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Uniform collection and Monster Maroon customisation

Cosplay TWOK Uniform TMP-era Costume 3D-Printing Customisation Rare find Classic Massive dick

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#1 Destructor!!!


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Posted 06 July 2023 - 04:26 PM

Hi all,

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.


Teal science/medical


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.


#2 Destructor!!!


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Posted 06 July 2023 - 04:37 PM


I bought an alternative take on the First Contact uniform with innovative zip-on, zip-off department colour cuffs to see how it compares to the one pictured above. I haven't done too much modelling in that one yet, so no images - stay tuned I guess!

There are pros and cons to both FC interpretations, but that's its own post.

I also got a set of "TNG trousers", which actually clash with the black fabric of the TNG tunics, but go perfectly with that new First Contact uniform. They flare too much at the hem though, so I'll have to bring them to the tailor.

But - and we finally get to the meat and potatoes of this post, thank you for your patience so far :) - I found a listing on CosplayNow.com for a strange but fundamentally pretty good-looking Monster Maroon.


I know - it doesn't look overly promising, but on the listing, they have a lot of angles on it. Something about the level of thought put into the Maroon's quirky design, even that split neck, made me think more about it - so I submitted my measurements and added a note requesting they leave the white collar off and provide a sample of the red material with it. After some initially poor communication (I never got an order confirmation), I emailed them and queried receipt of the order. They responded very quickly, and a few days later, it arrived - completely as-specified.

Side note: Browse their site - they have an absurd variety of uniforms, including pretty much every bland variation from TMP and all the department colours and secondary character outfits from TWOK!


I really like the belt, and this photo shows the true colour of the fabric - for whatever reason, my phone interprets the fabric colour under bright lighting as a cherry red. It's this colour to the naked eye.


"What does Dog need with a starship!?"

This was me trying it on day one, no modifications and a prototype 3D printed badge.


Flap opens as it should.


I'm doing my "Sulu arresting Cartwright" pose in TUC with a Playmates assault phaser.


#3 Destructor!!!


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Posted 06 July 2023 - 04:39 PM


Sorry to have to split this across multiple replies, but the forum is really struggling with this post for some bloody reason!


- I really like the colour and the material.

- There's batting in the lower sleeves to give volume to the trapunto cuffs

- Opening and closing the snaps on the flap is satisfying and redolent of how McCoy does it in TUC.

- Comes with black pants that fit me very nicely.

- The jacket fit is overall very good.

- I'm motivated and confident that I can correct nearly all the issues in the Cons section...


- The afforementioned tendency to oversaturate in photos for some reason.

- The shoulder strap is the wrong shape on the back, and mounted too far forward.

- The rank and "closure clasp" are cut and tack-stitched pieces of pleather - very tacky.

- The gold lame on the white sleeve cuff and the shoulder strap is literally lame. It sheds gold fibres and looks really cheap.

- The shoulder strap is equipped with a common-or-garden safety pin to attach it to the flap. I have never used it.

- The "security device" on the back of the strap is a bog-standard gold plastic button - seemingly from a british soldier's uniform replica or something.

- The nice pants provided do not bell-out and lack the red stripe.

- The jacket lacks belt loops, including the trapunto'd trapezoidal maroon belt loop in the small of the back. That and the arm-mounted rank pin are why I asked for the extra red fabric.

- If I had not asked them to neglect it, it would have come with a bizarre representation of the white undershirt in the form of a split-fronted collar sewn to the neck of the jacket.

I set about customising the uniform even before it arrived.

Already done:

- 3D printed and painted an insignia badge with magnetic connection:

The little dot (indicating the sun I believe) is on the bottom because that's how it was in Generations, and my primary reference in building the badge was that film - little did I realise the prop department had seemingly assembled the badges with the backing upside down in that film! The dot should be top right. I'm not too bothered...

- 3D printed and painted replacement rank pin.

This rank is Captain, and I actually made it a little long. I have remodelled it and will print and paint it again soon. I'll also print a more curved version for the sleeve rank at that point too.

- I cut the shoulder strap off the jacket and removed the threads, replacing them with a snap system.

- I 3D printed a security device for the back of the strap and sewed through it to the snap.

- I also 3D printed some pips and squeaks for the sleeve cuff. I have elected to sew these on with gold thread, but the thread holes in the first set I printed and painted were too small, so I have a new set printed and awaiting gold spray paint. I'm going for 25 years' service with one commendation. That two pips with deltas, one without, and an oblong squeak. 10, 10, 5, Commendation.

- I 3D printed and painted a working closure clasp (I could not source one close enough to the originals online), and sewed the spud part with the twist post onto the flap. It works great. I had to cut a hole in the shoulder strap to accomodate it of course.




So, work is proceeding apace.

To do:

- Fabricate new shoulder strap (materials already ordered)

- Replace gold lame with gold piping (already ordered)

- Add wide black and narrow red ribbon to trousers (black ribbon has arrived, red on the way)

- Add chain to the jacket flaps between the closure snaps (ordered - couldn't get the original style of chain or anything very close and 3D printing experiments didn't satisfy. I found something that looks similar enough from a distance though).

- Attach pips and squeaks as above.

- Fabricate trapezoidal belt loop for back of jacket out of the spare red material and 2 black belt loops for the sides of the jacket. The black ribbon I have sourced for the trousers will suffice for the black belt loops, I believe.

- Reprint/paint remaining accoutrement: Captain's rank pins for strap and sleeve, pips and squeaks.

One thing you may be wondering about - especially since I specifically requested they leave it out - is the white trapunto-collared-and-cuffed undershirt of the uniform. Well, the thing that really reignited my search for the Monster Maroon in the first place was the appearance of a decent replica of the Strange New Worlds version of the uniform. Funnily enough, the separately-purchaseable undershirt for that outfit is actually far more accurate to the original iteration of the Monster Maroon than the SNW variant, which has smaller gaps between seam lines on the collar. It's very affordable too, so I ordered one, and it arrived a few days after the uniform did:



Please excuse the jeans, I've been busy lately, so I haven't had time to don the full getup since the undershirt arrived. I must say, the undershirt itself is a lovely garment. Exceptionally comfortable, and the collar and cuffs give you a... I don't know... cozy feeling. I love it. I might get another just for everyday wear.

Anyway, that's my Monstrously Maroon journey to date. I hope this is of interest to you fine personages!

#4 Destructor!!!


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Posted 08 July 2023 - 02:54 AM

The chain arrived and, well, I must have misunderstood the measurement standards for chain because it's like an old dog leash, about 10x too large for my purposes. Maybe the 3mm referred to the thickness of the loop metal, rather than the width of the loop, as I had assumed...

The white material for the new shoulder strap is here too, and, while it may suffice, it has a different texture to the existing parts of the jacket in that colour (the cuff and the insides of the flaps). At the very least I can use it to mock up and practice my sewing. I'm still waiting for the gold trim to arrive.

#5 MisterPL


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Posted 10 July 2023 - 12:16 PM

Very cool collection, sir. Before I married her, my wife found a pattern for the TWOK-style uniform and started building it. As you said, life got in the way. I may revisit it someday now that I'm a Vice Admiral's age.  :D  

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