One of my childhood dreams that has kept with me is to own a Vader mask/helmet. Over the years some pretty poor "that'll do" stuff has been released which, I think, is mostly insulting to the buyer. All the high quality merchandise has been both superb and way out of my price range.
It seemed that the only way I'd ever achieve my dream is if I made my own instead. Luckily I mentioned all this to a friend who promptly managed to obtain a Rubies Supreme for me for the princely sum of £40 (I don't think it's ever been unpacked from its box). Now I know that the Rubies isn't exactly renowned for its accuracy but I very much liked what I saw and anyway you can hardly go wrong for £40 can you?
Having taken a good long look at it, and then watched the Star Wars films again (research you know) I decided that I would modify the Rubies into the Empire Strikes Back look. This is way ahead my favourite of the Star Wars movies so the choice was really a no brainer - but it gave me the excuse to do the research.
I also decided not to be too religious about accuracy though; I'm simply aiming to correct the worst of the problems and use this entire process as a learning exercise on the road to doing my own sculpt. For me this project was all about the learning process and satisfaction of making my final piece.
The pages of this section descibe how I went about this. Hopefully you'll find some of the info of use in your projects too.