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  STS-1: Seeking a better replica of the crew patch (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   STS-1: Seeking a better replica of the crew patch
justin13
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Posts: 27
From: Orlando, FL, U.S.A.
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 10-20-2012 08:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for justin13   Click Here to Email justin13     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With the shuttle program over, I've been looking over my crew patches and trying to get them out on display around the house. Of course most patches from AB Emblem match what the crews wore, but there's one that really stands out to me- the STS-1 patch with simplified 2-color flames rather than 4-color version worn by the crew. It's a shame that the first mission of the shuttle program can't be better represented in a collection if you can't get your hands on one of the relatively rare (and often expensive) vintage examples on the secondary market. With the success of projects like the Gemini crew patch replica set and the ISS crew patches with names, I wonder if this might be another case where community support could help drive production of a high-quality replica to help folks fill out their collections cost-effectively, while still being true to the original design.

I'm considering contacting AB Emblem to see if they might be capable and interested in creating such a replica of the STS-1 patch. But first, I'd like to gauge others' interest in having such a patch in their collections. Additionally, would the single STS-1 patch get the most support, or would there be any demand for something like a 4 patch set for Columbia's OFT flights? The commercial versions of the STS-3 and 4 patches have certainly departed from the original crew versions as well.

One hurdle I've already been informed of is the McCall estate's continued ownership of the STS-1 artwork. I'm hoping that approaching the company that originally produced the crew patches and still manufactures the simplified design can eliminate or minimize that difficulty. Any other thoughts are welcome.

Apollo 8
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From: Vienna, AUSTRIA
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posted 10-21-2012 03:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo 8   Click Here to Email Apollo 8     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A four patch set for the orbital test flights would be a good idea, I think, and I would buy it, although I am a proud owner of an original STS-1 Crew Patch.

I am working on a John Young replica flight jacket and I never would put my original crew patch on it, so a better replica would be great. I had a look at Lion Brothers STS-1 patch and on the one sold by a German company on ebay. Both look a little better than the souvenir patch from AB Emblems, but they are not great...

Ronpur
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Posts: 214
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 10-22-2012 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would love a nice replica. I only recently discovered that the STS-1 patches I have owned since 1981 were not accurate replicas of the true mission patch. And I purchased them from KSC gift shop by that old snail mail system of sending a letter, getting a reply,then sending a money order and waiting a few weeks. Wow, are we spoiled now.

justin13
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Posts: 27
From: Orlando, FL, U.S.A.
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 10-24-2012 11:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for justin13   Click Here to Email justin13     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for your responses so far. It was encouragement enough to test the waters with AB Emblem, and they are open to discussing the changes needed to produce a batch of improved replicas. We haven't moved into detailed plans yet, but I will post updates as I have them.

Bull_Eckert
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From: Cadiz, Spain
Registered: Jun 2008

posted 10-24-2012 12:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bull_Eckert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's a very good idea, since the STS-1 patch currently produced by AB Emblem is far from the original made in 1981. So if you move forward with it, I'd be interested in getting an improved replica.

328KF
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posted 10-24-2012 12:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think this would be a great project, but as has been mentioned in other discussions on replica patches, some means of differentiating them from originals is a must. An embedded tag on the back or a hallmark of some sort would be good.

If AB is able to recreate the original work, there will be many collectors who have spent big money for the original four color flame version who might feel the value of their investment degraded.

There are two on eBay right now, one with a Buy it Now of $145!

Besixdouze
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From: Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 10-24-2012 01:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Besixdouze   Click Here to Email Besixdouze     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
If AB is able to recreate the original work, there will be many collectors who have spent big money for the original four color flame version who might feel the value of their investment degraded.
I wouldn't have thought so. Given the choice of a replica over the original, I would always want the real thing. The only obstacle is usually the price.

justin13
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Posts: 27
From: Orlando, FL, U.S.A.
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 10-25-2012 08:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for justin13   Click Here to Email justin13     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
I think this would be a great project, but as has been mentioned in other discussions on replica patches, some means of differentiating them from originals is a must. An embedded tag on the back or a hallmark of some sort would be good.

I understand completely. It's my understanding that AB now embeds tags on the back of all of its patches, so such a replica would be easily distinguishable from the originals.

I'm definitely not trying to deceive anyone by pursuing such a replica. I doubt vintage versions will be made any less popular- checking the Gemini patch market since the improved replicas went on sale reveals that vintage examples are still selling for hundreds to thousands of dollars. I'd expect STS-1 patches to be treated similarly.

KSCartist
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From: Titusville, FL USA
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posted 10-26-2012 12:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's very simple. Besides the tag usually placed by AB Emblem, (which wasn't used in 1981) another small tag which identifies it as a replica is all that's necessary.

onesmallstep
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From: Staten Island, New York USA
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posted 10-26-2012 09:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a great project, along the lines of the 'new' Gemini mission and Grumman LM patches. Now if we can round it off with a set of OFT patches for STS-2, -3 & -4, that would be nice

Apollo 8
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From: Vienna, AUSTRIA
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posted 12-14-2012 02:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo 8   Click Here to Email Apollo 8     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is the project for a STS-1 replica crew patch going on or cancelled? - I am still looking for a STS-1 patch for the John Young replica flight jacket I am working on, but none of the available patches real fits...

justin13
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Posts: 27
From: Orlando, FL, U.S.A.
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 12-16-2012 09:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for justin13   Click Here to Email justin13     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, I've gotten enough support to keep it moving forward — stay tuned for more updates. We're planning to really focus on it after the holidays.

Gonzo
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From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 12-17-2012 05:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well make sure to keep us posted! I too am interested.

And I agree with the others - some sort of distinguishing mark needs to be added to make sure these could NEVER be confused with the real deal. A tag is great, but a hallmark would be better. Something small enough to not be distracting, but unquestionable if you know it's there.

Voyager2012
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From: Stanhope, NJ 07874
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posted 12-24-2012 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Voyager2012   Click Here to Email Voyager2012     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe that the AB Emblem tag or label sealed to the back of the patch is enough to distinguish it from the originals. None of the originals had any tags on the back of them anyhow.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-24-2012 12:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A possible issue with a rear-only marking is that for most eBay and online sales, buyers would need to savvy enough to ask to see the reverse of the patch, less they be fooled into buying what they think is a vintage example (assuming the replica was of high enough quality to be visually identical to the original).

dragon001
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From: Allentown, PA, USA
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 12-24-2012 12:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragon001     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bull_Eckert:
It's a very good idea, since the STS-1 patch currently produced by AB Emblem is far from the original made in 1981. So if you move forward with it, I'd be interested in getting an improved replica.

Ditto... best of luck talking to AB.

justin13
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Posts: 27
From: Orlando, FL, U.S.A.
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 03-19-2013 09:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for justin13   Click Here to Email justin13     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good news- I've been working with Joe Fricano of Skyforce Space Patches to get an order set up through AB Emblem, and we're on the verge of getting it done. It'll be a few weeks before we have the patches on hand, but I think the research will pay off in the form of a very good looking patch. If you're interested, you can watch Joe's website for updates on their availability.

If you want to reserve a patch from the first run, you can email Joe at skyforce1@msn.com. Once we have the patches on hand, sales will be conducted through his website.

Ronpur
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Posts: 214
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 03-19-2013 07:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great news! I just emailed Joe to reserve a couple!

garyd2831
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From: Syracuse, New York, USA
Registered: Oct 2009

posted 03-19-2013 07:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garyd2831   Click Here to Email garyd2831     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Will there be some kind of marking or tag that will distinguish these new replicas from the originals? I would hate to see these being pawned off as original vintage.

Thanks for working to create a more actuate patch!

GoesTo11
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From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 03-19-2013 08:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by garyd2831:
Will there be some kind of marking or tag that will distinguish these new replicas from the originals?
Personally, I think that the embedded AB Emblem manufacturing tag would be sufficient. My own feeling is that most anyone looking to buy an authentic vintage crew patch would be savvy enough to do appropriate due diligence (such as requesting a reverse image, and at least some ownership/acquisition history) before purchasing. I think there's a limit to what length someone like Justin (or Chris Spain, for that matter) initiating a project like this is obligated to go to protect uninformed buyers from unscrupulous re-sellers.

Anyway, I don't wish to drive this thread further off the rails into such matters, so I'll just say I've emailed Joe Fricano to request a couple of patches be reserved for me, and I'm looking forward to seeing them. Thanks again to Justin, Skyforce, and AB for taking this on.

Skyforce1
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From: Galloway Township, NJ USA
Registered: Aug 2009

posted 03-19-2013 11:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Skyforce1   Click Here to Email Skyforce1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For everyone asking about the STS-1 Columbia patch. AB Emblem will be producing them, the first run will be 50 patches. There will be a sticker on the back of the patch. If this first run goes well which we are anticipating it will, then we will order more. After this, the next project will be an Apollo 13 patch with the horses all one color of brown as in the original patch. It will be approximately 20-25 days until the STS-1 patches will be finished. Most likely the middle of April delivery.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-20-2013 01:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Skyforce1:
After this, the next project will be an Apollo 13 patch with the horses all one color of brown as in the original patch.
AB Emblem previously made this replica in 2009, as commissioned by eBay dealer Starflight Creations. No harm putting it back into production, though.

J Blackburn
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From: Riner, Virginia USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 03-21-2013 09:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for J Blackburn   Click Here to Email J Blackburn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am looking forward to this patch. Being that Joe is working on this replica patch I know it will be a great looking one. Justin, I do not know you but if your working with Joe you have to be a good guy my friend. Best of luck on this upcoming patch. My request has been sent to Joe. I encourage collectors to contact Joe at Skyforce Space Patches and request yours.

Skyforce1
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From: Galloway Township, NJ USA
Registered: Aug 2009

posted 03-22-2013 05:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Skyforce1   Click Here to Email Skyforce1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Due to the overwhelming response we have had regarding the STS-1 Columbia patch, Justin and myself have decided that the first run will be 100 patches rather than 50. That will ensure everyone who collects the Shuttle patches will have an opportunity to acquire one very easily.

arjuna
unregistered
posted 03-23-2013 12:40 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just sent an email to Joe requesting a patch when they're available. Look forward to it and thanks to them for undertaking this project.

justin13
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From: Orlando, FL, U.S.A.
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posted 04-30-2013 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for justin13   Click Here to Email justin13     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good news- we're expecting the patches to ship from AB today, meaning it won't be much longer until we can get them to you. Joe's now added the "Add to cart" button to his website (here's a direct link to the item page), so we're now accepting orders.

For those of you who have already reserved a patch via email, please place your final order through the website as well.

Stay tuned for more updates- I'll post images once they're available.

Gonzo
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From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 04-30-2013 06:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those of you that prepaid, if you choose to pay by email, you won't be prompted to pay via PayPal. (I'm assuming) then that Joe will take care of your prepayment that way?

Skyforce1
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From: Galloway Township, NJ USA
Registered: Aug 2009

posted 05-02-2013 11:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Skyforce1   Click Here to Email Skyforce1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To everyone who ordered the STS-1 Columbia four-flame patch, the patches arrived today and I will be mailing them tomorrow morning. Many thanks to each and every one of you who ordered one or more and Justin and I are sure you will be pleased with the end result.

spaced out
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From: Paris, France
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posted 05-02-2013 04:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is the image on that page of the replica?

UPDATE: Actually, I've just realized that's the image from my Crew Patches site. Could you post an image of one of the new replicas?

justin13
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From: Orlando, FL, U.S.A.
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posted 05-07-2013 02:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for justin13   Click Here to Email justin13     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for your patience everyone.

I can share an image the patch, but unfortunately it comes with bad news.

On the left is the patch we received last week, on the right is the patch we used to match all of the colors and as a reference for all design elements. On its own, our new patch really is a nice looking patch. Our initial excitement may have gotten the better of us, however. When I was able to spend some time examining the two patches side-by-side, I found some areas where they were just too different. We've come to the conclusion that there are too many discrepancies between the reference patch and the initial production run, so I'm sorry to say that we jumped the gun on last week's announcement; we're just not comfortable sending this patch to those of you expecting a close match to the original.

We're exploring our options now, and I'll post more updates when they become available. I can't promise now that we'll have an improved version of this patch right away, but that's our goal. If that does come to pass, orders that have already been placed will of course be the first to be fulfilled. Refund requests will also be honored, just contact Joe or myself via email.

I hope to be back with good news soon.

328KF
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posted 05-07-2013 03:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kudos to you for wanting to get the final product as close to perfect as possible. I for one am patient enough to keep my order in and see what comes of your efforts.

Just from the image here it looks like the shuttle "in orbit" is lacking some detail. I can't tell too much about the earth detail itself. That flame pattern has got to be very difficult to reproduce (or else we'd have seen this done long ago) but the new version appears to have too much red in the bottom and not much of the yellow to orange transition.

All in all, not a bad attempt by the manufacturer...certainly better than anything else available out there today.

Ronpur
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Posts: 214
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 05-07-2013 05:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am more than willing to wait. The stack almost looks too neat and tight as compared to the original. That might be because of modern manufacturing methods. I hope you can get a resolution to this.

Gonzo
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From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 05-07-2013 06:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Agreed on all the above.

I too commend you guys for doing this. I was one of the guys who placed an advanced order, knowing the quality of work expected. And I too will also keep my order in place and I urge everyone else who has placed an order to do the same (or to borrow a line, "I dare you (those with orders) to do better"). We have all dealt with these guys for too long to bail out when problems creep up (as we all know they do at times). We're (or at least I am) behind you!

Keep us posted on updates!

Ronpur
Member

Posts: 214
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 05-07-2013 07:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I actually have never dealt with them, but I have total faith in the members of this wonderful forum that I wish I had found years ago!! I have never been disappointed yet.

GoesTo11
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posted 05-07-2013 07:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Having ordered a pair of these, here's my 2c:

I notice first that the "sky" between the "clouds" of the replica appears too light, and looks washed out in comparison to the original... it makes the round edges of the Earth look less defined. I also agree that there's some nose detail conspicuously absent from the "orbiting" shuttle.

With respect to the "cleanness" of the shuttle stack compared to the original, I agree this is likely the result of improved manufacturing processes... and that raises the thorny question of how "rough" a modern production might seek to appear in replicating a vintage patch. I'm perfectly OK with that aspect of the new patch... it's the coloration and detail that matter to me.

In any case, I've no intention of canceling my order and I'm not in any hurry. I'm grateful to Justin and Joe for doing their utmost to meet our expectations.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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From: Houston, TX
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posted 05-07-2013 07:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Without taking anything away from this admirable effort, I think there is something comforting that producing a convincing replica of a vintage patch is difficult, and is not just a matter of getting the colors or design correct.

That's not to suggest that whatever details can be corrected shouldn't be corrected.

GoesTo11
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From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 05-07-2013 07:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
I think there is something comforting that producing a convincing replica of a vintage patch is difficult...
Precisely. Given the concerns addressed previously in this thread about "marking" these replicas as such, aren't we generally okay that such a production can't reasonably be expected to match the original stitch-for-stitch?

ea757grrl
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From: South Carolina
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posted 05-07-2013 09:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll add my name to the list of those who will keep their orders in place. I'm happy to wait for the corrected version. Thanks to y'all for wanting to get it as right as you can.

justin13
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Posts: 27
From: Orlando, FL, U.S.A.
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 05-07-2013 10:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for justin13   Click Here to Email justin13     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You guys are good — that's most of the things I saw too.

The lettering on ours is also a little larger than I'd like it to be. I'm hoping we can get these few things cleared up and have something better to offer — but you're right, 30+ years after the production of the originals (and the mothballing of the machines used to make them), it's going to be very tough to make a stitch-for-stitch replica. There will likely be a few inadvertent and unavoidable hallmarks that will set this one apart, but we'll do our best to keep them to a minimum.

Thanks for the support!

mode1charlie
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Posts: 429
From: Honolulu, HI, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 05-07-2013 11:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Echoing the comments above, I commend you guys on striving for quality and will also keep my order in place.

For what it's worth, the flag and other details seem to be higher fidelity in this reproduction than in the original, but to me that's a feature not a bug.


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