I've got a Major Matt Mason costume for Halloween 2011 in progress as a wearable outfit. Yes, I am *that* crazy. I do hope that if Tom Hanks gets his Major Matt Mason movie made, he does a good job, and then I'll have been ahead of the pack for once in my life!
The Major Matt Mason spacesuit is closely based on the real SPD-143 spacesuit used during the Gemini and Apollo flights. NASA has a 13MB pdf file on spacesuit history that is nicely done:
There are differences, mainly simplifications and those tend work in favor of a costume.
Here's what I have found out for accordion joints: if you can think of a gutter flexi-spout, or black corrugated drainage pipe, or a dryer-vent hose that might do it for you, awesome! Everything along those lines that I have looked at this year has been close, but not quite correct for me. All of the movement joints on this costume are tapered!
Pre-made cylinders are simply too uncomfortable to allow me to move normally, let alone be seated comfortably. I did discover that pre-made accordion joints for humans are indeed available, but holey fertilizer, expensive!
Black ring Glove and Accordion Sleeve Combo
Glove box accordion sleeves would be absolutely perfect! Just a mere $500.00 per pair... and I would need two pair at a minimum. One pair for the shoulder joints and elbow joints, and one pair for the hip joints and the knee joints. The up-side is they are very flexible and with the various sizes of arms out there, I could certainly find some that would do nicely for my arms and my legs.
The downside is that $500.00 per pair price tag. Dropping a grand for a costume is something that wouldn't have fazed me (well, not much) in the past. But with the current economy? Ain't happin'!
I'm currently leaning towards sculpting my own forms (or bucks) from insulation (pink) Styrofoam. Then sealing the foam surface, and then applying many coats of Liquid Latex. Black liquid latex, 5 - 6 coats. I have the foam to hand, and a gallon of the Black liquid latex costs about $80.00 including shipping. I won't need anywhere near a gallon, but I'd rather have too much, than run out part way. Allow all the liquid latex to cure, and (theoretically!) just roll it off the foam bucks. This should allow me to just slip them on the arms and legs when needed.
And for helmet globes, the 12-inch globes seem to be the best compromise between size, weight, strength, appearance and discomfort. And I can add exhaust vents and a quiet fan.
Frosted White Acrylic Globe at:
Home Improvement Made Easy with New Lower Prices | Improve & Repair with The Home Depot
Newport Coastal 12 in. Diameter Acrylic Replacement Globe
Store SKU 312840
Internet/Catalog SKU 100671507
Cost $20.20, includes shipping from GA to TN
This will have to have the visor opening and the neck ring attachments done. Much Dremeling in my future, there is...
Clear Acrylic Globe at:
P&M Lighting Co.
1921 Hilton Ave.
Ferndale, MI 48220
They are selling thru their Ebay storefront.
Cost $35.30, includes shipping from MI to TN
This will have to be given a transparent amber color, and carefully trimmed to make the visor. More Dremeling ahead...
So, here's where I'm at.
I have a plan to deal with the accordion joints.
I have a jumpsuit that will need straps and buckles, and a better zipper. Much better!
I have a helmet globe, and a clear one of the same size that will be cut-up for a visor. And tinted!
I have white poly birdseed cans to trim my neck ring for the helmet from.
I have the gloves and boots taken care of.
I also have great illustrations of the Jetpak and I'm confident of being able to get that done fairly quickly.
My Jetpak will double as a functioning backpack for carrying needed stuff - water bottles, wallet, wife's purse, etc.
Any tips, thoughts, or advice would certainly be welcome! As the suit progresses, I'll getting build pics up.
And I have ten whole weeks to go! What could possible go wrong? : )