Some friends of mine had a similar experience with the guy who plays Gowron (ST:NG Klingon) when he saw their Klingon armor. Amazing how the fans will build something that is semi-functional, as opposed to what the official costumers make.
Robert O'Reilly played Gowron. I don't know if you make it to cons at all, but just do a big one like Dragoncon a few years and you come to understand that you never, ever underestimate the power of fandom, especially where sci-fi/fantasy fans are concerned.
I purchased a Darth Vader Force FX saber this year at the con, and had it with me when I happened on a guy dressed as Capt. Jack Sparrow, who also had one (for some reason pirates with lightsabers tends to work). I took his picture and he proceeded to explain to me that the difference in the little power coupling doohickey on the upper side of the hilt varied between them because his was a Series II or something, and mine was a later Series IV. He also pointed out that between episodes IV and VI, the chain going about Vader's neck holding his cape was either silver or black, and specifically what color in each movie.
Now, A New Hope released when I was a little kid, and I thought I was a fanboy over the years, and had noticed the chain difference...not in which movies, but on that evening I was pwned and out-Star-Wars'ed severely. The fans will study all the details in a piece of canon equipment, and they'll reproduce it better than the stage props. For instance, there is allegedly a flaw in Clone Trooper armor in one of the new movies, IIRC a visor at the wrong angle, which made it on screen. Fan repros faithfully even duplicated this flaw.