TO CLONE, OR NOT TO CLONE. THAT IS THE QUESTION
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I am a huge fan of the STAR WARS movie Saga… all 6 films. But I am strictly an Original Trilogy Collector.
Although I gave considerable thought to having a clone / Jango-esque head sculpt on my custom Fett figure, with a helmet engineered to be removable, I decided against
proceeding in this direction.
There are two reasons for this:1)
I wanted to look upon my Boba Fett figure as faceless and anonymous
… just as the character was in the OT.2)
Although I was confident that I could successfully increase the size of the helmet to be wearable by a clone head sculpt, I realized there was NOTHING I was going to be able to do about the resulting chewing gum helmet
syndrome. This is the condition that exists with the current Vintage Collection Boba Fett figure helmet, where it is too soft to hold its shape since it is fashioned out of soft, rubbery PVC plastic.
The same thing would happen with any available helmet sculpt if I Dremelled it into a wearable helmet. The walls of the helmet would become too thin, and it would warp terribly when worn by the figure.
I also considered making a mold and hard resin casting of a Boba helmet knowing that a hollowed-out resin helmet would will hold its shape fine because it would be solid and NOT be rubbery.
This idea was rejected because during the inevitable shrinkage of the molding and casting process, I would lose 1% - 2% of my original helmet’s overall size.
Again, unacceptable.PROFILING A HELMET
I selected (what I considered to be) the best Boba Fett helmet sculpt of all the available production figures released by Hasbro: SAGA 2 Boba Fett Battle of Carkoon: (2006)
To my eyes, this was the sharpest, straightest, cleanest (and certainly largest) sculpt we had gotten out of Hasbro from all the Fett figures they’d ever produced.
Was it PERFECT
No. Not by a long shot. But I did consider it reasonably workable
into a helmet that I would accept for my custom figure.
However… More surgery required.
I liked the face of the helmet very much (although it was NOT 100% accurate to the film prop.
It was the profile that I had major problems with.
Putting it simply, the crown of the helmet was far too narrow to adequately and realistically accommodate an average human male head. And with the base of the helmet being as wide as it is, the overly narrow crown is only augmented visually.
In THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
Fett is mostly seen frontally. But we do get a few brief glimpses at the shape of the profile of his helmet. These are probably best seen during his conversation with Darth Vader (immediately after Han Solo’s torture). You’ll note the size of the helmet’s crown in relation to the base. Not nearly as narrow as Hasbro has presented.
I fixed the helmet’s profile by slicing it in half horizontally along the top of the head (ear to ear). I sliced clear down to the helmet base, but I DID NOT cut all the way through.
I pried the two helmet halves apart (while they were still attached at the helmet base.
Using an additional Battle of Carkoon helmet, I sliced a tiny wedge spacer, and glued it into my opened helmet (increasing the width of the crown dramatically).
After carefully filling in all of the gaps around the helmet with spare helmet shavings
, I trimmed and sanded the newly created seam until it was smooth.
There was still a seam visible from the operation that I wanted to make disappear.
I began by using a line of Krazy Glue. I laid down a sealant directly on the seam, and waited for the glue to dry and set.
Once the glue dried and hardened, I sanded the seam smooth with 500 grit sandpaper, and then I did a fine wet-sanding with 1000 grit sandpaper to make the dome as smooth as possible.
I was reasonably pleased with the helmet’s new profile when compared to the original.
Next, I knew that in order for the helmet to look like wearable head gear, I was going to have to create a bit of a recess in the helmet’s underside to visually establish the helmet’s (supposed) wall thickness. I Dremmelled a full recess of about 1/8 of an inch up into the helmet’s base. I then Dremmelled a ball joint socket that I could pop into the figure’s neck post.
This entire operation forced the loss of raised ridge details around the rear of the helmet’s crown and at the sides. These ridges will now have to be restored to the helmet. Also, an all-new flip-down target sight will have to be made for the helmet due to the current sight being too thick and about 1/32 of an inch too tall.
The final planned modification to this helmet will be the addition of a gloss coat to the black T-visor to give it a tinted glassy look.