On the power of costume

I've just started working on my first bridge build (OK, planning the build - need a house with a spare room or shed first).
I come from a theatre background, and I'm always struck by how much easier it is to "get in character" once the full dress rehearsals start. It really makes a big difference.
Masks, and costumes, are a powerful tool for immersion and story-telling. So I'm planning to arrange some ST:Enterprise-style jumpsuits for the crew. Imagine the following image, but with a phaser instead of a hammer. I have a family member who owns a printing business (they do embroidered shirts for companies and stuff like that), so there will be custom rank insignia and department markings and stuff like that. Depending how ambitious I get, I might get some cos-players I know to help add extra decoration, like piping and gubbins.


Has anyone else played with costume design? I'd love to see what other people are doing in this area!


  • edited March 2016
    @gryphon has started a very interesting thread on the Artemis forums on crew uniforms (More like TNG however in my taste) : http://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/instant-uniform-7766754
  • Wow! That's some creative and thrifty work.
    Definitely some good ideas in there for cheap and effective costume stuff.
  • Fouindor said:

    @gryphon has started a very interesting thread on the Artemis forums on crew uniforms (More like TNG however in my taste) : http://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/instant-uniform-7766754

    I picked up a couple shirts needed for that costume before Halloween. It's best when it's cold, especially in winter time since both are long sleeve shirts. Don't work too well for conventions as it's usually hot with all the people around.

    I have to find a picture of our uniform shirts and post it.
  • It's pretty much always hot in Australia. Winter in my town isn't, but if you're locked in a room I figure light-weight clothing is still the way to go.
    Now to find some thin, light overalls for my space-sailors...
  • @loquacious_b cheap "painting overalls" might work for you. First off, they are dirty cheap, which means they are most likely also very thin. So far, I've only seen them in white and pink.

    Else, get 6 large t-shirts in a single color. I think even dressing everyone in a single type of shirt will help.

    Nallath also threw up the idea to setup an EE "parts" web-shop last friday. As we have access to 3D printers, a laser-cutter, CNC mills. And an embroidery machine. So you might be able to buy patches, medals and other stuff from us in the future.
  • With a setup like this, it sounds like a dream prop shop :)
  • @daid They all sound like good options, and I'm pretty sure we can get cheap overalls in navy blue or space grey.

    And yes, that does sound like a fabulous prop shop. I'm stuck with old-school methods from my Warhammer days - bits of rubbish, plastic, particle-board glued together and painted. It works though!
    I'll have to get in with the local hackerspace soon, they've got access to a lot of those high-tech tools.
  • Indeed. If you have the know-how, fab labs are a really wonderful place. Even if you don't really have it, the folks here are generally nice and may lend a hand.

    The one gripe that I have with TOS/TNG ST costumes is that crew/ship patches are not really pretty on them. While the aspect of ST Enterprise's crew uniforms clashed with the established universe, they are better suited for customization.
  • Time and lack of hands are our biggest enemy :-)

    On custumes. The real question is. What size should you get for "general use"?
    As even cheap overalls are 20 euro each (going up to 150 each...), buying large amounts of them for different sizes can get expensive quite quickly.
  • It's a fair point, the cost would add up quickly if I had to outfit a lot.
    I think with a crew of 6, I'll probably only need a dozen outfits. A bunch of medium or large, and a few XL and Small. Pretty sure I can get cheap Chinese ones (hooray for slave labour!*) for about $20 AUD each.

    Or just go REALLY cheap, t-shirts with iron-on transfers :tongue:

    * I am strongly in favour of paying people a fair wage for a fair day's work. So, y'know, the bit about slavery - sarcasm.
  • Wow, a dozen is quite expensive, it really limits your options.

    For the dwarfers out there, some inspiration : http://reddwarf.wikia.com/wiki/Jupiter_Mining_Corporation_Uniform

    The JMC standard uniform, even if they are kind of bland, may be done on the cheap side and allow for a fair amount of customization.
  • Nice to see another Aussie into EE, if you settle on a source I'd be interested to hear it :) I'm based in WA, how about you?
  • A quick bit of Google-fu came up with these, at that price I think I might grab several and see how hard it is to remove the hoods. Though I imagine it would be hilarious to pack people into the full suit...
  • Nallath warned me that those disposable ones will make you sweat like crazy. So that's not really a "go" area.
  • Oh yes, I wear those for work, and if you start moving they suck!
    Used them for hazmat training and clean work at facilities, I would stay away, unless you don't like the people you put them in...
  • Damn I was reading the stuff about breathable material and hoping they're not like those I've been familiar with, but I guess they're talking in relative terms.
  • LOL.
    I think I'll go with some sort of fabric. Maybe I should work out something suitable for summer.

    Perfect summer Space-Uniform.
    Stubbies, thongs, and a wife-beater (in departmental colours).
  • I was thinking something lightweight that people can throw over what they're wearing (and wear immediately after someone else has without feeling gross) would be best for our climate...

    Which makes me think what about some kind of sash, but they're pretty annoying in my experience. I wonder if some kind of "shrug" could work. Obviously not something so diaphanous as the image below, but along those lines. I'm on my phone at present so maybe could find better later. But this would not only give you something to indicate station, but you could stick medals, patches and epaulettes on there too if you were so inclined :wink:

  • You know what, I reckon I'm thinking of basically a cut-down Chaquetilla.
  • I'm also kind an idiot for not thinking of this before... Scrubs (as in hospitals, not hanging out the passenger side of his best friend's ride trying to holler at me) could be a perfect fit for this. They're reasonably comfortable in the heat, unisex, lots of colours available and they're cheap. You can buy tops separately or full sets if you and your mates want the Full Costume feel.
  • Some sort of sleeved jacket with an open front (with a high collar) would also do the trick. If you design them to be worn over black clothing it should do the trick.

  • nallath said:

    Some sort of sleeved jacket with an open front (with a high collar) would also do the trick. If you design them to be worn over black clothing it should do the trick.

    It's also easier to get a "one size fits most" with that. But price wise, it's not that different from overalls.
  • I saw this jacket at Walmart and the first thing that came to mind was "ARTEMIS UNIFORM!!!!'

    Only adjustments I made to it was folding down the collar and hemming it. I did add shoulder patches to it. One for the Eastern Front group I fly with and the other one being a "Crew Chief" patch I was given during an event. I did have a new comm badge made. A friend with a 3D printer made me a comm badge in the shape of the Eastern Front Logo, with a circle in the middle for the TSN challenge coin that was given to me.

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