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TFN Costumes Forum FAQ
by Max Veers, JediToran, Jedi_Samantha & Silmarillion

Version 3.0 updated on June 28th 2003 by Jedi_Samantha

SECTION I: FORUM GUIDELINES

The Costuming Forum is visited by thousands of people, and in order to maintain a comfortable, working environment, certain rules must be heeded. These rules are for the most part what you would expect in any public establishment, although there are a few things unique to the costuming genre of which you may not be aware. These are listed in no particular order, although they are all important.

1. Respect the forum members.

One of the most important things to remember about costumes is that they are made as a hobby. It is perfectly all right to dislike someone's work, but there is a proper way of going about sharing such feelings.

There is no swearing or inappropriate language in the forums. Children frequent these forums, so please try to keep thing family-oriented. Even the act of "encrypting" stronger profanity is not allowed and will be dealt with accordingly. For example, substituting "$" for "S" or using an asterix (*) in lieu of a key letter is unacceptable. See this thread for more detail.

There is NO name calling or insulting (called "flaming" in Internet-speak) in this forum, no matter how angry you are. Save it for somewhere else.

If you really hated someone's project or idea, share your opinion in a tactful manner.

2. Respect the forum administrators.

The Costuming staff has a huge responsibility. Obviously, they are very busy. There are a few things you can do to keep the workload reasonable for them, and doing this is not just respectful and polite, but more pragmatically, it will allow them to release new fan films (or get to yours) more quickly.

Don't keep badgering them. Be nice. They do their job at the forums for free, even though it is a huge task, and they have paying jobs and lives, so cut them some slack.

3. Keep in mind the rules you agreed to when you registered.

The Costuming forum may seem a bit different from the other forums at TheForce.Net, but it's a part of the whole, and you must follow the same rules you'd follow in every other forum.

When you're posting in the Costuming forum, please keep the discussion related to Costuming and Props ONLY. There are dozens of separate forums that are part of TheForce.Net and they all serve a specific purpose. The Costuming forum is for discussion of Costuming and Props. The members here are a tight-knit, friendly group, but that does not mean you can start a topic about tomorrow's football game. Take advantage of the "Your JC Community" forum for conversational-type topics. You can talk about basically anything you'd like there. Please don't post off-topic here -- we have no choice but to lock your topic even if it interests everyone. If your topic ends up being locked, there's no need to feel angry, upset, or embarrassed. Just note why your topic was locked and try not to do the same thing in the future.

4. CONSEQUENCES:

If you DON'T follow the rules, there are several consequences. They are listed in rough order of severity:

  • Edited Post (The content post has been changed by a moderator): Sometimes you may make a reply that is acceptable but you used an inappropriate word or phrase, you may have posted an unlicensed dealer link or perhaps accidentally spoiled a part of a film. The administrator will edit your post appropriately to remove the obscene phrase or eliminate the spoiler. This serves as a bit of a warning to think a bit more before you post in the future. Sometimes an entire post will be edited if what it contained was very unacceptable.
  • Deleted Post (A post or topic has been removed): This is a rare occurrence. Usually if a post was very inappropriate it will be completely removed, leaving no trace that it ever occurred. Sometimes "double-posts", where someone accidentally posts the same message twice, will be deleted to keep things flowing.
  • Locked Topic (A "strike-through" or line through the topic, and cannot be replied to): If you post a thread about something that doesn't belong but is not profane or defamatory, it will most likely be locked, meaning no further replies will be allowed. Having a thread locked can be embarrassing, but it's not a punishment. It is just a reminder to post where the subject is appropriate. However, threads can also be locked if an acceptable topic gets out of hand. Make sure to keep the conversation on-topic and appropriate if you don't want your thread to be locked.
  • Ban (You cannot post new threads or replies): This is the most serious consequence. If you post an obscene topic or continuously post topics that aren't appropriate, you will be banned. This means that you can no longer reply to any thread in the entire Jedi Council forum system, not just the Costuming forum. Make sure you remember that. If you get banned, you did something very wrong. Depending on the severity, you can be banned from a few days to permanently. There are two kinds of bans, Username and IP. A username ban is one that prevents any replies under a certain username from being made. This is less severe than an IP ban; where no posts can be made from a computer at all, no matter what username a person is using. You don't want that to happen.

5. DO NOT be redundant!

This FAQ was created primarily because of a huge number of redundant, unnecessary topics that are posted from time to time. Posting redundantly is an easy way to lose the respect of other forum members, so please do not do it. If you have a question or idea, browse through the first few pages of topics or so to see if it has been mentioned recently. This is critical! If you see that it has, read that topic, and if you still have questions, reply to that topic instead of creating another. If you do not see any posts relating to what you have to say in the past several pages, go ahead and post a new thread. Usually no one will mind if the question is a few weeks old. Checking this FAQ as you are doing right now is a good sign that you care enough to be respected by the other forum members; that's good. Read through the FAQ as well before asking questions. The topic "How do you create a lightsaber?" is almost a legend for long-time forum members, because it has been asked so many times.

6. Be legible.

In a message board system, the idea is to have conversation. It's impossible to converse without good communication. In the same way that in talking with someone, you wouldn't mumble, speak without syntax or structure, mispronounce words, and shout when not appropriate, you also want to post considerately. This means a few things:

  • Don't post in all capital letters. This is the equivalent of SHOUTING on the internet.
  • Spell reasonably well. No one will mind a few mistakes here and there, but if your spelling is so bad that it's hard to understand, you will be ignored.
  • Punctuation is your friend. Use it.

7. Be yourself.

The forum is a place where many opinions are shared and viewpoints can differ greatly. Sometimes, when a member feels particularly passionate about an issue, he may wish to post his thoughts under an alternate username to prevent negative feedback from tarnishing his reputation. This is not allowed. If you have something to say, say it under your primary user name. Alias accounts (or "socks") are not tolerated in the Costuming forum and any member who posts with one will have all of his accounts banned.

SECTION II: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Basic costuming tips: Basic costuming tips

1. Where can I find a thread on:

Episode I

Episode II

Padmé Costumes

Other Episode 2 costumes

Episode 3 (Beware of Spoilers!)

Episode IV - VI

Jedi

Sith

Lightsabers

Sewing Threads

1a. Where can I find outside websites that are reliable for costuming information?

You will soon find that many of the TF.N members who post on the costuming forum have a website completely dedicated for costuming and how to make certain Star Wars costumes. Some of the websites we recommend are the following:

Rebel Legion (For Rebel costumes)
Fighting 501st Legion (For Imperial Costumes)
The Jedi Assembly
The RPF
A.S.A.P.: A Site About Props
The Dented Helmet (A good site for Fett information)
Replica Props Board
Azeem2000 (Royal Guard, Fett, Jedi)
Obi-Wan's Jedi Academy
The Padawan's Guide (A really good costuming site with lots of pictures)
The Outlanders Club (To be up by August 2003)

1b. Where can I find LICENSED costumes and props?

There are only a handful of companies that have been licensed by Lucasfilm to produce and sell replicas of costumes, helmets, and props. They are:

Master Replicas (props, mostly lightsabres and blasters)
Rubies Costumes (costumes, helmets, and masks)
Altmann's Armour (helmets and masks, only licensed in Australia)
Don Post Studios (helmets and masks, no longer licensed to produce new products but you can still buy and sell their old items)

The above list of companies are the only people licensed to produce costumes, masks, helmets, and/or props. Other companies such as Hasbro, Galoob, or Dark Horse Comics are licensed by Lucasfilm to produce other items such as toys or comic books. If you find a prop dealer and their name does not appear on the above list, then they are unlicensed.

2. Where can I find Trooper/Fett/Vader/Scout Armor?

You will not find Armor for sale on the boards. If you want armor, try looking on Ebay first. If you still cannot find armor, a PM to someone already with armor should be next. There are many people from the different groups on these boards. If the person does not know you, do not be surprised if they say no.

3. What should I know about posting links to prop websites?

Make sure that they do not sell or contain links to places that sell unlicensed prop replicas. Most of these people are doing this in there spare time as a labor of love and we want their work to be available to future costumers and us. Do not post or pass along this info unless you have the blessing of the person who is making it. By following this simple rule you can ensure that costumers can enjoy great replicas in the future.

4. How do I pass along info on prop replicators and still keep it safe?

TFN's Private Messaging system is probably the best way to do this. Send the links to a person using private messaging, but do be careful about who you send it to. It's pretty easy to find out if someone is trustworthy or not. But when in doubt, don't send it to them, there are plenty of other members who can help them out.

5. I asked for prop replica info and they said no? What is a newbie to do around here?

First of all do not take it personally. We have to be careful about who we send our info to. Just hang on the forums a while and introduce yourself and get to know people here. In a month or two ask again.

6. I found an eBay auction for a prop? Should I post it here?

Do not post eBay auctions unless:

  • You have the permission of the seller
  • You are a bidder on that auction. It is unfair to screw someone out of a deal if you aren't even bidding on it.
  • You suspect that the auction is scam or is ridiculous (e.g. real working lightsabres, Tatooine sand, etc.)

7. I want a Jedi costume! Where do I start?

There are many places to get info on Jedi costuming. The first place is to read the first couple of pages on the forum and the FAQ Jedi Links. DO NOT simply post something without checking. It will make you look like a newbie and it will piss off a lot of folks off. The Jedi costume is the most popular costume at this forum and there are an endless number of posts on the subject. Amber's Jedi Meditation Chamber is one of the best resources on the net for Jedi costuming.

8. Can/Should I post pictures of my costumes and props here?

Absolutely! We love to see your work, whether it is finished piece or a work in progress. If you are working on a costume now you should definitely post progress pics. It's nice to see someone's creation take shape plus we can provide feedback before you are finished and help shape the outcome of your costume.

We ask that you please DO NOT start individual threads to show your work. Instead, post in our 2003 costuming thread. This is where we update our progress and keep each other informed of what we are working on. When the new year rolls around a new thread for that year begins.

If you do post pics, be prepared for people's reviews, both good and bad. Most here are adult enough to offer some constructive criticism and will high light the good and the bad and give you suggestions on improving your work.

When you post, provide a couple of pics showing different angles of you in your costume and some close-ups of various details. You will get better feedback that way. It's also good to provide details about your project. You should usually tell posters what the costume is supposed to be (i.e. Han ANH) and provide some details about it's construction and customizations you have made.

9. How do I post pics on the web?

There are a couple of free photo hosting companies out there, including WebPhotos and Yahoo! Photos. Stay away from free websites like GeoCities. Most will close down your site if you get more than a few visitors, or if you use link to the pictures directly without them being in a web page.

10.What is the proper format for critiquing someone's costume or prop?

Fairly simple: be detailed. Don't simply say it's great or it sucks, that won't help a costumer. Break down the costume, critique different parts, tell them what you like and what you didn't like. Provide suggestions on how to improve it. Be straight and to the point, to beat around the bush if you are afraid of hurting someone's feelings. Be direct and clear.

11. Halloween/DragonCon/ComicCon/etc. is in a few weeks/months and I need a costume! Help!

Chances are that if you have never made a costume before and there are only a few short weeks left until a major event you're out of luck. Costuming, even something like the Jedi costume, takes time, patience, skill, and money. Although there are people out there who will make/sell a Jedi costume for you, most stop accepting new orders when a major event is only a few months or weeks away.

But do not be discouraged. A rush job on any costume is going to turn out something pretty lame. Yeah you'll have to wait a while to wear it, but the end results will be better if you put more time into your costume.

12. What is the spoiler policy?

Around here, we abide by TFN's spoiler policy. If Lucasfilm LTD. did not say it, or if it was not on the news, Starwars.com or TF.N, then it is a spoiler. If you are 100% spoiler free, this board really is not the place for you. We usually discuss in detail certain costumes, and usually post pictures of them. Sometimes, we will discuss what is going on in that particular scene. (Example - This is totally made up): If Padmé is wearing a green and lavender dress on Naboo, we'll talk about how to make it and possibly post pictures of her in certain scenes with the dress on. Sometimes, we will talk about what is going on in that scene.) If you want to post a topic that contains a spoiler, when you write your topic name put in "SPOILER" so people who want to stay spoiler free avoid it.

That's only a few of the most common questions. If you're still puzzled, contact the staff.

SECTION III: USEFUL INFORMATION

There are some things worth knowing that will make your forum stay more pleasant:

TFN Costuming Staff
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queenseamstress
Stubbzilla
Mirax H
Azeem

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