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Since I know some of you are picking up the second release of the HT ESB Vader (which may or may not be changed in some detail or other from the first release), I thought I'd share some information on some easy and recent mods.

I have not been willing to take a plunge and pay for a full Hot Toys Vader set after getting my Sideshow "second" Vader quite a few years ago. But I have bought many loose parts and reconstituted largely HT-based ANH/RO and ESB Vaders. With their tendency to lose balance and fall flat on their faces, damaging the tiny tusks (and some of the latter becoming irretrievably lost), I ended up with more than one head, and so have felt even more comfortable to make modifications to these expensive pieces.

Something I did to both the ANH/RO and ESB heads is line the inside of the lenses with bare metal foil, so that you can catch a little glimmer of red in the "eyes" (HT made them translucent, but it doesn't really show on the figure). The other thing I did is to alter the position of the helmet over the masked head -- the very first ANH release and at least the first ESB release have it wrong. In both instances, it sat too high, and in the second (ESB) instance, it was also meeting the face at a wrong angle (essentially, it was sitting too low and too far back to be screen accurate). Just remember that if you try to emulate this, proceed carefully and at your own risk!

Anyway, without further ado:

1a-c. The Hot Toys ESB Vader head has a good sculpt, but especially when looked at from the front can look off and outright disturbing. The problem is that the helmet proper sits too far back and too far up, meeting the "face" at the wrong angle and exposing the "eyebrows" over the lenses far too much. The front rim of the helmet should hang lower and farther forward over the "nose."

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2a-c. The helmet proper is designed to be removable, as it snaps onto the top portion of the mask assembly.

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3a-c. The top part of the mask assembly is glued only at its front, and with a little bit of pressure can be made to snap off. After this you can basically snap it in and out of place as you see fit.

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4a-c. The front part of the mask, fitting over the face, is also a separate piece, which is glued to the bottom only at the lower edge. With some gentle pressure you can carefully make it snap off without breaking it (I didn't know this the first time I was modifying this head a couple of years ago and went another way, but this is a much better approach).

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5a-c. The partial head sculpt is also removable, although that is not something you have to do to modify the lenses. I only show this here for completeness.

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6a-c. Getting back to the facial part of the mask. The lenses are delightfully translucent, but you can only appreciate that if you handle the piece separately and look through them at a light source -- here I used a flash light to illustrate (6a). Then I cut a small rectangular piece of Bare-Metal chrome foil, enough to cover the inside of the lenses (6b). You apply the adhesive side to the inside of the lenses, then rub over it with a q-tip. This ensures perfect adhesion and removes any tiny folds or creases. With the foil lining the inside of the lenses, you can see a glimmer of red looking at them from the outside, provided they are hit by sufficient light (6c).

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7a-d. Compare the before and after look, without (7a-b) and with (7c-d) the helmet. Note that without direct light on the lenses, they would look just black.

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8a-d. I've been saving empty Oscillococcinum containers from whenever I've been sick, intending to use them for 1:6 kitbashing. While I imagined them serving as termuses or other types of vessels, the caps prove a good fit into the pre-existing hole at the very top of the head (8a). I lined the exposed part of the head around the cap with some plastic from a ziplock bag (8b). I began to construct a makeshift structure out of Kneadatite (the blue and yellow green stuff) by winding "snakes" round the cap and atop the plastic cover (8c). The plastic cover is so that the "structure" would not stick to the head itself and would remain removable. All told, I needed the "structure" to lift the helmet up at the back while keeping low in the front, and to push it towards the front. I also provided a makeshift protrusion to fit into the hole of the helmet (8d). Yes, I know what it looks like, and if you comment on that, it would be bad karma (so don't). Smile

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9a-c. With the structure still soft and malleable, I experimented with the helmeted look, adding material until satisfied with the way it sat. Then I let it cure. Here is the before (9a and 9c) and after (9b and 9d) comparison. Perhaps the difference looks cosmetic to most, but here's a Vader look I can appreciate without misgivings.

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10a-b. Checking out the overall effect of the modified head on the body.

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11a-c. Note that you can still see the "eyebrows," but only (and correctly) when lit from a lower angle (11c).

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12a-b. Comparison of the before and after versions with a screenshot from The Empire Strikes Back. I think the helmet works much more accurately; I was not able to reproduce the lighting precisely -- otherwise you would be able to see the "eyebrows" (as above).

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13. Just a comparison of my ANH/RO and ESB/ROTJ modified Vaders.

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14. Another of the same.

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15. Another of the same with a reconstituted HT ROTJ Luke.

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Even if these modifications weren't particularly difficult, one should probably not have to go through so much trouble to improve sets as expensive as this. But the good news is that one can improve the slight imperfections.

I hope this has been useful. What do you think?

#starwars #hottoys #darthvader #custom #mod #kitbash #scifi #male
Search in: General Talk  Topic: STAR WARS New customizing Hot Toys ESB Vader head  Replies: 20  Views: 351
“Impressive... Most Impressive.” – Darth Vader

In Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader attempted to convert Luke Skywalker™ to the dark side by luring the young Skywalker into a trap in the Cloud City of Bespin. In the midst of a fierce lightsaber duel with the Sith Lord, Luke faces the startling revelation that the evil Vader is in fact his father, Anakin Skywalker…

In celebrating Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 40th anniversary, Hot Toys is excited to introduce a series of throwback collectibles based on this iconic film! Today, Hot Toys is pleased to re-introduce the highly popular 1/6th scale Darth Vader Collectible Figure with a specially designed retro style packaging!

The highly-accurate collectible figure is specially crafted featuring a skillfully crafted Darth Vader helmet with complex interior mechanical details and the back of Lord Vader’s battle damaged head, highly detailed Darth Vader armor and sophisticatedly tailored body suit, LED light-up chest panel and belt, an LED light-up lightsaber, and a Cloud City theme diorama figure base!

Embrace the 40 year legacy of this cinematic masterpiece and don’t miss out on this stunning Darth Vader collectible figure for your The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary Collection!
SPECIFICATIONS
PRODUCT CODEMMS572
PRODUCT NAMEDARTH VADER™
HEIGHTAPPROXIMATELY 35 CM TALL
POINTS OF ARTICULATIONS30
SPECIAL FEATURESHELMET WITH DETACHABLE OUTER HELMET TO REVEAL THE BACK OF DARTH VADER’S BATTLE DAMAGED HEAD, SPECIAL PACKAGE DESIGN WITH STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK 40TH ANNIVERSARY LOGO
ARTISTSHEAD SCULPTED BY GOX & VIVA LAI
HEAD PAINTED BY JC. HONG
HEAD ART DIRECTED BY JC. HONG

The 1/6th scale Darth Vader™ Collectible Figure (The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary Collection) specially features:

- Authentic and detailed likeness of Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- Specially crafted helmet with detachable outer helmet to reveal the back of Darth Vader’s battle damaged head
- Specialized body with over 30 points of articulations
- Approximately 35 cm tall
- Nine (9) pieces of interchangeable gloved hands including:
- One (1) pair of lightsaber holding hands
- One (1) pair of hands for holding belt boxes
- Four (4) pieces of gesture hands
- One (1) piece of Force-using right hand
- Special package design with Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary logo

Costume:
- One (1) Darth Vader armor and suit
- One (1) black cape
- One (1) chest panel with LED light-up function (red light, battery operated)
- One (1) system function belt with LED light-up function (white light, battery operated)
- One (1) pair of black boots

Weapons:
- One (1) LED-lighted red lightsaber (red light, battery operated)
- One (1) lightsaber hilt
- One (1) red-colored lightsaber blade in motion (attachable to the hilt)

Accessory:
- A Cloud City theme LED-lighted diorama figure base (yellow light, battery operated)

Artists:
- Head Sculpted by GOX & Viva Lai
- Head Painted by JC. Hong
- Head Art Directed by JC. Hong

Release date: Approximately Q3 – Q4, 2020

**Prototype shown, final product may be slightly different
**Battery included for collectible figure, button cells are required
**Batteries are not included for the diorama figure base, 3A batteries (3 pieces) are required
**Product details are subject to change without further notice

© & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.
© 2020 Hot Toys Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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#newproduct #HotToys #StarWars #EmpireStrikesBack #DarthVader #Sci-Fi #movie #40thAnniversaryCollection #male

Star Wars Darth Vader Customs - Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:27 pm

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.)

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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.)

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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.

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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
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Star Wars Darth Vader Customs  Replies: 20  Views: 886

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