The ammo belt is one of two belts worn by the infamous bounty hunter.
This belt is located over and above, the Rope Belt.
Here we will discuss the many aspects of the ammo belt design and construction.
The belt strap is approximately 2-5/8" wide.
The finish & detailing, give the appearance of a leather belt.
However, reference photos reveal that it is probably made of a double layer of vinyl and then painted brown.
Over time, scratches and creases have worn away the brown paint, revealing the actual white color of the belt. This is quite possibly the white belt, from the previous prototype (all white) costume. The original white belt closely resembles a Military style Parade Belt.
The ammo belt, like many of the other components, varies in appearance with each version of the costume.
By evidence of available reference material, the belt will have between seven and nine ammo pouches.
Although, most reference shots display the belt with eight pouches.
These pouches also find themselves rearranged, throughout the different stages of the costume.
Design aspects, of the Ammo Belt:
By studying available reference, it is clear the pouch flap, along with the area under the flap, is the same piece.
The closingflap extendeds back around the belt strap and then back under itself. This section forms a belt loop, for the main belt to pass through.
This loop allows each pouch the ability of placement into an alternate position. Even the ability to be removed from the belt, completely.
Here, (From the pre-production 01 costume) the belt loop is visible, just to the top and bottom, of the pouch.
In this pic, from the "Art of Star Wars: UK Tour" (Discussed again, below)
There is a length of heavy material, stitched to the already existing loop.
Although the ammo belt remains visually consistent, throughout the various stages of production, there are some altering aspects.
This next section will provide an overview of the various changes, in belt design.
The first Pre-Production:
Although poor quality and taken under poor lighting, this pic from the Star Wars Chronicles proves to be a valuable reference.
It validates various aspects of the belt, as described below.
The first belt (known as pre-production 01) has eight pouches, arranged to the sides and back.
To the right side of the pouches, there is a vertical seam indention, along with two raised circles.
At first glance, this area appears to be the other end of the belt as it wraps around and is now under the first end.
Although, by looking at the black and white photo above, you will see this area remains to right side of the belt and is not caused by the opposite belt end.
By use of this(and other)evidence, it would appear two grommets (Punched into one layer of the belt only) are the cause of the raised areas.
This area flipped over, would resemble the rear, visible area of the ESB ammo belt, as discussed later.
This shot (of the back) shows what appear to be two separate sections sewn together, forming one continuous belt.
This gap between pouch areas, is also shown in the above black and white photo.
The second Pre-Production:
The second pre-production belt appears to have some drastic changes, from its predecessor.
The major difference is the change in pouch dimensions and overall design.
The third pre-production:
The third pre-production belt looks to be very similar to the previous belt.
One variation however, is the addition of a couple small snaps.
These snaps are placed on the closing flap of some of the pouches.
In the above photo, a snap is clearly visible on the first pouch of the belts left side.
This shot, of the back, reveals two grommets and quite possibly a snap placed on the first and second pouches.
The Empire Strikes Back:
By studying available reference photos, it is quite possible that there are only seven pouches, on the ESB belt.
Likely, due to the need to create space, for the sidearm.
This shot of the ESB belt reveals the snap closure pouch, also seen on the pre-production, number three costume.
Close-up of the same snap.
This second shot (also from ESB) reveals yet another snap.
Located on the belts right side, middle pouch. These snaps are quite possibly for cosmetic purpose only and non-functional.
Many reference shots of the belt, including the ROTJ ammo belt from both the Magic of Myth and The Art of SW exhibits, appear to have the pouch flaps permanently glued shut.
The ammo belt, as displayed on the foreign exclusive action figure by 'Marmit' suggests there is a third snap on the fourth (last) pouch on the figures left side. It is quite possible that this snap is accurate, as the detail on the Marmit model also includes the other two (previous) snaps.
Sadly, reference images (with clear detail) from that area of the original Esb belt, do not exist or have yet to surface.
The back of the ESB belt reveals two (non-functional purpose) grommets.
There appears to be a stitched vertical line, to the right of the grommets.
If flipped over, this area of the belt would resemble the front (including the two raised areas) of the
first Pre-production belt , shown earlier.
Return of the Jedi:
The RotJ belt has a few further variations.
There are two rows of grommets located on the back of the belt.
This is reminiscent of one end of the pre-production01 belt.
Again, because of the absence of a buckle, Velcro was & is the
likely option, for connecting the belt ends.
This pic is from photos, used in the book,'Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology'.
It proves to be a valuable cross reference, as each white colored scratch is an identical match, to the
'AoSW UK' tour belt. (Discussed below)
Because of this, it can be determined that the above pic is a valid reference, for RotJ.
One important aspect of this pic, is the fact that it is one of the very few
(If not the only) reference photo displaying nine pouches, on the belt.
Museum display pieces:
There have been two seperate Star Wars traveling museum tours.
"The Magic of the Myth" which made its way across the U.S. and the "Art of Star Wars", touring the U.K.
Both of these tours were essential in providing reference material, for many of the props and costumes.
A nice shot of the 'Art of SW UK' belt, including detail of the upper portion of the belt loops,
along with overall design and construction, of the pouches.
As described above, the back of the 'UK Tour' belt, is an exact match with
the RotJ belt, as seen in the book- "Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology"
Shot of the front of the 'MoM Tour' belt.
In this closer detail shot, the pouch closure has come unglued, exposing more of the white under color.
This shot, of back of the 'MoMTour' belt, reveals that although the holes remain, the rear grommets
(Either not originally added or possibly come loose) have been replaced with a leather tie.
Construction of the Belt:
Before construction begins, there are two material options, to consider.
Leather or vinyl creating a simulated leather look. (As per original)
Because the intention is to have the belt look like leather, this is possibly the best choice, for belt construction. Although, working with leather can be a challenge and requires special tools to work correctly along with providing proper safety.
If you decide you would rather avoid the aspects of leather working, vinyl is much easier to work with, as well as being the more accurate of the two materials.
The belt strap:
There is a great probability that the ammo belt is an original creation.
Even finding a similar style military parade belt, would be a difficult task.
An easy solution is to create a belt, by use of a blank leather belt.
Belt 'Blanks' (no punch holes) are available from Tandy Leather.
Natural Cowhide Strip 2-1/2" x 50" #457500
Fiebings Dye 4 oz Med Brown #210004
Alternatively, belt blanks available at your nearest leather store.
Whatever material you choose, you will need to add, Industrial strength Velcro
(To fasten the belt) and two- eight small grommets, added to one end of the belt.
Both of these items are found in most fabric stores.
You'll need to start by printing out "The Pattern" from the 'Build Your Own Boba Fett' site.
Although this pattern is not entirely accurate, it will provide a good reference.
There is also an Alternate pattern, at Obi-Wan's Jedi Academy site.
These sites also provide a few tips on the pouch construction.
A couple of these tips are reviewed, below.
Now, print or draw the pattern to scale.
This will need to be on a heavy piece of paper, such as poster board.
Next, cut a large piece of the material you have chosen. You will need enough material to make 7-9 pouches. Take your final pattern with you when you shop for the material.
If you decide to use leather, choose a nice medium thickness.
The leather should bend, while still strong enough to hold up during construction and use.
<< Leather thickness is referred to as it's "weight" The weight is measured in "ounces." 1/64th of an inch equals 1 oz. leather. Every additional 1/64th of an inch is another ounce. For example: 1/8 inch leather would be referred to as "8 oz. leather". >>
A good suggestion is to use leather that is roughly 6 ounces, in weight.
It will be easier to work with, and should cost a little less.
If you do not sew, there is an easy alternative.
This is in the form of a leather glue product, called 'Leather Weld' and is available from Tandy Leather.
An alternative to hand making the pouches:
If you find the task of creating an ammo belt by hand is a daunting one.
On the other hand, find that you do not have the time or resources to do so, you may choose to have these items pre-made.
A very nice military style belt, may be found at 'MP Productions'.
You may also check with local leather shops.
Additionally, fellow hobbyists have sometimes offered their services, to create such pieces.
Checking online, for others involved in the prop hobby should provide some good results.
One last point:
The ammo belt also serves as the attachment point for the two-fabric hip bags.
The pockets will slip onto the belt at each end and will hang just lower than the belt line.