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KnightStix Profile
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Caped Crusader

Registered: 02-2004
Location: Jupiter, Florida
Posts: 2200
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Modifying Licensed Pieces - Is it Worth the Effort?


OK, here's the deal. Several months ago, I got my hands on some licensed costume pieces (Clooney Cowl, Chest, Cod, and Legs) with the intent of modifying them and fixing them up to start my whole Bat costuming experience in much the same way many of you did. My goal is a hybrid suit to start with. I may try to go for a screen accurate one one of these days...

Well, after many months of other priorities taking precendence and buying and moving into a new house, I'm finally ready to undertake my project.

This afternoon, I pulled some of the pieces out & started looking at them again really closely. WHAT PIECES OF CRAP! :banghead :cussing There are pimples (not that big a deal to Dremel off) and holes all the way through the latex in some places. I know that these are not insurmountable things to deal with, but I'm wondering that with all of the incredible pieces that I've seen from members on this board, is it even worth my time to try to modify these pieces? OR should I just save myself the trouble & start working with some of the bros to procure myself some real quality costume pieces?

How a company like Rubies or Morris can put out pieces of junk like this and charge what they charge for them in good conscience is beyond me. I can't really be upset about what I paid for them, cuz I got the whole set for around $80. I'm just a bit incredulous at what I'm seeing when I look at these things & it seems a bit overwhelming - especially for a neophyte like myself. :confused

I'm sorry for the rant - I know this is beating a dead horse when it comes to the quality of the licensed pieces. I just had to vent a bit. BUT the point is that I'd just like a little advice and validation from those who have gone before me. Are they worth the trouble, or will I be that much happier getting some generic pieces from some of the incredible artists on this board? What do ya think? :huh :huh :huh

Last edited by Deadly Lemur, 3/23/2006, 11:01 pm
4/22/2004, 3:31 pm Link to this post Send Email to KnightStix   Send PM to KnightStix
 
Magic Man Profile
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Caped Crusader

Registered: 01-2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1935
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Re: Is this even worth the effort?


Think of it this way. Fix up that suit to be somewhat good looking. Put it on eBay. You should get something good out of it. Then you have what you need to invest in a better suit. Or at least to start one. ;)

Brad

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4/22/2004, 3:35 pm Link to this post Send Email to Magic Man   Send PM to Magic Man
 
KnightStix Profile
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Caped Crusader

Registered: 02-2004
Location: Jupiter, Florida
Posts: 2200
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Re: Is this even worth the effort?


Ya know, that's kind of what I was intending to do. I would fix them up, use them for a time & then sell them off & acquire some REAL costume pieces. I'm just kind of second-guessing whether I really want to spend the time on them... On one hand, it would definitely be educational in learning how latex "acts" as a material, and on the other, not being the most patient person in the world, it may just plain take too long. What if I screw it up? Like I said, I'm a little overwhelmed by how bad the pieces are to start with. The sad thing is that nobody abused them or even used them. They are exactly the way they came out of the package. It still just kind of sticks in my craw...

 :rant

OK, now that I've gotten that out, if I were to take this project on, where do you even start? Do you start by filling the back of the muscle sections? Dremeling the zits? Filling the holes? Will the Plasti-Dip fill the holes sufficiently, or do I need to get some liquid latex to do that before I "dip" it? Also, the shoulders on the thing don't really fit me well. I'm thinking of cutting them out some or removing them altogether. Thoughts?
4/22/2004, 6:55 pm Link to this post Send Email to KnightStix   Send PM to KnightStix
 
IpreferKeaton Profile
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Caped Crusader

Registered: 02-2004
Location: The slums of Gotham
Posts: 1243
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Re: Is this even worth the effort?


Hi,
In my humble opinion it's a waste of time to try to make the Rubies suits look nice. I, like many of the brothers here, first started out with one of the mass produced costumes. I bought a Batman Returns commemorative cowl. It looked nothing like the picture. I mean we are talking about false advertising, fraud, or some other crime. I spent a lot of money trying to make it look decent and in the end it was all in vain. I have since foud many people here that were willing to trade me some of their extra custom costume pieces. I now have two great looking batsuits that are almost complete. You really need to decide how important this hobby is to you, because having a top quality batsuit doesn't come cheap. Seriously! Cheers.... Jason M

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Shut up, you're going to jail.
4/22/2004, 8:33 pm Link to this post Send Email to IpreferKeaton   Send PM to IpreferKeaton
 
Magic Man Profile
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Caped Crusader

Registered: 01-2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1935
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Re: Is this even worth the effort?


So what if you do screw it up? It's better to try and screw up than to not try at all. I think if you padded it, painted it, made it look nice, you could get some good money on eBay and have something to at least start your new suit out of. It's more than you had before. You can only gain from this point.

Brad

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4/22/2004, 8:53 pm Link to this post Send Email to Magic Man   Send PM to Magic Man
 
cltbat Profile
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Dark Knight

Registered: 02-2004
Posts: 814
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Re: Is this even worth the effort?


I agree with MagicMan 100% ! While it is true that you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear but in the end you will be able to step back and feel some pride in that you took this horrible piece and made it better. I think you will be surprised in just how much nicer you can make that suit look with just a little time and very little money...

To start I would go to monstermakers.com and buy a quart of firm slip latex. Get about a half dozen cheap brushes and over the course of two weeks put about 3 or 4 coats of latex on the backs of the pieces. This will firm them up, make it thicker and help backfill any of those pin holes. Then go some place like Han c o c ks and get firm interior foam or I know some brothers have used camping sleep mats cut these out to match the concave muscle areas and glue in place... I found that 3m spray adhesive works well for this...then start on the front ... dremmel off the pimples LIGHT TOUCH ! now spray with Plastidip...

You will end up with a suit that EVERYONE except us freaks on this board will be absolutly amazed with :lol because in most peoples eyes that will be the best Bat suit they have ever seen!

As Brad said you can then use it to trade up if you choose or you will be like me and feel like you have a part of you invested in this work that you will keep it ...just because ..... then the only hard part is convincing your wife that you NEED all those batsuits in the basement :huh

Have fun with it , spend about 50 bucks and you will learn something in the process...

We want to see pics too!!! It has been far too long since we have see a good mod to a production item !!!!

Last edited by cltbat, 4/23/2004, 7:41 am
4/23/2004, 7:38 am Link to this post Send Email to cltbat   Send PM to cltbat
 
batmann539 Profile
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Caped Crusader

Registered: 04-2004
Posts: 8656
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Re: Is this even worth the effort?


That's great advice from Magic Man and Cltbat and it's something I would certainly attempt first because you would probably make more money on ebay selling being enhanced.

On the other hand I sense an apprehension to put forth the effort which I can respect being a new home owner myself and not having a lot of time.

A second option is that if you only paid $80 for the set, you might put it on Ebay with a reserve price that is fair market value with similar suits selling on ebay or whatever price you deem fair. If the reserve price is met and you make some money off of it great! Start building your new batsuit with these great bro's on the board.

IF it doesn't sell, go back to what Magic Man and Cltbat suggested. Either way you're are on the path to great looking batsuit dealing with the people on this board. Take care.
Sean

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4/23/2004, 8:00 am Link to this post Send Email to batmann539   Send PM to batmann539
 
KnightStix Profile
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Caped Crusader

Registered: 02-2004
Location: Jupiter, Florida
Posts: 2200
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Re: Is this even worth the effort?


Thanks for the replies brothers. Batmann539 hit the nail on the head when he spoke of not having a lot of time. That, I think, is my biggest apprehension.

However, I think I may go ahead and try to mod one of the pieces. I think I'll maybe start with the cowl. It is probably in the best shape of all the pieces (even though that's not saying much). I'll start with filling the ears and brow, sewing a zipper in the slit, dremeling, then Plasti-Dip. Since the cowl is WAY too big for me, I won't have a problem parting with it. OK guys, you've convinced me. MagicMan is right - so if I screw it up, I'm only out $80. Actually, if I just screwup the cowl, then I can sell the rest - I've see just the chest pieces going for $80 on e-bay. No big deal. I'm on my way. I'll update w/progress and pics as I can.

If the cowl turns out decent, then I'll do the chest piece. That's the piece I'm really the most interested in. So..... we'll see how it goes. Thanks again guys!
4/23/2004, 8:29 am Link to this post Send Email to KnightStix   Send PM to KnightStix
 
Magic Man Profile
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Caped Crusader

Registered: 01-2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1935
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Re: Is this even worth the effort?


Very glad to hear it. Keep us updated and if there are any questions, that's what we're here for. :up

Brad

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4/23/2004, 9:20 am Link to this post Send Email to Magic Man   Send PM to Magic Man
 
DAVIDYR1 Profile
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Caped Crusader

Registered: 02-2004
Location: UD Replicas
Posts: 3407
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Re: Is this even worth the effort?


I totally agree with Magic Man and CLT!!!

.......even though some other costume makers get on my case for not encouraging newbies to search elsewhere for their stuff...however I still believe that these have potential when worked on.

Besides...NOTHING can compensate for the feeling of pride and satisfaction of doing it yourself.

When it's done you can then evaluate if it's what you want out of a suit...if not, so you sell it afterwords...big deal! It's worth more money then anyhow!!

Half the fun of this hobby is doing it yourself.....dont forget that! :up

PROGRESS PICS!!!! WE LOVE TO SEE PROGRESS PICS!!

David

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4/23/2004, 10:09 am Link to this post  
 


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