Captain Haddock's visor cap - is there a authentic real life model? RESEARCH/WIP

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Mandelstam

New Member
As a big Tintin and especially Haddock fan I am looking into possible prop projects from the comic.

One thing that I am looking into is if I can find a close copy of the visor cap that Haddock always wears. I know that Hergé always researched his stories and environments meticulously. And I have a feeling that the cap that Haddock wears is no exception and in that case there should be a real life model that was the basis for the comic book one.

From the comic book you can tell that its black, has two yellow (prob gold) bands around the hat band, a gold insignia with an anchor on the top, and is peaked and has a "crusher" shape, i e the top has no structural support and sort of hangs loose.
View attachment 85203

While googling the closest thing I found when it came to basic shape was Nazi WWII visor caps (luftwaffen). As much as I hate to do it (for many reasons) I could pick one up from Ebay and dye it and customize it to fit the comic book one. It's always fun to customize stuff but the question still remains if Hergé DID base Haddock's cap on a real life model or if he just made it up?

Any thoughts? Or any naval historians that knows his or hers early 20th century visor cap history? Haddock first appeared in the Crab with the golden claws in 1941 (although he didn't wear a cap until the next adventure - Tintin and the shooting star) so thats our time in history basically.
 
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greylocke

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Captain Haddock's visor cap - is there a authentic real life model? RESEARCH

It looks vaguely like the cap used by the danish navy I'm thinking late WWI or shortly afterwards. I may be wrong on that but check for scandinavian navy head gear end of WWI up to WWII. It may help if you research the artist of the strip and see who his models might have been, what his experiences were that could lead you to the correct cap.

ETA here is the link to the authors wikipedia page, and it states he was rather involved in scouting, and if I remember there was a scout hat similar to the one worn by Captain Haddock.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hergé

It was for the higher ranking scouts and scout leaders, and it was worn instead of the campaign hat.
 
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Mandelstam

New Member
Re: Captain Haddock's visor cap - is there a authentic real life model? RESEARCH

It looks vaguely like the cap used by the danish navy I'm thinking late WWI or shortly afterwards. I may be wrong on that but check for scandinavian navy head gear end of WWI up to WWII. It may help if you research the artist of the strip and see who his models might have been, what his experiences were that could lead you to the correct cap.

ETA here is the link to the authors wikipedia page, and it states he was rather involved in scouting, and if I remember there was a scout hat similar to the one worn by Captain Haddock.

Hergé - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It was for the higher ranking scouts and scout leaders, and it was worn instead of the campaign hat.
That's some great input greylocke! Thanks! I wouldn't call myself an expert on Hergé but I've read a couple of books about him and Tintin. And what basically strucks you is the enormous work he put into research and details in his drawings and stories. So in my heart I know that he did have a real model he either copied or took inspiration from. But on the other hand that kind of cap exists in a million different models and colours it feels like when you´re browsing the auctions and google, so he could also have just made it up and drawn from the existing models that were around at that time...

A while back I actually picked up an old visor cap from an online auction here in Sweden. It's not really close to Haddocks in model or colour and it's also too small for me (by less than half an inch in circumference). So don't ask me why I bought it, I actually don't remember anymore... Yesterday I decided that while I'm out looking for any real models that comes close I will customize the one I have.

This is what I started with. A grean visor cap from the sixties.
View attachment 85579 View attachment 85580 View attachment 85581

Then you can compare it to this one. I actually think that the cgi haddock cap looked spot on compared to the comic book one.
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But my visor cap differs in a few areas from Haddock's. Haddock's has a more peaked top in the front and has more of a "crusher" shape than mine. I also believe that mine has a bit wider brim than Haddock's has. These things ain't something you change with a bit of dye and a new insignia. So I decided to completely remake it. And basically just keep the brim. Which I actually might remake as well if I can find the materials...

View attachment 85582 View attachment 85583 View attachment 85584

I was kind of nervous when I first started out thinking I maybe just cut this piece away and then, no, maybe just this piece as well. And it was really interesting to sort of de construct a piece of head wear like this. Before cutting it up i just didn't have any idea of how it was made or if I could remake it by myself.

View attachment 85585 View attachment 85586 View attachment 85587

Afterwards I feel a lot more confident that I can remake it and put it all together again. I'm going to go look for some new black fabric for a completely new top, I've just ordered a small bronze anchor from ebay ($2,50 + free shipping from Hong Kong:) ) for the new insignia, and then I will start sewing basically. I'll make it actually fit my quite large head and switch out the plastic stuff for leather. I'm really looking forward to it!

I'll keep you all posted along the way!

Thanks for watching!
 

greylocke

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

Mandelstam

New Member
I'm actually looking forward to the aggravation ;-)

I think the Greek hats look good but not close enough... It doesn't have the black shiny brim that Haddock's has and the shape of the top is a bit off. I want to come as close to the movie and the comic as I can. Thanks for the link though! :)

Sent from my Nexus S using Tapatalk
 

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Mandelstam

New Member
Hat :)-)) off to your costume Contec! I will definitely try to make a full costume as well! Really like yours! Yesterday I checked if Systembolaget (the Swedish state boose monopoly) had any Loch Lomond whiskey which they sadly didn't. Also checked for any nice pipes which I had better luck with. In my mind Haddock will always be a smoker.

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Contec

Master Member
Hat :)-)) off to your costume Contec! I will definitely try to make a full costume as well! Really like yours! Yesterday I checked if Systembolaget (the Swedish state boose monopoly) had any Loch Lomond whiskey which they sadly didn't. Also checked for any nice pipes which I had better luck with. In my mind Haddock will always be a smoker.

Sent from my Nexus S using Tapatalk
Check the order catalog that they have på systembolaget. The can order it and it's not that expensive.

Where in sweden do you live?
 

Mandelstam

New Member
I checked their website but didn't have any luck there, maybe have to go in to a store and check.. I live in Malmö! You? I didn't even notice you were a fellow Swede! Cool!
 

wrcromu

Active Member
I don't know if it helps but in the comic, Haddock is wearing a french sailor hat (because it is the only hat to wear braids), may be you could check the web in this way...
 

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Mandelstam

New Member
I don't know if it helps but in the comic, Haddock is wearing a french sailor hat (because it is the only hat to wear braids), may be you could check the web in this way...

I will definitely look into that! Thanks! And when you say braids do you mean the two yellow or gold bands along the side?

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Contec

Master Member
I checked their website but didn't have any luck there, maybe have to go in to a store and check.. I live in Malmö! You? I didn't even notice you were a fellow Swede! Cool!
Better to check the store. I live in Lilla edet, A few miles from gothenburg.
 

Mandelstam

New Member
Ok, just an update to keep this thing alive...

I've just got back from buying some fabrics for the hat. Found a nice black quite heavy cotton canvas for the top that felt very close to the fabric I'm throwing away.
View attachment 86855

The next part I've been a bit nervous about was if I could find any suitable yellow/gold bands for the hat band. I did find some nice gold/brass coloured quite broad bands that I think I will just fold over to make narrower. I really liked the bands as they are but I also found some thinner gold ornamental bands which I'm experimenting with to add some more elements to the bands. The comic really lacked in detail as the hat is always drawn so small so this is just my enterpretation of it I guess. I don't know if I'll make the bands like this, maybe I'll just keep the bands without the added gold ribbon.
View attachment 86856
View attachment 86857

Then I tested an idea for the inisgnia I got from a screencap from the movie. It looks to me like the insignia (except the anchor) is sewn. The anchor looks to me like it's sitting on a yellow velvet kind of fabric with some thicker fabric for the wreath. I found some heavy felt in a really nice colour and I just tried sewing it to the broad band I picked up earlier for a quick study. I think the felt came out nice but I think will try to find some nice cotton velvet in the right colour for the background.
View attachment 86859

This is the first time I've used a sewing machine in about 20 years so bear with me.. I'm learning as I go. :)

I'll have to deconstruct the final pieces of the old cap to copy the basic pattern to the new fabric and start sewing in the next few days.
 

Contec

Master Member
To me it looks like the hat is made from felt (filttyg) The same fabric as his coat. I'm going to find myself one of those female coats for cheap and then use that fabric to build a better hat for my costume.
 

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Mandelstam

New Member
To me it looks like the hat is made from felt (filttyg) The same fabric as his coat. I'm going to find myself one of those female coats for cheap and then use that fabric to build a better hat for my costume.
When you look at the movie I agree with you that it looks like some kind of felt, I only noticed that yesterday when I was looking at the insignia. But I haven't really seen a visor cap made out of felt anywhere before so I don't know if the cg version is really accurate there. In my mind felt is kind of too rigid and won't fold or hang the way it seems to. But a thin enough felted fabric maybe.. Maybe worth checking into. Thanks for the advice!

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wrcromu

Active Member
I don't know if it helps but french sailor cap used to be made in wool in the past, may be it could explain this felted aspect...

PM sent Mandelstam.
 

Mandelstam

New Member
I don't know if it helps but french sailor cap used to be made in wool in the past, may be it could explain this felted aspect...

PM sent Mandelstam.
That may explain it a bit... Maybe I should look into wadmal or something like that instead...

I haven't started sewing yet as I'm still fibbling around with the pattern. I've cut up the pieces from my old cap and scanned them. In cad I then scaled them to size along with a couple of screencaps from the movie. A lot of measuring, drawing and a few mind warps as you try to unfold a 3d shape into a flat 2d shape... But getting there slowly...
View attachment 87346
 

Mandelstam

New Member
Ok, I've ordered some nice black felted wool fabric as recommended.. Thanks guys I know that was the right call. On the way home from my nephew's one year party I stopped by the post office to pick up a package I'd received. I had no idea what it could be untill I saw all the chinese lettering on the envelope. My bronze anchor from Hong Kong!

When I opened it up I thought it looked really big and maybe a bit clumsy for the emblem.. So I don't know, I have to wait and see if I could use it. I am still waiting for another anchor I ordered which look a bit different (hey, it was two dollars and free worldwide shipping!) I guess I'll just have to wait and see which one looks best. Or maybe make one out of some brass I have lying around.
View attachment 87609
 

Mandelstam

New Member
Another decision has been made. I will be doing the visor out of black polished leather and not out of the black plastic the old one had. I think that will get it to look more authentic as we are talking about the 1930's-1940's. Think of patent leather and you'll know what I mean. Patent leather - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia I'll probably not use linseed oil but a plastic varnish on the leather though.

A member has also promised to help me to get hold of some real gold thread, "cannetille", to do the embroidery on the insignia/emblem.

All I'm missing right now is the leather for the visor and band. Will probably order that later this week if I can find a shop that doesn't only sell it by the whole skin...
 

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