The Expanse: Belter Vac Suit Build

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Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Oy beratnas!

I've decided to do a generic Belter costume from The Expanse for Halloween 2021. As opposed to my Apollo A7L suit for last Halloween (Apollo A7L Moon Suit), which was all scratch built this build will be a good mix of found parts, 3D printing, and sewing to complete it.

I want to acknowledge the great folks over on the Expanse Cosplay group on FB ( Facebook Groups ), where you can find a lot of files (STLs, graphics etc) that one needs for a build like this, as well as a good wealth of friendly expertise.

So onto it! First bit to do is the Chinese TK-1 high altitude helmet.

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Here is a photo of mine mostly stripped of components. A fair bit of grunt work, keeping in mind the paint is lead based!

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First component to be refinished was the inner mid faceplate. In the previous photo you'll notice that it was a lovely brown colour due to all the sealing wrap used on it. After stripping that off, leaving the part in coke overnight and a light sanding it was hit with a blast of aerosol graphite powder spray and buffed to give it a blackened (but worn) appearance. The outer two parts of this subassembly are getting a final coat of orange paint in the garage right now, more to follow.
 

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Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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Finished the painting on the front two shells, going for a black and orange color scheme. I found flexible strip lighting that runs off usb so that and the pictured fan are running off a USB powerpack.

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Have to complete the helmet with greeblies, headlamps etc then finish the paintjob before decals and weathering. Also need to find a lower profile fan, and a blowers for the air hose as this helmet fogs something special.
 
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Wailonskydog

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Saw your posts on the FB group. I'll definitely be following your build! And check out my current build thread for a Holden season 4 costume. I'm sure our research will overlap a lot.
 

Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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Found some adhesive foam tape at an auto supply store today, perfect fit for the empty groove left in the midplate after you tear out all the eroded sealing gaskets. This gives a nice clean finish and provides something for the faceplate to fit snug against, eliminating any rattle.

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This was the product used, note the size on the carton for an exact fit.
 

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Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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Got most of the greeblies on, and the shell painted. Stickers on, sparingly. My printer thundered in so delay on printing the vents and back piece.
 
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Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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Printer is back up and running after overnighting a new part. So this is the first attempt at an adapter for my 120mm 54CFM 5v USB fan that I was hoping would run the main air line into the helmet. Unfortunately, only a whisper of air comes through.

On the advice of several people more experienced in air flow than I, I'm currently printing off mk2 which looks as such:

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12 hour print, yikes I guess I'll know tomorrow.
 

Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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So mk2 didn't work, instead on advice of another builder I went with a snail fan, above is the adapter to literally fit a square peg into a round hole.

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And above is yhe whole setup, provides plenty of fresh cool air into the helmet.
 
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Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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External helmet lights printed and installed. Might have to put these on a on/off switch as they are pretty bright and I imagine no one's gonna want to chat with two lights shining in their eyes.

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Shot of the whole wiring harness for the helmet. I removed the secondary ventilation fan as it wasn't doing much and was noisy.

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The whole setup runs off a single USB cable.
 

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