About Starborne Works
Hi, my name is Peter Turpin, though most people simply call me “Sci”. I’m the sole trader behind Starborne Works, and it’s my job to make things for you to make your costuming and creating easier.
Some time ago it struck me that people have a difficult time finding good individual odds and ends to make up their creations from. Or at least good quality at an affordable price that’s also still suitable for purpose. I’m good at finding ways to make a part, make it well, and make lots of it. This saves you the time and cost of lots of trial and error on all the componant parts, leaving you with more time to worry about the bigger picture.
I’m tempted to say that bigger picture will be a costume or cosplay because it’s what I’m most familiar with, but I don’t know. I can’t read your mind. For all I know you might be making a beaver-dam out of the bits your buy! My aim is to carry parts to enable you to do what you want, easier and to a higher quality than you might otherwise. What you actually make with the parts is up to you.
In light of that I try to note what customisation options are available on the stock items I make; sizes, colours, materials, finishes.. in case basic stock isn’t quite what you’re after.
If I don’t have anything that’s close? Ask anyway. Worse I can do is say it’s not something I can do. I don’t take too many custom jobs just now, but you never know! I might be able to put you onto someone who does, or I might be planning something suitable in the near future. Maybe your message to me will make me think what you’re after is something I should be doing anyway and start producing it. Anyway the moral is; if in doubt, send me an email.
Who are you?
How long have you been doing this?
I started self-employed trading as Starborne Works in 2008. It’s been rocky going but it’s finally finding it’s feet.
Why “Starborne Works”?
Starborne Works Incorporated was originally the name of my roleplay/writing characters’ business. So there’s a double-meaning when I say Starborne Works is “Making fantasy a reality”.
Of course the fictional SWI was more involved in the reclamation and repair of spacecraft than with the production of costume accessories, but one step at a time, right?
How to keep updated with developments?
Well there’s a few of ways beside F5-ing the website to death.
First, there’s the site’s RSS feed. Lots of sites have it. It downloads updates to your reader much like they were email. You may already be using software that supports it.
There’s also the business Twitter account you can follow. I try to note any key updates there, and occasionally shipping and research/product developments. A digest of the weeks Tweets gets grabbed to the website every weekend.
The Facebook plugin is currently not working right. I’ll update this note when it is.
Where do you work from?
I’m based in London, England. This is excellent for connecting with people and suppliers, and subsequently means I should usually have a short turnaround time.
More generally, I work from home out of a large garden workshop. This is excellent for connecting with kitchen and kettle, and subsequently means I usually have a lot of tea/coffee.
When are you going to get the site-shop open?
Seriously though, probably once I have a few more products in a less “beta” production state. While the products have been of high quality, I’ve been making those parts using rather labour intensive techniques. So in a way by not opening the shop I’ve been intentionally limiting my market, rather than get in over my head with jobs I couldn’t keep up with. I hope that doesn’t sound too big headed!
One by one though I’m updating the moulds and tools for products to ones better suited for “mass production”. Once I feel they’re all ready to go, I will be opening up the shop properly.
But so I can have a nice deadline hanging over my head, let’s say December 2011.
What are you planning for the future?
Currently I’m toying with micro-controllers to add some animatronic kits to the selection as well as lighting effects. And while more related to construction/creation in general, I’m also working on my own variant of the RepRap 3D printer.
So no spaceships then?
One thing at a time.
I currently accept Google Checkout, PayPal, bank-transer, Cheques, Cash (but only in person) and Money Orders.
Goods are dispatched when payment clears, and surcharges may be made to cover packing materials and any special handling (such as delivering to a depot).
Occasionally I’ll make exceptions for “cash on collection” if you’re going to the same event I am, but I’ll want contact details for locating you.
Postage type will depend on what’s being sent, but I only send goods via services with a tracking or delivery guarantee, and insurance where the goods value requires it. This ensures your goods will reach you, and if they don’t we can get a refund from the Post Office or Courier.
Within the UK this usually means 1st Class Recorded, and internationally by Airsure.