Viper Pilot Flightsuit (Ron Moore's) Battlestar Galactica

Felgacarb

Well-Known Member
This is a costume I put together for Halloween of 2009. Having just finished watching the series on Netflix, I had all the required enthusiasm for a full scratch build.

Last month I had the opportunity to stand in front of someone who actually knows how to use a camera, so that gave me an excuse to finally put this costume up on the RPF.

So first off, here's how the outfit appears today:





The hardest part of this outfit is, of course, finding the correct Sommers material. I wasn't able to do that. Although it could still be had back in '09, the price was way too much for my costume budget. Instead I went with a less fancy metallic green vinyl, and then ordered the patches.



The only tricky part really in making the jumpsuit were the scales on the back. I used a textured vinyl over foamy. Made those parts three different times. I still don't feel I that I got it right...





I added grommets in the back as vents under the scales. The bottoms of the scales were not sewed down, so the suit would breath. (However this is not nearly enough- these things really are hot and don't breath at all...)





Note- in my working from just screen caps, I got the style of zippers used wrong! These green plastic ones look OK, but not as good as the metal ones with the black backing...

In the end, there were so many layers of vinyl and foamy that I had to use the big, manual machine to attach the scales.




The gun belt and pouches could also be pricey to acquire, so I simply scratch built all of them. Just black cotton duck and nylon ribbon to trim all the edges. I did buy the real AustriAlpin Cobra buckle though. I did a replica of the season 2-4 FN gun- I used a very cheap airsoft pistol and bent up some aluminum to make the rocket launcher.


For the double tanks, I got a grey and a black T-shirt from the thrift store and modified them a bit. (Today, I'd just buy a set from Anovos! Those are much better...) For the dog tags I used a dremel to cut hexagons out of brass plate.



Here's the suit with the patches on:



I included the wrist computer detail- Once again, the real Nixon wrist watch was much to expensive for this build, so I faked one in out of aluminum sheet.

The front vest I also re-did three times. This final version is made of grey suede- the 'black dot' material is old auto upholstery I got at the pick-a-part. (From an MGB, if I recall...)



I eventually found some great looking shoes to go with the suit- they are not quite the screen-used type, but they are darn good and made out of a similar material. (But- these are not even real Nike! They are Chinese knock-offs- I was so excited to find them I hit the Buy-it-now button without thinking- when it sank in that I paid under $30 for new Nike I went back and googled the source- totally fake. Sorry Nike...)



I did a fair amount of weathering to the suit as well, much of it with gold spray paint. It is still pretty subtle. The check list looks the most beaten, and still looks a bit too nice compared to most of what we saw onscreen.

And I got to wear it to Comic Con in San Diego. Where I met Grant Imahara- wearing his flightsuit... professionally made out of the correct Sommers material.... can't win 'em all. (But hey-at least he's someone who loves these things as much as I do...)



Thanks for looking!
 

Lorum Ipsum

New Member
Dude, yet again, you've made me metallic green with envy. Another awesome cosplay. (I'm a big fan of your TWOK field outfit!)

What would your call sign be..?!
 

Galacticat

Active Member
Awesome job! I was going to attempt to make one of these myself, never could get a hold of any Sommers... then a friend offered to sell me hers, so I really lucked out. I give you props for doing this yourself - I'd love to say I made mine myself, but honestly, I'm glad I didn't have to, haha. Mine needs some TLC and I'm almost afraid to fix it up myself.
 

johntrek

New Member
Truely awesome. A shame it is so hot to wear, it looks like something that would be fun to wear at a Con. Or Haloween. Or picking up the dry cleaning. Seriously, if I had one I wouldn't want to take it off.
 

CloudPath

New Member
Amazing job!

It looks as though the shoulder pieces have some rigidity to them. What type of material did you use under the surface of the shoulder pieces to get them to hold their shape?
 

Zeppo

Sr Member
All in all, I'd say you did a hell of a good job. I was an officer on Galactica in the series, and while I only ever wore the flight suit once (I spent 3 days in one on Blood and Chrome though, but it was a different design), I was surrounded by them often. Given that you didn't have access to the screen accurate materials, I'd say you pulled it off exceptionally well.

A little trick re: caring for it. The costume dept. on BSG used vodka to clean the original suits, as they couldn't be laundered.
 

Felgacarb

Well-Known Member
@Zeppo- Thanks! Vodka? I would have never thought to try that. Maybe vodka to clean, with a fabreeze chaser...


@CloudPath- By shoulder pieces you are referring to the upper parts on the snap-on vest? I used heavy suede, with vinyl piping on the edges and backing, plus the dot-material sewn on. All that together was pretty stiff- so I 'trained' it by putting heavy objects to hold the shoulder parts folded until they took a set. They seem to stay in shape on their own pretty well now.
 

Malmeansbad

Member
Amazing costume build. I am very impressed by the fact that you did everything yourself. I am currently working on one but I am taking the easy road and modifying a Costume Base one.

So a huge respect for yours.

So say we all.

Or at least, so say I... B-)
 

maximotion

New Member
Hi. Did you email with me a while back on the Chromaflair material? I think I recognize you from the photo. I am trying to get together a group of BSG fans so I can produce the minimum order quantity of the Chromaflair polyurethane used in flight suits. My company sold Universal and we are out of the three authentic colors View attachment 331150View attachment 331151 used. I know it is expensive due to the chromaflair pigment but we have sold this to Anovos and others in the past. Can you help? Are you interested in joining a mailing list?
 

Gee2

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi. Did you email with me a while back on the Chromaflair material? I think I recognize you from the photo. I am trying to get together a group of BSG fans so I can produce the minimum order quantity of the Chromaflair polyurethane used in flight suits. My company sold Universal and we are out of the three authentic colors View attachment 331150View attachment 331151 used. I know it is expensive due to the chromaflair pigment but we have sold this to Anovos and others in the past. Can you help? Are you interested in joining a mailing list?

I would be interested in the mailing list.
 

Goodwolf

Sr Member
I wish UD could get a license to do these. I'd love to have a motorcycle jacket like this, and the vest lends itself well to fitting in the armor.
 

CPTHoff73

New Member
Man, your Viper Pilot costume is amazing. I am looking to do a build myself. Can you help me out? Give me recommendations, where to get the patterns, materials used, etc. Thank you for any advice and help you can provide.

Travis

-
 

Nemeseis

New Member
Hi,
I do have 4 yards of the original Sommers Stretch Satin Chroma Fabric left and thinking about selling it. If anyone is interested please let me know.

Neme
 
Top