Eric Olds, Viper Pilot
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Eric Olds, Viper Pilot

In this photograph, Eric Olds is portraying a Viper Pilot from the 2004 television series, Battlestar Galactica. Eric constructed this uniform on his own; none of the components are purchased. One of the biggest challenges to creating this kind of flight suit uniform is locating the correct materials. As finding the correct Sommers vinyl used to make the screen uniforms is nearly impossible, Eric used a different metallic green vinyl fabric as a base. He added gold and bronze paint to show signs of weathering. The patches and rank pins were purchased from an online retailer. The cobra buckle and the USB hub on the gun belt are "found items" and are completely accurate. Everything else to do with the uniform was scratch made. The "black dot" material on the vest is comprised of used upholstery located in an auto wrecking yard. The gun belt and pouches are homemade cotton and nylon reproductions while an inexpensive airsoft pistol served as the base for the blaster. The dual tank-top undershirts are modified thrift store T-shirts. Like the actual screen-used costumes, this costume is incredibly hot and unpleasant as the vinyl holds heat and does not breathe.


When Eric isn’t busy pursing his costuming and prop-building hobby, he passes the days as an accomplished aerospace engineer. In fact, he’s a real rocket scientist as he has been responsible for electronics packaging as well as mechanical and mechanism design on Mars Rovers, Earth orbiting spacecraft, and instruments that have flown on the International Space Station. His proudest moment was being part of the successful Mars landing of Curiosity. Even he admits that the Entry, Descent, and Landing plan looked pretty scary. In his remaining free time, Eric enjoys inline hockey, tinkering on engines, and watching endurance sports car racing like Le Mans (he mostly roots for Porsche). Some of his favorite films include 2001: A Space Odyssey, Primer, Blade Runner, and Aliens. His favorite television shows are Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and The Walking Dead. And when it’s time to spin up some tunes, he loves The Church, Radiohead, and Hot Hot Heat. When he was growing up he was a child of the 80's and a fan of alternative, and he still has a soft spot for groups like Duran Duran and The Cure. He grew up in the Central Valley area of California but now resides in Los Angeles. Eric is recently married to Jean, the love of his life.