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Unread 03-03-2011, 09:05 AM   #1
Shuko
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Mascot Costume Ventilation?

Hey all. I have no experience in making mascot costumes (or as some might interpret them, fursuits), but I'm interested in making a costume that's going to be large, very round, and probably lined with thick foam to conceal the frame. It'll go from my head all the way to my feet, so I'm definitely going to have problems with heat and ventilation if I don't build some sort of ventilation system into the costume.

Without having to tell you which character I want to make (Naisho deshou! - It's a secret! ^o^), can I get some advice on some of the ways that people get air to circulate inside large, spacious mascot suits? I was thinking that perhaps I could incorporate some sort of battery operated fan, but that would only work if it can access the outside air, so I'm limited in where I can put it. Is there something else I could consider?
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Unread 03-03-2011, 10:54 AM   #2
Orannis
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While fans would be ideal, another alternative would be to have a water-cooling system. Essentially it's a series of tubes that get strapped around your body/limbs and the water gets pumped through a cooling unit. It'll run you at least a few hundred though, probably more.
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Unread 03-03-2011, 01:09 PM   #3
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You'll need to add at least one stretch mesh panel somewhere--a battery-powered computer fan goes just underneath the thin, porous fabric to pull cool air in. I wish you were able to give us a clearer idea of your design, because even in a round costume there's got to be a place to put it inconspicuously.

Also, you'll want a vent out the top of your costume. Hot air rises, and blowing it out will help a lot. Ideally you'll have at least one, preferably more than one cool-air intakes lower in the costume and a hot-air exhaust out the top.
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Unread 03-03-2011, 04:20 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, the whole thing is uniform in color, shape, and texture. Only the face and the very bottom have places where I could put these things without them showing, so unless I put them in the back and hope that no one pays attention too closely, I guess I'll have to deal with people seeing them.

And thank you very much for the suggestion, Orannis, but I have neither the dedication nor the fundage to pop for something THAT awesome, lol. I guess it's to be the fans after all.
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Unread 03-04-2011, 07:23 AM   #5
Orannis
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Another alternative depending on how long you plan on wearing it is cooling packs for mascot suits; I think I still have the link somewhere. Essentially, they're pouches that strap to wrists/ankles/neck/head and there's also a vest you can get. Basically they use these special gel packs that you put in the freezer, then you put them in the pouches when you need them. I was considering them when I was doing my Oogie Boogie, I think for a set of wrists, neck, head it was going to cost me about a hundred shipped, including the gel packs. I believe they're supposed to be good for 3-6 hours before not being cool any more.
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Unread 03-04-2011, 10:56 AM   #6
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That is a possibility... Of course, something like that might produce outside condensation and "sweat" all over me. As long as I wore something casual underneath it like some light shorts and a tee shirt or something, it'd probably all right anyway, but I wouldn't want anyone seeing through my clothes when/if I got wet.

Still, I kind of like that idea better than the one where I cut big holes into my costume for the fans. xD A combination of what you said and a built-in fan might be good. But either way, I'm going to need fresh air to circulate in there, or I'm liable to asphyxiate myself.

Thanks for the ideas, folks! You've been incredibly helpful! ^_^
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Unread 03-07-2011, 02:43 PM   #7
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Here are cooling vests specifically designed for mascots.

You definitely want an exhaust fan at the top of the head; you can get cheap ones at Radio Shack. It should be blowing out to get rid of hot air; you don't want air blowing on your face for hours. You can also hide the fan vent by spray-painting window screening to match the costume fabric/fur; that's what we did at the mascot shop I worked at.
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Unread 03-16-2011, 03:03 AM   #8
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I would suggest wearing a lycra bodysuit under neath to help wick sweat away.

Secondly, does the mascot have a mouth? If so, make it so it is slightly open.
If not, you can always shape the foam and put holes about 1 inch on it on the face and side of the head and stretch the fur/fabric/fleece over those holes so you don't see them. You can then add a computer fan powered by a 9Volt battery to help. Add one for intake and one for out take.
You might want to put mesh either under the chin if it is short, or the top of the head if it is a tall costume.
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