Shepperton Design Studios


TIE Helmet (Imperial Pilot)

According to SDS, the Imperial Pilot/TIE is cast from the original 1976 moulds. I was able to review one of the original screen-used Star Wars TIE helmets for this site in 2004 (see review here) and I have to say that this one is almost identical. Even looking at this helmet in 2008 I still believe  it is the most accurate TIE helmet ever produced.

Here's the spiel from the SDS website:
Shepperton Design Studios - S002 - Imperial Pilot Helmet - Key points
bulletMade from the Original 1976 moulds.
bulletFabricated from a bespoke black thermo-plastic (a combination ABS, extruded co-polyester and high molecular polymer), precisely matching the appearance and finish of the original screen-used helmets.
bulletThe helmet itself is constructed from a number of separate parts including; Face Plate, Left and Right Hemispheres, Mohawk Connector bridge, front Mohawk detailing to back arrow and L/R ears.

 More details:
bulletThe decals were copied directly from an original 1976 set (note since mid 2006 these were not included following the LFL action)
bulletThe metalwork is hand-turned aluminium
bulletThe helmet features grey bubble eye lenses as per the originals
bulletThe helmet comes with display stand and numbered plaque
bulletEach helmet signed by Andrew Ainsworth

In 1976, SDS added a rather nice upper torso with Chest box/Tubes and Armor. See later.

Above, a rear shot showing the new "pill box". Also, notice how the right "ear" seems to be more slanted? It does so in the same way as the originals as can be seen with the two original TIE helmets seen below. Again we'd expect this from the original moulds but its nice when things do match up!

The metal ear "greeblies" look very close too. The overall detail on this helmet is excellent and in my view the closest anyone has come to reproducing the original helmets - The only difference being the mohawk, where the centre "fork" is unfortunately quite incorrect.

Below an inside shot. Note the single "double bubble" eye lenses, like the originals. Although note there's a lot less undercut on the bottom rim of the helmets

Thomas/SithLord's done these comparisons of the new AA/SDS Pilot against one of the the originals (the one reviewed on this site). The slight change in the mohawk being the only difference.

these two new comparisons from Thomas are of his SDS TIE, compared against a couple of original shots. Again, mohawk aside it looks spot on from the front and back

And below a shot of the SDS Stormtrooper and TIE together. 

Below, Alistair sent in this shot of his SDS TIE helmet, which I'm adding as his photo has made the helmet look almost reflective!

It looks a bit shiny in this - its not the easiest helmet to photograph!

TIE Helmet and Armour Combination

In 2006, SDS released the a TIE upper body torso, Armour and Chestbox/Tubes product, to accompany its helmet. In these studio shots you can see what a really cool display piece its become.

The chest box is apparently from the original moulds, with the armour adapted from the Stormtrooper armour they also produce - all made from glossy black ABS.

The chest box is interesting and appears to be an accurate casting of an original

From the rear the Stormtrooper "OII" detailing has been adapted with a blanking plate as per the originals. The mysterious 3rd hose (grey) fits into the mannequin, answer a point that has confused TIE fans for years.

Note that the two Imperial Cog decals on the helmet have been removed, a ramification of the ongoing legal action between SDS and Lucasfilm, which has now been going on for over FIVE years with no sign of stopping.

October 09 - Photo above of Persona-non-grata's excellent TIE costume based around the SDS Helmet - with Armor and Chest Box from Laws (see here). The soft parts from various other sources with JD at Sabervault providing the Flight Suit.

Above Following on from Han's here's mine which also has the same configuration - SDS Helmet, Laws Chest-box and Armor. This flight suit was from CostumeBase. Its a Work in Progress so more to come.

Finally, a couple of shots of an early SDS TIE helmet (still with decals).


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