Firstly: My apologies for getting some of you all excited about my Cerritos and Defiant and then going dark for a couple of years. Life got in the way. They're on the back burner, but I think I need a gas technician to come and check the lines for me.
Anyway: The second thing (besides designing elecrtronic ships) that kept me (debatably) sane during the pandemic was hunting down affordable, accurate Star Trek uniforms. Affordable to me means less than €100 per piece, and the lower the cost, the better - but I won't pay for crap, they must be a good representation of the screened uniforms.
What follows is a quick potted history of my uniform quest, as a preamble to talking about the process I undertook with the Monster Maroon...
It all kicked off with an ad for this beauty:
That is my favourite era of Star Trek and I think the grey-shoulders uniform is just really cool looking.
My other favourite era was TNG, and I set out looking for a late-2360's uniform. It was a surprisingly difficult search. Most had inaccurate cut (most common issue being the waist chevron at the back going up instead of down) or terrible colour matching or material choice.
The day, nay, the very moment I was going to give up on it, these uniforms appeared in a search result after I refreshed the page for some reason. Needless to say, I bought one, and found a potato to take pictures of myself with:
They came out with top-only versions a few days later, but they had the back-waist-chevron-inverted issue, per the photos in the listing. During lockdown, I had indoctrinated my nephew as a hardcore Trekker (something that I'm very proud of and take much delight in!), and he told me he bought one of the top-only versions soon after I showed him the links. I kept the chevron issue to myself, because if he hadn't seen it in the photos, or didn't twig the error, then I wasn't going to ruin his day.
Imagine my surprise when the tunic turned up and was COMPLETELY ACCURATE! They even updated the photos online a few days later to reflect that. I was a bit bummed out, because I don't particularly like wearing a onesie...
After a number of months, I ended up buying all three department colours as tunic-only.
Command red on the muscular nephew, Operations tan on the corpulent me. The tan is the only department colour I feel is just a shade off in these.
If anything, I think the cut of the uniform pattern is improved in these over the onesie version.
So, uniform-themed hoodies aside, that was the extent of my uniformity for a long while.
I kept a weather-eye out for the white whale, though - or should I say: Maroon Whale.
See, there are loads of them available for prices ranging from €30 to €160, but pretty much all of those look like garbage. Look at these weak-sauce online-listing images:
Now, yes - some of those don't look incredibly bad, but those listings always lacked any additional angles, the images provided were less than potato quality, and my by now fairly well-honed cosplay spidey-senses would tingle with a sense of threat. Not worth the risk for what might have just been an Anovos thousand-buck uniform photo put through a few bad image resizers. No telling what you'd actually recieve.
Recently, I got paid, and in addition to settling some debts, I decided to reward myself.
END OF PART ONE