Generic Belter suit from The Expanse on a shoestring (WIP)


First time build for me from scratch, my WIP Belter suit. I have one other cosplay but that is made from multiple sources/kits, like the amazing BenofKent and Nickatron, (a ghostbuster). This is all from raw stuff, own 3d prints and me bar the hand terminal someone on the RPF made :)

I love space suits but I am no where near the skill level of those who inspired this build, Adam Savage, Ryan Negatta, the just try it appraoch of the Smugglers Room and others. However I am having a go, its a low budget build, not going for accuracy but instead for something that looks like its from the same universe. How would it go if they needed a few quick costumes for background shots here in the UK for no cash...

The gritty realism of the explanse belters really appeals to me, but sadly the 'original' parts are well outside what I can afford. I have spent some time gathering bits n bobs, all in the £20 - £50 every couple of months for the last year, so I have some stuff to play with. Now its time to try and pull it together over the Christmas break.

Belter Suit 1 (Small).jpg

First challange was my helmet, I was working (very slowly) on a Dr Who inspired spacesuit helment from the files here on the RPF (Doctor Who Yellow Space Helmet). I had a few bits on, re-routed the air system and done a base coat of yellow as the original was ex army and black. Wonderfully beat up and seriously cheap. However then I ran into The Expanse, and all plans changed...

The helmet still needs a lot of work, I switched the sides to foam (first ever time using it) rather than using the 3D prints, as belters helmets are quite different. I think they need a little more work to finish then paint, but its getting there. I made them with a paper template, once it was roughly right it was copied to foam and cut out. Its bolted in place through the side of the helmet. I also filled all the holes from the original face seal with small black bolts as they look cool.

I kept the blue chin piece from Dr Who, will wire that up as I like it. Its a 3d print, with a front plate from an old CD case scratched up with sandpaper. I have high hopes that once its lit, stickered and weathered it will look 'ok' for the universe.

For the jumpsuit I am a big guy at 6ft 5in and while I own a sewing machine, building a vacsuit is well above my punching weight. After a lot of hunting online I came across X police riot suits which were also goretex. (Remploy Civil Responder 1). So hopefully, they will cope with a days wear without drenching me in sweat, and the outside is a wonderful solid/rough material that just screams 'space suit' to me.

I will need a cool vest for underneath, not found the solution for that yet any suggestions (UK side of pond) welcomed.

For the 'harness' I could not afford the real fall arrest harness from the show, so located the cheapest harness I could on ebay (£25 area). Its orange and blue and just webbing, no pretty padded areas. Watching season six I see some belters have orange harness parts. So hoping when fully 'gunked up' / weathered it will pass muster.

It's been through a few iterations. Initially it was too small for me to fit so I sewed extensions into the leg elements (saved from a velcro / webbing wrap my mattress came in). Re-watching the detective in his vacsuit setting charges, I noticed the shoulders looked like my old airsoft webtex crossdraw vest. So today the harness got fully dismantled, a serated blade made short work of the original stitching, then routed through the vest. This needed a few 'holes and some hand sewing, but I think its coming together. Hard to see as both suit and harness vest are black, but in person it looks quite good and it feels right to wear, almost 'practical'.

I still need to build an arm computer. I need to fit some form of air blower into the motorbike pack I found on ebay (£20 area). Work out how to connect it to the helmet (I have a £7 gas mask hose from Ebay to try and link) and sew some more belt buckles to both it and harness. There is the helmet stuff to finish, and a lot of weathering (likely brown acrylic paint for the harness and helmet, silver / brown sprays for the jumpsuit) and arm patches / belter tattoo's to design.

While the sidearm is great, I also need to make it con-safe. This is the UK, so I am thinking of doing just the grip and perm fitting it to the holster, then there is no firearm, realistic or otherwise to cause me issues with the law (for now its just an old airsoft springer thats close to right look).

So a bit of a 'hi there' post, I will add more detail as I find what works and doesn't. I am no expert maker, but I hope something of what I find for this is useful to someone out there, or just a mildly interesting read and to see you at a con one day if I ever finish this!

Belter Suit 3 (Small).jpg
Belter Suit 2 (Small).jpg
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