AT Commander's

(and sheaths… etc)

Many 12" action figures come with accessories that lack sheaths and holsters. SOTW was notorious for this not too long ago. Using leather or sheet vinyl, the problem is easily remedied. On this page, I've taken some pics of various things we've built around here. There are so many holsters and sheaths around here that are home made that it made this page a bit difficult - there were too many to choose from! I just sort of grabbed a random few and snapped photos. With the pic of each I've included a brief description. I didn't keep many of the patterns. I'd make a pattern, crank out a few holsters, then toss the debris when I was done. Most of these were made by cutting out a paper pattern first, then tracing the pattern onto vinyl of thin leather - then just assembling the holster. Most of these were pretty quick jobs, and fun to toss together, too.

This revolver holster was made from a brown vinyl checkbook cover. I used brown thread to whip a stitch down the seam. The back has two slits to slide on a belt (just like the vintage .45 holster).

Here's that problematic Desert Eagle .357 Magnum auto pistol that came with the first run Cy Girls. This pistol is very well done, but lacked a groovy holster. This one was made of the same vinyl plastic as the revolver holster (above) and mounts to the belt in the same fashion.

This shoulder holster was made for the snubby revolver out of some extremely groovy snakeskin leather. The pattern on the leather gave it a pretty groovy "outback" look.

Here's a shoulder holster for Jane. This one's made from an old driving glove that was intercepted on its way to the trash can. I cut a few pieces of leather and was off on another project. Again I made a paper pattern and cut it out of leather. This method lets you take advantage of angles and trimming and custom-fitting that wouldn't be possible by jumping straight to leather without the benefit of making the pattern first. I'd like to make note of this sweater, too… it's one of my military socks. When taking off my socks to throw 'em away, I didn't bother pulling them right-side out… and then I noticed the pattern inside was like a 1/6 cable knit, so I turned it inside out, stitched the top shut except for a neck hole, cut arm holes, then sewed on sleeves (made from a piece I sewed into a tube and cut in half - voila! - two arms! I bunched up some material and sewed it on to make the turtleneck part and turned up the cuffs. A very quick and rewarding project. The shoulder holster topped it off. I added blue Coastie trousers, a schmeisser and a stocking cap and made a quick French Resistance Fighter out of this figure… all for the cost of a throwaway glove and a worn-out sock. Read more about this on my SWEATERS page.

Need a frog for the SOTW bayonet sheaths? It is pretty easy to do. The pics say it all. You may notice that the barrel loop was removed from this bayonet and the goofy hump was chafed off the topside of the blade, to make it look more like a knife rather than a bayonet. At right is an unmodified bayonet and another frog. Note that the one at left is made from thick leather that is black, but when you cut it, the underneath is grey. I don't think I'll use the black leather again - it was too thick and that grey edging looked awful. At right, the leather used was maroon in color and it was very flexible. Most of all, it was very tough but thin - excellent material for this project.

This holster was made from brown vinyl (a cheapo checkbook cover). SOTW included those .45 pistols in most of their sets in the beginning, but nowhere to put 'em! A few minutes with a needle and thread, and the problem's solved! You might be able to use superglue instead of sewing, but I didn't try it.

Here's a leather holster made of some thin flexible maroon leather. Although maroon isn't authentic, it sure looks cool. The pistol in these pics is a Palitoy .45. See the goofy lanyard ring at the base of the grip? I left some extra material at the end of this one, in case I want to add a leg tie-down in the future. If I decide not to, I can always trim and reshape the bottom curve outside of the stitching.

This pic shows a variety of approaches to the sheath problem. The first is another standard sheath for the SOTW Ka-Bar. In the center is a thin maroon leather frog for an Action Man bayonet sheath (holding a vintage German bayonet - I had to shorten it a teeny bit for it to fit well). In the rear is a sheet plastic sheath (housing a sheet plastic knife). It's actually 3 sheets of plastic thick, the second layer being a thin rim the same thickness as the knife blade. On the back (near the top), I've sewn on a thin leather loop to slide on the belt. Each of these 3 approaches result in a useful belt knife with play value - and that's the point of all this, right?

Here's a sheath for the cheapie SOTW Ka-Bar kinfe. This one is made from that textured brown checkbook cover that I seem to like so much. It took just a couple of minutes to throw together. You can see in the pic at left how it's mounted to the belt - just like a vintage .45 holster. Quick and effective.

There is also a black version - again made from black vinyl from a cheapo checkbook cover. They seem to send these cheapie covers with every new box of checks, so it seems like a never-ending supply. At right is a rather ugly sheath for the Knuckle Knife (WWITrench Knife that came with the TC Aussie). This sheath is made from grey vinyl and isn't elegant, but it only took a minute to make and did the job.

Here's one made of blue vinyl. First I made a prototype out of paper, then traced it onto the vinyl, cut it out, and put it together.
This was a prototype. It fits ME/TC figures pretty well. I've found that each different body style really needs a different pattern shoulder holster to look right.

The holster was made for the vintage .45, although about any M1911 pattern fits ok (except the huge SOTW version, that is). Pictured is the shiny silver .45 that came with the Spy Island set. Note the small loop at the bottom of the holster; it's for slipping through a belt to keep the holster from flopping while running or negotiating obstacles in the field.

Even oddball shapes can be easily accommodated. This blue vinyl holster was custom-designed for the 21C .45 pistol with the light fixture under the barrel. The holster breaks to the rear, releasing the pistol. The end of the muzzle fits into a pocket at the bottom of the holster. This one fits onto a belt with the 2-slit method, just like the vintage .45 holster (which is the easiest and fastest way to go).

Remember the terrible velcro that all the 21C stuff used to attach equipment to the belt? It was awful! Most of the time the glue was bad on the item, so it ripped off and fell during play (on the rare occasions where the velcro even held in the first place, that is!). My solution was to get rid of the velcro and replace it with a belt loop instead. Here are the wire cutters. I simply used the material at the top of the cutter sheath to attach the loop (detail at right - you can still see some of the icky damage the crummy glue did to the back of the cutter sheath). The plastic sheath seems to sew nicely and (so far) hasn't ripped out or shown any evidence of being to fragile for this type of mount. It sorta sews like cloth or vinyl. Now the cutter sheath stays put, looks cool, and we're not afraid of losing it in the back yard. We've done this with ranger knives and other assorted 21C stuff, although sewing through a canteen like it was cloth probably wouldn't work too well ;-)

That snakeskin material is really groovy. I used it to make a holster for the long-barrelled revolver. This holster and revolver combination looks great on an adventure-themed character. Granted, it's a loooooong draw, but thanks to Joe's "Super Articulation" it's no problemo!

Whether you're in need of a holster, sheath, or some other accessory, thin leather and textured vinyl can't be beat. All of these projects were quick and easy. We've got squads all wearing identical holsters and sheaths, which adds to their uniformity, too. The Blue Team force of ours all wear holsters and sheaths made of blue vinyl. If you haven't tried your hand at making things before, sewing some holsters is an easy way to start!

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