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Caped Crusader
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Registered: 01-2005
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
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Making a Leather Holster for a Grap Gun


This question is for the leatherworkers here.

I've been trying to think about how to design a holster for the Begins grap gun I'm building (let me clarify, I'm *intentionally* parting from movie accuracy because this is not for a movie suit). I want to build a leather one for use with my ultimates holster belt. I have no idea how to mold leather into a holster that follows the contours of the gun.

Is it just done by soaking the leather like before and stretching it? How long will it hold its shape afterwards? Do I need to harden it with anything? What could I harden it with? Any tips or instructions you could offer for making a holster designed to fit the gun would be much appreciated. :p

I'm hoping to design the holster in such way that the gun points straight down, so the contours of the barrell rest squarely against the leg (and the holster in the pic appears to point straight down also).

Ideally I would also be able to secure the gun in the holster with a strap and snap behind the barrel like a modern pistol holster, so one could be able to do, you know, Batman-like things, without the gun coming out unintentionally (and breaking into a thousand little resin hunks).

I know the Begins grap gun as used in the movie doesn't use a belt holster (its attached by magnets), but the ultimates suit (which this holster is for) as seen in the pic I've provided a few times does appear to have a gun holster of some kind, though we can't see what exactly the gun looks like. So I'm taking some artistic liberty by incorporating the Begins grap gun into my suit.

Any leather molding tips would be appreciated. emoticon

Last edited by Deadly Lemur, 5/9/2006, 11:35 pm


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Patrick
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2/18/2006, 3:50 am Link to this post Send Email to PatrickJ   Send PM to PatrickJ
 
GoldenAge Profile
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Re: Leather holster for Begins grap gun


Quote:

PatrickJ wrote:

Is it just done by soaking the leather like before and stretching it? How long will it hold its shape afterwards? Do I need to harden it with anything(what could I harden it with)?



Hey pat – great idea (wish I’d thought of it) – I may not like the begins suit that much but I do go for the grapple gun design.

I did have a beginners leather 101 tutorial that I’ve put together up on my site – but it’s down for renovations ATM, I’ll email it to you if you like.

Nutshell - If you soak leather in hot water it will hold a shape – but it has to be untreated vege tanned leather : The processing that “normal” leather goes through means it wont stay in any shape you give it. Go to a leather supplier and they should be able to get you some.

It will keep the shape unless you put it in water HOTTER than the temp you used initially – so the hotter the better (but you do get shrinkage – the hotter the water the more shrink you get.) Test small sections before hand.

Depending on how your grapple is painted you could cover it with a cloth and mold the leather straight over it. But you would have to be sure the heat wouldn’t affect the gun….

If you want sharp curves in the leather the main issue is holding the leather tight to the underlying shape. I started off by making fibreglass molds but have recently taken to using polymorph.

It’s a polymer plastic that you can make malleable by immersing in hot water (from the tap) or with a hairdryer – and when it cools it goes rock hard. Best of all it’s re-useable.

Put a layer of thick cloth or leather over the grapple and then push the polymorph over that – it will hold it in place while the leather cools and give you a nice defined shape.

Here’s some pics of the process (which only took about 5 mins, its fast and easy and clean) to give you an idea what I’m talking about – if you need anything else, drop me a line.


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2/18/2006, 7:36 am Link to this post Send Email to GoldenAge   Send PM to GoldenAge
 
thuth Profile
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Re: Leather holster for Begins grap gun


Great post, GA!
2/18/2006, 11:05 am Link to this post Send Email to thuth   Send PM to thuth
 
jokerscrowbar Profile
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Re: Leather holster for Begins grap gun


All the leather holsters I've seen are stitched but I think I'd use rivets.

[sign in to see URL]

I've been searching for a double buckle like I used to have on my saddles girthstrap but nobody makes them anymore. The one in the link above is right but wouldnt be wide enough for the look you want.

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Re: Leather holster for Begins grap gun


Can you get that polymorph around here? (the U.S.)
2/18/2006, 2:08 pm Link to this post Send Email to stampedemag   Send PM to stampedemag
 
GoldenAge Profile
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Re: Leather holster for Begins grap gun


Quote:

jokerscrowbar wrote:

I've been searching for a double buckle like I used to have on my saddles girthstrap



You mean a double prong buckle? Who needs one? I have two laying around here someplace gathering dust...
2/18/2006, 3:36 pm Link to this post Send Email to GoldenAge   Send PM to GoldenAge
 
GoldenAge Profile
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Caped Crusader
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Re: Leather holster for Begins grap gun


Quote:

stampedemag wrote:

Can you get that polymorph around here? (the U.S.)



I don't know 'bout that - but lots of people seem to sell it on ebay(.[sign in to see URL]) If you can't find anyone to ship it out I'd be happy to post some to you - let me know.

It's been a real find - speeded up my process no end. Not that you'd notice.
2/18/2006, 3:41 pm Link to this post Send Email to GoldenAge   Send PM to GoldenAge
 
jokerscrowbar Profile
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Re: Leather holster for Begins grap gun


Patrick wanted to see one to see if it was worth modifying his design to be more like the Ultimates pic.
The only ones I could find are all too small,too narrow or unavailable.



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2/18/2006, 3:46 pm Link to this post Send Email to jokerscrowbar
 
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Caped Crusader
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Re: Leather holster for Begins grap gun


Wow, thanks, I'll have to try that Polymorph stuff if I can find it.

Paul(artsee) seems to think a resin grap gun wouldn't survive a leather molding process or be suitable for use with a costume unless it were molded in one piece. :huh I dont know what glue he used on his, but mine's pretty freakin' solid. However I wouldnt mind getting an all metal grap gun.

I think I found a form of polymorph sold over here in the U.S.:
[sign in to see URL]

Do you have pictures of those buckles GA? I'm thinking of upgrading to a 2" wide belt for my utility belt if I can find a double prong *center-bar* buckle that matches the pic(the only ones I have ever found are too narrow, like on Sam Brown belts).

Last edited by PatrickJ, 2/18/2006, 3:59 pm


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Patrick
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2/18/2006, 3:58 pm Link to this post Send Email to PatrickJ   Send PM to PatrickJ
 
Brin Londo Profile
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Re: Leather holster for Begins grap gun


Not sure if we have Polymorph here in the states, but what he's showing is thermoform plastic. I've used Friendly Plastic before, and it's the same thing.

Here's a Google search to take you to all kinds of Polymorph/Friendly Plastic goodness:

[url=[sign in to see URL]
-Brin


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You don't choose the Bat, the Bat chooses you.
2/18/2006, 4:14 pm Link to this post Send PM to Brin Londo
 


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