthejedi #hottoys #sideshow #kitbash #custom


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2Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Empty Re: Star Wars Darth Vader Customs on Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:53 pm

shovelchop81

shovelchop81
Well you know how much I love making custom Vaders!! Got 10 in 1/6 last count... planning on making a light up 'Final Battle' version of him with the Emperor scene at some point with translucent parts showing his skull, bones etc.. from the Force lightning effects. I sense the Dark Side is strong with you!

3Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Empty Re: Star Wars Darth Vader Customs on Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:07 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
shovelchop81 wrote:Well you know how much I love making custom Vaders!! Got 10 in 1/6 last count... planning on making a light up 'Final Battle' version of him with the Emperor scene at some point with translucent parts showing his skull, bones etc.. from the Force lightning effects. I sense the Dark Side is strong with you!

Glad you share my passion for Star Wars. I can compete with you in neither numbers nor skills, but I figured I'd want to have the two most iconic looks covered in sixth scale. Hence, this new kitbash. What you describe as you next Vader project sounds very interesting. I think they tried to do that with the Hasbro 6 inch figures, using translucent plastic -- maybe just for the helmet and some other part or two.

Despite seemingly confirming the look in at least one scene, I still have some doubts about how spot on the ESB mask is. What do you think? Is the face too smooshed/flattened?

I do kinda like the "bad guys" in Star Wars because I have grave misgivings about the canonical goodness of the "good guys" and the matching doctrine. But whereas some people have been trying to make good sense of the supposedly "bad" actions of the bad guys, at this point I think it has more to do with dogmatic and facile/simplistic story-telling than anything else. I know it is supposed to be a children's story... But what a story it is! As for the Force, I say enough with all that Light Side and Dark Side silliness... the Force is grey, and so are its users on "both sides."


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4Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Empty Re: Star Wars Darth Vader Customs on Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:54 am

shovelchop81

shovelchop81
I agree with the whole Grey Force idea and that tends to cover my enjoyment of SW, don't over analyse it and just in enjoy it. The same goes for for film specific tiny costume details, make a Vader as a Vader not as a slave to costume inconsistencies due solely to budget and technological reasons of the film maker's situation and irrelevant to the story or film itself. A long winded way of me saying it shouldn't really matter as long as it looks like Vader's movie helmet opposed graphic novel or animation incarnations.

5Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Empty Re: Star Wars Darth Vader Customs on Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:37 pm

blackpool

blackpool
Thanks for sharing GF, the two look absolutely fabulous! Great choice to go anh and esb, my favorites as well, I so love vader with his two tie pilots at the end of anh, and when he enters the rebel facility on Hoth with snowtroopers... I must admit the ending scene in rogue one was a great vader moment as well!

@shovelshop since I'm a star wars geek as well I'd be curious to see your 6 vaders! As I started collecting plenty of license in 1/6 I promised myself to stay away from star wars figures at that scale to save my wallet (I went with the blackseries 6" figures that are getting better n better)

6Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Empty Re: Star Wars Darth Vader Customs on Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:16 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
shovelchop81 wrote:I agree with the whole Grey Force idea and that tends to cover my enjoyment of SW, don't over analyse it and just in enjoy it. The same goes for for film specific tiny costume details, make a Vader as a Vader not as a slave to costume inconsistencies due solely to budget and technological reasons of the film maker's situation and irrelevant to the story or film itself. A long winded way of me saying it shouldn't really matter as long as it looks like Vader's movie helmet opposed graphic novel or animation incarnations.

I agree, for the most part I wouldn't worry about getting every tiny detail at any cost. But it is cool when it is an attainable goal. In this case, there really are just two looks: ANH (and RO), and ESB (and ROTJ); anything beyond that is incidental (or accidental). Vader is Vader, and as long as we have that covered, we're good. I'm actually a bit more interested in the variations of officer and trooper uniforms, though I am not sure why (variety?). At any rate, like blackpool, I'd love to see your many Vaders sometime.

blackpool wrote:Thanks for sharing GF, the two look absolutely fabulous! Great choice to go anh and esb, my favorites as well, I so love Vader with his two tie pilots at the end of anh, and when he enters the rebel facility on Hoth with snowtroopers... I must admit the ending scene in rogue one was a great Vader moment as well!

It just struck me what kind of lame joke Vader would crack if he heard you calling him absolutely fabulous! Smile But thank you very much! And you do mention some very iconic scenes. So here are a few old ones from various reviews and experiments with my ANH Vader (except for the last one, with the Royal Guards, which is of the ESB Vader before I had completed the kitbash -- notice how you can't see the chest box)...

Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Cvader22

Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Cvader19

Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Cvader20

Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Cvader21

Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Cvader23

Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Htrg1010


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7Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Empty Re: Star Wars Darth Vader Customs on Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:16 pm

dadrab

dadrab
Excellent Vaders...both of them.

I will admit to liking the look of the ESB version a little bit more, but can't really put my finger on why...

8Star Wars Darth Vader Customs Empty Re: Star Wars Darth Vader Customs on Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:06 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
dadrab wrote:Excellent Vaders...both of them. I will admit to liking the look of the ESB version a little bit more, but can't really put my finger on why...

Thank you very much, dadrab. Perhaps because he's shinier and has more and blinking lights? Smile


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