The Sci-fi Spacesuit Discussion Thread


Master Member
Yes, not bad as suit; better than the ones in the UFO series.

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That suit used previously on another Anderson venture, Journey to the Far Side of the Sun.

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Sr Member
Moon - Ok design. Nothing special, but looks practical. Helmet needed a sun visor though. You would get a serious sun burn in only a few minutes if exposed to the direct sunlight.
I have one of Sam Bell’s visors in my collection. Thanks to the scuff marks, it screen-matches to two scenes: the helmet that “old Sam” puts on after crashing the rover, as well as the one placed back on him before he’s returned to the crashed rover in the end. Presumably it appeared elsewhere as well, prior to acquiring the scuffs. Moon's helmets were built primarily by Chris Hayes under the direction of Bill Pearson, who sculpted the original maquette based on a concept by Tony Noble. Agreed it's not the most striking design, but I think still laudable considering the meager budget.

Good call on the missing sun visor. They also forgot microphones in the communication cap, which seriously bugged the conceptual/graphic designer Gavin Rothery while serving as Rockwell's suited stunt double. He referred to it as his "space-baby-bonnet."


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Sr Member
The issue with so many of these suits is a desire to make obvious the underlying mechanics. Today’s audience is much more savvy having lived through several generations of actual space-flight technologies and demands more realistic portrayals. Pumps, pipes, straps, motors, etc. are elements of all spacesuits, but we wouldn’t necessarily see these. A simple protective outer-layer would score points with Fire, Life, Safety
Don't be too sure. Sci-Fi spacesuits in film today make many mistakes and reuse the same tropes. We have designers always wanting the "space suit hoses". Because the Apollo suits are etched into our minds, people seem to want the hoses. Apollo suits had to work inside the spacecraft, as well as on the surface, and spacewalks. The hoses were a necessity of the suits multirole design, but people still think all spacesuits should have them.


Sr Member
Spacesuit #3: Planeta Bur (1962)

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This film is known in the United States as Planet of the Storms, Planet of Storms, Planet of Tempests, Planeta Burg, and Storm Planet (according to Wikipedia). Much of its footage was used in the American television features Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet and Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women.


I think this is a really underrated film(s) and the spacesuits in my opinion look awesome, especially for their time. They have an industrial Russian design to them – which makes sense since this is a Russian made movie.

The helmets hit that line of “almost too big” but do not cross it in my mind. I like that they have visibility all the way around. It’s not practical, I suppose, but it looks great on film.

The suits have a utilitarian look to them. I really like the varied use of textured ribbing and multiple layers. Spacesuits in movies in the United States at this time seemed to be jumpsuits with little to no layering.

The chest piece that connects to the helmet looks nice, although that giant headlight catches your attention. LOL On the other hand, it does make some level of sense in a sci-fi film that a large light might be mounted to your chest to see what’s in front of you.

The backpacks are pretty cool. I think this is the first large antenna we’ve seen.

They even tried to disguise the boots a little, to make them more futuristic.

My history with this movie is kind of interesting. One night really late I saw on a message board a user thumbnail that was one of these helmets. The image was so small, Google image couldn’t find a match. So I emailed one of my good friends who is a classic sci-fi and spacesuit lover and asked if he had ever seen the helmet before. He told me he had seen it, that it was from either a French or Russian sci-fi film. That was enough for me to locate online the name of the movie and all of its various American names and variations.

I’ve misplaced my copy of Planet of Storms, so I pulled screenshots from my copy of Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet.

Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, can we give some points to the awesome robot in this movie! The first time I watched this film, I immediately wanted to build this robot out of Legos for my space minifigs to ride. LOL


Sr Member
I like the look of these suits as well.
These like the red TOS suits above make me think the environment they are being worn in is not a hard vacuum. Just like diving in water, where you need different equipment for the increase in depth and pressure, same for "spacesuits". Even pressure suits today are rated for different levels of atmospheric pressure.
A suit designed for a planet with partial pressure can be significantly different for one with no atmosphere. So a suit in a film could be anything from a "Bio-Hazard" suit all they way up to a full pressure suit.


Sr Member
One thing I noticed about the "Doppelganger"/"UFO" suits, is that when they are suppose to be in a vacuum they pad the suits to make them puff out.



Sr Member
Today’s video from Tested is Adam talking sci-if spacesuits (specifically the Armageddon suit) with spacesuit collector Stephen Lane.

I hope they do individual videos of all of the suits in this collection. I’ve been freeze framing most of the morning trying to ID the suits in the background. So amazingly cool.

Also, if anyone worked on the Armageddon suits, Adam makes a call out for more information.


Sr Member
*cough lmgill cough*

This should help with suit ID:
We built the helmets, and we were contracted to build the suits, but the costume designer threw us under the bus.
We had refused to do the helmets only, and the producer asked why? We explained, it had been our experience that when the components are made in separate shops by different people, the elements don't work well together, and a spacesuit costume is a complex unit where everything needs to work. If we had weeks to prototype, this may be different.
The costume designer was hired by production a few weeks after we had been hired and the art department had already designed the suits. We kept calling to see when she was coming over so we could start on the suits. We were told they were tweaking the suit design.
The helmets had been in production for a couple of weeks by this point. She finally showed up at the shop on a Monday, the suit drawings were exactly the same drawings we had for weeks. She told us she had a meeting on Wednesday with Michael Bay, to approve the suit prototype.
We at first assumed the following week, but no. She gave us 2 days to make a prototype. We of course said no way but she insisted she needed something.
Of course Michael hated what he saw. In a private meeting she told Bay and the Executive producer she had given us the approved design 2 weeks ago and this is all we had made. (we didn't learn of this until weeks later)
The suits were taken away from Global and moved to their "in-house" costume department. Then we heard the other hardware (backpacks and chest packs were jobbed out to another company. Since we had to supply air systems we were more than a bit surprised that we had not been asked to do them. This company (do not know who) apparently screwed them up and they were taken away from them and given to NeoTek.
The packs were cast in heavy resin and had custom made machined aluminum battery packs. In all the packs weighed a lot. (Not being worried about weight, was one of the issues we used to see with "Prop shops" building costume elements)
Meanwhile, the suits were made from extremely thick industrial fabrics and when quilted, the shrinking of the pieces was not considered or improperly calculated. Before shooting the cast was not fitted in the suits and the first time they were used was in the middle of nowhere, in the Badlands of South Dakota.
So now the suits are all too tight, they weigh a ton, the backpacks are even heavier. To make the situation worse, NeoTek installed our fans at the bottoms of the backpacks with multiple bends and kinks in the supply hose. The fans were very quite fairly low output because early on, the sound department had a huge issue with the sound the original fans made, so we tested lighter fans and they were approved, but we stipulated they needed to be a close to the helmets as possible to insure the proper amount of airflow.
So you can see how this is adding up to a disaster. If it needed to be worse, the lighting department insisted on using what at that time were the smallest HMI light made mon the helmets. A European company made them, and they cost $15,000.
What no one told me, is when you shut these lights down, they take 4-8 minutes to cool down enough so they will re-fire. So, every time there was a battery swap, a make up touchup, or the helmets need to come off, we had to wait for the lights to cool down.

When NeoTek shut down, we ended up with a bunch of molds and spare parts for these suits.


Sr Member
Thanks lmgill for sharing such a detailed account – what a fiasco! I know I’ve heard similar stories of costumers being forced to turn in rushed jobs due to communication abruptly shifting from “hold your horses” to “you’re holding us up.” Even 2 weeks doesn’t sound like much, let alone 2 days!

At least overall I think the final products looked good together on screen (even if Global could’ve achieved an identical look with a fraction of the stress). And Adam makes a valid point about the helmets; the degree of visibility and complexity of the visor shape does seem pretty advanced for the 90s.

Do you recall any particular challenges in forming the Armageddon visors?


Sr Member
Thanks lmgill for sharing such a detailed account – what a fiasco! I know I’ve heard similar stories of costumers being forced to turn in rushed jobs due to communication abruptly shifting from “hold your horses” to “you’re holding us up.” Even 2 weeks doesn’t sound like much, let alone 2 days!

At least overall I think the final products looked good together on screen (even if Global could’ve achieved an identical look with a fraction of the stress). And Adam makes a valid point about the helmets; the degree of visibility and complexity of the visor shape does seem pretty advanced for the 90s.

Do you recall any particular challenges in forming the Armageddon visors?
I have made a lot of visors , and these were a bit challenging, but not in the way you might think.
As I said, I have made a lot of visors, (Space X, Daft Punk, NASA) and I knew these were achievable, but the tooling is a bit labor intensive.
But when we started the Armageddon helmets, it was pointed out to me, that Michael may want to change them, so the first helmet should be considered a "prototype".
At this meeting, I showed the production team the other helmets and visors we had produced, including 24k gold plated Shuttle visors, that have to be perfect or the gold looks awful. I told them that because this first helmet would be a "Prototype" , I was going the vacuum form the visors and it would not have the optical purity of the final visor, as tooling for this would be expensive, and until we settled on the final helmet shape, I didn't want to spend the additional time.
I show up with the prototype and it goes over well, except the visor.
Some of the production heads start freaking out about the waviness in the visor, and the fact the visor isn't optically perfect. I remind them of what I had said earlier, and assured them the visors would be as perfect as the other examples I had shown them.
"No, no, no, this won't work, we need to find someone to make these visors perfect". "But guys, I, can make them perfect." I was speaking Chinese apparently, as no one heard me.
"We have a deal with Swiss Army, optical division, we will see if they can , make them." "No, I don't think so. I suggested, this is not at all the same technology or process, and I have visors for NASA." "What, you doubt that a huge company like Swiss Army couldn't make these!?"
The meeting ended and they were clearly panicked about the visors, but liked everything else for the most part. So we could proceed with the helmets, and make proper visor tooling.
After a day or two, we got a call from production and heard, "swiss army can't make them". "I'm sorry what?" "Swiss Army Optical has no way of making visors this big.
After a week or two, we had a final version and brought it too production. "Wow, these visors look Great!." (eye roll)
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Sr Member
I had not watched the video. After watching it, a couple of notes.
The neck rings were nearly exact copies of the Apollo A7Lb helmet disconnects. (you can swap a real NASA helmet in and out of these)
We had been making these for our Apollo suit replicas and made 26 more and had them anodized grey / black. Adam was looking right at our logo on the lock block. It's a riff on the Airlock Industries logo. (Airlock makes the real hardware)
The Gloves were just our latex Apollo IVA gloves and glove disconnects, they had additional cording and panels glued on them.
Stephen mentions weight, these were heavy because it doesn't seem to be something the prop shop and costume shop considered and there were no lighter stunt Versions.
The fan is load because after the Badlands disaster, the fan system was readdressed and now the sound department didn't have a say. We fabricated a vacuum fan system for NeoTek and they installed it. This vacuum fan created a low pressure area at the front of the helmet and increased to air flow from the main fan. The noise is from this vacuum fan (a small 2": ducted blower) which was mounted at the top of the backpack.
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