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Author Topic: TOS Klingon Belt Buckles  (Read 8169 times)
Kerris
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« on: 09 26, 2008, 01:51: PM »

Hi Everyone,

I have always wanted one of these buckles and have spent a little time looking into how to make them so that you have a robust metal buckle that will last an age.

I am looking into having them cast in Brass or Pewter if I can or machining them the hard way with angle grinder and pillar drill.

I'll let you know how I get on

I did wonder if anyone else has gone along similar routes?

Kerris
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Kesvirit
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« Reply #1 on: 09 27, 2008, 12:24: AM »

Once again, there is always New Moon’s Klingon department, which features three styles of belt buckle including the TOS standard.

Of course, there is always the bubble-wrap-spray-painted-with-metalic-paint approach. I don’t think such a thing would last long, but would serve you well in the short term. Being cheap and easy to produce, I suspect that they only had to last as long as it took to film one scene.

Beware that a solid metal buckle is going to be difficult to produce and heavy to wear. You may find it tugging the rest of your costume out of place. Also, in choosing belt buckle materials, ask yourself, “How much time and money and potential injury do I want to put in to what is a relatively minor part of a very detailed costume?"

zero g has come up with some techniques for both  the TOS
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The original I sculpted out of clay around which I poured latex to make a mould for casting resin. The resulting piece had pre-planned hemispherical cavities which I filled with iridescent marbles. The back has steel clips embedded in it to take the belt.

and Neo-Trek
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I sculpted the baseplate in clay upon which I arranged little plaster hemispheres previously cast in an ice 'cube' tray. The whole positive was then moulded in plaster, and a fibre glass resin piece pulled from that. I wasn't worried about reproducing the item and destroyed the mould getting the accessory out.
belt-buckle styles. There is no reason you could not switch the techniques and styles around. The TOS variant looks much sturdier but involves more work. Is it worth it to you to sign up for a flickr account to contact him and ask if he will discuss the details?

If you’re pressed for time and don’t have time for smithing or fighting with fibreglass, you could also go the Sculpey route. Cut a slice off of the brick and flatten it into a the desired polygonal shape. Flat spatulas are good for getting even edges and thickness. Pinch off a piece from the brick (*not* the one you just flattened and shaped) and roll it into a very round ball between your palms. A melonballer may work for this too, and give you a more evenly round ball. Try it and see. Cut the ball in half, put the hemisphere where you want it you want the on the polygon. Repeat until you have the buckle looking like you want it, then bake according to instructions. Once cooled, apply multiple coats of metallic paint, allowing the buckle to dry thoroughly between each coat. Caveat: expect to have to do some experimentation to get satisfactory results. I’ve never worn a buckle made in this fashion, so I don’t know how well it would hold up.

Whatever method and materials you go with, I hope you will report back in with the details and the results.
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Kerris
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« Reply #2 on: 09 27, 2008, 11:10: PM »

What I had in mind was first making  a master and seeing if I could get it cast, that or learning how to cast it for myself.

Alternatively, to make one i Would buy some soft metal sheet, cut out the shape I want the pillar drill the holes to take carriage bolts.

This is where it gets tricky.  These would have to be cut down so they sit just above the back of the plate then hammered over like a rivet to stop them pulling free.  Alternatively these could be welded in place but I have never welded anything sothis is something I would have to have done for me.

This just leaves the furnishings for the back to hold the belt and a stud designed to go into the belt holes.

It would be heavy but heavy buckles are all the rage at the moment but a metal one would give me the option to where it as often as I want where as the first time a resin one is dropped or banged it could break.

If I find someone willing to cast them for me I may have to have more than one cast to make it viable, if so I'll make the rest available on here and just ask for the costs.

In any case I'm only looking into it at the moment.

Kerris
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JGibson
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« Reply #3 on: 02 04, 2010, 06:26: AM »

Sometimes youtube teaches us lot of things. As I searched how to make a belt buckle on youtube, I found a real ice collection of videos. I thought I should post it here.
(I have no connection with these videos or sites, just posting here for educational purpose)

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