The Expanse: Belter Vac Suit Build

Kokanee

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Finally, helmet and airpack together at last! I ended up tearing apart the internal wiring in my helmet and made the internal lights and external lights seperate circuits. Now while wearing the costume I can pop off the faceplate and it will hang by the breathing tube off the shoulder, while still allowing me to wear the rest of the helmet. Internal lights are run off a usb power pack in the airpack along with the air supply fan, and the external helmet lights are run off a 3v coin battery with an on/off switch.

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I debated for a while about how to approach the wrist mounted status display. I know it's common to use a phone to display a graphic, but I wanted this component to be as simple as possible and not have to disassemble it every time I wear it, and i'm planning on three events (one convention, two halloween related).

The solution was to make a static display with some plastic sheet, a printed transparency and a sheet of printer paper as a diffuser. An internal LED backlight module is run off a 3v coin battery . Just waiting on some elastic material to come in and I'll whip up a velcro strap for mounting and we're done.

This project is almost done! Left to do:

- Finish modifications to harness (waiting on QR buckle);
- Wrist mounted flashlight mount;
- Harness mounted shoulder and forward facing lights; and
- Sew OPA patch on vacsuit.
 

Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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All buttoned up for a "thermal load test", ie "Will I pass out in this?". This costume is HOT. Hotter than my Apollo A7L suit and that was made from four layers of heavy dity nylon with cotton batting to boot. But it's manageable, thankfully getting really good airflow through the new breathing tube and some anti-fog did the trick so the visor stays clear. Going to cut down the neoprene diving cap to more of a neck gaitor style and get a short haircut before I wear this though.
 

Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I was recently commissioned to do a belter helmet for another Expanse fan in New Zealand! I now have to go back and redo my helmet as its complete rubbish compared to this new one:

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Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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Helmet stripped down, primered then major components attached with hot glue and bondo

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And after removal of a good amount of the extra bondo, glazing putty to smooth everything out and repair dings and scratches from the removal process.
 

Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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Finally, to the painting! Took a lot of work with glazing putty to get everything "just so" on this shell, but finally I managed to get to the painting last night. Hopefully will get the final components like the headlamps installed, stickers on and weathering done this weekend. With daytime temps hovering around 12-15c (that's 57f in freedom eagles for you yanks) it's getting a bit cold to be painting so I am glad to be finishing this up.
 

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