Star Trek The Next Generation Rank Pips

This is a solid metal, neodymium gold-plated set of rank insignia pips as seen on Star Trek: The Next Generation. This set is adjustable, and allows the ranks captain, commander, lieutenant and ensign.

This set includes 8 pips total:

- Four (4) of the pips are gold-plated solid metal in the exact size (8mm), spacing (3mm) and color (gold) of the screen-used Next Generation original costumes. These are separated and can be added individually.
- Four (4) of the pips are fused permanently into a backing casing that holds them precisely in line and at the exact spacing (3mm) of the original screen-used uniforms.

With the 8 pips (4 gold, 4 permanent), you can create the ranks Ensign, Lieutenant, Commander, and Captain.

I created this set specifically to address several shortcomings of the rank insignia that you normally see for sale:

First, these are solid, gold-plated metal. Not plastic or resin. Captain Picard's pips look like metal. And nothing looks more like metal than metal.

Second, these are magnetic, not pin-backed. With pin-backed, you have to worry about the fabric puckering and warping as you punch holes in it. Warping is especially a problem when you have more than one pip pinned side by side. In my experience, you may get one pip looking good, but you'll never get them perfect when several are side-by-side. Either the fabric will warp, or one pip will droop. You'll notice that Captain Picard's collar never looked puckered or uneven. This set lets you achieve that look.

Third, even if you get a pin-back rank affixed to a shirt without the fabric warping, getting the spacing exactly correct between the pips is almost impossible. If it's wrong, you have to pull out the pin, put a new hole in the shirt and try again. With this set, each of the four rank pips matches up exactly with a matching pip fused inside the backing piece. The neodymium magnets on the backside are perfectly aligned, and simply "snap" their matching sister pip into perfect alignment. You can do this without putting a single hole in your shirt, coat or costume. And you can continually adjust without consequence.

A final benefit of this design is once you have this on your shirt or collar, and you're not quite happy with the overall placement or angle, you can simply slide or tilt the entire backing piece under your shirt. Because of how strong these neodymium magnets are, you must fully intend to slide it around for it to move. It will not shift accidentally. The pips on the outside of your shirt will simply shift to accommodate the new position of the backing piece. And it stays put in the new position. This is really helpful if you're trying to get the angle on your collar just right.

These gold-plated magnets are neodymium, and not rare-earth. The benefit is strength (at the expense of being more expensive). In a couple of the photos, I show it affixed to a down puffy coat, just for fun. This coat is almost a half-inch thick of insulation. It is impossible to accidentally knock this thing off. To remove it, you have to deliberately intend to separate it because the neodymium magnets are so strong.

You can add and remove pips in real-time, changing the rank from captain to commander to lieutenant to ensign.

The gold pips are the exact color, size and spacing used by the costume designers on Star Trek: Next Generation. They are 8 mm in diameter, with 3mm of spacing. The dimensions are accurate to within 0.2 mm.


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