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Making better looking seatbelts


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#1 OFFLINE   mazspd3jase

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 06:09 PM

I've been asked a few times about seatbelts in my builds, so here is a bit of info on what I purchase/use.

First off, it will vary, but I found that craft and fabric stores are the best place (even walmart) to find the ribbon pictured below.  It is generally less than $1.00 for a 10 yard spool (for the purpose of 1:18 scale, this ribbon is 1/8" wide).  It comes in a huge assortment of colors and with there being 10yards on the spool, it'll pretty much last me forever!


As for the P.E belt buckles themselves, these are much harder to find/source in my experience.  That being said, what I found and what has worked for my builds are a product meant for 1/20 scale racing cars by KA models (I found these on ebay).   I purchased 3 sheets of them at just over $10.00U.S per sheet....but as you might see from the picture, there are a ton of "standard" looking seat belt buckles on the sheet, so they go a long way.  In addition, i've had good luck cutting apart some of the other parts and created more...so the sheet of what might seem light waste for goes a bit further.  The parts are fairly thick, so require a decent pair of snips to do the "modifying" i mentioned.

Posted Image
1/8"x 10yards craft ribbon - it really does look like seatbelts!



Posted Image
1/20 scale set of P.E Parts.- I've found them from a few sellers on ebay....but I think Megahobby also carries them from time to time.  Product is made by KA Models, so a search engine search might produce other sellers.



A couple of notes:  They do sell these in set of parts in 1/24 scale...but i've never bought them.  I suspect that they would not work with the craft ribbon pictured because the ribbon is a perfect fit through the holes of the 1/20 scale set.
Secondly, if you decide to try the process....do it over a solid work area that is clean....the parts are so small, dropping them and then finding them can be tough (i've lost a few).  Also, I cut the ribbon long and at an angle (makes getting the material through the seatbelt hole easier) and I hold the seatbelt buckle with a pair of locking plyers.

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#2 OFFLINE   StratosWRC

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 06:52 PM

This is awesome. Thanks!
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#3 OFFLINE   D N'D-Land

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 08:10 PM

That's a nice set up you have there!! Smart to utilize those threads from 1/18th scaled seat-belts! :eusa_clap:

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#4 OFFLINE   tmnt_ppn

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Posted 09 October 2016 - 08:42 AM

Thanks for the tip. I've been looking for PE standard seat belt buckles too. This is a very nice set compared to 3.6 EUR Tremonia kit, but only 4 usable belt buckles. Is this the set you're using for your Bburago Chirons? Being 1/20 scale, IMO the belt buckles is a little too small? But I only seen it in photos, how does it looks in person? Do you think the size is okay in the finished model?
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#5 OFFLINE   mazspd3jase

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Posted 09 October 2016 - 03:15 PM

View Posttmnt_ppn, on 09 October 2016 - 08:42 AM, said:

Thanks for the tip. I've been looking for PE standard seat belt buckles too. This is a very nice set compared to 3.6 EUR Tremonia kit, but only 4 usable belt buckles. Is this the set you're using for your Bburago Chirons? Being 1/20 scale, IMO the belt buckles is a little too small? But I only seen it in photos, how does it looks in person? Do you think the size is okay in the finished model?
I'm personally ok with the size ...as the 1/20 set pictured is a perfect fit for 1/8" ribbon I'm using.

I compared the "look and size" of the buckles to that on my GTSpirit Bentley Conti GT V8s convertible and I didnt really see a size difference in the buckle or the actual seatbelt material.  The one difference of course is the shape of the latching part of the buckle....most standard seat buckles are squared off....the 1/20 set being made for race cars the buckles are rounded.  Though this isnt entirely accurate of course.....installing these in place of crap plastic ones is a billion times better in my opinion.

Lastly, in the 1/20 set, 16 pairs of "single" hole type belt buckles 2 pair of "double loop" type, and 22 pairs of triangle hook styles.  On top of that, with a bit of scratch building with some of the other parts, its easy enough to create many more sets of "double loop" style seatbelts that are often seen on higher end models.

Next time I have a GT Spirit model apart(have one coming this week), I will compare the size/snap a few pics.  As I said, the scales are so close, I think that it would be visually difficult to tell them apart.  What surprises me is that no company out there has made just a set of seatbelt buckles for road-going models......they'd make a fortune from many of us tuner guys!

Edited by mazspd3jase, 09 October 2016 - 03:18 PM.


#6 OFFLINE   tmnt_ppn

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 11:07 AM

I'll be looking forward seeing some size comparison. Thanks for the insight.
~ Alvin

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