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

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by Mandelstam, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    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 * 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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  2. greylocke

    greylocke Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  3. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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

    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.
    View attachment 85588

    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!
     
  4. greylocke

    greylocke Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  5. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    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
     
  6. Contec

    Contec Master Member

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  7. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    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
     
  8. Contec

    Contec Master Member

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    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?
     
  9. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    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!
     
  10. wrcromu

    wrcromu Active Member

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    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...
     
  11. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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

    Sent from my Nexus S using Tapatalk
     
  12. wrcromu

    wrcromu Active Member

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    Yes when i say braids i mean the 2 gold bands...
     
  13. Contec

    Contec Master Member

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    Better to check the store. I live in Lilla edet, A few miles from gothenburg.
     
  14. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    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.
     
  15. Contec

    Contec Master Member

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    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.
     
  16. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    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!

    Sent from my Nexus S using Tapatalk
     
  17. wrcromu

    wrcromu Active Member

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    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.
     
  18. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    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
     
  19. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    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
     
  20. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    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...
     
  21. Contec

    Contec Master Member

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    Bump any progress.
     
  22. Riceball

    Riceball Sr Member

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  23. wrcromu

    wrcromu Active Member

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    Hey Karl, any updates ?
     
  24. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    I have been too busy at work and at home to do any more work on this project I'm afraid. I'm head of the IT-department in our local office and we are doing a big migration from Novell (yes it still exists) to Exchange. And everywhere around me computers break down.. So it's been a bit hectic.

    But back to the project! I've been looking around for a good place to buy some leather for the cap and the head band. For the cap I think I'm going to use goat and for the band (which is going to be covered) some stiffer cow hide. The problem is that the shops I found only sells the leather either by the whole hide or pieces that are too small for my project. But I guess I have to bite the bullet. A goat skin isn't that big...
     
  25. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    That was an excellent link! Thank you! Some really nice braiding. But they only sell them in a 25 meter roll. :( And I only need 1,3m...
     
  26. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    I ordered all the leather I'll need today. Had to buy a whole goat skin :p... I hope it's from a small goat... Sometime next week (I think and hope) a special delivery from a member here on RPF will arrive with some cannetille (gold thread).. Then I'm all set up to do all the mayor construction work. :)

    I've have some doubts about what my sewing machine will manage when it comes to sewing the fabric on to the leather head band. It's a strong machine but not what a cobbler would use. But there's always the option of sewing by hand I guess.

    I'll post some pictures when I have all the stuff ready for work!
     
  27. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    Ok a quick update...

    I printed out the pattern that I've made in Autocad based on my other hat and reference pictures from the latest movie. I cut the pieces out of paper and did an assembly to see if it all fit together and how it looks.

    I think I will do a few adjustments on it but overall I'm pleased! :) The brim for instance is a bit wide and maybe it's a bit tall but again, I'm very pleased.

    If this keeps up I'll maybe even start to sew the first pieces tonigt.

    Anyway, here are a few pics. Enjoy!

    View attachment 92765
    View attachment 92766
    View attachment 92767
    View attachment 92768
    View attachment 92769
     
  28. Contec

    Contec Master Member

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    Looks good, Any more progress?
     
  29. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    I just got home from work and found the leather I've ordered stuffed in the mailbox! The leather for the hat band was quite good and will be perfect, the piece for the brim was very soft and not as stiff as I would have hoped. I will try to harden it in the oven with some oil. That piece will then be covered on both sides with black goat skin and polished to a shine.. :) The goat skin was not in stock when I ordered the leather so that will arrive later.

    And as always when you do a bit more research you discover something you have overlooked. In my case the sweat diamond... Yes it's called a "sweat diamond".

    It's a piece of plastic or cellophane that's sewn to the inner lining and where the mat makers details usually are shown. There is also a little pocket where you can slip in a piece of paper with sizing info or the owners name:
    Image source
    [​IMG]

    And of course I have to have that as well.. With a little old yellowed piece of paper saying "A. Haddock". :love And I have to sew that to the lining before I can assemble anything else. So that set me back a bit. Had to design a "logo" and come up with a name for the hat maker. Will print it on transperent film.

    Here it is in all its glory:
    View attachment 93751

    I have also been thinking on a final design for my badge or emblem. The metal anchor I got from Ebay was a bit too big. It would have made the whole cap badge just too large. So back to the drawing board. I've decided to make it all out of cannetille, or gold thread instead, embroidered on black felt. The anchor will be left unembroidered and so will be visible as black. I made a quick sketch where you can see it here:
    View attachment 93752
     
  30. Riceball

    Riceball Sr Member

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    If you buy the whole 25 meter roll you'll have plenty to work with in case you make any mistakes.:lol Or you could keep the rest for another project, make more hats, or try selling off the excess, I'm sure someone here will have a project where the braiding would come in handy for.
     
  31. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    yea, I know.. And I actually have been looking into other sources for real military braiding and there is a few that sells it by the meter. Haven't decided yet if I'll go for the real thing or make it myself. If you buy the "real thing" it's usually associated with a specific country or even military branch, like the British or French Navy for instance. And as I've come to discover, the origin of Haddock's hat, like himself, is up for some debate. You can find heated discussions where people is arguing that he is either Belgian, French or British.
    The cap itself looks like it maybe comes from the French merchant navy as they are the only ones showing rank with stripes on the hat band like Haddock's does. Read about it here: (i used google translate)

    So in a way I want the cap to also be as mysterious as Haddock is, not giving hints to where it's from or what navy it belongs to.. But if I use specific braiding from a specific country.. I don't know maybe I'm just cheap and want to save my money... ;)

    But.. I haven't decided yet.. :)
     
  32. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    Crap.. I've just discovered that I must have been very tired when I did the sketch for the embroidery.. The lines in the wreath should point UP not DOWN... Well better to discover it not and not when it's finished..

    :/
     
  33. wrcromu

    wrcromu Active Member

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    WOW !! It's gonna be a huge work to do to finish this piece !!! I know you will do it right my friend. It's better to take the time to make things right than to go faster and as you said, discover the bad after you did the things...

    Keep the good job my friend, i will follow this thread with attention...
     
  34. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    Thanks for the encouraging words!

    I know I will finish it, it's just a matter of time.. And with a full time job, a family.. Small steps.. very small steps sometimes I'm afraid. But now it seems like I can at least see the end of this thing. I know what to do and basically how to do it. :)
     
  35. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    A few pics and an update. The sewing has started for real. Yesterday I finished the top or crown of the cap. I think was very nervous to actually start sewing as I was very afraid that either the pattern was all screwed up or that I would make a serious mistake and ruin everything... But all went well. :)


    Skickat från min Nexus S via Tapatalk 2
     
  36. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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  37. wrcromu

    wrcromu Active Member

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    Great job my friend, that's a nice start !!!
     
  38. wrcromu

    wrcromu Active Member

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    Any updates ?
     
  39. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam New Member

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    I've basically finished the hat except for one thing, the emblem. I thought I'd get some time this summer to get around to it but no.. I guess maybe I'm a bit intimidated by the task as I've never done anything like it before and if I screw that up, the whole hat is going to look awful..

    Over all I'm quite happy with the result, as this is my first bigger sewing project. I think every seem on this hat has been cut open and redone at least once.

    But here are some pics:

    View attachment 108913
    I ordered some gold military braiding from the UK, and I'm glad I did that. I think it looks great. The top is made from felted french wool and the brim from french goatskin with a plastic core to stiffen it a bit.

    View attachment 108914
    A close up of the brim and the braiding, sorry for the poor picture quality, I just grabbed my cell phone to take some quick pictures.

    View attachment 108915
    A picture of the interior, the sweat diamond with logo (own design). The sweat band is made from goat skin.

    View attachment 108916
    And finally a picture with the hat on. I think I made it maybe half a centimeter to small but otherwise it fits like a glove. Pardon my unshaved face.

    I think I'm going to finish the emblem in the next month. Just have to gather some courage. :)
     
  40. wrcromu

    wrcromu Active Member

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    Great job !! You don't have to apologize for the shave, you're trying to look like Captain Haddock and it's not the best shaved comic hero !!! :lol
     
  41. Contec

    Contec Master Member

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    Great work on it.... I need to update my Hat....but right now im updating my nose to be more haddock like.
     

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