2001: EVA Suit

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BAJA TYM

Active Member
Greetings RPF,

This morning I began working on a new project, a U.S. Aeronautics Agency (USAA) EVA suite from 2001: A Space Odyssey; I won’t be referencing the suit created for (and worn by) Bowman in 2010, the details are very different. As I always I have too many project going on at once, this one will be used to distract me from my more urgent projects (when I need a break). this considered, I’m not in any rush to get it done, I just want to do it properly. The only difference might be in the materials I use, for instance most of the items will be 3D printed and augmented with traditional modeling/crafting techniques. I do have the LIMITED ability to work with soft metals, but my experience working with them (the tools) is very limited. Anyway, as most 2001 fans know, there were actually 3 variants of the EVA suit see on screen:

v1, worn by Floyd and his companions onboard the moon bus and while visiting Tycho Crater — silver suit (without arm controls), white helmet (no hose).​
v2 worn by Bowman and Poole on board the Discovery — yellow, red, and yellow.​
v3 worn by unidentified ground crew outside Clavius Base — these appear to be repurposed (and painted) v2 suits in order to match the v1.​

[picture of suits]

Okay, so getting started, I’m not ready to allocate any hard cash to this just yet (my other projects don’t like to share), so I’ve decided to start with the function controls embedded in/on the wearer’s left forearm.

2001_button_2.png


Even though I don’t have any actual measurements, I decided to go ahead and draw the basic shape in Illustrator. I’m not 100% sure what font was used to label the buttons, but I know Eurostile was used on other equipment, so I'll use that as a place holder for now.

I couldn't fined an EPS versions of the era-specific IBM logo that was used, so using City Medium as the base, I drew the correct 1956-1972 logo in Illustrator. Now that the basic shape has been completed, I need to figure out actual mesurments. I’m studying several photos tin hopes of making an education guess, but I’d really like to know for sure.

ibm.jpg

Arm-Controls-1.jpg


I also need to keep studying the mechanical functions of the buttons, in some images they appear to go straight into the housing. There also seems to be two bars/rails running parallel down both sides of the button recess...

button-3.jpg
button-2.jpg


Also, I’ll be continually working on the follow goals:
  • Expand my collection of references (photos and details)
  • Identify any new tools/materials I need
  • Breakdown the project into assemblies and subassemblies (something like gloves, boots, helmet, and so forth)
  • Establish a realistic budget (and possibly construction timeline)
Well, more to come, and thanks for looking — Cheers!
 

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lmgill

Sr Member
The suits in all scenes were the same suits. Different life support packs on the moon of course. They were repainted for different scenes. The one surviving suit I examined was originally silver, then yellow, then red than finally silver again. (Visible around the wrist rings seam/ join)
The buttons can be acid etched in magnesium (the way they make (made) rubber stamps.
Here are some hardware measurements taken off the one surviving suit:
 

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BAJA TYM

Active Member
The suits in all scenes were the same suits. Different life support packs on the moon of course. They were repainted for different scenes. The one surviving suit I examined was originally silver, then yellow, then red than finally silver again. (Visible around the wrist rings seam/ join)
The buttons can be acid etched in magnesium (the way they make (made) rubber stamps.
Here are some hardware measurements taken off the one surviving suit:

Wow, thanks for those... did you actually built a suit? If so, do you have a build page/blog? As to the suits being the same, yeah, I saw that during my initial research of the suit. When I was talking about "variants" I was just referring to the 3 separate usages and the modifications made after; Tycho, Discovery, and Clavius. From what I understand, the suits were first used during the filming of Tycho Crater scenes, then modified prior to the filming of the Discovery scenes (added arm controls, helmet hose, different chest/backpacks and coloring), and finally repainted silver/blue/white for filming of the Clavius exterior scenes, leaving the helmet hose and arm controls).

I'm wondering if they added the hose to help with cooling and reduce lens fogging? It looks like the hose is positioned to blow air into the neck and perhaps across the visor... IDK, maybe it's just a coincidence and kind of looks like an after thought.

Tycho scene (top) and Clavius scene (below) some differences:
Screen Shot 2019-08-27 at 2.18.31 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-08-27 at 9.12.56 AM.png


I'm pretty excited to have these measurements, thanks again!! -- Cheers!
 

BAJA TYM

Active Member
The suits in all scenes were the same suits. Different life support packs on the moon of course. They were repainted for different scenes. The one surviving suit I examined was originally silver, then yellow, then red than finally silver again. (Visible around the wrist rings seam/ join)
The buttons can be acid etched in magnesium (the way they make (made) rubber stamps.
Here are some hardware measurements taken off the one surviving suit:

Sorry, I forgot to ask, but from your standpoint, how were the buttons actuated? I can't tell from the photo how they were attached, it appears to be rubber cement (?). Also, comparing the two images below (your image and a screen shot), the units have different IBM logos. The screen cap (red suit) has the 1956-1972 IBM logo and yours is looks like Helvetica Bold. The red suit further appears to have some raised tracks/guides running under the buttons. If I were to guess, the blue keypad was not intended to be shown in close ups or has been restored... very interesting.

2001_suit_ibm.jpg


Screen Shot 2019-08-27 at 2.35.29 PM.png
 
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Mike J.

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Based on the "C" and "M" letters, I think the font on the suit buttons is more likely Futura Bold. And I think the second line of the top left key (KEY ELSE) is actually "RLSE" = 'release.'

Attached an attempt to sharpen the keypad in Photoshop, not much good, I'm afraid.

EDIT: Made a composite of multiple frames & enlarged and sharpened it; colors seem a bit wonky, but maybe it's useful somehow.
 

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David3

Sr Member
This is from Adam Johnson's book 2001: The Lost Science (highly recommend if you don't have it).
Notice, top left, it shows a backing of foam rubber under the buttons to allow them to be individually depressed like a real button.
IMG_4720.JPG
 

BAJA TYM

Active Member
Based on the "C" and "M" letters, I think the font on the suit buttons is more likely Futura Bold.

Nice catch and agreed (y)

And I think the second line of the top left key (KEY ELSE) is actually "RLSE" = 'release.'
Attached an attempt to sharpen the keypad in Photoshop, not much good, I'm afraid.
EDIT: Made a composite of multiple frames & enlarged and sharpened it; colors seem a bit wonky, but maybe it's useful somehow.

Another nice catch, I hadn't really put much work into the lettering yet (well, except for the IBM logo). You've probably saved me several hours of research time. -- Thanks!!
 

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BAJA TYM

Active Member
Great Project!

Looking forward to this!

Thanks, I hope I can do it justice. There's a ton of skillsets needed to do this, I've got most of them, but most of all the sewing will be a challenge. I've made a number of costumes for my kids, but I've never attempted anything like this. -- Thanks
 

BAJA TYM

Active Member
This is from Adam Johnson's book 2001: The Lost Science (highly recommend if you don't have it).
Notice, top left, it shows a backing of foam rubber under the buttons to allow them to be individually depressed like a real button.

In all the years I've looked at 2001 books and information, I've never seen this or Vol 2. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to afford it!

GOOD LORD!!!
:oops::oops::oops::oops: -- Especially that $4,500.00 "New" price -- :lol:

1.jpg
2.jpg


As to the image you posted, thanks for that. It'll be extremely helpful! I can already see where I've made some mistakes with the CAD files, I'll probably just start over at this point. Thanks for the help!
 

joberg

Master Member
The close-up scene with the "functional button" was the hero prop, not to mix-up with the other pads that were static props since they were never supposed to be operated by the actors in any other scenes ;) Good luck with your project; you'll need it!
 

BAJA TYM

Active Member
The close-up scene with the "functional button" was the hero prop, not to mix-up with the other pads that were static props since they were never supposed to be operated by the actors in any other scenes ;) Good luck with your project; you'll need it!

Thanks, I need all the luck I can get!
 

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BAJA TYM

Active Member
Some more detail regarding the buttons; I'd like mine to be somewhat functional, so I've added a recess to receive monetary switch caps along with some supports to help prevent deformation. An added benefit to using momentary switch caps is that they'll allow the buttons to be removed (snapped on/off) without damaging anything.

12.jpg
 
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