The rubber armour plates are mounted on a one piece mesh jumpsuit, which needs to be tailored to fit the wearer. This is worn over black compression pants, long sleeve top and an open faced black hood, to give a black backing to the mesh and to prevent the mesh from rubbing on the skin as it is a bit abrasive. The mesh is a strange and hard to obtain product called 3D Spacer Mesh. The company who made the original mesh used in the film no longer make it. I believe the original suit in the films was 4mm thick, but they don’t manufacture in 4mm any more. My mesh was 2mm (it actually measures 2.5mm thick), but it was perfect. You need about 2.5m for a full suit and hood, but I would suggest 3m to allow for errors.
You can see from these photos that it consists of two layers of polyester mesh (looks the same from front and back) with very fine clear polyester strands in a network between the two layers, making it spongy and breathable with full veltilation. A seriously cool fabric.
At this point in time, the only places I know of that sell a similar mesh are as follows (I don’t give any guarantee that they sell the correct product, I am just going by google searches and what other people have told me. I suggest you get a sample of the mesh first if you want to make sure it is suitable.
If you find another stockist, let me know and I will add them to this list.
This is the mesh suit that I made with the help of a very talented seamstress. I am so glad that I worked with her for this part as she had tricks and techniques that I would never think of, not to mention sewing machines that make my poor little sewing machine look more like a stapler.
and from the back, showing the zip.
I have since added a fly in the front which hides under the cod. Check out the build page for the cod for more details on the fly. You can’t really see it in the photos, but there are also thin zips in the wrists and ankles to aid getting in to and out of the suit. A word of caution on the zips, only buy good quality YKK brand ones, otherwise your cheap zips that look the same WILL crap out as soon as you put them under pressure.
All the latex pieces are glued on with liquid latex thickened with latex thickener. Put some plastic inside the mesh suit to stop the glue sticking the front to the back. It’s a good idea to mark out the positions of the panels with chalk before glueing them.
The hood is an open face hood with a zip up the back. There is a wide flange of mesh around the neck to stop it popping out. I also installed a snap on each of the front corners of the flange (with denim washers to stop them pulling through the mesh) and on the back there are two elastic straps with snaps on them. When I suit up, I put the hood on before the suit, then I cross the elastic straps of the hood over, passing each one under the opposing armpit and snap them on the front corners.