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flak vest help

 
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vixen82 (Julia Winspur)
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 1:36 am    Post subject: flak vest help Reply with quote

So I started work on an xwing pilot and one of my friend had given me this flak vest. I know it needs modification but I am wondering if I am better off not attempting it? It needs buckles and straps but I was really questioning the large area in the gap.... Is this going to be OK?

Thoughts and comments appreciated!

http://instagram.com/p/oe106QBIwS/
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DroidWelder ()
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will need to add a couple more ribs in the gap.
That looks like a costume base vest. I successfully modified one of those without too much difficulty. The hardest part was finding a piece of cloth that matched the white color fairly close and didn't look too bad. The piece of cloth I bought was the best I could find and looked ok indoors in the fabric store, but I forgot to check the color out in the sun before making the mod. After I modded it I took it outside and I could really see a difference in color with the sun shining on it.
The added material had a bluish hue to it whereas the vest had an orange hue.

Basically you want to sew up a separate little "Panel" with a couple of ribs on it, that is the same dimensions of the blank area on your vest. Then sew that panel into the blank area.
The ribs on the panel need to be close to the same size as the ribs on the vest, but they won't be exact. They will need to be adjusted for size on the panel so that once the panel is sewn in, all the ribs will look fairly uniform.

I will draw up a quick sketch which shows what I mean and post it for you.

David L.
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vixen82 (Julia Winspur)
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's what I was afraid of - having to add ribs.
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DroidWelder ()
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, this should clarify things a bit.



If you know how to sew, it's not that difficult to do.
I would remove the strap and then reinsert it after the panel is sewn on.

David L.
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Mac Bragg ()
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's an actual screen used vest (note that it is backwards!)



Note that it is not a series of overlapping pleats.

There are horizontal loops or tunnels evenly spaced by flat areas the same width as the loop. Inside the loop is what appears to be 1/4" dia aluminum tubing:

however most reproductions use vinyl hose.

Here are some details, again referencing an actual screen used item:
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Note how close the edges are.

The costume item is based on this 1960's prototype pilot suit



In fact, several of theses suits were used "as is"


-

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vixen82 (Julia Winspur)
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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all of the help and information! I am thinking I will scrap what I have and purchase one - now just have to decide between three very nice options that members have sent me information on!
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Mac Bragg ()
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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a complex item. Here's a composite of (from Left to Right)

Costume Base - Rubies - Screencap



You can see the Rubies making an attempt - actual ribs and the correct number of ribs (2 on top, 9 on the bottom) but the spacing is too wide - almost double - and that throws off the overall size. The screen used barely makes it to the armpits, the Rubies is now 3"-4" below. The CostumeBase has no ribs at all, a mass of pleats where it should be flat - "The Gap" as we've taken to calling it - and now extends almost to the waist.

Look at the Original - The horizontal chest seam on the coveralls is about even with the third rib (the one at the bottom of the gap) with the top almost at the collar. The CostumeBase has the top of the vest even with the seam.

Are we expecting a "stitch for stitch" reproduction? No, not by any means.
We also don't have the luxury of a film production where you can call up a casting agency and specify the exact height and weight of actors to fit the costumes you have already made. So there are going to be some adjustments to fit different size people. Need a longer length? Add a couple more ribs on the bottom or switch from 1/4" to next size larger tubing. It keeps the overall look while still presenting a good appearance.

Here's a good view of the back:


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vixen82 (Julia Winspur)
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! The three screenshots together are very helpful!!
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RebelRach15 ()
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, Mac! Great information and the screen shots are ones I've not seen before.

We started a run of 8 xwing pilots and mistakenly bought the Costumebase vests. We have a very talented seamstress in our club at Tatooine Base, and we pulled the vest apart and tried to bleach it, and for some reason some pink dye/markings inside the vest ran everywhere....

We gave up and used (I think) the Bespin Base guide to the vests, screen shots and the older Reference Guide to the pilot costume. We counted out the ribbing required for front and back, and made a one size fits all vest, then adjusted the shoulder straps for the size of each individual.

Its take a lot of work, ordering the clips/buckles and finding the tubing insert but we're finally very happy with the result, and so far all our submitted pilots costumes have been approved.

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