Apollo A7L Spacesuit Build

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zachsbanks547

New Member
Yeah, someone further up in the thread offered some to me, as well as some I got from this thread.

I’m in the exact same spot as you on the printer front. Getting everything you need printed from ThingaverseShapeways would be massively expensive, unfortunately. As far as a printer that’s big enough, I’ve done a fair amount of research on large-size, affordable printers. Currently, I’m thinking of getting the Anycubic Mega X, which I’ve heard good things about and has a big enough bed to print a neck ring in one piece.
 
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JamesDalton

New Member
Yeah, someone further up in the thread offered some to me, as well as some I got from this thread.

I’m in the exact same spot as you on the printer front. getting everything you need printed from Thingaverse would be massively expensive, unfortunately. As far as a printer that’s big enough, I’ve done a fair amount of research on large-size, affordable printers. Currently, I’m thinking of getting the Anycubic Mega X, which I’ve heard good things about and has a big enough bed to print a neck ring in one piece.
I see the reviews are favourable and the price is actually not bad considering what it would cost to purchase finished pieces. BUT its not readily available here in Canada yet and shipping from overseas would be crazy.
Plenty of things to keep me busy in the meantime! Lol
I'll let you know if I see something local and pull the trigger.
Thanks again for sharing your pics.
Stay safe and stay healthy
 

zachsbanks547

New Member
I’ve been making a bit more progress while stuck at home. But I’m still waiting on some supplies before I can make a ton of progress.

I made up the chest, back, and neck pieces, both inner and outer.
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I traced out the hardware/velcro pattern onto the chest and sewed on the patches.
At first blush, they seem small to me; I’d be curious to get the official dimensions on these (currently, they’re 4x4 and 1x4).
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I also added the pass through for the blue webbing that attaches to the top of the chest buckle.
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Once the snaps ship in, I’ll work on attaching those and the velcro to the chest.
I also need to make up a pattern for the lower chest/crotch/upper legs. I’ll probably use an existing pair of pants for reference. Once that’s made up, I can attach the back zipper, which is also on its way.
 

zachsbanks547

New Member
Yeah, I’ve seen that site. But there’s a couple issues.
At the top, they say that the mission and NASA patches are 4-1/2”, but then within each individual patch type, they say 4”. So, not sure which it is.
Also, they don’t list sizes for the name tags.
 

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jontom

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Something to note is that it seemed very non-standard for the overall beta cloth square. On Armstrong's suit the insignia roundel comes pretty close to the edge of the white square compared to the reference guide. On Mitchell's Apollo 14 suit the mission patch is larger, and the cloth was cut into an octagon to fit the suit.
 

zachsbanks547

New Member
One small update and some new material:

I finished putting on the velcro and snaps on the front of the suit, and also removed all my markings (minus the circles for the connectors, which will be covered up anyway).
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I managed to find on eBay a set of EVA glove tips being sold off by Global Effects. I’m super pumped I managed to find these, since making a set had been a bugbear of mine (do I cast, 3D print, paint stock parts, etc). Now I don’t have to worry about that and I have an assuredly more accurate set than I could make.
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And lastly, I got in my back zipper: a 48” #10 brass YKK. It’s a hunk of a zipper and it feels great. I’m glad I went this direction (big and brass).
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zachsbanks547

New Member
I’d also love some recommendations on good EVA glove fabric (Chromel-R).
I know ironing board fabric is a popular choice, but in the gloves I’ve seen, it comes out just okay, and strikes me as a bit thin.
Any ideas/sources would be appreciated.
 

zachsbanks547

New Member
I’ve been making lots of progress on the legs. And with that, things are suddenly coming together quickly.

I started by disassembling an old pair of pants to get a starting point pattern for the legs.
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I then modified them in Sketchup (where I make all my patterns), and did some tests.
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Once I felt like I had the pattern down (after a few tries), I cut out sewed together my final pieces, both in the padding and the outer nylon. I think I still may modify the lower part of the legs and slim it down a bit.
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And now, once I added on my shoulders, the torso/legs padding is almost completely assembled!
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I still have to attach the leg pocket, UTS cover, and straps to the legos before I can fully assemble the nylon torso/legs, but it shouldn’t be long now.

I also found something new for the forearms. I had been using elastic to mimic the black strap around the arm-side wrist ring. But someone pointed out they seemed to be more of a rubber material in reference pictures. So I managed to find something that fit the bill almost exactly: Ranger Bands. They’re essentially large-sized, black rubber bands. The XXL size fits great and it looks the part perfectly.
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Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Very cool find with the ranger bands! I'll have to order some and compare to my giant rubber bands.
 

jontom

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I’d also love some recommendations on good EVA glove fabric (Chromel-R).
I know ironing board fabric is a popular choice, but in the gloves I’ve seen, it comes out just okay, and strikes me as a bit thin.
Any ideas/sources would be appreciated.
I think Ryan Nagata has used RFID mesh for some of his glove builds. Easy enough to work and holds wrinkles well.
 

zachsbanks547

New Member
I think Ryan Nagata has used RFID mesh for some of his glove builds. Easy enough to work and holds wrinkles well.
Okay, cool. I actually just ordered some RFID fabric on eBay. I think I’ll end up getting a yard of ironing board fabric and comparing the two.
 

zachsbanks547

New Member
More progress on the legs!
I got the leg pocket attached and the leg loops sewn and attached. And I decided to slip then onto the padding layer to see how they were looking.
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(and some cat tax, courtesy of Frodo)

After a few tests with some paper, I think I have a good pattern made up for the UTS cover.
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And I got it sewn together, attached snaps and velcro, and attached it to the leg (note to self: sewn velcro on before attaching snaps; much easier.)
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And then I was finally able to attach the legs to the torso! This feels like a big moment.
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I couldn’t wait and I slipped it all over the padding layer, so I could try the whole thing on.
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I think it’s looking great and I can’t wait to finally have the two layers attached.
But, I need to wait until I get the front buckle and buckle cover attached before I can do that.
I don’t have a 3D printer yet, so I ended up ordering a front buckle from kenlandrum on Shapeways; that way I can make some progress in the meantime.
I’ll hopefully get the buckle cover and zipper cover sewn up in the next couple days.
 

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zachsbanks547

New Member
I ended up making more progress than I expected today.

I made my zipper cover and buckle cover and got the latter attached.
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Like I said before, I was going to wait on attaching the outer and padding layers.
...but partly because I’m impatient, partly because I wanted to avoid fraying the exposed edges more than I had, and partly because I felt I could work around it, I went ahead and attached the layers together. That involved sewing the shoulder seam (which was way trickier than it needed to be; hindsight is 20/20), and binding the bottom of the leg and the back/crotch with grosgrain.
Then I was able to add my zipper in! It’s actually a whole, wearable thing now!
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I’m super pumped with how it’s come out so far and how much progress I’ve been able to make during quarantine.
Now to get the elbows attached (which I think I’ll do with velcro); to wait for my RFID fabric to come in so I can make the back patch and attach the zipper cover; and to get a pair of shoes to start work on the boots.
 

zachsbanks547

New Member
I got a pair of canvas slips on to use as the base of my boots. Obviously not the most accurate, but it’ll work. I put some adhesive velcro around the sole to attach the fabric.
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I got my RFID fabric, which looks to be a fantastic substitute for Chromel-R. It’s stiff, but not too stiff; holds a crinkle well; and looks metallic but not at all fake.
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I attached the back abrasive patch to the zipper cover and the suit, attached the zipper cover to the suit, and attached the velcro and snaps to the suit.
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The fit up of the front cover (“beaver tail”) looks great.
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Here’s the whole suit as is:
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I still have to attached the elbow pieces. And I have a first-version pattern made up for the boots that I have to try.
 
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zachsbanks547

New Member
I got some work done on the boots.

My first pattern turned out okay, but needed some work.
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On my second pattern, I widened the back end of the top of the foot, decreased the circumference of the leg part, and changed the horizontal-to-vertical transition from a sharp 90º corner to a curve, which looks better and is more accurate to the originals. The test piece for this pattern turned out pretty good and I’m going to go with it.
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I have most of my fabric cut out with the new pattern, and I got my inner layer sewed up.
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I’ve been having some issues with the toe area folding/pleating as I connect the curved top to the straight sides. Doesn’t matter for the inner layer, but I definitely don’t want my outer nylon to look like that. Hopefully my hobby-seamstress mother can help me sort that out.
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I also painted up my chest buckle from Shapeways, using Duplicolor Metalcast Base Coat. The buckle actually ended up a but too small for my 1” webbing (which I believe is the right size), but I can make it work until I can replace it with my own 3D print someday.
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Making great progress. I’ve been particularly happy with the from-scratch patterning I’ve been able to do. That was one of the most daunting parts of this project while looking at it from the outset. Thankfully, some pictures of Nagata patterns and patterns from kenlandrum was enough to get me there. (y)
 
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Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Great work on the boots! Any plans for what you're going to do for the blue silicone ribbed areas?

*edit* err sorry, are these EVA boots or the inner boots you are making?
 

zachsbanks547

New Member
These are the IVA boots.
I haven’t started thinking about the EVA boots yet, and I honestly have no idea what I’ll do. Finding some pre-made soles (and patterning based on that) would be the easiest thing for me, but I’m not sure where to look for that.
 

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