Ripley’s Hoptimist — Alien Toys

Re-creation of Ripley's Hoptimist from Alien

My completed re-creation of Ripley’s Hoptimist. This was a simple project, only requiring the addition of a little sleeping cap to complete.

Dragon-Con is over for this year, so the urgency to work on costume related projects is now gone.  I needed something light and easy to work on this weekend, so I decided to make a re-creation of one of the little bouncy toys that can be seen happily hopping away at Ripley’s station on the bridge of the Nostromo.  Now, when I say it can be seen, I really mean it can just barely be seen, heavily covered in shadow.  Luckily, there are others who are seemingly just as obsessed with this movie as I am who have posted decent pictures of this little guy.  If you are interested in seeing these pictures you should check them out over on this thread at the Propsummit Forum.  If you scroll down a little bit, you can see a picture of Ripley’s station and her Hoptimist sitting on top of her monitors.

Amazingly enough, these toys are still being made!  I had to order mine from RoyalDesign.com.  I picked up the Blue Hoptimist Bumble.  There are others that look very similar (the Baby Bumble in particular, but it is too small), but to match Ripley’s I needed the one with the open eyes and long legs.  I had actually ordered one quite some time ago, shortly after completing the Drinking Birds.  Shipping took a little bit of time since it actually came from Europe.  In any case, all that is required to transform this toy into something resembling the version seen on screen is to sew up a nice little hat. Continue reading

Nostromo Crew Uniform — The Pants

I have finally come the the final part of the “core” costume–the pants.  I have been trying to brainstorm how I’m going to re-create the pants from the movie for a while.  The originals were custom made by Bermans and Nathans for the film, and have several features that aren’t really duplicated by “off the shelf” pants.  Making up a pair of pants that are an exact match would require drafting the pattern myself.  I decided that wasn’t a good idea since I’ve never sewn a pair of pants before, so I settled on altering a pair of Dickies Painter’s Pants.  They are made out of 100% cotton drill fabric, which seems to be a good match for the shirt that I made.  I actually purchased two pair, because one is going to get torn apart as a sacrifice to all of the pockets I need to add.  I’m not sure exactly what they expected the Nostromo crew to be stuffing pockets with, but they have more than enough space with cargo pockets on each thigh and humongous bag pockets on the lower portion of each leg.  Even though altering the painter’s pants won’t give me a completely screen accurate pair of pants, they will be pretty darn close. Continue reading

Wings of Gold!

I had mentioned before that the gold wings Dallas wore on his crew shirt were some kind of Goldwork Embroidery, and that I would have to figure out how to make them.  Well, now it is done, and here is the epic tale of how it was accomplished:

Dallas's Gold Wings

The gold wings on Dallas’s shirt. They seem to be some kind of military style gold work embroidery.

I have only managed to find a single reference photo on the web.  At this point, I don’t really remember where it came from, but I am fairly certain it came from the RPF forums (If anyone sees this and knows the source for this reference, please let me know.  I would love to give image credit where it is due.)  From studying this photograph I pretty much decided that these were made using a technique called “Goldwork Embroidery.”  I then proceeded to search out the materials I would need to re-create these wings for my Nostromo Crew Shirt. Continue reading

Nostromo Crew Shirt — Patterns

This post will be short and to the point.  Here are the patterns for the Nostromo Crew Shirt that I promised in a previous post.  Included in the PDF are my takes on the Breast Pockets, Breast Pocket Flaps, Sleeve Pocket, Name Tape Holder, Shoulder Patch, and Epaulettes.  I don’t make any claim to complete screen accuracy here, and I think if I were to make another shirt I would make the shoulder patches a little taller (2″ tall overall,) and make the epaulettes wider (again, about 2″ wide.)  Overall, I think these patterns make a very good approximation of the Nostromo Crew Shirt.

Nostromo Shirt Patterns

So far, I think I have an audience of zero, but maybe by the 40th Anniversary  of the movie people will be making this costume again and it will be of use to someone.  Enjoy!

Nostromo Crew Shirt — Finishing Touches

As mentioned in the previous post, there is not a lot left to complete my rendition of the Nostromo Crew Shirt.  Basically, I just need to sew the patch on the shoulder, put the pin on the pocket flap and it’s done.  Well, it’ll be done except for the gold wings, but I think they are going to be a whole series of posts all by themselves, because those guys are going to take a little bit of effort.

First things first, I needed to identify the correct patch to place on the shoulder.  There are two versions of the Nostromo Ship’s Patch available for purchase out there:  One with a light blue background, and one with a dark blue background. Continue reading

Nostromo Crew Uniform — The Shirt

Purportedly screen-used shirt, worn by Tom Skerrit in Alien.

Purportedly screen-used shirt, worn by Tom Skerrit in Alien.

The first item I decided to try to tackle was the crew shirt.  In appearance it is basically a white work shirt with large pleated patch pockets, pen loops, and other assorted “greeblies” added.  I spent quite a bit of time looking at publicity photos, screen captures from the movie, and surfing forums to find as much information as possible.  There is an excellent thread at The RPF with large amounts of information about the Nostromo Crew Uniforms, and I spent a good bit of time sorting through it.  I even found a few photos of what were purported to be original screen used shirts: Continue reading