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Old Jul 2 2016, 07:12 PM   #3777
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Zelandeth's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Milton Keynes
Gender: M
Fan of: Dragonsdawn
Now Reading: Working my way through the whole Pern series
Default Re: What is happening

Thermal management is probably the single biggest challenge when you're in suit.

You'll usually find that folks wear specialised clothing under the suit to assist in keeping cool (whether it be underarmour type stuff as used for some endurance sports or actual active cooling vests etc), and a lot of the heads have fans in to help keep some airflow going there.

I've already got the fan planned in, but will probably be picking up some of the fancy pants phase change cooling vests (they're apparently massively effective and will basically stay at 15C or thereabouts for several hours), though that's going to have to wait a little while as at a few hundred pounds they ain't cheap. ...Though to be honest, there is absolutely nothing about this hobby that is cheap! You learn that quite early on!

Even so, the biggest danger generally is overheating and dehydration so you need to A: Know your own limits, and B: Be careful.

That's why at the half way point we had a break at a secluded location where the suiters were able to take their heads off and cool down a bit. We try to avoid head removal wherever possible so as to avoid breaking the magic where practical.

It's also one of those areas where you might want to be a bit clever about designing the character - if you have a suit which is mainly black or a similarly dark colour direct sunlight is suddenly going to become your worst enemy! This is one of the reasons that the one I'm currently working on (who has yet to be named for certain) is predominantly white! ...When I do come back to make Zel's final one it's a headache I will have to face mind you!

Does make me wonder though how they manage at Anthrocon (6000 odd attendees!) which is held in Pittsburgh and at the start of July (they're probably just wrapping things up right now actually thinking about it), where it's wicked hot to start with never mind trying to wear a suit. I'd definitely be staying inside the convention centre there I reckon!

Common challenge number two is that almost every suit is similar with respect to the fact that once the head is on that you will have absolutely zero peripheral vision, and many have a large blind spot straight ahead as well. Environmental public enemy number one immediately becomes waist high bollards, and number two is stairs.
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