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General Trek Discussion Trek TV and cinema subjects not related to any specific series or movie.

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Old August 17 2008, 01:52 PM   #1
PhoenixIreland
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Fan Uniforms

First, at the risk of death I wanna nail my colors to the mast and say I've never got the frequent comparison of many fans to military uniforms or sports jerseys, so I dont' personally get why people wear them, but whatever people wana do is fine my me.

Where I live there really aren't any conventions (that I'm aware of) and thus I've never seen anyone in one in person.
I have noticed however that in documentaries like the trekkers ones there is a difference in how...realistic the uniforms worn by fans look.
By that I mean, how similar to the ones the actors wear they are
In the trekkers Documanary I saw many that were just badly taylord, didn't seem to fit right or had poor detail like ridicilously oversized com badges.

Then I saw one guy with an Admirals uniform that looked identiacal to the one Ross wore in DS9 in every way and it looked like he could have just walked off stage.

For those who wear them, is it a tayloring thing? hard to find the right size? and what gives with the poor details like oversized com badges, dont' you at least want it to look like the ones on tv?
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Old August 17 2008, 02:01 PM   #2
SFRabid
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Re: Fan Uniforms

Consider that before the time of Ebay most fans made their own uniforms and they varied based on the ability of the fan. Now basic uniforms can be found on Ebay. They are more consistent but still poor in quality. Some fans are extremely talented when it comes to costume design and replication.
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Old August 17 2008, 05:35 PM   #3
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Re: Fan Uniforms

I've seen some enthiusiastically, but not very accurately, rendered fan uniforms and I've seen some immaculate examples that could have walked straight off a bridge. I think the reasons that fans wear uniforms and how bothered they are by their accuracy is as varied as the reasons for wearing them. I've only worn a uniform once, back in the days of TWOK and even though I say so myself, it was very well done. There were about 10 of us, all wearing the same uniform from the same (home made) pattern, made by the same seamstress and cut from the same bolt of fabric. We still struggled with the pin holding the shoulder strap, finding the clasp for the front and the chest emblem, but we didn't care because most of the details were spot on, including the chain outlining the interior of the bib.
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Old August 18 2008, 12:20 PM   #4
Therin of Andor
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Re: Fan Uniforms

PhoenixIreland wrote: View Post
For those who wear them, is it a tayloring thing? hard to find the right size? and what gives with the poor details like oversized com badges, dont' you at least want it to look like the ones on tv?
It's lots of things.

* Off the rack one-size-fits-all vs personalized tailoring

* An eye for detail

* Appropriate height/weight/age to carry off being a Starfleet officer

* Availability of reference materials

* Time/money.

When I made my TOS redshirt, I used an old favourite velour sweater that coincidentally had a moth hole where the insignia went. A rank stripe (a little too high) covered a second moth hole on the sleeve. But it's served me well for 28 years!

When some friends and I made ST II costumes we only had the pics in a "Starlog" ST II mag to go on. We made our first "metal" insignia badges out of cardboard, painted gold, and rectangular strips (with rounded corners) cut from a plastic ice cream container. (Eventually we bought commercial, movie tie-in metal badges, but had to enamel them accurately.) But I told another friend what we were using that first time and her cardboard/plastic badge ended up huge - and looked ridiculous. She thought hers looked great. We reckon we just had a better eye for accuracy.

My first TNG uniform was designed from one tiny advance-publicity cast photo in "Time" magazine, and I wore it about 24 hours after the magazine came out. I simply cut up two turtleneck T-shirts (one black, one command gold) and used hemming web to join them, plus a commercial metal insignia from ST:TMP. It didn't look right once we saw better official pics and actual TV footage, but it certainly wowed everyone that first night.

About six months later, we had developed an accurate pattern and churned out many costumes for friends, completed with accurate communicator badges from Lincoln Enterprises.

Keep in mind that TV can do lots of tricks. A good example is how Gort the robot in "The Day the Earth Stood still" looked so seamless. There were two costumes: one with a zipper in the front, another with the zipper in the back.

A floor costume at a convention must look and move well under all conditions, and the wearer must pretend to feel great whether hot, cold or fighting for breath. On TV or in a movie, a costume can be altered to look better for sitting vs standing scenes, walking vs fighting scenes, and can be removed after just a few minutes of filming, then put back on again when needed.

In the Superman movies, they have different length capes for walking, flying and stunts. Plus someone with a blow drier drying the actor's sweaty armpits between takes.
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Old August 18 2008, 02:18 PM   #5
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Re: Fan Uniforms

SFRabid wrote: View Post
Consider that before the time of Ebay most fans made their own uniforms and they varied based on the ability of the fan. Now basic uniforms can be found on Ebay. They are more consistent but still poor in quality. Some fans are extremely talented when it comes to costume design and replication.
Yeh, but i think what the Original Poster is saying.. and what i agree with is.. if you dont have the means to make/buy a decent costume.. then dont bother...

(if that isnt what you were saying OP, its certainly how i feel)
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Old August 18 2008, 05:01 PM   #6
SFRabid
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Re: Fan Uniforms

I would never say that. People have to live within their means. Expression is not just for the rich or talented. If I ever decided to wear a uniform at a convention it would have to come from Ebay. I cannot make one myself and don't have the money to pay the prices they are getting from the sell-off of uniforms used in the series.
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Old August 18 2008, 10:32 PM   #7
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Fan Uniforms

SFRabid wrote: View Post
I would never say that. People have to live within their means. Expression is not just for the rich or talented. If I ever decided to wear a uniform at a convention it would have to come from Ebay. I cannot make one myself and don't have the money to pay the prices they are getting from the sell-off of uniforms used in the series.
Even that wouldn't be within my means...not in money or talent. Honestly, I am amazed at those who have ANY capabilities to make their own uniforms even if it doesn't come out right because I doubt I could even do THAT.

I'd just have to wear my little "Legate pin" and call it done.
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Old August 18 2008, 10:36 PM   #8
Therin of Andor
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Re: Fan Uniforms

SFRabid wrote: View Post
I cannot make one myself
Mothers with sewing machines, and little old ladies down the street, can do wonders.

don't have the money to pay the prices they are getting from the sell-off of uniforms used in the series.
Buying from the "It's a Wrap!" eBay auctions, with the intention of wearing it as a convention costume, is rarely going to help. The chances of being the exact size of the person the costume was tailored for, and then maintaining that size yourself every time you wish to wear it, would be next to zilch. Not only that, you wouldn't be game to eat while wearing it.

As I inferred earlier, part of the reason actors (usually) look so good in their costumes on screen is that they have fluffers who are continually checking. A convention floor costume has to be comfortable and capable of passing close scrutiny over a longer period.
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Old August 19 2008, 12:39 AM   #9
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Re: Fan Uniforms

It's not something I'd wear, but if I did I'd want it to look accurate.

If we take the sports jersey analogy, are there no uniforms commercially available? surely there must me a company somewhere that does them if theres a demand there?
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Old August 19 2008, 01:51 AM   #10
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Re: Fan Uniforms

I have two Star Trek costumes, a TWOK red uniform jacket and a klingon costume.

The Klingon costume has an authentic headpiece, but the seamstress/costumer who made it was creative with the rest. It looks good and it's won some contests, but it isn't anything close to accurate.

When I had my TWOK uniform made, I hired a seamstress who made it from patterns and instructions from Lincoln Enterprises. She got all the details down (like the little chain and a little piece of velcro to hold up the inside white flap when the outside red flap is down). With pins and insignia, it cost me $250 tailor made and the costume was a hit at the conventions. It's survived conventions, costume parties, and many trips to the dry cleaners (who always look at you funny when you request repair work on the little chain on the inside).
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Old August 19 2008, 06:00 AM   #11
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Re: Fan Uniforms

I've never worn a costume at a convention. My ex-fiancee did and I was embarassed the entire time she was with me. Some issues I must have re: grown-ups wearing kids' costumes (but those are MY issues).
Having said that, I actually admire those who can make their own costumes and make them look good on them. I've seen some really bad looking ones & a few good ones at conventions.
My own first costume consisted of a sorta kinda looks like a TOS shirt from a second-hand store with a homemade cardboard & model-painted insignia held on by a safety pin. Props were courtesy of the phaser/communicator/tricorder model kit I bought with paper route money & wore out exploring the corn & wheat fields on our farm.
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Old August 19 2008, 06:18 AM   #12
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Re: Fan Uniforms

When I was in Middle school, my mom bought a gold sweatshirt and sewed a black collar onto it just so I could be Kirk for halloween. My insignia and other props were made from pizza boxes. It was decent for what it was. I have one of those rubies redshirts that I got at a costume store. I improved on it a little by having a better insignia sewn over the screen printed one. It's a little big, but some tailoring could improve on it. I wore it to the only convention I was ever at, but I half assed it and wore it with jeans hopefully telling everyone that I wasn't taking it very seriously.

But I've seen some of the great work some have put into their costumes and I am amazed at the detail, time and effort that went into them.
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Old August 19 2008, 07:13 AM   #13
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Fan Uniforms

You know...now that I think about it, I DID wear a Trek costume once: grade school, Halloween. (And I said "Trek or Treat"...cue groan here. But at my age... )

I dressed as a Bajoran captain--even bought some "fake skin" and made myself one good looking nose. My mom told me it was too nerdy to wear to school for our Halloween parade.

Then a kid I did NOT like showed up.

In a captain's uniform (hand tailored, kinda sloppy).

With a Bajoran nose (clearly made of something like Play-Doh--whereas mine looked darned near real).

I was ten years old and I was PISSED.

My costume was light-years better and I knew it. I could've showed up that kid SO bad...
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Old August 19 2008, 10:23 AM   #14
Therin of Andor
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Re: Fan Uniforms

PhoenixIreland wrote: View Post
are there no uniforms commercially available?
Yes. Doesn't mean they always fit better or are made of the right fabric, or have accurate insignia and rank attachments. The fact that you can actually buy them in XXXXL, supposedly ready-to-wear, is part of the problem.

I have several costumes I absolutely love but can't squeeze into any more. At one point I graduated from skinny Andorian to Klingon (when I grew my beard) and then to Tellarite. When I could play the Tellarite without the fatsuit I started my diet.
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Old August 19 2008, 04:16 PM   #15
Ryan Thomas Riddle
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Re: Fan Uniforms

FYI, here are a couple of boards that extensively covers the Trek uniforms and accurate construction/materials:
http://starfleet1701st.yuku.com/
http://propreplicas.yuku.com/directory
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