Don Post Deluxe Tie Pilot Helmet and Chest Box

Released in 1998 it was awesome. Despite its symmetrical inaccuracies it's still awesome in 2014 as no Licensed prop maker has been able to trump it. The Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot was THE best imperial character to many of us growing up in the 70's and 80's, so its surprising that neither Sideshow, MR or EFX has tried to produce a newer, more accurate version. I suppose the upside to this is there have bee a number of wonderful fan-made and non-licenses TIE helmets, which we detail here and here.

Below, some photos of the Don Post 1998 Limited Edition Deluxe TIE Helmet and Chest Box. These came mounted on black column making them a very impressive sight. Given its made of fiberglass it also weighs a ton!

Above and below some new photos (Aug 2014) of this really great Helmet and Chest Box combo from Don Post. In our opinion the best helmet they ever produced - and with that wonderfully ostentatious black monolithic stand its one hell of a presentation piece.

I mean just look at it. Who on Earth now would say "I know we'll include a chestbox with the Helmet and sit the whole thing on a huge black phallus - that'll look impressive". Ah, the 90's!

Black phallus aside it really does look awesome though. Some older photos below...

I'm not sure as to the history of this helmet, and specifically whether it was a custom sculpt from Don Post or whether they took maybe half a TIE helmet and mirrored it (as with the Deluxe and Classic Action Stormtrooper)

Again as with the Stormtrooper its not the most accurate but it is a very impressive collectable and the finish on the gel coat fiberglass is superb. The ear detailing looks unusual however Ive seen original TIE helmets with different gromits used so it may well be the helmet Don Post used as reference

Front on it suggests they did mirror one side of the helmet

Being fiberglass its obviously just a since piece so there are no gaps or joins as on the originals (and ABS replicas). There's a stamp on the rear underside (which you can just see here) and also a brass numbered plaque on the inside

Above another Don Post DELUXE TIE fighter helmet (this on number 72), sold a few years back on ebay for $925.

Above the Tie Deluxe with Chest box 
(DP Ref 82115) , this particular one owned by Andrea77 from Italy.

Above is an interesting one from Steve the Swede, its a modified DP Classic Action Tie Pilot with a re-spray to match a specific ROTJ film-used prop. It has additional areas of silver, often added to help increase the contrast of the helmet when used on-screen. Its similar also the the recent $27k ebay-sold real prop here.

Above and below are 5 images from Andrea77 in Italy who bought this very low numbered Don Post Deluxe TIE around eighteen months ago, which I am sure he is extremely pleased with.

Made of fiberglass, this specific one is just the 5th TIE helmet produced by Don Post so is quite a find!

Classic Action Tie Pilot

I've had a couple of questions from readers over the different Don Post TIE helmets and the one produced by Rubies. In the 1990', Don Post made THREE different TIE helmets from TWO different base moulds.

The "Full size mould" was probably part "cast from original", part modified and was used to create both the Fiberglass Deluxe TIE Helmet (which came with chestbox and stand - see above), and the Vinyl Classic Action TIE Helmet.

Don Post also produced an "Undersize Mould" which was used to create the Standard TIE Helmet and was a new sculpt so had NO direct link to an original helmet whatsoever. When Rubies took over helmet production they used the Standard/Undersize moulds, not the Full Size/Deluxe/Classic Action.

Above left is the Don Post Classic Action, and a comparison against the Standard Don Post (photo's not to scale!). Not much difference in the look of the helmets, although if you look at the following photo of a Standard DP Tie (Owned by UKG Member Foxy SL/TI 3145) and the Classic Action (UKG Jools) you can see the difference is significant. See fan-made TIE's here with comparisons against the DP C?A

Below a couple more shots of the Classic Action. Note the small "plaque" on the top of the underside image, that is not present on the Standard (its just stamped). The dimensions of the screen-sized C/A are (in inches) 11W x 15L x13H, whereas the standard is 11.5W x 13.25L  x 10.75H

Above another comparison shot of the Classic Action (Left) against the Standard DP. These shots above and below have been sent to me by Martin Johnson. In order to troop he's spent a lot of time modifying his helmets and these mods include integral fan and helmet amp system (see pics below) 

The insides have been filled in with spray foam, then covered with black liquid electrical tape. Small black switches were mounted on the bottom of the ear pieces to run the fan and the amp. The Amp board is tucked away in one of the ears as you can see, and a hard hat liner has also been fitted.

Finally below a nice shot of DarienVader's Classic Action TIE helmet.  Jim's the PRO from the Midwest Garrison of the 501st and has spent a significant amount of time and effort on his helmet and is I am sure well pleased with his efforts - nice one Jim!!

Now I know they're not the most accurate Star Wars Helmets produced but I REALLY like DP's Classic Action range. Marty's just sent me these photo's of his CA helmets so many thanks to him.

As you can see it derives form the same mould as the Deluxe - its a fairly accurate helmet although like most in the DP range has been made more sanitised and symmetrical - however its the correct screen size which is great.

Marty's sent these greaat pics of his two CA helmets side by side so you can see the size differences between these two helmet types. Both are just about screen-size accurate, although the TIE is the more accurate  helmet overall.

Both helmets actually look their most accurate from the back- nice to see the TIE pill-box. And below a shot from above shows how DP cleaned up these helmets and made them more symmetrical. If you look at screen-accurate helmets from this view the warping is really significant.


Don Post  - Standard TIE

Don Post also produced a range of Cheap masks and Helmets, which typically retailed for around $50-$60, and some of them like the Biker Scout and Imperial Guards were extremely good. The TIE helmet wasn't bad - although Don Post later produced a more expensive Classic Action version (see higher up this page) which is almost 1:1 size and really rather good.

DP Tie Pilot (DP Ref 82025). Note to Don Post Marketing Department; painting a blue haze around a Star Wars helmet does not make it look sexy.

Above a couple of shots from Wayne (TI-0350) who's modified his standard DP by replacing the lenses and adding a custom "widows tears" colour scheme reserved for the most feared pilot. A nice example of what you can do with this helmet.