A Guide to Gear and Props. What to buy?
This is for everyone who may have a question about what's available as far as Indy gear and props. Finding something you want can be difficult, so I thought we'd compile this thread to sort of showcase what's quality and what should be avoided. Please add your own reviews and photos, suggestions, and correct me if there is something I am mistaken about or something I missed. Keep it simple though, this is for all the new guys who want to get a quick lesson is what is screen accurate and worth your cash. If your looking to get real technial about a certain piece try Club Obi Wan.
We'll start with Fedoras (Hats) as it seems a popular choice. First ask yourself why your buying a hat? What Color do you want, Brown or Grey? Is it to have as a cool prop on your desk and wear once in a while? Or do you want a hat you can wear all the time that will take a beating? Or maybe just the most accurate Indy hat you can have?
AB Hats :
First and foremost I want to mention Steve Delk from Adverturebilt hats. If your looking to get what many would consider the "Best Hat" Adventurebilt may well be it. Each hat is handmade for the customer by Mr. Delk who crafted the hats seen in KotCS. They are terrific looking and quality hats that you can have styled to match the scene of your choice. They are also very durable and can act as a real hat in all conditions.
The big drawback for most people will be the price, which is at the moment, I believe $300.00. This also includes a wait period as he makes each hat by hand and is still catching up from making the movie hats.
The AB Deluxe :
Of course we must also talk about Adventurebilt Deluxe and Marc. Marc is Steve's european counterpart and offers an even higher quality, although pricier felt quality. I'd reccomend Marc and a Deluxe for the fans who want a really screen accurate felt and feel. If your a really serious collector or avid hat enthusiast, take the plunge and get an AB.
Then we have Stetson and Herbert Johnson both of which are well made hats, both were used in the original films, both will most likely come to you Open-Crowned. The problem is they can be tricky to find. What readily comes to mind is Magnoli Clothiers who I believe is still offering the Herbert Johnson as well as Todd's Costumes. Otherwise eBay is how to get one at an affordable price. Stetson also had made the offical hats before Dorfman Pacific. (Dorfman are the hats you'll find at Disney parks)
What is an Open Crown? Well that means the hat will not have indentations on the front or top and you will give it the shape you choose yourself. This is easy with most hats, although some softer felts may be a bit harder to achieve the desired shape. The same goes for older hats that have softened. You could correct this by using steam methods or trying stiffener spray.
Peter Bros. Also offers a very good looking Indy hat, but I do not know much about them other then they are higher end and a bit pricey. I'd be happy to have someone here share about a Peter Bros. if you own one.
DP Official Hats:
Now lets talk more afforable options. You have the "official" Dorfman Pacific Indy hats. They vary in color but esentially you have wool felt hats which will run you between $30-$50. Then you have fur felt, Which is slightly nicer, and a bit stiffer. Fur felt will cost you around $50 if your lucky, to $75 or more. Neither of those hats are made to be worn in real weather and are more or less novelty/collector's pieces. They also now offer a Beaver felt hat which retails for around $500. This is something I would avoid as better options simply exist. If you'd like to pick up one of these hats, You can try most any online hat shop, ShopStarwars.com, and eBay. All of these hats sport a look closest to that of Last Crusade's hat.
The last hat maker to mention for now is Akubra. They offer a Federation and a Deluxe. Both of which are great Indy hats with the Deluxe being a higher quality and again more expensive felt. These are the best hats for you guys who want something to wear once in a while that is more accurate and inexpensive. They run around $150 or more after shipping and can be found at Hatsdirect.com. This hat comes to you Open-Crowned. Don't be intimidated, its easier to shape then you think. Just take your time and get the look you want.
The Federation Deluxe :
The Leather Jacket. Who doesn't want Indy's leather jacket? The big questions are : Which brand is correct and what color is correct. Well there isn't a correct answer to those. Not just one anyway. If you watch the video on the offical site, you'll catch a glimpse of the jacket rack for the production of Indy 4. About 40 Jackets and a range of a dozen shades of Brown. So you have to detirmine what scene you like the look of the Jacket best, and detirmine your color from that.
Next what hide do you want? A lighter and Raiders accurate lambskin which is easy to tear, Or cowhide which will take a beating and keep on going. Other options exist as well.
Now ask if you want a new looking Jakcet, or a Pre-Distressed Jacket that looks like it's been on a ton of adventures. I prefer the predistressed look, especialy for a costume, a clean Indy doesn't look right to me.
The new Jackets for KotCS were made by Tony Nowak. Be prepared to spend big for one of these high quality jackets.
Wested's Raiders Special:
The next most readily available, accurate jackets would be from Wested Leather. Wested operates in the U.K. and will custom tailor your Jacket for you for a small fee. You can also choose from Raiders, LC, or ToD, as well as your hide, distressing, and even if you want an 80's cut. The 80's cuts are for slimmer indivuals only however.
Then of course we have Offical Jackets, like the kind you see at Disney Parks, your best bet for on these is ebay, although the accuracy isn't perfect, they are nice Jackets at an affordable price that are officaly licensed.
Lastly I'll mention Todd's costumes who are also offering a very nice looking Standard Coyle Jacket at an affordable price. For most Indy fans this will be a good bet, He also offers a nicer, more expensive Jacket if you want to get serious. I have heard alot of good things about the standard.
Alot of others offer Indy style Jackets, but these are the easiest to find and what comes to mind.
The Whip. When you were young, your parents didn't want you to be the kid on the block with a whip, putting eyes out left and right. But now your a bit older and want to add one to your collection. So where do you start?
Well if your a hardcore fan you can start with David Morgan. The supplier of the whips for the films, You don't get much better then these in quality. The drawback is the price tag. Anywhere from $400-$500 for a used whip on ebay, to close to a thousand for a brand new one.
The whips in the film are usually 8-10 feet long and 12 Plait. The plaits are basically the braids you see on the outside of the whip. Longer lenghts were used only for special stunts.
The next good choice is the Indy on a Budget or IOAB Whip from Winrich Whips. Not the same as a Morgan, but still high quality and great constuction with a whip that will actually crack.
Todd's New Whip:
Then again, we have Todd, who recenlt began offering whips. The verdict on these isn't really in yet, but they do look great, and have an affordable price as well. Im planning on picking up one of these myself.
And finally we have ebay. The seller coming to mind is JrzJoe. Not the best whips, but for display or costumes, they work well. They are mostly affordable ranging from $25-$400.
Quickly I'll mention other gear. The Shirt and Pants are somewhat unique. What sets the shirt apart are the shoulder epaulettes and pleats running up the front of the shirt. It should fall somewhere between the colors of stone and tan.
Noel Howard made the originals and also offered shirts and pants but recently stopped.
This leaves Wested as your best bet if you really want an accurate shirt or pair of pants but be prepared to spend. Again they are a U.K. company that will accomodate you measurements if you like.
You can also pick up an Indy Magnoli Shirt and Pants, which are made with quality, again to your specifications but a bit costly.
The What Price Glory (WPG) shirt is also worth a look. It seems a bit bloated and large, but from what I hear is passable when tucked in.
If you don't mind something close enough, you can try a Cabela's Safari Shirt.
WPG Repro Bag:
WPG Also offers real Gas Mask Bags just like Indy's. The only differance is the original strap. To get a leather strap you can try Magnoli or Todd's. Magnoli, WPG, and Todd, all also offer repro bags, using the same pattern as the original, w/ slightly differant insides to accomodate your Indy gear. These bags typically include a leather strap and buckle with them. If you want something cheaper Ebay seller Costumebase is good too. He is from Singapore but has fast shipping. I have this bag myself and it is nice, although I reccomend replacing the strap which is faux leather.
Lucasfilm is cracking down on independent prop replicators and so the only place left seems to be ebay or some independent projects that pop up on other Indy forums.
http://www.ebay.com/ (Your new best friend)
The Gobler Idol:
First with Raiders of the Lost Ark, a popular piece is the Golden Idol. Unfortunately it isn't as easy as just going to Marrakesh to buy one. The best Idols to be produced were the moving eyes version which was very limited, the Gobler, MK, and Magnoli's none of which are currently being made anymore. So the only place to find one of these Gold plated idols is on ebay and be prepared to spend big if your lucky enough to find one. The next option is a painted idol which exist in a number of forms, again all on ebay. You can readily find 2-3 sellers on ebay offering these kinds of idols at any given time.
This idol :
This idol is a pretty good cast but has a seem running up the back up the head from being casted, and has other small deformities. It is Hydrastone which is sort of like plaster. This keeps it light, especialy compared to a Gold plated idol. The paint is Black, with some sort of Bronze, then Gold coat to give it an antiqued illusion. Problem is they got cheap with the gold paint and some areas are very dark or jusr outright black which detracts from the idol itself. Most notabley under the chin. The corners of the mouth are also incorrect. Still with free shipping this may be a good idol for someone looking for a close enough piece.
Geneva Roth is the other seller who comes to mind:
His idol has a better gold looking illusion to it and can even be found cheaper then the above, for the most part. This is going to be most peoples best bet. The seller is also very friendly and honest. It too suffers from the seem and minor imperfections however.
Other idols of this same cast with differant paint styles show up regularly from various sellers, and you can also pick up an un-finished Idol, to sand and paint or Gold plate/leaf on your own. If you want something Gold Plated, doing it yourself is your best chance of making it happen quickly.
The Headpiece to the Staff of Ra. This is a tricky one. If you want a good headpiece, you'll find it isn't actually a worthless bronze medallion after all. Your going to need to shell out around $100 for a truely decent one from Acme Artifacts. I think they still have some that have real gold plating and correct writing on both sides. Its a greatly detailed piece.
Other good Headpieces were replicated by Indy Magnoli and Redfour and show up from time to time on eBay.
The next best alternative is Costumebase's standard Headpiece. The gold plated one is a bit sloppy, but the regular edition is very nice and has a great deal of detail. The price is fantastic, although it doesn't have the shorter text writing on the opposite side, and the Crystal is just a mirrored back gem on each side. Costumebase is an ebay seller and from Singapore, but has great communication and fast shipping times. They also make Indy's Bag, and Holster set, which I'll talk about, later.
Stay clear Of Reelart's headpieces here, they are very poor re-casts with sloppy paint applications. The same goes for the Reelart Grail and Idol, etc... however the Translucent Amber Sankara Stones they offer are actually well made and nice pieces.
Reelart Sankara Stone:
On the topic of Sankara Stones, get them from Reelart or try to find someone in the community, on a forum who is doing a run. These are hard to come by, But very easy to make on your own. Get some sculpty and brown and white paint, then some screenshots and go to work. Give yourself some credit, everyone can be artistic if they apply themselves.
Another easy addition to your collection could be the Antidote from Temple of Doom. A small container, which should have gems or crystals on the cap, and be filled with Blue Liquid. This is something else easy to do on your own, but if your looking for a nice one, check out Jedi Spirit on ebay. You can pick up not only the antidote, But the Lao Che Diamond and Indy's School I.D. all in one lot at a fair price. The diamond isn't perfect but for the price it's great. Reelart's diamond and vile are very inaccurate.
Jedi Spirit also sells Rubbings of the grail tablet which are actually rubbed, not printed and come pre-folded. From time to time he also offers ToD Sanskrits, and Brown Paper Wrappers for your Grail Diary. A friendly seller, with good communication.
Speaking of Grail Diaries... You'll see a few show up on ebay weekly. The IndyJ diary is the nicest one which is readily available showing up once or twice a week at a price of around $200-$400. I just picked one up and am satisfied with the Book itself, the band, the printing of the book itself, and the ton of inserts. It's really very nice.
If you want something a bit cheaper, check out the Philbirt Diary. It's still got a genuine leather cover but off in color, and a printed book w/ elastic band and a few inserts. However it is smaller then the real Diary and thus some print is sized down and hard to read. Some is cut off completely and the Diary is not always ledgible. It's nice but it isn't going to blow you away. Don't spend more then $200 on this one.
Alot of Tannis Props Diaries seem to show up on ebay lately too. I believe they are all hand written but the quality doesn't look fantastic, in fact some I've seen are very inaccurate for nearly $300-$400. Magnoli also made Diaries which may show up if your lucky.
You could always make your own diary as well. A number of resources exist online. Magnoli still sells Blank Diaries for you to get started and I have provided links to the Diary and Inserts. If you really want to go all out, once in a while a truely accurate hand written diary shows up on ebay, but Ive seen them go for over $1,000.00 so don't be surprised if you have trouble acquiring one.
Now that you have your Diary, You will no doubt want the Cup itself. Hitler can have the grail but he can't take it with him, you can. Again we turn to ebay. Seeing a pattern here yet? Several grails are readily available each week with nicer quality ones showing up a bit less often.
My main sugestion would be Geneva Roth:
This grail is hand thrown ceramic and has actual gold leaf in the basin. Its got a nice look and doesn't suffer from a thick neck or wide basin. For the price of just over $100 its a terrific replica. It is most like the grail that lays on it's side twoard the end, when Elsa knocks it into the chasm. You can tell this because of the coloring and the lip.
Also this grail shows up often lately:
This one is again hand made for each customer only this one is actually made of wood. It too has an accurate shape, but no gold leaf. The outside coloring of the grail is also a little more accurate here. This is more like the grail you see in the Knight's shrine, before Indy actually picks it up.
Reelart's are again, very inaccurate. I've actually heard people say they just threw them in the trash.
Hopefully this short guide will answer some of your questions about what to buy. Please contribute reviews and photos of your own so we can have a definitive what's what of Indy gear.
Also, for whips, there's Caicedo Whips. I've ordered one of the 8ft Indiana Jones whips. I don't have it yet, but I've heard they're pretty good.:up:
Thank you so much! This is fantastic, and that IndyQuest site is great!
thank you so much!!!!
It is a great guide!
Nice work Deckard!:hat:
It's very thorough! Man, I wish I had some of the items in your collection, the props are great!:up:
Good source for props and gear for new and old Indy fans. Thank you for doing this. I just received my WPG shirt and bag. I felt like a little kid last night. I ordered my Akubra Federation deluxe today. I will probably still get an AB, but I want my first had to be bashed by me. I love self done props. BTW, nobody bid on the headpiece that costumebase has up, tomjonesrulz is my Ebay account, or I might have to go use my Indy voodoo doll on you.:gun:
Deckard: I did go through with it and have bid on the Cup of Christ that you had suggested. So, I should hopefully (granted I win) get the Chalice and I'll take pictures of it when it arrives sometime next week.
It's a fairly nice whip, but I wouldn't buy another one. It's kind of small. It's about 2 inch shy of 8ft, and it just feels and looks small compared to my Winrich Indy on a Budget whip.
I hope those pictures show the size pretty well.
BTW, it cracks great. My brother has no trouble with it. I however have a problem with hitting myself in the back. Ouch!
Maybe I should try to save up for one from Bernardo...
The Del Carpio whips are very nice. I would call them "premium" whips. I wouldn't want to pay over $200 for a good whip. I've heard that Todd's whips crack really well, but like you said, they're more for show. They probably won't hold up as well as a $450-500 whip.:whip:
Mr. Fusion your IOAB is awesome. Now I don't know if I want that or Todd's.
Is Adventure Supply still going? The last update to the site says 2004. Thats why I didn't list him to begin with, but I'm not sure.
The last I heard Adventure Supply was still up and running but the wait times can be a little long because Lee travels and appears at a lot of gun shows. It would be best to contact him first if you are interested in some of his merchandise.
Lee helped develop the Flightsuits Expedition jacket, which led to Tony Nowak's Indy 4 jacket and Todd's jackets, so it can truly be said that he has contributed to movie history. And he's never bragged about it or attempted to capitalize on it.
I got my costume from Lee way back in 1989 when he was importing Herbert Johnson Poets for less than $200.00 and selling David Morgan whips for less than $400.00. I haven't bought anything from him in a long time but I've heard many favorable comments about his stuff, especially the fedora.
I am so impressed with all of this information. Great job everyone!
I mentioned this elsewhere, but I ordered a custom jacket, shirt, and pants from Wested a few days ago, and I just purchased the bag from Todd's, so I guess all I need now is the hat and the whip. I've been dragging my feet on the hat, because I'm not sure yet how much I can spend, and can't figure out if I want one frem sw.com or one of the fancier ones. The reviews here have certainly helped though!
i am still waiting on the word for the factory build AdventureBuilt.
I am gonna wait and see how much they are going to be...and if it is still too much for my wallet, i will get an Akubra. :p
There was some sort of problem recently that will delay the AB factory hat.
Ohh my... :sick: :sick: :sick:
The problem is the great expense of making pre-creased blocks for the factory hats. They may hire someone to put in the creases by hand, or offer the hats open-crowned, perhaps with an instruction sheet.
Open Crowned would be best. It's not that difficult.
I can't believe how many choices and options there are for everything. I saw that Todd is about to feature Indy's shirt (in March); a brand new version that has the look we all know and love. I expect quite a push for that.
Yes, I saw that last night. I have Todd's current shirt, which is originally from What Price Glory, and it's a strange fit. It's really baggy, for the most part. So, I can't wait for Todd's new shirt.:up:
Just bought the headpiece from costumebase. They sent me a second chance buy it now. Got it for lower than what the last couple of auctions have ended at. I cannot wait to get it. Just want the diary now. I might wait on the idol and see if any company, like MR or EFX will pick up the Indy prop license.:up:
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