I decided to make my life easy again by manufacturing a quick little jig to help me drill the holes I needed through my bottlecaps at a fixed distance and orientation so that it’d be easier to put them together and drape them over the shoulder. Worked like a charm!
With the bottle caps slightly trimmed down and ringed together a bit tighter, the whole thing fits properly on my pad now. I’ll figure out how I want to attach them in the next day or two. It looks like the reference images I have show that some of the caps are actually riveted to the shoulder pad.
Since the shoulder pad itself is made of that acrylic plastic from the beverage jug, I’ll have to test it to make sure it’ll stand up to riveting without just cracking or shattering in the process. Would be a shame to ruin all that work!
Lastly, I’m playing with a bit of an idea…
I figured I could make use of the gas mask hose, the space in the air bladder, and the fact that my mask has openings for the hoses to rig up a rudimentary air conditioning system. I know from previous years at NYCC that the temperatures can be sweltering, and I’m basically going to be wearing a human blister pack, so any cooling helps.
I’m shooting for 60mm fans that can run off a 12v source since I have a number of rechargable batteries. I’m working on the air intake ideas, but generally speaking I think I can hide these in the airbag and let them blow a bit of comforting positive air pressure into my face. The fans in particular I have here are not quite strong enough, though – the standing air in the hoses and the reduction from 60mm down to the diameter of the hose means that there’s a lot of static pressure and back pressure in the assembly, and these little fans don’t quite have the oomph. They move air, but only barely enough to be noticeable through the mask. I’m going to look into sourcing some other fans with a bit higher pressure and CFM rating. If I’m lucky and this harebrained idea works, I’ll have a much better time wearing this whole getup!