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B-wing Pilot Version 4 (Finished!)
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:47 am    Post subject: B-wing Pilot Version 4 (Finished!) Reply with quote

I just thought I'd document my progress on the fourth (and hopefully final) version of my B-wing pilot outfit. There are some things I plan to change on my current outfit, things that I need to remake, swap out, and so on.

To-Do List:
-Get new flighsuit in more accurate red, with correct pockets, possibly with tab collar closure (need to confirm), and smaller size
-Finish cloth cap
-Make new gaiters <DONE>
-Resize flak vest (or possibly make a new one if I can find better material)
-Revise ejection harness slightly
-Replace some greeblies on chestbox with more accurate ones
-Replace some greeblies on helmet with more accurate ones
-New amber visor for helmet
-Add a more accurate end to the hose, do not "connect" hose to flightsuit
-Make an attractive holster for blaster

Some "version three" things, like my helmet and chestbox, are already mostly finished, but for those two I need to replace a couple of the greeblies with more accurate ones.

I'm debating whether or not I should add the rectangular collar closure tab to the flightsuit as is seen on Nein Nunb as well as the B-wing pilot from the Star Tours opening picture that was posted... But I'd like to somehow confirm if that tab was on all of the flightsuits or just one or two. But I still need to find a decent flightsuit/coveralls so I've got time for that.
I'd also like to figure out the exact pockets on the flightsuit, especially a strange-looking one that I've mentioned before... But I haven't found any decent references yet other than the questionable Character Encyclopedia pictures.

My flak vest is too big for me and needs to be resized so I'll probably just cut it down. If I can find a better material I may just make a new one (the felt I use now fuzzes up too much) but I've been having a heck of a time finding something that looks even remotely accurate. Color-wise the felt I'm using now is as close as I've been able to find, but the fuzziness drives me crazy because I have to keep snipping off pieces of fuzzy lint. Really wish I could see a picture of the flak vest material used in the movie pilots so I at least had a better idea and example of what to look for... >>;;

I'll post pictures as I make progress, and hopefully by the time I'm done my B-wing pilot outfit will be pretty darn accurate. With any luck, anyway... Smile

Bwing
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Last edited by Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch) on Tue May 30, 2017 7:32 am; edited 2 times in total
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Okami Dai ()
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck for your "version 3" project, Alex!
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HazardThree (Jon Paulson)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm waiting for your Version 19! Laughing
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WedgeAntilles (James Norman)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:22 pm    Post subject: Re: B-wing Pilot Version 3 Reply with quote

Blue Banshee Leader wrote:
the third (and hopefully final) version of my B-wing pilot outfit.


Yeah right... Laughing
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What can I say? I'm a perfectionist. And maybe just a tad obsessive. Razz

But after this one I don't think there will be much more for me to improve... At least until there are better pictures available.

And besides, my "fans" are counting on me! All one of them! Laughing
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Went on a troop today and when I put on my coveralls I noticed something: they're starting to slowly wear apart! There's some white threads showing through, though I'm not sure why the threads are white and not red...
Either way, I guess it really is time for me to get a new pair. I just need to find a pair of coveralls with a decent red color-- Dickies is too pink...
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I may have found the accurate (or relatively accurate) connector plug for the B-wing pilot helmet. They're a Bendix connector, which kind of makes sense because a Bendix connector was used on the flak vest, and this may have been the other end of it that screwed onto it, the male and female halves... I can't say they're completely accurate, and I'm not sure what year the ones I found were made, but they look pretty close from what crappy pictures of the connectors on the B-wing pilot helmet there are.

The B-wing pilot helmet from the Hollywood Auction has a connector very similar to this but in gold, but in other references (Ten Numb and the Star Tours opening pictures) the helmets have gray plugs, though I can't tell if they look the same as the Hollywood Auction helmet because they're just so small... But I found a connector on Ebay that looks like the Hollywood Auction B-wing pilot helmet but in gray. (There was a gold one on Ebay as well that looked almost identical to the auction helmet.)

I got eight for $10. Not bad.



They look a little rusty and worn which I thought was awesome, too. Saves me from having to weather them myself. Cool

Interestingly, I think these were also what was used on the Y-wing pilot helmet. That gives me a little more confidence that I found the right piece...

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stripeythecat (Alex Rose)
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:58 am    Post subject: Bwing flak vest Reply with quote

Just wondered where the end of the hosing from the chest box goes to? And also, should there be extra strapping over the shoulder (apart from the flak vest), connecting to the quick release buckles, which I assume attach the chest box ...? Thanks Falcon
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think anyone is quite sure where the hose from the chestbox goes. It doesn't seem to really connect to anywhere, and pilots in RotJ have it tucked under the belt, stuffed down the front of their flak vest, or tucked up into the back of their flak vest. But you could always just connect it to your flightsuit like X-wing pilots do... That's what most A-wing/B-wing costumers do. Though in my costume revamp I think I'll just have it tucked under something. I'll have to play around with it.

As for the straps, no, there's nothing on the shoulders besides the straps from the back flak vest piece.
If you look at the pictures below, the the side-release buckles seem to attack to the flak vest by some sort of black rectangular anchor piece, though I have no idea what that piece could be. I've been trying to find something like it but haven't had any luck so far.
There is black webbing straps that attach to the chestbox, which have the other end of the side-release buckle at the end of the straps, but there are no straps on the flak vest itself. Besides the two inch white side straps, of course.



The bottom picture is an A-wing pilot but it shows the buckles and anchor thing better.

This is what I did on my vest. The black anchor things on my vest are way too big but it was the best I could come up with at the time. They're just made out of small piece of wood that I painted black, but the buckles are attached to the flak vest by some webbing. I cut a small slit and fed the webbing through, secured the webbing to the back of the vest, and glued the wooden pieces over the front to hide the webbing loops.
Again, not the best solution, but it was all I could come up with. In my revamp I'm thinking of trying to make the anchors in plastic or metal (if I can figure out how the hell I'd shape the metal) and use some tiny screws through the back of the vest to attach the anchors into place.

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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wooo! Looky what I just got on Ebay! ;D



Got it for $35. Not bad!
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's been a bunch of them coming up at relatively affordable prices this week, glad to see one of them went to a good home!
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was surprised that no one was really bidding on it. But I wont complain.

It wasn't the cap I was hoping for, I rather like the one that have the brown leather (or even the black leather) on them rather than the tan because I think that the contrast looks nice, and the tan leather blends into the tan cap more than I'd like, but beggars can't be choosers, I suppose. It also has an Air Force logo on the top but I think most of these caps do, and there's not much that can be done about it. Though I'd wager that the caps in Return of the Jedi probably had the same logo... Assuming the bought the caps in bulk, I can't see the costumers wasting the time to try to scrub the logos off when the caps would either be mostly covered (A-wing pilots) or barely seen at all.

I was also looking over some movie references again and if you look closely at the pilots wearing caps in the briefing room scene you can tell that there's all different types of AN-H-15 caps being worn. One A-wing pilot has one with what looks like brown or black leather behind the snaps, another pilot (a female B-wing pilot) has what looks to be tan leather like the cap I got or possibly no leather at all, and another A-wing pilot has no leather behind the snaps but instead has leather triangles at the bottom of the cap.
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Cat O. ()



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The A-Wing pilot turned sideways chatting with sidestrap pilot looks like he has a blurry schmear on his helmet just above and forward of center of the earcushion. Right about where the AAF logo stamp goes. So yes, I'ld say the logo is a screen-accurate option!

Far right in this montage:

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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could be. Either way, I'm not going to worry about it. That logo would be a pain in the butt to get off, so screw it, it's staying. Razz
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B-wing Pilot - Jedi - Resistance X-wing Pilot - Temmin "Snap" Wexley
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Blue Banshee Leader (Alex Buirch)
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got my AN-H-15 in the mail yesterday. The thing is pretty neat and has some nice weathering, but there is a problem... it's too small. The cap fits me, more or less, though it's a little tighter than it should be, but I can't close the chin strap at all. And this is a large. I guess WWII pilots had small heads... or I have a big head. Razz
But it's not a total bust. I'll just scratch-build another one like I did the first time, but now I have a real AN-H-15 that I can compare sizes and shapes to rather than just looking at pictures online, so that will definitely be useful.

I took some pictures, though. I put it on and put on my helmet and snapped a few pictures, which was admittedly rather exciting. So, without further ado, I present the first time ever-- that I know of-- that the screen-accurate (well, the mold of it is screen-accurate) B-wing pilot helmet and AN-H-15 cap set has been matched and worn together, even in the movie!




















I did realize something, though... I believe that I discovered why we never actually see B-wing pilots wearing the helmet and cap together, ever, in any picture or film footage. In all of the pictures and footage the B-wing pilots either wear the cap and hold the helmet, wear the cap and don't have a helmet, or hold the helmet and don't have a cap. Now I know why... 'Cause it don't fit. The B-wing pilot helmet is small and very tight, and the black rubber "doughnuts" on the AN-H-15 are just too thick to put the helmet on over the AN-H-15. You can't put the helmet on at all. The only way I got it on is because my main helmet has a small crack on the top and that crack allowed the helmet to open up just enough for me to force the helmet down. Without that crack it would have been impossible. Plus, the metal rings inside the "doughnuts" dug into my ears as I was trying to put the helmet on and yeah... it wasn't much fun.
So that's probably some good information for any aspiring B-wing pilots. Scratch-build the cap and use cloth and foam for the black "doughnuts" on the cap. If you have a small head (like around the size of the foam head in my pictures above) you'll probably be okay and will be able to get the WWII AN-H-15 and the B-wing pilot helmet on, but if you have a head larger than that it's not gonna happen. Razz

I think I'll just use my AN-H-15 for a display piece (besides using it for reference). Once I start casting the helmets I was planning to whip up a helmet painted in a face character's style, Keyan Farlander, as his helmet has enough references that I should be able to make one in that style, and I'll just stick the cap with it for display.
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