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My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Props So Nice They Had To Show Them Twice. Or more.

Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby pennausamike » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:33 am

Next, Wash's pistol

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"Who's flying this thing?! " Wash carried a modified Mateba recoil operated, semi-auto revolver in Serenity. (The unfinished resin pile-o-parts.) The patches are also from Serenity, only they're not...exactly, the shirt and overalls were from "The Message". St. Lucy's I.D. from "Ariel". And lets not forget his star map from "Safe", which is a pre-QMx Whitefall original. "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal" Haven't gotten around to painting the dinosaurs...yet... I bought this Mateba casting a while back. It is a different model, so even with the mods it will never be exactly the same as the screen-used Wash pistol. As an example, the swing out mechanism is under the cylinder instead of in front of it.

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It all begins as a pile of rough parts.

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I was really worried about how the grips were going to look. My hand woodworking skills are awful and I didn't know where to begin to checker the thing. The basic shape was OK, but I still had to learn checkering.

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Something I incorporated that I don't see very often are the blue lens in the block in front of the trigger guard. A LOT of work hand fitting them so that they press in. A "friend" at work asked if I was going to make them light up!

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I bought a nice case for Wash's pistol. The picture above shows a start on converting it to fit my Wash display items. I ripped out the old guts and cut a new forming tray out of dense foam. I was going to make two cut-outs for the speed loaders. Actually, I still had to make the speed loaders. (And that got cut to one rather than two.)

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I bought a Smith and Wesson pistol case that had the emblem embossed in the lid. So, I machined that out and made an engrave-able plate to go in its place. Inside the case is the pistol, a fan-made Lyndono patch, and a "speed loader"; and of course, the receipt for the pistol signed by Wash himself, Alan Tudyck.

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As with all my projects, part of the satisfaction is doing the work to get an uncommon prop. That, and I never display the replica with a good photo of the real thing :-)

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Remember that the patches were, but they weren't?

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For whatever reason, the graphics people of the BDM Serenity modified the patches from the 1984 movie, "2010, The Year We Make Contact". So, the middle patches are correct; the two left patches are from "2010". The patch lower right is a fan made effort that got the colors off because of how it looked in some photographs, the top right is correct.
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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby pennausamike » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:34 am

Kaylee's parasol, necklace, strawberry box

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Coveralls, necklace, parasol, Firefly builders plate and mylar decal sheet, copies of original Firefly Serenity interiors; all done by other Firefly fans. The width and breadth of the unofficial work done by the fans and the absolute dearth of official licensed products is a ongoing testament to the need to support the underground, bootleg suppliers of the world. Hey, just like live Led Zeppelin; if you release it, I'll buy it. If not, well.........

The builders plate is now a part of my HO scale model Serenity display, which is another story. But, oh the work I already have tied up in that strawberry box! The thing was BRIGHT orange when I got it. The trade seals didn't come out to suit, so I'll be redoing them before I paste 'em on the box. Kaylee was the sunshiney girl mechanic on Serenity. She basically graduated from being a farm girl helping Daddy fix farm equipment to space-faring ship's mechanic by being in the right place at the right time. Simon made her happy when he referred to her as the ship's engineer, a title she poo-pooed with the comment, "Machines got workin's and they talk to me." The ship's basic look, the nature of Serenity's mechanical troubles and Kaylee's jury-rigged repairs and the exotic ports of call Serenity put into, are proof that Firefly was really not JUST a space-western, but also a story about a tramp steamer plying the South Pacific in the 1930's.

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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby pennausamike » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:35 am

Jayne's pistol "BOO"!
So named by actor Adam Baldwin in an interview about his character.
Oh, and the knife's name is "Binky".

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The LeMat factory.
Mostly machined modification pieces, though I did buy the fancy cavalry triggerguard from Pietta.

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I also bought a set of Pietta real LeMat wood grips, but that didn't work out so well.

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one that was sold

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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby pennausamike » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:35 am

Jayne's other weapons; guns, knives and grenades

A collector who purchased a screen-used grenade was kind enough to post a detailed, dimensioned drawing.
Many Thanks!

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The grenades were one of the first props I decided to build after seeing the BDM Serenity on DVD in early 2006. I wanted them to be really screen-accurate. Then I found out the spring was a much larger diameter. Eh, that was OK, mine would still light up when they were popped open. Then I found out the movie grenades counted down when they opened. Sigh..... So, my grenades sat around like this,

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for about three years.

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I decided it wouldn't be too big a deal to make the "Jaynestown" knife. Time will tell whether I got that right or not...

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A little more progress on the Jaynestown Knife: I based my sizes off the fact that the Jaynestown knife fit in Binky's sheath. (A fact that I later realized was EXTREMELY misconstrued.) Mine has an 8" long blade, 3/4" long black piece with a 3/8" thick brass hilt and a 5 1/4"-ish handle. I made the blade out of stainless steel and I'm making the handle out of wood; carved and painted to look like stag horn.

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In process showing marking the diamond pattern on the blade. Far as the knives, I have no idea why I felt compelled to take on the Jaynestown knife when the whole idea of the work I'm doing is to finish unfinished projects. Well, actually, I do know. After I built the Jayne War Stories apple-spearing knife, I realized I only needed one more knife to be able to display all of Jayne's knives. Plus, it'll look good with the QMx Hero of Canton poster.

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"Boy, sure would be nice if we had some grenades, (and some knives, and a big gun, and a funny hat made by Ma Cobb,) don'tcha think?" Binky, Boo, an apple-spearing switchblade, a knife fit for the Hero of Canton, Fighting Elves T-shirt, and a pretty cunning hat handcrafted by Ma Cobb.The knife and the grenades came out OK. I finally finished the grenades that they just pop open when you twist 'em... ...which is still pretty cool.

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And sometimes something comes along that is too good to pass up. Although I'm trying to not take on any new projects, when a Firefly collector/builder offered these castings,I couldn't say "no". And after machining a few replacement parts: From the new, Firefly: Still Flying volume, this is a replica of the hideout pistol Jayne was so industriously taping to his stomach. This makes for a very obscure prop, not just because of its limited screen time, but also because it is mostly covered up in the one scene in which it is shown. Given all the work that went into creating this "concealable plastic weapon", when a simple revolver butt would have sufficed, leads me to believe we would have seen more of Jayne's hideout piece later.

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I couldn't pass up the fan-made version of Jayne's hideout pistol from the episode, "Jaynestown".

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I bought two of them, in case I messed one up. That turned out to be a good decision, but not for the reason I expected.

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A few months back, another Firefly collector/prop sleuth (phillipes, who cast the only Firefly Mal pistols from the original stunt pistols) found a mold he wasn't sure of the origins of.

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He posted it on the Replica Prop Forum and most folks agreed that, while it was slightly different, it was the mold for the Jayne hideout pistol. The grip handle was different, it had a "hammer" that looked like one on the Jubal Early pistol, and there were details missing on the sides.

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I bought one of these "cast-from-original-molds" pistols, cut down the grip handle to accept the proper Rossi/Pachmyer grips and machined the as-seen-on-screen detail in the sides. I then cut off the correction pieces from the fan-made pistol to complete the original in screen-used configuration. Both pistols have stainless steel barrels that I made in place of the wrapped carbon fiber of the originals. I'm hoping translucent gray paint will mimic the carbon fiber effect. I got the Tamiya smoke paint and a couple of shades of beige paint. I'll probably do Joe's version in nickel and use it for a character back-up weapon in "Fool Me Twice."

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but I sill haven't finished it

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For Jayne, I'm building a rather large shadowbox to display his Firefly and BDM Serenity weapons, patches and a few pertinent pictures. This will be stained in a near clear to show off the light wood, and I'll use aluminum posts for the weapons and aluminum push-pins to hold the patches and pictures. I built the main box with a machined groove to glue the panels in and a machined groove for a removable (lifts up and out the top) Plexiglas front.

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The items for display include Jayne's three knives, the holdout pistol, Binky, a replica of Jayne's movie .45 pistol and his "Shiny! Let's be bad guys," rig, two of the BDM Serenity grenades, Jayne's fake St. Lucy's ID from Ariel, a small version of the QMx Hero of Canton poster, a replica of his movie necklace and various patches from the series and movie.

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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby pennausamike » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:37 am

Jayne's knives, shirts, patches and medallion
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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby pennausamike » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:38 am

Inara
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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby pennausamike » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:39 am

Shepherd Book "You don't fix Faith, River; Faith fixes you."

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There aren't a whole lot of Book props to be had, but the two that there are, are pretty iconic. Book's Bible which says nothing about kneecaps, and the mysterious ident card that took Book from ignored to VIP in one look. Book's knowledge of the Alliance hierarchy and police procedures, and his familiarity with the reps of many of the 'verse's most unsavory characters, led to a lot of speculation as to Book's backstory. Ron Glass was always asked for the secrets behind Book, and he was never told. When it became pretty obvious that a Serenity sequel was highly unlikely, Joss had his brother Zack do the comic, The Shepherd's Tale, which finally shows Book's backstory, and how he found his faith in a bowl of chicken soup.

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The first of the actor/ character signatures I'm trying to acquire for the whole crew and, shoot, some of my favorite villains, as well. While I'm happy with this one, the bad part of the story is, it should be Summer Glau as River. Summer was scheduled to appear at Farpoint Con, so I bought tickets for all three days, including the Friday night banquet. There were enough Browncoat fans in attendance that we got our own table for the banquet. And then, Summer landed the part in Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles and canceled. She was replaced by Ron Glass, and I ended up sitting across from him at the banquet table, which was kinda cool. But you know, it was supposed to be Summer.........
Oh well, it's all good; I got Shepherd Book's signature on a document!
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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby pennausamike » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:39 am

Simon Tam,
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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby pennausamike » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:40 am

River Tam "And also, I can kill you with my brain."

My original plan was to include all these items (except the duplicate pistols) in a single display. A candy bar ad and a pilfered pistol. In the hands of the right 90 lb. girl; a deadly combination. The finished pistol on the right is a fan-made replica. The left, unfinished pistol is a metal non-firing replica from Japan. Was gonna take a lot more work to get the lines right. Faced with too many projects, a preference for cash for other items for the collection, and no need for a duplicate (even tho' upgraded) item, I sold the metal bar pistol to a collector in England. I then ended up putting in a few more hours making some repair parts. But, in a hobby like this, (and life in general, I suppose) connections and goodwill go a long way.

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Given the cumbersome size and shape that would result from trying to shove everything in a single shadow box, I started breaking up the River pieces; photo and goggles, Fruity Oaty Bar and pistol, and a separate frame for the Geoff Mandel concept art.

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Below is the grouping of production and screenused pieces I'm looking to sell.
Project Oracle Alliance Research Facility Area 54:
This is the very nasty place River was taken to enhance her psychic abilities and develop her as a weapon. It is also where Simon, disguised as a military representative of the Parliament, broke River out and smuggled her aboard Serenity.

The first screen used piece I bought was the River Tam Brain scan I got from Geoff Mandel during the writers' strike a few years back.
The second, and most likely last, screen-used item from BDM Serenity is the warm and fuzzy Alliance research/ torture device used to, to quote Simon; "They stripped her amygdala. She feels everything; she can't not." The display is based on a basketball display case. When I bought my prop it was damaged and missing two parts. I repaired the broken pieces as best I could and cut one replacement out of a model car windshield. The other piece I machined to match the original as closely as possible. I was then ready to display my star attraction. The headpiece worn by River in the Project Oracle lab. It also has the (retractable) needle that pushes in through the front. I had contacted The Propstore Of London with a ridiculous offer and they countered with a doable one. Aw hell, it's the only one in the world, so I figgered, "why not".

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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby taimdala » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:52 pm

Great pictues, Mike!

Oh, I *loved* 2010. And I was really surprised to see they'd copied the patch designs from 2010, as well. I was poring over the pics of Wash's flight suit on Propstore of London's website and nearly fell out of my chair when I recognized the patches.

Of course, it tickled me that for the BDM, they mounted the Leonov patch upside down, so that the name was stitched on in Russian *backwards*.

Spelled backwards as "BOHOE[upside down "V"]" doesn't mean a thing in English
Spelled forwards as "[Upside down V]EONOB", it spells "Leonov".

The upside down "V" is the Russian equivalent of the English "L", the Russian B = English V.

The only way a Russian could read the BDM patch is to look at it in a mirror and even then, the "B" would be backwards, as would the "E" ... which in Russian would turn it into one of two different letters and sounds entirely ( e.g. an e as in "end" or z as in "zero"). And even then, you'd have to make the backwards "e" more curvilinear!
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