A-Wing Uniform Screencaps

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January 5, 2014 by catomighty

Last Update: 17 March 2014, a second AN-H-15 montage added.  I keep adding new pictures to this post for my own ease of reference to find them all in one place with notes.


Very shortly after beginning work on my own A-Wing costume, I had to pause to do some heavy video research to help figure out some of the details before I could really proceed.  A friend who is much more tech-savvy than I am helped me take the screen captures of all the A-Wing pilots scurrying through the Hangar Scene in Return Of The Jedi.  I put these together into montages.  There are variations in some of the costuming details among the various pilots.

These montages will help in analysing the possible options.  Montages with more than 1 row read top row first.  Whether they read left-to-right or right-to-left is noted with each one and depends on the motion of the character across the screen.  Here in order of screen appearance:

The Briefing Room scene just prior to the Hangar scene, not a lot of motion here, the pilots are hanging out in the back balcony.  ‘Briefing Pilots’:


Then on to the Hangar.  The 1st A-Wing pilot enters on the right hand side of the screen and provides a front view.  ‘Left Front Pilot’ (left to right):


The next two pilots provide a rear and left-rear-quarter view.  ‘Sidestrap Pilot’ and ‘Companion Pilot’ (right to left):


The fourth one scurries quickly across the screen.  ‘Scurry Pilot’ (left to right):


The next two enter simultaneously on the left side of the screen.  ‘Right Cross Pilot’ (right to left):


The background pilot of that pair advances forward, providing another front view.  ‘Right Front Pilot’ (right to left):


And the final pilot crosses the full screen, swinging his arm up to provide a view of belt details on his left side.  ‘Armswing Pilot’ (right to left):


[The smaller figure in the first photo of that montage is actually behind ‘Armswing’  I haven’t done a full study of that pilot, but he is wearing a green A-Wing uniform, the chestbox and hose of a B-Wing pilot, and an X-Wing hemet!]

Studying the screencaps for various costume details is tricky as none of these pilots are in crisp camera focus.  Attempting to read many of the details is quite subject to interpretation.  Here is my first interpretation of a number of bits:


*  ‘Left Front Pilot’

**  appears to have a black front buckle.

**  very blurry hints of loops for mini-flares on his right side; left side out of sight.

*  ‘Sidestrap Pilot’

**  indeterminate, possible white or silver belt buckle in rear, this part of the image may be more of the flare loops.

**  loops on the rear left quarter of his belt, with 2 flares in loops.

**  black ‘comm box’ on front left.

*  ‘Companion Pilot’

**  seen in profile, may have a rear buckle.

*  ‘Scurry Pilot’

**  black ‘comm box’ on front right.

**  no appearance of rear buckle.

*  ‘Right Cross Pilot’

**  black ‘comm box’ on rear left.

*  ‘Right Front Pilot’

**  possible black front buckle

**  very blurry hints of flare loops on his left side; right side out of sight.

**  black ‘comm box’ on front right

*  ‘Armswing Pilot’

**  When he first enters the screen, there is heavy light flare on the back of his helmet, vest, and belt.  This gives the appearance of a white or silver buckle on the rear of the belt.  But by the time the character is exiting the screen, the light glare is gone.  As his back is partially turned facing the camera, there is no hint of a rear buckle showing.

**  loops for mini-flares on left side of belt, with no flares.

**  black ‘comm box’ on front left.


*  ‘Sidestrap Pilot’ has the one vest with open sides and white sidestraps, rather than a full vest.

*  ‘Armswing Pilot’ provides the only view of the full side of a full vest, revealing a black item directly under the arm.  Could be a buckle, or some sort of hook, snap or velcro closure?


*  ‘Briefing Pilots’ hints of 2 white/silver rectangles on front

*  ’Left Front Pilot’ fuzzy hints, including 2 white/silver rectangles

*  ‘Right Front Pilot’ uniquely has the hose connecting to the right side of the box instead of the left.  1 white/silver rectangle.

*  ‘Armswing Pilot’ left side details.


Standard reference pictures show 1 small black box/buckle/something on the top of each gaiter.  Some of the pilots on film appear to have more than 1.  If these spring clips that help hold the gaiters to the tops of the boots, having more than one is very functional to hold the gaiters up better.  If a pilot were wearing 1-2, only 1 is likely to be visible from a given viewing angle.  If a pilot is wearing 3-4 of them, then 2 may be visible at a time.  Of note are pilots who appear to have more than 1 visible on a leg.

*  ‘Left Front Pilot appears to have a couple before his feet disappear out of camera view.

*  ‘Sidestrap Pilot’ appears to have 2 showing on his left leg when he first appears stationary, and blurry but possibly 2 visible on the right while walking offscreen.


Edit, 7 January 2014
Some of the above photos in rearranged montages to highlight specific bits of gear.

Belt Buckle Montage.  Left Front and Right Front Pilots with possible front black buckle; Scurry and Armswing without a rear buckle; Sidestrap and Companion with possible rear white/silver buckle.


Left Flare Loops Montage.  Armswing with definite loopage; 2 shots of Sidestrap with likely loops; and Right Front with blurry hint of loops.


Comm Box Montage.  Sidestrap’s on front left of belt; Scurry’s on rear right; Right Front Pilot’s on right front; Armswing something bigger than usual with a sloped top on left front.



Edit, 23 January 2014

RotJ wardrobe Polaroid



Edit, 24 January 2014

Comm Box Variety Montage.  From left to right: Rebel Fleet Controller, A-Wing Wardrobe Polaroid, A-Wing Costume Mannequin, A-Wing Encyclopedia, B-Wing Costume Mannequin, Y-Wing Wardrobe Polaroid



Edit, 11 February 2014

AN-H-15 Flight Helmet Montage.

Top Row: early production helmets were manufactured without snaps.  Riggers could add snaps in the field to meet inidividual pilot requirements.  From Left to Right — No snaps, 2 snaps, 3 snaps (next to last photo shows inside of helmet), 4 snaps — all rigger added.

Middle Row: mid-1944, after the A-14 Oxygen Mask was standardised, snaps with leater backing were put on the helmets at the manufacturers.  Initially, these had 3 snaps, later 4 for better customised pilot fit.

Bottom Row: some manufacturers at some point in time, used a single piece of leather for the snap backing and the chin strap end.  Last two photos show the back straps for some of the leather colour variety.

Any of the leather pieces range from gray to tan, brown, and black. As with all WW2 khaki clothing, the shade of tan varies tremendously as well.

Also note, top row photos 5 & 6 (same helmet, outside and inside view), the brim is a different colour than the main cap.  For this production run, either one person was cutting main cap pieces from one bolt while another cut brim pieces from a second bolt, or else this cap spanned the end of one bolt and the start of the nect.

Helmets that were actually used in the field may have additional modifications — some pilots removed the brim because it was annoying.   The helmet in the bottom row 2nd photo has a shorter brim than the others.  This was either a field mod, or else some comapany(ies) were working from different patterns.

Also, the bottom of the back seam might be opened up to the bottom of the strap for the comm wires to allow the helmet to fit on larger heads.



Edit, 17 March 2014

AN-H-15 Flight Helmet Montage 2.

Although I already have work in progress converting a Gibson & Barnes Flight Helmet {that fits me! see post here] to look like an ANH-15, I’ve been keeping my EBay keyword searches running just to collect images of any notable style variations.

Top Row from left to right: The A-14 Oxygen Mask Accessory Kit was developed to help riggers put snaps onto the early style ANH-15, this kit included a set of 4 snaps pre-mounted onto a strip of green canvas webbing, the first helmet shown here was these web straps added onto both sides.  The 2nd helmet is a later style one with one-piece buff leather snap backing and chin strap ends.  The last helmet shows a different style of sewing on the tan leather snap backing.

Bottom Row: An A-9, ANH-15 [light pink!], and Leather flight helmets.  The last helmet shows a more straight-edged style of leather snap backing compared to the more angular styles up above it.

Also note that the pink one has buckles for the oxygen mask instead of snaps.  This would have been in use very early, before the A-14 Oxygen Mask was standardised.



And a bonus screencap that will just be handy to have on hand for general applications.  Fly casual:



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