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Tutorial: Making a Nostromo Jacket by Hood Cosplay

I recently completed a couple of Nostromo jackets and sent one to Adam Savage and I’ve had a few people asking for some more info and details about them, so in the spirit of paying forward I shall share with you a few photos and a bit of an explanation to how I made them.

Id like to give a shout out to LeeS for planting this seed many moons ago, Dan Bennett for the shoulder patches and such great pictures from his build, and taking the time to answer my questions and everyone on the ole RPF

As with most Cosplay projects the first port of call is the RPF, there is a looooong thread about the Nostromo crew uniforms, which has a real wealth of information, probably everything you’d ever need to know.
I knew the film jackets were RAF MK3 Cold Weather jackets, and these are in an abundance on ebay (although patience can be rewarded, while they are typically £40+ they are occasionally listed for as little as £5)

I was lucky enough to win a few jackets at a reasonable price, however despite all being RAF Standard issue, they were all slightly different shades of green which made the next step a bit more daunting!

Once the jackets arrived I removed the hoods and ‘beaver tails’ and all the Velcro for the squadron patches.

There are very few good quality photos of the Nostromo crew, and the Lighting in Alien tends to be tinted very blue whenever we see the jackets, so getting the right colour was difficult – I’ve only been able to find 1 good photo of Kane’s jacket in daylight.

I did know that the MK3 jackets were Blue/Grey RAF issue, but they haven’t been available since the 1960’s so it was a bit of guess work!, After reading and experimenting I was able to settle on 1 full bottle of RIT Blue Denim dye, ½ bottle of RIT Purple, and a Splash of Pearl Grey gave me the desired colour (or at least near as dammit) then I would give them a wash to dull the colour a bit to get closer to the shade seen in the film.
RIT Blue
RIT Purple
RIT Pearl Grey

I ordered the wings from Indy Magnoi and the shoulder patches are made by my good friend Daniel Bennett here in the UK (they are available on ebay from o_rangatang)

The laces were initially the scariest part of the jacket, but I actually really enjoyed making them, they are pretty meditative making the rails, I think on the original jackets they used a more cloth based webbing in a grey colour but again its very difficult to tell from the stills I’ve been able to find. However most replicas so far as I can tell use olive drab Nylon webbing, which also has the advantage of better matching the zips and nylon part of the stock jacket, so I decided to stick to that for these jackets, I cut 4cm lengths and made the hoops (25 per rail, 2 rails per arm), then stuck them to the rails at 10mm intervals then stitched these to some duck-canvas type material which was a reasonable match to the jackets. I then hand sewn these to the jackets, cursed when I saw they were not straight and did it again until I was happy with the position, once they were both on I laced them using 3mm Para-cord.

I used an ‘invisible stitch’ to sew them in, a brief tutorial video can be found here.

I then opened up the seams around the collar to at the pink piping, on the screen jackets this was just stitched under but I wanted these to look a little more like a company issued jacket, so I placed them into the seam, you can buy what I used here

The final part of the jacket was infact the most terrifying and that was the stencil the Nostromo on the rear, since I realized that if I slipped up here, everything else was pretty much for naught because there was no easy way to fix it, I noticed the jackets had a cross hatched pattern which I thought might have
been from the screen printing, or perhaps they had used a grill to spray through, so on my first attempt I tried using some aluminium mesh…long story short it didn’t work and made a bit of a mess, I had to wash the jacket to try and remove as much of the pain as I could, I had to in effect start from scratch but that’s a tale for another time.

So on my second attempt I read someone who suggested dry brushing and stippling the paint, and as I did that I noticed the crosshatch pattern actually came from the liner of the jackets! I was very happy with the effect and think they came out really nice.

So that is in effect it, For the Dallas panels, I’m not quite 100% happy with them, and will likely re-make them, but for the time being they are just held in place with magnets because I use this as an everyday wear jacket and quite like having access to the pockets! I was able to waterproof them with Scotch-guard spray but I wouldn’t recommend going out in a heavy downpour in it

So I hope this has been informative and useful to you, If you have any questions feel free to ask, I shall try to answer if I can. I do have a few other MK3 jackets I’ll likely convert to Nostromo Crew Jackets, but I’m not going to take any pre-orders or anything because I’d rather just work to my own schedule in my own time and not leave people waiting, so if/when I finish one I’ll pop it in the junkyard.

So enjoy, look forward to seeing a few more Nostromo Crew out there.

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