Where an unrepentant geek talks about Battlestar Galactica & Life • Est. 2009

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

There is clearly no end to my geekness.

Seriously, every day I see or hear something that only reinforces that in a major way. Last night, in an RSS feed I was reading, I ran across the link to an article to one of the most awesome things I’ve ever seen:

Click to view original sleeve design

A custom packaging for the Battlestar Galactica Complete Series DVD/Blu-ray sets that an industrious and creative soul devised because of the lack of an episode guide or booklet letting us know what was on which disc, and his “minor complaint” about the packaging for the discs themselves. (More below…)

Now, I’ll admit, I personally like the original packaging box of my set (pictured at right), but I was unhappy with the paper box/sleeves that the discs are in. They look really neat, but I was immediately concerned about potential scratching and damage to the discs because of constant contact with paper, which can be acidic, over time. And the lack of any sort of guide to the discs definitely makes it troublesome to find a particular episode.

Apparently, they are re-issuing the series in April with upgraded packaging that sees the discs put into conventional boxes and includes The Plan, but I wasn’t going to pay for a whole new set. There’s a solution to that for owners of the original set, but I’ll get into that later.

Right now, I want to talk about the custom storage/packaging solution that I discovered, which will require a little time, effort and money, but will give my set a look that excites me more than even the prospect of upgraded commercial packaging from the vendor.

Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits came up with this packaging/storage solution for himself and one look was all it took for me to undertake making one for myself (two actually, one for my standard definition set and my Blu-ray set):

A binder like those used as props on the series aboard Galactica, with sleeves inside to hold the discs and printed inserts listing the contents of the discs.

I don’t have a picture of Mr. Hunt’s completed project to use here, but I put this together to explain the basic concept:

This explains the basic concept:

n unique custom packaging/storage solution for the BSG Complete series DVDs – original idea by The Digital Bits’ Bill Hunt. (click to view larger)

What’s Needed
  • A 2-1/4″ Axcess/Keba Binder (I ordered from GoGoods.com)
  • Four-disc CD/DVD storage pages (2 front/2 back variety like pictured above – I ordered from an Amazon.com Marketplace Seller)
  • Printable disc inserts or booklet (download - provided here courtesy of Mr. Hunt at Digital Bits … Thanks, Bill!), a printer and ink. Addendum: The inserts were created from an Avery MS Word template for CD/DVD Jewel Case Inserts: 5693, 6693, 8693, 8943.
  • ADDENDUM: I’ve added an ink-conservative versions of the inserts and a guide to fit the binder. Check out info here.
  • BSG logo for spine and cover (included in the disc insert downloads – I added this, so you’ll wanna make sure you print it out the size you want)
  • Fonts: Viper Squadron and Calibri (Google them to see what you find; just remember you download from the web at your own risk)
  • Optional: To trim the four corners of the covers to BSG-style (Not sure yet how I’m going to do that but the binders are constructed from Polypropylene; will have to look into that. If you do try to trim the corners, do be careful; I won’t be held responsible for misuse of sharp objects.)
Binder-Related Links

Prop binders from the series. Image courtesy of Propworx.


Evening 2/24/09: Mr. Hunt was kind enough to supply pictures of his finished binder. Click to launch the slideshow:

  • I inquired also about how he got the BSG-style corners and he said he used a heavy-duty office paper cutter (the kind that slides) but recommends finding a plastic of similar thickness and making test cuts first. Again, it goes without saying … BE CAREFUL when using sharp objects.
  • Mr. Hunt noted that the disc insert files included in the ZIP file downloadable above are for Blu-ray discs, but a readme.txt gives “permission to edit the files as needed to adopt them for DVD use”.
  • ADDED TO THE DISC INSERTS ZIP FILE ABOVE: a PDF file that one of his readers “adapted” so that it can be printed, stapled together and used as a regular booklet with the normal DVD and BD packaging,” and an insert for the new CD soundtrack release (from LalaLand Records) of Battlestar Galactica: The Plan/Razor.

Thanks much, Bill!

Reissue of Complete Series with New Packaging

Apparently sometime in April, the complete series sets are being re-released with new packaging, including conventional cases for the discs and the addition of The Plan, as I noted above.

Obviously, if you’ve bought the complete series set already, and The Plan, you’re not likely to plop down the cost for another set just to have new packaging — I certainly wasn’t — but I ran across something at a couple sites that indicated there was possibly an answer for those of us interested in new commercial packaging.

I emailed the address supplied and it seems there’s an offer to get the upgraded packaging at no charge — at least it doesn’t require any money to request and and there was no mention of it in the return email. I’m not sure exactly what all you get, but you do keep the main outer box and the toaster … I mean Cylon centurion.

I have followed the instructions myself and am waiting to see what happens.

Check out Bill Hunt’s post about the offer.

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  • Bill Williams

    I did my own custom binder similar to Bill Hunt’s when the series hit Blu-ray last summer. I ordered one of the clear Keba binders from a company in Seattle that was about $40, then got the CD/DVD storage pages via Amazon.com for about $25. Then I trimmed the corners of the binder a la how the Propwerx binder is done (though mine looks a little thicker on the ends), glued the metallic label from the box set onto the front cover, and voila! Instant custom binder! Bill was definitely impressed with my handiwork!

    Since then I’ve added the Blu-ray of The Plan, DVDs of content not included on the Blu-ray box set, a couple of Emmy consideration DVDs, the Caprica DVD from last year, CD-Rs of missing audio content (missing podcasts, writers meetings, and the Frak Party), and all the soundtrack CDs (just got The Plan/Razor today!).

    Just recently I added a small sticker onto the front cover that reads “Still Not”, because Universal won’t issue “The Face of the Enemy” on DVD/Blu-ray all because of money. Just when you think it couldn’t get any more cheapjack, first in releasing the entire series on Blu-ray, then in releasing each season individually on Blu-ray, now this upcoming re-release with The Plan added into the mix, and still no FotE? All because the studio doesn’t want to pony up the bucks because a couple of speaking actors (who never appeared in any other episode or spinoff) don’t want to renegotiate? If Universal isn’t going to fork out the money to issue FotE on disc, then the fans shouldn’t fork out the money to Universal in turn for a so-called “complete” series when we all know that isn’t the case.