Mara wears a brown leather shoulder harness with a silver connector at center back.
Silver metal clasps are located on the front of the straps, just above the armpits.
These clasps do not have to be functional... it is very easy to slip the harness
over the shoulders.
The easiest thing to use for the front clasps is a pair of slider buckles which are
made for web belts. You can buy a cheap pair of web belts and cut off the buckles,
or locate a store that sells the buckles separately. I have found them at JoAnnís
craft stores, as well as online. I used a hacksaw to carefully cut off the sliders
on my buckles. It was a bit of a hassle, but I think it makes the buckles look more
like the reference images of Maraís harness clasps, and less like slider belt buckles!
I have made two different versions of Mara's shoulder harness. For the first one,
I used the action figure as my reference. I was in a hurry to finish before an event,
so I'm afraid I cut some corners when it came to matching the design! It worked,
but I only wore this harness a few times before I started over from scratch and made
a more accurate center piece.
For the central piece in the back, I started with a disk that was made out of plaster
that I poured into a plastic lid. Once the plaster was hard, I popped it out of
the lid and had a perfectly round disk in just the size that I needed. The smaller
circle was the ring that goes inside of a door knob assembly. I glued them together,
sealed the space between them with clay, and then made a silicone rubber mold of
that. Using the mold, I then cast the center piece in fiberglass, and actually embedded
the leather into the fiberglass so that it would never fall apart. The leather straps
were from Tandy, and the clasp pieces at the front were web belt buckles with the
sliders cut off.
For my second (and less rushed attempt) at making the central piece of my shoulder
harness, used reference images from the comics. There are several different designs
to choose from, so I selected the one with the design that I liked best.
I began with the plastic vacuformed wrapper that once covered a jar of powdered Covergirl
makeup. I sprayed in some mold release, and then I poured in some resin. A few minutes
later I popped the resin out, and I had a perfectly round disk with a professional
curve on the top. Since it was resin, that disk could be sanded, carved, and modified
in any other way I might need. Then I took the plastic lid that once covered a roll
of electrical tape and did the same thing. I ended up with a resin disk that was
slightly larger than the first disk, and perfectly flat. I glued the two pieces together,
added a bit of detail with a dremel, then added some scraps of melamine to the outer
edges. The rivets I added to the sides are real rivets, which I cut the tops from
and glued into small drilled holes in the resin. When everything was assembled and
the glue was dry, I made a silicone mold. From that mold, I once again used fiberglass
to create the final costume piece. I embedded the leather straps right into the fiberglass
again, also. It creates a very strong harness that looks far more complete than it
would if the leather were just glued to the back of the disk!
At first I had trouble with the disk sticking to the back of my pvc jumpsuit when
I got hot. I solved this problem by putting a piece of the fuzzy side of some black
industrial strength velcro on the back of the disk. Now it no longer sticks to the
fabric, and it slides much better as I move.