Han Solo holsters: Anovos vs. Todd's Costumes comparison

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kman

Well-Known Member
I was browsing these forums and stumbled across this nice comparison:

Anovos Han Solo Rig vs MP:
https://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=287111

I did a somewhat similar thread about 9 months ago on the Rebel Legion forums, but reading that thread made me realize the comparison would doubtless be useful to my fellow RPFers who are not Rebel Legion members, and thus have no access to the thread there. So I'm copying the entire comparison here to the RPF. Hope someone finds it useful!

I suspect the number of people who have both the Todd's Costumes Han Solo rig, and the Anovos rig, is probably limited, so I feel this comparison may be helpful to those who are debating between these two belt setups, which are, I believe, the two most popular "high end" real leather Han Solo belt rigs sold on the retail market.

Note that both of these rigs were purchased by me, personally, through the vendor's normal website sales portals. I have no connection to either company other than as a customer, and I received no special discounts or special treatment from either company. All observations are my own personal observations, reached after directly viewing and actually handling the holsters that I was shipped. If either vendor has made changes to their holsters before or after I ordered and received mine, and you're disappointed in some way, I can't help you out beyond saying "Well, this is what they shipped to ME." Not that I have not yet done any weathering to the Todd's rig. This is pretty much "out of the box" (aside from playing dress up at home a couple of times, of course, LOL), and same with the Anovos.

So here is the comparison between Todd's Costume's Han Solo holster, and the Anovos Han Solo holster.

Note: The ANH greeblies you'll see are mine, and are NOT the ones that came with the Anovos belt. I will do a detailed comparison of the greeblies as well, once the main belt comparison is done. (I need to take more photos of the Anovos stuff, which I have not yet opened.) The droid callers pictured, however, are both the Anovos droid caller. One I already owned from some time ago, and the second came with the Anovos belt kit.

Now. Just to start off with a reference shot, here are the product photos by the manufacturers themselves (Todd's Costumes and Anovos). Note that BOTH vendors appear to have used prototype setups for their product shots, because the shipping products have noticeably different coloring (and weathering, in the case of Anovos):

Todd's Costumes: (the shipping holster is much more reddish)


Anovos: (the shipping holster is actually LESS red and has much more subtle weathering, and ironically, this color is somewhat close to the shipping color of Todd's!)


Some Initial Impressions:

Anovos certainly wins big on the packaging, for those who are into that. They have done a very nice job, as I'd expect from them by now. Todd's belt pretty much came in a big brown box (I did not bother to photograph it). This does not make a lick of difference once you're wearing the belts, obviously.




The Anovos weathering is not as extensive as pictured on the website prototype photos, but it's definitely nice. I'll likely copy some of what they did to my Todd's belt, which is pretty new looking by comparison. Simply from a "5 foot away" visual standpoint, I'd give the nod to Anovos, at least in terms of out-of-box appearance.

The Anovos buckles are very nice, but not nicer than Todd's: Pretty much a draw, visually. BUT the Anovos belt is much more adjustable, in terms of sizing (due to extra hidden snaps on the inside of the belt), and the front/back buckles can be swapped very easily (unlike Todd's), to reconfigure for a particular movie.

The "hook" hardware, on the other hand, for the holster drop panel is MUCH nicer (beefier) on Todd's than Anovos. The Anovos actually seems thin and flimsy by comparison. I feel like I could accidentally bend the Anovos hooks and the metal almost feels sharp. Notsomuch for Todd's nice solid ones. Photos below.

I don't know whether the leather on Todd's belt is simply better quality, or simply less "dried out" (maybe some leather conditioner can help?), but the Todd's Costumes belt and holster definitely feels thicker, more supple, and again, less dried out. Particularly the belt pouches. The Anovos pouches are really thin, and seem almost like they're a bit at risk of tearing.

Just to reiterate, for those who aren't as familiar with these, here's how you can tell which is which in MY photos below, of the actual shipping models: The Anovos has noticeable weathering, and is much more brown/tan, compared to the noticeably more reddish coloration of Todd's leather finish. (to which I have not yet added any weathering) For the record, I requested an ESB belt configuration from Todd. In these photos, I have swapped the buckles in favor of an ANH buckle layout (more on that later), just because that's the costume I was working on first.

Enough blather. Onto my side-by-side comparison photos:

Left belt (wearer's perspective). Note the difference in weathering, slightly different shape to the button pockets, and wildly different placement of the droid caller mount. I believe the Anovos placement is closer to screen accurate, FWIW, although I could slide the droid caller (again, both droid callers pictured are from Anovos) forward a bit more to minimize this. From a "wearability" perspective, the end hardware is flipped: The Todd's clip is open towards the front (reach the end behind the buckle, hook the loop, and done). The Anovos clip is open towards the body, so some contortions are required to get the clip in position to hook the loop behind the buckle. This definitely makes the Todd's belt MUCH easier to clip on. Hard to explain, but really obvious as you're trying to put the damn thing on. Both are fine once you're wearing them, however.




Right Belt (wearer's perspective). These two are much closer, although there are still some differences. The Anovos pockets are spread out a bit more, and end much closer to the disc as a result. The Anovos disc is a bit taller than the Todd's disc (ANH style?). The 4th (usually unused) pockets have a bit different shapes to each other. Not really easy to see in photos is how incredibly thin the Anovos pockets are, and how dry and papery the leather pockets feel. I really worried about tearing them, just by putting in the greeblies! The thread used to stitch on the pockets is pretty white on the Todd's, but a bit of colored weathering would knock that down nicely.




The thinner pocket leather is visible here ... but much more dramatically different in "feel" than the appearance would suggest:


Here's the back of the same right side belt, showing the stitching. Quite similar, overall, despite the minor differences. The buckles are nearly identical, although the hoop size is a little tighter on the Todd's, especially on the front buckle, which is why it's a struggle to swap configurations. (not impossible, exactly, but still. More on that later.) Also note the extra rows of male snaps on the back of the Anovos belt. This allows more size customization, unlike Todd's. Less screen accurate, but very nice, and not visible while wearing.


Holsters: The two holsters are pretty close, but again, there are differences. The blaster cutout has a subtle difference that affects how some blasters fit into the holster. And the retention strap is mounted in a slightly different place, which affects how it lays across the blaster. The difference in weathering is quite obvious here. Todd's holster is slightly more squared off where it runs from the barrel down the front to under the magazine compartment... I think it's a little wider. This might affect the fit of some blasters.


The holster back is quite similar, again, although you can see the cut of the Y drop is a little more generous on the Todd's belt. You can also see the extra snaps on the Anovos version, again, allowing for some extra size customization. You'll note the keyhole connector is quite similar on both. I haven't tried, but I have a strong suspicion that I could mix and match parts between the two, if I was inclined. (and if the leathers were a closer match)


Speaking of the connecting hardware: Above I mentioned how thin the metal connecting hardware is on the Anovos. This photo shows it pretty clearly. Again, though, the difference is much more dramatic to the hand than the eye. I'm sure both are plenty strong, but I feel the risk of accidentally bending the Anovos hardware is MUCH higher than the Todd's hardware.


The holster front cap: One difference worth pointing out: The cap (front plug?) on the tip of the Anovos holster is actually a bit funny looking. The Todd's cap is recessed which looks better. The Anovos cap sticks out entirely, placed flat on the outside/bottom edge of the holster tube, showing the raw edge of the leather all the way around. This bugs me quite a bit, personally. Possibly my biggest complaint, given the price. The edges are also exposed on the screen-used originals, based on the source photos I've viewed, but the construction method and wear patterns makes it far less obnoxious looking.


Blaster fit: My Denix-based ESB and AW airsoft ANH blasters both fit into either holster, although there is a slight difference in how the snap for the retention strap is pushed out.

ANH AW Airsoft in Todd's holster:


ESB Denix in Todd's holster:


ANH AW Airsoft in Anovos holster:


ESB Denix in Anovos holster:


Coming in the next post: Greeblies.
 

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kman

Well-Known Member
So let's talk about greeblies for a bit.

The Anovos belt comes with belt greeblies for all 3 OT films: ANH, ESB, ROTJ.

RETURN OF THE JEDI

I can't really speak to ROTJ, having never researched these greeblies or sought alternate sources, so I'll just post a few pics of that, to get it out of the way:



It appears to be pretty accurate to the screen-used greeblies, although clear photos are not really available, from what I've seen, so we'll have to take Anovos' word that this is accurate, for the parts that are not visible. Reference photo courtesy of PartsOfSW:


EMPIRE STRIKES BACK





The Anovos ESB greeblies are quite good. The hard-to-replicate 3-prong bit is nice, as is the odd lego-looking piece that has never been ID'd. I have an original Revell model part for the carburetor part, which is what they used on the real screen-used kits. The color of the Anovos is a lighter gray than the darker silver of the Revell part, both otherwise is clearly a perfect copy of the part.

All appears quite accurate, comparing to the screenshot of screen-used parts from PartsofSW (except I think the carburetor should be a bit darker):


The "mic connector" piece (as I think of it) with the three prongs is interesting. I think the prongs are just tubes wrapped over plastic studs, so they're probably not extremely robust. It's thicker than the soda cylinder in the ANH belt (I need to remember to post a side-by-side pic of this) so it'll be interesting figuring out if the two configurations can easily be swapped back and forth in the same belt, without stretching the leather loop to a problematic degree (so the smaller part is no longer held securely).

Not easy to see, but as mentioned, the metal prongs appear to be simple sleeves on a plastic base of some sort.


Everything has "Anovos" molded into it. A little annoying, but at least you can't see it when they're in the belt pockets, so not a huge issue.


The back of the carburetor part is a closed panel. Different from the original piece of course, and not a problem since it's not visible in the belt. But interesting.


As to the most important (IMO) carburetor part, here are took side-by-side shots compared to the actual Revell model part. As you can see, the color is definitely a bit different. Otherwise, the two parts are pretty darned close. (The Revell is more silver, the Anovos is more putty colored.) The differences are tiny, hidden in the pocket anyway, and essentially impossible to spot without a direct side-by-side comparison like this.






A NEW HOPE

Last but not least, the ANH parts, consisting of the two white belt boxes and "soda canister".



Very accurate, IMO, except for the soda canister's coloring and texture (More below), as seen in this reference photo:


As it happens, I also own the machined aluminum white boxes from Solo's Hold, and actual vintage Soda King co2 canisters (the exact same sort that was used on screen):


It's interesting comparing the Solo's Hold white boxes to the Anovos ones. It would seem the Anovos is more accurate, but both look good in the belt pockets. The machined aluminum is certainly stronger and more robust than the plastic box Anovos used. I'll have to decide which I want to use.



I really dislike the Anovos "soda cylinder", however. The size is approximately correct, but it's sooooo bright and plasticy, and the color is wow bright. It'll do, particularly since it's not easy to get the real vintage canisters anymore, but I would strongly recommend anyone who uses them to at a minimum weather the heck out of them with some black paint, to knock down that vivid green.


And finally, both collections, side by side:


Enjoy...
 

kman

Well-Known Member
As an addendum, I realize in that copy/paste from my Rebel Legion post, I had mentioned swapping belt configurations. So here's more on that:

As I wrote before, my Todd's belt was purchased in an ESB configuration. I think the Anovos belt coloration works best for ANH, by comparison, so I'm going to keep the new Anovos for ANH, and return my Todd's belt to it's stock ESB setup.

Here's the simply hack I used to swap the Todd's belt from ESB to ANH: Zip ties.

All of the parts fit tolerably well (some of them are pretty tight, but they DO fit) in the swapped setup EXCEPT for one, on the back buckle. On the all of the buckles, there are two metal hoops on the back for latching the main belt onto the buckle. But the buckle designated as "front" has a short/shallow hoop that's just barely big enough to latch with the metal hooks that are in front. The problem is the back of the belt has snaps installed, not those latches, and the snaps are too tall to thread through the short hoop (the longer hoop on the opposite end of the buckle is tall enough to thread the snaps through normally. So for that one connect, I literally jerry-rigged some zip ties to hold the belt in place.

Front buckle (ANH), which came to me as the back buckle for ESB. Note two even size hoops on the back, both are tall enough to thread the snaps through when used in the back. This part is no problem to bring to the front for ANH, since the belt hooks grab it easily. Note how the hooks are reversed, though. One hooks from the front; the other from the back.


And here's the money shot. This buckle was designed to go in front for ESB. So that one short hoop (on the left, designed for that alternate hook) is too short to loop the snaps through, if you move it to the back of the belt for an ANH configuration. A ziptie, however, does a passable job of replacing the regular hoop.






I used two smaller zip ties to make a longer one, as they were more flexible, but one longer one would do the job, as well. Or anything similar, frankly. I might work up something more rugged at some point, in case I need to modify the setup again, or just stick with the zip ties, since they're so easy and available.

- - - Updated - - -

Point of interest re the Anovos ESB greeblies with the Todd's Costumes belt: The third greeblie that looks vaguely Lego-like (which is entirely optional, since it's only seen once or twice in the films, and apparently was lost or forgotten in the other scenes)? It's a REALLY tight fit in the Todd's Costumes belt.

I noted the different pocket sizes in my greeblie post, a post or two back (photo copied below for ease of comparison). It turn out the Anovos belt fits that third piece MUCH better. I was able to cram it into the belt, but I was REALLY nervous I was going to start snapping off the bits that stick up, at the bottom of the greeblie, where it was cramming against the leather in the bottom of the pocket. It worked, but not comfortably. The leather shows some lighter spots where it's being stretched inside, too. It fits MUCH nicer in the Anovos belt pocket, as is pretty obvious from the photo.


 

spacebob

Sr Member
Great comparisons there,
I'm hoping to make one, one day and these comparisons will help with many decisions :)
 

mrwax

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the very detailed information! It really helps to see it all side by side like that. The Todd's belt has a lot of attractive qualities, in my opinion, but both are very nice.
 

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kman

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the very detailed information! It really helps to see it all side by side like that. The Todd's belt has a lot of attractive qualities, in my opinion, but both are very nice.
If I had to choose one, it would be Todd's. Except the Anovos hardware really is nicer, and those greeblies...

Not an easy call. I'm fortunate to have both... although I still have to decide which I'll wear!
 

DamienJax

New Member
Hi kman, would it be at all possible to see a pic down inside of the holster itself to see how they sewed the caps on?
 

KramStaar

Sr Member
I have a Todd's and its exceptional. I can't say how accurate it it but it captures the essence of the SOLO belt for me by miles and interestingly I've used it for a few official Lucasfilm projects as well.



Thanks for your trouble in sharing, this is great.

Kind regards,
MARK
 

kman

Well-Known Member
Hi kman, would it be at all possible to see a pic down inside of the holster itself to see how they sewed the caps on?
Yes, should be possible. I'll try to remember to pull them out when I get home, and shoot a couple of pics. Might be tricky to get it lit well enough to see (if anything is even visible inside, which is a little doubtful, to be honest), but I'll do what I can.
 

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Mechanized

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thank you for the detailed comparison kman :thumbsup

gave me confidence in ordering a Todd’s ANH rig. I’ve been looking at getting one for sometime now and decided to pull the trigger after reading your thread.
 
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masterjedi322

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks for the great comparison! I also have the Anovos holster, but due to some sizing issues, was thinking of trying Todd’s to see how they differ. It looks like they’re pretty close so probably not worth doing...

One thing I would add regarding the unfinished surface on the back of the Anovos holster - after a few wears and the holster rubbing against my leg, I started to get some particulate on my pant leg. Not a huge deal, but I thought I’d offer it up here. Anyone have any good ideas on how I might be able to correct that?

Sean
 

Mechanized

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I’ll get back to on that. My Todd’s Black pants belt is very rough on the inside. Due to the leather being unfinished on that side.

i have an idea or two to fix and smooth the rough leather out but haven’t tried them yet. Thinking of just making a large surface burnishing tool for the dremel to smooth it all out.

or doing some light wet-sanding with fine grit paper going with the grain. Almost acting like burnishing for the back.
 
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Mechanized

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
masterjedi322, I know it’s a different belt altogether but here’s what I used on my Todd’s black belt just now.

I used 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper and lightly dampened the backside of my belt using a sponge, then going with the grain began to sand/smooth out the leather.

already I could tell a difference in texture and feel. Then I added a light coat of beeswax and repeated the processes of sanding and smoothing. Again going with the grain. I did one more pass of each, adding little water and wax. The last pass of both I went back-and-forth but mainly going with the grain of the leather.

After 30 minutes there was a pretty noticeable difference afterwards. Much smoother and softer to the touch and a lot easier getting on/off my pants. Hope this helps some :thumbsup
 
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kman

Well-Known Member
Hi kman, would it be at all possible to see a pic down inside of the holster itself to see how they sewed the caps on?
Sorry about the delay. I took these, and then forgot to post them.

I tried, but it's hard to photograph down that dark tunnel! There's not much to see, internally. Most discussions I've seen of people sewing their own holsters involve stitching at a 45 degree angle, so you're not going to really see much of anything inside.

Todd's:


Anovos:
 

Wailonskydog

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I’ll get back to on that. My Todd’s Black pants belt is very rough on the inside. Due to the leather being unfinished on that side.

i have an idea or two to fix and smooth the rough leather out but haven’t tried them yet. Thinking of just making a large surface burnishing tool for the dremel to smooth it all out.

or doing some light wet-sanding with fine grit paper going with the grain. Almost acting like burnishing for the back.

I make a lot of belts (including the Solo belt) in my leather shop and I have a specific process for finishing the back of belts. Sounds like you already got some decent results but here's what I do just in case anyone needs it:

- burnish the back with water and a wood burnishing slicker, this lays all the fibers down and tightens them up
- dye belt, most of my belts are hand-dyed
- after letting the dye dry I re-burnish using Tan-Kote. This seals the dye and further lays the fibers down
- I'll then rub the whole belt down with saddle soap to remove any excess dye and also smooth everything out even more
- last step is a coat or two of Resolene on the back, which is an acrylic finish. It seals everything up and keeps things in place.

I don't use sand paper on the back but will use up to 1000 grit sandpaper on the edges to make sure they are totally smooth. This whole process yields a nice smooth back side to leather and keeps the dye from rubbing off as much as possible.
 

Mechanized

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I’ll have to give your method a go. I still have some fibers popping up. Im thinking it’s because I didn’t use any sort of sealer. Probably a good idea :facepalm

but, it I did get my Todd’s rig in:)
AEDE570E-5C93-4D2D-BE78-D038FD74197F.jpeg

Lots of size adjustments were made so the pouches are closer to the front buckle. I can overlook that because it fits so much better now.
 

nick0071

Jr Member
im still very undecided about these two. one is 250$ that is amazing the other is 550$ which is really pricey. I want a belt for an anh, esb, and solo a starwars story costumes. i am trying to find one that will suit all of those styles but dont know if its possible :/ what do you guys recommend? any of these two? or im even considering MP filmcraft as well or someone on etsy. i just want a belt that i can swith the bunkles out on as well as a color that is somewhat in the middle of those movies something that is subtle not overly red or overly dull yellow
 

kman

Well-Known Member
Bear in mind Todd's price is for the bare belt, buckles in ONE configuration (not easily swapped), and no greeblies at all.

Anovos is not all that pricey once you consider all the extras it comes with (including the extra buckle you'll need to do ROTJ). The droid caller alone is worth at least $125, and then there are full sets of accurate greeblies for all three movies. (I'd replace the soda canister, or at least weather it a lot, but everything else is very good, and more accurate than you'll find elsewhere)

SAWSW has a different holster than any other movie: It's not capped. If you're going for anything like accuracy, neither Todd's nor Anovos will work for that one. A custom one, I dunno, maybe they can make the cap removable? There's also the different leg strap. And frankly, different buckles. To be REALLY accurate, no belt can do all three. They're all different to one another. Anovos and Todd's are both closest to ESB/ROTJ, less so to ANH, even less to SASWS.

If your main objection to Anovos is color, it shouldn't be that difficult to add some more dye to darken it a bit. And Todd's can be lightened, with weathering.

In the end, you'll have to decide which compromises you can live with.
 
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