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Resistance Pilot - Belt & ejection harness guide
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shadow5606 (Cliff Snyder)
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:08 am    Post subject: Resistance Pilot - Belt & ejection harness guide Reply with quote

Here is the current imgur album where this guides images are hosted -
all these images are in-line in the guide below.


https://imgur.com/a/P5iAe

Resistance pilot belt and harness assembly guide

The guide and parts list below is documentation of assembling the resistance pilot belt and harness.

The aluminum paddle design that is downloadable below is the design of Strongbow here on the Legion boards. Strongbow currently has a few of these paddles leftover and you could message him directly to buy a pair or alternately use the files below to make your own.

Here is the final outcome based on the steps below… (Excuse the lack of flight suit!)



Belt and harness parts list:
You can Google any of these parts by name and find alternatives. The links below are only meant to be samples. If you are ordering in a group you may be able to find a British supplier of the roll pin belts and buckles for a better group price than what you find on eBay. All prices below include shipping estimates.

1 or 2 PLCE roll pin belts -- http://www.ebay.com/itm/PLCE-Issue-Webbing-Belt-Olive-With-Roll-Pin-Buckle-NEW-/121602365976?hash=item1c5010da18:m:msvZ4MfflBA8t_mj2NarpEA
1 belt only works for those who are 35" or less at the place they want to wear the belt. 1 belt still requires disassembly and reassembly to be screen accurate. If you are 35” or greater then buy 2 belts. The deciding factor here is that a screen accurate belt has the ribbed surface of the belt passing through the buckle. The ribbed section of the belts I ordered was 39" and you'll need at least a few inches to pass through the buckle. If you are right on the border you could go as large as a 37" waist on a single belt but I'd say no guarantees at that point.
Approx. $39 USD per belt

1 or 2 roll pin buckles -- http://www.ebay.com/itm/Airborne-Webbing-Replacement-ROLL-PIN-BELT-BUCKLE-PLCE-DIY-Tactical-/360411787023?hash=item53ea376f0f:g:IDIAAOSw--1WrmjH
All belt/harness builds require 3 buckles, one for the belt and 2 for the harness. If you are using 2 belts just order 1 spare, if you are using 1 belt then order 2 spares.
Approx. $7 for one buckle

1 bag of 10 ¼” black Chicago screws -- http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-Pack-1-4-Black-CHICAGO-SCREWS-1290-04-Tandy-Leather-Solid-Belt-Screw-Post-/401078690811?hash=item5d622723fb:g:qxQAAOSw54xUXf~a
The screen costume uses rivets; I opted for these removable Chicago screws but feel free to sub in rivets. The visual dictionary also seems to show some variation in the finish/color of these rivets (black vs grey) so like most of this stuff there will be some wiggle room.
Approx. $6

3 ft of Charcoal 2" webbing -- http://www.strapworks.com/Polyester_Webbing_p/pewsc2.htm
10 ft of Charcoal 1.5" webbing -- http://www.strapworks.com/Polyester_Webbing_p/pewsc112.htm
2 to 4 ft of Black 1" webbing -- http://www.strapworks.com/Polyester_Webbing_p/pewsc1.htm

The 1" webbing is used for pull tabs on the 3 buckles and optionally the tops of the aluminum ejection harness paddles - not all costumes have pull tabs at the tops of the paddles and I expect they will be optional if you are not doing a face character. 2ft will cover the 3 buckles and if you plan to put pull tabs on your aluminum paddles you'll need to bump your qty to 4 ft.

Webbing notes: I believe they used cotton or some non-synthetic webbing in the film but I couldn't find the right weave. From reviewing the visual dictionary it's obvious they used different types of webbing, particularly when you compare Snap to Jess Pava. You can sub in flat nylon webbing in place of this polyester webbing and save about $8. However, the flat nylon does not come in charcoal and would need to be painted. The charcoal poly webbing is a very close match to the primer I used and some may leave the charcoal poly webbing unpainted if they feel it matches their painted belt. I personally used the flat nylon and painted mine for an exact match to the painted belt.
Approx. $10-18 for all webbing

Rustoleum primer -- http://www.lowes.com/pd_225935-90-249340_0__
There are fabric paints and other primers that would be less expensive. I had this on-hand.
Approx. $4 - 8

Corrosion inhibitor -- http://www.amazon.com/WD-40-300038-Specialist-Corrosion-Inhibitor/dp/B0083V8KIW/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1453745313&sr=8-5&keywords=anti+corrosion+spray
Optionally to spray the roll pin belt buckles and avoid rust
Approx. $0 - 11

2 machined aluminum paddles (the metal bits that sit on either side of the buckle at the top of the ejection harness) - this link is to a PDF template that you can print at 100% and use as a pattern to machine these yourself -- https://www.dropbox.com/s/avc4rglp6fy7m8m/harness%20paddle.pdf?dl=0

Note that there is just barely enough room in this design for the Chicago screws and if you’re machining them yourself you may need to file out these holes just a bit. If you want to have these machined for you here is a link to a STEP file which can be opened in CAD software or sent to a machine shop that does computer controlled machining -- https://www.dropbox.com/s/jaksoqyjh708iow/Paddle.step?dl=0

The files provided here are a little different than the paddles pictured in this guide, I was using an earlier version so please note the images in this guide do not match the template and STEP file included here exactly. These files are more screen accurate than the paddles pictured on my belt.

Approx. $15+ per pair (dependent on qty)

Total parts estimate: $86 - $130 USD

P.S. If you plan to weather your hardware you may want to budget some dark wash paints and/or aluminum black finish, see the steps below for images of those products and plan to spend $4 to $18 for these depending on which you choose to buy.

Starting parts:



Naming the parts:
Each belt has a front that we'll call section A, a back that we'll call section B and an extension designed to go through the buckle that we'll call section C. From here on out I’ll refer to belt 1 section A as B1SA, and belt 1 section B will be B1SB. I’ll use the same scheme for belt 2 – B2SA and B2SB.



Breaking down the belts:

- Use a sharp blade or seam ripper to separate belt sections A, B and C



- Remove stitching for the webbing that secures the D rings and the X shaped stitching on the webbing that holds the roll pin buckle in place



- You'll have this pile of parts to discard - The C section of the belt, D rings, and the webbing that held the D rings and webbing that held the buckle



- Parts you'll keep to reassemble - The A and B sections of the belt, the roll pin buckles and the belt loop



- Repeat this for your 2nd belt if you are over 35" and using two belts

- Rip the stitches in the roll pin buckle webbing pull tabs and remove the pull tabs

- Lay out your belt sections A and B from both belts as well as your belt loops for painting. If you are using the charcoal poly webbing I linked to above you may opt not to paint it, it's a very close match to the primer. I liked the idea of using the same paint on the belt and harness so I painted it all. I recommend a couple of coats as the paint soaks up. Some light uneven coverage with the paint can add to a weathered look.



Treating the hardware:

- Remove the protective finish that gives these roll pin buckles their yellow/green appearance. Toss your 3 roll pin buckles in a bath of 1/4 cup vinegar to 1 tsp salt mixture. Let them soak a few minutes and then use an old toothbrush or anything that will get down into the knurled surface of the roll pin. You'll be left with clean silver buckles.



- If you've had aluminum cut for your ejection harness paddles you'll want to decide if you'll keep them straight like some pilots or bent slightly like Poe and others. If you chose to bend you can use a vice, clamp, pliers or some combination of the above to make a gentle bend in your paddle. Some plastic could protect the surface as you bend the aluminum.

- You could stop here with clean hardware and maybe mist them with rust inhibitor at this point but I chose to weather my buckles and ejection harness paddles to give them a screen-accurate look. You could do this with simply a dark wash paint or ink but I used a product called Aluminum Black also.

- With Aluminum Black you'll apply it with a cotton swab or Q-Tip, give it a few minutes to react and then scrub most of it away with 0000 steel wool. Maybe a smear down the face of an ejection paddle to simulate oil running down it or some splotches down in the knurled roll pin. After the Aluminum Black you can give it a nice dark wash by thinly brushing on Citadel Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade. I rubbed off most of that with a shop towel after letting it set up for a few minutes but before it totally dried. Experiment with this and remember you can remove the Aluminum Black with steel wool and you can remove the dark washes with Windex so it's easy to go back to clean if you over-do it. Optionally you can lightly mist these with corrosion inhibitor spray when you are done weathering but don't do this till you are happy with the weathered look as you can't paint over the rust inhibitor.



- I ended up with this look



Belt assembly:

General notes - Heavy scissors will cut this belt and webbing. Any time you make a cut you may wish to use some flame to melt any frayed edges on the webbing or the belt material. If you are 35" or smaller around and are using only one belt skip most of these instruction... I'll include special notes for a 1 belt method beneath each step.

Overview – This image gives you a bird’s eye view of the way the belts go back together, and the math behind each section. Read the assembly steps below to better understand and reference back to this overview and the formulas. The red lines indicate the two outward facing sections of the belt which are against the floor and not showing. The blue lines indicate the inside sections of the belt that are facing the camera. There is language in this image of single layer belt length to the left and right of the roll pin; this is for adjustability and will make sense after reading further below.

Click this image and zoom in for a closer look and a formula for each section as a work reference


Here are the formulas to reference back to once you understand the assembly:

B1SA = W x 50% - .75"
B1SB = Original length (33.5” for me)
B2SA = W - B1SA - .75 + X”
B2SB = W - B1SB + 1.75” - .75” - Y”

W = Waist measurement
X = Belt length to right of roll pin (8” for me)
Y = Length of single layer belt to left of roll pin (3.5” for me)

Note that if you are greater than 58” or less than 35” these formulas will need to be modified. Below are alternate instructions for the single belt variant. If you are greater than 58” just apply the principals you learn from the 2 belt model but know you’ll be making some different cuts and bridging the belts together differently.

Single belt formulas:
B1SA = Original length (39.5” assuming these belts don’t vary)
For a waist smaller than 31” B1SA could be cut shorter
B1SB = W - .75 + 1.75” - Y”
W = Waist measurement
Y = Length of single layer belt to left of roll pin

Putting it back together:

- Attach your 1" black webbing to the 3 buckles and optionally to the ejection harness paddles as pull tabs. Each buckle will require an 8" length of black 1" webbing if you fold it in the way they came. Pull tabs on the paddles are optional and there are instances of pilots with paddles missing or including this webbing.



- Take your measurement at the place you expect to wear your belt. Most pilots wear their belt at the same height as the mid-section stitching in their flight suit and that appears to be approximately at the belly button but Jess Pava wears her belt dipping below that and like most things in this costume there seems to be wiggle room. You'll need to make your own call based on where you plan to wear this.

- Cut B1SA to a length where it starts just beside your belly button, allows room for the buckle that will go there eventually, and ends at the center of your back. Later we'll hide the joint of B1SA and B2SA with our 1.5" webbing that serves as the rear of our ejection harness. Missing placement of this cut will make your belt look sloppy with either a visible gap between the two belts, or force you to place the rear of your ejection harness off center to hide so measure twice or have a friend hold the belt up to mark it before you cut. In the picture below I've already made the cut I'm describing.
(Skip this step for single belt assembly)



- Take B1SB and lay it against the back of B1SA. B1SB extends 1.75" beyond B1SA which allows for the loop around that secures the belt buckle. B1SB will also need to extend several inches in the direction opposite the buckle; this is where we attach B2SA. In the image below you’ll see on the left the two overhangs of B1SB and the images to the right, its purpose which we’ll address in later steps.
(Perform this step for single belt assembly but note B1SB will only be used to secure your buckle, not bridge in another belt – for single belt assembly your B1SB will stop short of B1SA and will likely need to be trimmed back before sewing together)



If you are performing a single belt assembly then cut B1SB to a length that will allow B1SA to pass through the buckle as a single layer and leave you a few inches for adjustment. See the formulas above for a single belt assembly.
(For single belt assembly only)

- Hold the B1SA and B1SB together and begin stitching with grey thread in the section just inside the raised piping-style edge of the belt.
(Perform this step for single belt assembly but make sure you’ve cut B1SB to length so that it’s not passing through your buckle along with B1SA)



- Fold the 1.75" length of section B over the inside of your roll pin buckle and stitch along the top and bottom to secure the buckle. Add back your painted belt loop here and put a few stitches through the belt loop (stitches not shown in image) the belt loop will cover the raw edge of B1SB that is now sewn to the face of B1SA and holding the buckle in place.
(Perform this step for single belt assembly)



Here is a reference for the stitches in the belt loop



- Take B2SA and cut it to half of your previously taken waist measurement plus a few inches past the buckle for adjustability. My belt extends about 8” past the roll pin but you can adjust this as you see fit. If you have a 2nd person, place your B2SA around the left side of your body with the length you want past the roll pin and then find where it will meet B1SA on your back and mark there for your cut. Use the finished end of B2SA to pass through the buckle and leave the unfinished end that you just cut for the rear where it’s covered by the rear strap of the ejection harness later.
(Skip this step for single belt assembly)

- Once this is cut you'll stitch section B2SA to B1SB and you should have an appropriate length belt that passes a reasonable distance past the buckle in the front and has the joint between the B1SA and B2SA directly at your spine to be covered with a 1.5" webbing strap later.
(Skip this step for single belt assembly)



- Now we'll take B2SB and cut it to length so that it picks up where B1SB stops and extends to a few inches before the roll pin for adjustability. I found it necessary to have B2SB stop a bit before the buckle because I couldn't get B2SA and B2SB to pass through both sides of the roll pin together.
(For single belt assembly you'll be trimming back B1SB so that it does not pass through the buckle along with B1SA.)

- Left image shows my first attempt with B2SB passing through the roll pin, I couldn't get it back through the other side of the buckle because of thickness. The right image shows my second attempt where section B2SB stops a few inches before the buckle so that only B2SA passes through the roll pin.



- Once you get this dialed in you'll be done with your belt.


Ejection harness assembly:
General notes: It's possible to use a hole punch, riveting tools, a pick, a knife and all sorts of things to put holes and fasteners in the webbing but I used a soldering iron and Chicago screws. A rivet would be more screen accurate. Once you've decided on your fastener just make appropriate size holes with an appropriate tool. If you're with me on Chicago screws and a soldering iron you'll probably want to test the soldering iron on a scrap piece of webbing to ensure it makes a hole big enough for the Chicago screw. Using a small soldering iron and leaving it in longer to widen your holes can cause the webbing to warp and distort but larger diameter irons can pass right in and out with no damage.

This image gives you a profile look at the top of the ejection harness. Blue is the path of the 2 inch webbing as it loops around the buckle, through the paddle and over the belt. Red is the belt. Orange is the path of the 1.5” webbing as it routes from the back side of the buckle, over the roll pin, back through the buckle and between the layers of 2” webbing to be fixed in place by a Chicago screw or rivet.



- Start by cutting some 2" webbing to rough size you can trim later. This webbing will be used to hang the ejection harness buckle, support the aluminum paddle and suspend the whole harness from the belt. I used about 11.75" of webbing on each side but give yourself some wiggle room. The buckle should be fairly close to the belt... I estimate that Poe's distance from the top of his ejection buckle to the bottom of the paddle is about the same height as the belt itself which measures 2.25" high. Snap, Ello and Jess all appear to have variation here with Jess's being the longest distance. For a non-face character I think you've got some wiggle room on this distance but Poe's is the tightest for sure. Here’s a ruler shot for reference.



- The back side of the loop that holds my ejection harness buckles in place is just shy of 2.5"and this is part of what governs the distance from the bottom of your belt to the top of the buckle on the harness.



- Stitch a box shape with an X through the middle to match the screen used harness. The stitched box doesn't go all the way to the side edge of the webbing so take a look at some pilot pictures and try to space it appropriately. The height of the box shape and how close your stitching is to the top of the buckle will determine how far your ejection harness buckles hang down from your belt. From my estimation it seems the box shaped stitching is 50% to 75% the height of the belt itself on Poe's harness which suggest the box stitching should be 1.5" high or just a bit more which is right where mine comes in at. My buckles hang down further than Poe's because my stitching isn't quite as close to the top of the ejection buckle as his. Again, other characters stitching to belt ratios are much different so there is wiggle room.



- Route the 2" webbing through the face of the ejection harness paddle and up the back of it. My paddle sits about flush with the end of the webbing on the back side, here’s an image of the rear of that paddle.



- With your paddle in place use a marker, or in my case a soldering iron, to mark the fastener positions on the webbing and your paddle holes as guides. Be sure your placement is level or your paddles will be crooked in relation to your belt. It does appear that across all characters the slot at the bottom of the paddle is parallel to the bottom of the belt, even if some of them hang a bit low.

- Remove the paddle and make your holes.



- I applied a bit of lock-tite to the screws to keep them in place as I installed my Chicago screws.



- I used the soldering iron to create holes for the Chicago screws to pass through my box-stitched webbing. Use the holes in the box shaped stitching as guides to mark your 1.5 inch webbing and then make holes in the 1.5” webbing as well.

- Refer back to the ejection harness cross section above and note how the 1.5” webbing is sandwiched in between layers of the 2” webbing as you insert your Chicago screws or other fasteners. --- NOTE, the melted webbing can make it a challenge to get your Chicago screws to bottom out, you may need to trim off some of the melted webbing with a blade or heat it up and squash it together tightly to get your Chicago screws in place here. Once your screws are in place you're ready to repeat this with the other side of the harness.

- Repeat the first few steps of the ejection harness assembly guide but when it comes time to fix your 1.5" webbing to the other side of your harness you'll want to estimate where your 1.5" webbing will be held by the rear center strap and have someone hold it there. You'll want enough webbing here so that your ejection straps hang right around knee level on the sides while it’s also held at the length you want in the rear. Mine is about 86" from end to end but yours will vary based on your proportions. Once you have your length right make a cut in the 1.5” webbing and complete the 2nd side of your harness by fastening the 1.5" webbing in between the layers of 2" webbing as you did on the other side. Pay attention to twists here and keep your ejection straps fairly straight, possibly by marking the inside as you work.



- Finally we'll add our rear strap to hide the joint between B1SA and B2SA and hold our ejection strap up in the rear. I used a 18" length of 1.5" webbing for my rear strap, including the length of the loops (about 4” up top and 3” on bottom) (Image – Lower right) but this will vary based on your body and preference. Poe's rear strap hangs to the bottom of his butt and also is folded up on itself so it's probably double the length I used if you factor in the fold, other pilots like Jess Pava have rear straps that extend nearly half way between the top of the inseam and the knee with no fold. Again, some wiggle room here based on the film.

A couple lines of stitching will hold the 1.5" webbing to the inside of the belt, do this before you fold the webbing over the back of the belt so that you’re not stitching through the outside face of the 1.5” webbing. (Image – Upper left)
Leave an inch or so of the webbing extending past the bottom of the belt so we can fasten it with Chicago screws or rivets. (Image – Upper right)
At the bottom of the rear strap you can optionally put a few stitches on the inside to fix the ejection strap to the rear strap and keep things centered. This was not done in the film but it’s practical for trooping, your call. A few stitches across the bottom loop (Image – lower left) and we're all done.



I hope this guide is helpful for anyone looking to build their Resistance pilot belt and harness. It’s really only a couple hours of work once you get into it and definitely has a nice sturdy feel when done. Feel free to post up questions or suggestions and over time I may update the guide if it’s practical.

Happy costuming!


Last edited by shadow5606 (Cliff Snyder) on Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:27 am; edited 13 times in total
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Philonius ()
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Job, Cliff Smile
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CaptainTightpantsCosplay ()
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Nice. Solid tips in here!
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome as always!
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hofmann (Matt Hofmann)
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great work, Cliff!
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great DIY!
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MrTexas (Chris Hummel)
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im gonna sticky this, great tutorial!
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for sharing that. Thumbs up
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shadow5606 (Cliff Snyder)
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrTexas wrote:
Im gonna sticky this, great tutorial!


Thanks Chris! I've got another one in this section on blaster finishing now and have one in the works on chest box finishing and optional led wiring. Trying to document everything we are doing over at mos espa base.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I demand royalties! Those are my chubby fingers in there!

Great write-up Cliff!
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shadow5606 (Cliff Snyder)
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strongbow wrote:
I demand royalties! Those are my chubby fingers in there!

Great write-up Cliff!



You get 80% royalty!!! Smile I should call out that Strongbow worked this all out and was gracious to let me photograph and wordsmith his methods.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

80%? Awesome! I was just hoping for a quarter portion.....

Razz
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a possible substitute for the aluminum paddles...

at the time I was making my harness back in November...
no one made the paddles
and
I had no good tools to cut aluminum..
so..
I made mine out of ABS...
heated the ends to bend into the curve
and then used Rub n Buff...
not as good as the aluminum ones..

but adequate - here is mine

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an amazing tutorial! Thanks for putting this out there!
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Delpa Gival (Patrick Delieto)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great tutorial! Working on it!
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