UPDATE 7/4 Finally done, now with tutorial comments:
Here's the updated template:
OK, This must be the toughest part of the costume - especially building it from scratch. Research and development is a freaking bear. No wonder these things are so expensive! This project is ongoing so here's my progress so far...
<font color="#FFFFFF">THE BASE
I decided on balsa wood as a base. It's lightweight and cheap. I didn't want to mess with making functional pouches, because...well...it would take until Episode3 for me to finish.
<font color="#FFFFFF">THE LEATHER
I started by going to a leather shop and rummaging through their scrap bins. I spent about $40 in scrap leather and leather dye (I guess it would've been cheaper to do vinyl). My leather scraps were in odd shapes, so I had to develop a pattern that would make the most of the pieces I had. I made a pattern (download it here) that you can print out - and it is already to scale. So you just print and cut.
I cut out the leather and glued it to the wood using Liquid Nails - but I'm sure you could use anything. Use a rubber band to hold the leather while the glue dries.
Also, cut out 12" strips for the pouch flap. This will vertically wrap around the pouch. For stitching, I used quilting thread. It's thicker and more visible than regular thread. You'll also need a leather needle for your sewing machine ($2). Then you'll need a Mrs. to coach you on the sewing machine - or just do it for you. (Thanks to Mrs. TK-409!)
I'll post more photos as it progresses. I'm certainly not the expert on this - all knowledge I have on the ammo belt is from this forum - you guys are awesome. I'm not going to be making & selling these. I simply offer the tutorial for those that want to "do-it-yourself."