ESB Vader Helmet Comparisons
20th Century vs CKing (DP Deluxe copy)

The question has come up on a number of occasions of the differences between the Don Post Deluxe helmet (or often more specifically and in this case the CKing copy) and the 20th Century Helmet. Both were based on ESB originals (although whether this is true of the 20thC dome is unclear). Therefore TonyRB (CyberAnt), JimboBond and I decided to get together on a sunny June afternoon and like all good grown men, compare helmets!

Unless otherwise stated, the CKing is on the left, with the 20thC on the right and slightly propped up as the neck is slightly shorter.

The most obvious difference between them is the dome flare on the 20thC, although more recent helmets certainly appear to have the flare reduced (see Steve the Swedes). Facially, the overall detail of the 20th C was slightly sharper with the overall paint finish on them both was excellent.

The "nose" on the 20thC was slightly longer, whereas the CKing pointed up at the end more. Neck flare was more pronounced on the 20thC. Note how the cheek on the 20thC curves up at the end on the right hand side (looking at it), slightly accentuating the sharpness.

Above a full on shot of the CKing

And then likewise above for the 20thC. Note that there was a couple of dents in the middle mouth slat suggesting minor damage to the mould.

looking at the detail around the nose, mouth and eyes, the CKing (above) was slightly more rounded than the 20thC(below), in evidence by the definition of the dimples below the eyes and the sharpness of the cheeks. However the difference was subtle and my no means pronounced.

Above a top down view, the photo somewhat over-exposed.

Above, top view of the face's showing the different fixing mechanisms used. The interesting aspect of the 20thC on the right are the remnants of the three (one obscured) strips and screws that formed the fixing method for the original ANH helmets, which suggests that the ESB face  may well have been the same as the first film.

A nice shot showing the profiles of the faces

The view from underneath clearly shows the neck flare on the 20thC. You can also see the larger vent on the CKing.

The domes are substantially different, and the CKing was considerably heavier and more substantial than the 20thC. The CKing dome sits higher on the head due to the fixing mechanism which means that the dome would need a rethink regarding the fixing should you wish to mix and match the helmets. The Dome on the 20th C is considerably more flared than the CKing

The perfect ESB helmet?
Excuse the hands and a slightly off kilter look but we wanted to produce a shot of the 20thC face and CKing dome to show show what the two would look like together. Assuming you could get the fixing mechanism right (and on this photo the dome's not quite correctly angled at the back), you would have what would probably be the best ESB Vader possible.

This review brought to you curtsey of the Nottingham Props Society