Anyone who has a Moon Suit in their collection likely has lost the rubber arms due to age. I currently have three moon suits. Two came to me with missing arms. One I bought 20 years ago with fully intact and working arms. Since that time the rubber has become brittle and the arms have cracked apart just like egg shells. Recently I decided to do something about that and restore all 3 moon suits.
I started my search for replacement arms on eBay and I did find someone selling their version of replacement arms. These were made from automotive hosing and lego claws. I very much liked the look of them but they were not poseable and would not work with the original hose and pump (actually they are poseable if a very thick wire is used inside). Unless I can find replacements that are made just like the originals, using the air pump was likely out of the question. Thinking about this, I consider pose-ability as paramount. I started to look around for “found” items that I could modify into arms. After a lot of thought, I may have found something that may work for substitute arms.
My idea is to use an inexpensive flexible tripod to build replacement arms. I can get one of these for under $2 online. I hope to modify two of the legs and retain the foam covering and the flexible core to act as arms. I’m still looking around for what to do about the hands but I’m sure I can figure something out. Perhaps I can make some matching hands with Fimo or some such thing.
I’ll document the restoration process here in the next few months once I do some more research (I’ll also post my research here too).
UPDATE: May 2017
After waiting for several months for the delivery of the tripod, a package finally showed up and inside was … not a tripod. So I’ve placed another order and I’ll have to wait again. I order stuff from China all the time and this is the first time something has screwed up. What bothers me though is the time it’s taking to receive anything. Last year it would take 30 days to North America. Now it’s taking 60 to 90 days. Ugh!
Got the tripod but it’s just too large to look right. The search goes on.
UPDATE: October 2021
I was tooling around the interwebs recently and noticed that someone posted that they had made replacement arms for their moon suit and they posted an image of the finished result. It looked very good to me and appeared they had used something that resembled automotive parts. No where in the article was it mentioned what specific part was used but I recognised it as resembling a black rubber boot such as a clutch cable boot.
I’ve looked around ebay and various other sites but so far have not had much luck. Many of the available boots are for bicycle brakes and are very small. I’ll keep looking around but this kind of item would be perfect if I can find the right size. Then I’d need to make something for hands.