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Author Topic: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits  (Read 2525 times)

Daryk

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"Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« on: 16 August 2021, 07:55:33 »
Credit where it's due: Cannonshop has written about "real" spacers (e.g., Belters and Rockjacks) using "skin suits" for quite a while now, and it finally struck me we don't have AToW stats for them.  What AToW DOES have stats for are:

Space Suits (TL C, 12 kg, 5 total BAR, encumbering, 48 hour life support)
Engineering Suits (TL D, 14 kg, 10 total BAR, encumbering and -2 to DEX rolls, 36 hour life support)
Combat Space Suits (TL C, 14 kg, 10 total BAR, encumbering, 48 hour life support)
Marine Combat Space Suits (TL D, 20 kg, 16 total BAR, NOT encumbering and in fact +2 to Zero-G Ops AND Divisor 2, 18 hour life support)

So here's what I propose for Skin Suits:

TL D
Availability/Legality D-D-D/D
BAR 1M/2B/1E/1X (5 total)
10,000/20 Cost/Patch Cost (must be personally fitted)
8 kg, 10 kg with helmet (non-encumbering either way)
Notes: BAR ratings stack with other worn armor without penalty; can be sealed against hostile environments, AV 10 vs. Flash, and 48 hour life support when helmet is worn; Military Communicator built into wrist unit and wired to helmet when worn.  Skin suits leave little to the imagination, and modesty usually dictates some kind of outer garment is worn over them.  Concealability is limited by the helmet ring, and completely impossible when the helmet is worn (-1 to Perception maximum when worn with appropriate clothing, not concealable to sensors).

"Real spacer" Marines wear body armor over their skin suits (generally achieving Divisor 2), and those with the Belter Infantry Augmentation package can get to Divisor 3.

Cannonshop

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #1 on: 16 August 2021, 08:18:47 »
looks good to me.
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Daryk

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #2 on: 16 August 2021, 08:21:47 »
Thanks Cannonshop!  :thumbsup:

Simon Landmine

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #3 on: 16 August 2021, 09:26:48 »
I'm glad that you put the quote marks in - avoids questions about "Are they really made of spacer skin?"
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idea weenie

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #4 on: 16 August 2021, 11:45:32 »
So they are basically the TL C space suit, upgraded to TL D to serve as Mechanical Counterpressure Suits?  They remove the 'Encumbering' trait, and sacrifice 2 kg of mass.

I am assuming that the suit itself is 8 kg (including 'waste disposal'), the helmet adds 2 kg, and that each Oxygen bottle masses 1 kg (including at least .84 kg of oxygen), for a total of 12 kg.  Unless the 2 kg of the helmet includes some of the Oxygen?

For fluff commentary, I'd see them as being able to use up to 2 Oxygen bottles at a time (each oxygen bottle is 1 kg with 1 day worth of O2 in it), and the suit is designed to pull from the oxygen tank with lower pressure.  This way after almost a day of work the individual will have two oxygen tanks where one tank is at 100% and the other is at 2%, instead of two tanks at 51% each.


Of course the fun space suit that may be eventually developed will take the Bio-Polymer technology from the Marian Hegemony's "Patchwork Enviro-Suit" (source: AToW p296, Environment Suits, the one right after the generic Space suit).  The Patchwork suit is 20 kg, costs 600 kg (plus 300 kg for patches), but incorporating that into a space suit that can slowly repair itself would be great in case of disaster.  With that benefit your space personnel are now very nicely protected, if encumbered.

Cannonshop

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #5 on: 16 August 2021, 12:18:29 »
So they are basically the TL C space suit, upgraded to TL D to serve as Mechanical Counterpressure Suits?  They remove the 'Encumbering' trait, and sacrifice 2 kg of mass.

I am assuming that the suit itself is 8 kg (including 'waste disposal'), the helmet adds 2 kg, and that each Oxygen bottle masses 1 kg (including at least .84 kg of oxygen), for a total of 12 kg.  Unless the 2 kg of the helmet includes some of the Oxygen?

For fluff commentary, I'd see them as being able to use up to 2 Oxygen bottles at a time (each oxygen bottle is 1 kg with 1 day worth of O2 in it), and the suit is designed to pull from the oxygen tank with lower pressure.  This way after almost a day of work the individual will have two oxygen tanks where one tank is at 100% and the other is at 2%, instead of two tanks at 51% each.


Of course the fun space suit that may be eventually developed will take the Bio-Polymer technology from the Marian Hegemony's "Patchwork Enviro-Suit" (source: AToW p296, Environment Suits, the one right after the generic Space suit).  The Patchwork suit is 20 kg, costs 600 kg (plus 300 kg for patches), but incorporating that into a space suit that can slowly repair itself would be great in case of disaster.  With that benefit your space personnel are now very nicely protected, if encumbered.

Keep in mind, these are worn UNDER a uniform overgarment or utility overgarment as daily or even constant wear for shipboard operations, therefore they have to have a low encumbrance.  a 'slap patch' isn't THAT difficult (unless you're alone and the damage is to an area that's hard to reach).

About the only bit I'd add, is a fitting to hook into 'ship air' (compartmental tanks and scrubbers) so that while the ship itself is depressurized for combat, (or maintenance, or whatever you need to depressurize for, which could actually be quite a few non-combat tasks) you're not pulling on your own tank.
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May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

monbvol

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #6 on: 16 August 2021, 12:28:51 »
Feels a little lightweight to protect from the tempurature extremes one can experience in space and probably a bit light on the C-bill cost but otherwise not bad.

I've got a few different offerings along the same idea, lightweight mesh suits meant to serve as an underlayer or in a pinch standard uniform for troops operating in hazardous environments(space, toxic atmospheres, and what not) in my full conversion AU.

AToW does seem to tie life support to the helmet in use and I've done the same but the idea of adding extra air bottles might be something I shamelessly steal borrow.

Daryk

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #7 on: 16 August 2021, 12:31:51 »
I would think being able to connect to ship (or "buddy") air is standard on ALL space suits, this one included.

As far as weight, I shaved two kg by going to TL D, and don't intend to add it back with air tanks.  The 48-hour life support is accounted for in the 10 kg of suit (8) and helmet (2).  Sure, if you want MORE life support, feel free to strap some on or connect to an external source.

David CGB

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #8 on: 17 August 2021, 00:37:44 »
Nice idea, would Clans have something like this?
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Giovanni Blasini

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #9 on: 17 August 2021, 01:12:25 »
Real skinsuit designs, like the MIT one, tend to be less concerned about retaining heat than they are about ensuring the wearer doesn't overheat, which is a considerable problem.  They also tend to require gas-filled gloves, due to the intricacies of human hand joints.  Shape memory materials have also been looked at recently, too, which will spring to tension when electricity is applied.
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Daryk

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #10 on: 17 August 2021, 04:03:13 »
Nice idea, would Clans have something like this?
Bandit caste maybe.  I would defer to Cannonshop for a more definitive answer.

Cannonshop

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #11 on: 17 August 2021, 08:34:24 »
Bandit caste maybe.  I would defer to Cannonshop for a more definitive answer.

Quick answer: Nope. 

Long Answer: The Clans are Warriors who sometimes go into space, these are suits for Spacers who might end up in a combat situation, as a result, the cultural and practical drives are entirely at cross-purpose here, meaning they don't fit how the Clans fight, nor how they operate, so there's no drive to develop the technology and refine it-for Clan purposes, the bulky EVA suits and occasional Marine boarding suit are all that they need or would want, because even the Snow Ravens with their 'naval focus' aren't focused on being lifestyle spacers, and while the Bandit Caste MIGHT want it, there's no tech-tree for them to steal to have it, since they, too, are terrestrial focused enough that it's reasonable to send tanks and helicopters (and battlemechs) to kill them, whereas Belters/Spacers don't live anywhere where such machines are useful or practical.

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Daryk

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #12 on: 17 August 2021, 09:07:54 »
Thanks Cannonshop!  :thumbsup:

monbvol

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #13 on: 17 August 2021, 09:31:19 »
The closest the Clans might come is they do have ASF pilot suits that are not the typical EVA/Marine armor offerings and possibly even the Mechwarrior combat suits but even so I feel like I'm really stretching things to make those claims because Cannonshop is right to the point I'd just add two little details.

Their reliance on Elementals for boarding actions and defense against boarding actions and the implication that much of the crew of a space born unit is not actually Warrior caste really undercuts any desire to develop a true skin suit.

Daryk

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #14 on: 17 August 2021, 12:02:56 »
As I recall, the SLDF ASF pilot suits were just short of PA(L) when Amaris came around.  I figure a few more decades of development would have resulted in a cross-pollination of the tech.

monbvol

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #15 on: 17 August 2021, 12:19:40 »
AToW does have an example ASF pilot illustration that shows them wearing something close to a skin suit but I'm pretty sure that is an IS character and given AToW is mostly early Jihad also the wrong era but still it seems to imply it is not a complete stretch that the Clans have something like that.

When I get back to my books I'll have to look up what AToW does for that example and what it does say about Clan versions.

Daryk

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #16 on: 17 August 2021, 13:48:51 »
I think the AToW illustration is still a TL C space suit, though getting closer to a true skin suit.  Just a little more tech would get it there.

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #17 on: 17 August 2021, 15:38:55 »
I think the AToW illustration is still a TL C space suit, though getting closer to a true skin suit.  Just a little more tech would get it there.

Wouldn't most of the more recent depictions of aerospace fighter pilot suits count?  I'm thinking, for example, of Michael "Outrider" Antilles on page 124 of the Mechwarrior Destiny rulebook, or the sample Aerospace Pilot on page 96 of A Time of War.

For that matter, Tech Readout 3085 has additional examples.  While they appear to have armoring over it, the Xenoplanetary Infantry undersuits appear to be skinsuits:



That's a Combat Space Suit.  Yes, it's got greebles and armor plates, but if you look under that it certainly looks like a counter-pressure "skin suit".

ComStar's Motorized XCT Infantry certainly appear to be wearing skin suits, too:



These are listed as Hostile Environment Suits in TR3085.

ComStar's Space Marines - in fact, the Snow Raven's provide an example of Clan Space Marines wearing skinsuits, too.



Yeah, TR3085 lists these both as Marine Environment Suits.

Of course, the Taurians have to go and get weird:


XCT Marines

That too is listed as a Marine Environment Suit, despite it obviously being a form of exoskeleton, which is what Sarna calls it.
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Daryk

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #18 on: 17 August 2021, 16:42:05 »
TL F is it's very own thing, I think.  My idea grew out of Cannonshop's though, so I'll defer to his thinking here.

Also, that other RPG is something I'm trying really hard to avoid posting about.  If you want to know why, PM me.

DOC_Agren

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #19 on: 17 August 2021, 18:47:25 »
I think the closest canon we have is Asuncion Escape Suit

Which is going to be CC navy standard undressed uniform post 3065 or so..

but it limited to maximum duration in vacuum/extreme temperatures: 20 minutes
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Daryk

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #20 on: 17 August 2021, 19:09:42 »
Ah, it's only 3 kg... that's why it only has a 20 minute endurance.

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #21 on: 17 August 2021, 20:27:55 »
TL F is it's very own thing, I think.

Huh?

Quote
My idea grew out of Cannonshop's though, so I'll defer to his thinking here.

OK...I was pointing out that skinsuits aren't exactly unknown in canon, with @Doc_Agren providing another example of one we've got clear stats for, and probably comparable to the SLDF Navy's engineer duty uniform, which also doubled as a spacesuit, but had more layers for thermal and physical protection:



Quote
Also, that other RPG is something I'm trying really hard to avoid posting about.  If you want to know why, PM me.

Sure, given I have no idea what you're talking about.
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monbvol

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #22 on: 17 August 2021, 20:58:07 »
Okay having got back to my books two things jump out at me:

1: The Combat Flight Suit on 295 of AToW does definately look very much like a skin suit but does count toward the whole layering armor makes one encumbered.  Page 96 for the example ASF pilot wearing one.

2: The Combat Flight Suit is light(7kg) and cheap(3,000 C-bills).  At C/B-C-B/B it just looks like the flat out better option if you don't mind the drawback of observation 1.

So the Clans absolutely would have that.  But I'm still inclined to agree with Cannonshop's general idea of their philosophy on war would reserve it for specific warrior roles and thus not be available for general crew.

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #23 on: 18 August 2021, 11:45:30 »
So how do you avoid the typical problems of single layer spacesuits-that being, that either they're pressurized and hard to move in, or depressurized and you can get the Bends, also your body tries to start squeezing out of places like the armpits and groin?
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monbvol

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #24 on: 18 August 2021, 12:10:46 »
The most likely approach for these non-encumbering space/hostile environment suits is they are depressurized and operators are given training not too far off underwater diving training, especially deep diving, coupled with mechanical/electronic regulation assist to help mitigate the 'bends" aspect.

But I suspect even that may not be enough, especially in emergency situations, to fully offset and thus I find it plausible the suits could be made to be pressurized when full unimpeded mobility is not needed.

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #25 on: 18 August 2021, 12:52:44 »
Skinsuits don’t pressurize: that’s the whole point.

I’m assuming they have to layer materials on top of the counter-pressure layers in order to protect the more vulnerable counter-pressure layer.
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monbvol

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #26 on: 18 August 2021, 13:25:12 »
*shrug*

I'd still think it'd be a not terrible feature, especially in emergency situations, where if you don't need to move about you could pressurize such a suit.  Not that it'd be done in regular course of performing one's duties/job to make that distinction.

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #27 on: 18 August 2021, 14:07:12 »

Isn't the solution to have skinsuits adjust themselves to apply pressure evenly on the skin?
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monbvol

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #28 on: 18 August 2021, 14:25:04 »
That'd take a lot of sophisticated mechanisms to keep the pressure even and almost certainly wind up with it being 'encumbering' in AToW/TW terms.

Maingunnery

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Re: "Real Spacer" Skin Suits
« Reply #29 on: 18 August 2021, 14:40:44 »
That'd take a lot of sophisticated mechanisms to keep the pressure even and almost certainly wind up with it being 'encumbering' in AToW/TW terms.
Depends upon what you consider mechanisms, this about skinsuits thus not using things with excessive bulk or rigidity. Encumbering in this case is likely more about resistance to movement, but if it is sophisticated enough then it can be designed to not resist deliberate motion.
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