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DIY Rebel Rank Badges

 
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michmalo (Michael Maloney)
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:12 pm    Post subject: DIY Rebel Rank Badges Reply with quote

I haven't seen this posted anywhere so I thought I'd share my method for making a Rank Badge without a 3D printer, CNC or laser cutter...

I've made two using similar methods. I bought small acrylic sheets from Amazon, pick your color. You don't need a large sheet and if you're careful you can get lots and lots of circles out of this
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B089P4YKY6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The first was the OT style which involves having the colored disks on top of the badge. Obviously this is a lot easier to make.


I cut out the disks using a hole saw on my drill press. Without the center drill bit you get a perfect circle, just go nice and slow with even pressure.
You could attempt to do this with just a drill if you don't have a drill press, I'd use some clamps to clamp the acrylic to a piece of scrap wood and try and hold the drill as straight as possible.


The disks should be roughly 1/2" in size which means that you need a larger saw to cut the circles. I used a 5/8" or 16mm hole saw and then sanded the material down a bit to get it flush, the drill will leave a little more material on one side but a file and/or sandpaper is enough to take it off.

The acrylic comes with an adhesive paper on both sides, you want to leave this on until AFTER you've cut your circles out otherwise there's a chance you'll scratch them. You could take the paper off of the bottom and place it on something soft and you'll get a cleaner cut but it's easy enough to sand them smooth when you're done.

Once you have your disks, depending on what rank you're trying to replicate you need a badge to glue them to. For the OT badge, I used a piece of aluminum stock I picked up from the hardware store, it's 2" wide by 24" long so there's enough material to make a few mistakes. I used a Dremel to get the cut started and finished it off with a hacksaw. I cut a 2" piece off giving me a 2" x 2" square and slightly rounded the edges to keep it from being too sharp.

For the Rogue One version of the badge, you need to set the disks down into the badge to be flush. In order to do this, you need to drill out the badge which if you're attempting to do in aluminum is more challenging. I decided to go with styrene but ABS or any plastic will do, you could even use wood for this part.

I used a 1/2" spade bit to recess into the plastic making sure not to go all the way through so that the disks had a back to be glued on to.



From here you can check your fit to make sure your disks will fit into the holes, you may need to hit them again with a little sandpaper at this point making sure to keep them round.

Before gluing the disks in now's the time for paint or in my case I used Silver Rub N' Buff which is amazing, a little goes a LONG way with this so be careful. https://smile.amazon.com/Rub-Buff-Metallic-Silver-Leaf/dp/B013PYR4WO/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=rub+n%27+buff&qid=1601924316&sr=8-6

If you use a sponge or paper towel to apply a bit onto the badge you can then create a brushed aluminum look by running it in only one direction.

I tried to create vertical lines on mine, they look much better in person.

After your paint or Rub N' Buff is dry you can use your favorite glue to secure the disks into their pockets. I then glued a magnet to the back and I use a washer or another magnet inside my jacket. I used CA glue with a drop of hot glue on the back. I like to double up my glue choices for Cosplay items that may get handled a lot and have the potential to come apart, if one glue type fails the other is there as a failsafe. This is especially important for the magnet because it's going to be pulling against the badge every time you put it on or take it off.



The final product


I hope others find this helpful and can make themselves rank badges without a 3D printer or having to buy one if you want an inexpensive DIY method.
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RebelLady (Kristina Gundersen)
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fabulous! Thank you so much for posting this!
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michmalo (Michael Maloney)
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RebelLady wrote:
Fabulous! Thank you so much for posting this!


Thank you! Hopefully others find it helpful and can make their own badges.
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PArmstr (Patricia Armstrong-Krauss)
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a great tutorial. Thank you for posting it.
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tenebris (empathy)
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is so great!

I was looking at DIY badges a while back as nothing exists for RO that is totally accurate (sunken discs with the sandwich of acrylic). It means taking apart the signage stuff I think?
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michmalo (Michael Maloney)
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you guys find it helpful! If anyone has any questions please ask and I'll be happy to help!!!
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