Pictured above is the vital first component I managed to secure that would initiate my pursuit of the perfect replica Superman costume –
As most fan-made efforts throughout the nineties would demonstrate, the lack of correct belt and buckle would be the undoing of the most valiant attempts, but after a long search a small set of perfect resin casts taken from one of Christopher Reeve’s original belts finally found me. Developing a matching belt would be almost as difficult a proposition in my research stage as at the time the only reference was a clip from TV documentary ‘The Making Of Superman’. From that footage I ascertained the belt itself was a fabric-backed vinyl, however locating such a thing in mustard yellow proved impossible.
Instead I sought to improvise and so in true prop style I concocted a belt made from kitchen lino covered in yellow sticky-back plastic. While the results were good the plastic would eventually weaken and split due to its inflexibility. Many attempts later I came across more pliable plastic and have made numerous belts since then for fans and professionals alike, chances are you’ve seen one of my belts on display on many a full-size replica either online or in-person.
Pictured above are two of the last belts I have – a ‘Hero’ version made from genuine Patent leather and a ‘Stunt’ version built using my method. Over the years costumiers and fans have caught up and developed credible versions of their own but for such a minor accessory, there is no substitute for the genuine buckle cast to complete a replica. Further information on the real costume belts and how they were constructed can be found here