There has been a lot of discussion on the forums and other build posts as to both the merits (few), and lack of quality (lots) of the Anovos supplied belt. Indeed I mentioned even back in Stage 2 I was considering upgrading this belt.. and having done it now I’m glad I did.
Aiming for 501st approval or not, the belt really is one of the kit supplied components that really will need upgrading.
The first problem with the Anovos supplied belt is instantly obvious when you start to handle it – it way too soft (I can hear the nob jokes again) and it simply won’t hold up to much in use.
(These images illustrate the canvas belts with all the accessories removed)
Secondly.. the holster fixings are wrong. There are 6 on this as it comes straight out the box – 4 on the straps to belt, and 2 on the straps to holster. For screen accuracy and 501st approval there should only be 4 in total on a stunt costume – 2 on the straps to belt and 2 on the holster.
So in short, this stage requires:
The whole belt dismantling – carefuly!
The actual canvas belt needs replacing and upgrading
The holster straps needs a little chopping
All the plastic ammo elements need to be replaced on the new belt
Whilst the upgrade does seem daunting at first, it is actually relativity straight forward. Here goes…
click for larger images or slide show
The cover cap with the hole (over enthusiastic rivet head drilling 🙁 ) will repaired with the abs repair paste I made previously, and polished out for a smooth front, good as new.
The holster is easy to remove by simply unscrewing the chicago screws. It will be replaced however using snaps on the new belt.
With all the elements now removed and being repaired, I can start on the replacement belt and the holster prep.
My new canvas belt is made here in the UK by Ross8008 (actually it’s his wife!) on the UKG forum, and for anyone looking for a replacement canvas belt IT IS THE DOGS! It is sooo much better in every way than the Anovos supplied belt. As you can see from the photos above it is way more rigid due to the fact there are 4 layers of decent and ‘authentic’ canvas compared to the 1 or 2 in the Anovos belt. It also has the ‘natural frayed’ edge, which tbh on first sight I was worried about but again this is authentic, unlike the neatly hemmed edges of the Anovos version.
The RWA belt is slightly more duller/natural in colour so a couple of coats of white shoe polish (aka trainer whitener) does the trick and we’re back on track.
(the original colour and the whitened finish after the show polish)
The straps need to be ‘thinned’ a little as they are too thick to accept a snap fitting, and the top holes cut off. Using these guides from the UKG this is where and how the holster will be fitted:
That’s the belt completely rebuilt now, and (all being well) to 501st approval standards. I have applied some Isopropol alcohol and petroleum jelly to the holster to try and soften it a little and re-shape it slightly, to accept the E11 blaster without gripping it too tightly. Other than this.. we’re done here.