The Importance of Using Accurate Original Patterns
When we got our first glimpse of Captain Georgiou & Commander Burnham’s new uniforms in the run-up to Star Trek: Discovery’s "launch" we said, "OK. That’s a completely different uniform!" From its diagonal zipper & asymmetrical collar, to its metallic printed deltas & embroidered contrast points - Gersha Phillips and her costume team showed us a strange new world filled with her clearly distinctive creations. It was fresh. It was amazing, but it also meant that we had our work cut out for us.
Having built a reputation of being able to replicate our highly accurate costumes from archive reference and access to original uniforms, we were confident that we could make them. But, we also knew immediately that this uniform would be nearly insurmountable for one reason alone - the pattern's cut shapes were atypical. With odd inorganic curves that would need an endless array of testing to get the drape and overall “look” just right.
It can't be emphasized enough that without access to original uniforms we couldn't have come close to the original costumes.
It's lucky then that we were positioned in the right place & time.
Having been friends and partners with CBS Consumer Products from the very start of ANOVOS', we were invited to visit the studio in Toronto where we met Gersha and her team, saw Daniel Hyun Lim's original costume concept sketches, documented several original uniforms, and most importantly were granted access to not only one set of patterns, but four during our trip. This level of access was unprecedented, and we left armed with a range of reference material from Captain Lorca to Ensign Tilly. We felt confident we’d be able to capture the breath of sizing for everyone while maintaining a level of accuracy befitting the fantastic work of the Star Trek: Discovery Costume Department.
Thus armed with terabytes of reference & patterns, our next step was Digital Grading of the patterns. This process captures every size and translates it into what we know are the most requested common sizes in our community of Star Trek fans & customers.
Technical note: What is grading and why is it important?
As most of our customers are aware, the sizing of a typical female lead is pretty small. It is unusual to see a woman depicted on screen that resembles the plus size models that we are seeing on more fashion runways these days. What CBS did in casting Mary Wiseman in Star Trek: Discovery is to introduce us to a modern sized actress. With Ens. Sylvia Tilly’s screen used pattern, for the first time, we were able to reference not just the usual size small and extra small costumes, but a larger sized pattern which gave us a full range of sizes. That made the grading of the patterns more “true” to the Starfleet uniforms’ tailored fit. We didn’t have to rely on the ANOVOS standard grading points to do an overall increase in size for each piece, as we generally do for our costumes. We had accurate reference points to adjust in order to ensure the design remained consistent. This was an extraordinary opportunity to get the fit right not only for our smaller customers, but for the curvier fan base as well.
After overcoming the issues of sizing & refining the pattern to be just as faithful to the original costumes as the right combination of metallic prints and contrasts - we believe this outfit is in the top three of the most stage accurate outfits we’ve ever created. From a combination of getting to work with the original production team, to bringing this to Texas to be watched over directly - it was a magical combination that rarely presents itself.
The creation of an "ultimate wearable replica."
We feel that this piece of wearable art will be a must have uniform in any Star Trek collection. Ordinarily we'd have excitedly unveiled this amazing ensemble at a convention like San Diego Comic Con or The Official Star Trek Convention, but owing to the ongoing pandemic, pictures will have to suffice for now. It's often said that "A picture is worth a thousand words." If that's true then I'll stop, and let our uniform speak for itself.
ANOVOS’ STAR TREK Original Series Season One Starfleet Insignia on a Command Division Gold Velour Tunic.
On Tuesday a friend sent me a link to an interesting story...
It was from SCREEN RANT titled, "Star Trek: Kirk's Iconic Uniform Color Was A Mistake." Well I'm never one to pass up an opportunity to see someone else’s take on the never ending debate about the color of Captain Kirk's Tunics - So I ran to check it out!
Original story and photo alteration by Zac Kellian for SCREEN RANT. * Click Image for Link
Written by Zac Kellian, the blog entry's first statement is absolutely correct. The evidence is overwhelming that The Original Series' famed Costume Designer William Ware Theiss absolutely intended Starfleet's Command Division to wear some shade of green. He quite correctly points out that Captain Kirk occasionally wore darker green colored wraparound tunics, but strangely he seems oblivious to the presence of Kirk's green Dress Uniform tunics, or the Command Division's green coveralls which would have further backed up his "theissis." BUT, his story completely falls apart after that one statement with his next line.
Command Division Green from TOS. A crewman in coveralls, Kirk in his Season 1 & 2 Wraps, and Dress Uniform.
He says, “Believe it or not, all of the original series Command uniforms were originally lime green.”
It's not really his fault. Mr. Kellian means well enough, but falls victim to something that has plagued everyone who only dips a single toe into the deep ocean of what’s become a debate without end, “The Great Kirk Tunic Color War.”
Misinformation. The interwebs are full of it.
A cursory Google search just can't impart a lifetime of research, but Mr. Kellian's blog is written with all of the certainty of someone who has read just one line of a PhD dissertation, and then puts all his journalistic weight behind his shocking discovery.
He is, of course, incorrect.
Captain Kirk in his “Avocado Gold/Green,” Command Division Uniform in season 3’s “The Paradise Syndrome.”
No Zac, they weren't “Lime Green,” or “Apple Green,” or any other shade of Green. Captain Kirk's Regular Uniform Tunics were Gold.
It's an easy and understandable mistake to make.
Many have. Many still do.
About twenty years ago in the earliest chat rooms and message boards set up to discuss Star Trek's uniforms, someone would inevitably come along and say, "Guys! Did you know Captain Kirk's yellow shirt was really green?!?"
Rage Mode Activated
New people in the hobby would gasp & say, "No way, that’s amazing" while more experienced people would simply say "Here we go again." Sigh. I guess it's my turn.
What people were referring to was Captain Kirk's 3rd Season nylon, Command Gold Uniform Tunics. They’re tunics that we’re all incredibly familiar with at ANOVOS. They’ve been one of our most accurate and popular replicas since entering the marketplace over a decade ago.
How do we know they’re accurate? We use the original materials, and most importantly - the original color dye formula, from the original dye house, which was developed & used for Star Trek in 1968 & ‘69.
We know they’re right because we’ve been granted access to examine and compare original Star Trek uniforms that survive in the archives maintained by ViacomCBS, and in private collections.
That's me with a couple of Third Season Command Tunics, corrected to demonstrate the fabric’s “avocado” color.
The third season Command Tunic has always been a very peculiar color. It was described by Bill Theiss as an "Avocado Gold/Green'' which is to say that it’s a shade of yellow with a touch of green to it. It's certainly NOT "lime green" or anything even approaching that shade.
It's a weird color to be sure.
To the naked eye, in natural light, it appears to be almost more green than gold, but when photographed...it turns gold.
Now there are a number of reasons for this color shift.
A bisected avocado for reference
From the particular Eastman/KODAK 5251 color negative film used for TOS, to how it was processed, to the various colored gels used to light the interior of the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE. But, I've found (and demonstrated to countless people at conventions over the years) that something about photographing these tunics - even just looking at them through a camera's shutter - turns them gold.
Every damn time. Weird.
Season 3 Uniform tunic as originally televised, and color corrected for the remastered “Requiem for Methuselah.”
The 3rd Season Command Tunic is the origin of this particular color phenomena, but Zac compounds his mistake - like so many others before him, by assuming that same information must apply to all of Captain Kirk's gold uniform tunics (and of course Sulu & Chekov's) worn throughout the series. It's probable then that he's simply unaware that the velour (actually brushed tricot) fabric used for the first two season's uniforms was a different shade of gold altogether, and unquestionably yellow (no matter how green he photoshopped Captain Kirk's tunic for his blog).
The original image of Captain James T. Kirk from Season 1 -- The gold velour tunic in “The Alternative Factor.”
In the first (and best) two seasons - the tunics worn by Captain Kirk and others belonging to the Command Division were a warmer citrus based yellow that under certain lighting conditions picks up the faintest greenish twinge. But they remain an almost perfect yellow on a Pantone Color chart. A yellow we copied from original references in the archives & allowing for color drift over the course of five decades.
ANOVOS’ 50th Anniversary Season 1 Velour Tunic laying on a Season 3 Premier Line Tunic, in sunlight.
The truth then is far more involved than just saying all of Kirk’s shirts were “originally lime green.” The fact is that none of them were. Even the wool wraparound tunics which WERE green were different shades entirely. You can see that yourself by simply watching the remastered Original Series. The Season 1 wrap was almost olive, while season 2 was colored more like Kermit the Frog.
ANOVOS’ Season 1 & Season 2 Captain Kirk Wraparound Tunics
In any case, the shirts he was trying to talk about were conclusively yellow/gold (with maybe a hint of green). A better headline for Zac’s blog would have been “Captain Kirk’s Iconic Uniform Color Was Complicated.” But I guess that's just not as buzz worthy. 😒
Captain James Kirk wearing his Second Season gold velour Command Tunic on Pyris VII, in “Catspaw.”
Honestly on my first readthrough of Zac’s blog, I just wanted to ignore it. I hoped I could. I really didn’t want to write about it at all. I just wanted it to go away. BUT, I’ve been in the trenches too long. I’ve been a soldier in “The Great Kirk Tunic Color Wars” (from both sides of it) for decades.
Mr. Kellin’s blog entry - as harmless as it might seem - is a new front in that fight. Already it’s being fired off to different corners of social media and paraded around as “proof” for the green side in this never-ending hellscape of debate.
For example, recently it was reposted by the Roddenberry Entertainment facebook page, and just from there it’s been shared 208 times. 208 people spreading nothing but misinformation to who knows how many people, and that’s just from one post!
Imagine the damage it’ll do by the weekend.
BTW - It's blue and black.
That was nothing compared to the bloody, open warfare of “The Great Kirk Tunic Color Wars.” I have seen mild mannered costumers turn into wild berserkers on virtual battlefields.
I’ve seen heads explode like watermelons and people compare the color of the rind to one of Kirk’s wraps. Dark stuff. You wanna be a hero? Spread this response instead. Anywhere you see that insidious Screen Rant story, retort with this.
Maybe, just maybe we can spread some truth out there.
Doctor McCoy, Captain Kirk, and Commander Spock of the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE in Season One’s “This Side of Paradise.”
Stay Safe, and Live Long & Prosper,
*Screen Rant Article Reference https://screenrant.com/star-trek-kirk-uniform-tos-original-series-green-yellow/
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John is a writer based in Las Vegas, and a product developer for ANOVOS
(P.S. Now that’s a green tunic 😃)
"We Aren't All Starfleet"
— From Picayune Purloining to Profane Proselytizing
It's easy to slag against something nowadays —particularly if it is new and shiny. And, really, the Internet is predictable in that regard. After all, whole cottage industries and click-bait farms have cropped up like hotspots, acting as microcosms of conspiracy theory and rumor-mill havens that proliferate the Internet like bad gorches defacing Klingon high-school yearbooks.
With that having grabbed your attention, I personally declare—to anyone who shouldn't truly care—after 3 years of wading through meandering and flash-bang dysfunction, that I’ve decided to hit the eject button on Discovery.
Space Karen would like to speak to your Manager now.
If there is a positive to my self-inflicted torture, it is that Discovery has made me yearn for the days of intelligent science fiction story telling with compelling and memorable characters. Shows that knew what they were and what they wanted to say. Stories that made me re-examine my own beliefs and feelings at times.
Babylon 5. Farscape. Classic Trek. Battlestar Galactica. Blake's 7.
To name a few reference points. Sure, each of those have their ups and downs, and were certainly products of their time—but they were memorable. They meant something to me and stuck with me. They made you look at things a different way, as good stories should.
They were a “Starfleet,” too. (Federation Troopers in action from Blake’s 7.)
This “We are Starfleet”—the ram-rodded verbal tick that pretends to be either a rallying cry or a justification for some visceral and polarizing action...
Like "God Save the Queen", "Make America Great Again", or "Live Long and Prosper"—proselytizing just isn’t for me.
And I’m fine with that. Its just my opinion. I don’t believe it to be well-written. It has nothing of depth to say, and is best forgotten with the likes of The Starlost or Galactica 1980 (except "The Return of Starbuck'' episode). At least Lost in Space and other Irwin Allen Productions had their charms, even if Harlan Ellison would say they were "kiddie fare." Yes, Uncle Harlan, I know it's cheese and camp—it says so on the label. Truth in advertising.
But this glitzy Medusa with more producers than one can shake a stick at makes Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda and Earth: Final Conflict look like Shakespeare at the Apollo. Never thought I’d say that in reference to a Star Trek series.
Even when Voyager gave us hams like “Threshold,” or when DS9 gave us episodes like “Move Along Home,” or TNG gave us Brent Spiner hamming it up in “Masks” as a veritable one-man show...
Everything has their ups and downs.
Kevin Sorbo stars as Captain Dylan “Space Hercules” Hunt in Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda.
Also, I understand the belief that "there aren’t any new ideas.”
Apparently, this is both justification and code for "we shall be inherently lazy and try to seize the cultural zeitgeist by ripping things from the front page of Buzzfeed."
In this season of DSC, a dysfunctional societal gestalt masquerading as Discovery's second conceptual “reboot” is compared to — rather superficially — a reskin of Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, with the same incongruent production approach that befuddled and scuttled seaQuest DSV in the 1990s.
Remember that one, kids? It was the darling of NBC and Amblin Entertainment. Had Roy Schider, teen heart-throb Jonathan Brandis, and a talking animatronic dolphin? Did ya know that the dolphin even had a rank, "Ensign"?
Now, a few other questions for you: What the hell was seaQuest? Was that an exploration show, monster-of-the-week show, or a wartime show? Like most genre groupies, I have since forgotten. There's a reason for that, surely.
Beneath the surface lies... Charlton Heston and Taco Bell
Thus, like the lumbering seaQuest of yore, this junior year offering manifested into Discovery's answer to seaQuest 2032.
Retooled, its crew displaced into a future after protecting all life as the audience knew it, they were "fish out of water" with a ship that had a unique technological advantage in a world where the UEO has fallen... I mean, the United Federation of Planets. And they need to save the world from a megalomaniac who operated an economic and political syndicate, believing that the previous "United" organization was a halcyon thing of yesteryear.
We’re a new show... again. We’ve even changed the name, see? seaQuest 2032.
Anyway, I've seen it all before... and I would rather re-watch seaQuest 2032. Looks like its even streaming on Peacock for free. Go watch it and tell me I'm wrong.
Even if CBS All Access were free... There is little rewatch value in Discovery. It adds little to the mythological tapestry of the Trek universe and frankly, has minimal redeeming characteristics in terms of characters or morality play storytelling. I am hard pressed to find an “Inner Light,” “The Visitor,” or “City on the Edge of Forever” thus far.
Then again, it is clear to me that perhaps Discovery was never meant to appeal to critical thinkers or students of literature, but instead, solely to play to nostalgic audiences who are socially reactive. Discovery rides the rapids of emotionality, playing with the dangerous currents and sub-eddies of a reactive audience—all the while attempting to energize the Trek brand, and catalyze Trek into a greater multi-channel franchise a la Star Wars.
I mean, Star Wars was able to do it with a baby Yoda: Release the Grogu.
Now let me be clear, this isn't a bad thing. It can be argued that Discovery is a gateway drug, allowing people to try the “old stuff”; the same argument was made with the Kelvin-universe Trek over a decade ago, resulting in a blitzkrieg streaming of the Star Trek library via Netflix.
Another good thing from the wake of Discovery: it has allowed for the creation of shows that would have never materialized in any other environment. The unconventional Lower Decks has far more likable and memorable characters than Discovery. It even has some great storytelling moments in the guise of comedy, thus making LDS a genuine surprise.
Mike McMahan actually groks Spock... and Star Trek! Who woulda thunk it?
Listen. If you like this begotten beast of a thousand heads, that’s perfectly fine. I'm pleased that many people seem to find value in it. And normally I try to avoid writing things like this, because this is simple puerile, picayune vanity.
And if 2020 (now 2020: Take Two) has demonstrated a damn thing it is this: everyone has their thing, and people are allowed to “like what they like.” I'm not here to shame people for enjoying the show. I just felt there was an alternative opinion that deserved its own voice as well.
I guess what I'm saying is I would just like better stories.
Characters that I give a damn about. Narratives that have consistent logic to them (and not the "consistently inconsistent'' paradoxical way, either). I'm not a fan of this nonsense masquerading as science awash in memberberry wine.
Oooh, the Voyager-J.
Ooh, a fat cat with a bad disposition...
No thanks. I'll pass.
Didn’t Gary Seven have a cat, too?
Instead, I’d like to see something from a writer that isn’t hamstrung by attention and work ethic deficiencies, the temperamental politics de jure, or memes de jure.
That's all. Tell me a story that I can't get anywhere else that can make me think like nothing else. Is that too much to ask?
What if we eschewed the Disney prefix whilst purloining the only symbiology and color scheme that Disney hasn’t trademarked yet? Brilliant!
Joe Beaudoin Jr
Joe is a freelance fandom documentarian and business consultant for ANOVOS.
I hope this new year is treating you well so far. We have a lot to look forward to, especially with more Star Trek on the horizon and that's good news for all of us. Well, most of us anyway.
It's profoundly sad to me to see that in an era when there is such division all around us, there seems to be a schism within our own fandom. There is a small segment of Trekkers that can't seem to find the joy they once did in watching Star Trek along with the rest of us.
As a Trekkie since the age of four, I've devoted a huge portion of my life pursuing the study of Star Trek in all its forms. I’ll admit that at various stages of my life and within the almost 55 year history of the franchise - there were things I perhaps didn't enjoy as much as others.
But I always "got" what the producers were going for, and it was all Star Trek to me.
Cold open title card from Star Trek: Discovery’s Season Two episode “If Memory Serves.”
I'll admit, some fans have a few quite valid criticisms regarding plot and story development that perhaps production glosses over too easily. I wonder sometimes if the sheer number of producers on Discovery means that there’s just “too many cooks in the kitchen?”
An episode of any show benefits from a strong, singular vision. I’m reminded of Gene Roddenberry re-writing script after script himself during the first two seasons of The Original Series. Contrast that with the latest episode of DIS which had three credited writers, and no less than twenty listed producers!
Two of the twenty listed producers of Star Trek: Discovery’s third season finale.
But, those issues are only part of the problem long-time Trekkers seem to have with these new shows.
Perhaps what some Star Trek fans find difficult to process is more esoteric. I think what causes a lot of problems for some is rooted in why modern Star Trek feels so different to what they’ve watched in the past.
I've read missives from people who go on and on about what they perceive to be "bad writing."
I've had people tell me Michael Burnham is a "Mary-Sue'' character, and ask "Why is she always the focus of the show, shouldn't that be the captain?". Some fans have a problem with the prominence of characters who are people of color, or whose orientation is something other than heteronormative. And some even get angry with how often a character cries during a difficult situation.
Michael Burnham discovers life 930 years in the future.
These complaints and others fester within certain corners of the fandom, and I think are born out of a fundamental confusion about how TV stories have evolved in the first two decades of the 21st century.
Think about it. The last weekly Star Trek TV series, Star Trek: Enterprise entered development in June of 1999. Debuting in 2001, it was a product of the 20th century and in many ways a perfect example of the prior 18 years of contiguous Star Trek TV productions.
It's that very 18 year span that led to a homogenization of style - in both story & design - that causes so much confusion among viewers today. It’s a situation that’s led to similar kinds of complaints throughout Star Trek’s history.
From an editorial written in 1979 by a Trekkie aggrieved about the Klingon race’s appearance in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
An example of this is the question "Why do Klingons look so different?" The answer of course is the Klingon look has always evolved with the times.
Klingons depicted from The Original Series, to The Next Generation, to Discovery.
From TOS to TMP to TNG to DSC, the aesthetic of the Klingon race has always changed with the production teams of the era. The same can be said for every species depicted in the decades long history of Star Trek.
Want proof? Check out what an Andorian looked like in TNG!
Data’s first daughter, Lal as an Andorian in “The Offspring”, from Season 3 of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The difference is the continuity of design aesthetic that Star Trek enjoyed from the late eighties to the early aughts was the result of one continuous production overseen by Rick Berman. The facts are that "Star Trek Continuity" is something Star Trek has struggled with since The Original Series. Sometimes even the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE herself, would change looks between shots in the finished episodes.
Both the pilot version and regular series “refit” of the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE near Alfa 177 in TOS’ “The Enemy Within.”
If Gene Roddenberry had difficulty maintaining consistency between episodes he was personally supervising (wait, is it Starfleet, or UESPA this week? I can't remember) then what hope is there for Trekkies who demand absolute constancy between episodes of the show separated by over fifty years?
James R. Kirk (?!?) facing Gary Mitchell in a fight to the death on Delta Vega in “Where No Man Has Gone Before.”
But, there's more to it than just whether or not the Enterprise should look the way Matt Jefferies designed her, or John Eaves' 2017 design. Because those sort of design questions are secondary concerns to the stories they serve.
A look at U.S.S. ENTERPRISE / NCC-1701
Everything in a production from direction, to casting, to craft services only exist in service to the story. And, TV storytelling has evolved at the same pace as the stagecraft that brings it to life.
“Captain Riker” Jonathan Frakes, while directing an episode of Star Trek: Discovery.
The philosopher, George Gurdjieff once said "All is story," and he was right. TV storytelling has moved on from it's 20th century origins.
What some long time Star Trek fans label "bad" may really be something they perhaps badly misunderstand. The writers rooms of Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, et al are staffed with writers who came of age in this century, not the last.
Their focus and means are different from what came before, and thus have a different feel.
Those of us who have been fans of Star Trek for years are best served by Admiral Kirk’s advice to Scotty in Star Trek III -
"Come, come, Mr. Scott. Young minds, fresh ideas. Be tolerant."
Admiral Kirk and Commander Scott in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
The writers working on all these new Star Trek shows, write for themselves and their contemporaries from a point of view different from any other Star Trek writers that have come before.
Oh, they hold to the same foundations of wanting to portray a futuristic humanity that has not only survived, but learned from its past difficulties.
But they can also see the limitations of the past on the social ideals Gene Roddenberry embedded into the very DNA of Star Trek. So they put modern examples of that idealism on display in shows like Star Trek: Discovery. There’s a greater emphasis placed on diversity in the Star Trek of today than in the past.
Watching Paul Stamets and Hugh Culber form a family bond with Adira Tal today should be no different than watching Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura kiss in 1968.
Doctor Culber and Adira Tal in Star Trek: Discovery.
I was talking with bestselling Star Trek novelist Dayton Ward about this topic the other day. He observed, "Seeing 'people who don't look like me' is less about political messaging than it is just simply embracing greater diversity in casting. The reason people of color/etc. might seem to ‘stick out’ speaks more to how there was a tremendous dearth of them in earlier iterations."
He's right. Star Trek continues to push for further inclusion and representation today.
When I was a kid growing up in the 70's I had no problem seeing myself as Captain Kirk. Not every kid from that era can say that, but a half century later my daughter loves watching Michael Burnham's show.
Speaking of "Michael Burnham's Show," It bears repeating for those in the back...It is HER show.
In the past, the focal point of the show has always been "The Captain." Be it Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, or Archer, the star of the show has always been the Captain of whatever ship or outpost we are following.
Star Trek: Discovery set out to do something new. It was created with the goal of following the trajectory of a Starfleet officer into their captaincy.
It's a much more dynamic and inclusive point of entry to a story than what we've been given in the past. I’ve heard some fans say "She's a Mary-Sue!" "The stories always seem to focus on Burnham!" "Where's the Captain?"
It seems some have missed the obvious change of focus from the captain to someone who will one day be The Captain. Sonequa Martin-Green is the first person listed on the call sheet for a reason...it's her show.
Captain Burnham of the U.S.S. DISCOVERY.
I've touched on just a few of the complaints some Trekkers have with Discovery and it's companion shows, but I have one more tiny nit to pick before I put this blog out of its misery.
Every human does it. Whether happy, or sad, tears will fall at some point or other. Some have a problem with the frequency of Captain Burnham's crying in either stressful or happy situations.
Separated for a year, the happy, reunited crew of U.S.S. DISCOVERY.
Remember when I said that this writing staff is younger, having come of age in the past twenty years?
Consider that these people are part of a generation that has been taught from a young age to be more in tune with their emotional lives. It's ok to emote, and to cry when the occasion warrants it.
Starfleet, to my knowledge, has never forbidden its officers a good cry now and then.
Captain Picard experiences a lifetime’s worth of anguish suppressed by Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan in Season 3’s “Sarek.”
And I would argue that the Captain and crew of the U.S.S. DISCOVERY has been through enough in their first forty two episodes to allow them the occasional sob.
Hell, if you didn't break into a good cry occasionally over this last year, I'd wonder if you even lived through the same 2020 as the rest of us.
The newly refit (and re-registered) U.S.S. DISCOVERY / NCC-1031-A.
As for 2021, this year looks to be one of the best in Star Trek history!
Season One of Star Trek: Prodigy, Season Two of Lower Decks, and Discovery Season Four are all in production, with Strange New Worlds, Section 31, and more Short Treks on deck...and that’s just what’s been announced so far!
It’s a fantastic time to be a Trekkie (or Trekker, if you prefer), and we’re all having fun here in the future.
I just wish everyone could join us in that fun... but I understand that there might be some who don't.
So what say you?"
John is a writer based in Las Vegas, and a product developer for ANOVOS
To our faithful fans:
As we close in on the final weeks of the Ghostbusters Spengler Legacy Proton Pack Project, we’ve certainly enjoyed managing this project from day one. We want to thank all of the steadfast fans who have waited for this collectible, and we're excited to see orders shipping out every day. After a year like 2020, this endeavor has come to symbolize more than just a normal project.
It has been an uncertain path, but an unwavering goal for a small Texas shop that has had to deal with losses from Covid-19, uneven production lines, and an overall crazy year in general.
This project has been both rewarding and challenging on so many levels, and we have chronicled part of this journey in “Ghostbusters Spengler Legacy : Valves and Fittings, Oh My!”.
Our goal from the start has been to cut no corners and bring you the prop that we saw on our first day at the Archives. We sourced as many original parts as we could, and when not available, sought out a custom machined option. We are so proud of the final product, but we’ve come to a resound conclusion from this long journey: This will be the only production run.
Not only was this one of the most challenging props we’ve ever assembled, we feel that what this project has endured this year has also come to symbolize a resolve far stronger than any other prop we’ve created. Thus, the Spengler Legacy Proton Pack will join the archives of one-of-a-kind, best in class collectible props found in the collections of the lucky few who were in the right place, at the right time. We have promised to bring you the most quintessential iconic Ghostbusters replica to have ever existed, and the very best ANOVOS TX has ever offered.
To be fair to those that were expecting future waves, we have temporarily reopened reservations for this prop while supplies last. In order to be as transparent as possible, we want to be clear that very limited spots are left available. Remaining inventory is sold as a first come first serve until exhausted. This is a true opportunity within your grasp.
Additionally, because of the escalating costs towards the end of production, we are looking at a possible price increase for the remaining inventory. If inventory lasts that long, we will make an announcement just before that change is decided.
We cannot stress enough that once sold out, this replica will no longer be available because these molds will have been retired for good. If you wish to count yourself among the few to own this iconic ultimate collectible, Don’t Wait.
Here at the opening of a new year, we draw ever closer to the end of the road on the last few Spengler Proton Packs to be released.
Our GHOSTBUSTERS™ Spengler Legacy Proton Pack is the result of an amazing journey we undertook to replicate one of the most iconic props in film history. It was an honor to recreate this piece down to the smallest detail in true reverence to the original prop worn in the film by Harold Ramis.
All of us at ANOVOS love Ghostbusters, and so there wasn't a corner to cut, or detail overlooked in replicating this prop as close to the original as humanly possible.
Our goal was to craft a replica so pure that it could take its place alongside some of the most iconic collectables of their time.
Props & statues that have become "Holy Grails'' to people who missed them, and hallowed heirlooms to the lucky few in the right place and time to purchase them. The Master Replica's AT-AT, ICONS' Luke Skywalker Lightsaber, WETA's Original Balrog, Sideshow's Thanos...
The Spengler Legacy Proton Pack belongs in such illustrious company as those amazing collectibles. It will take its place alongside them in the collections of the people here and now to obtain this once in a lifetime prop. A Proton Pack that looks as if you lifted it out of The Sony Archives, or Ecto-1 itself.
No other prop has had this level of provenance and pedigree referencing the original artifact. From our studios here in Texas - we gave this our full attention. We spared no effort in crafting our prop to the incredibly high standard we set for this - our only production run of this iconic piece. We put everything into it.
"Everything" meant finding as many as possible of the original "off the shelf" pneumatic fittings, connectors, and valves used on the original Proton Packs.
Prop makers in that era regularly raided surplus electronics stores, aircraft boneyards, and junkyards near film studios in the early 80s. This was a pretty common practice for prop building in the years after 1977, and the stagecraft theory of a "used universe."
Among these parts and pieces were a number of pneumatic parts with a majority coming from a well known and still existing manufacturer - Clippard Instrument Laboratory, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The pieces used were:
This wonderful company is still in business today, were very friendly to work with, and thanks to a healthy & active fanbase were extremely knowledgeable about which of their products were used in the movie.
Their equipment is expertly made with a combination of beautifully machined & polished metals and injection molded plastics. We were lucky enough to find this company still in existence, and that these parts were more or less the same as their 1980s predecessors. With our mantra of “No Holds Barred!”, we are proud to say that all of our Spengler Legacy Proton Packs have genuine Clippard components.
There was a point in time, about a decade ago, that 4 millimeter Legris pneumatic elbows (those grey ‘L’ looking things on the HGA, Ion Arm and Cyclotron) were fairly accessible.
Unfortunately, the current iterations of those elbows don't come close at all to matching the originals used on the pack. Long gone are the days of seeing that particular combination of brass hex ring, grey plastic and brass coupler. Rarely they can be found, but usually only on auction for a few pieces.
Knowing that there was no way to obtain as many as we needed we had to think of a work around. The problem though was that for our Legacy Pack, a resin casting just wouldn’t do.
Luckily, some old friends from the early days of Ghostbuster fan forums suggested some of the more current methods of capturing the perfect “Legris'' without buying them outright. They suggested using a combination of 3D print and Clippard parts to put together one of the most convincing replicas of the 4 millimeter Legris elbow. We tested it, and it worked!
Thus, we modeled our own version of a Legris elbow, and even included the “4” and pneumatic design on the face, and married it with one of the barb fittings from Clippard Instruments. We're pleased, and the results speak for themselves.
If the Legris elbows were difficult to find, then finding the original spec Legris banjo pneumatic tube fittings were next to impossible.
Named for their somewhat banjo shaped cross section, the “Banjo Tips” are the two brass rectangular blocks with circular flanges that affix to the end of the proton wand tip.
Once again obtainable only via auction sites, these unique items weren’t a reality from the start but luckily, were easy enough to have machined from solid brass. After purchasing an original at auction, we eagerly took this piece (mind you in a very special case wrapped in a very special blanket...because it was that rare) to the machine shop to be replicated. The absolute beauty of the final metal piece only reinforced our belief that it could never have been cast in plastic, but had to be machined.
If you missed your chance to grab this iconic once in a lifetime offer, there may be another final opportunity for you to join in Coming Soon!SIGN UP
Quality at its Finest
It has now been close to a year since we officially shifted our Star Trek: Discovery Uniform product to our stateside facility in Texas. Due to the pandemic and overseas trade grinding to a halt, we had no choice but to take the product into our own hands. Even more challenging was the fact that we had to re-source everything from local vendors. Effectively restarting the whole project from scratch - despite charting out countless hours & effort in establishing our overseas manufacturing process.
Now that shipping has begun, it's time to take a small breath and reflect. To us here in Texas, this product has meant so much more than any other ANOVOS product. This, and a few other projects, represent a sort of "Anti-2020." Despite the pandemic, and all the other things that 2020 ended up costing all of us - the Discovery uniform stood testament to what we were never going to give up: Quality.
Having seen every Star Trek product we’ve produced, I can say with confidence this is one of our finest, if not THE finest (alongside the wool elastique Wrath of Khan Monster Maroon) uniform this company has ever produced! From the asymmetrical zipper to the metallic elements - the complexity of this replica is unparalleled. And most importantly, the customer reviews that we have received have been truly inspiring to all of us here at ANOVOS - especially our Texas Team who produced it! This is the story of how we got here :
Pattern and Research:
It all started in the very cold city of Toronto (pre-Covid of course) where we met with Gersha Phillips and the talented team responsible for costume design for Star Trek: Discovery. The team explained every detail of their suits and immediately outlined what to watch out for in the manufacturing process. We didn’t realize it at the time, but this info would be priceless. From there, we scanned in the official patterns used on the show, both male and female. What struck us immediately was that the organic shapes of the patterns were not your standard cuts and curves. Yet somehow, this costume design team had created a beautifully cohesive outfit, something that no amount of pictures or reference could have ever gleaned. Rest assured, there is no replica ever closer than this costume, simply because of these organic shapes.
Print Pattern and “Puff”:
One of the major warnings that we received from the team was about finding a patient screen printer. We were curious as to what this meant and, sure enough, we soon found out. After approaching no less than twenty local screen printers all over Texas, the one that stuck by us and ultimately discovered the perfect mix of paint, metallics, and “puff” additive was literally our neighbors, a five minute walk away. After a seemingly endless combination of different variables, we landed on our final combination...but would it stand up to the final test of cleaning (machine washing, no less)? To our surprise and relief, it passed with no signs of cracking in the printed deltas & stripes and just as importantly no fabric shrinkage.
The last hurdle we were warned about were the zippers. Zippers...really? How hard could it be? Yeah, it turned out to be one of the most challenging endeavors of the production. The original zippers used on the costumes were both cost prohibitive and not accessible, and we needed to find a method that matched our delta’s while withstanding wear and tear. After numerous aggravating failures, and in the literal last minute before shipment, we put together a formula that combined a basic screen printed vinyl, adhesives and steady hand cutting (literally, with a razor) that yielded the best looking and most durable zipper ever installed in our uniforms.
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STAR TREK Celebrates its 800th Episode!
I hope you & yours are having an awesome extended celebration as we all watch 2020 (reverse angle on viewscreen) slide further into our past.
In the present - with the New Year’s eve episode of Discovery, Star Trek Celebrates its 800th filmed story.
Fifty four years, ten series, and thirteen movies. Not bad for a series left for dead in 1969! Cause for celebration, and Star Trek has had its fair share of celebrations both large & small.
I like remembering those now as we pass this amazing milestone.
Just a few fun memories from my favorite show in this or any other universe as we celebrate Star Trek and our own past, present, and future.
Happy New Year, LLAP, and
Congrats to Star Trek on its 800th Episode!
John is a writer based in Las Vegas, and a product developer for ANOVOS.
IN-STOCK AND SHIPPING!
Celebrating Star Trek: The Next Generation's 30th Anniversary, the ANOVOS Star Trek design team has decided to re-release Captain Picard's Uniform Jacket, but with its original iteration as introduced in the fifth season episode, "Darmok."BUY NOW
Happy New Year!
We're almost there, just another little bit of '20 left now. 2021 will be a fantastic new beginning for all of us. You, me, and ANOVOS too. It's a time when we can all make something new. We can refresh, revive, change, alter, and invent.
That's precisely what we've done with our uniforms from Star Trek: Discovery, which have been shipping even over the holidays.
We spent years in the development of these ensembles in order to create something no one else has. A visually stage accurate replica of the uniforms that Discovery Costume Designer Gersha Phillips developed for the show - that's also durable enough to wear everyday!
In the past, our mandated mission was to simply duplicate as closely as possible an original, stage worn costume. That’s a challenge to begin with. Duplicating something so specific, and so intricate - is an art form unto itself.
The Starfleet Uniforms worn in Discovery occupy a whole new level of difficulty (beyond even the vaunted Monster Maroon uniforms worn in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan). Gersha and her team worked hard to design and make clothes that were fresh and modern enough for a 21st century interpretation of the 23rd.
At the ANOVOS convention booth with Star Trek: Discovery Propmaster Mario Moreira & Costume Designer Gersha Phillips.
While Gersha’s costumes look fantastic aboard the U.S.S. DISCOVERY (both NCC-1031 & NCC-1031-A), ours's had to look the part while surviving the wear and tear of normal use by fans, cosplayers, and collectors.
That meant a considerable amount of re-engineering to create something that looks amazing whenever you need it to, and without a live-in TV wardrobe technician to help maintain your outfit.
Where the Discovery wardrobe team innovated, and experimented with new methods and materials - so did we when making our replicas of their uniforms.
The result is spectacular!
Outfits that look every bit like they've stepped off the soundstage, but with a higher level of wearability.
Wearability you're going to need in this new year whether you're exploring some strange new world, the exhibit hall at a convention, or trying to herd some cats.
Happy New Year & Live Long & Prosper,
John is a writer based in Las Vegas, and a product developer for ANOVOS.
STAR TREK DISCOVERY UNIFORMS
Fabric is 90% athletic spandex with 10% specialty contrast spandex fabric for channel stitching, dyed to match production colors.
Matched to Screen Used
Raised rubberized Delta print for tunic & pant inset detail panels is custom made.
Comfortable and Washable
Hook & bar attachment points to secure tunic to pant for optimal fit.
The Next Generation
It's no secret to long time readers of this blog that I love the color green.
And if you really watch Star Trek: The Next Generation for any length of time you might notice a distinct lack of that color in the show. The interior of the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE NCC-1701-D doesn't use very much of that color, and most of the crew wear Command Burgundy, or Operations Gold.
Oh, you see it now and then down in Sickbay, and there's a few Science department people flitting to and for as they attend to their duties around the ship. But, these folks are normally junior officers wearing the one piece jumpsuit variant of the uniform.
In the seven years of TNG, we only ever see two actual teal colored Senior Officer Tunics.
The first Science Tunic we see of course is on the imaginary Dr. Quaice in the fifth season episode, "Remember Me." Ironically, an episode I only remember because it has this rare uniform.
On the other hand, one of my absolute favorite episodes is "Tapestry," in which Q gives our Captain a look at a life lived less boldly. The result is a sad lower decks junior officer named Lieutenant Junior Grade Jean-Luc Picard. An assistant astrophysics officer assigned to menial tasks with no hope for promotion, and even less of a chance to be happy in that life.
It's a fun episode, but as a costumer (one particularly fascinated with both Starfleet Uniforms & all the various shades of green in the world) I really enjoy it. It's not only a chance to see (finally) a proper, men's Science Department Tunic. It's a chance to see my favorite character in a new uniform.
It's beyond cool.
Even if Jean-Luc himself isn't sure about his status, I dig his duds.
I look at this tunic as something special to add to my collection (and I intend to).
It was worn by my favorite TNG character in an important episode, and it just happens to be a distinctive shade of my favorite color.
A weird shade at that which seems to change its appearance with the lighting that surrounds it.
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It's a fun episode, but as a costumer (one particularly fascinated with both Starfleet Uniforms & all the various shades of green in the world) I really enjoy it.
It's not only a chance to see (finally) a proper, men's Science Department Tunic. It's a chance to see my favorite character in a new uniform.
John is a writer based in Las Vegas, and a product developer for ANOVOS. .