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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Fan made replicas and helmets

    We can see that eFX is moving slowly, Sideshow doesn't really make accurate props (even though their 1:1 busts are cool). Recently I went into fan made props and helmets and I have to say I'm really happy about this decision. The props made by these guys are professionally painted and assembled, with high quality craftsmanship, they are being shipped faster than licensed items, they are also made from original molds, and sometimes cheaper and more accurate than licensed props. This combined with my specific OT Imperial focus, kept me interested in collecting.

    Here are some of the 1:1 Star Wars helmets I recently got: SDS (Shepperton Design Studios) Stormtrooper armor, SDS Stormtrooper Hero bucket, SDS Stormtrooper Stunt lid, SDS TIE Fighter Pilot helmet and armor on bust, SiMan Stormtrooper Stunt helmet, TE2 Stormtrooper Stunt helmet, ATA ESB Stormtrooper Stunt helmet, fiberglass Royal Guard helmet, SDS Imperial Gunner bucket, SDS Navy Trooper helmet and fiberglass AT-AT Driver helmet (with some very accurate greeblies).

    Click image for larger version. 

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Name:	ATA Stormtrooper ESB helmet 01.jpg 
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Name:	Fiberglass Royal Guard helmet 01.jpg 
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Name:	Fiberglass AT-AT Driver helmet 00.jpg 
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    Collecting has the permanence of herpes, it mutates but doesn't go away
    My trade feedback

  2. #2
    I'm not against fan-made replicas, but what Shepperton is doing I think is very wrong and it bothers me that they have triumphed over Lucas in the UK with the flimsiest of reasonings, especially when it's clear the product they're moving is NOT what they're claiming it is. Sorry, I didn't want to turn this into a controversial post, but it is one of the few things in the SW collecting universe that I think is a great injustice.

    Anyway, I have a few fan-made pieces, but only 1 is a true replica rather than a reimagining. Way back when Icons held the SW prop license and were asking outrageous sums for their lightsaber hilts that were woefully inferior junk with cheap mold seams showing everywhere and bad materials, I spent $100 to get a fan-made ROTJ Luke hero saber prop replica. I don't have any pictures right now, but it's really nice, all machined and nicely painted (although the activation box has since been revealed to be inaccurate, but it's minor). They used brass for the neck and activation plate, and unfortunately I wasn't able to keep it in top shape so it's turned somewhere between antique and green, but overall the piece looks great.

    I once started the process of having a TPM Obi-Wan saber made, a copy of the Rubies international hilt piece (the US version is thicker and just plain ugly), but the source I had given the machinist was misplaced before all the materials were acquired.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  3. #3


    I didn't want to go into this but since you wanted it here's my opinion. I know about the controversy, I read a lot and still personally I don't mind SDS sells fan made helmets and armors, he is not the only one doing it, in fact his TIE Pilot is the most accurate out there, and I'm not the one saying it, but StarWarsHelmets site. I only agree with the fact that he might not have sculpted the armor itself, but he did only the molding part. Otherwise he is a professional, his stuff is great, and has a superb customer service comparable to Sideshow.

    I also don't care that Lucas lost, in fact in a way many Europeans were happy he did, and I don't want to turn this thread in something else by explaining why I believe so as well. There are many other things that are "interesting" with the fan creators like TE stealing money from the fans after promising to make helmets for them or Gino banning Brian Muir on his own site, and so on. This is not what I intended to do with this thread, this thread was started to talk about fan made props, unlicensed props, not just SDS, but TE/TE2, DarkAgent (DA), AP, ATA, Gino, TrooperMaster (TM), helmets that are made from original molds, and which are very accurate and people who know what real quality is don't go only for licensed stuff.
    Collecting has the permanence of herpes, it mutates but doesn't go away
    My trade feedback

  4. #4
    Well, the problem is that you opened this thread with over half your "fan-made" collection being Shepperton, they are a lightning rod for controversy, and IMO they're not fan-made at all, they're just an unlicensed scumbag company stealing from Lucasfilm and using false pretenses to grab money from fans. They don't do it for the love of the hobby, they do it because they once had access to materials for a job they were contracted to do, and are now using that access for selfish gains by exploiting a flawed loophole in the UK legal system.

    You collect Sideshow, they contract outside factories to manufacture their collectibles. They design their collectibles in-house then work with a factory to develop the tooling for a particular collectible. Whether it's pulling molds from hand-sculpted prototypes, or developing tooling from CAD files, the factory isn't the originator of the design, they are merely realizing the design created by others. So how would you feel, for example, about Sideshow 12" Darth Vader a year after its release the factory involved in its production starts selling a knockoff using the same molds, even using the Sideshow name under the claim of being an instrumental creator of 12" Darth Vader? And what if they didn't actually have access to half the tooling anymore and just created new, inferior-quality tooling to replace it, but charged the same price? In what way is that not wrong? And for this thread's purposes, in what way is that "fan-made"?

    Ultimately, I have a problem with the collecting community's double standard when it comes to Shepperton. Whenever you see a piece of Stormtrooper armor that someone bought from one fan and used to turn into their own vacuum-table mold that they themselves can sell, the community comes down pretty hard on those guys. Yet something even worse happens with Shepperton, who isn't a fan company at all even, and the fans look the other way. That's ugly, and it's wrong, and in the long run it hurts the fans who DO go the distance to make product above board - whether it's a garage kit, or someone who actually goes through the trouble to create a company to chase the license so it's done right. You wonder why eFX is moving slowly? Part of the reason is that they've remained a small company due to fans buying inauthentic product from Shepperton - when you look at how much effort and accuracy goes into eFX's true Hero helmet and you compare it to the lesser quality and highly dubious legacy of the Shepperton claimed-Hero helmet, and then you see people flocking to the Shepperton piece because of how cheap it is, that only takes money out of the above-board market for eFX.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  5. #5
    Again I said my intention with this thread was not to talk about SDS and their problems. There are many high end collectors having SDS stuff, including Philip Wise and others, but this is not the issue here. I intended to talk about the fan made items, but if that is too much for this forum, then I guess this thread could be closed/deleted now. Thank you.
    Collecting has the permanence of herpes, it mutates but doesn't go away
    My trade feedback

  6. #6
    I really like the AT-AT driver helmet. Is that from SDS or did you get it somewhere else?


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