Tom Rehn of Civilized Galactic Gear is an *amazing* leather worker. I highly recommend him to all my Jedi friends if you are looking for not only screen-accurate, but functional and quality leather work. It might be a bit pricey for some, but the care and attention he gives both his work and customers is more than worth it. If I haven't convinced you of that by the end of this post, I'll eat my hat - nay, my belt!
Exhibit #1: Medical Pouch Collage
Exhibit #2: "Young Wizard Saber" Jedi belt
Story of the Belt Construction
From the first, he was extremely gracious in having me call and specify exact details, right down to the number of lines that I wanted on the belt. I sent him pictures of my boots for him to color match. Later, we nailed down that I didn't want the double studs after all and in the final edits, he asked me how many creases I wanted on the belt (center photo) with a line drawing showing the various options. Here's what Tom said about the crease options:
"Ok, the drawing is Obi, EP3. The leather belt, is EP3 plus 2 more scored lines to 'frame' the cinch belt. The cinch belt has scored lines on EP3 belt only, and only in some scenes (which creates arguments with...some. Until I prove it. And I do). EP1 belt, same buckle, No lines At All! Padawans dress plain (?)."
Advice and Lore from Tom of Civilized Galactic Gear
Getting the Belt On and Off - Tom's Instructions
"Undo the buckle and cinch release to release the cinch (it's the top button of the belt buckle).
Remove the cinch from the studs. Slide the belt cover (in the back) over. Put the belt on, attaching in front. Twist belt (the belt hooks) so the hook is to the back. Slide hook cover over hook to hide hook. Fasten buckle in front. Attach pouches (To be a 'Jedi,' you do know the Rebels want you to have two, right?). The Medical pouch is made to fit on the cinch. Other pouches may be to o heavy and on THIS belt should go around the sash belt (wider belt). Go hunt Sith."
"Also, this belt, the saber hanger should, nay...Must, go on the Sash Belt (on the top). I hate it there. It is stupid there. Obi, has his there, because the cinch he had, the one you have, was too weak to support the pouches and sabers and capsules and everything else they had on their belts in the movies. Anakin's was the same way. Jedi with wider cinches, put their stuff on their cinches. Because it makes sense!"
"If you have Blu-Ray, watch the Qui-Gon fight in EP1 with Maul. And watch his belt. Pouches appear, disappear, move; capsules, too. Because those pouches were Plastic resin casts of the 5 real Leather working ones, and every time Liam fell on them he got mad and ripped them off. The costume people would run in and put them back on, then he would move and bump into something, and then rip them off... See where that was going? The fight is hilarious when you know this."
Complimentary Food Capsules
Food Capsule LoreClick to enhance size.
As a side-note, pouches in the movies were actually non-functioning solid plastic. .... but Tom's are real! He makes the imaginary come to life.
Me in Full Costume with New Accessories
Addendum: About Tom Rehn, from his website
How Tom Got Into This Business
The heroes' journey would be my path. Actor, Artist, Film Maker, Philosopher, Poet, Writer, Professional Skier and Student, allowed me to follow 'the road less traveled'.
Skiing, the mountains, and my creative streak have been my only true consistencies through out my life. One less traveled road lead me to be taught the art of leather craft by an Aspen Artist, who saw that I wished to accurately re-create costumes from film and paintings, for historical re-enacting.
Another road in the Spring of 2010 had my friends inviting me to a 'Sci-Fi' convention. When a Jedi walked by, I inquired as to why there was a chunk of plastic on his belt. I was told that that plastic was movie accurate. But I pointed out that we were neither in a movie, nor on a movie set. Why not have a genuine leather pouch? Well, objection lead to another drink, and I was told that the reason that Jedi Pouches are plastic and painted to look like leather, was because it was impossible to make a working Jedi pouch out of leather. Hmmm? Someone should do something about this. So I did!
Four months later, I had my 1st leather pouch; a prototype. The in awe 'nay sayers' asked if I could re-create it. I said that I could, and the pouches on these pages are the proof. When I showed them to one of my art professors he asked how I had rediscovered the lost art, of how the Byzantines used to make their leather armor? What? Well for 1), I did not know that their leather armor making art was lost, and 2), if it was lost, how did he know that? I told him that each takes about 8 days to make, and I did it on a dare. He told me that they were beautiful, and I should make more of these. Many more of these.
I have now turned my hobby, passion, creativity, and dare into a business."
- A. Tom R.
*Can be found at the following link.
Tom's Philosophy on Accuracy vs Functionality: Belts
"I am convinced that the boots of the main characters were used from scene to scene, and movie to movie, which is why they looked tested and worn. In almost every scene the boots look worn, but the belts show no sign of age. But I believe they must have gone through many, many belts. The Belts look new (at least on the principle characters), complete with fresh cut frayed leather edges. That does not occur if the belt is used.
"I have built my pouches to hang on the 'cinch' part of the belts; not the main belt with 'hooks,' as in the films. Why? Because the only reason to have 'a hook' be a 'pouch necessity' is to be able to have the characters sit. (i.e. If the pouches were not in the shot, and the person sitting would have been uncomfortable with them on, they could be slid off, so thus, this was done.)
"Also, some of the belts look great with small features (such as my 'Old Wizard' and 'Shock' saber belts; which are two of my favorites , but in reality, that small cinch will take a beating, which is why they have the thicker ounce leather. This may upset some people, that I have meandered away from 'canon' but, I am trying to make not 'what was imagined for the movies,' but 'what was intended in their Universe to have them exist, and to exist in it.' And that takes some thought and trial and error to perfect this, let alone make this statement.
"The rest of the cinches on the other belts are fine, unless, of course, you hang a Gundar from any of them. Then you are on your own.
"Please feel free to inquire as to what, in my opinion, will work with what.
"My comments on 'costuming practicality' stem from my 30+ years of experience of making and wearing historically accurate clothing before I delved into this clothing from 'long, longer ago.'
"I found that things, that may have looked great on film, because a costumer thought it looked good, just didn't hold up to the reality of the way real world haberdashers made the really real 'from history' items.
"I found this out when something I copied 'exactly from a movie' did not hold up in the real world I was playing in. When this would happen, I would consult the best record of what did work; Museum Paintings. And those items in paintings around the knight's waist, were held there by things made to last.
"Until the modern advent of anything plastic, artists worked hard not to get a bad reputation. I am trying to do the same by making things the olde real world way. Hand made, wearable art, with a sense of lived in style.
-A. Tom R.
*I wholeheartedly agree with this philosophy. This note can be found at the bottom of his belt page here.