Costumes, Props and Make-Up

Last month I posted two pictures from Wrath of Dhan (, a costume collector's page, who acquired two costumes worn by Mr. Nimoy as Spock. This got me started on the subject and here's some more about how Spock comes about in in the process.

Most hilarious were the comments on startrekauction.blogspot about the "Star Trek IV Spock Whale tank Swimwear" and Sickbay costume. Be kind in your judgement, he's a guy.

Making Spock’s Ears

A bit more history on the Spock ears for the first movie. After I made the ears for Nimoy the first set of molds were used for a long time. The molds were quite used from continuous baking which caused Rick Stratton to make the masters in order to make duplicate molds. Additionally Rick and Mike LaValley both replicated my ears and made new molds from scratch. Still faithfully made to duplicate the originals.  

About  mid production another makeup artist was added to the lab and re made the ears putting his own touch to them. They were wrong.

This artist was never a fan, certainly not a Star Trek fan and made no attempt to replicate the ear sculptures that John Chambers did for the original TV show. They had an entirely different shape. Shorter. Fatter and lacked those distinctive curves. If you watch the film you’ll see at one point toward the end that Spock has one of mine on one ear and the other artist’s on the other. Fred evidently mixed them up and I remember the big bag of Spock ears he had. Remember these old timers back then were’t fans. And they just didn’t’t notice such things or seem to care as we do today. Pointed ears were pointed ears. In fact as the movies went on the ears again did not appear as they did in the original series. They maintained that fat short look.

Steve Neill





Mister Spock’s Odd Green Color: RCMA Color Process Foundation Make-Up “LN-1”

So, most Star Trek fans know that Mister Spock is “green.”  But how green is he, really?  What’s the story behind Leonard Nimoy’s make-up for Mister Spock?

Well, we know that Spock has “green” copper-based blood.  (Well, it’s mostly green; it has some human elements in it, too.)  And we also know that very early on, it was contemplated that the character would be a Martian with a reddish hue—like the red martian soil.  However, actual make-up tests revealed that reddish make-up doesn’t actually look “alien;” it simply looks like bad make-up and it shows up very dark on old black and white televisions.  (Leonard Nimoy would have looked like he’s performing in an old minstrel show.)  So it was decided to make the character a Vulcanian and go for a greenish-ochre-goldenish color, that looks like—well, not quite like anything in the world—except maybe chicken soup.  It’s actually not an extreme difference from regular human color; it’s fairly subtle.  Mostly, it’s just weird and unworldly.

(…)  For custom-colored make up, Star Trek make-up artist Fred Phillips went to The Research Council of Make-up Artists, Inc. (RCMA).  This company could (and, in fact, still does) make custom make-up colors—and then they keep the formulas on file (something like paint color formulas) so the colors can be produced again later.  

(…)  Fortunately, the original RCMA 1965 Color Process Foundation “LN-1” (Leonard Nimoy #1”) for Mister Spock’s odd Vulcan coloration is still available—if you know what to search for and you have the money.

Gregory L. Schnitzer
, Property Master (and occasional Make-Up Guy), Star Trek Phase II

[“LN-1” can still be bought at Mavis Theatrical Supply. It’s listed in “Special Shades.”  LN-1   Lenard Nimoy  RF219  RF220]

Star Trek I

(Paramount, 1979) Signature crème colored sleeveless robe of rubberized fabric geometric emblems with hook-and-eye belt attachment at the sides. Worn by Leonard Nimoy as “Mr. Spock” during the opening sequences of the film on planet Vulcan. Exhibits studio soiling and distress and bears the internal Western Costume Co. label handwritten, “Spock Nimoy.”

Source costume pic 1 and description:, Source costume pic 2 :

The Spock TMP costume is totally overpriced.  A $ 30-40,000 bid is just not realistic.  Profiles started this last auction with the overpriced "Roberta Lincoln" and "Lenore Karridian" costumes in their last auction, both of which had absurd $ 20,000 opening bids and neither of which sold.  This costume is cool, but a $ 15,000 costume max.  And more like $ 10,000.   So how do they get $ 30,000?    It is far from iconic and I will say if you spend $ 30,000 on this you are nuts.

The two big fails, were, as predicted, the Spock costume from TMP (no bids) and the Shuttlepod (no bids).  You didn't have to be a genius to know that the TMP Spock Robe was worth maybe $ 15,000 TOPS and that this one would never hit the $ 30,000 reserve. 


The Spock Sickbay Costume at $ 2,9820 was a shocker. Yes, it is a key scene in ST: TMP, but still, it isn't a Starfleet uniform, so I think it is a bit much.

A new record for an item on the It's a Wrap auctions was set when the Spock Space Suit from Star Trek: TMP sold for $ 10,100.03. This is almost $ 4,000 more than the Captain Kirk Commando uniform from Star Trek V that sold for $ 6,253 two weeks ago. The down side was if you read the description carefully, there was a hole cut in the helmet. This also may have been re-used by Paul Winfield in Star Trek II. Of course that one had a handle in the front, and this one does not. Also, I really hate that it has no boots. I would get some repros for sure.

And best of all is the fantastic Spock Space Suit from that movie. It looks great, but sadly does not have the boots. This item is a gem and someone will have a great piece of movie history in their home. This will certainly set a record for these auctions. I find it hard to believe it will go less than $8,000 and could easily hit $10,000 

The Star Trek: TMP Spock Class D uniform at $6,100.03 was the top costume of the week. There was no uniform insignia and no shoulder strips. This may have been because this jumpsuit was used at the end of the movie under their field jackets. You never see anything but the collar and legs of this uniform. So, for this to go so high I think is a bit much.

The Spock class D uniform went high, going for $ 7,810. A month ago, one of these went for $ 6,100. The costume,from Star Trek: The Motion Picture, certainly is recognizable and unique because of the Mandarin collar.

The Spock Class A Starfleet Uniform is at $ 3,750 and will go higher. What should be noted is that the shirt is NOT Nimoy's. Cool none the less, but I wouldn't pay high as I like having a costume that is 100% the actor's.


Star Trek IV

At $ 1,713, the Spock headband from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was a pretty good deal. At Christies, this sold for $ 4,560 with buyer's premium. Pretty iconic and something that is easy to display. 

An original Spock headband from The Voyage Home - $1999 shipped (or best offer) in the US. Comes with shown display stand and a COA from It's a Wrap who got the item directly from Paramount. The second pic shows the inside of the headband - the folds are stitched closed through the center of the piece but the ends are not so they "flare out" as shown. 

The Star Trek IV Spock Whale tank Swimwear went for $ 2,092. Strong for a swimsuit, but important none the less and such a great scene in Star Trek IV.

The top item of the week was the Spock "Mindmeld" costume from Star Trek IV. Basically his underwear, it went for a RIDICULOUS $ 4,550. This one totally boggles my mind. Someone must love that movie a lot to pay that for this costume.

Worst Buy of the week: Spock's "Mindmeld Costume" at $ 4,550. Basically glorified underwear! Give me a break!

The Spock Whale Mind Meld Costume we have seen before, and obviously there were a bunch of these.  Star Trek: IV Spock Whale Mind Meld Costume at $ 1,575

The Star Trek IV Spock Whale Tank Costume at $ 2,927 was a popular item and certainly very memorable. Not out of line price wise. Will be a cool conversation piece on display.


Star Trek V

The Spock Camping costume was very nice (all that was needed was Spock's rocket boots!) and went for $ 3,405. The same bidder won the McCoy Commando costume at $ 3,363 (and the Sybok robes!). I happen to know that this bidder has both the Kirk and Spock Commando costumes already and is something of a Star Trek V geek! Well, there had to be ONE is the entire galaxy! :-)

Star Trek: V Spock Camping Outfit at $ 4,225 was the best costume this week, but probably a bit high. We have seen a bunch of these and though this is the only one to have the Vulcan iconography on the shirt underneath, it is still a lot for a civilian costume. But a very cool jacket and very recognizable.

The Commando Spock went for $ 2,550 which was a steal! This is an important costume and used through most of Star Trek V. I can't believe it went so low.

The Star Trek V Spock Commando costume was a bit high at $ 3,050 I felt as the undershirt wasn't Spock's, and there were no rank or even boots. There have been a bunch of these, so I don't think they are too special, but none the less it is a Spock and so very cool for the new owner.

The Spock Commando costume is similar to the Kirk, though this is an actual Nimoy costume. It has a belt, though no rank pins or boots. Note that it was used in the turbolift shaft scene where Spock uses the rocket boots, so it has a hole in the back of the sweater.


Star Trek VI

One of the most well known costumes up for auction is Leonard Nimoy’s Vulcan Robe and Tunic costume from the Undiscovered Country. We don't see many Spock costumes, and this is a nice piece, though incomplete.



Star Trek '09

Ambassador Spock's gray leather parka and gloves as he is marooned on Delta Vega by Captain Nero in "Star Trek" (Paramount Pictures, 2009) and worn by Leonard Nimoy.

Sources: The Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Blog and Star Trek Auction Listings


Wah Chang and the Vulcan Lyre

The Vulcan Lyre (also sometimes called a harp or lute) made its first appearance in the early episode “Charlie X.” It made several other appearances in TOS (“The Conscience of the King,” “Amok Time” and “The Way to Eden”). Chang’s original prop was made of a single piece of solid wood and featured a filament strung up and down multiple times to give the impression of many strings. It was not a functional instrument. After TOS, it was painted black and featured in an episode of Mork and Mindy (many Star Trek props and costumes found their way on to this show). 

(…) In 1989 Paramount engaged the services of Dominick Giovanniello at Creative Guitar Studios in San Diego to create licensed replicas of the prop. Unfortunately, the company only held the license for about two years before going out of business but in that time they created at least 25 replica lyres. These are working instruments that make sound when plucked though all the knobs are non-functional. Instead of being solid, they are hollow which allows for the strings to vibrate and create sound. They are strung with 12 wire-wound steel electric guitar strings. Besides only having 12 strings there are a couple of other differences between this replica and Chang’s original. First is that the bottom corner is rounded where the original is pointed. Also, on the original, where the neck meets the body, the neck is thicker than the body. Because these replicas are hollow they have a thin piece of wood on the front and back which makes the body thicker than the neck.

Sources: Wah Chang and the Vulcan Lyre,  Star Trek Blueprints: Vulcan Harp

TOS Costume Designer William Ware Theiss

Also in "Amok Time," Theiss created two beautiful costumes for the Vulcan women T'Pring (Arlene Martel) and T'Pau (Celia Lovsky). The T'Pau costume began a long tradition of including elaborate jewelry for Vulcan Masters. Source: The Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Blog

“Star Trek; The Motion Picture” Spock’s Kolinar Necklace Prop

From the movie “Star Trek; The Motion Picture,” this is Spock’s Vulcan initiation “Kolinahr” necklace prop. Excellent one of a kind piece, looks almost like 24kt gold with red resin & Vulcan print. Artist’s name (Marion Woodfield) inscribed on back. This was originally obtained from someone who worked on the film. (...) Price:$2499.99.  Source: Reel Art


The Ears


Look at the details on the pointed ears. Amazing! Source: mrssylargray


For better or worse, here are two costumes that didn’t end up in the hands of a fan-girl but a serious prop collector. More costumes and props here.


Update Sep. 2012

If I read that sign at the end of the store’s page right, the costume is still available?


Star Trek At The Smithsonian - Leonard Nimoy Toga from “Plato’s Stepchildren” 

From February, 1992 through January, 1993; a major exhibition of Star Trek: The Original Series props, costumes and model miniatures was held at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. This exhibition was part of the 25th Anniversary celebration of TOS, and attracted over 880,000 visitors during its 11 month engagement. It was the first time that the Smithsonian had honored a fictional as opposed to scientific achievement; and, to this day, represents the largest and most significant collection of Original Series screen used memorabilia ever to be assembled for public display.

Post number 39 in this series on Star Trek at the Smithsonian focuses on a toga worn by Leonard Nimoy in the 3rd season episode “Plato’s Stepchildren” (first airdate: Nov. 22, 1968). 


The initial article on this historic Air and Space exhibition featured a rare 26 min video prepared especially for the event in which the Original Series Cast and Crew discussed the appeal and relevance of Star Trek. It can be seen at

Source: Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Authority

Penny for LN’s thoughts when he first saw the costume design…