For those of you who are interested in the detail...
After almost three years of painstaking research and development here is a brief description of the costume to date.
At an imposing 6ft 6 inches, not only has the costume been meticulously researched and replicated but finally here is a Darth Vader impersonator who, without heels, is the exact physique of David Prowse, the actor who famously portrayed the character in the original Star Wars trilogy. The Green Cross Code man for those who can remember.
Darth Vader ROTS Helmet (Master Replicas)
One of the few, if not only UK Darth Vader look-a-likes based on the fourth rendition of the character seen in Episode III, the 2005 film Revenge of the Sith (ROTS).
Working in partnership with LucasFilm Ltd, Master Replicas, a company who produced high end licensed props, was provided with the actual helmet moulds that created Darth Vaders helmet for Episode III.
From these moulds, Master Replicas produced a simply stunning limited edition ROTS Vader helmet, accurate in every detail. The helmet was constructed from sturdy fibreglass with a high gloss polished finish, smoked coloured lenses, machined metal details with even the interior being an exact copy of the one worn by the actor Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker).
Darth Vader Breathing
The iconic breathing, probably the most recognisable film sound effect ever produced.
Many Vader impersonators do have the breathing effect. However, this is generally projected from speakers attached to the waist belt or hidden within the chest box/chest armour that can give an appearance of being muffled.
To enhance the experience of meeting Darth Vader, the ROTS helmet (above) has been modified so that a film accurate breathing effect is audible from the mouthpiece, exactly where you would expect it to be heard.
Darth Vader ANH Lightsabre (Master Replicas)
Having completed a fantastic replica on the ROTS helmet, Master Replicas went on to produce an incredible, highly detailed prop of Darth Vaders Lightsabre as featured in the 1977 film, A New Hope (ANH).
Not being satisfied with the intensity of the blade when illuminated, I decided a significant upgrade was required by the very talented Makoto Tsai. A wizard, renowned for upgrading and producing some of the brightest sabres ever seen in the prop community.
The ROTS Suit
Tailored by a renowned Argentinian craftsman, this beautifully made ROTS suit is made from the very best quality cow leather known as NAPA 069. As one of the best leathers in the world, it is renowned for its soft feel, constant texture and overall fantastic appearance.
Life Support System
With no licenced, high-end replicas available for the costumes hard parts, I tracked down the best Darth Vader prop maker in the prop community. After my order arrived, I was surprised and disappointed with the quality and accuracy of the props. Unfortunately, I decided to return the majority of the parts. It was time to roll my sleeves up and get to work...
Spending many hours trawling through reference material and film stills I set to work on making accurate, high-quality props, machining aluminium switches, coin slots, knurled knobs and perspex lenses. Not been content with mass-manufactured project boxes that are available on the market, I then continued to draft the chest and belt boxes in 3D CAD, print 3D (stereolithography) masters and apply surface finishes. Silicone rubber moulds were created from the masters and polyurethane vacuum castings made to replicate the cavities geometry and surface finish accurately.