An Unsung Firefly prop- the browncoat "code" patch..

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DavidS

Sr Member
This one kills me that no one has made one..... and i dont have the capablity to make one or id market the idea......
We have all see the Browncoat/Independence green triangle patch... they are on Ebay ect.....
BUT i have never seen anyone replicate THE BACK of one.....

in the (REAL) Pilot "Serenity" Mal rips the patch off a dead Lieutenant..... it had a code written on it for air support ect....
i have paused the DVD several times and can make something out to the affect of "47 LT" and then there is some chinese characters about it and something else below it.....
i think this would be a super neat and fairly easy to make prop......

anyone want jump on this?
 

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Kaylee

Well-Known Member
Oh, I'd love such a thing. The visual companion has a nice shot of a couple different backs - I don't know which one was used though.

I think the 76th links to someone selling new correct "blue star" versions, but again with no back.
edit - here -
http://www.outtotheblack.com/patch.html

Again though -- are we thinking it's a rank patch? A unit patch? An "Independent" logo patch? We never get that answered, do we? I mean, I've always assumed that last - and it's certainly how it's been used in fandom. On the other hand, recently I got to wondering if it was a rank patch instead though.

Then again, I recall recently seeing an image of Mal in his ol' war get up, and I think the Battle of Serenity.. and his coat has the same patch. Which bein' a sergeant, seems to suggest one of the first two.

I'm thinking a local/planetary unit patch, much as Civil War militia each were known primarily by their state, especially down South? Maybe?
 
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DavidS

Sr Member
ive always taken it as a Browncoat patch, not really rank, HOWEVER since they patch DID have a code on the back, maybe it IS a rank...
 

Patattack

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Rank might actually make some sense...considering many ranks are denoted by "bars," maybe in the Independent army, two bars behind the star signifies a lieutenant.

Also, aren't there a couple of alternate patch designs in the visual dictionary?
 

gnrlotto

Sr Member
Has anyone ever even made the right patch to begin with? I've seen the fully embroidered ones, but never just a simple linen patch with the embroidered edges.

Edit: Yoink from Google:

 
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Kaylee

Well-Known Member
All the designs in the visual companion have the same green field, blue star, two yeller lines. They differ (IIRC) in having different color borders and one has filled in black corners I think.

That illustration looks like production art though - especially as there's two different designs for the back as well, I'm inclined to think it was more "we could make it like this, this, or this" rather than rank designations.

At this point as I said, after seeing a pic of Mal wearing one of the war-era cream-colored browncoats with that same patch (nearwise as we can tell) I think it's prolly a unit patch. But who knows, at this point?

Edit - here we go -



http://still-flying.net/images/themessage/index.php?image=themessage183.jpg


So - a (unit or Independent Army) patch, and I presume rank cord for sergeant.
We got any soldier-types or military historians who'd care to speculate? :)

That bumblebee laid down arms at the first sign of inevitable crushing defeat. Can you imagine such a cowardly creature?
 
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gnrlotto

Sr Member
Kaylee, I agree about it possibly being a unit marking. But moreover, since the replica would be of the patch from the pilot, does it matter anyway?
 

Kadajiroth

Sr Member
You know, I was thinking about this exact piece yesterday. I just assumed it had already been replicated.
 

dr_slurpee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
No one has even made an accurate front of the patch. No one has done them with the dark green corners on the stars. There are 3 versions of the patch shown in the visual companion.
1. black border darker green corners
2. green border dark green corners
3. yellow border dark green corners

I have done some art for accurate ones based on some photos of the real patches, I could make a couple small changes because of the better reference now with the visual companion. I was thinking of looking into having some made.
 

pennausamike

Sr Member
I know I've posted on this somewhere before...

From the Visual Companion:
Caption Reads- Right: The Independents' rank symbols,
including the lieutenant's patch Mal rips from the arm of a dead soldier.



My opinion is that the original thought was for these patches to denote rank,
and that they were to be displayed so that the triangle point was down and the star was oriented normally.
But in the rush that is television pilot production,
the original design concept got lost somewhere between design/ patch production/ wardrobe and
was sewn on like a conventional triangular patch by a production level seamstress.
Then, the show was cancelled before more exposition could be offered as to rank badges,
unit patches and the actual Independents' all encompassing symbol, logo, flag.

As fans, we are left with a handful of screen images where any subtleties of rank marking are lost,
and no other symbol has been offered to stand for the Independents.
So, the upside down star on a green and yellow striped background is
accepted by most as the logo for the Independents/Browncoats.

The 76th is using the approach of the triangular patch being the Independents' logo,
a unit patch encorporating design elements of the main patch,
and modified current U.S. rank designation symbols for Independent ranks.
Not saying its right OR wrong, just pointing out the approach of the first organized Browncoat military costuming unit.

Mike
 

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Blad

Sr Member


I've been working on a few Firefly designs, just finished Sheriff Bourne's badge from 'The Train Job', version 1 at the top didn't work out, but pleased with version 2 :)

I think the Star & Bars may be the independants symbol, there's nothing else that stands out. It also makes sense as a unit, division or regimental badge and as a rank badge. I suppose it's something we'll never know!
 

dr_slurpee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Great work blad!

Perhaps they are both rank and browncoat logo? Perhaps the colour variations were meant to indicate rank?
 

DavidS

Sr Member
I know I've posted on this somewhere before...

From the Visual Companion:
Caption Reads- Right: The Independents' rank symbols,
including the lieutenant's patch Mal rips from the arm of a dead soldier.



My opinion is that the original thought was for these patches to denote rank,
and that they were to be displayed so that the triangle point was down and the star was oriented normally.
But in the rush that is television pilot production,
the original design concept got lost somewhere between design/ patch production/ wardrobe and
was sewn on like a conventional triangular patch by a production level seamstress.
Then, the show was cancelled before more exposition could be offered as to rank badges,
unit patches and the actual Independents' all encompassing symbol, logo, flag.

As fans, we are left with a handful of screen images where any subtleties of rank marking are lost,
and no other symbol has been offered to stand for the Independents.
So, the upside down star on a green and yellow striped background is
accepted by most as the logo for the Independents/Browncoats.

The 76th is using the approach of the triangular patch being the Independents' logo,
a unit patch encorporating design elements of the main patch,
and modified current U.S. rank designation symbols for Independent ranks.
Not saying its right OR wrong, just pointing out the approach of the first organized Browncoat military costuming unit.

Mike

This is THE perfect image!
thank you!!!

now!...... how can i go about printing that info on the BACK of a patch?
 

Mr_Creepy

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
David, since you would be using it for display, what about using one of those inkjet "T Shirt" iron on papers to put the lettering on the back?

Not sure if the eBay patches have "iron on" glue on the back of them, which might make that difficult.... :confused
 

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DavidS

Sr Member
David, since you would be using it for display, what about using one of those inkjet "T Shirt" iron on papers to put the lettering on the back?

Not sure if the eBay patches have "iron on" glue on the back of them, which might make that difficult.... :confused

id guess that they do have the iron on stuff on the back..... in THAT case i could use cotton paper for the transfer!!!
now i jsut have to print that image out and get it sized right...
 

Entropy

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The one on the bottom left of the VC picture has toupee tape on it. Clever way to make it easy to "rip" off.
 

DavidS

Sr Member
Ok i edited this a bit to darken up the lettering...
should be able to size this up and print it out and itll work as-is
 

Kaylee

Well-Known Member
Hunh... Lt. Baker had a thyroid condition?
Reckon it don't bother him none now.

I like the reference to the 56th in the top row. That's some thinking ahead. :)

I'd still like to see this done on fabric, and sewn to make a whole patch.

-K

PS - so these are the production patches, taken off the costume coats?
The different depth of the black in the corners is interesting, but I don't know how much significance to assign to it as both the black bordered with heavy black corners and the green bordered with lightened corners both seem to carry the same info on the back. I think you're certainly right they were originally intended to be stuck the other way one though. :)
 
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DavidS

Sr Member
yeh i dont get the thyroid part lol... i was just highlighting what was there lol
i suppoise this could open doors to folks making their own
 

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