Archive for August, 2013

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Adventures in Classic BSG Costuming

August 22, 2013

jacket ad2Since ONE Battlestar Galactica costume is never enough, I embarked on a project to get myself a second BSG costume, this time from the original incarnation. I was an avid reader of Starlog magazine in the 1980s, and I remember the ad showing a little girl wearing a Colonial Warrior uniform jacket. I think I’ve wanted a jacket of my own since then.

As the organizer of a very large BSG club, I knew there would be others interested and we would all benefit from buying as a group. It was a three month coordinated effort of several people that came to a very cool result.

The Standard

There is an established standard for Colonial Warrior costumes. Blackstar Squadron is the main classic BSG costuming group, and you can find their standard here.
Colonial Fleets also has a nice resource list.  I’m not planning for official recognition of my costume, but some members of our group may do so, and it is possible that further customizing is required to meet the standard.

Uniforms

The uniforms (jacket, tunic, pants and belt, with all pins) were ordered from battlestargalactica.org We did get a fair discount for placing a large order, and the guys went to great lengths to ensure our product shipped on time, about 8 weeks after ordering. A pleasure to deal with.

Alterations

The uniforms come in standard male sizes. Many of us had to order one size larger than normal just because the waist measurement was small. Of seven ordered: two fit very well, three fit with minor alterations and two weren’t even close. Mine required major alterations to fit a female frame. I ordered to fit the bust and hips, but had to cut a great deal out of the waist, and large chunks off the arms and legs. Since I’m short, my jacket will always be far longer than it should be. Alterations to the length of the jacket cannot really be done due to the detailing.

Belts

I have to give great thanks to the folks at Glendale Parade Store for going above and beyond to ship a large quantity of heavyweight pistol belts with brass hardware. Since they only ship in the US, we had a very short window to ship to a location I was visiting. One incorrect item was packed, so they went to even more heroic efforts to get the final item to me in time. Amazing customer service!  We bought white belts and used iDye fabric dye in Navy to match. We got a reasonable color, but the process was laborious and the ends didn’t absorb the dye so I had to colour them with a sharpie. In hindsight, I would have just bought the AF Blue belts to begin with.

Holster

Only one source we could find for the correct chocolate brown kydex holster….katarra8’s store on ebay We bought the flat blanks and used a heat gun to shape them when they arrived. Very satisfied. Warning: someone did get a little impatient with the heat gun and broke one of the blanks, so be careful.

Boots

Exact boots are tough to find. The originals were Sidi Full Bore motocross boots, painted brown. Occasionally pairs do come up for sale on ebay but the price is often very high…and quite frankly, who wants a 30 year old pair of boots someone else wore? Half of our group spent $10 a pair and got reasonable knock off boots at Ardene.

Pistol

This is one area where I will remain mostly silent. I was extremely unhappy with the customer service I got from the place I ordered a solid resin replica, so I will not be recommending them here. We found another way.

Now, we’ve got our own squadron of Colonial Warriors here in Vancouver, and you’ll see us out at conventions around town and maybe even further afield.  Come by and say hello!

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Colonial Cause at Cos & Effect

August 7, 2013

Cos_&_Effect_LogoThis weekend is Cos & Effect, Vancouver’s annual costume, cosplay and alternative fashion event.  Running from August 9-11, 2013 at UBC, this year’s convention has a Space theme.  That means 13th Colonists are sure to be on hand!

Sunday afternoon is capped off with the “Space Party & Charity Fundraiser.”  More details here. If you have ever wanted to see a stormtrooper face a viper mechanic in a dance off, this may be your only chance to do so!  Entry fee is for the party is by donation and proceeds go to BC Children’s Hospital, so you do not need to be attending the convention to go to the party!

Good luck and Good Hunting!