Introduction: Stargate Ribbon Device Prop Replica
Runner Up in the
Halloween Costume Contest
A replica of the Goa'uld Ribbon Device weapon from the Stargate TV series. Also known as the Hand Device, or the Kara kesh
This full size, wearable prop is made from solid brass, with acrylic "crystal" pieces, and an LED light inside the palm piece.
All of the separate components have been shaped and polished by hand, then lacquered to keep their shine.
The last two images here are screen-caps taken from the show, to give you an idea of the filming prop I've re-created.
I've made a few of these, so the photos in the following steps were taken of two or three different versions, which is why, in some images the LED is yellow, and in some others it's white.
I hope you enjoy the "Making of" steps, and thanks for looking!
Step 1: The Finger Cap Pieces
Please look through the notes on the photos for more detailed info.
These finger caps start off as a 50mm long section of 25mm diameter solid brass bar.
I drilled a 16mm hole into the end of the bar, off set from the centre, along with a 3mm hole at the edge.
I then took material away from the outside of the section of bar using a dremel, until they are roughly the correct shape. again, see the photo notes for more details
I then used a medium/corse metal working file to smooth out all the bumps and rough patches the dremel left behind.
Once the filing was finished, the cap is the correct shape, but covered in scratches and marks from the file. These need to be polished out, using various grades of Wet and Dry sanding paper. I start with an 80 grit paper, then work over the finger cap, removing the file marks. Then I move onto a 120 grit paper, and remove the marks form the 80 grit paper, I follow this pattern through a number of grades. 80, 120, 240, 320, 400, 600, 800, 100, 1200, 2000.
This is VERY time consuming, and can be rough on your finger tips too, but it's really worth spending the time on this stage, as it's the ONLY way to get a proper, mirror shine to the brass.
Once the caps have been sanded to 2000 grit, it's time to give them a final polish. I use Brasso metal polish and a soft cloth, this really gives the surface a wonderful shine.
The last thing to do on these, is to wash off all residue from the polish, carefully dry, then give them a coat of protective, clear lacquer. I use a clear spray lacquer, designed for top coating paint on cars.
Step 2: The Finger Rings
These are made from a section of 25mm brass tube.
I carefully marked the shape of the rings onto the brass tube, then roughly cut them out with the cutting wheel in a dremel. Then shaped them using the sanding drum.
I scored the detail lines on using a scalpel ( be careful!!), then soldered onto their underside, a small 4mm section of brass tube. This will be where the wire springs will be threaded through. It's pretty tricky, but if you can find some good flux, and a little chef's blow torch then it's shouldn't take too long.
Once they are soldered in place, take some time to clear up any excess solder with Wet and Dry paper, then polish them up and lacquer them, in just the same way as the finger caps.
Step 3: The Palm Section
This section is usually a little different every time i make one of these, as it's quite tricky sourcing an appropriate piece of brass to use as the basic shape.
As you can see in the first photo, I have cut a ring from a brass egg cup I once found. This is the base. I then cut another ring, exactly the same size, but then cut it into small sections, and soldered them onto the outside of the first ring. These form the "sockets" which will have holes drilled into them, and eventually have the spring wires glued into, using metal epoxy.
Once the sockets are in place, I then used a round brass plate to close up the back of the piece, again, soldering it in place.
Place this section down on a small sheet of brass, then score round it to mark the shape. Then drill out the large hole from the centre of the plate, using a large forstener drill bit. Once the hole is drilled, cut back the rest of the plate to match the scored lines. This is difficult to describe! Once this plate is all cut to a basic shape, solder it in place onto the front of the palm piece, then tidy up all the edges using a small file, and again, lots of wet and dry paper, and polish.
The "crystal" is a piece is thick clear acrylic, shaped into a circle, then domed, then polished clear. I then stained it with a brown wood stain to give it a yellow colour.
A very basic circuit was then made up and fitted inside the palm section, behind the crystal. The switch on the reverse, allows the LED to light up when the wearer's palm makes contact with it.
Step 4: Arm Band, Ribbon Section
This part os cut from a flat sheet of 1.5mm Brass sheet.
A template was cut, then scored around onto the brass sheet. The shape is cut out, again using a cutting wheel in a dremel, and then cleaned up using a file.
The detail lines were again scored in using a scalpel, and a pair of dividers to score the border around the edge of the piece.
The sunburst detail, at the end of the piece, was made by cutting small sections of brass, and carefully soldering them into place, around the edge of a brass dome. The dome was cut from the top of an old brass door knob, which was also soldered into place, cleaned up and polished.
The thumb ring part of the ribbon, needs a little bit of work now. It's difficult to describe, but I "dished" it a little, to make the surface of it curved, so, when worn, it follows the curve of your hand. I did this by tapping the outside edges over the edge of a vice, to bend them over a touch. Once that was done, I had to clean up all the marks left behind by the hammer, so once again, out comes the wet and dry paper and polish.
Next is to bend the strip, into a spiral. I did this by carefully bending it over a length of PVC drain pipe, this helps to keep the bends even, and avoids and "kinks"
Now you have to solder the palm section, onto the thumb ring in the main ribbon section, make sure you get it in the rich place, so that it will sit in the centre of the palm
Once finished, again, clean everything up, give it a final polish, then hang it up, ready to spray with the clear lacquer.
Step 5: Assembly
Once all the parts are lacquered, you can link everything together using lengths of wire springs. Glue them into the "sockets" on the palm section using a metal epoxy. Then thread the finger rings over the springs, next, epoxy the other end of the springs into the small holes in the finger caps, to keep everything in place.
Step 6: Finished
All finished, and ready to wear!
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