Sauron Helm Quality Control Problems

Discussion in 'Fantasy Weapons and Armour' started by plagueboy, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. plagueboy

    plagueboy New Member

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    Got my Sauron Helm last week from cbswords, and had time to put it up this weekend.

    It looks pretty good, until you start looking closesly. Already, you can see that the spike in the rear is pretty crooked. The face plates are kind of offcenter. The forehead plate, which should be rounded, is mounted at a slant and off center making for more of a sideways slope than round. The nostril holes are uneven, and although you can't tell in the first picture, the next picture shows one of the front spikes pretty crooked.

    Overall, it looks kind of cool. But for $300 I would have expected better. Also, it was missing the screws that hold the wood display base together.

    I've seen the picture that chris posted when they got them in stock, and that one looks like it might have a spike that is crooked in a slightly, but not as bad. I've seen the marketing photos and of course photos from the movie, and the helmet looks very symmetrical. While the actual product seems to vary a lot. Anyone else get one this bad?
     

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  2. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    well, I think this goes for most UC products. Sorry to say so, but the Taiwanese (?) manufactorer doesn't keep up with the high standards UC promises everywhere. Many pieces are notoriously bad quality, including the staves and some scabbards, if I remember correctly. My (LE-)anduril doesn't get the 10/10 either, more likely 6/10. I think you have a good chance at a new one, when you send it back to your supplier, but you most likely won't get an A++-quality prop back, though CB probably won't make such a problem of it.

    Good luck
     
  3. VALAMATAR

    VALAMATAR New Member

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    I agree.My Elendil's helm has a few pieces bad fixed, and sometimes swords are really different in promo pics than in hand.I'm afraid my Sauron's gauntlet will not be as accurate as it's supossed to be..Not so good after all.

    Cheers.
     
  4. darthrage

    darthrage Sith Lord of the Realm

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    Mine's definately got some asymetry issues - I think they all do. But I'm used to it. When I first opened it I was a little surprised. I don't really notice it unless I start going over it with a fine tooth comb. But it still looks pretty damn cool sitting next to my computer. Overall I'm quite pleased.
     
  5. FoolofaTook

    FoolofaTook New Member

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    Not sure if its quality control or not. I believe everyone that has received their helms have stated that their spikes are askew. Quite honestly, I don't think the helms spikes are supposed to be symmetrical. After all, it is the dark lord of mordor. Did any of his minions wear armor that was symmetrical? These creatures did not have fine armories to create their wares. Their armor was a patchwork of different pieces. The dark lord symbolized chaos and destruction. So why would his helm be neat and perfectly aligned? I had my helm only open and out of the box just once. My guess is the spikes are not perfectly aligned. As long as none of them are severely bent or broke, I think your helm is fine.
     
  6. darthrage

    darthrage Sith Lord of the Realm

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    AGREED! :balrog:
     
  7. Thorin

    Thorin Avatar of Darkness

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    I looked at mine closely as well. And all of my spikes are not "centered" Its incredibly difficult to have... "perfect" spikes. One spot on my helm has a little spot that didnt get painted, but im not terribly concerned. I just think that this was after the last battle an woah! Someone actually got a blow on sauron!

    I wouldnt be to upset. IF you put it on your dresser or wherever you want it to be, just take a good look at it. Do the spikes get noticed?
     
  8. plagueboy

    plagueboy New Member

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    Not sure if you missed the part where I said the one in all the movie stills that I found looks perfectly symmetrical. Additionally, the marketing photos and other actual pictures of this helm that I have seen are not as bad as this one. Definitely if you use your imagination and say "well that's where he got hit". Only it didn't happen in the movie. His finger got lopped off, but before that he was pretty much untouched. Additionally, if you order your prop sword and it's bent in half, well you could use your imagination. "That's where sauron hit it and it bent in half." I'm sure that makes it okay then. :) Only you just spent lots of money for it, and was hoping it would look like the one in the photos. You shouldn't have to make up stories about why it's bent in half.
     
  9. FoolofaTook

    FoolofaTook New Member

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    Why don't you post a picture of this symmetrical one you keep talking about so I can see what you are referring to? I honestly don't think its a quality control problem. I spent just as much as you did on my helm and I am satisfied. I honestly think that it was intentionally (not accidentally) made this way. I'm not telling you to not seek out a better one to your satisfaction. Furthermore, I do not believe in creating stories to help deal with imperfections. But I believe this piece was not intended to by symmetrical. Have you tried contacting the retailer you purchased this item from to see what their opinion is?
     
  10. CB Swords

    CB Swords Forum Administrator

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    I really do not see how something like this can happen considering there is likely one mold they use for the helms. Or maybe there is a couple molds but still. The product picture is different, thats usually a prototype, but like others have said I believe you'll find the spikes slightly askew on all if not most helms. Whether that is intentional or not that is the way it is.

    Do you still need the screw for the stand or did you find a replacement? Its quite common for things to be left out of boxes (certificates, screws, etc) with those people in Taiwan boxing up thousands its no suprise. Its also no problem for us to get replacements if needed.
     
  11. Dark Lord Sauron

    Dark Lord Sauron Lord of Middle Earth

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    As you can see below, it is impossible to tell if the spikes are straight from the promotional photo. United Cutlery never said all the spikes would be perfectly straight, and it does not bother me at all if they are slightly askew.
     

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  12. plagueboy

    plagueboy New Member

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    You can see that they all vary, but none of them as bad as mine:

    http://www.ucforums.com/photopost/data/511/96helm_of_sauron_004-med.jpg
    http://www.ucforums.com/photopost/data/511/0MVC-010L-med.JPG
    http://www.ucforums.com/photopost/data/511/1sauronhelmsizecomp.jpg
    http://www.ucforums.com/photopost/data/500/268DSCF0002-med.JPG

    Various pictures of props, marketing photos, and chris's picture:

    http://www.autographsuccess.com/sala_baker.jpg
    http://www.space-debris.com/sci_salaBaker_sauron2.jpg
    http://www.star-collector.net/autographs/salabaker1.jpg
    http://www.tolkientown.com/TolkienShop/CuteFTP/SauronMoviePosterBIG.jpg
    http://www.weaponsemporium.com/WE-LOTR-Misc.htm
    http://www.thefantasyforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1695&stc=1
    http://worldofweapons.net/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1080&HS=1
    http://www.council-of-elrond.com/castdb/sauron/sauron5.jpg
    http://www.reliks.com/graphics/reliks.gif
    http://store1.yimg.com/I/swblades_1827_7791743

    Just to show that I don't think it was on purpose, but a quality problem.

    More than likely each plate was molded and then the helm assembled. Can't explain why some have crooked spikes while others don't other than some type of quality control problem. Seems pretty obvious that they vary. I'm very tempted to try to bend the one horn forward. That's the worse flaw, and the one that bothers me the most.

    Chris I still need the screws. It's kind of just sitting there. The stand goes together with a rather tight fit, so it's relatively safe, but one day it will probably fall without them. I'll email cbswords about getting the screws or possibly returning/exchanging the whole thing. Thanks everyone for your comments.
     
  13. Skulpturen

    Skulpturen New Member

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    I examined mine ... it seems it is casted in one piece. Mine also has crooked spikes, but not that it matters.

    So if it is casted in one piece, why are some spikes more crooked some less?
    The answer could be: They released the helms to early from the negative molds, so that the polyurethane (or resin) hasn't hardened completely. Just a guess...
     
  14. darthrage

    darthrage Sith Lord of the Realm

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    well plagueboy you certainly put some effort into this one. Unfortunately, I think the photo that shows the problem the worst is the overhead shot and there don't seem to be any like that one but yours. If it bothers you that much return it. Otherwise display it high enough that you can't look down on it from above.
     
  15. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    That's the only thing I could think of too, if it's all made in one piece, or if the spikes are stuck on while still fresh from the oven, they may droop a bit.

    plagueboy, if it bothers you as much as you say it does, return it and get another one. Problem solved!
     
  16. Skulpturen

    Skulpturen New Member

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    Just a small note: It doesn't come from the oven. The hardening is a chemical process. You have 2 components, mix it and after about 10 Minutes it hardens and gets very warm.
     
  17. plagueboy

    plagueboy New Member

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    UPDATE: I'm exchanging it. Return shipping was only $12.00, inluding insurance. Not so bad.
     
  18. plagueboy

    plagueboy New Member

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    Got the new helm today. Practically perfect. No bent horns. Face plates are much more even resulting in more even nostril holes. Seems the forehead piece does tend to be offcenter on these, but maybe this was normal on the original prop. Came with screws.

    Much happier with my $300 purchase now. :)
     
  19. Jessehk

    Jessehk The introverted

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    glad to hear it. Enjoy! :)
     
  20. Turgon883

    Turgon883 New Member

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    Good I'm glad it all worked out and you are satisfied now...i wonder if perhaps the first one you got was early in the production and they hadn't worked everything out yet...