Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey - PanAm Stewardess & Poole's Discovery Flightsuit for 50th anniversary

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Arsenal Best

New Member
Admittingly about two years late, I still thought it would be better to post these late than never, especially since there were still coming questions in another thread where I posted a few pictures of our cosplay we did for the 50th anniversary of Kubrick's masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Since this is my favourite Scifi movie as long as I can remember, reproducing some of its iconic items in a cosplay, is kind of realizing one of my earliest childhood dreams.
Though cosplaying and building props for more than 20 years now, I never had really the opportunity to do so, since our other occupations like Steampunk, Star Wars and Steam Trek usually took all the time and despite its historic value, 2001 is more of a niche cosplay.
In 2018 the year of its 50th anniversary, I was already thinking of doing it, with the german scifi convention FedCon as presentation ground (if you need people, who recognize even the obscurests of cosplay, you'll find them there), but still was uncertain. However, by chance, we received an invitation for a special scifi fans in costume tour of the 50th anniversary exhibition for 2001: A Space Odyssey residing in the German Film Museum of Frankfurt at the time and that tipped the scale finally towards a "we definitly have to do that!". :)
Due to the limited timeframe we had and the knowledge it would be probably a cosplay for only two occassions, we wanted to do it in a "quick and dirty" style, which also accounts for the somewhat limited making of pictures.
Of course at some point, the usual ambition and AMS (advanced modeller sickness) took over and it got a bit less quick and dirty after all.

So the research began and I only then realized, how scarce, details and information on the props really were, due to Kubricks "destruction order".
Still after deciding to do a PanAm Stewardess dress and Frank Poole's Discovery Flightsuit, we found several helpful sources, foremost to be named Dennis Gilliam's 2001 Spacesuit - Contents who also was so kind to share some insights into making the bumphat and CreedsGalBirdy making of their Flight suits Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey coveralls and of course many times watching the blu-ray in frame-by-frame mode.

Discovery Crew Overall_14.jpg

After careful study, we identified the following items to be done:

PanAm Stewardess:
- Bumphat with PanAm logo gold pin
- Dress consisting of jacket and trousers
- PanAm grip shoes

Frank Poole:
- Discovery flight suit

If time permitted additional accessoires were:
- PanAm Stewardess service tray
- Discovery crew wirst watch

Starting from top with the Bumphat:
Stewardess bump hat_01.jpg

This was probably the most difficult piece to make.
Dennis Gilliams documentation of how he made his replica was very helpful. I used a similar approach on creating a pattern from screenshots scaled to 1:1 head size of two sides.


His approach of sculpting the hat, to cast a mold for making a custom made foam core of the hat was impressive. But our limited time and resources demanded a less complex way and therefore I simply used the direct way of cutting two core halves from an old mattress foamcore and basically plucking it into shape, which proved faster than cutting. Afterwards patterns for the leather were cut from clear plastic.

The edge was done by putting a hose inside. However this solution was a bit too sturdy, distorting the overall shape a bit as can be seen in the finished pics.

The golden PanAm pin is originally a stewardess cap pin from the 60's and can still be found (original below).
Stewardess hat logo_04.jpg

But since it sells on ebay for 70+$ I made a 3D printed one, using a model of a 2-colored PanAm beerlid, which I modified and then bend over a bowl with a heatgun.

Overall, the bumphat came out satisfactory considering the quick built despite its imperfections.
DSC_3210 cut.jpg
DSC_3214 cut.jpg

The next part is the Stewardess dress.
Judging from the original pictures, it might have been made from a cotton/linen blend with a certain sturdiness, to hold its shape and had a somewhat rough surface in off-white color.

We were lucky to find a similar looking (and standing) fabric. We used patterns from Burda sewing magazines, that came close to the jacket and trouser as a basis and modified to suit our needs.
Sadly Ms. Aetherton didn't take any pictures during the making, so I can only show you the end result:

The PanAm Badge was made by tracing wings and stars from vintage PanAm badges old school by hand, then scanning and combining them with a graphic of the PanAm logo via Photoshop. Printed on a transfer sheet for textils and then cut and sewn onto the jacket.

Pan Am Logo One Wing & Star blau.jpg

The grip shoes
Stewardess grip shoes_01.jpg

with these we had a bit of luck, finding leather "socks" that are used to enter a mosque. Usually black did we find some in white which had a quite fitting shape and sewing.
The PanAm logo was again derived from the wing trace I did earlier and applied by textil transfer foil onto them.
DSC_1586 cut.jpg

Thus completing the PanAm Stewardess.

As for Frank Pooles Discovery crew flight suit, the aforementioned thread by CreedsGalBirdy was very helpful and we used the same Kwik Sew Men's Coverall pattern 3389 as a basis and then adapted it to feature all the specific details of the Discovery flight suits.
With the fabric we got again pretty lucky finding a cotton fabric, that had a similar texture as well as the hard to find differing colorshade depending on the light from blue-grey to grey-violett, which proved a really good match comparing it later at the exhibition with the original Bowman suit that survived and which of course was also a valuable source for the details.
Discovery Crew Overall_09.jpg

Again, we are lacking making of pics of the coverall, so here it is already done:

For the Discovery badge I found this nice one from Space Patches 2001: A Space Odyssey. Though the original wasn't embroidered and didn't have that thick gold edging, this badge is still far better than the widely available and cheaper patch with those thick sunbeams, that just look wrong (1. original Discovery patch on Bowman suit, 2. original Clavius base patch, 3. Space Patches Discovery patch 4. common Discovery patch).
Discovery badge.jpg

The eagle badge wasn't too accurate either, but ok. I only added the head feather by hand to get a better look-alike shape from afar.
Discovery badge 2.jpg

The astronauts wings were good in shape, but the blue base color was far too light, so I simply painted it darker.

Thus the flight suit was done as well.

Actually we had about a day left or so until the exhibition, so I ventured to achieve the bonus goals listed above, which will follow in the next post.
I hope you enjoyed our presentation so far.
Feel free to ask any question. I will be happy to help.
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Master Member
Very well made overall...not easy to get those different costumes done right and accurate, but you get an A for your effort(y)(y)
It would be fun to know how you did your food tray.

Arsenal Best

New Member
Thank you joberg

As announced this follow-up post will get to the food tray as well as the Hamilton watch.

The food tray

Pan Am Bord Menue_03.jpg

Pan Am Bord Menue_01.jpg

This was the last item I was doing right before the museum trip and therefore time was of the essence.
After careful study I estimated the size of the tray and its food packs and drew a pattern for the side wall according to the second picture.
Basically my foodtray was made from only 3 parts cut from pvc hardfoam. 2 sides and one, which I bent step by step via a heatgun and a metal ruler into shape before I glued the sides to it.
For the logo and instruction on the tray, I simply used the last picture, cut and with corrected perspective and printed it on paper, glueing that to the tray. Sadly the blu-ray resolution was still not high enough to readably show the writing. A shortcoming, which I really hope to correct someday (and replace the paper all together).
I planned to do the food boxes as well, but ran out of time, so just for optical illusion, I printed a picture of them and put it into the tray.

Tray 3.jpg

This is one prop, I will come back to, cleaning it up and completing it.

Hamilton wrist watch

The second additional piece I made the last day before the deadline and probably the one I like the most, is the Hamilton wrist watch.
Since I lack the loose change for the limited edition replica from Hamilton (if one can still find one), I had to revert to basic material.

Again carefull study of the only three good pictures of the watch I could find plus promo- and screenshots from the movie were the main ingridient to corner the design and size of the watch.
Hamilton watch collage.jpg

Discovery Crew Overall_10.jpg

Since I wanted to replicate a working watch and needed several parts like the watch hands anyway, I looked for a cheap china watch, which had similar hands to the original. Other then that, the materials used were pvc hardfoam, rubber sheet, pvc tube, cabochons and a red pinhead.

For the rubber band, I cut multiple stripes which I glued with a vulcanizing rubber glue to the basic rubber band.
The mainbody was shaped from two sheets of PVC hardfoam which I bent into shape by heat. Only mistake I made there was, that I cut the hole for the crown before bending and thus the hole was slightly distorted, leaving a gap.
Also the smallest cabos I could find for the date screens were still bigger, than the original and I also didn't quite match the fonts for the numbers and the dials perfectly. So, much room to improve in an upgrade.
At least I noticed the tilted discrepancy between the inner and outer ring of the dial and replicated that accordingly.



Still despite its shortcomings due to running out of time, I'm still pleased with the outcome for a one-day built (I know Adam Savage creates much more impressive things within a day ;) ), especially after I had the chance to compare it to the original prop in the museum and could determine, that at least size- and proportionswise I hit the nail spot on (the size difference in the pic below is only an optical effect, since my watch, sitting ontop of the showcase was nearer to the cameras eye).


This concludes our presentation of the our 2001 - A Space Odyssey cosplay we did for the 50th anniversary at the German Film Museum Franfurt in 2018, though I may come back, to upgrade and add some of the props.

Here a few more shots of the complete end results (including a snapshot with an old friend ;) ):

PanAm Stewardess 1.jpg


We also were fortunate to be able to use the bluebox of the museum, which offered composites with several 2001 backgrounds to place us in a better fitting context, thus I got to share some space with my fellow astronaut mate Dave. :D

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Arsenal Best

New Member
Kubrick would have been proud AND Pissed!

Fantastic job!!
Haha, thanks!
However, I'm not sure, if he would have been really pissed, since the reason for his destruction order was only to prevent the studio from re-using his props in later cheap movies over and over again as was standard at the time.

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Legendary Member
No he would have been pissed at you for making such fine recreations of his Costumes and props!

Haha, thanks!
However, I'm not sure, if he would have been really pissed, since the reason for his destruction order was only to prevent the studio from re-using his props in later cheap movies over and over again as was standard at the time.

Arsenal Best

New Member
Very good work all in all Arsenal Best. Here`s my tray that I`d built with a big thanks to Max and his great paper props.
View attachment 1353381

Where did you obtain the graphics for the packs from?
Is your instruction text the actual text from the original? What does it say (as mentioned, I couldn't get a picture where this was readable)?

Really great, thanks for sharing.

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Master Member
Thanks, Max did the research and the graphics as well as the Panam logo and its text. The instructions are gibberish really (I think they applied the Letraset copyright around the World) I still have 2 trays for sale; if interested, PM me;)

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