Empire Strikes Back Prop Hoth Boots Restoration

Conserving and restoring an original pair of prop Hoth boots worn by a Rebel soldier in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

We’re always excited to conserve props from the Star Wars original trilogy (and beyond!). This pair of prop Hoth boots came to us with years of wear and tear, but were still very much intact and whole.  While the before and after images may look drastic, this was essentially a “color restoration” and was focused on preserving any flaking paint and adding back color to areas that had come off after production wrapped, decades ago.

With the client, set a careful path and a level of restoration to get these original prop boots looking great but not brand new. Even after our work, they are still full of age and character and immediately read as authentic. They simply look much more whole and display more cleanly.

When doing our work, we used the museum conservator style of paint repair called, “in-painting.” In-painting involves adding color back only where it was missing and matching the look and age of the original paint. Any original paint is un-touched and we only address areas that are missing color. This is our go-to technique in our restoration work, and while it’s much more challenging and time consuming than simply repainting the whole prop or costume element (a boot, in this case!), it’s the method that guarantees the prop stays as original as possible.

Adding to the challenge was the various materials these boots were made from. Our paints not only had to match the color and aging, but also had to flex and bond with the material below. With a bit of experimenting and many hours of careful hand-painting, our team managed to make these vintage original movie prop Hoth boots look great for their age!

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Have an original movie or television prop in need of restoration or conservation? Email or call today and let’s discuss your project!

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