Iron Man Armor (Sintra) !WIP!


New Hunter
Sorry for the multiple posts, I figured I should start a thread with a title that matches what I am working on, as I have gotten through most of the questions phase. I got a nice handful of pictures which I will include in later posts, but for now I will reiterate a bit of what I am doing to have it all included in one single thread.

The Project:
So basically I am trying to put together some Iron Man armor before the upcoming Halloween party we try to hold every year :cheers. After gaining TONS of useful information on this site, and deciding to go with using the Sintra material, I started making headway one piece at a time, and pretty much from scratch. I would love to make it look as good as the new movie armor, but the detail and complex amount of pieces are well out of my current skillset, and way out of my time constraints. So the armor pieces I am making from scratch, just using sheets of paper to measure out pieces which will give me good coverage of various limbs and body parts and the like. The armor will no doubt be closer to looking like this rather plain Iron Man armor here:

Except I will be sticking to the Red and Gold classic Mark III armor as opposed to the silver seen here.

Not that I won't be shooting for some things to look like the movie armor, I will be doing my best to make the helmet/mask resemble that of the movie armor, and plan to have glowing blue pieces for the chest-beam, each palm-beam, and glowing eyes. Also, the mask needs to be either removeable or raise-able so I can drink alcohol while in the suit as the Halloween party is a big drunk fest as well!


After about 10 different cans of spray paint, alot of wasted money, and alot of wasted time, I finally found the perfect Sintra painting solution. In one simple world, Duplicolor! The biggest problems with painting, was finding something that would stick solidly and be difficult to scratch off. After many different Krylons, Testors, American Traditions, etc. paints, I found Duplicolor was the only one that stuck well, wasn't sticky, and was very difficult to scratch off.

After reading some posts about using Self-Etching spray paint, I found some Duplicolor Self Enching Primer (which unfortunately only comes in puke green color) and picked up a can of that. To match that of the red for the Iron Man armor, I picked up some "Autumn Maple Red (Metallic)" Duplicolor paint, which looks perfect, and has little sparklies within which I actually like the look of. So I basically spray on 3-layers (in 1 coating run) of the Duplicolor Self Etching Primer, and then 2-layers (1 coat) of the Autumn Maple Red paint. I will also be finishing them up with some Duplicolor Glossy Clear Coat. Of note, to get a good stick and finish, that is difficult to scratch, the paint color alone works great too! So the Primer isn't necessary, but I feel safer with it on. The gold paint for the armor is Duplicolor Instant Gold.

Attaching Pieces:

For joining the pieces of Sintra together, I have stuck with using Rivets and a manual Rivet gun. I don't mind the appearance of rivets on the armor, and they kinda suit the feel of it, but best of all it provides flexible and rotate-able joints! So I can use a couple of rivets to make a knee joint, and be able to rotate that joint for standing or sitting. The rivets are also easily painted to match the paint on the Sintra material and provide a very strong and permanent hold. If you plan to use Rivets in your own projects, make sure to buy the "washers" too for the backside!
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New Hunter

Here is a set of pictures of some of the work completed so far, as of 10/08/2007.

Starting off with the first 3 pieces I made, a boot/shoe covering for the armor. Unfortunately I had to scrap the middle largest piece in the end as it was too tight on the shoe once I got my foot in there. I eventually went with a new larger piece with a big tongue piece sticking up. This was also the first part of the suit, and as of now only part of the suit which I have painted. It uses rivets to connect it all together, which also makes it flexible for the different arcs my foot and ankle can make. Note that I had not painted the rivets yet for these pictures and they are still in the natural steel/aluminum look.


This next set is the Shin piece I put together today, consisting of a lower and top half, and a backplate. Currently holding the pieces together are simple Twist-Ties, as I need to paint each piece individually before riveting them together. You might also notice a small screwdriver holding the middle rivet slot (hey it works!). The first image is the Front/Side, the second image is the Back/Side, and the last image is the Shin piece just resting atop the Boot piece for reference:

I might do some more cutting to this to make it fit smoothly with the boot and put some curves to it, but I need to figure out what under clothing I am going to use, and how to attach the armor pieces to it first.

These next two pictures are the forearm, wrist, and hand (minus the fingers!) piece I put together the other day. I still haven't figured out how I am going to do the fingers as I would like to match the look of the movie armor with multiple seperate joints, but the Sintra material is too thick, and I am having trouble figuring out how to make the joints, make them flexible, and make them attach to each other. The first image is the topside, the second the bottomside, note that the two pieces are not connected yet as the forearm will be part of the clothing, the the glove will be a seperate removeable piece of the suit. A standard leather working glove is and will be used as the inside of the completed armored glove as seen in the images:

And for the last and final set, the most difficult piece I have had to work with, the helmet/mask! After racking my brain trying to figure out an easy way to make the rounded top of the helmet out of Sintra (without gluing tons of triangles together), I decided to simply go out and buy a biker/skater helmet from Wal-Mart for $14, and build around it. This gives me a nice helmet piece with a chinstrap to keep it on, and padding for my fragile head. So after attempting to map out the 3D helmet into a flat design on the Sintra meterial, and cutting out 3 different facemasks (the first two didn't work) I finally made one that works. It will be attached to the Wal-Mart helmet with two rivets, and can be raised up like a visor so I can drink or do whatever outside of the constraints of a permanent facemask. The first image is the front, the second the Top, and the third the Side:

It still needs a bit of refining, but I am happy with it so far, and it took tons of work, and reworking, and cutting little pieces here and there and small grooves here and there to get it where it is now. The eye slits are cut out as well, and to give it the glowing blue eye look, as well as allowing me to see out of the slits, I "plan" to use blue transparent film or plexiglass, with a small LED light making the plexiglass glow. So far I haven't had much luck finding either blue plexiglass, some sort of thin film, or transparent blue paint to coat the plexiglass in (hmm wonder if I can dip it in food coloring...).

I believe that is it for now, I may start another thread or so with specific help questions, but this thread will be reserved for updates on this Work In Progress Iron Man armor. And I greatly welcome any comments, suggestions, criticism, advice, or anything any of you all wish to add to this thread!
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Bountys Hunted

Well-Known Hunter
Interesting! For the blue eyes- you've got this option- Some Clones have the mirrored motorcycle visors. I believe you can get them in blue as well. Leds, el wiring is also used for Republic Commando visors. Rave websites have colored leds in a variety of "holders" for a nominal cost. I got blue ones that work perfectly inside the helmet. I'm sorry, but I don't have the site anymore. They use watch batteries and work quite well. Do search on google for rave products...they also have those thin tube thingies that connect to make necklaces...

For the gloves, I used to fight in plate steel armor in the SCA. Make them out of sign plastic the same way. Use a heat gun to form them, rivets to fasten them. You've already used this method, just keep going. Make a cylinder shape, making them smaller as you work towards the fingertip.

You could also glue them to a strip of elastic attached to the top of each finger...


New Hunter
Well a small update, but some pretty difficult work to acheive. Basically I made the abdomen plate(s), and the left side plate (chestplate with uni-beam light soon to come when I figure it out!). Replicating the left to make a right side should be simple enough, then I just have to make a single piece backplate (as Iron Man's back hasn't really been shown yet, and there is no need to get fancy with it) and I should have the whole lower torso complete. I will just have to make the chest plate, shoulders, neck, and rear shoulderblade pieces. The mid abdomen plate is 4 V-Shaped pieces riveted together overlapping a bit, the left side is 3 pieces (2 V-Shapes, one flat bottom).

Unforunately I screwed up... twice on the left side, by putting connecting pieces in the way of rivets that were already there, so a bit of a nuisance and set back but should be fine.

These pieces which I will show a few pictures of connected together actually represent the look of the movie armor, which I will also provide a picture of. It seems as I work more with the Sintra, the more I am able and willing to try to replicate the look of the highly detailed and intricate movie armor. Cheers.

The two plates are connected by a single rivet at the bottom there, I will have to make cut a small piece of Sintra out to connect them at the top too, to fix my mistake.

As for making the chest plate, I am guessing it will have to be in two pieces (a left half and a right half) as from the looks of it, trying to make it into one large piece just won't fit in the large cookpot I am using to boil water (and they don't really make them any bigger).


New Hunter
Success at last! So I have been searching ever since I started this project for adequate eye-piece inserts. I needed some sort of clear blue material that was easy to see through, which has been quite problematic. I found several items that were clear, but distorted your view so much that well... if I had been drinking I would no doubt get sick eventually. So finally, after visiting a part supply store, I found my holy grail, a $2.49 pair of giant novelty glasses with crystal clear blue plastic lenses! Easy to bend material and easy to cut with a pair of scissors, my long search is finally over! First picture is the novelty glasses with one of the lenses already removed and cut up, 2nd picture is the lenses temporarily installed into the facemask (until I paint it) with the light on, 3rd picture is with the lights off. I have a small LED light set to the side of the left eye slot in each picture to give off the glowing blue eyes look, which I plan to incorporate into the helmet for both eyes.

Also I have completed the entire lower torso, the right side matches the left side posted above and I have attached a backplate to complete it. Having a bit of trouble figuring out the chestplate piece, but I should be able to get something workable together in the coming days.

Unfortunately I am running out of material and only have about a 2ftx3ft piece left due to wasting some decent sized pieces on two bad facemasks and a large legpiece which are all going to be difficult to try and reuse for anything. So looks like I will have to make another run to the sign shop, where all together this suit will probably incorporate about 4ftx12ft worth of Sintra material and probably 120-150 rivets.:eek:
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New Hunter
So I finally got the chestplate pieces cut out and installed. I kept making them too small and they looked silly, but eventually they came out about right. Unfortunately I had to do it in two seperate pieces split down the middle to better fit them in the cookpot for boiling. Note that the top part above the round chest uni-beam light hole isn't connected together yet, so there is a small gap there until I build the rest of the upper-torso.

Also, I found a nice little light to put behind the chest beam to make it light up nicely, while also having good battery life. It was this little Garrity 8-LED work light which lights up about a 3.5inX3.5in white box with a simple push button, picked up for about $10 at Wal-Mart and uses 3-AA's. I figure I can wire the button up to a switch at the hip of the armor or somewhere else convenient to turn the chest light on and off.

So now pictures:
1. The first is the Garrity light I purchased

2. The second is the entire lower torso completed with left and right chest plates attached and chest beam hole cut out. I temporarily taped the other blue lens out of those party glasses into the opening (which it sadly does not completely cover, and put the Garrity light behind it to get a basis for the chest Uni-beam effect. This picture was taken with the room light on.

3. The third is the same as the second, only with the room light off. Enjoy!



New Hunter
So minor setback, but progress nonetheless. I really didn't like the first helmet/mask combo I had. Was entirely too big and was closer to the old big steel/silver armor in the picture at the top, than the sleeker/smaller movie armor helmet. The skateboarding helmet was just entirely to big with all of the padding and protection, so I had to scrap it :cry.

If only I had done this from the get-go.... so I ran over to the local sports shop (Dick's Sporting Goods) and picked up a cheapo plastic Cinncinati Reds replica helmet for a whopping $8 dollars. It's just a cheap thin plastic shell, but provides an excellent one-piece dome for the head.

Couple of pictures, first is the helmet with bill, second is the bill sliced off (had to bust out the good ol' Dremel for that), and third is the new helmet/mask. I also shaved a considerable amount of stuff off the facemask piece as it just wasn't right yet (those gold horn type pieces going up the forehead are a nightmare to recreate!).


On the bright side of all of this, I have pretty well completed the entire Torso region of the suit (frame-wise, haven't installed lighting setup yet), but have decided it would be best to have the Torso as one large piece, and purchased some comfy Gel-Shoulder Straps which I will attach to the Torso piece so it can be easily put on over any clothing and taken off. Think of it as the top half of a pair of Suspenders. I will then make a seperate piece that might resemble something like a football shoulderpad setup to go over top the head and rest on the shoulders.

Also, the idea of wiring up a switch for the chest light and all that has gotten me thinking of other neat additions that might be feasable to install, including a voice modifier type setup to allow you to project that hearty Iron Man robotic voice. If I manage to get really technical I might try to figure out a way to rig up the eye-piece lights to go on and off with speech like they do in the Ultimate Avengers movies.

Anyways, plenty more work to be done, and I went out and bought another full sheet of Sintra now that I have run out of my first stock. Sooner or later I'm going to have to bullet-proof this armor and install lcd panels into the eyeslots with 360degree camera's. ;)

Ion Cannon Gunner

Active Hunter
I've been waiting for someone to do this. I was going to try it myself but I've been to busy with my fett. Nice work you've got there man. Have you read the ultimates? I personally like that armor the best but the new movie stuff tooks pretty sick as well.
Good luck with the armor bro! Lookin good!


New Hunter
Good Idea Stormrider! Although I could maybe just talk through the fan byitself and use my natural voice span to save on trying to incorporate more equipment and batteries into the suit. Hmm...

And of course all ideas and comments are greatly appreciated and welcome, I check this thread several times a day while working on the suit just in case any good ideas come up that I can incorporate into the suit before it's too late!

I also found a website that shows me the backside of the movie armor from a special edition toy made of the movie armor. You can check it out here. It gives you a 360degree slideshow of it, although looking it at I'm not sure if I want to recreate that big spine looking piece on the backplate, might just stick with what I got.