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A New Look for your Belair City Slicker

Is your City Slicker too black? I’ll teach you how to get it a new coat.

A completely black Lomography Belair X6-12 City Slicker is so 2012! Out of fashion, that’s what I thought. Therefore, a new, leather jacket is in order!

What you’ll need:

  • Belair City Slicker
  • leather, about 50cm long and 6cm wide minimum
  • liquid adhesive suitable for plastic and leather (Velpon)
  • cutting mat
  • steel ruler
  • stanley knife
  • non-waterproof pen
  • measuring tape

For this make over I chose white leather with a crocodile-embossed pattern. Naturally, leather exists in all colours, prints, embossed and in all kind of shapes. When you are coating the Belair you should use thick leather. (it is not recommended for the Diana) Make sure it is smooth, since you need to follow the curves of the camera. I chose fairly thick leather, thus improving your grip on the camera.

Stores with fabrics for clothes etc. usually have some leather in stock, there are also specialists (I can recommend www.echtleer.nl). You can also choose other materials, as long as they are flexible enough to follow the shapes of the camera. Make sure the material isn’t too slippery for the camera.

The first step is to remove the black leather of the camera. You can choose not to remove it, as I did. Make sure that the surface, on which you will soon glue, is flat and free of grease.

The second step is cutting a strip of leather. The strip of leather should be about 5.2 cm (2 inches) wide (my estimation, so measure your camera!). Working with supple leather changes easily 0.5 or 1mm, so do not make it too small! You keep seeing empty space when you’re done. Make sure you strip the entire length equal to the width. (I always keep some spare leather, just in case.) Make sure the strip fits and hold it against the camera to measure. The strip should be long enough to cover the back and both fronts, and care for some overlap (2 to 3cm).

The third step is to trim the strip of leather. If there is a pattern in the leather that you would like to keep, you must cut in the following order: learning-to-right, front-back-leather, leather-for-left. This is used for the pattern. If there isn’t a pattern, it does not matter.
Cut the piece of leather-for-right to length. Use the measuring tape to measure the required length. Sign this and cut it. This piece may be on the side of the bellows 1 to 2 mm long. Hold the piece of leather-for-right in place on the camera. Cut the piece off that is too long. Please make sure that you make angled cuts.

The fourth step is to cut the hole for the window. Use the negative numbers from the leather-to-back. Grab the camera and measure with the tape where the window is located. It is best to start from the left. Grab the leather strip and measure the distance, add 1 mm for clearance. Hereafter we cut the strip when it is too long. Measure the width and height of the window on the camera; also sign off on the leather. Cut the window. It is best to go from the bottom corners of the window to the outside cut (the edge of the leather).

The fifth step is cutting to size of the leather-to-back. Measure the correct length of the leather on the left side by the place on the camera to keep the bit cutting the excess off. Do the same on the right. Please ensure that you use angled cuts!

The sixth step is a short repetition of step three. Take the leather-to-left and hold it in place on the camera. Find out if it is too long, mark it and cut the rest (on the side closest to the bellows). Again: angled cut!

The seventh step is to glue the leather on the camera. Before you begin, remove any residue of ink you have signed, as this is harder to get off when the leather is already attached to the camera. Start at the back. Spread the glue over the camera, be aware you do not stick what you do not want to have fixed! Position the doctrine, begin at the window and work towards the sides. Press the leather in place and keep it there. Let it dry completely before you start with the front. If the back is dry, you can glue the two parts at the front in the same way. Before you begin, open the bellows of the camera; this gives you more room to work and prevents you from gluing it shut. Allow the glue to dry again. Do not be stingy with glue, but do not go overboard. Try to remove spilled glue as quickly as possible.

The eighth step: admire the results and head out to the world to show your new camera!

If you used white leather with crocodile-embossed like me, this will be the result:

written by leolensen and translated by driemaaldrie

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The original version of this article is written in: Nederlands.