ESB WIP: Ord Mantell's ESB Build

Pretty much every single one I've ever come across. I look at them backwards and upside down. Also like to convert color photos to black and white, as well as look at the red, green, and blue channels separately top uncover hidden details. Started using AI a few months ago to see details better, too.
Oh wow! I was joking, but that's actually really cool!
 
As most of you guys already know, @dean.cfh not only cracked the original helmet electronics, but also the chest display electronics. In fact, he figured it all out utterly to the nth detail. He can now recreate all the of the patterns and actions of the original display we see on screen and off. So I'm sending off some vintage parts to him to build a nice chest display for my build. I look forward to getting it installed ahead of the paint job on the armor, which is the order in which it would've been done on the original.

I only have one 7-segment display from the correct source and time period (fourth from left in the photo). I have another three also from RS but from a later time period. They are essentially the same but have white side walls instead of black. I have a couple of non-RS stand-ins for the 5th digit, for an experiment.

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I haven't been able to find vintage of these 10 bar LEDs, though. This is what they look like in the RS catalog of the period:


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Need two of these for the lights over the digits. New ones are pretty much the same except for the depth and side wall color. Dean and I think the shorter depth on the vintage would sit differently than new ones which probably impacts how they sit against the window. Would love to be able to find out someday.

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more on Fett's Cod/Kidney hook & eye hardware​


This is a follow up to the earlier post on the hook & eye on the cod and kidney attachments. I finally got in my Newey's recently and there has also been a newly discovered photo showing the hook at the end of the elastic thong on one of the touring suits. Here it is again, though I posted it already to my PP2 build thread yesterday:

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This is opposite of the PP1, which has the eye, not the hook, on the thong. I'm going to do my ESB the same as the PP1, though I have no idea what configuration the ESB actually was. I'm just guessing. Maybe someday we can find out.

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These are the Newey's hook & eye brand which I just was informed by @Cantina_Dude these and other sizes are used on other OT costumes. So if these are what are on the Fett costumes then I made a lucky guess since I had no knowledge of these being used elsewhere. But that makes a good case it's probably these.

Here is a comparison of the Newey's I bought above with the old photo:
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So this is how I attached the hardware for ESB:
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Then the hook for the kidney... I'm not clear exactly how they did it on the real one, I'm just using common sense here... it's not necessarily correct but the end result is similar to vintage photos. I'm using extra plastic left over from the armor trim.

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Using sprew glue to fill the gaps around the hook and then again on the sides of the plastic tabs to weld it to the kidney plate.

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If you can't find any Newey's or don't want to search for vintage hardware but still want to go this route, the Dritz extra large hook & eye on Amazon or Joann's are the same size and very similar appearance.

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Amazon link

quick link to how I installed this on PP2
 
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Happy to report a discovery of sorts as a result of the research led by @dean.cfh on the chest lights. The correct vintage 7-segment display I sent him had some unique properties which very neatly explain all the remaining unexplained weirdness we see of the chest lights in the film and production photos -- mainly regarding the range of brightnesses of the display segments.

Below you can see how the displays are not lit the same brightness. We know now thanks to Dean's research, the 88888 freeze is likely the result of the battery running low. But that didn't really explain the different brightnesses, especially the large differences between the second and fourth digits.

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We can now safely say the reason is the design of the displays themselves. They are quite different than anything available today or even shortly after the late 70's. To put it bluntly, they're a pretty crappy design.

Below is a typical 7 segment display and how they look when lit:

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But take a close look at this correct vintage one:

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Look how uneven the bars are lit. Right away we can see why these displays look uneven on the originals. Each segement has only one tiny bulb which isn't diffused enough to light the whole segment properly.

Then something really cool happened. Not only were they looking dim and uneven, the effect can be compounded when multiple displays are added. In the pic below, the 'U' is the vintage display. Notice how the bottom of the U is so much dimmer here after another display is added:


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Look familiar?

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These displays are terrible. But from day one I wanted my display to look like scene 371, as in the first pic with the frozen 88888 and a terribly unevenly lit display. I had a plan all along to get that look with tricks, but we don't need tricks anymore. We know how it was done, thanks to Dean. However right now we are speculating maybe for the ESB, that fourth bright digit was maybe another manufacturer version thrown in by happenstance. We don't know for sure yet. The answer may come from getting a complete set of the those rare vintage 7 segment displays and wiring them up.

And also... this...

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What are those you ask? Correct vintage bar displays that go above the digits. This is what the correct ones look like. Will be interesting to see how these things look when lit up.
 
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This build has been in purgatory for months. Lots of hold-ups. Hopefully will pick up speed this fall and finally finish this.

  • My Helmet has been in England since January for paint. Hopefully will see it back here by Halloween.
  • Waiting on updated final parts for gauntlets so I can redo them with the new photogrammetry shells.
  • Will need to update the old jetpack with the new Denuo Novo jp with ESB conversion and metal parts upgrades when available.
  • Waiting on vintage chest lights build to install before painting the armor.
  • Potential project to make possible truly accurate girth belts for the first time.
  • Newly ID'ed found part to show.
I'm more focused on PP2 while I wait on some of this. In the meantime, a fun video test with the unpainted costume:
 
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Totally forgot I had this Glenross box and the instruction pamphlet and model teeth that go inside. I'd never even looked at the instructions before. So I got it all out and took a look. This is the @Minute reproduction filling in for the real thing and I think it does a fantastic job!

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On the backside of the instructions are 1:1 true to size illustrations of both the large and small types. We all know the Fett version is the large.

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Look how amazingly well the Minutefett replica lines up with the teeth of the illustration!


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What an amazing replica! Thank you Minutefett and @FolkyPatrol! Truly outstanding.

Here is my build's current state! Not much going on rn:

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@dean.cfh did this so fast... a rather amazing reproduction of the original chest electronics. A year ago I was seriously doubtful we'd ever have a replica of this. But I was just getting to know Dean then and I was yet unaware of his hidden inner wizard. Incredible work.

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The modern bar LEDs are much taller than the old version used on the display, which causes an awkward problem with the LEDs not all being flush against the chest window. But the vintage works perfectly without any issue.


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A comparison of this board's display with the original:

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Thank you Dean for this amazing part!

Next step is to get this properly installed.
 
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time for an update on the initial chin straps research...

NEW FOUND PART DISCOVERY​


The Chin Straps Part 2 - New Evidence For the Definite Source of the Helmet Chin Straps​


You can finally forget all those helmets, because the real source of the straps has been found and it's not from a helmet.

@Jojofett95 took the prior Everoak research I did to the next level and brought us definitive proof the chin straps for all the Fett helmets were in fact made by Everoak, but not the source I previously identified. He rightly felt something was missing, especially in light of the funky procedure I came up with to attach the leather guards. He decided to dig deeper, and he finally got to the bottom of it. He interviewed Bill Vero, the grandson of the founder of Everoak, Everitt W Vero, which yielded the discovery of the actual source of the straps.

Jojo has done a superb write-up with all the details and the compelling evidence and he’ll be posting it at some point when he has time. For now he’s given me his blessing to post an update about the straps as a part of my build. This is 100% his discovery.

The Straps​


They’re still EVEROAK.

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This is it. The Everoak “Fully Detachable Harness with Chin Cup.” For those of you tempted to immediately google that, forget it. The internet is completely devoid of any information on these harnesses. The top hit will be a link to this build thread. :LOL: ChatGPT will tell you there is no info for it online. Jojo’s interview and the physical examples we’ve been able to acquire from tough hunting are the only sources of information right now.

In the box is a strap system compatible with any equestrian helmet of the time. It consists of just the straps and chin cup which you fit over the helmet. This was the earliest attempt to convert traditional riding caps into safety helmets.

This is what it looks like out of the box:
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These are essentially identical in design to the Everoak motorcycle helmet straps already identified in my previous research post in this thread, with one important exception: the correct leather guards are already attached and with the exact same hardware and stitch patterns seen in the archive pics.

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Also, these always came with the correct chin cup, whereas we didn’t have evidence of that with the motorcycle helmets. Additionally, the unique stitching on the middle strap matches, where the motorcycle version does not.


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It’s important to note that Everoak actually originated this particular chin cup, which has long been identified as the correct chin cup. And, as established in the previous research, Everoak is the only helmet maker which uses this double attachment method of snap on one side, and double D-rings on the other. But this product is the first to tick off all the boxes.

Jojo has a good number of excellent comparative shots for the PP3, ESB, and ROTJ helmets, so I won’t repeat it all here. This is just a taste of what I think is rather convincing evidence Jojo will post.

The only thing needed to make them the same as the screen-used is to snip the strap system in four places:
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Then add the grommets.



Variations​


These definitely varied over time, and because they were hand-made there are also minor individual differences between each one.

So far, with the additional help of @intwenothor, we’ve recovered samples from three, maybe four distinct time periods showing shifts in materials and/or construction.

For example, this one below is probably a slightly older version than what we see in the ILM helmets. It has the cast D rings rather than the rolled rings, as well as other various differences.

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And this next one below looks so different, for a long time I thought it was a look-alike brand. I eventually realized it was an Everoak — probably from the 80’s. The little shape in the stitching around the backside of the snap button, though it varies, seems unique to Everoak.

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Crash course on variants:
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A) 100% correct circa 1978
B) Cast D-rings, probably pre-1978
C) Slightly different webbing, updated cinch clasp in the back, probably post-1978
D) Wrong webbing, wrong leather, pattern is narrower with less material, cinch clasp is thinner, maybe circa 1980’s

Right now we only have one example of ‘A’. Hopefully more of these will be recovered now their significance is understood.

Look-alikes​

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Everoak was the first helmet maker to produce this type of add-on harness, but I found some look-alikes out there. They’re easy to spot because most of them don’t come with the correct chin cup. None of their details match very well, either.

The two shots below are examples of the most ubiquitous brand I found, and seems to be the most like the Everoak. I was unable to identify a maker. They can be found on various different brand helmets. They’re frustrating because at first glance they make you think you found an Everoak. Such a tease. Hard to tell in these shots, but the D-rings on these are very unique.

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Here are some more unidentified maker examples of lesser quality…

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The Christy Beaufort brand (below) is only good as a source of correct chin cups. The straps are wrong. (thanks to intwenethor for taking the hit on that one).

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Since the Everoaks are tough to find, these knock-offs can serve as decent stand-ins. But also, it might be just as easy to build your own straps using similar materials which could end up looking more correct than these. Maybe this is an item a vendor could step in to make good replicas of someday.

Cutting and Installing​

So now the difficult part… cutting up a hard-to-find found part. Fingers crossed.

But it’s pretty easy. Just make a few snips and put in a couple grommets. Way simpler than the insanity of converting the Standard motorcycle helmet straps, which required ripping the straps out and cutting up the neck guard.

But if you want ESB or ROTJ, the cut is slightly more refined than the PP3.

PP3 has a straight cut at the end which creates a point. Both ESB and ROTJ had the point rounded off, at least for the D-ring side.


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The snap side is much harder to tell what’s going on in the one singular photo we have of it for ESB :cry: because the angle is so extreme. The backside of the snap isn’t visible, although its certainly still there, it’s just obscured by the bottom of the strap.

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It’s not very hard to demonstrate how the snap backside can be obscured by the leather when the angle is extreme enough like in the ESB helmet photo above.

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It’s also clear, by the time that archive photo had been taken, years after the films, that particular strap had been pretty badly beaten up. I really doubt it was like that during filming.

Since my helmet is still in the UK, I’m going to wait until it arrives before I snip the straps and put the grommets in. Unless I finish everything else and there isn’t anything left to do. :ROFLMAO:

Anyway, that’s it. Newly identified found part. All thanks to JojoFett! What an incredible job. Outstanding work. That’s one less mystery. How many mysteries left to go?
 
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Fantastic research! Guess I gotta toss my Everoak Standard into the trash 😩

That first photo is super helpful for those of us who plan on making a replica, any chance of getting a couple measurements to help scale it?
 
1,000 Boba Fett mysteries on the wall
1,000 Boba Fett mysteries
You take one down,
You pass it around,
999 Boba Fett mysteries on the wall…
 
To install the chest lights, I'm going to replicate how they did the PP1 installation. I assume it must be similar to all the other suits, but I haven't seen them, so I don't know. I want to go through the trouble of doing it this way to see how it effects the fit of the armor on the vest. Hopefully it will cause deformations in the vest that’ll match the on screen look without having to hack it. In theory it should. 🤞

Here is the backside of @dean.cfh's terrific first vintage parts build of the chest lights. The board is kept in place with plastic tabs glued to the board and brass screws.

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I think initially they just covered the back of this with block foam and duct tape.


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However at some point they added velcro to the edges of the duct tape. Not sure when this happened, but I went ahead and replicated it since this is what it looks like now.

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And yes, those are staples on the duct tape keeping the velcro on. I was amused to see this since I like to staple velcro to stuff like this all the time.

There is a mulbrod clip for the wires and the black lego is a terminal block to connect the two different sets of wires.

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How it looks from the front...


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Does the ESB armour not have three terminal strips?
Dean gave me a block with 2 strips for the build and it wasn't the vintage stuff, but I have the true vintage terminal blocks used on the originals coming from the UK which I plan to break off a section of three when that arrives. The PP1 had two segments not three. Why the ESB might've had three is a quirk since you don't need three for the chest lights to work. Was that the one on ESB during filming? We'll never know, but seems probable.
 

A few last found parts to add​


I've come full circle on EE3 stock greeblies. I sold the ones I had at the beginning of this *restarted* build as a part of selling my Webley for funding. But now, near the end I had the chance to grab some again and pulled the trigger. So I replaced the resin ones from the Sidewinder kit.

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The resin replicas are perfectly acceptable and totally look the part, but since there are so many found parts on this costume...

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why not just add a few more.

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I also decided to brighten up the '69' since it wasn't as strong as it should be. I used a paint pen this time.

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And here is a shot of a bunch of Everoak straps. The one on the bottom is the straps I pulled from the Everoak Standard motorcycle helmet. The rest are the Everoak detachable harness. One of these belongs to @boba87fett. Another one needs to have its hardware restored.

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Having fun with the photogrammetry scan of my ESB build from this time last year. I'll be able to do more stuff like this when I actually finish it (or as we all say, abandon it). Still the EFX helmet! :LOL: This is original imagery, so if you repost somewhere else please attribute it back here.

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