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Post Reply Cosplay in the Heat!
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Posted 9/5/13
So, after a recent convention I've run into a slight problem. Down here in Texas the current month is Hot, but not too hot.

Me and my partner are going to start up our next cosplay, hoping to be ready by A-con, the most summer of summer Con's down here, and the one I'm worried about.


See, we're a fan of Mecha cosplay, and we've got enough Eva foam to build whatever we want, but we lack the know how to keep cool in this cosplay suit from hell.


Anybody got any tips for cooling down in these hefty cosplays?
Dragon Mod
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Posted 9/6/13
Not sure if any of these will help, but...

Bodysuit - not sure what you're wearing under the mecha, but some dancewear is designed to keep you cooler so long as you keep moving. Might be worth looking in to if you haven't already, since it'll also cover up joints under the armor.

Cool packs - wear a backpack or fanny packs under the armor that keep some cool gelpacks near you to help keep down the heat. Just be sure to change them every hour or two, and don't let one cold spot fool you into thinking your whole body is nice and chilly.

Fans - if you go to Radio Shack or other stores, you can probably get a small CPU fan to help keep some airflow, especially good in the head. They're usually just a couple of volts, so a pair of AA batteries should run them just fine. My fursuit friends all use these. The noise is pretty minor from the fans, probably no one will hear them at all.

Hydration - keep drinking. It's way too easy to get dehydrated while in any costume, but especially full body ones like these.

Other tips?
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Posted 9/7/13
I was planning to go with a basic Morphsuit, as decent as it was here in August, A-con happens to be in Early June AND part of the con is outside. As amazing as the Anatole looks, it's hot as hell.

The cool-packs seem rather effective yet brute-forcey. You're keeping cool by carrying ice you strapped to you. Useful but, changing them every hour? You be cray-zay man.

Fans could work, and electronics aren't difficult to work with. As long as I pick the right suit it should be rather easy.

Hydration is always important. I always carry about 3 Bottles of Water with me, and refill them whenever they get empty. The Sheraton which Animefest was held had such an overabundance of water, they KNEW we'd need it, and damn it was nice.

Water-coolers be everywhere yo.

I like the fan idea.
Dragon Mod
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Posted 9/7/13
True, the cool packs are something of a last resort - I also find they make you think you're feeling cooler than you really are, which can be dangerous. Changing them out isn't always bad, though.. getting in and out of costume every few hours is a pain, but it also gets you a bathroom break and food/drink time, and a breather to decide if you're up to more time in costume.

But yeah, fans are simple and wiring them up is pretty much "attach fan to battery pack, maybe add a switch". Soldering is optional, but would be good, since having a fan cut out on you while you're on the con floor is a pain.
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Posted 9/7/13
Who said anything about a Con Floor?

It's all about the Dance floor man.



Thats my friends Canti Costume, after about 3 hours of "dancing like a mad man" at the Con Rave thingy, he only partially destroyed it.

What you don't see is the pile of sweat around his legs, or the pieces of the cosplay we had to take off to give him air. OR the fact that he would dance straight no water no break for 3 hours if you didn't make sure he got water.

I got weird friends.
Dragon Mod
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Posted 9/7/13 , edited 9/7/13
Ohhhh, at a dance at a con! I see now.. but it sounds like you already know how most people handle that kind of situation Drink when you can, deal with a lot of sweat, lose armor as needed, have a lot of fun!
The Judge
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Posted 9/19/13 , edited 9/19/13
To heck with cool!! You'd fit right in as a Hot Pot ingredient!!

For right now, take a break from the dance floor and join the hunt
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Posted 12/28/13
hey, that guy in the canti costume was me!
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Posted 12/29/13
There are a couple ways to keep cool in mecha. First and foremost is of course as recommended is the underneath clothing. Breathable and light. Doesn't even need to be expensive, but there is sportswear designed for this.

Second with mecha is of course venting, and this can require a bit of planning. Essentially mesh at bottom, then CPU fans work well for exhaust draw. Bit of resistor planning, you can use simple drill battery packs or similar to run them. Quick swap, more fan flow. Fortunately, modern mecha is nice and angular making it easier to hide.

Double bonus is that there is tech I use for another hobby. If you get airflow, this is an example of something. But if you really want to know about cooling accessories, hit your motorcycle apparel dealer or online for stuff like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5NXkrx7Lck
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Posted 1/6/14
I've always wanted to experiment with a water cooled type system like you would use for a CPU. If you wanted all you would need is a bunch of hose and a suit to sew the hose onto. then have a back-pack type setup and have a small pump that would run water through the line and a couple of fans that would blow cold air over a length of hose and it would work like a refrigerator. It could be a functional and be part of the design of your suit as well.
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Posted 1/6/14

torque246 wrote:

I've always wanted to experiment with a water cooled type system like you would use for a CPU. If you wanted all you would need is a bunch of hose and a suit to sew the hose onto. then have a back-pack type setup and have a small pump that would run water through the line and a couple of fans that would blow cold air over a length of hose and it would work like a refrigerator. It could be a functional and be part of the design of your suit as well.


Something along that line, I would actually wonder if there are sub 30c convection current systems that could be used. Wouldn't need to use a powered system then. The biggest drawback to a liquid cooled, is they are not designed to get something down to room temperature. Take a convention hall in summer, can easily get 25c plus on a hot day. So the cooling would probably only get you down to maybe 30c suit temp on a pure liquid cooling system.

In order for it to be down to a comfortable level, you want have some sort of evaporation phase change to draw thermal energy out. Be it airflow to allow sweat to evaporate, or like a fridge where you have a closed system. A convection system would need something that would boil below body temperature but condense above room temp. This would be mechanically complex, and possibly environmentally risky. Hmm.. I might have fun looking into this, but what I would do is as follows.

Most environmentally feasable, would be something like ethanol. I would actually make a tubing system with an external condenser. I would create a vaccuum in the system at a temperature of probably 30c until the ethanol begins to boil.The part of the system in contact with your body would get warmer, causing it to vaporize and draw away alot more heat. This would create a cycle leading to the condenser coils at the sub body temperature level. This is how a fridge works, but uses compressors and evaporators to mechanically force it. No idea on it's effectiveness, but I like the idea since then you don't need batteries and crud.

Still, at the end of the day, problem is airflow. Actually. If I was to do a full body mech suit, I would incorporate mechanical air pumps/bellows into the joints so moving around moves air. Might get tiring though....
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Posted 1/8/14 , edited 1/8/14
The two best professional suits I ever wore had built in cooling rigs, there are cooling vests out there ( http://www.cheeretc.com/mascots/mascotcooling.htm ) but they're kind of pricey. As you're doing EVAs, as others have suggested, you might want to look into putting together your own cooling pump system (take a look at the early space suit stuff) basically a battery pump pushing tubed water around to a cooling surface and recycling...you want to get really fancy add a dry ice cooling chamber and surprise the heck out of everyone by venting once in awhile. Good luck.
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Posted 1/9/14

Shishiosa wrote:

The two best professional suits I ever wore had built in cooling rigs, there are cooling vests out there ( http://www.cheeretc.com/mascots/mascotcooling.htm ) but they're kind of pricey. As you're doing EVAs, as others have suggested, you might want to look into putting together your own cooling pump system (take a look at the early space suit stuff) basically a battery pump pushing tubed water around to a cooling surface and recycling...you want to get really fancy add a dry ice cooling chamber and surprise the heck out of everyone by venting once in awhile. Good luck.


I actually hadn't seen a dry ice cooling system in suits, mostly cause of the CO2, at least in a more enclosed suit I would think so... The vests are pretty much the same stuff motorcycle riders use as well.
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Posted 1/11/14
The CO2 compartments are located on the outside for the cooling system, not directly within it. For example a backpack sort of arrangement where the cooling fluid passes through the dry ices as it circulates.
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