My Firefly/ Serenity Collection

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kurtyboy

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Holy moley, those guns, guns, GUNS! I wish I had your skill, knowledge and machinery (and the space to actually put it... err.. and the money to actually buy it). I'd be in prop heaven. That must be such a rewarding hobby.
 

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pennausamike

Sr Member
WooHoo! I'm RICH! Well, not really, but I AM out a ton of 24lb cotton paper, ink and about three utility knife blades. I spent over two months printing and cutting out the two rows of Alliance currency to the left, and the row of Independents currency to the right. All the stuff in the middle was purchased from various sources, most predominantly from Whitefall's pre-QMx days. (Which does make me wonder why QMx never released a Firefly money pack?) The stack of coins to the left are various Chinese coins of the types seen in the series; the stack of 10 Credit Alliance coins to the right are aluminum coins made by a Browncoat in Ohio. Apparently the exchange rate is 10 credits to the dollar, because that is what I paid for the fifty coins shown here.

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Ah yes, nothing like a big ol' pile o' cashy-money! If "Fool Me Twice" ever happens, the card players won't have any lack of gambling capital!

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"Ooo, Look at the Pretties..." The money from Firefly and Serenity were both very cool and there is lots of info and examples elsewhere. This was a paper prop that the fans really latched on to recreating for themselves. Fans have made the original bills, modified versions of the original bills, variations in denominations, completely new money based on the TV series and movie designs, completely new Alliance designs and new designs of Independents money. Of the bills shown, two of them are my own design.
The Blue Sun bill is based on series and movie elements, but is completely new.

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The Ariel bill uses established designs in a new format. I also made different serial numbers.

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The Firefly money pack finally happened with the Firefly role playing game, seen bottom-right. Included in this pic are some of the fan-made bank bags (I obviously had a senior moment when I took this picture because I covered the one bag's logo?!) and some more of the Chinese coins of the type seen in the show.

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Also included is the Alliance food bar. This was originally listed on eBay as a gold bar by a seller who had the original mold, but didn't know the origin. After a number of us interested parties let him know what he had (this same seller also had the Alliance pins and the YoSafBridge pistol), he corrected his listing and included a COA with a picture of the mold.

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Back on the firefly props forum, I included a couple of dimensioned drawings to help those looking to make their own.

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and

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Hey, in the Firefly 'verse, food is money.
And just for the heck of it; part of the collection I no longer have is this assembly of uncut money sheets, both the QMx sheet and various of the bills I printed myself.

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Once again, jettisoned from the collection because I just don't have enough wall space for everything.
 
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pennausamike

Sr Member
Ha ha nice stack of cash! Do I spot some of my bills in there too? ;)

Thanks, and yes you do! If you can pick them out, definitely post which ones are yours. Before it went belly-up, there was a complete listing of what bills were made by who on the fireflyprops site. One more reason the loss of that forum is so much larger than I think most Firefly/ Serenity fans even realize.
 

pennausamike

Sr Member
Worlds of the Firefly/ Serenity 'Verse

One of the first "releases" of the 'Verse star system was the Whitefall poster of Wash's star map from "Safe".

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Other fans released posters and ephemera pertaining to the 'verse, but I'm not always sure who made what. Other than Ransom, that is, because I know Yellowjacket placed a number of fan-fiction stories there. Oh, and the space station is a Sean Kennedy creation.

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QMx released a large planet poster,

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and their travel poster line

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of which I have only framed two. (I have the "Sending a Wave" postcards too; now where did I put those things...

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QMx also released the Ben Mund/ Whitefall Atlas of the "Verse, two-sided 'verse poster, and some smaller Lootcrate items. I started a framed Miranda display and then failed to get a frame.

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The Atlas of the "Verse has a number of signature Whitefall pieces,

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and the two-sided poster portrays the sizes of the planets and the layout of the "verse star system.

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Like nearly every other category of my collection, I'm sure there are some further small pieces buried away somewhere.
 

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keelhauler

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Firefly Alliance Law Enforcement

Firefly Police as seen on the Eavesdown Docks in the TV pilot, Serenity.

View attachment 1252794

I was recently lucky to get one of these helmets from a member here on the RPF.
It needs a little work as far as the liner and a chin strap, but the outside looks show-ready!
IIRC, the patch was the work of Keelhauler and Yellowjacket; or maybe Sean did this one on his own. I'm not sure, but if somebody fills me in on the correct origins, I'll make sure this description is corrected.
The jacket is just for display. I may or may not invest a little more time and effort to correct the uniform. Likewise with the weapons; I haven't been doing much new and only a little bit towards finishing the many incomplete projects I already have.

Mike, kudos on scoring one of those helmets! I know how long you (and myself, haha) have wanted one. As for the Police patch, William did the artwork (as usual) and I took care of the financing, production, and distribution.

I enjoy seeing your collection posts. They bring back memories of when I first entered the fandom sooo long ago and found your collection on other, now defunct, websites. I'm glad it's continuing to be available for folks to admire and learn from. It's an impressive collection!
 

keelhauler

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks, and yes you do! If you can pick them out, definitely post which ones are yours. Before it went belly-up, there was a complete listing of what bills were made by who on the fireflyprops site. One more reason the loss of that forum is so much larger than I think most Firefly/ Serenity fans even realize.

Yep. The loss of FFP is huge. There was a vast amount of information there that wasn't/isn't available anywhere else. A real shame.
 

robstyle

Master Member
My memory is a little vague but I seem to recall the Serenity movie Alliance chrome soldier outfits being supplied by Renegade Effects. If I recall they were off the shelf/existing parts/moulds created for a prior project. Dragon used to have one on display at his shop. Regardless of production design, there were many Serenity movie costumes and props from other films utilized. The Reaver bladed weapons were mainly from Ghosts of Mars out of existing moulds, yet there were production artists renderings done that perfectly matched, some Buffy items used, seen or not, including a Blood Axe and a curved rounded hand axe/hatchet one of which was an original metal screen used Buffy prop, a metal replica traced off that original and a plastic version that was chopped in half, the Reaver rifles were repainted rentals from Star Trek and Sliders...

You can find Dragon online and email him about the chrome soldiers.
 

pennausamike

Sr Member
Games of the 'Verse
first,
Games IN the 'Verse

I think there are two games seen on TV (Chinese Checkers and Tall Card) and I feel playing cards as we know them today will survive into the future. I have the QMx cards, which are quite nice, actually, and the Toy Vault Tall Card game. I bought a pack of fifty of the metal cards seen on-screen, but I haven't weathered them yet. I also haven't really looked into how to incorporate them into the playable version of the game, yet. I also wanted to get some kind of wooden or Chinese lacquered box to keep the game in. I was happy to see this released, but I think it happened too late. I think a playable version of Tall Card would have been a big hit back around 2007 when Firefly/ Serenity buzz was still a thing.

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Obviously, I need to get a 'versey looking Chinese Checkers set, and since I'm doing some Firefly stuff, I guess I'll go surf eBay and Etsey for a set that appeals to me.

and then,
Games ABOUT the 'Verse

First off is my game that I created for our PA Browncoats Shindig, the Jayne Quote Game. Back in the day, I could MC this thing without a cheat sheet to tell me which quote went with which episode. While I'm sure I remember a bunch, I wouldn't attempt that today.

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Then there are the licensed games. Monopoly, Clue and Yahtzee. (Although all the Yahtzee paperwork is lost somewhere...) These are OK in that someone not familiar with the 'verse can still play them, but, eh, in a case like that it is just easier to break out the originals. Oh, and it was Jayne in the engine room with Vera.

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pennausamike

Sr Member
Firefly/ Serenity Swag

May as well start with T-shirts on this one. There have been dozens, if not hundreds of Firefly/ Serenity T-shirt designs made and sold. Art work, cartoons, emblems, characters, sayings, mash ups; the field is limitless. And apparently, so is the Browncoat fandom's appetite for T-shirts. (Expensive props-not so much.) I bought a few swag shirts at the beginning when there was little available and it wasn't much of a hit to the budget.

I bought a few of the Serenity emblem shirts,

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Some Wash shirts, because he was one of my favorite characters,

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and a few Jayne shirts, when the graphics particularly appealed to me.

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But really, I've always preferred IN the 'verse items, and I bought a decades long supply of shirts that could be seen on-screen; so I had little use for the swag shirts.

Patches are another 'versey swag item that seems to do well. In the beginning were some fan-made items of OK accuracy, then a fair amount of quasi-official patches were sold, but after that head start, Yellowjacket has become the 'verse patch-master. William has worked with prop people and official sources to produce some amazing in-the-'verse patches (scattered through this thread) and has worked with local Browncoats, CSTS groups and LARPers to make still more wonderful Browncoat fan items.

The PA Browncoats commissioned Yellowjacket to make a set of brigade patches for our group.

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And here is smattering of other group and event patches, with most, but I'm pretty sure not all, designed or facilitated by Yellowjacket.

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I'm including the trading cards in with swag because, even though I originally bought them for information, they have been totally supplanted by books and online sources.

The BDM Serenity cards were released first

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and I have only the basic set.

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When they proved reasonably popular, the Firefly cards were released

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and once again, I have only the basic set. (There is one more page hiding behind another one.)

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I'm pretty sure a Firefly art set has been released also, but, yunno, its not really my thing. I mostly keep these because I have them, and I don't think they are worth much to sell. (And frankly, I can't remember what I paid in the first place.)

more swag to come, at some point...
 
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pennausamike

Sr Member
A few years ago I did an interview about my collection with Tiamdala for the Abbyshot blog. Abbyshot no longer has the Firefly/ Serenity license, so this interview and one I did about Firefly Fan Films were never used. I asked Tiamdala if I could use my two interviews on the web (since they were never submitted or "published") and she said "yes". So here is my take on what prop building and collecting has meant to me:

You have a seven page Firefly/ Serenity collection thread at
http://fireflydvd.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3541

So, I would think it is safe to say you qualify as a fan of the show and movie.
What was your introduction to the Firefly/ Serenity ‘verse?


I watch very little TV and had never heard of Firefly, but I saw the ads for “Serenity” and thought it looked like a good movie that I wanted to see. But, I was working 21 turn (rotating through three shifts every month) at the time, and it was already out of the theaters by the time I had a chance to go see it. I forgot about it until I saw it at Blockbuster in January of 2006. I rented it, sat down and watched it…twice…and was hooked. I asked one of my sons, “Wasn’t this thing based on a TV series?” which, of course, it was; so I immediately bought the “Firefly” DVD set. And promptly binge-watched that over three nights.

What quality or characteristic of the show did you come to like (or love!) immediately? What did you come to like (or love?) as time passed?

I liked the snappy dialog right out of the gate with “Serenity”. And I liked that the characters were sharply defined and had surprising depth in only a two-hour movie. I liked the look of the film; the juxtaposition of the flashy Alliance versus the gritty commonfolk. All this “like” turned to “love” once I watched the series. The way Joss (and by extension, his writing staff) can turn a phrase was every bit as evident in the series as it was in the movie. The characters were still clearly delineated by both the writers and costumer Shawna Trpcic. The contrast between the Alliance and the frontier worlds was more layered and, I felt, smarter in Firefly. The “western” feel for the Rimworlds in “Firefly” was reigned in for “Serenity” to make the movie more “commercial”, but I genuinely love that Firefly was a Sci-Fi-Western!

If you encountered someone who hasn't seen the show or the movie, what would you tell them to generate their interest?

Great characters and character development, clever dialog, some twisted villains… Ha!, as a tangent, I think my favorite bad guy moment in the series is when the corrupt Fed cop, after grilling the frightened postal worker says, “Don’t worry, I’m not going to arrest you. Who needs all that paperwork? Skunk, (one of his men) light him on fire!” It’s just so deliciously awful. Beyond the characters, the good guys and bad guys, the show had interesting stories set in a universe that was incredibly detailed and diverse. The Federation of Star Trek seemed so boringly utopian that, for me, it was neither exciting nor realistic. The Firefly/Serenity ‘verse was all about this incredible melting pot of cultures and their ability, and inability, to get along.

What about Firefly and/or Serenity encouraged you to become involved in the fan community and how did it influence your form(s) of participation?
And, at what point did prop making and prop collecting become the (apparent) focus of your fandom?


The world of Firefly just really spoke to me; not just as an engaging setting to tell fictional stories, but as a place I'd be satisfied to inhabit, with people who seemed like interesting candidates to share life's trials and tribulations. I'd be willing to bet that there are a lot of fans of the series who just envision themselves throwing their luggage in one of the rooms down in the passenger dorm with Simon and River, or see themselves descending one of the ladders to their spot in the crew's quarters. I couldn't move to a world five hundred years in the future, so I started to connect with the here-and-now fans, both on the internet forums and in a local Browncoat fan group on Yahoo. In the same sense, collecting props and clothing from the show made a fictional world feel a little more tangible. I started buying just everydamthing I could find on "Firefly" and "Serenity", because I wanted to live in that world a little bit longer than the fourteen or so hours of content that was produced. Props were among those things I bought, and most props were fan-made kits or modified found items, so making props was a big part of collecting, right from the start.

Are you more of a collector than a maker, or are the two facets of the hobby intertwined?

The two hobbies for me, are definitely intertwined inseparably. I like collecting things; the excitement that comes from forming the connections and doing the legwork to track down less than common pieces. As a prop maker; I started building plastic models as a kid, worked on cars since I was seventeen, and now I build and repair things for a living, so prop making is just another avenue of what has been a life-long path. I would have to say that building the things I collect makes them more meaningful to me. I wouldn't ever sell anything I collected if I was rich, but like many collectors, I buy and sell items in and out of the collection to make other purchases. I don't mind selling licensed items or things that were made by others, anywhere near as much as it pains me to sell a piece or display that I made.

Do you feel that prop-making encourages your love of the show or that your love of the show encourages prop-making? If so, how? If not, why?

The love of the show is definitely the catalyst for prop building for me. I was never a prop collector or maker before "Firefly". I have less than a handful of prop items from any other shows or movies. I see a lot of collectors get hot for whatever the latest, greatest thing is, buy everything they can find, and then a few years later they are unloading it all for whatever the latest, greatest new thing is. My Firefly/Serenity collection is meaningful to me as an expression of my love for the 'verse, and a testament to the effort I put into acquiring and making my physical link to that world.

As an artist and a prop maker, what jumped out at you and demanded you make it first?

When I first got into this hobby, the landscape was pretty barren, with just a handful of T-shirts and misshapen Mal pistols to be had. The first thing I started to make were the pop-open Serenity grenades, because they are totally awesome and were a purely machined-by-me project, but they got derailed a few times over accuracy issues. I can't remember whether I finished the Zoe Mare's leg or the Jayne LeMat based pistols first. That's probably a sure sign I've just got too darn much stuff!

If your house was on fire, and the wife, kids and dogs were already out safely, what is the one prop you would rescue?

I would probably burst into flames trying to decide. Geez, they all have a story beyond just being a pile of bric-a-brac; how do you choose the one item that is the "best"?

I guess my Mal Pistol display is the most iconic; but, well, the screen-used River laboratory headpiece from the BDM "Serenity" is the only one in the world. So I guess that would be the most logical to save. Then again, the Sonic Rifle made from original effects studio parts and done in an extended universe scheme.....yeah, I wouldn't know what to grab!

In this hobby, what is the most satisfying accomplishment, and what is your biggest disappointment?

Trying to choose the most satisfying accomplishment is like trying to pick the favorite item in the collection. I tend to have about a dozen projects going all at the same time, because of real life demands, times dictated by the making process, (like not working on a just painted item or spending DAYS puttying and sanding a piece) and my own tendency to get bored with tedious projects that just.....drag.......on. Each completed project is a little victory; each with its own problems to overcome and sense of accomplishment when it works out. I guess my book about my collection (about half way down the 7th page of my collection thread) qualifies, because it is a way to carry (nearly) the whole collection with me, and reflect on the hundreds of hours I've spent on such a rewarding endeavor.

The biggest disappointment is easy. That would be the failure to get my Firefly fan film, "Fool Me Twice" off the ground. I built a lot of cool props and costumes to complement a script I really like, but I just don't (and likely never will) have the resources to make that a reality. But even in that greater failure are a lot of mini victories, so I just focus on the good that has come out of the project.

I know that I have focused primarily on Firefly and Serenity but taking a step back to look at the bigger picture, how has prop-making enhanced your life and where would you like to take it from here?

I keep saying I am mostly finished with the prop making aspect of my Firefly/Serenity fandom, but I keep having new projects fall into my lap. (Or so it seems, anyway...) At this point, I want to focus on wrapping up the displays and creating a space to display them. I have a number of hobbies and I tend to cycle through them, and I'm about ready to move back to putting my 1981 T-top, 4-speed Trans Am back on the road. It has been sitting in my garage for over a decade; shoot I bet it's been at least twenty years since it ran. I need to get that fixed, but working on that, or anything else, doesn't take away from the joy my YEARS of Firefly-centric hobby crafting has brought me!

And of course, the dead link to the 7 page collection thread is the first version of this collection thread. I also mentioned my Collection book.

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That is a 185 page hardcover, full color book I made at Mixbook. It is basically a physical copy of my online presentation of the collection

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because I viewed it as one way to spend slightly less time on the computer.
I also included some of the articles I submitted to various sites over the years; articles that are now long gone in their electronic form.

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Also, if I ever want to, or am forced to, sell my collection, the book makes for a nice keepsake.

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Pretty cunning, dontcha think?
 

pennausamike

Sr Member
Pretty cunning!

So, have you gotten started on those Firebirds yet? : )
Welllllll....sorta. (I only have the one, now.) I've got new tires, brakes and stainless steel brake lines, because they only cost $35 more than plain ol' rusty steel. So, I'm inching my way there! I've seen by your most excellent Buck Rogers pistols, you are keeping busy.
 

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