ANOVOS picks up the high-end Star Wars Costuming License!

lmgill

Sr Member
Having spent all of my adult life making props and costumes for film and themed environment entertainment, I have either built or worked with thousands of props and costume pieces. With this first hand knowledge, it is my opinion, based on the nearly 4 decades of experience (around 40,000 hours) I have read opinions on many threads over the years that are based on incorrect assumptions, or inflated expectations. I would like to give you a couple of examples:
But first you have to understand how props and costume pieces get made.
Sometimes they are made by "craftsmen", who care about every aspect of the items construction. Symmetry, neatness, quality of materials, finish, durability and so forth. Most of the time, this is not the case. I have seen some of the worst techniques and sloppiest construction used on film props. However, on film, they look fine. Many people building these things have little formal training in prop building and learn on the job. Often what they learn is inefficient or sloppy techniques. This is because in the film business "Job Security" is not heavily based on you being the best at that skill, but it is based on you getting the item done in time and good enough for the job. (One big exception is makeup effects, and sculptors.)
I have seen many replicas, made by fans, who have spent months getting every detail "right"and the result is often a piece that looks nothing like the original piece being copied. But, in person or in close up photos, it looks "just like the film prop as it appears in the film". If you saw some these in person, you would see all sorts of "sloppiness". Even when some props are see in person, some fans do not see these faults, or care. But to others, these faults stand out and are the only things they see.
Second, most hero props have multiples made, some "Hero" with the highest level of detail, other are background or stunt versions, with far less detail or constructed from different materials. Through the complex process of making a film, the hero and stunt prop are not always seen in their intended roles. The stunt version being featured in a closeup for example. (sometime much to the horror of the prop maker) So saying it's "Screen Accurate" makes me laugh. Screen accurate to which one, or in what detail?
So replicating these items is a tricky thing. Do you replicate these faults, because, well, that's the way the real item looks. Or, do you fix these faults and make the replicas as it "appears" in the film?

One of the issues we faced when producing items for ANOVO is we were sometimes forced to make replicas of poorly made original pieces.

The Classic Tie Pilot chest box replica;
As with many of the ANOVOS replicas, they have access to the original prop or costume piece. In many cases they scan the original, take copious photos and try to replicate it perfectly, sometimes to a fault. In studying the images and scans of original Tie pilot box, I noticed that the vacuumform pattern was originally shorter (top to bottom) and was made taller at some point. (design choice perhaps) It is clear that instead of using some solid pattern wood (I use Jelutong), the prop maker, inserted a piece of 3/4 plywood. As a result you can see the end-grain layers of the plywood in a band running around the center of the chest-box vacuumform. When we attempted to remove this, we were told not to, because it "was cannon". The other problem is the original prop maker didn't add any draft angle to the pattern, and combined with the plywood section wanting to cause minor undercuts, every vacuuform pull was impossible to get off the pattern without cracking. When I went back and looked at the photos of the original box, it too was cracked and glued. The original prop was also distorted, likely from sitting on a shelf for forty years. This too had been replicated in the digital scan. In the end, we had to add a bit of a draft angle to the patterns, corrected some of the distortion, but left the "plywood pattern". If we chose to make it in thicker material, we would have been able to get it off the pattern without cracking, in addition, minimized the plywood pattern, along with all of the other details, and thus, not "screen accurate".
So, how accurate should we make it? Do you include a long description of how the original prop maker didn't care, or know that adding plywood was not the correct way and this would "print through" to the surface? Or include how the original prop was made from 1/16" plastic because it only needed to last for one film, or without a draft angle, it would not be mass producible? An explanation that perhaps hardly anyone would read, and they would just get on a forum and bitch about "what a piece of crap" this replica was?

Years ago I entered into a "partnership" to make replicas, in hindsight this turned out to be a bad idea. The difficulties started with the license limitations we had from Viacom (no fault of theirs), my partners ignorance in how things are made and a couple of employees who "knew better" and got the ear of my partner. Then I underestimated the difficulties creating a management structure and fabrication team in a politically charged environment. It turned out is was nearly impossible to get the production team to follow my directions over my partners, who would come in to the shop when I wasn't there and give directives on rushing models out in order to deliver them to a customer at an upcoming convention. In the end, this all led to me getting completely exhausted mentally and costing me a few hundred thousand dollars.
While I do not want to go into all the details, I do want to give an example from this, I think is applicable to this thread.
The item we produced was extremely accurate, but of the few that were produced, 90% of them were not assembled correctly and as a result suffered numerous faults. I have one of the last 6 or so made, once I got the "know better" employees out of the equation, fixed the sabotaged polyurethane injection / mixing machine and got the team to build them as engineered. It is still fine after nearly 20 years. Unfortunately only a handful were made, before my partner ran the company out of money and most of the employees quit. I bring this up, not for the faults and difficulties of production, but as an example of "What is accurate" and who's opinion do you listen to?
The USS Enterprise:
We created a replica, that was to be the best, most accurate replica made at that time (perhaps still). It was a 33" version of the full size filing model.
The initial reviews were great and we read nothing but praise, but then came the "trolls". Pretty soon, every thread seemed to have a group people going to incredible lengths to "prove" our replica wasn't accurate at all, and we messed up tons of things. Side by side screen grabs with our model and all sorts of quoted "facts" they had read about the original and so forth. Endless empty arguments and name calling. As someone new to this community, had I not had such a financial stake, I would have found it very funny and a bit pathetic.
But, what made it more difficult for me, was what I couldn't say at the time. Which was we had been "secretly" given a set of 9 blueprints, taken directly off the original filming miniature before it suffered it's first "refurbishment". These prints featured every detail, measurement, graphic and color detail you could want. In addition, they were drawn to the 33" scale. They were given to me by probably the world authority on anything Trek. So regardless of the accuracy some people just want to bash the product, and they will, regardless of facts, others expertise or opinions.
We unfortunately live in a world where opinions seem to cot as equal to experience or fact. I am by no means the only one to observe this. It is evident and commented on in many places and forums.
But in the end, accuracy of product and mismanagement, (intended or by accidental circumstances) are two different things.
I agree, for the most part- Great items, unfortunate situation.
 

vader45

Sr Member
So a few posts back I mentioned I bought an ESB Luke belt off another source. The rest of it arrived and this is the best belt leather work I have had for a costume.

I ordered it in sections, holster and the rest. From ordering the holster on May 28th to the rest of the stuff arriving today this was the fastest experience I've had with a fan maker.

I'm posting this in hopes of Anovos some how seeing this so they would feel like **** knowing bootleg versions of their items exist because they fail to deliver.

20190614_121813.jpg


Belt made by Darman's Props on Etsy and eBay. The guy is one of the most professional I have ever felt with and delivers a true quality product. He's for all your leather goods needs for costumes.

Unfortunately the jacket and coveralls are ANOVOS.
 

mikidymac

New Member
Thank you imgil for taking the time to give us some background and your knowledge.

I can attest to the fact that the "screen used" armor is in horrible condition and I would not want to be seen in it. Since Celebration it was announced that the 501st participated in the filming of The Mandalorian so I can finally talk a little about it but still have a NDA agreement. I was one of the lucky ones that was called for filming. The movie company troopers were wearing the armor that they got from LFL that was used for Solo, it was thick polyurethane and in really bad shape. Most of it was held together with white duct tape, cracked and in pretty bad repair. The guys wearing it were paid extras and honestly really nice but they could care less about the armor as they checked it out in the morning and in at the end of the day. They would kneel in it, sit in it and throw the buckets on the ground between shots, to them it was just another prop and they really were not concerned with the condition of it. I can't tell you how many open and broken leg sections I saw and there was one person walking around with white tape all day getting pieces back together. There was not a single suit that was the same due to all the repairs and broken pieces.
 

vader45

Sr Member
Thank you imgil for taking the time to give us some background and your knowledge.

I can attest to the fact that the "screen used" armor is in horrible condition and I would not want to be seen in it. Since Celebration it was announced that the 501st participated in the filming of The Mandalorian so I can finally talk a little about it but still have a NDA agreement. I was one of the lucky ones that was called for filming. The movie company troopers were wearing the armor that they got from LFL that was used for Solo, it was thick polyurethane and in really bad shape. Most of it was held together with white duct tape, cracked and in pretty bad repair. The guys wearing it were paid extras and honestly really nice but they could care less about the armor as they checked it out in the morning and in at the end of the day. They would kneel in it, sit in it and throw the buckets on the ground between shots, to them it was just another prop and they really were not concerned with the condition of it. I can't tell you how many open and broken leg sections I saw and there was one person walking around with white tape all day getting pieces back together. There was not a single suit that was the same due to all the repairs and broken pieces.
Some people just don't care about props and costumes like we do!
 

Krieger

Member
So a few posts back I mentioned I bought an ESB Luke belt off another source. The rest of it arrived and this is the best belt leather work I have had for a costume.

I ordered it in sections, holster and the rest. From ordering the holster on May 28th to the rest of the stuff arriving today this was the fastest experience I've had with a fan maker.

I'm posting this in hopes of Anovos some how seeing this so they would feel like **** knowing bootleg versions of their items exist because they fail to deliver.

View attachment 1029128

Belt made by Darman's Props on Etsy and eBay. The guy is one of the most professional I have ever felt with and delivers a true quality product. He's for all your leather goods needs for costumes.

Unfortunately the jacket and coveralls are ANOVOS.
I agree. I made my belt rig with a D-ring and saberclip and had a Tandy buckle cut octagonal years ago right after getting my OT pilot approved. Then upgraded with really nice pouches and a holster from Darman’s Props last year, got new aluminum buckles from Algae198 on the Rebel Legion site for our Fleet Trooper belt rigs.

Two sets, no waiting. Only item from Anovos was the snowspeeder jacket, which I only wore twice (and missed the snow at Celebration Chicago, it was a sign...). Lesson learned. Great makers are out there, when you find them, favorite them, go back for something else you need that doesn’t take forever.
 

darthjones

Sr Member
Having spent all of my adult life making props and costumes for film and themed environment entertainment, I have either built or worked with thousands of props and costume pieces. With this first hand knowledge, it is my opinion, based on the nearly 4 decades of experience (around 40,000 hours) I have read opinions on many threads over the years that are based on incorrect assumptions, or inflated expectations. I would like to give you a couple of examples:
But first you have to understand how props and costume pieces get made.
Sometimes they are made by "craftsmen", who care about every aspect of the items construction. Symmetry, neatness, quality of materials, finish, durability and so forth. Most of the time, this is not the case. I have seen some of the worst techniques and sloppiest construction used on film props. However, on film, they look fine. Many people building these things have little formal training in prop building and learn on the job. Often what they learn is inefficient or sloppy techniques. This is because in the film business "Job Security" is not heavily based on you being the best at that skill, but it is based on you getting the item done in time and good enough for the job. (One big exception is makeup effects, and sculptors.)
I have seen many replicas, made by fans, who have spent months getting every detail "right"and the result is often a piece that looks nothing like the original piece being copied. But, in person or in close up photos, it looks "just like the film prop as it appears in the film". If you saw some these in person, you would see all sorts of "sloppiness". Even when some props are see in person, some fans do not see these faults, or care. But to others, these faults stand out and are the only things they see.
Second, most hero props have multiples made, some "Hero" with the highest level of detail, other are background or stunt versions, with far less detail or constructed from different materials. Through the complex process of making a film, the hero and stunt prop are not always seen in their intended roles. The stunt version being featured in a closeup for example. (sometime much to the horror of the prop maker) So saying it's "Screen Accurate" makes me laugh. Screen accurate to which one, or in what detail?
So replicating these items is a tricky thing. Do you replicate these faults, because, well, that's the way the real item looks. Or, do you fix these faults and make the replicas as it "appears" in the film?

One of the issues we faced when producing items for ANOVO is we were sometimes forced to make replicas of poorly made original pieces.

The Classic Tie Pilot chest box replica;
As with many of the ANOVOS replicas, they have access to the original prop or costume piece. In many cases they scan the original, take copious photos and try to replicate it perfectly, sometimes to a fault. In studying the images and scans of original Tie pilot box, I noticed that the vacuumform pattern was originally shorter (top to bottom) and was made taller at some point. (design choice perhaps) It is clear that instead of using some solid pattern wood (I use Jelutong), the prop maker, inserted a piece of 3/4 plywood. As a result you can see the end-grain layers of the plywood in a band running around the center of the chest-box vacuumform. When we attempted to remove this, we were told not to, because it "was cannon". The other problem is the original prop maker didn't add any draft angle to the pattern, and combined with the plywood section wanting to cause minor undercuts, every vacuuform pull was impossible to get off the pattern without cracking. When I went back and looked at the photos of the original box, it too was cracked and glued. The original prop was also distorted, likely from sitting on a shelf for forty years. This too had been replicated in the digital scan. In the end, we had to add a bit of a draft angle to the patterns, corrected some of the distortion, but left the "plywood pattern". If we chose to make it in thicker material, we would have been able to get it off the pattern without cracking, in addition, minimized the plywood pattern, along with all of the other details, and thus, not "screen accurate".
So, how accurate should we make it? Do you include a long description of how the original prop maker didn't care, or know that adding plywood was not the correct way and this would "print through" to the surface? Or include how the original prop was made from 1/16" plastic because it only needed to last for one film, or without a draft angle, it would not be mass producible? An explanation that perhaps hardly anyone would read, and they would just get on a forum and bitch about "what a piece of crap" this replica was?

Years ago I entered into a "partnership" to make replicas, in hindsight this turned out to be a bad idea. The difficulties started with the license limitations we had from Viacom (no fault of theirs), my partners ignorance in how things are made and a couple of employees who "knew better" and got the ear of my partner. Then I underestimated the difficulties creating a management structure and fabrication team in a politically charged environment. It turned out is was nearly impossible to get the production team to follow my directions over my partners, who would come in to the shop when I wasn't there and give directives on rushing models out in order to deliver them to a customer at an upcoming convention. In the end, this all led to me getting completely exhausted mentally and costing me a few hundred thousand dollars.
While I do not want to go into all the details, I do want to give an example from this, I think is applicable to this thread.
The item we produced was extremely accurate, but of the few that were produced, 90% of them were not assembled correctly and as a result suffered numerous faults. I have one of the last 6 or so made, once I got the "know better" employees out of the equation, fixed the sabotaged polyurethane injection / mixing machine and got the team to build them as engineered. It is still fine after nearly 20 years. Unfortunately only a handful were made, before my partner ran the company out of money and most of the employees quit. I bring this up, not for the faults and difficulties of production, but as an example of "What is accurate" and who's opinion do you listen to?
The USS Enterprise:
We created a replica, that was to be the best, most accurate replica made at that time (perhaps still). It was a 33" version of the full size filing model.
The initial reviews were great and we read nothing but praise, but then came the "trolls". Pretty soon, every thread seemed to have a group people going to incredible lengths to "prove" our replica wasn't accurate at all, and we messed up tons of things. Side by side screen grabs with our model and all sorts of quoted "facts" they had read about the original and so forth. Endless empty arguments and name calling. As someone new to this community, had I not had such a financial stake, I would have found it very funny and a bit pathetic.
But, what made it more difficult for me, was what I couldn't say at the time. Which was we had been "secretly" given a set of 9 blueprints, taken directly off the original filming miniature before it suffered it's first "refurbishment". These prints featured every detail, measurement, graphic and color detail you could want. In addition, they were drawn to the 33" scale. They were given to me by probably the world authority on anything Trek. So regardless of the accuracy some people just want to bash the product, and they will, regardless of facts, others expertise or opinions.
We unfortunately live in a world where opinions seem to cot as equal to experience or fact. I am by no means the only one to observe this. It is evident and commented on in many places and forums.
But in the end, accuracy of product and mismanagement, (intended or by accidental circumstances) are two different things.
I agree, for the most part- Great items, unfortunate situation.


This is all great. Really great.

I do want to add though that, in my opinion, it does not add nearly enough of a dynamic to account for the ANOVOS delays.

Myself, I worked briefly at Lucasfilm in 1990 (for about 8 months) and went through just about everything in the Archives Dept. And everything written here applies. There is not only sloppiness but there is also expense. Some of the costumes have shoddy, vacuformed pieces up against tailored drapery costing hundreds of dollars/ yard. And there is a disconnect with costumers who only know what they know from museum displays or photography/ film.

And, of course, lighting.

BUT - and we saw a shadow of this with the EFX Vader head - simply lay this out and say that, for instance, reproduced costumes will be made in a way that accounts for some improvements and some downgrades both. Describe them. For instance, a stormtrooper costume vacuformed thinner will catch more detail. But it can split and crack easily. A stormtrooper vacuformed thicker will not crack anywhere near as easily but it will lose some of the sharper detail.

Another example - coats and jackets in film often do not have linings because of the heat from stage lighting. And the "flow" you see with them or the "weight" is affected by this. The Indiana Jones jacket is made from such a lightweight lamb skin that you could almost use it as a chamois to clean your car hood.

Anovos has pointed out things like this.

And addressed them (or should have) with their prototypes.

But once you have committed to making an item - like a Kylo costume - how do these dynamics come ANYWHERE CLOSE to THREE YEARS of waiting?!!!!

They don't. There are no "realities" that can supply the needed level of green, grinnig ignorance required for this much of a screw up.

The deceit was that Anovos sold things before getting up to speed. They used our money to fund their learning curve, not our purchase.
 

MacBeath

Well-Known Member
As an aside, I remember seeing a Star Trek exhibition in the early 90s, and the Star Wars one around 2000... what I got out of both was that many of their props and costumes were just as crap as the ones I've seen at numerous Doctor Who exhibitions since the 70s... just better lit on screen!
 

lmgill

Sr Member
darthjones,
Sorry if I came across as defending ANOVOS' lack of delivery. No, there is no acceptable excuse. I was only trying to illustrate the things that can affect the perceived quality & accuracy of a film used object, when translated into a "retail" for sale object.
As far a linings in coats and jackets because of stage lighting. This has not been my experience. To most designers it's all about the look. If it has to made from heavy wool to look correct, it's made from heavy wool. Background or extras costumes are often a different matter. There it can be all about cost to produce more than heat, but concern over heat, and weight, can happen, but cost often wins out.

For Starship Troopers, the armor was made by a Hollywood "Prop Maker" who didn't have a good understanding of the riggers of costume armor use or construction techniques. As many people here know who bought one, they were cast in rubber and held together with pop-rivets. A cost cutting measure I'm sure. But, the resulting armors were very heavy and very hot.

We received a call from the costume department, because the producers were very worried about having a "revolt" by the extras, when they would be forced to wear these heavy, stifling costumes for 12-14 hours a day, out in the hot desert location. The costume department asked us to make a lightweight, cooler, "netting" based armor. Which we did, but we also understood there was a concern over using two different designs for armor. So, we made a lightweight copy of the rubber armour in a vacuumformed foam. It was 10% the weight of the cast armor, (no kidding) also more durable and more adjustable to boot.

In order to get these prototypes completed in the 3 or 4 days we had, the last day was an "all nighter" and my wife an I drove to the production office directly from the shop. While I was in delivering the samples, my wife was trying to catch some shut eye in the car. She awoke to the two producers in the parking lot talking about the new armor, unaware of here presence.
One said, "Those new armor are fantastic, so light! They look great. How did we end up going with these heavy "P.O.S." things instead of these light ones?" The other producer agreed, but added, "Yeah, so light, that how do we explain why some of the cast get to wear those and others have to wear those heavy things? Because there is no way we can afford to make 500 lightweight ones now, and I don't see we even have the time to."
In the end, they didn't order any suits from us, and the extras were stuck wearing heavy rubber armor and the crew stayed up many nights between shoot days riveting them back together for the next days shooting. In this case, cost was king.
 

Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
lmgill, thank you for all of that. It's part of what factors in to whether I get an item from a particular vendor or another or make it myself or like that. My costuming philosophy has, for decades, been "more accurate than the film version". By which i mean trying my best to approximate the item being represented as how the real one (or "real" one, in the case of fictional universes) is, was, or would likely be.

It's why I ordered the First Order Stormtrooper armor and helmet from ANOVOS, but not the Original Trilogy version. For that era, the originals being reproduced were sculpted in such a slapdash fashion, many of the asymmetries are more trouble to fix than I want to go into. It's why I shape my own Mandalorian armor out of stainless steel rather than going with vac-formed plastic. It's why I got the Rubies Boba Fett (new one, the one that doesn't suck) and Hasbro Black Series Stormtrooper helmets to use as bases for modification and upgrading. Etc.

I've understood the impossible task of re-creating those movie props and costumes for all the reasons described by you and darthjones. Ironically, I often have the same or similar issues with the filmmakers. *heh*
 
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GF

Sr Member
Having spent all of my adult life making props and costumes for film and themed environment entertainment, I have either built or worked with thousands of props and costume pieces. With this first hand knowledge, it is my opinion, based on the nearly 4 decades of experience (around 40,000 hours) I have read opinions on many threads over the years that are based on incorrect assumptions, or inflated expectations. I would like to give you a couple of examples:
But first you have to understand how props and costume pieces get made.
Sometimes they are made by "craftsmen", who care about every aspect of the items construction. Symmetry, neatness, quality of materials, finish, durability and so forth. Most of the time, this is not the case. I have seen some of the worst techniques and sloppiest construction used on film props. However, on film, they look fine. Many people building these things have little formal training in prop building and learn on the job. Often what they learn is inefficient or sloppy techniques. This is because in the film business "Job Security" is not heavily based on you being the best at that skill, but it is based on you getting the item done in time and good enough for the job. (One big exception is makeup effects, and sculptors.)
I have seen many replicas, made by fans, who have spent months getting every detail "right"and the result is often a piece that looks nothing like the original piece being copied. But, in person or in close up photos, it looks "just like the film prop as it appears in the film". If you saw some these in person, you would see all sorts of "sloppiness". Even when some props are see in person, some fans do not see these faults, or care. But to others, these faults stand out and are the only things they see.
Second, most hero props have multiples made, some "Hero" with the highest level of detail, other are background or stunt versions, with far less detail or constructed from different materials. Through the complex process of making a film, the hero and stunt prop are not always seen in their intended roles. The stunt version being featured in a closeup for example. (sometime much to the horror of the prop maker) So saying it's "Screen Accurate" makes me laugh. Screen accurate to which one, or in what detail?
So replicating these items is a tricky thing. Do you replicate these faults, because, well, that's the way the real item looks. Or, do you fix these faults and make the replicas as it "appears" in the film?

One of the issues we faced when producing items for ANOVO is we were sometimes forced to make replicas of poorly made original pieces.

The Classic Tie Pilot chest box replica;
As with many of the ANOVOS replicas, they have access to the original prop or costume piece. In many cases they scan the original, take copious photos and try to replicate it perfectly, sometimes to a fault. In studying the images and scans of original Tie pilot box, I noticed that the vacuumform pattern was originally shorter (top to bottom) and was made taller at some point. (design choice perhaps) It is clear that instead of using some solid pattern wood (I use Jelutong), the prop maker, inserted a piece of 3/4 plywood. As a result you can see the end-grain layers of the plywood in a band running around the center of the chest-box vacuumform. When we attempted to remove this, we were told not to, because it "was cannon". The other problem is the original prop maker didn't add any draft angle to the pattern, and combined with the plywood section wanting to cause minor undercuts, every vacuuform pull was impossible to get off the pattern without cracking. When I went back and looked at the photos of the original box, it too was cracked and glued. The original prop was also distorted, likely from sitting on a shelf for forty years. This too had been replicated in the digital scan. In the end, we had to add a bit of a draft angle to the patterns, corrected some of the distortion, but left the "plywood pattern". If we chose to make it in thicker material, we would have been able to get it off the pattern without cracking, in addition, minimized the plywood pattern, along with all of the other details, and thus, not "screen accurate".
So, how accurate should we make it? Do you include a long description of how the original prop maker didn't care, or know that adding plywood was not the correct way and this would "print through" to the surface? Or include how the original prop was made from 1/16" plastic because it only needed to last for one film, or without a draft angle, it would not be mass producible? An explanation that perhaps hardly anyone would read, and they would just get on a forum and bitch about "what a piece of crap" this replica was?

Years ago I entered into a "partnership" to make replicas, in hindsight this turned out to be a bad idea. The difficulties started with the license limitations we had from Viacom (no fault of theirs), my partners ignorance in how things are made and a couple of employees who "knew better" and got the ear of my partner. Then I underestimated the difficulties creating a management structure and fabrication team in a politically charged environment. It turned out is was nearly impossible to get the production team to follow my directions over my partners, who would come in to the shop when I wasn't there and give directives on rushing models out in order to deliver them to a customer at an upcoming convention. In the end, this all led to me getting completely exhausted mentally and costing me a few hundred thousand dollars.
While I do not want to go into all the details, I do want to give an example from this, I think is applicable to this thread.
The item we produced was extremely accurate, but of the few that were produced, 90% of them were not assembled correctly and as a result suffered numerous faults. I have one of the last 6 or so made, once I got the "know better" employees out of the equation, fixed the sabotaged polyurethane injection / mixing machine and got the team to build them as engineered. It is still fine after nearly 20 years. Unfortunately only a handful were made, before my partner ran the company out of money and most of the employees quit. I bring this up, not for the faults and difficulties of production, but as an example of "What is accurate" and who's opinion do you listen to?
The USS Enterprise:
We created a replica, that was to be the best, most accurate replica made at that time (perhaps still). It was a 33" version of the full size filing model.
The initial reviews were great and we read nothing but praise, but then came the "trolls". Pretty soon, every thread seemed to have a group people going to incredible lengths to "prove" our replica wasn't accurate at all, and we messed up tons of things. Side by side screen grabs with our model and all sorts of quoted "facts" they had read about the original and so forth. Endless empty arguments and name calling. As someone new to this community, had I not had such a financial stake, I would have found it very funny and a bit pathetic.
But, what made it more difficult for me, was what I couldn't say at the time. Which was we had been "secretly" given a set of 9 blueprints, taken directly off the original filming miniature before it suffered it's first "refurbishment". These prints featured every detail, measurement, graphic and color detail you could want. In addition, they were drawn to the 33" scale. They were given to me by probably the world authority on anything Trek. So regardless of the accuracy some people just want to bash the product, and they will, regardless of facts, others expertise or opinions.
We unfortunately live in a world where opinions seem to cot as equal to experience or fact. I am by no means the only one to observe this. It is evident and commented on in many places and forums.
But in the end, accuracy of product and mismanagement, (intended or by accidental circumstances) are two different things.
I agree, for the most part- Great items, unfortunate situation.

I get what your saying, but I can tell you as a fact the Anovos stormtrooper is far from accurate and no direct lineage to original, it was a scan and further modified, the ears look completely scratchbuilt, they also filled some spots on face plate to easily remove from mold without damage ect...
How in the hell it turned out so inaccurate if they had access to a original movie suit?
 

darthjones

Sr Member
darthjones,
Sorry if I came across as defending ANOVOS' lack of delivery. No, there is no acceptable excuse. I was only trying to illustrate the things that can affect the perceived quality & accuracy of a film used object, when translated into a "retail" for sale object.
As far a linings in coats and jackets because of stage lighting. This has not been my experience. To most designers it's all about the look. If it has to made from heavy wool to look correct, it's made from heavy wool. Background or extras costumes are often a different matter. There it can be all about cost to produce more than heat, but concern over heat, and weight, can happen, but cost often wins out.

For Starship Troopers, the armor was made by a Hollywood "Prop Maker" who didn't have a good understanding of the riggers of costume armor use or construction techniques. As many people here know who bought one, they were cast in rubber and held together with pop-rivets. A cost cutting measure I'm sure. But, the resulting armors were very heavy and very hot.

We received a call from the costume department, because the producers were very worried about having a "revolt" by the extras, when they would be forced to wear these heavy, stifling costumes for 12-14 hours a day, out in the hot desert location. The costume department asked us to make a lightweight, cooler, "netting" based armor. Which we did, but we also understood there was a concern over using two different designs for armor. So, we made a lightweight copy of the rubber armour in a vacuumformed foam. It was 10% the weight of the cast armor, (no kidding) also more durable and more adjustable to boot.

In order to get these prototypes completed in the 3 or 4 days we had, the last day was an "all nighter" and my wife an I drove to the production office directly from the shop. While I was in delivering the samples, my wife was trying to catch some shut eye in the car. She awoke to the two producers in the parking lot talking about the new armor, unaware of here presence.
One said, "Those new armor are fantastic, so light! They look great. How did we end up going with these heavy "P.O.S." things instead of these light ones?" The other producer agreed, but added, "Yeah, so light, that how do we explain why some of the cast get to wear those and others have to wear those heavy things? Because there is no way we can afford to make 500 lightweight ones now, and I don't see we even have the time to."
In the end, they didn't order any suits from us, and the extras were stuck wearing heavy rubber armor and the crew stayed up many nights between shoot days riveting them back together for the next days shooting. In this case, cost was king.

Oh no, you're good!!! What I brought to this perhaps were my emotions about Anovos, not you lol!!

What you wrote is great. I love it. :)
 

JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I get what your saying, but I can tell you as a fact the Anovos stormtrooper is far from accurate and no direct lineage to original, it was a scan and further modified, the ears look completely scratchbuilt, they also filled some spots on face plate to easily remove from mold without damage ect...
How in the hell it turned out so inaccurate if they had access to a original movie suit?
I would certainly rate a scan as having direct lineage to an original- it's just a different storage medium. But sadly, the majority of current prop hobbyists don't seem to care about accuracy that much any longer. Props and costumes don't have to be able to stand close scrutiny as long as they look the part in a photo hastily taken on a convention floor. (Kind of ironic considering that's how most props are viewed by filmmakers.) I'm glad there are still a few who carry the torch though.
 
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