View Full Version : Riley Barrie / Tony Nowak Originals Raiders Jacket

08-01-2010, 10:34 AM
Let's get some more product reviews up in all the categories, guys! Here's a "reprint" of my recent custom...

Ok, I'm done. This is IT. I have the perfect Raiders jacket now. I can quit obsessing and nitpicking. (Well, about getting my own facsimilie of the Raiders -jacket-, anyway!)

The photos below just can't do the reality of this jacket justice, and I have Riley at Tony Nowak Originals to thank for it. There's just so much to say about this that I don't know where to start.

The Backstory:
I already had a Mk2 grain style Shrunken Lamb Raiders jacket from Tony. I liked it a lot - it just vibed Raiders. But I was finding it a bit tight in the chest. I thought if I could sell it and my Wested Horsehide, I may be able to swing another jacket from Tony with a bit more room. Lucky for me, I sold both pretty quick. Then I started thinking - obsessing really - about making absolutely sure this would be 3rd time lucky - that my third shot at this jacket would be perfect. The night before I shipped off my other 2 jackets I took a bunch of pictures of myself in poses to match key frames in the movie, noted where the jacket was coming to on me lengthwise, and how much looser the chest needed to be, how much the shoulder seem needed to be off the apex of my shoulders, and so on. Consistently I found that my jacket was exactly 1.5" short. So rumours aside, Ford ain't 6'1" like I am after all - which meant I really needed a 24.5" length.

Then I started to look at the jacket details. Specifically taking into account the jacket Tony was given to copy was the one used in Hawaii and part of the Truck Chase, and had a few key differences between it and the main hero jacket. Both are clearly shrunken lamb, but the main hero jacket definitely has Merino X stiations, whereas the Hawaii doesn't have any that I could note. I wanted a jacket as close to that main hero jacket, so I went frame-by-frame through Raiders and the Making of DVD and mapped all visible grain, all the striation lines. They're on almost every panel, by the way, and at the exact distance apart that the shrunken lamb Tony Nowak sourced is at. I then looked at the little details of the Hero jacket that were different between jackets - the droopy, lopsided collar, the action pleats, the colar stand, the zipper gap, and so on. Once I had checked and rechecked everything, I called Tony.

I thought he would think I had transcended a new level of Screen Accurate craziness, but as always, Tony took it in his stride. I told him I had a project in mind, but didn't know if he would want to take it on. He just told me to email him the details of what I want. He got back to me, and we had a couple of great, long Tony chats. Those lucky enough to have these know what I'm talking about. We went through my diagrams and what-not. Long story short, the big guy said "No problem." He made a bunch of notes and said he was going to Italy, and he'd hit it when he came back.

Then the unthinkable happened.

I realised jackets weren't that important about a week or so later when I woke up to find Tony was gone. Like many here, it hit me really hard. Bizarre for someone I had never met and only spoke to half a dozen or so times. Rest in Peace, Tony.

Riley Barrie:
I introduced myself to Riley a little later, letting him know I was one of the people that had paid for a jacket. Straight away, I really liked this guy. Here is a dude that totally out of the blue had to learn the ropes of a completely new trade, cope with losing someone so close to them, and take over a business all in one hit. Mind blowing. Riley asked me if I still wanted my jacket. I told him absolutely, but I wasn't sure if he wanted to take it on. If he didn't want all my crazy diagrams I was going to go with a straight, beautiful 747 leather; but I wanted to go for gold. I trusted Riley to get it right.

Then Riley went one better. He wanted to make sure everything was perfect for how I wanted it, given the highly unusual set of circumstances. (At this point I'll note I'm in Australia) With help from a friend of mine, Bryan, they took photos of all the shrunken lamb hides and sent them to me. I was then able to select what hides were used, and how I wanted them. It was like constructing a jacket virtually. VERY cool. I was able to get very close to my "map" of the striations and grain. (Let me note, this obviously isn't a normal service, and does cost a bit more. All I can say is call Riley and he will be able to discuss how much that would be as I have no idea what the current prices are.) For S.A. nuts like me, all I can say is the premium is worth it, and then some. With a few conversations, Riley clicked to my wishes - most of which I left in his court, and he ran with - getting 100% of them spot-on beyond my wildest dreams.

The Jacket:
Again, Wow. So I get my shipping box, and pull the jacket out. Number 31/888. First thing I notice is how SUBSTANTIAL the thing is. My earlier shrunken lamb jacket was fairly light compared to my Wested Horsehide, but this thing felt heavier than the Horse, and like it would stop bullets. Amazing. The Striated Shrunken Lamb (SSL) hide is just awesome in person. The thing is, it looks over the top at first, especially compared to what you THINK the movie jacket looked like, but it starts to break in on you almost straight away. Most of the shots I've seen of this hide on this site are kind of misleading insofar as they are taken when people have just bought the jacket. It looks kinda weird at first. But I'd say it has easily half the extremeness of texture now than when I got it a week ago. It also does show up shinier and lumpier in these photos than it does in real-life. But it's definitely morphing into the Raiders jacket more each day.

And that texture is incredible. It perfectly matches the grain patterns and nuances you can see in the film if you look with a trained eye. The back striations that you see when Ford's on the front of the truck are there. The chest panel striations leading to sinewyiness: check. Arm striations? Check. And so on. I can even watch the scene just before the Idol Grab where Ford's pointing out the trap and we see diagonal shrunken graining on the right hand side of the yoke - and it's on my jacket in the identical format. Just jaw-dropping. I mean, Riley even went and matched the little squiggles I noted for the pockets.

Other details are similarly spot-on. Among numerous other things, the right-hand collar droops over, the zipper curls out, the pleats have the exact right amount of stiffness and depth, and the collar stand not only has the curve - it even has the "butt-crack" dent idential to the real Hero jacket.

Oh, and it fits like a dream!

Anyway, apologies, I didn't mean to write "War and Peace", but you can probably sense my enthusiasm! I'm a really picky guy, but Riley and the other guys at Tony Nowak have just blown me away.


http://i644.photobucket.com/albums/uu163/roninbd/D700_20100625_105528.jpg http://i644.photobucket.com/albums/uu163/roninbd/D700_20100625_104912.jpg http://i644.photobucket.com/albums/uu163/roninbd/D700_20100625_104948.jpg http://i644.photobucket.com/albums/uu163/roninbd/D700_20100625_105022.jpg http://i644.photobucket.com/albums/uu163/roninbd/D700_20100625_110142.jpg http://i644.photobucket.com/albums/uu163/roninbd/D700_20100625_104730.jpg

08-01-2010, 02:20 PM
Really, that is just a fantastic example. You can really tell the hard work you put into laying out the pattern and Riley nailed the execution. I really wish there would be some more examples of his work out there to help offset the "criticism" that's been leveled his way.

Tony was a master at making these jackets and we were lucky to be around for his involvement. However, I have no doubt that he would have been proud to put this jacket out and have his name attached to it.

08-01-2010, 06:29 PM
Just a question , have you had any problems ordering from Riley? I heard that there are some problems regarding that?

08-01-2010, 07:10 PM
not if you use the nowakpadawan@aol.com address.
Some people complaining are saying they haven't heard from him and I think that's it, they are waiting to be contacted when there may not be a reason to just call up and chat. He responds to emails sent to the above address but isn't necessarily going to be contacting people out of the blue.
People are also contacting him who obviously have no intention of ever ordering anything, as they did Tony they just want to know measurements of jackets etc.

08-01-2010, 07:40 PM
I'd love to see a vendor section where someone can go to easily find all issues, concerns, discussion, reviews, and products of each individual vendor in one place.

Great jacket gunslinger. Great fit.

08-01-2010, 09:36 PM
I'm amazed at how it's continuing to morph. As it's continued to break in, it's become more drapey, but also is getting more variations in more subdued vs. "lumpy" bits.

08-01-2010, 11:20 PM
I'd love to see a vendor section where someone can go to easily find all issues, concerns, discussion, reviews, and products of each individual vendor in one place.

This is the long term plan. We would like to have a general vendor section and forums specific to vendors who have a proven track record. These forums would be basically moderated by the vendor (or someone of their choosing). In this way, all of the threads pertaining to Wested or Schubert Hats, etc., would be in their forum. Someone coming in that was looking for information on a certain vendor would find everything they needed in one forum, not scattered about.

08-08-2010, 01:57 AM
Great fit!

08-08-2010, 05:47 AM
Fantastic job of matching the leather grain and details to the movie main hero jacket. Outstanding.

08-08-2010, 07:10 PM
I've already told you in another forum: that's an outstanding job Riley has done with your jacket.

08-11-2010, 03:18 PM
Hey Gunslinger,
What size is this? 44?

08-11-2010, 09:56 PM
It's probably more like a 43, I think. I can't remember the exact pit-to-pit measurement I gave, though.

08-13-2010, 08:32 AM
Hey Gunslinger,
The front of this jacket measures the same as the back?

08-13-2010, 10:05 AM
Yes. The new jacket is 24.5" front and back. I did overlays on key poses to make sure I nailed the key measurements for my frame. Where I went wrong with my previous jacket is a) relying on info that Ford was 6'1" - which he quite possibly wasn't; and b) that our vertical proportions are the same. So, either Ford wasn't 6'1", OR he has a very short torso. ...or a mix of the 2.

08-13-2010, 05:16 PM
Each individual will be different. I think your jacket could have gone 24" front and back and had the same effect.
My 'ribby' one is exactly Ford size and falls on me in the right spots. My first has a 24" back length and still falls in the same spot at back.
I wouldn't say I have a short torso. Most often I have to go to a long in a suit or sport coat because the waist of a regular ends up too high on me.
In some other jacket styles I can often wear a regular (although sleeve length is often too short then).
The 'cut' of regulars and longs (off the rack not custom) seems to have changed some generally in more recent years. 'Longs' seem longer generally than they once did, and correspondingly regulars often seem to be cut longer, closer to what a 'long' may have been at one time. But of course that observation shouldn't have much effect on an Indiana Jones jacket.
I think generally though that most people these days do not necessarily need a 'long', they need a 'regular' with longer sleeves.
One thing you have to remember is the Raiders jacket (at least in the pattern of jacket tony nowak was given to duplicate) is constructed incorrectly. This does effect how it behaves. Todd of Todd's costumes commented on this sometime back and as I recall stated he did not duplicate the 'error' in his own pattern. But I suspect the incorrect construction really effects how the jacket falls on the body. If the pattern is corrected I think the back has to be made longer to compensate.
Another consideration is it is based on an A-2 without knits, and an a-2 is about that same length as the Raider jacket. A short jacket in other words. The Raiders jacket is purpose designed in length, it is not like most any other jacket.

Maybe all this is the start of another discussion

08-17-2010, 05:30 PM
Actually I think Todd's does replicate the "incorrect" fit of the original quite well... you can tell almost immediately if a ROLA is done right by the way it fits "wrong" when you put it on. 8)

08-17-2010, 05:52 PM
I guess it may depend on the particular run of his jacket? I do recall him saying he did not or did not want to replicate the 'incorrect' pattern fit. Maybe he changed his mind.

Kt Templar
08-17-2010, 06:29 PM
The whole 'wrong fit' thing is based on one beat up jacket. Some of the jackets fit Ford differently. So it may be that just that jacket did that. Add to that the info that an extra maker has been added to the mix and you really get muddled.

I've tried on a Nowak 1, the effect can be smoothed out by removing a bit of extra leather here and there and still look SA.

The thinking that you need it to fit like that will end up with caricatured bellshaped jackets.

08-17-2010, 06:34 PM
No it wasn't because of condition, it was the cut of the jacket. At least 2 jackets appear to have that incorrect cut.
Jacket makers all want to 'correct' it. The problem is when it is corrected the 23" back is definitely too short. (the reason I'm sure al the jackets of the other movies have back lengths about 2
inches greater) The 'incorrect' cut effects the fit and how it hangs.
As I said before, it's hard to wrap one's head around.

Kt Templar
08-17-2010, 07:36 PM
I've seen it and worn it, I don't need to wrap anything round anything :D.

08-18-2010, 12:28 AM
That's awesome you have worn a hero ROLA KT... I know my Nowak copied from one of those does exactly what it is supposed to do when on my back, and I know it mimics that wonky fit I have seen for years but never able to duplicate exactly until the ToddsCostumes and Nowak were on my back. Now the LastCrusade fit was an easy one it seems, because I have had a few Westeds that hit that mark easily in the years of Indy jacket questing, even when called a Raiders jacket. The proper ToD was also very elusive until recently, I have had a newer NH based Wested and then a Nowak that both finally hit the mark there finally.

The Last Crusader
08-29-2010, 05:00 PM
Hey Kurt!

I've said this elsewhere, but this is absolutely one of the best Indy jackets out there. You have to be just loving this jacket!


10-27-2010, 08:35 PM
Kurt, whatever you do, for the love of all that's good, don't put that jacket in the washer. From what I've heard, that makes the shrunken lamb look like an entirely different jacket and pops out grain more than any other leather I have ever seen!! :o

As "grainy" as yours already is, it will make grain so deep, you could lose a semi in it. ???

10-27-2010, 09:05 PM
Really? Ok...

I have NEVER been tempted to wash this jacket. It fits me perfectly so I woudln't dream of messing with it that heavily. I HAVE grabbed handfuls of water and splashed the arms, shoulder area, etc. to help mold it to me, and that worked very well.

Ahead of my upcoming jacket from Riley, I AM considering hitting JUST a part of the back pleats with hot tap water to see if I can get the backing tape ripples to pop. (They are a custom addition, though.) If I do that I will post the outcome.

10-28-2010, 02:54 AM
Absolutely Beautiful jacket Kurt. I've always been a big fan of the Nowak Raiders jacket, but unsure about how I felt about the striated shrunken lamb. I have to say I'm a convert now. That jacket looks so good that part of me is considering putting off the ToD that Riley is gonna make for me and go the SSL Raiders route. Beautiful.

10-28-2010, 03:05 AM
Oh but the ToD is a great jacket too.

10-28-2010, 03:58 AM
Definitely, it's been my most wanted item since I first saw it. Now there's some doubt as to which jacket I want the most. And soonest. It was easier when I was dead set on the ToD, but I think I'm still leaning that way. But seeing Kurt's jacket just put another very big want on my list.