Farscape John Crichton. (leather outfit.)

jason1976

Sr Member
Ok, I have wanted to do this costume ever since i first saw it all those years ago, but just can't get it made, and just can't afford the over $600. it would cost to order the vest, and duster, on the net. (that's not even including all the other stuff I would need. :( )

However, I decided that one way, or another, I AM DOING THIS COSTUME THIS YEAR. And now that my girlfriend, and some of her family are on board to be a number of the other characters, I have more incentive then ever to get-er-done.

So what do I need?

1. Loose a ton of wait....... I'm working on it, and I have a little over 4 months until the con I want to wear this too, so it could be doable. (at least I really, really, hope so.)

2. Pulse pistol: Got one, all nice an finished, and pretty lookin'. And I'm working on one, or two extras. :lol (I love that gun. :) )

3. Belt: From what I've heard, and seen, the belt is just a 2" black leather belt/strip, with the ends tucked through one of those squeeze closures/buckles. (like you used to find on life jackets, only larger.) And some black Duct tape, wrapped around the belt on either side of the buckle, to hold the ends of the belt that were tucked through, down, behind the belt. (and to keep them from slipping out.) I know folks haven't been able to find the exact buckle, but I think a standard black plastic one would look ok. (I am open to suggestions though. :) )

4. Holster: Well I really want both kinds. I got one of those season 3-4 versions off ebay, a wile back, but was very disappointed in the quality, and I sold it. (though I really wish I hadn't, because it kind of grew on me. :() I still think they are way over priced for what they are made of, but I may have to order another one, if no-one offers a better replica of that style holster, or offers at the quality level of the ones on ebay, for much less. I'm also very, very, VERY interested in Kylash's possible run of season 1-2 holsters. (I just hope it happens in time for me to get one, and have it finished and ready for the con.... and also I hope I'll be able to afford one.)

My girlfriend wants to go as Aeryn, and as much as I would like for our holsters to match, I think it would make more since, to get one of each style. (season 1-2, and season 3-4) That way we both have good looking holsters, and after the con I would have one of each to display. I would buy her one to match what ever one I go with, if she wanted one, but if she doesn't want one to keep, then it would be a lot of expence, just to have something that she would probably through away, afterwards. :(

I keep thinking about making season 3-4 holsters for her, and I, but they seem like a ton of work, and I have no idea, if I could pull it off, and if I couldn't it would be a lot of wasted time, and money. (I don't have a lot of training in leather work, and these look quite tuff to do.)

I am very open to suggestions though, on the whole holster thing.

5. Belt pouch: It looks like an nylon M16 Ammo pouch, with the side pockets cut off. I've heard other say the same, and that is what it looks like one the figures. However, it kind of looks leather like in some pics. So, what's the consensus, on the pouches?

Also, did they wear the pouches, under the dusters? I mean John, and Aeryn's long coats where pretty close fitting down to the waste (before the flared out.) and those pouches are pretty bulky. I would think they would make quite an ugly lump in the coats.

6. Boots: I've heard they are just army issue style boots, so I could get those at the local surplus store. (if they are a different type/style of boot, please correct me. )

Shirt: I would think just a snug black T-shirt should work.

7. Leather pants: I was really worried that these would be really expensive. However, I found an old thread by Kylash over on the "Farscape props forums" Where he said he got the great looking ones for his PK commando costume on ebay for like $15. I did a search, and I haven't been able to find the "shark-skin" ones, he bout, but I did find some other cheep leather (or leather like) pants.. :) (though I am very, very, open to any links or info, on more options.)

8. Leather Vest: Well, I know I can't sow fabric, so I certainly wont be able to do Leather. :( And my usual Semesters (Mom) wont even think of doing it. She said that even if she wanted to do (witch she doesn't) her machine wouldn't be able to handle leather. I really don't want to spend $300. to by a vest I will only be wearing once, or twice, but I may have no choice. :( I am very open to suggestions on this.

9. The leather and Wool Duster: Same as with the Vest. I can't make it myself. Mom wont make it. Don't know where to get it made cheep, and can't afford to order it online for $335. (though, unlike the vest, if I did order one of these, I might actually wear it to places other then conventions. Like when I go out with friends, or shopping or something like that. I REALLY LOVE THAT COAT. :)) Like with the vest I'm very open to suggestions.

I think that's about it. ...... right?

The site that I'm refering to for the coat and vest is Pendragon Costumes heres a link:. http://www.pendragoncostumes.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PLST&Store_Code=custom

They don't have much about the company on there site. I couldn't even find an e-mail address to ask them some questions. I would like to know what there turnaround time is. I mean if I was going to order something form them, I need it before the con in late May, and I would like to have some time to loose weight first. And I would also like to know about there measurements. I mean, for the vest, and the coat, they ask for neck size. If you order both, and give them your actual neck size, do they figure out how much bigger the neck hole in the duster needs to be to accomodate the caulor of the vest, or am I supposed to figure that out. (If I do figure for that, and then they do it on top of those numbers it would be way to big, but if I don't, and they don't, then I could wind up spending over $600. on something that doesn't fight right.)

I also found that "CJ's Leather" has done the vest as a custom order before. Here's a link. (go to the bottom of the page.) http://www.cjsleather.com/custom.htm

They don't have a price listed, and I haven't got a reply to my e-mail I sent them earlier this week.

I love both the vest, and the duster, but I want the coat more, and yet, John wore the vest without the duster a lot, but he almost never wore the duster, without the vest. So, I guess, for costuming the vest should be first priority, and then the duster.
 

silverskyes402

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I can't wait to see your progress on this, it's one of my dream costumes, I don't have much reference for you but if I was going to buy from pendragon I'd pick the stuff up from a con, I've tryed on all there stuff at comic con, incredible quality, there was one of there vests on eBay last month, I bid 150 and it sold for 160! I was kicking myself!!!!!
 

Darth Mule

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Sounds like your options are: Learn to sew or spend some dough.

No offense here but it doesn't sound like you are ready for this undertaking. I mean I'm hearing a bunch of negatives.

It's too expensive
I can't afford it
I can't sew.
And my fave... Too much work?


I keep thinking about making season 3-4 holsters for her, and I, but they seem like a ton of work, and I have no idea, if I could pull it off, and if I couldn't it would be a lot of wasted time, and money. (I don't have a lot of training in leather work, and these look quite tuff to do.)



Most of the people on this board didn't know how to do what they did until they taught themselves through trial and error, and yes, wasting money on trying new things. Most of these costumes we on this board put together become labors of love and we do what we can with the money, but above all we work our fingers to the bone trying to make things as best as we can with whatever resources we have.

Also, I should point out, if you get something for cheap, it's going to look cheap. As someone who builds costumes for people for commission, the word "cheap" is almost offensive to me. I get emails from people asking if I can make something cheaper than someone else all the time. I usually tell them "no, I don't do cheap, cheap is for Wal-Mart"...

Again, no offense, and I apologize if I've read this wrong, but it sounds like you just want something handed to you. Not likely that this will happen. You need to suck it up and do it, or just let it go. This isn't a cheap hobby my any means. It takes alot of work, alot of money and most of all... Lots of patience.
 

reaper63

Sr Member
Good luck with the costume man! definately going to be following this thread :)

I can't wait to see the pics of all the final costumes!

A peacekeeper Commando is on my want list of costumes as well.
 

jason1976

Sr Member
Sounds like your options are: Learn to sew or spend some dough.

No offense here but it doesn't sound like you are ready for this undertaking. I mean I'm hearing a bunch of negatives.

It's too expensive
I can't afford it
I can't sew.
And my fave... Too much work?



Most of the people on this board didn't know how to do what they did until they taught themselves through trial and error, and yes, wasting money on trying new things. Most of these costumes we on this board put together become labors of love and we do what we can with the money, but above all we work our fingers to the bone trying to make things as best as we can with whatever resources we have.

Also, I should point out, if you get something for cheap, it's going to look cheap. As someone who builds costumes for people for commission, the word "cheap" is almost offensive to me. I get emails from people asking if I can make something cheaper than someone else all the time. I usually tell them "no, I don't do cheap, cheap is for Wal-Mart"...

Again, no offense, and I apologize if I've read this wrong, but it sounds like you just want something handed to you. Not likely that this will happen. You need to suck it up and do it, or just let it go. This isn't a cheap hobby my any means. It takes alot of work, alot of money and most of all... Lots of patience.
couldn't disagree more, all around.

Fist I have been a member here for a long time. This is not my first attempt at any of this kind of thing. I have done a number of costumes in the past (some with help, some without.) and succeeded quite well.

However, I am very visually impaired, and every attempt at sawing has lead to ingeury. That's not to say I don't love a challenge. Every part of this hobby is a challenge to me, from research, to construction, to painting, etc. But I have found ways to over come those challenges. Hell, despite the fact that I'm "legally blind" I made my living for years, as a photographer. (I could go on quite a bit, but I don't think a rant about my disability is necessary. I'm not going for handy capable person of the year. :lol ) But to just assume that I'm lazy, or not reedy, is offensive to me. I had to totally redo my Pulse pistol for this costume alone, 3 times before it "looked" right to me. And, the one I'm working on now, when it's done in a couple of months, will blow your mind. (well at the very least it will look really cool :))

And when I said anything was "too much work", I mint to get it down in time for the con.

As for being cheep. Yes, as a person who has worked with costumes a lot, there is SOMETIMES a difference in quality. However usually the only people that care, are the elitist snobs that make, or sell the high end stuff. Most folks know that this is just for fun, and it's about the creativity and imagination, and not about how much you spent. All my costume have been budget costumes, and every one of them have impressed folks. I worked on a firefly Mal browncoat that cost me less then $20. I couldn't get through the con, because so many folks kept stopping me to compliment me on it, and have their pics taken with me. One guy stood there in his $300. browncoat, and said that he wished his looked as good, and ask if I would make him one like mine. Now I'm very fussy, so I know that mine is too light weight, and isn't quite right, but it was good enough for others, and I think it is much more sensible and mature to spend $20. on a costume you are going to geek out in once, then to spend $1,000. on something that is just going to collect dust for the rest of the time you own it.

So, yes, my stuff is cheep, and I am poor. And yes it doesn't look as good as some other folks stuff in some cases, but I've seen some way off, and awful looking high end stuff too.

In short, I can do this, I will do this, I must do this. I will make it, or sell my soal to buy it, but it will be done. :b
 
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jason1976

Sr Member
I can't wait to see your progress on this, it's one of my dream costumes, I don't have much reference for you but if I was going to buy from pendragon I'd pick the stuff up from a con, I've tryed on all there stuff at comic con, incredible quality, there was one of there vests on eBay last month, I bid 150 and it sold for 160! I was kicking myself!!!!!
Oh man. I do a search on there, almost every day, for Farscape stuff, but some how I totally missed that one. If it was at all my size (or the size I hope to get down to by the con) I would have totally paid that for it.
 

TeeKay

New Member
Ahh, another Farscape fan! :D

John Crichton was the very first costume I put together about 5 yeas ago, so its good to see that there are people still interested in it after all this time.

I got my first costume from Pendragon - vest and duster, quality wise there were really good, but there are a few inaccuracies, so if you want to go for as close to screen accurate as possible you might want to considder another method. I've since had another set made that I feel is about as screen accurate as you're likely to get. A few years back at the Farscape con in Burbank I ran into the person who bought the screen used costume in the auction the previous year, she allowed me to take a whole load of photos of the costume which I have up on this site
http://s135.photobucket.com/albums/q136/scape_coats/
I ave pictures of the vest, the duster, the belt (with the pouch but without the holster), leather trousers and Aeryn's duster - the season 2/3 one. Those photos were of immense help when I has having my Mk.2 costume made, so if you do decide to go that way I hope they can help you as well. Unfortunately I've not had chance yet to get any photos of me in the whole costume, but with any luck I should be able to soon.

Also, to answer a couple of your questions. Firstly the pouch, Crichton's was always leather. In the first season Aeryn had a nylon type pouch and they both had different belts - more like a standard military gun belt, but from season 2 onwards they both had leather pouches. As an aside, if anyone does manage to find the actual belt buckle please let me know as its something I've been looking for for absolutely ever. I know it's made by YKK and I've been able to find the 1" ones for use on the vest, but I've never been able to find a 2" one.

Also, John's boots were 10 eyelet Doc Martens. Again, in the first season he had different boots, again probably a standard military type, but from season 2 they were DMs.

Oh, and if you want to get the right black t-shirt (I know, that's a pretty insignificant detail) they were made by an australian company called Bonds and were raglan style. They should be pretty easy to find on the net.

John's costume is one of my absolute favorites and easily the one I've spent the most time on. If You've any questions, please ask and I'll see if I can answer or find out for you.

Hope this helps.
 

TeeKay

New Member
Beautiful cotumes TeeKay, is that a custom made aeryn duster in the pics? Its beautiful!!!
No, they're actually the screen used costumes.

Over the years Creation Entertainment, who run the Farscape cons, have put quite a lot of the costumes and props from Farscape up for auction both at the cons and on ebay. At the first con I went to in '05, they John's costume and Aeryn's costume from season 4 - the black and red duster. The Aeryn duster in my photos came from an ebay auction I believe.

They all sold for WAY more than I could ever afford, but the following year the person who bought them very kindly let me take those photos.
 

Darth Mule

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Again, my intention was not to offend. I was just thought your first post came across as quite negative. Seemed like you needed some more fuel to the fire at the very least.

On a more helpful note. Maybe. I once had plans of doing this costume. Got a vest half sewn together before my group backed out on me. Still have it in a box somewhere I think. I think I even did 2 thinking I could sell one. Always meant to come back to it. Never did. If the box wasn't 700 miles away in my parents' storage, I'd pull it out and see if there was anything that would be of use to you. The point being. eBay was my friend on this. I got all the leather for the vest for under $35.00, got my leather pants for $20.00. I already owned the Docs, but I've bought Docs on eBay a couple times and not payed more than $25.

All the buckles and straps I ordered from http://www.strapworks.com/
Not just the vest. I got the holster straps, main belt, pretty much the whole shebang. Prices are great too.
 

jason1976

Sr Member
WOW great info guys. :)

I've heard before that john's boots where DM's in season 2, onward, but it was somany years ago that I read that, I totally forgot. I often wondered where to get DMs since I've often heard of them, but never sow the actually brand in the stores. (I actually where black, boots that are very simular to them every day. so I spend a lot of time in the boot section just for my everyday clothing needs.) It never once occurred to me to look for boots on ebay, but that is a great idea. :)

As for the pouches. Do they look the the M16 pouches, only in leather? (same shape, same closure, etc.) Because I have a cheep M16 pouch that I could take a part, and make a pattern out of, and through together a leather one. But, if it's a different shape, I may have to make my own pattern from scratch.

To me (and i could be wrong about this.) The straps on the front of the real duster, look to be made of the same kind of material that car seat belts are made of. (the shinny, smooth, stuff.) If so, where would I get hat stuff? I thought about a car junk yard, but that would be way to wide, and I think that stuff, would not cut down to a more narrow width well. (I think it would fray a lot along the cut edge, if that is the way I went.)

It funny, but for the straps for the vest, I was looking at dog collars at the Dollar store. :lol They come in a deep black, they are made of very nice, tightly "nit" (or what every you want to call it, they are very smooth) and they come in the right size, with black buckles of the correct style (not the right brand, but they look good to me.)

I know a lot of folks buy their leather on ebay, but it makes me very nurvious, because the color of things can look very different based on what kind of lighting they us, who well my monitor is set in relation to theres. (If they set there monitor to darker settings, and it looks right to them when they post it, and then I have my monitor set brighter, then it will look much brighter on my end then it actually is in really life.) I'm very fussy about the color of the vest. I really like the color of the "red" parts of the vest in the pics on both the sites I posted earlier. Even though folks call those parts "red" They have never looked that color to me. They look more like..... well for lack of a better word "reddish-brown", but certainly not just red. I've seen some people do theirs in a very, red "red" like a "chary red", or a "fireingen red", witch looks way off to me.

I mean, the "reds" that the PKs wore varied greatly depending on the cosstume. Like the PK jacket John wore in season two fora wile (the one he was wearing when he was split in to 3 john's) was a very deffenent red (and black). But things like the vest look a far cry from just "red" to me. (at least on camera, and in stills I've seen, but I have not seen them in person. Though most folks haven't, so I would prefer to go with what most folks would be used to seeing. [on screen]) But, that's just IMHO.

I took another look at some of the pics I took of my season 3-4 holster before I sold it. I have started making a pattern from them (tweaking a few things here and there.) I may give making my own a try, before I look at ordering another one. However, I still really, really, want on of kylash's if he does do a run of season 1-2 holsters.

When it comes to the vest, and duster. I am really god at figuring out how a costume is made, making patterns, and could even cut stuff out. The sowing is the only thing that hangs me up. So, let me ask the seamstress among us. If I did all the research, made pattern, bout the fabric I wanted to use, and maybe even through together a ruff mockup. Would it be insulting at that point, to take it all to a semestress, who knows how to work with leather, and just ask her/him to just do all the sowing.?

It it weren't for all those cool lines stitch in the vest and the duster. I would just cut the parts out, and staple them together, with two tightly grouped, and alternating rows, right along the seem line, were the stitching would normally be. I've done it before and it looked great, and all I had to do, is but some fabric tap over it (on the inside where no-one would see.) when it was done just to keep the staples from snagging anything. Or even use stitch witchery. However, both of these pieces are much thinker then I'm used to working with. They both have a lot of decorative stitching, and piping, and I just don't think either of those ideas would work.

Oh, yeah, that brings up another question. Are the black parts of the vest (sides, and parts of the back) actually leather? they just look really thin, and seem to drape softer then leather, in some of the pics I've seen. Witch leads me to wonder weather just those parts are leather, or some kind of other shinny fabric. (like satin, or some other kind of material you would find on the back of a normal vest.)
 

jason1976

Sr Member
..... I was just thought your first post came across as quite negative. Seemed like you needed some more fuel to the fire at the very least......
Oh, well that's just my personality.:lol I could be about to do something I've don 1,000 times, but I would still sound unsure, and unconfident about it.

Well, that, and I've found that around here, if you sound like you have it all figured out, but actually don't, then folks don't help as much. In other words. if you post "here's my plan". folk my through out an idea or two, but over all will just say "good luck with that", but if you come at it more unsure, and inquisitive folks tend to reply with "heres is how I did it" or "here's how I might do it." etc. and that's the kind of reply I'm in need of. :) When you need help "HELP!" works much better then "I've got this covered (when you don't have it covered.)

Sorry for that bit of Board psychology, but it's just what I've found over years, and how I've got the help I needed to get my other costumes done. :)
 
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Darth Mule

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
To me (and i could be wrong about this.) The straps on the front of the real duster, look to be made of the same kind of material that car seat belts are made of. (the shinny, smooth, stuff.) If so, where would I get hat stuff? I thought about a car junk yard, but that would be way to wide, and I think that stuff, would not cut down to a more narrow width well. (I think it would fray a lot along the cut edge, if that is the way I went.)

It funny, but for the straps for the vest, I was looking at dog collars at the Dollar store. :lol They come in a deep black, they are made of very nice, tightly "nit" (or what every you want to call it, they are very smooth) and they come in the right size, with black buckles of the correct style (not the right brand, but they look good to me.)
Look around that site I linked in my last post. They have polypro and Nylon webbing that is what you're looking for for the vest straps and the buckles to match. It will be cheaper and look more like the real thing than using dog collars.

I mean, the "reds" that the PKs wore varied greatly depending on the cosstume. Like the PK jacket John wore in season two fora wile (the one he was wearing when he was split in to 3 john's) was a very deffenent red (and black). But things like the vest look a far cry from just "red" to me. (at least on camera, and in stills I've seen, but I have not seen them in person. Though most folks haven't, so I would prefer to go with what most folks would be used to.
Oxblood is the color I've found fits the bill the best for the red parts of the vest. It has that brownish red quality you speak of.

Oh, yeah, that brings up another question. Are the black parts of the vest (sides, and parts of the back) actually leather? they just look really thin, and seem to drape softer then leather, in some of the pics I've seen. Witch leads me to wonder weather just those parts are leather, or some kind of other shinny fabric. (like satin, or some other kind of material you would find on the back of a normal vest.)
I was led to believe it was all leather. Haven't studied any stills in search of the contrary, but as there's not much material in a vest, there's no reason for it not to be.
 

jason1976

Sr Member
Yeah, I kind of figured the vest was all leather, but I just though I would ask to make sure. Plus the sowing machines at my disposal would handle thinner fabrics much better then all leather.

back to the staple idea for a second though. My moms sowing machine would probably handle on layer of leather. So I might be able to make up the patter, and cut the pieces, etc. then get here to just sow the decritive lines in the leather for the coat, and vest. Then I could use stitch witchery, "mighty mind", or the staples to assemble the thicker parts. (maybe one layer at a time. )

I know these methods are kind of blasphemy to some seamstress out there, but when you can't sow (and not for a lack of trying) and you don't have some one to sow for you, sometimes you have to think outside the box. And i have got good result with most of these things in the past on other materials. (never tried it on leather, or pleather before, but it might be worth a try. )

That, or lets face it, if I can get the decorative lines sown in, I may be able to some the parts together by hand, the vest isn't that big. It might be doable.

No matter how you make it, and even if it's not perfect, there is just a good feeling that comes with knowing you made it yourself. (or at least had a hand in making it.) It's nice to exchange "war stories' with other costumers, and tell each other, how you did, what you did. If you just buy everything all ready made, well that's OK, but I think you miss a hug part of what it's all about.
 

TeeKay

New Member
About the vest, it's actually not entirely leather. There are two fabric panels, one down each side, as you can see in this picture

It's the sort of detail you'd probably never see on the TV, especially as they were covered by John's arms most of the time. In fact almost all of the leather costumes had some fabric somewhere.

Also, you were right about the strapping. It is seatbelt material, the same strapping is used on the duster as well. I has quite a bit of trouble finding this when I was having my costume made, though I did manage to find some eventually on ebay by searching for 1" seatbelt webbing - I think it ended up coming from Australia. That having been said Strapworks now seems to be selling it as Polyester Seat Belt Webbing.

I got my buckles for both the vest and the duster from here - http://www.therainshed.com/buckles.htm
The vest buckles are the 1" YKK side release buckles. The buckles I used for the duster are the 1" Surcingles, now I've never been able to find the actual buckles that they used on the duster, so I always assumes that they were specially made, however the Surcingles were the closest match I was able to find.

I'll try and get some pictures of my vest and duster soon so you can see how it came out.
 

jason1976

Sr Member
Ok, I have what may sound like a dumb questions. What color are the buckles? (On, the belt, vest, and duster.)

I al\ways thought the belt, and vest buckles were black, and the duster buckles, were silver. However, I've looked at the pics of the originals, and screen capes, and a lot of old threads (on other forums) about them, and I just can't tell any more. Some times they all look really black, to me, other times they look really shiny, metallic, and if any of them are silvery, the black I'm seeing could just be the way they are catching the light. (or just a reflection.) So, I really, just can't tell what color any of them are.
 

TeeKay

New Member
The buckles on the duster are fully metal, so you're right about those. The belt and vest buckles are black plastic, though they have had a metal plate stuck to the front of them which is a sort of dull chrome colour

Thats probably the best picture to see what they've done as you can see where the metal bit's been stuck.
 

jason1976

Sr Member
Oh, I see, the metal pieces were just added to those side release buckles. Well that helps, because I was looking for the Ykk buckkles with them metal already on them.

But in that pic, and some of the ones you have of the belt, the metal on the side release buckles almost looks a little brassy to me. (Like a dirty, or painted, brass) But hey you've seen it in person, so if you say dull Chrome. them dull chrome it is. :)
 

TeeKay

New Member
I think the original idea may have been for them to match the buckles on the duster, but the metal got worn and tarnished over the years. As for them looking brassy, I guess they were picking up colour from the surroundings, it was quite a sunny day (though when isn't it sunny in LA, hehe)
 

jason1976

Sr Member
Does anyone know if the straps and buckles on the season 3-4 holsters where the same as the kind on the vest. (i.e. 1" YKK buckles, with metal frunts added, and 1" black seat belt webbing for the straps. )

I'm thinking of going ahead, and ordering some of the webbing, and buckls, for the vest, and duster, and I though wall I was at it I would order them for the holsters two, but i wanted to make sure I was ordering the correct thing for the holsters.
 
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