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WELCOME BATTLESTARFANCLUB.COM MEMBERS!
CHECK OUT THE NEW 360 ROLLOVER IMAGE FEATURE TO SEE THE FULL HELMET!
NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!
DUE TO THE WORLDWIDE EDITION SIZE OF ONLY 500 PIECES, THERE WILL BE A STRICT LIMIT OF 2 HELMETS PER PERSON ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE PRE-ORDER. ALL ORDERS WILL BE REVIEWED AND ANY ORDER (OR COMBINATION OF ORDERS) THAT EXCEED THE 2 HELMET LIMIT MAY RESULT IN THE CANCELLATION ALL ORDERS.
SHIPMENT IS SCHEDULED TO START DECEMBER, 2011
The original Colonial Viper Pilot helmet was created in 1977 for a proposed 7 hour ABC mini-series named Battlestar Galactica by Glen A. Larson. The mini-series starred Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict. The original concept sketches of the helmet were drawn by Joe Johnston, who was the Effects Art Director at MCA-57. Its Egyptian inspiration was likely due to the huge success of The Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibition (1972-1981) that was touring the United States. In fact, at the time of the start of the pre-production, the exhibit was at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
The helmet was made by MCA-57 model maker Steve Gawley based on Johnston's concept sketches and guidance. Early in the development of the helmet, Steve requested to fit the helmet to the actor with the largest head. But this was not possible since in 1977 the roles had not yet been cast. So, he recruited some of his fellow artisans at MCA-57 to try the helmet on for size. The goal was to make one size helmet to fit all.
The microphone was made from two castings of the left side view mirror gasket from his Volkswagen Scirocco and the final color of the helmet was the color of his 1976 GMC pick-up truck! Another MCA-57 model maker, Dave Sosalla, sculpted the gold eagle that is mounted on the top of the helmet. It was one of the three sculpted possibilities that he made for the helmet, with the eagle being the final selection.
The helmets were constructed in fiberglass with two rows of light bars. This lighted “force field” was made by casting clear, heat proof urethane resin from two light bar shapes. Holes were then drilled into the light bars for very small, high intensity halogen “inspection” lights. Unfortunately, the actors had to endure the very uncomfortable heat generated by the halogen lights. Ultimately, only four “hero” helmets were made and fitted with these lights.
The series pilot first aired on September 17, 1978. Many of the original helmets were subsequently repurposed for the short lived Galactica 1980 television series and the Universal Studios - Hollywood attraction Battle of Galactica (1979-1992)
In 1979, Battlestar Galactica won two Emmys for Outstanding Costume Design and Outstanding Individual Achievement - Creative Technical Craft for a series. It was also nominated for Outstanding Art Direction the same year.
To ensure a faithful reproduction of this iconic helmet, eFX's engineers digitally scanned an original, screen used helmet. The data was then “tweaked” slightly to make the helmet symmetrical. The eagle, microphone and earpieces were cast from original parts. Because of the known, direct pedigree of the source, features like the illuminated “force field”, and a numbered plaque hand signed by both Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict, we are confident you will be proud to display this helmet as the centerpiece of your Battlestar Galactica collection for many years to come.
eFX thanks Steve Gawley, Jon Billings and Greg Jein for their invaluable contributions to this project.