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 Master Replicas Signature and Limited Edition

Boba Fett Helmets (ESB)

January 2008 and these superb helmets have started to ship from MR. First off is just to confirm that the intricate paint job showed off in the review helmet lower down the page was indeed as we said precisely the same as the production helmets. The most  impressive thing is that MR has been able to mass produce a helmet with this quality of finish. It really is superb.

Below here's another of one of our new 360 degree spins - Just drag to Rotate!

Looking back I think this was the first time a licensed company was able to mass-produce a replica helmet with such a complex paint scheme.

I went for a SE as quite like the Signature of the guy who played the character, but remember this is just a different plaque. This aside there's no actual difference in the helmet itself.

The only criticism levelled at the helmet seems to be the tapering of the visor as it extends down. This appears to have been caused in production on the helmets but in my mind is not a dealbreaker. If it was a concern then removing the visor and replacing with a thicker acrylic would not be a huge task. job.

Previous Update - This weekend (1st September 07) Bryan at MR kindly sent me their Engineering Prototype Boba Fett helmet to review, in advance of the actual helmets which are due to start shipping in a couple of months. Note that MR has confirmed to me that this review helmet has been painted in exactly the same way as the final shipped helmets, hence illustrating just how good the paint quality of the finished pieces will be. IMO that is impressive!

How to start, other than just saying WOW - this is an extremely impressive looking helmet. These went on sale last week (29th August) in two flavours, a 1500 sized Limited Edition @ $450 along with a Signature Edition @$550 of 750 units -  which include Jeremy Bullock's signature. I've ordered the latter. As with all the MR helmets its made of solid Fiberglass, a metal rangefinder stalk and a thick (Acrylic?) visor. As with all the MR helmets it has a solid and substantial feel to it.

Key to the overall quality and accuracy of these helmets will be the painting - and note that ALL of the production helmets are hand painted and not painted automatically by some dumb robot. The Green base is sprayed on with much of the finer detail such as the yellow stripes and silver "damage" tampo printed. The overspray is then again done by hand by an operator and thus, may vary slightly from helmet to helmet.

The specific ESB helmet MR used for this basis for this replica was one that currently resides in the Lucasfilm Archive. Understandably MR was not able to cast it (since would have had to cast the outside and thus potentially damage the helmet) so the best option for all was to 3D scan it.

Clearly the outside detail of the original "ESB Pre-production 3" Archive helmet this was cast from had clear and precise detailing. By using a 3D scanning process technique - MR has been able to completely pick up and replicate all the specific nuances in their replicas - and then base the paint scheme on their archive photo's of the screen-used ESB Hero helmet.

Below a shot from the rear, Note that the 2 (non lit) LED's will not be present on the final production version. Those keen eyed amongst you will recall that they didn't appear on the ESB version. However the circuit board will be there - exactly as it should

So let talk about paint layering. MR informs me that there are a HUGE amount of layering used on this helmet in order to get the final finish. This is basically a combination of tampo, spray and overspray (effectively the final weathering effect). Whatever it is, it looks excellent.

In this early review version, you can see the brush marks and the different thicknesses of the applied paint, especially in the silver areas. In the sample pictured here, you may be able to see that it is “flat” since it is sprayed on with a spray mask (like a stencil), but MR is compensating that with the overspray to add some dimension or depth to the finish.

And what is Tampo painting?

Tampo printing is also know as pad printing. . . They laser cut the pattern in a thin piece of metal and then place it flush on another piece of metal.  This makes a recess of the exactly shape that you want. Then, this recess in filled with paint and then it swiped with a rubber bar.  This leaves paint, but only in the recess. Then a soft rubber tool comes and presses against this recess with paint and it picks up the paint, precisely. The rubber tool then transfers the shape onto the helmet almost like a rubber stamp.

By adopting this specific process of using Tampo and stencil/mask spraying, MR believes it has been able to completely nail the details of the paint process - while still operating within the constraints of a production environment. After looking at this helmet I'd agree!

The shot above shows the range finder in the lowered position. It has a very satisfying "click" when engaged in the up or down position, so doesn't wobble around but instead stays erect when it should (stop sniggering). When lowered the two front facing LED's flash in sequence and on the rangefinder there is a small image of something which for the life of me I couldn't quite make out. Below a shot showing the same internal padding found on their other helmets, which IMO is quality.

Next up some comparisons against my "pride and Joy" - probably my favourite helmet in my collection, a MSH helmet from Natty that was painstakingly hand painted by Steve the Swede some years back. The work Steve did on this helmet is incredible and imo represents the finest painting I've ever seen. In these shots the MR's on the left and the MSH on the right.

What is probably most relevant about these photos are the physical comparisons between these two helmets rather than the paintwork, although as you can see the MR is pretty incredible

You'll see that the visor dimensions of both helmets are slightly different. Not sure which one is correct or even if there is a "correct" since IIRC LFL had at least five made

As you can see, otherwise the physical dimensions of the helmets are very similar. Looking front-on the MSH does seem to "splay" out more, whereas the sides of the MR are straight and parallel.

I know we're looking at the physical comparisons here but its hard to get away from the paint job which really is superb for such a volume-produced item.

Thanks to MR for the review helmet, its just a damn shame I've got to send it back!

Below, a 2010 comparison of the PROTO MR against the forthcoming Sideshow (again the prototype)

Previous Boba Fett Updates

At the Feb 2006 US Toy fair, MR announced that the next helmet it would be producing (i.e. before the Stormtrooper) will be the ESB Boba Fett. In actual fact the Stormtrooper's hit first although it wont be long until we see the Boba Fett.

These images (courtesy Rebelscum) show the prototype helmet which was hand-painted by an RPF member. Note that these pics  show the helmet a little washed out due to the flash but I've tried to compensate for this by adjusting the hue/saturation/contrast slightly.

my understanding is that MR has based this helmet off a computer scan of an original helmet from the LFL archives. This prototype is fiberglass and the production ones will be as well, although its probably safe to assume MR will also be doing LE and SE versions.

The photo's below show some of the (hand painted) details on the prototype, and probably give a better indication of the colour of the helmet, which will I'm sure be matched against the colour hues of the helmet in the Lucasfilm archives.

Well its certainly so far, so good and it looks like we can expect MR to produce the most accurate Licensed Boba Fett helmet to date. Looking good!

At the 2007 Toy Fair in the US in February, MR showed off the prototype helmet again. Thanks again to Rebelscum.com for the photos

This ESB Fett really does look great. The weathering is superb. Expected to retail $450 for the LE, $550 for the SE


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