Full Circle

The Chest Pack

© 2001 Ken Warren

© 2001 G. Anderson

Bowman at the AE-35

Bowman in a pod talking with HAL

by Gordon Callahan

Bowman beyond the infinite

The chest pack is, I think, one of the elements I got closest.  There is one major error: the pack is orange.  I made it yellow because my first few screen captures were in odd lighting, so the packs looked yellow.  And I never looked back.  For the Balticon presentation, I hadn't yet attached the jet-pack control handle, but you can see the one I used at WorldCon in Ken Warren's shot at the top.

The pack superstructure is a single piece of cardboard, scored with an X-Acto knife and folded into a box shape.  The center channel is simply cut and folded down.  There is a trap door cut in the back to make working on interior elements easier.  The cardboard is covered with yellow posterboard, and the walls for the center channel are simply posterboard slid into the center of the box and taped in place.

Folding posterboard, of course, leaves plenty of small gaps and imprecision; I closed all the gaps and smoothed all the ridges with yellow electrical tape.  It's obvious from up close, but completely invisible on stage.

The green display panel is a section of a quilting template mounted on green craft foam (craft foam is basically a sheet of rubbery foam, colored, which can be cut into manageable segments).  The black panels and the white object on the side are also craft foam.  The writing on the black panels is just dashes made of Wite-Out - I could never find out what it was supposed to say anyway.

The knobs, buttons and elements inside the hexagons are all glass mirrors we had lying around.  You can see, on the left of the second picture, the hose nipple we used to connect to the ribbed, black tubing, which attached to the suit.  For Balticon, I couldn't find usable tubing, and showed without it.  But I found a manufacturer who sent me a complimentary 10 feet of perfect tubing before WorldCon, and it worked great.

The round sliders on the black panel are simply sections of a circular piece of styrofoam. 

You can see the mission insignia visible on the top of the pack.

A high-quality shot of Frank Poole, completely suited up, is available here from the Starship Modeler web site, which shows a very nice look at the side and front of the pack.

The shoulder straps are 1.5" black webbing bought at REI (a camping and hiking store), attached to D-rings.  The D-rings are connected to the chest pack with hair pins which straddle the ring, punch through the cardboard, and are bent and taped flat on the inside.  The back pack is similarly fastened, so you can't separate the two packs any more.

The crotch straps are the same material, but join together on a plastic triangle, which has a single strap coming out to attach to a buckle.  The movie seems to have used a buckle more like an automobile seatbelt buckle, but I used what was convenient (and comfortable).

Continue on to the back pack section

Return to the previous page
Send me mail