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SWTNZ Prop Review - StormTrooper Helmets, 1977-83

 StormTrooper Helmets

Back in 1977 the Helmets designed for "A New Hope" (ANH) were fabricated
by Shepperton Design Studios, there were two types of helmets made, the
"Stunt" helmet and the "Hero" helmet. Stunt helmets have a more aggressive
look, featuring flat lenses and 8 teeth. These helmets were used by stunt men
and for long distance filming, where as the Hero helmets had 6 teeth and
bubbled black lenses. They were in someway more rounder than the stunt
helmets and were used for close up shots on both Luke and Han..

 StormTrooper Helmets

When "Empire Strikes Back" was made the same Stunt helmets from ANH were
re-used, they were cleaned up by the company "Bermans and Nathans", who
repainted the frown to black and added new decals on top of the old ANH details,
the Helmet lenses were created from a single sheet of green transparent plastic.

The helmets for "Return of the Jedi" were once again re-sculpted by Bermans
and Nathans, who gave the helmets a longer streamlined appearance. Green
bubbled lenses were used this time, the ears pieces were much thinner and
the black frown was made thicker. Stunt-helmets had flat green lenses for
better visibility, while the the Hero helmets could use bubbled lenses..

SWTNZ Prop Review - ANH Storm-Trooper Blaster - Sterling L2A3

ANH Storm-Trooper Blaster - Sterling L2A3
Click To Enlarge

Sterling's L2 series of submachine guns were derived from the Patchett design,
introduced in 1953 the design itself was made from steel and plastic, the side
loading magazine feature was retained from earlier Sten and Patchett weapons.
It was machined to a higher degree than it's predecessors with the perforated
jacket housing around the barrel allowing air to cool the weapon when firing
sustained rounds, the weapon was ultimately phased out in the early 1990's..

Prop makers for "A New Hope" modified a Sterling L2A3 British submachine
gun (Above) to create the infamous Storm-Trooper Blaster style. They simply
added a plastic T-Track to cover the vent holes on the barrel and a metal strip
was bent into shape and attached to the top so they could clip on a WWII Tank
Azimuth Scope. The original (32 round) magazine for the submachine gun was
shortened to hold only three rounds and the folding shoulder rest was left
in place tucked under the barrel..

SWTNZ Review - The Original Jawa Props used in "A New Hope" - 1977

Lets take a look at all of the original Jawa props that were thrown together
for "A New Hope" back in 77, have a look at the picture below for reference..

Original Jawa Props
Click To Enlarge


The bandolier is the bullet belt that hands around the jawas shoulder,the 1903
leather bandolier was issued for the British Enfield .303 rifle and was worn by
not only by the Jawas but also the Tuskin Raiders. The movie version was
modified by cutting small slits into the pouches for the flaps to tuck into, they
are fairly easy to find at surplus stores..

Ammo Packs

The 1938 three pocket ammo pack was issued for the German K98 Mauser
K98 rifle, they were attached to bandolier straps and worn by only some of
the Jawas. These ammo packs are found in different shades of brown to black
and are a common accessory seen on German soldier's belts in old war
movies, there are also found easily at surplus stores.

Restraining Bolt Welder

This is the device Jawas use to attach restraining bolts to droids, it was
also used by Luke to repair C3P0 at Obi Wan's house. This is actually
a small butane brazing torch, Its called a Microflame Torch Model B and
uses small butane and oxygen cylinders to create a very hot flame. The
oxygen cylinder was also used as an accessory in Han Solo's belt.

Jawa Blaster's

The Blaster was constructed from a 1948 British .303 caliber Lee-Enfield
#1 Mark 3 grenade launching rifle, it is the blaster weapon the Jawas
used to stun R2-D2 on Tatooine. Millions of these guns were made from
1907 to 1943 in Britain, India and Australia. Serving in both world wars it
became a legend in it's own time for it's reliability and smooth bolt action.
Most of the wood stock was shortened and modified, the barrel of the
original prop was then cut short and a grenade launcher attached.

SWTNZ Original Prop Tool - The "Rebel Blaster" Silicone Mold - 1977 (ANH)

The Rebel Blaster Silicone Mold
Click to Enlarge

This is an original silicone mold for the Rebel Blasters used in episode 4,
"A New Hope". It is similar to the silicone molds used in the toy production
process in that a master copy was made inside this wooden case and then
with the case securely closed a black resin is then poured into the end
where the barrel comes through. The small rubber tubes leading away from
the handle and barrel area allow the resin to fill the entire mold without
air traps. Then when the resin has cured it is removed from the mold,
cleaned up, painted with gray highlights and a metal scope was added.
A lot of the prop weapons were made this way, simple and effective..

SWTNZ Movie Props - The Original DeathStar Model from "A New Hope" - 1977

From the original Star Wars "A New Hope" 1977, the DeathStar..
This amazing piece of history has an interesting story behind it.

ANH Original DeathStar Prop 1977
Click to Enlarge

One day Todd Franklin spotted what seemed to be a large prop model of the
DeathStar, a couple had owned a storage facility in California and when they
moved out to Missouri the movers had accidentally packed it up with their other
items. It was left outside and exposed to the elements, but remarkably still in
good condition. Todd talked to a person at Lucasfilm about what he had seen,
employee Judy Niles convinced him that the original was blown up and that the
one he had found was probably fan made. He didn't quiet believe the story and
a few years later Todd met Marc Thorpe who was working for ILM as a model
maker, he described to Marc how the prop looked and that he believed that it
was the real thing. Marc concluded that Judy Niles may have been incorrect
but unfortunately Todd had missed out on buying it for himself. It was purchased
by a local store owner and years later Tim Williams noticed that the store had
gone out of business. Figuring there may be second chance to purchase the
Death Star, Todd and his friends decided to pool their funds and finally buy
this amazing prop. Now when a light is placed inside the model, it lights up with
the same detail that everyone remembers from "A New Hope". The original
main dish was however missing, perhaps thrown away by janitors when it was
in the lobby of a music show well before Todd managed to acquire it. A truly
remarkable find and definitely one collectable prop item that's hard to beat.

SWTNZ Behind the Scenes - Making The EP3 Wookiee Tree

Wookiees live on the jungle planet of Kashyyyk and it is covered in rain forests
made up of enormous trees called "Wroshyr Trees", growing many kilometers in
height the trees have the ability of fusing together if their growth paths intersect.
The limbs of the Wroshyr trees are so thickly intertwined and strong that they are
perfect for building Wookiee homes and even entire cities..The planet of Kashyyyk
was first featured in "The Star Wars Holiday Special", the show included production
art painted by Ralph McQuarrie and from this show fans discovered that Wookiees
lived at the top of enormous trees.

The Wookiee Tree

On ILM's shooting stage in Sydney Australia an extremely intricate model of a
Wroshyr tree was created for episode three "Revenge of the Sith", supervised by
Brian Gernand and built by a 20 person team they constructed the ornate model in
July 2004 and after 13 weeks they were ready for the shoot which featured the tree
as a backdrop for the meetings between Yoda and a holographic Jedi Council..

The shape and scale of the tree would prove to be a challenge for Gernand and his
team as the base of the tree was 12 by 12 feet and the tree itself was 12 feet tall, the
canopy would be added in later digitally. A material called Y2 Clay was melted and
brushed onto foam to form a membrane so that the artists could use their sculpting
tools to transform the clay into a believable bark texture. The clay was then painted
and teak strips were applied to finish the surface..

SWTNZ Collector News - Want to Buy a Full Size X-Wing?

The life-sized X-wing is one of only 8 in the entire world!!

Want to Buy a Full Size X-Wing?

Back in 1995, 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm contracted 9 of these to be made
by a company called Pana Sensor. They were to be part of a worldwide tour
highlighting the original Star Wars Trilogy released to home video. Only eight
remain and this is one of those!..

The life-sized replicas were constructed from fiberglass, wood, plastic and placed
over a steel frame. When assembled the X-Wing measures 28 feet long, 20 feet wide
and about 10 and a half feet tall!..This one has spent years hanging from the ceiling
of the FAO Schwartz toy store in Orlando Florida, Its now located in Dayton.

Star Wars Trader - New Zealand , 2005-2008 Copyright SWTNZ
Original photographs, graphics & text etc is the property of SWTNZ unless
otherwise stated, "Star Wars" related media including images, video and characters
etc are copyright to and owned by Lucasfilm Ltd. SWTNZ is neither sponsored or
endorsed by Lucasfilm nor does it affiliate with any other division thereof.

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