I was asked by a friend to upgrade their Costume Base flight suit to look more screen accurate. The Costume Base flight suits are known for having an inaccurate vest, the back scales are the wrong color, and the green vinyl is not quite the right color. The cuffs, snaps, and buckles are also incorrect on the stock costume base suit.
Original suit purchased from Costume Base
Upgraded and modified Costume Base suit
Suit - The entire green suit was painted with a watered down sheer wash of a custom mix of Jacquard Lumiere paints. I had the screen used flight suit vinyl on hand in order to compare my paint mixture to. I don't recall all of the paints I mixed off hand. I know 562 metallic olive was one, I think some copper and or bronze colors may have been mixed in with a touch of black Jacquard textile paint and even a touch of a purplish color. It was all brushed on by hand with a sponge paint brush applicator. After the Lumiere wash dried, I weathered the suit by air brushing with a mix of what I believe was probably black and brown jaquard textile paint
Cuffs - The original cuffs were removed. The vinyl was literally flaking and falling apart. I believe it is because Costume Base ironed on interfacing to the cuffs. (Heat + vinyl = bad) I had some screen accurate cuff vinyl on hand (matched to suits on the show) as well as screen accurate snaps and made brand new wrist and ankle detachable cuffs.
Back Scales - Thanks to some advise from Dave Wong (Eggroll) I seam ripped the bottom halves of each back scale and inserted some headliner foam to give more of the 3D effect that the screen used costumes have. The only mistake I made was on the first few scales, I covered the inside of the scale with glue which made it crinkly and inflexible when it hardened. The rest of the scales turned out much better using glue only on the edges of the fabric to tack the foam in place. I then painted the back scales with a combination of Lumiere Jacquard paints. Finally, I weathered the edges by air brushing with a mix of brown and black jacquard textile paint.
Vest - the old vest was scrapped. I made a brand new vest out of synthetic suede, "turbo" rubber/vinyl, and "marcasite" piping. I had vinyl that was identical to the texture used for the TV show flight suit piping, but in the wrong color. So, I painted the vinyl with Jacquard Lumiere paints, cut strips to make my own piping, and attached it to the vest panels. All vest panels were made from a neoprene base. I studied some of the vests at the Battlestar auctions and discovered 3 different base materials were used for the vests. Some bases were neoprene, some were heavy nylon cordura, and some were the rubber/vinyl turbo material. I suppose the costume department just used whatever was laying around since it is covered by the suede anyway. The vests are finished off with screen accurate snaps, webbing, and plastic buckles. A huge thanks goes out to Geoff, Dana, and Jose for answering many questions I had about vest construction.
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