My A7L apollo space suit

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by chameloon, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. chameloon

    chameloon Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    OK, let's make a post...please bear with me and not so frequent updates. I've been on and off this project for over a year, trying to find the way to engineer things and solve problems to give the suit volume, hook the backpack to the suit without pulling it up...

    All started with a suit bought on Ebay...everything was off, dimensions, pockets... but connectors and helmet look nice, so I'll keep them and re-do the rest.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then time to ask help from my mother for the sewing. Lot of pictures and documentations were needed to get the most accurate suit:

    [​IMG]

    And here is the final result, minus the patches:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    In the meantime I worked on the PLSS, using NASA blueprints for dimensions:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And the RCU:
    [​IMG]

    I had to carve the buttons out of wood:
    [​IMG]

    Before making casts: with "aluminium powder-loaded" resin. Once sanded, it gives a nice aluminium finish...
    [​IMG]

    Here is a first prototype of the OPS lever that has been 3D printed then painted:
    [​IMG]

    And the camera hook in front of the RCU:
    [​IMG]

    I now have all the parts done for the RCU, I will work on the cloth cover before assembling it.

    In the meantime, I worked on the "filling of the suit".Took me months to find the right solution for me. I wanted a half rigid, easilly removable option...so I made an inner armour in EVA foam (that will soon be covered with a layer of padding, to cut the angles and give more "natural" volume). The padded shoulder pads have a velcro stripe on the inner side, that link the arms and the torso, still allowing movement. I'm now working on the wrist parts...that will be attached by velcro as well to the suit's wrist section.

    [​IMG]

    I know my step by step looks messy, working on all the parts at once, with none 100% finished...but I will update as soon as I progress. I will now focus on the suit itself. Adding the connectors, giving volume to the legs, installing an inner harness to support the weight of the PLSS (all its weight will land on one single ring on the torso)... Well, a lot of work ahead of me, and I go very slowly... But I will keep you updated!
     
    Picard1138 and Shrubpig like this.
  2. Mr. Nagata

    Mr. Nagata Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,560
    Awesome! Love that OPS lever.
     
  3. chameloon

    chameloon Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    Thanks! It was drawn in fact as a single part (vs. the real one that moves). But it makes the trick :) The coiled spring was added later, and not 3D printed

    [​IMG]
     
  4. FreddeHamm

    FreddeHamm New Member

    Trophy Points:
    2
    can you name the seller of the costume on eBay? If its forbidden in a forum post, can you write me a message?
     
  5. chameloon

    chameloon Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    I "dry" placed the connectors, to see how it would work securing the inner "foam armour" to the outer layer:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Upper part of the suit now has the propper volume...awfully hot, but comfortable to wear, and allowing movements:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Utri, knnyjay, Picard1138 and 2 others like this.
  6. chameloon

    chameloon Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    The PLSS cover is complete. Missing patches and snap buttons only

    [​IMG]
     
    Utri and Shrubpig like this.
  7. p51

    p51 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,525
    I love your fix to the 'deflated' look that these off the shelf copies have. I always thought you could use one of those anti-mosquito suits they used to use in Alaska in the summertime, which wouldn't get you too hot, but this bent sheet plastic looks great as well.
     
  8. chameloon

    chameloon Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    Still in progress, I'm a bit behind schedule for the OPS building, so in the meantime I started weathering the suit:
    P_20151108_134532.jpg
    P_20151108_134555.jpg
     
    Shrubpig likes this.
  9. Yeats

    Yeats Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    342
    Im a noob. What are those red and blue things called? I know there connectors for tubes but they must have a NASA name.
     
  10. chameloon

    chameloon Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    I'm not a native English speaker...I would call them suit connectors...
     
  11. lmgill

    lmgill Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,060
    Looks very good. The connectors are know as PLSS disconnects and they are for- O2 (Oxygen), Water (cooling) and electrical. Red is O2 in, Blue is O2 out or water (the one opposite the electrical connector).
     
  12. Yeats

    Yeats Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    342
    Thanks
     
  13. Vespamonkey

    Vespamonkey New Member

    Trophy Points:
    3
    You mentioned that the original suit and helmet were purchased from Ebay. Can you tell us what company they came from? Any chance of a picture or two of their helmet showing various views and possibly the inside? Looking to buy a helmet and finding very few detailed pictures from the few people selling them. Your suit is looking great. Anxious to see it all come together. Thanks.
     
  14. chameloon

    chameloon Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    You can find it easilly by typing "apollo spacesuit" (highest price first)...As far as I know there is only one seller. That is * hard to reach by the way. Just keep in mind it is very inaccurate...I had to redo almost everything.
    Here are view of the helmet that looks pretty OK (I didn't work on it yet to enhance it):
    [​IMG]

    And a little update on the PLSS/OPS. Almost complete. WIll have to work on labels, weathering... Slowly getting there...
    [​IMG]
     
    knnyjay likes this.
  15. Vespamonkey

    Vespamonkey New Member

    Trophy Points:
    3
    Thanks for the additional pictures of the helmet. Your PLSS is looking really great.
    Going to first put myself together a basic (cheap) suit and helmet for an event this Summer, with the hopes of a more accurate suit to follow. Priorities will have my emphasis on the conversion of a golf cart into a 3/4 scale, operable electric Lunar rover...I'll be sure to post pictures of that build here on the RPF. Again, impressive work on your suit.
     
  16. Lear60man

    Lear60man Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    2,890
    I got the same suit, threw away the PLSS (after saving the fabric) and started making upgrades. Do you have the ability to make another OPS lever?

    To keep cool, I made a vest with pockets on the outside. I filled the pockets with reusable gel ice packs.
     
  17. chameloon

    chameloon Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    The RCU is now complete and weathered:


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    knnyjay, p51 and Mike J. like this.
  18. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    2,455
    Drool...
     
  19. p51

    p51 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,525
    You're making Al Bean's suit from Apollo 12? SO COOL!
    He's a really great guy in real life, heck he called me a while back on a project I had written to him for an opinion. You can't imagine my surprise when the phone rang and my wife and answered, held the phone to her hand and asked, "It's someone named Al Bean, you wanna talk to him?"
    Great call. I hadn't used the word, "Sir" as many times in a call since I was still an Army captain.
    Yes, I geeked out and took this photo afterward:
    1117132102-1.jpg
     
    Ronpur and Picard1138 like this.
  20. chameloon

    chameloon Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    Yes, I'm making A. Bean's suit from Apollo 12. He's my favorite moonwalker, so it is a way to pay him homage, in a way...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
    knnyjay likes this.
  21. chameloon

    chameloon Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    Made major step those last days. The suit is almost complete, now have to work on small details, gloves, helmet...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    knnyjay likes this.
  22. Snow Builder

    Snow Builder Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,626
    Absolutely gorgeous!
     
  23. moonspacesuits

    moonspacesuits New Member

    Trophy Points:
    2
    Excellent job with your space suit! Making a high fidelity suit is not easy and you did a fantastic job without the benefit of molds or sample pieces. Very impressive. We make the consumer grade suit that you purchased for people and groups that do not need a highly accurate and detailed suit and price it affordably. Glad that you could use some of the pieces from it for your high fidelity suit.
    Cole
     
  24. chameloon

    chameloon Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    Thanks Cole, I've been trying for ages to contact you for some extra fabric/fingertips to end the gloves... Could you help?
     
  25. Vespamonkey

    Vespamonkey New Member

    Trophy Points:
    3
    I can only assume that the velcro and snaps surrounding the gas connectors and such would be for a protective cover while the suit was stowed. Haven't seen any archive photos of such a cover, anyone have pictures?
     
  26. chameloon

    chameloon Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    I asked this exact question on another forum:
    http://www.collectspace.com/ubb/Forum14/HTML/001208.html
     
  27. moonspacesuits

    moonspacesuits New Member

    Trophy Points:
    2
  28. lmgill

    lmgill Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,060
    As for the Velcro & Snaps; Yes it is for a cover, although many posting at Collect space seem confused, those snaps and Velcro were intended to facilitate the attachment of a cove to protect the O2 connections. Lunar regolith (dirt) is very sharp and can cause all sorts of problems. The moon has no atmosphere, so the "dust and "dirt" has never been tumbles by wind or rain, so it's very sharp, smashed volcanic rock. Think glass; on earth, beach glass has been polished by tumbling in the surf & sand so it has no edges, freshly broken glass is very sharp. So you have Earths dirt or sand - tumbled, Moon's regolth- not tumbled, so very sharp. It was determined the covers were not needed, but the Velcro and snaps (with their Teflon washers) remained.
    Here is a photo of this cover as seen from the outside. The extra fabric to the right is to wrap around the hoses going to the PLSS.
    A7L-connector-cover.jpg
     
  29. Sourdoh

    Sourdoh Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,730
    Having seen the real thing, this build is just superb.
     
  30. p51

    p51 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,525
    Agreed. I've seen the majority of existing A7 suits (and handled a couple of training ones). This replica is really good. Here's a shot of "Smiling Al's" Apollo 14 suit he walked on the moon in:
    IMG_4996800x533_zpse7da5cea.jpg
     
  31. Utri

    Utri Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    262
    Did you just kinda make it by eye or did you create patterns? The one thing holding me back at this point is I fear I'll get stuck half way through. Is there a guide somewhere on how to make patterns from pictures?

    I can sew pieces together just fine, I just need to know what to cut out!

    Your build is amazing, also.
     
  32. chameloon

    chameloon Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    Hello, I did mostly by eye, but also usedDarkJedi1500 pics...He had access to a real A7L and took some measurements on some parts (pockets, etc...). Very helpful.
     
    Utri likes this.
  33. chameloon

    chameloon Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    Put the complete suit on a rudimentary PVC pipes mannequin yesterday to shoot pictures (hence the "rigid" look):

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Still got to work on helmet and gloves (the fingertips and a few details are still temporary)
     
    Utri and Farrellk08 like this.
  34. Utri

    Utri Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    262
    Daggum that's pretty.

    Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
     
  35. Lear60man

    Lear60man Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    2,890
    For the price, these suits are great platforms for modification and come out great.
     
  36. chameloon

    chameloon Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    First test fittings :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Utri likes this.
  37. Utri

    Utri Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    262
    What a beaut!

    Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
     
  38. Mikesweb

    Mikesweb New Member

    Trophy Points:
    2
    Cameroon fantastic suit! Do you make any parts to sell? I would love to buy the ops lever, dial, etc for the RCU chest pack
     
  39. chameloon

    chameloon Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    261
    Thanks, contact me via PM, I may be able to help you with some remaining resin casts...
     
  40. duncanr

    duncanr New Member

    Trophy Points:
    2
    Hi,
    How did you make the PLSS? what is the fabric used?

    Thanks
    Duncan
     
  41. Lear60man

    Lear60man Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    2,890

    Ill tell you how I made mine. PVC pipe from underground sprinklers either .25 or .5 inch for the frame. The used plastic corrigated yard signs for the front/back/sides/bottom. Cut to size and pop rivits. Ridgid and light weight.
     
  42. duncanr

    duncanr New Member

    Trophy Points:
    2
    Hi Lear60man,
    Thank you for your reply. I will have a look around the internet to try and find some data. Perhaps make a fibreglass mould.
     
  43. Lear60man

    Lear60man Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    2,890
    In my opinion, way too much work as it will be covered in 'Beta Cloth'. The PVC frame, and corrugated siding is tough, light weight and you can knock it out in 2 hours. You will be in Earth gravity.....so light is good. If it was heavier, it will pull the PLSS RCU up around your neck unless you set up a good strapping system like the original. Then it will ride up on your man parts.

    Here is an example of the siding. I just bought what was available at the DYI store because it was cheap. If you take off my PLSS cover, you will see 'No Parking etc' hahah.

    White Corrugated Plastic Sign Blank

    But, If you want to go for accuracy, I think the PLSS shells were injection molded. Vacuforming could give you accurate results. The shells were a pale navy blue IIRC.
     
  44. duncanr

    duncanr New Member

    Trophy Points:
    2
    Thank you once again for your reply. I will look at going with your design. The nest thing would be the Beta cloth or something that looks like it. I am in the UK and i cannot find any suitable suppliers here. I am going to purchase the suit from ebay and may have to modify it as per this thread.
     
  45. gothic

    gothic Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,426
    wow, that could not have been easy sourcing all that
     

Share This Page