(Don Post Standard Mask)
For the helmet, a friend of mine gave me a this helmet for Christmas last year. He got it at Disney World in FL at the Star Wars Ride. Granted it is not a perfect replica of Vader's helmet, but for down here, it will do just fine. The only change I had to make was the billet sensors. The helmet came with just a silver sticker in their place. So what I did was purchase some silver tire valve stem caps, fill them with hot glue, and screwed them to the helmet. They aren't coming off.
A modification that I found I must do after wearing the costume for an extended period of time was to get the lenses replaced. The ones that came in the helmet are just opaque plastic. I am going to the local Wal-Mart optics center, and getting new lenses cut and tinted to match so I can see better. Another "trick" I must do is an old SCUBA Divers trick. I am going to coat the lenses with Dawn dishwashing liquid when the helmet is not in use. Then when I am ready to wear it, wash out the Dawn, and ta-da, no fogging. Just one note, I found that is HAS to be Dawn dishwashing liquid. They do something different that no one else does to prevent the fogging.
From the Sith Training Temple , I have learned that the Don Post Standard helmet is not correct.
As of Labor Day 2003, (after attending Dragon-CON), I have been attempting to locate a Don Post Classic Action Deluxe Helmet. This particular helmet is, according to experts, the best reproduction of the Vader helmet.
As of Christmas 2003, I have received a replica of a CA helmet. I must clean it up, sand it, and paint it, but it is a more accurate helmet than the Don Post Standard.
Here are the pics as I work on the helmet. As you can see from the first set, the mask was VERY raw.
I had to trim the edges, and sand them smooth.
Here is what is looks like as it is started to fit together.
After all the trimming, I had some imperfections I had to fix. So I used Bondo to fill in the spots that needed filling. As you can see, there were a lot of spots. I also smoothed out the inside of the dome. It still had the fiberglass look to it. And I also finished cutting out all the holes in the mask.
Here is what the mask looks like with all the hole cut out, and getting close to time for paint.
Here is where I started filling and sanding to make the dome correct. If you look at the 1st pic in the group, you'll see the warp of the dome, you may have to look a little close. The base is out of shape and the sides are not even. Then you can see where I added fiberglass for filler and started sanding it down to the correct shape.
I have been using 3 different materials for filler and touch-up. The green filler seen just below is Bondo-Glass. A fiber reinforced filler. The pink filler seen in the pics above is Bondo Body Filler. A 3rd not shown here, but will be used soon, is the Bondo Fiberglass Resin. The resin can be used with fiberglass cloth to span areas and increase strength.
You can see in the 4th pic, there are areas where I have completely removed the original material to attempt to get the shape correct, and the pink that is showing around the green is from the inside.