Introduction: Stargate Ribbon Device Prop Replica

Picture of Stargate Ribbon Device Prop Replica

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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of Finished

All finished, and ready to wear!


JinxieChick (author)2017-06-04

What did you use for the "springs"?

AndrewH100686 (author)2016-12-14

What did you use for the crystal on the top also how long/wide is it and what are the sizes of the thumb ring?

I ask because i am also making it but am using your guide but need some dimensions please.

SpacePixie276 (author)2016-06-12

I am a huge fan of things Stargate, and I mustsay this is stunning. I had made a ribbon device of my own a couple of years ago, and was looking to make a new one. This is perfect. Thank you!

Lucifermorningstar1992 (author)2016-03-26

If I were to pay to make one for me is this something you could do for me please.

chelsrocket (author)2015-09-06

Do you have the template for the arm band that you cut from the brass sheeting?

JoannaD1 (author)2015-07-13

This is awesome, any chance to buy it, or at least any info where to get one like this from? ;-)

NathanI (author)2015-05-28

Where can I get one ?

JinxieChick (author)2015-02-11

Can I ask for a list of materials that we would need? I am just curious. Enjoy these pictures of cute animals.

cary.bryant.7 (author)2014-12-21

What a piece of junk.


Love the one I have, In fact those pics look familiar.


DebuffedHero (author)2014-11-18

So. Freakin. Awesome.

Himers (author)2014-11-17

Great job!!!

iceng (author)2014-11-16

I concur with stonemafia " awesome job " !!

Do you know of any Right handed Goa'uld Kara kesh :-)

ashleyjlong (author)2014-10-24

Gorgeous! Pieces like this make me wish I had access to a metal shop.

steve000 (author)2014-10-19


mid_life_crisis (author)2014-10-13

As a fan of the show, I must say I am impressed. That is some nice work.

As a tinkerer myself, I would have to work in a little circuitry to provide a low power jolt (more like a tingle) when touching someone with it.

Question is, how much does it take to make it noticeable but not actually hurt someone?

That's really not a good idea. You don't want to risk shocking yourself, and you don't want to touch anyone wearing an electronic device. I'm sure you really don't want to pay for someone's iPhone either.

I did say a tingle. Obviously it would have a switching mechanism to prevent unintended discharges and what idiot would shock a piece of electronics?

gingerpete50 (author)2014-10-16

Thanks so much for all the interest everyone, I'm glad you like it!

fluffydragon (author)2014-10-13

Really great job!

ssamc (author)2014-10-13

Not my favourite subject, but very nice instruct. I enjoyed to read all the details


rocketsurgery (author)2014-10-12

StarGreat! You have made a prop more real than it ever was. Thanks for sharing!

sheetmetalalchemist (author)2014-10-12

Wow. This is amazingly impressive! Really nicely done.

djs41514 (author)2014-10-12

Words would just dull my expressions of what a awesome job you did on this and I am a hard core gate fan. I don't impress easy or often but you have impressed me with your craftsmanship in making this hand device.(geeking out)

eruger (author)djs415142014-10-12

I agree!

nissan0712 (author)2014-10-12

If you make this. can a set be commissioned from ya?

j-vega (author)2014-10-12

Fantastic, ten stars !!!

One suggestion: Many of us do not have a lathe, but we can use an two component epoxy mass on a spiral wire or metal mesh. Then polish the piece and then, painting with golden base.

It is a homemade solution to the fingertips.

But we need that you to put here the specifications of the five fingers, measurements, etc. to make an reference.

Thank you.

zyck (author)2014-10-11

excellent craftsmanship!!

jarikcbol (author)2014-10-10

Amazing. I think you probably put more time and effort into this than the original prop took. Having read a lot about propmaking for sci-fi, it uses a huge amount of "grab this giant novelty pen cap, grab that knob off a 67 pinto, cut this bit off a hair dryer, paint it all gold, add a little rub-n-buff to make that gold look good, slap it together and bam! mind control device! They only precision machine parts when they absolutely have to. Yours is a fantastic replica!

golddigger1559 (author)jarikcbol2014-10-10

im pretty sure this device scrambled the brain, killing the victim.

golddigger1559 (author)2014-10-10

(@)_(@) I just had a stargate nerd-gasm!!!!!!!

TAKE MY MONEH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

shazni (author)2014-10-10

Wow Excellent! definetly voting :-)

Truly amazing work! You make it look much easier than I'm sure it actually is ;-) Inspiring!

MadMuz (author)2014-10-10

SooOo cool

Random_Canadian (author)2014-10-10

I normally do not vote for items that I compete against in challenges but I did this time and WOW! Your work is impressive! I sincerely hope you enjoy the grand prize with this one!

NamedJohnny (author)2014-10-10

you random citizen, deserve my respect

Faizshaikh (author)2014-10-10

Very impressive!!

amykatt (author)2014-10-10

This is gorgeous!! For safety reasons, I would probably use a scribe instead of a scalpel to add the line details.

kakashibatosi (author)2014-10-10

Shiny! I mean, very nicely done! Lets see another model steampunked with lots of extra gadgets!

seamster (author)2014-10-10

This is so impressive! Nicely done!

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