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Predatorstuff Reviews the Sideshow AvP Celtic Predator Bio Helmet!

June 30th, 2009

At long last… I’ve managed to get my hands on a Sideshow AvP Celtic Predator Bio Helmet and today it’s REVIEW TIME! Ever since I ran over the last AvP helmet I reviewed and mercilessly abused the idiotic paper lenses, you guys have all been anxiously waiting to see what I do to this one since I first reported that from the high resolution prototype photos on the Sideshow site, it looked like the Celtic would have NO LENSES AT ALL, just paint! Shall we dance?

Sideshow AvP Celtic Predator Bio Helmet

OK guys, let’s just get this out of the way… *takes out the soap box*

Sideshow… I love you guys, your company comes up with awesome ideas for collectibles, you have awesome staff and have even managed to impress me with some of your releases. But screw you and the horse you road in on with this completely STUPID idea of not having lenses and just painting over the resin. It looks like ass, it’s poorly done, and your lame cheap cop-out completely drags down the look of what could have been an AMAZING piece. Wake up and stop screwing over collectors with the piss-poor finishing on your pieces! Iron Man bust, Scar bio, Celtic Bio, Indy PF and Moria Orc (and that’s just what I’ve ordered from you) all looked awesome on your site but ended up being complete cock-ups because your production department failed to catch China spitting out crap or you simply took the cheap route and made the collectible a joke through lame development ideas. Paper lenses on a $300 collectible?! Are you serious?! You’re starting to piss of your loyal fans… start fixing this!

*breaths* OK.. I feel better already. Alright, so as you’ve probably guessed or already found out on the collector forums, the Celtic does indeed NOT have any kind of lenses… they simply left the resin over the eye holes and painted it over with silver paint and some black flecks of paint, and it looks TERRIBLE. There is simply no glossy lense effect at all… no clearcoat, no plastic over the paint, nothing. I’m actually not ranting and raving about this because unlike the paper lenses on the Scar bio, I knew about this ahead of time and was mentally prepared for the idiocy ahead of time lol! OK so the lenses are a MAJOR FAIL and no, I won’t be running over this one, blowing it up or destroying it, sorry guys! In fact, I already like this way better than the Scar bio, but we’ll get in to that later.

Let’s look at the stats on this guy:

Product Size: 15″ H x 11″ W x 15″ D
Product Weight: 21.00 lbs
Limited Edition: 750

Artists:

Tom Gilliland
Brock Otterbacher
Scott Klauder
Amalgamated Dynamics Inc
The Sideshow Design and Development Team

Sideshow is proud to partner with Amalgamated Dynamics Inc (ADI) to bring you the Alien vs. Predator Prop Replica line, featuring some of the most advanced weaponry and armor ever conceived for the Predator arsenal. Each prop replica is an exact 1:1 reproduction of the original screen used prop, as created by ADI. The Celtic Predator Mask Prop Replica is cast in fiberglass and features a light-up targeting feature. The piece is complete with a display stand that can be displayed on your desktop or mounted on your wall. Each piece is hand-cast, hand-finished, and hand-painted to exacting standards, then individually hand-numbered.

Sideshow AvP Celtic Predator Bio Helmet

The Celtic is easily my favorite helmet from the AvP designs and is probably my second favorite design after the Wolf bio in terms of all Predator movies… Of course the original P1 will always have that special place in my heart, but design wise the Wolf and Celtic tickle my fancy. So when Sideshow announced that this bio was coming out, I was very excited to have this guy direct from the ADI molds. A few talented fans out there have sculpted and released some very nice Celtic bios out in the community for a couple of years now (Stever Hird, Pete Mander, Weaslefinger) but they were all slightly off in one way or another and many of us were waiting for something pretty much dead on. Sideshow definitely made a good call on releasing these, MANY collectors love these helmet designs even if the movies themselves were a bit meh.

The casting is very nice, clean and quite heavy… the detail looks great and they’ve used that same fiberglass resin combination with the fully finished inside with a black hammered texture. As with the Wolf and Scar, you have the magnet for connecting it to the base and the small switch to activate the LEDs in the laser shroud. Nothing unexpected hear and everything looks great. I did see some people concerned with warped castings or symmetry issues but in-hand it looks perfect with no warping or weirdness to it when it sits on the base. There’s also no detail loss anywhere due to air bubbles or anything like that, which my original Scar DID have and resulted in it’s asphalt death. Comparing the helmet to the ADI book does confirm the exact same detailing as the original prop piece, so the molds do seem to match. So top marks on the casting quality, absolutely no complaints on this one.

The paint job is the same boring silver and black wash they used on the Scar helmet, and then it looks like they used a spatter effect where they dipped a brush in black wash and flicked the bristles with a finger to cover it in fine black dots. The entire helmet is covered using this process, including the lense area. As mentioned before, they painted the resin over the eyes silver and flicked some black over them. On the rest of the bio, it looks OK, but on the lenses it looks like garbage. I’m also noticing that mine seems to have a bit heavier weathering than some of the other photos people have posted although it’s STILL not as weathered as the prototype photos on the Sideshow Website. Someone needs to show those guys how to weather armor on full size prop pieces a little more realistically… The other paint issue of note is the fact that unlike the movie prop, the Sideshow piece has copper paint on the cheek, jaw and nose detailing. I can confirm that this was requested by ADI for the final finishing, but I have no idea why. In all honesty though, I like it… it’s actually an improvement to the piece to be honest and helps lessen the yawn factor of the boring paint job. They should have done it like that in the movie too!

Sideshow AvP Celtic Predator Bio Helmet

The base is the exact same wall mountable base used for all their other helmet releases, which is fine, they look great and it’s painted in the same scheme as all the other bases.

As a little side bit, I am going to offer you guys some suggestions on how you can pimp the lenses and make this helmet look AMAZING in just a few minutes. I’ll offer you permanent and non-permanent solutions to fixing the lenses up so they have a nice glossy semi reflective look and it will increase the look of your helmet tremendously.

Permanent: If you don’t mind doing something permanent to your helmet, you can simply add a layer of clearcoat to the helmet with either a spray can, airbrush or brush. Any art store will sell brush-on clear coat (Liquitex offers many levels of gloss in tiny bottles) or you can use Future Floor Polish in an air brush to shine up the lense areas. Basically what you want to do is make them look like they are covered in a plastic lense.

Non-Permanent: Carefully cut out and fit a piece of plastic perfectly in to the lense socket and pop them in place… if the material you are using is rigid enough, you can pinch it in place and use a heat gun to shape the plastic perfectly to the eye lense. This is probably the best option and will look the best. My suggestion for materials is to go to Home Depot and find their section where they sell the sheets of plexi glass and they always have a spot where they put in smaller scraps from customers that had them cut pieces for them. Find the thinnest piece possible for ease of use. The other source for easy plastic lenses is a dollar store type place and you can usually find fake glasses with clear lenses. If you can find lenses big enough for the helmet, you can carefully sand or dremel down the edges as needed to fit them and again use a heat gun to form it. If you see that the lenses won’t stay in place, a TINY strand of hot glue in a couple of spots on the edges of the lenses will hold them in place and you can remove it later on without damaging the paint.

Ooooor you can just leave it as is and enjoy it anyhow depending on how picky you are. In the next few weeks I am going to put together a video tutorial on how I modified my lenses, which I plan on doing as soon as possible.

With all that out of the way, the bottom line on this helmet is that despite the idiotic lack of lenses, this is actually a better helmet than the Scar simply because the sculpt is so much cooler and detailed. The paint job is pretty much the same quality but with an easy lense fix I think overall the helmet would look gorgeous. In fact, that’s what is so frustrating… had Sideshow simply put a couple of pieces of plastic over the painted lenses, it would have looked GREAT! I still think the value is there, for $300 you get a prop from the ADI studio mold that is finished and painted, has LEDs and a cool base. It sucks that you have to customize the helmet a bit to get it top notch, but it’s well worth it.

And what’s a review with some video… check out the HD video review I put together on YouTube by clicking here or on the icon below. Apologies in advance for the lack of violence, explosions or vehicular destruction – I’m keeping this one! (The video was JUST uploaded when this article was published… the HD version may not be available for a couple of hours until it is fully processed)

Video Available on YouTube!

Ready for eye-candy? I’ve gone ahead and snapped a ton of photos for your viewing pleasure, focused mainly on showing you the detailed areas of the bio so you can see for yourself how nice the castings are. Unfortunately they also show how lame the lense areas are, but I digress. Click the photo icon below for all the pics:

That’s about all I have to say on this guy, what do you guys think? Click the comment button below and share your thoughts on the Celtic bio or this review, I’d love to hear your feedback! Hope you enjoyed the review everyone, see you soon with more goodies! Remember next week is Predatorstuff’s BIGGEST REVIEW EVER!

Take care,
Dan

Post a Comment!

 

7 Responses to “ Predatorstuff Reviews the Sideshow AvP Celtic Predator Bio Helmet! ”

  1. Matt Says:

    Thanks for the review mate. We all knew it was going to happen but man that sucks about the lenses. I agree this is one of the best pred bio’s design wise and to spoil it by skimping on the main focal point is a very silly move on sideshows part. As for fixing the lenses up, well i contacted ADI and officially they used oakley lenses splashed with paint. As you said, if SS had finished the eye’s off with a reflective cover then they would actually have achieved the look of the lenses on the original hero bio, Why they couldn’t put in a little more effort and finish this off i don’t know… it’s not like we aren’t paying enough! Oh and finally, after contacting ADI directly, i finally recieved a responce from Sideshow regarding the lenses, and i quote…

    “The lenses were produced in the same manner as the original prop provided to Sideshow for reproduction. We assure you that the material choice is accurate to A correct version of the prop”

    Basically they are saying blame ADI. However even if the provided prop looked this pig ugly in the lens department, sideshow are a proffesional collectable company, they should have looked at the bio from our prospective and said hang on a minute, this looks cheap, lets do something about it. Unfortunately for us, they didn’t. Lets hope sideshow wake up a little bit and get back on track as like many, im really not happy at the minute.

    Thank you again Dan and ADI for responding to all my nagging emails 😉

  2. Jason Says:

    Awesome review as always Dan…looks like a good Bio minus the lenses of course. Looking forward to the changes you make to the lenses…

  3. Neehar Gupta Says:

    Fantastic review as always Dan. I really like the format of your photo and video reviews. Very easy to follow, very engaging, and very very detailed. Keep it up! If you are getting the Hot Toys Predator 1 figure, I’d love to see you do a review of that too. It is BY FAR the best of their figures. The details are unreal, and the base is quite nice as well.

  4. Heavy Metal Spike Says:

    The last 70 seconds of your YouTube video had me laughing my ass off – which is ironic really – since I’d have to get totally legless before even thinking of buying one of these crappy pieces (Wolf bio excepted).

    Let’s set up a simple equation for Sideshow shall we? ……. a + b = zero
    (*) where “a” = great idea and “b” = pathetic finish / quality control

    Great review – and thank God the “Garage Kit” community (sculptors, painters and distributors) don’t cut corners huh!

    Sideshow (like Fox) have rights to a great franchise – it would be nice if they gave the fans and the heritage the respect they/it deserves. We KNOW they CAN do it (or have in the past) – the P1 1:1 bust (2005) / the Sabretooth vs. Wolverine dio (2005) / the P1 maquette (2006) – but I haven’t made any serious purchases of THEIR product recently because of crappy finishes. I mean – it had to take something pretty drastic to stop me buying the 1:1 Wolf bust – but that finish – GEEZ!

    However – guess they are still selling what they want to or they would do something about it.

    Well – sorry Sideshow – you might get some mugs to buy this crap – unless it’s something VERY special I’ll stick to “Garage Kits” thank you very much.

    Have a nice day.

  5. Predator Costumes, Models, Kits and Collectibles - Predator Stuff! » How to Upgrade Your Sideshow Celtic Predator Bio Helmet Lenses - Includes the Lens Template! Says:

    […] I’m sure most of you have already seen, I put together a less than favorable review of the Celtic Predator Helmet from ADI and Sideshow Collectibles last week, and in the review I promised you a tutorial on how to […]

  6. Predator Costumes, Models, Kits and Collectibles – Predator Stuff! » Sideshow Throws Down the Glove on Prop Accuracy and Predatorstuff Responds – Predator Helmet Lens Debate Saga Continues! Says:

    […] the "screen used prop".  If you haven’t already read it, please check out my review of the Celtic Predator Helmet and be sure to go look at the gallery.  Pay VERY special attention to the paint detail and […]

  7. Tampa Dates Says:

    This is my first time i visit here. I found so many informative stuffs on your blog, especially its discussion. Form the tons of comments and posts, I guess I am not the only one having all enjoyment here. Keep up the good work.

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