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Darth Vader

When I heard that Kenner/Hasbro had plans to release new 12" star wars figures
I was a bit ecstatic.  It brought mack memories of the original large scale
figures from '78, but unfortunately I no longer have most of them

After they were released I was pretty happy them.  For the most part there
were many improvements over the originals, but they still lacked the
detail that I would have wanted them to have.

The one with the biggest need for improvements was Darth Vader,
who was the last one I picked up.

  I started sculpting my own head back in '96, but only finished the main section.  I then heard that they were coming out with a new electronic Vader so I postponed my work.  When the new Vader was released I was quite happy with many of the improvements they had made,...  the costume was very good, but the helmet is way off and the body is simply ridiculous.
After much searching I finally came across a body that I found acceptable.  I had been lucky enough to pick up a Qui-Gon Jinn from the Defense of Naboo 2-Pack for about 10 bucks, and placed the Vader costume on him.  the number of points of articulation are the same but the range of motion is far superior. Better articulation in the legs would have been nice, but at least he looks human now.

(UPDATE: The body from the Masterpiece Edition Annakin Skywalker is very similar and works almost as well, rubber arms - no swivel & bends poorly.)

At long last the perfect helmet was found.  Taken from a Star Wars Galactic Body Wash bottle topper I picked up from Target.  I got the heads up from fellow customizer Tony Collucci over at the Sarlacc pit. 

The Sarlacc Pit

Check out his site, he's got some great stuff there,...

 I had seen these a few times before, but I wasn't sure if it would be in scale or not, so I never looked too closely at them. but after it's removed from the base, the helmet does work perfectly. 

It's rather sad that some company out there can sculpt a far superior head than Hasbro seems to be able to.  Or maybe it's just that they don't care enough to try,...

The remaining modified parts on the costume are few.  Hasbro did a  pretty good job with this one. 

I replaced the gloves with those from the Vader released in '96, and added the missing straps attached to his chest plate with leather

His belt was altered so his cloak flows freely through it by cutting along the belt from the inside corner of each box to the outside edge.  To keep the now free edges in place I glued down a wide black rubber band, to each side, which wraps around his body.

I also added a crude the saber clip in it's appropriate spot. I'll eventually get around to replacing it, but for now it looks fine.

I intend to replace the velcro on his cape with a small chain as soon as I find one suitable enough. 

When it came time to modify the Lightsaber, I simply added a D ring attachment to it, otherwise it's all Hasbro.

Click here for
Cinematic Sequence